A Beginner’s Gender Critical Reading List

Last year I wrote a post on getting dropped as an author from an animal rights anthology, and I tacked a “beginner’s gender critical reading list” at the end. Both the article and the reading list are very long and arguably might have been better posted separately. In any case, I spent an inordinate amount of time on the reading list so – a year later – I’m reposting it on its own so it remains accessible as a resource. 

Two things to note:

  1. I have not been updating the list, which means that there are no articles or videos that came out after the blog post was published. 
  2. I noticed that some of the links in my list are now dead, usually because the article/video/blog was taken down by the platform that was hosting them. I think it is worthwhile to leave the list as is, because it also serves as a historical record of the erasure and censorship of feminist ideas. 

Enjoy.

The transgender movement and society

The New Backlash. This is a long but excellent read that thoroughly describes and analyses the situation we are in. Written some years ago, still on point. I recommend you take the time to read it.

Sex and Gender. A Beginner’s Guide. Also very long but clear and thorough. If you don’t want to read the whole thing I recommend you at least jump to How Did We Get Here?

Gender Identity: What Does It Mean for Society, the Law, and Women – A talk by Meghan Murphy  A talk that was given at an event that was heavily protested and for which the speakers needed to hire bodyguards.  Transcript here.

To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism

Astroturfing: a brilliant article on the corporate funders of the trans trend

Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics

The oldest hate crime: How misogyny is being used to strangle women’s debate on sex and gender

The trans ideology of less than 1% of the UK population has bullied the other 99%. Here’s why I, as a real woman, reject it.

Transwomen are women or else “Indigenous women and girls are disproportionately harmed by the laws, policies, and practices that accept gender identity as truth and biological sex as a lie due to our over-representation in transition houses for battered women and their children, rape crisis centres, and prisons in Canada. Indigenous women and girls have long and violent histories of colonization that are ongoing in our contemporary woman-hating, racist, capitalist culture. Research shows that many women and girls in prison in Canada have survived male violence, are poor, and are often imprisoned for non-violent poverty-related offenses. Men who identify as women believe that they should be placed in women’s prisons and leaders and others think so too. One of the reasons I think policy makers are allowing men who feel they are women to serve their sentences in women’s prisons and to be allowed access into women’s transition houses and rape crisis centres is because these places are disproportionately populated by Indigenous and other marginalized women.”

There is no problem with trans people in bathrooms

Gender and gender identity

Gender is not an identity, it is a tool of patriarchy: A feminist view of gender identity politics

If ‘white feminism’ is a thing, gender identity ideology epitomizes it

Toward an End to Appropriation of Indigenous “Two-Spirit” People in Trans Politics: the Relationship Between Third Gender Roles and Patriarchy

What’s healthy about gender dysphoria? Short video by Carey Callahan, a detransitioned woman who is now a therapist.

Gender Colonialism

Gender, Patriarchy and All That Jazz

I am überpoor (satire) “There’s a word for people like me: überpoor (don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it; your ignorance just means you’re a privileged bigot). Basically, it describes the state of being poor while enduring the added oppression that comes with having money and a middle-class background. The queer poverty theorist J’amie Olivier came up with it in his brilliant work Whipping Chav. If you’ve not read it, please do. It explains so much about how poor people are not oppressed due to having no money but due to “poorphobia”: a widespread antipathy towards dog racing, Lambrini and the Waitrose Essentials range. Hardest hit by this are the überpoor: people who have been wrongly assigned middle- or upper-class status but are in fact poor. For centuries, such people have simply been invisible. No one has wanted to talk about us and our needs.

Fay Blaney on gender identity and Indigenous cultures at the Vancouver Public Library

The gay people pushed to change their gender

An open letter

On law and policy

Scottish Government Faces Judicial Review for Redefining “Women” to Include Men

California SB 132 Would Allow Trans-Identified Male Inmates to be Housed with Females

Should Men Be Allowed in Women’s Prisons? (video) Posted on August 28, 2020. “At the time of this recording, the California legislature is poised to vote on SB 132, a bill that would allow incarcerated individuals to self-identify as transgender or intersex. Those individual must then “Be housed at a correctional facility designated for men or women based on the individual’s preference.”  This includes sex-specific residential programs such as the Community Prisoner Mother Program.”

