I have decided to add a new category to the blog: ‘Brain Sex!/Genderism/Gender Criticism’, which will hopefully make finding content easier.
I’ve seen some posts recently on tumblr, saying that we shouldn’t describe ‘TERF’ as a slur, because it doesn’t have the same power to harm as more established words like ‘slut’ and ‘whore’, and we shouldn’t conflate the two.
This is a fair argument, but the way ‘TERF’ is being used, it is hate speech. How else can we describe a word that is used to homogenise, dehumanise and demonise a group of people, especially when so-called ‘social justice warriors’ tweet and blog about how much they’d love to violently murder ‘TERFs’.
I have sent this email to the Guardian, expressing my concern over the use of the word ‘TERF’ in the article they published last Saturday.
I am writing to you to express my concern over Lucy Mangan’s opinion piece published in the Weekend magazine on the 9th August (I am sending this to several different editors, as it is an issue that goes beyond this one article). My particular concern is over her use of the term ‘Terf'; this word is used as hate speech against any woman (and it is only used against women) who expresses a negative or critical opinion about gender or trans issues, or who even acknowledges that biological sex exists. It is used to dehumanise and demonise such women, and to justify violent threats against them and their children. It is highly irresponsible of a national newspaper to allow an article to be published that uses this term uncritically, as if it were a neutral descriptor.
I also wish to express my concern with the way the Guardian covers ‘gender’ issues generally; your coverage is alarmingly one-sided and uncritical, with the number of gender-critical pieces being minute in comparison to the number of articles that cover gender identity uncritically.
Why not, in the name of balance, ask Gia Milinovich or Sarah Ditum to write a critical response? Or even just commission a review of Sheila Jeffreys’ new book Gender Hurts?
I look forward to hearing back from you.
Sent to these email addresses:
It will be interesting to see what kind of reply, if any, I get.
Twice now I have had arrogant wind-bag men take up my time and energy in the comments section. When I refused to give these men any more of my attention, they spammed me with comments, and both of them described this behavior as ‘dissent’.
This is male dominance in action, men think they are entitled to have their lives serviced by women, and they think demanding this servicing is some kind of rebellious act.
Unless a baby has ambiguous genitalia, as with intersex babies, they are not “assigned” a sex at birth; their sex is “identified.”
When we discover a new planet we do not “assign” it a spectral class or type. We “identify” it by its natural phenomenon. Sex is a natural phenomenon.
Repeat after me: Biological sex is a natural phenomenon.
tagged as #see also: stop using intersex people as pawns #and stealing their fucking language
I have only seen this argument in the last few months. I have always used ‘female assigned at birth’ as it covered both biological females and intersex individuals assigned female at birth, and therefore raised the same as other girls (it also gave us the brilliant acronym ‘FAB’!), and I know I’m not the only one to use this terminology.
The above argument is a good one, although there is a risk with using the word ‘identify’ because it is used in identity politics to say anyone is whatever they identify as (whether it’s a member of the opposite sex, another race, or an imaginary animal).
However, even acknowledging that risk, I will from now on be using ‘female assigned/identified at birth’ (the less satisfying ‘FAIB’ – but at least not FIB!).
This has come up now because the Guardian has published a piece on the so-called ‘terf wars’, and, amazingly, so far, my gender critical comments have been allowed to stay up (only one has been deleted, and that’s really odd because it’s the same comment I made many times on that thread, asking how bullying lesbians is progressive). My first comment (time wise) even has the most ‘recommended’ votes (of those comments visible on the front page) as of writing this. We’ll have to see how it goes.
I do often wonder how many people actually read comments sections (I’ve always been of the opinion that if you can’t get your comment on the first page, don’t bother). I (perhaps unwisely) linked to this blog in one of my comments, and I’ve had eleven click-throughs from the Guardian so far today.
MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING
I deserved this.
A woman was rude to my owner. So I got hit in the face. When one bitch doesn’t know her place, it’s every bitch’s fault, and when one bitch misbehaves, any bitch can [be] punished.
I would love to see her face when she saw the consequences of her shitty behavior. Then I’d love to slap her in the face a few times before pushing her down on the bed between his legs and shoving her face into his crotch to lick his balls and ass while I hold her down and suck his cock. Cunts like that need to be taught a lesson about where women belong and what their purpose is.
Found at For Survivors of Kink Abuse. The blogger calls herself “little feminist bitch”. The above quote shows the Orwellian levels of disconnect that ‘sex positive’ and ‘choice’ ‘feminism’ have bought some people to – the above is, apparently ‘feminist’. Where’s the ‘safe, sane and consensual’ here? Oh right, yes, it’s all a big fantasy that everyone’s agreed to, except all the times it isn’t.
Something else I’ve seen on For Survivors of Kink Abuse, the term ‘consensual misogyny’. This cognitive dissonance, this double think, must be exhausting, but then if you are rewarding yourself with an orgasm, that must make it easier I suppose (and damn the long term psychological consequences)?
