I haven’t had a chance to listen to the programme yet, but since it’s only available to down-load for 60 days, I thought it was a good idea to blog about it straight away.
The Access Hour with Jeffreys is being hosted by Thistle Pettersen, a Madison musician and activist who applied for the slot. She said she first became aware of the schism in feminism two years ago, when she attempted to host a workshop at an anarchist book fair in the Twin Cities.
Her description of her workshop read in part: “This workshop is intended for womyn, or female-bodied people who grew up socialized female. If you don’t fit into that category, again, you are welcome to come as an ally, but the focus of our discussion will be specifically on the liberation of female folk and how our struggle relates to anarchy, general social organizing, and anarchist circles in the Midwest.”
Pettersen says her workshop description prompted numerous threats on her Facebook page, accusing her of being transphobic. “There was a man on the Facebook page who threatened to beat me up with a baseball bat and break my guitar.”
Since then, Pettersen says she feels the struggle for women’s rights has increasingly been “hijacked” by “men who transgender to women.”
“It’s really becoming increasingly difficult to have a rational discussion about how gender harms girls and women, because the conversation has shifted to how transwomen are hurt by feminism.”
Pettersen says she intends to ask Jeffreys — who will not be in Madison, but participating via phone — about her new book, Gender Hurts: a feminist analysis of the politics of transgenderism.
“We’re going to talk about how transgenderism has taken over liberal feminism and seriously harmed lesbianism and lesbian culture.”
Pettersen adds that radical feminists do not wish transpeople harm and that almost all violence perpetuated against transpeople is done by men.
“We’re not violent,” she says. “Patriarchy and male violence is the problem. And we need to allow women to be a group and we have a right to organize, without men present.”