Kara Dansky at WNTT – Washington DC (video) Attorney Kara Dansky speaks of legal developments around gender identity and Title IX in the United States.

Interview with Female Erasure Contributor Cathy Brennan (audio)

How do transgender policies affect International laws on women’s rights? (video)

Can women legally be compelled to handle male genitals? (video) That example I gave of the Muslim esthetician not wanting to wax a scrotum? It wasn’t a hypothetical. Look up Jessica/Jonathan Yaniv.

Anna Zobnina (International women’s rights law expert) Where did gender identity ideology come from? (video)

WAVE Handbook 2020: How Gender Neutral Policy and Practice Is Dismantling Women’s Specialist Support Services and Ways to Counteract It

The abuse of civil rights laws needs to stop

On language

An Open Letter to the Guy on Twitter who Wonders if Biological Sex is Real

Reproductive Rights: Women vs. People with Uteruses ‘“Uterus-haver” obfuscates the fact that the group of people at risk of losing abortion access are the same group of people we talk about being underrepresented in government; the same people sent to prison for “suspicious” miscarriages; the same group of people who were denied the vote for several hundred years in our republic. “Uterus-haver” conveniently fractures a cohesive picture of the female situation.’

The Women’s March and the Erasure of Women

The Colonization of Womanhood

Why has “biological reality-speak” become a thought crime?

#CanWeHaveAWord? Why Talking About Women’s Issues Has Become a Minefield

Another college student group hosts a violent, transphobic cupcake party

Vagina Monologues playright: ‘It never said a woman is someone with a vagina’

On biology

Project Nettie: scientists supporting biological sex

Sex is binary: Scientists speak up for the empirical reality of biological sex

Gender Heretics Is Offering 1 MILLION For A Third Human Gamete

Think Cancel Culture Doesn’t Exist? My Own ‘Lived Experience’ Says Otherwise In which the academic career of a biologist was ruined because he publicly insisted that male and female are not social constructs.

The fight for women’s rights

Female Erasure with Maya Dillard Smith and Mary Lou Singleton | On Contact with Chris Hedges (video) Maya Dillard Smith is a legal scholar who was pushed out of her job as the Executive Director of the Georgia ACLU because of her reservations over Obama’s directive to public schools to replace sex with gender identity.

‘How the Gender Identity Movement is Hijacking the Fight for Reproductive Sovereignty’ (video)

A letter to the woman who called me a TERF “In this brave new world that you helped to create, look around for your transactivist friends, your lefty male allies, the ones you stood beside and yelled ‘terf, transphobe, bigot’ with, with you shouting the loudest, because you wanted to show what a good ally you were, how inclusive, how progressive. Where are they now? Why, they are where they always were. Benefitting from the patriarchy. Enjoying the new, improved version of it that you helped them to build by crushing the resistance from the women who spoke up for their rights. This has all cost them nothing; it has made the world a better, easier place for men. It has cost you and your sisters who campaigned with them for virtue cookies, everything.”

Why Can’t Women Be More Nice? “The demand that women be ‘nice’ and ‘kind’ goes further than just being a matter of tone policing, it has an impact on what women are allowed to say, and how much we can expect to be listened to when we say it. Women are not just expected to be nice whilst fighting for our rights, we’re expected to be nice instead of fighting for our rights.”

What happens when women try to meet to discuss their rights in 2019

Sex Based Segregation & Fairness in Sports | The Big Picture RT (video)

Women Interrogated by Police, One Thrown in Jail, for Disbelief in Gender Identity Theory

How does transgenderism undermine our right to organize as women, in Brazil?

Supporting Women in Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Giving a voice to silenced women: evidence from professionals and survivors.