Lots of women who have exited the BDSM ‘scene’ talk about brain washing, talk about how their psychological vulnerabilities (being young, being abused before) were used to manipulate them, talk about the Stockholm Syndrome and the trauma bonding. How can anything be ‘safe’ or ‘sane’ or ‘consensual’ when you’ve been brainwashed by a cult? And spare me the ‘no true Scotsman’ arguments, as if what I’ve quoted above is some kind of exception rather than the norm. When this kind of thinking pervades your entire world view, where’s the outside of it where you make the choice to consent (and it’s not like you can’t consent to something that’s harmful)?
Some women really do get off on women’s sub-human status under patriarchy, and some of them want to call this ‘feminist’ because they deny the fact that feminism is a political movement to liberate women from male dominance, and confuse it instead for selfish individualism practiced by a female human being.
I listened to an addition of The Moral Maze a few weeks ago that was – shock horror! – actually interesting and informative, and not just pointless willy-waving.
It was on the subject of censorship, and, particularly, the fact that Mein Kampf will soon be out of copyright and therefore could be published in Germany again.
One of the viewpoints expressed on the programme (by a German lawyer) was that it should be banned. Germany obviously has a very detailed, intimate history with this document, and what works for them in this specific case won’t necessarily work as a universal principal for how to treat Mein Kampf, or any other ‘problematic’ text.
I can’t help but agree with one of the panellists who said that banning it would only make it seem more exciting and appealing. The discussion moved on to the subject of contemporary hate merchants, particularly certain extremist Muslim preachers, and the case was cited of a young woman student in London, who, after watching a series of videos on YouTube of a particular preacher, went on to attack her local MP.
It was pointed out that she must have been a disturbed individual in the first place (I agree), and the idea was discussed that when it comes to censorship, it is always for other people, not ‘us’, the ones making the rules. It is assumed that such material, will, to use a phrase from the programme, ‘infect’ (some) people’s minds. The counterargument was that no one would be turned into an anti-Semite simply by reading Mein Kampf (I agree with this as well).
So why, then, if I do not think a document like Mein Kampf should be censored/banned, am I anti-porn?
Firstly, I don’t think pornography and Mein Kampf are the same kind of thing; it is not just one porn film, made decades ago, of interest only to historians and anthropologists, or to people who are already raging misogynists, it is thousands, if not millions of porn films, available instantly, with the same kind of imagery and messages also appearing in mainstream culture as well.
Mein Kampf was published at a time when a large number of non-Jews in the Weimer Republic (and later the Third Reich) were anti-Semites, and it was not the only document or the only piece of propaganda around. The racist propaganda created by the Nazi party didn’t create anti-Semitism, or directly cause the holocaust, but it did make it that little bit easier to carry out.
Pornography is relentless propaganda, in a culture that is already misogynist; in that sense, it has more in common with advertising than any political tract (and if you think advertising doesn’t work, ask yourself why big companies spend billions of dollars a year on it). As well, the consumers of porn superficially see what they are consuming as entertainment, not politics (although the producers some times let slip otherwise), so that they are not necessarily active aware consumers (although the more and more violent, degrading trends might suggest otherwise); and lets not forget the fact that porn is masturbated to, that its message is reinforced with an orgasm.
Also, sexual violence is not a rare occurrence; it is not something committed only by outlier men with underlying mental health problems. Sexual violence is a common, everyday occurrence, committed by otherwise ‘normal’ men (and the mainstream tacitly admits this with its ‘boys will be boys’ rhetoric).
I have already written before on this blog that trying to ‘ban’ porn is not one of my main aims. Criminalising the viewing of pornography would be draconian to enforce, and an unjustifiable drain on resources, and internet filters already block things other than porn (eg websites on sexual health). Banning the sale of porn would be much more efficient, and something credit card companies could do easily (let’s see how interested pornographers are in exercising their ‘free speech’ when they can no longer turn a profit from it); also, properly enforcing health and safety/labour laws would shut down most porn sets. Passing laws allowing women and girls (and boys and men) who have been abused in the making of porn (not just ‘revenge porn’ victims), and women and girls (and boys and men) who have been abused by men obviously inspired by porn, to gain civil redress, would also help in terms of tipping the balance of power away from dominant men.
One of the interviewees on the programme said that to ban something is society’s way of showing its moral disgust at that thing. It’s true that laws have a normative value, but if a society really were morally disgusted by something, it wouldn’t need a law to enforce that disgust!
This is the thing, I don’t want men to stop consuming porn because they are afraid of getting caught and punished, I want them to stop because they are descent people who view women as fully human, and therefore can’t get off on their subjugation. Misogyny is a hydra, cutting off one head alone will never be enough; better sex education is a start, better handling of rape and domestic violence cases is a start, elimination of misogyny from other media is a start, challenging the idea that porn is merely ‘fantasy’ is a start. Being anti-porn is necessary, but not sufficient, for effecting real change.