WHRC [Women’s Human Rights Campaign] Launches USA chapter

The Feminist Amendments to the US Equality Act: a new radical feminist approach to challenging gender identity ideology

Opposing Women’s Rights: 100 Years of Violence

Save Women’s Sports

Counting men as women

Why Disabled Women Requesting Female-Only Care is Not ‘Disgusting’

Man Elected to Female Leadership Seat That was Created to Ensure Female Participation in Politics, also: NY Democrats Quietly Dismantle ‘1 Male, 1 Female’ Rule

‘Self ID will stop women playing on an equal playing field’

These Are Not Our Crimes (video)

Labour’s ‘woman’ problem

‘Gender Fluid’ Credit Suisse director named on FT list of Top 100 Women in Business Sigh…

Have some “intersectionality” with your Honey Bumbles: On Gavin Hubbard’s theft of a Samoan victory

No. You may not take our sport. “We all know the truth here and the truth is that the truth is not what matters to the people making these decisions. What matters is what has always mattered — male feelings. Male desire to conquer and conquest has been the single most deadly force throughout history so why shouldn’t they take from women our fledgling sporting competitions?”

Cancelling feminists and their allies 

The Annals of the TERF-Wars Humorous chronology of the trans v. feminist conflict, with a focus on the UK.

Why British Feminists Are Such a Bunch of Evil Witches

The Emperor’s New Penis

Censored by transpolitics: A masterpost A long list of people who have been attacked, unpublished, censored, threatened and more for questioning in some way trans people or ideology.

Women in the United States are Being Fired for Talking About Feminism “A man can not be fired for believing he is a woman, but a woman can be fired for believing he’s not.”

Rose Freedman: Professor’s door ‘covered in urine’ after gender law debate In which a Jewish professor, human rights lawyer and survivor of sexual violence finds her door covered in urine and is called a “Nazi who should be raped”.

Podcast: Indian Filmmaker Vaishnavi Sundar made a film about sexual harassment, then got cancelled by liberal feminists

Bullying and Harassment Permitted by Bristol University (crowdfund) In which a feminist from the Dominican Republic loses her PhD scholarship to study in the UK following bullying for her gender critical views.

Fired For Feminism This was written by an acquaintance who was fired for writing an article about the misogyny of identifying as “non-binary”. This was the second time she was #cancelled. The first time, she was kicked out of an animal rights group she founded.

How I became the most hated lesbian in Baltimore In which the only woman and lesbian on the Baltimore LGBTQ Commission’s Law and Policy Committee was pushed out of it.

U of A Professor says she was dismissed over views that biological sex trumps transgender identity for policy reasons

Trans people are real – but so is biology The latest casualty: Sasha White was fired for her job at a literary agency in New York for saying “Gender non-conformity is wonderful, denying biological sex not so.”

Thistle Petterson: How I Became the Most Hated Folk Singer in Madison

A Modern Witch Hunt

Cancel culture cannot erase a strong argument

Transactivism at its Finest – the Blood Root Restaurant Debacle In which the elderly lesbian owners of a vegetarian restaurant that was a decades-long community pillar and catered to all people, including trans, came under attack by transactivists.

Trans-identified male verbally attacks Rose McGowan at Barnes & Noble talk

Dehumanizing women as TERFs

‘TERF’ isn’t just a slur, it’s hate speech

TERF: a term used to stop critical thinking while demonizing homosexuals and transexuals (video) “People who use the term TERF are part of the queer and trans community. Do you know who started the queer and trans community a long time ago? Homosexual people. In LGBT, the first two letters are referring to homosexual people. It’s insane that being a homosexual now is a prosecutable offense in social [justice] circles.”

It’s Time for Progressives to Protect Women Instead of Pronouns

Terf is a Slur  (TRA Diss track) – Grace Adetoro (video) Something different–let’s support radfem artists!

Transgender Activists in Multiple Countries Call For, Launch Organized Violent Uprisings Against Women

The Invisible Women – why are so many women scared to speak out about gender politics?

What’s wrong with gender ideology “TERF graves are gender neutral bathrooms” – truly the language of the new civil rights frontier.

Why I Became An Evil TERF (video)

Social media platforms censoring feminists

The Disturbing Trend of Feminist Censorship on Medium

Reddit is Censoring Women’s Health Support Groups

WordPress shuts down several feminist blogs without warning and WordPress censors GenderTrender; Gallus Mag responds.