Domestic violence refuges are being closed across the country in a crisis that is putting support for the most vulnerable women and children back 40 years, leading charities have warned.
Specialist safe houses for women and children – which were forged out of the feminist movement in the 1970s – are being forced to shut by some local authorities because they do not take in male victims.
In other areas, refuges are facing closure in favour of preventive work and support in the community or being replaced with accommodation provided by housing associations.
The threat comes from a competitive tendering process being adopted by local authorities, which charities say is weighted towards larger housing associations and businesses and ignores the lessons of four decades about the need to provide specialist, therapeutic support in refuges for women forced to flee for their lives.
The home secretary, Theresa May, recently told a meeting of women’s groups in London that there was a great deal of ignorance about the way domestic violence services were commissioned by local authorities. But she has repeatedly refused calls to ringfence funding nationally for women’s refuges.
Key concerns raised by women’s groups include:
• The breakdown of the national network of refuges through local authorities imposing limits on the numbers of non-local women able to stay in them.
• Time limits on length of stay.
• Funding cuts because refuges do not take men.
• Refuges being shut without alternative accommodation being provided.
So there you have it, ‘equality’ means scrapping specialist services for women, because they don’t supply specialist services to men, and replacing them with a stripped down service that doesn’t provide specialist support to men or women.
“Gangs are drawing up and disseminating lists of teenage girls whom they consider to be legitimate rape targets”
Gangs are drawing up and disseminating lists of teenage girls whom they consider to be legitimate rape targets, as sexual violence is increasingly used to spread fear and antagonise rival groups.
The so-called sket lists (sket is street slang for “sluts”) have, according to youth workers, prompted attacks so brazen that girls have been dragged from school buses and sexually assaulted. Police and charities say they have recorded an increase in the use of sexual violence by gangs, including incidents of revenge rape, where the sisters and girlfriends of rival gang members are targeted. Claire Hubberstey, interim chief executive of Safer London Foundation, a charity working with young people to reduce crime, warns that gangs are using sexual violence in the same way that they use dangerous dogs to parade their masculinity.
Scotland Yard has confirmed that sexual violence against women by gangs is now “at the top of our agenda” following initiatives that have seen gun crime fall by 17% and knife crime offences by 11.5%. Det Supt Tim Champion, from the Metropolitan police’s Operation Trident gang crime command, said: “The first thing we had to do is stop people killing each other. The focus now clearly is on women. It’s as prevalent as carrying a knife or a gun – the raping of a girl in a gang.”
Hubberstey said gang members were taking advantage of low conviction rates for rape, viewing sexual violence as a less-risky means to inflict pain on rivals or spread fear than carrying a weapon. “Criminals are clever, they know if they are caught carrying weapons they face a lengthy sentence; it’s risky carrying a gun. The use of sexual violence is the same sort of thing as having a dangerous dog; it creates fear, it’s non-traceable, and they are also taking advantage of low rape conviction rates even when there are witnesses,” she said.
I’m always a little reluctant to post these type of reports; this is rape culture, and it isn’t just young working-class/non-white men and boys in gangs who think of women as ‘deserving’ of rape, plenty of nice middle-class white boys commit rape as well. As the article goes on to say, “Sometimes they [a gang] think it will have a really detrimental effect but actually the boys are not bothered, usually it’s about punishing girls directly rather than boys by proxy.” This is about men’s sense of entitlement to the bodies of women and girls; of course, we have to remember as well, that girls who are socially disadvantaged have fewer protections from male violence, and are less likely to be seen as ‘credible’ if they do go to the police.
Following on from yesterday’s post re-blogging Deep Green Resistance’s support for Robert Jensen, here’s a quote from Jensen’s article which has led him to be ostracised by a book store/cafe/meeting place that claims to be ‘something radically different’.
Jensen’s piece is mild, calm and balanced, and the fact that he is being treated in this way just shows how powerful trans ideology is; any questioning, even in the most balanced and respectful terms, is now a thought crime.
I want to specifically quote the section of his article titled ‘ecology’ as, while the rest of the article is pretty 101 (this is an observation, not a criticism), I have not seen the ecological argument (which covers all ‘big medicine’, not just the ‘sex reassignment’ industry) spelt out so well before.
Many people, whether radical feminist or not, are critical of high-tech medicine’s manipulation of the body through the reckless use of hormones and chemicals (which rarely have been proved to be safe) or the destruction of healthy tissue to conform to arbitrary beauty standards (cosmetic surgery such as breast augmentation, nose jobs, etc.).
From this ecological approach, such medical practices are part of a deeper problem in the industrial era of our failing to understand ourselves as organisms, shaped by an evolutionary history, and part of ecosystems that impose limits on all organisms.
People are not machines, and treating the human body like a machine is inconsistent with an ecological understanding of ourselves as living beings who are part of a larger living world.