Reddit Purges Wrongthink From Women’s Health Support Groups

Why I’m Suing Twitter

F-Droid Bans Feminist Social Media Site Spinster, Then Bans Female Dev For Asking Questions

I’m with the Banned: Twitter in the Time of Gender Fascism

YouTube Censors Interview of Mother Who Lost Daughter to Trans Cult “Whilst Keen might have blasphemed in the eyes of the Silicon Valley gods, the video she posted did not break a single British law.  Despite the content being legal, the 37.1 million British adult users of YouTube will not have the opportunity to hear this important perspective on what is a live political issue within the UK.”

Female-only spaces

Male-bodied Rapists Are Being Imprisoned With Women. Why Do So Few People Care?

The importance of women only spaces and services for women and girls who’ve been subjected to men’s violence

Man Wins Lawsuit Demanding to Change in Locker Room Alongside High School Girls, Assisted by ACLU Girls don’t matter in the United States.

Discontinuation of grant to Vancouver Rape Relief shows trans activism is an attack on women In which a woman’s shelter is defunded for maintaining a female-only space for rape victims.

Why it’s Impossible for Women to Compromise with the Transgender Movement “Just as women and girls share sex-specific facilities while some of us wear skirts and others wear pants, and have managed on a daily basis over decades of sharing facilities to not rape or beat up one another over differences in fashion, men in pants must get comfortable urinating and changing alongside their brothers in skirts. There is no logical reason that a male person in a skirt should trigger violence in a more traditionally masculine-appearing male observer. This issue is men’s problem, and men must resolve it amongst themselves. Women are not human shields that should be placed between two warring factions of males. If the two male groups choose not to get along and share spaces civilly, then the male individuals who identify as women must fight for their own facilities – just as women once fought and won sex-specific facilities.”

Buuuut what about the transvestites? (video) In which a women is banned from a female-only dating app because she opposed the presence of a cross-dressing male, and this youtuber asks who actually counts as transgender.

Expelled from GirlGuiding because of my Gender Critical Beliefs (crowdfund) “I felt that some aspects of Girlguiding policy needed rethinking in the light of their acceptance of self-identity as proof that someone is female, which clashes with my gender critical beliefs. The issues are particularly important around safeguarding, where parents cannot know that their daughter is sharing changing or sleeping facilities with with a person who has the physical attributes of a man or boy but says they identify as a woman or girl. Adult men who say they identify as women will be allowed to share sleeping facilities with and do intimate care for young girls. This meant that the Girlguiding policy required us as adults in charge of children to deliberately withhold information from the children’s parents and guardians.”

Get your story straight on the bathroom debate

Why Women’s Spaces are Critical to Feminist Autonomy

The Left and women

How progressive misogyny works

British Labor Party pledge purge of feminists

The new misogyny targets Cindy Sheehan and Helen Steel

Woman ‘attacked in racist incident at May Day march’

The left and violent misogyny

‘Those involved in progressive movements need to commit to ensuring women’s voices are heard’ Well-known Spycops and McLibel campaigner Helen Steel is now a cancelled woman. ‘Perhaps the most shocking incident was at Manchester Anarchist Book Fair in 2018, where Steel explains she was “physically carried out while trying to persuade them that it was incompatible with anarchist principles to exclude women from participating in discussions about what the word woman means and whether males should be allowed into women-only spaces.”’

When did liberal men start thinking it was acceptable to tell feminists how to be feminist?

What is really radical in sex/gender politics?

Women’s rights in the far left – are feminists actually neo-fascists?

If feminist Linda Bellos is seen as a risk, progressive politics has lost its way

The Women’s Alliance: Confronting Sexism on the Left Is anything more tragically representative of the 2010s rise of woke culture than transactivists calling anti-war work irrelevant? The US is still slaughtering people in imperial wars, but anti-war activism has all but disappeared while bourgeois ID politics have largely supplanted solidarity and radical politics. ‘The Women’s Alliance says, “…given that Veterans for Peace made a position statement regarding transphobia and transmisogyny, we also requested copies of past position statements regarding sexism and misogyny. We have yet to receive any confirmation that they even exist.”   Note that the VFP concern seems centered on men who have transitioned to become transwomen. There is no provision for the fight against trans-misandry—something that is undoubtedly important to those female members who have transitioned and live as transmen. We find this telling as to the nature of these demands. The Women’s Alliance activists were called transphobic bigots and received the usual threats of rape and violence for disagreeing with the theory of gender being promoted by trans activists and now the VFP. Perhaps the most over-the-top attack was directed at Cindy Sheehan, who became a leader in the peace movement after her 24-year-old son was killed while serving as an Army Specialist in Iraq. When she posted a comment in support of the Women’s Alliance Statement, she was told by the trans solidarity crowd on social media that all the antiwar work that she has done has become “irrelevant,” and all her work on behalf of Private Manning is now “negated.”’

An open letter to the left regarding silence

Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms

Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Rights

Women’s meeting besieged by raging crowd “We are attacked as if being critical of gender is some aberration rather than the core principle of feminism that it is. But where women’s groups have led the way the left is lagging behind.”

#Expel Me

On the harassment of lesbians 

Stonewall has sold out lesbians and it’s time they be held to account

Meet the Gay Activists Who’ve Had Enough of Britain’s Ultra-Woke Homophobes

Shame Receipts (Content warning: graphic language)

Lezbehonest about Queer Politics Erasing Lesbian Women

Lesbianism is under attack, though not by the usual suspects

What is the Cotton Ceiling. Presentation by Angela Wild of #GetTheLOut. (video)

RE: “your dating preferences are discriminatory” (video)

Riley, You Are Not A Lesbian – Not A Feminist Either (video)

Lesbians are being excluded from the Vancouver Dyke March in the name of ‘inclusivity’

Interview: Angela C. Wild of #GetTheLOut on Pride in London and Lesbian Erasure ‘In the name of “inclusivity” and “progress,” we have reached a stage wherein same sex attraction is called “hate speech”. Reframing females who are attracted to other females as somehow “bigoted” or “hateful” functions as a vicious form of misogyny, because it denies women’s right to have sexual boundaries.’

Media Blackout on Dana Rivers “Mitchfest” Murder Trial Dana Rivers is a well-known trans-identified male who participated in a campaign to shut down a female-only music festival, Mitchfest, and who harassed lesbians who attended the event. A few months after Mitchfest was shut down, he murdered a Black lesbian couple and their son in Oakland. We do not yet know why he committed these murders, so we can not say whether they were hate crimes. With that said, think of the media coverage that would ensue if the victims had been male. Imagine if a person was known to have harassed gay men, or Jewish men, or Black men, or Muslim men, and to have organized against their freedom of assembly. Imagine that the same person then proceeded to murder members of that community. There would likely be some hypothesis on it the murders being hate crimes as well as increased media coverage of the vulnerability of the targeted community. In this case? Total silence. This family deserves to have their story told. To add insult to injury, the headline of The East Bay Times states that a “woman” was charged with the killings. This was not a woman’s crime.

Medicalizing gender non-conforming and autistic children

The Transgender Child: The Creation of an Emblem for a Political Movement (video) Presentation by Stephanie Davies-Arai for the panel Inventing the Transgender Child organized by the Women’s Human Rights Campaign.

Tavistock: Former Clinicians Call It Conversion Therapy. My Response. (video by GNC Centric, a detransitioned woman)

Bill to ban FGM passes in Wyoming despite pushback by radical trans activists

Transing a 5 year old tomboy (video)

The New Conversion Therapy: How Homophobic Quackery is Targeting Children An important read, so to quote the author: “Do not turn off your system. Do not tune out. Sit your ass down, and pay attention, because as it turns out, homophobia is definitely alive and well in the American medical establishment.”

Interview with Female Erasure Contributor Dr. Kathleen Levinstein PhD. LCSW LMSW (audio)

No Longer Silent, UK Gender Clinic Whistleblower Launches Lawsuit

Protect Gender Dysphoric Children from the Affirmation Model This is a currently active crowdfunding campaign by Keira Bell, a detransitioner. She explains: “I’m an ex patient of Gender Identity Clinics where I was prescribed dangerous, experimental drugs and received a double mastectomy procedure. I am fighting to stop this from happening to minors.”

Irreversable Damage: the trans threat to girls

Children’s Rights, Trans Realities | With Scott Newgent (video) Scott Newgent is a transman / trans-identified female who opposes the transing of children and has launched the Trans Educational Speaking Tour

In Plain Sight | All you have to do to know that something is deeply wrong with Mermaids is watch Susie Green’s Ted Talk

Listening to detransitioners

Does Sex Matter? Gender Identity vs Material Reality: Pt 2 Carey Callahan Detransitioned woman discusses the medical transition of children and the portrayal of detransitioners in the media.

Response to Julia Serano: Detransition, Desistance, and Disinformation “The truth is that a lot of women don’t feel like they have options. There aren’t a whole lot of places in society for women who look like this; for women who don’t fit, who don’t comply. When you go to a gender therapist and tell them you have these kinds of feelings they don’t tell you that it’s ok to be butch, to be gender non-conforming, to not like men, to not like the way men treat you. They don’t tell you that there are other women who feel like they don’t belong, who don’t feel like they know how to be women. They don’t tell you about any of that. They tell you about testosterone, that’s about it.” 

Ariel Pereira on Queer Politics The young founder of Detransition Chile speaks of her experiences with lesbophobia, male privilege and more.

Interview: Sam, Nele, and Ellie transitioned as young women, living as ‘men’ before realizing they’d made a mistake

Magdalen Berns

Magdalen Berns was a young Scottish lesbian youtuber who died of brain cancer last year. I have already shared some of her videos above, but she merits her own category. I encourage you to take some time exploring her channel.

Choice quote: Your fucking minds are so open your brains have fallen out.

After Magdalen passed away, I shared some of her videos on my facebook page to commemorate her. In response, a vegan activist told me to throw myself in a washing machine. This person was an organizer with an “intersectional vegan” non-profit that was built on pontificating to animal rights activists to end “all oppression!!” instead of working on single issues. The contention that you can not effectively fight any oppression without ending all oppression is nonsensical and unworkable. But, when voiced with an air of intellectualism, these pronouncements allow people in the animal rights movement to gain moral clout and followship. Some years ago this organization penned an article about the “transphobia” of the animal rights movement, for naming the exploitation of “female reproductive systems” as such, for example in dairy production. The article singled out well-known second wave feminist Carol Adams who, presumably to remain in good standing with the animal rights movement, became willing to be mealy-mouthed in naming sex as an axis of oppression.

JK Rowling

The woman deserves her own category too.

JK Rowling and the transactivists: a story in screenshots

Radical Girlsss Statement in Support of JK Rowling: Migrant Perspectives

An Apology to JK Rowling “JK Rowling recently published an eminently reasonable, heartfelt treatise, outlining why it is important to preserve the category of woman. There’s only one thing wrong with it: it assumes a rational interlocutor.”

TRAs, Rape-Logic and the Economy of Entitlement

Sexism is alive and well in the transgender debate

Strategic Ignorance and JK Rowling

The genius of the “I ♥ JK Rowling” stunt

Statement from J.K. Rowling regarding the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award “I believe the time is coming when those organisations and individuals who have uncritically embraced fashionable dogma, and demonised those urging caution, will have to answer for the harm they’ve enabled.”

JK Rowling’s stance against the thought police “For some unfathomable reason, being ‘politically correct’ is often attributed exclusively to people who are ‘left-wing’. Marxism is of course normally considered to be the essential philosophy of the ‘left-wing’. But Marxist philosophy is dialectical and historical materialism, which has as one of its most fundamental tenets that ideas are true only if they are in accord with material reality, regardless of what any number of people, learned or otherwise, might believe. At one time, practically the whole of humanity believed that the world was flat, and/or that the sun revolved round the earth. But their belief did not make it true. And it follows that, however many people are bullied into believing that there is no biological difference between male and female, it will never be true.”

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When an Anti-Lesbian Extremist Murders a Lesbian Couple and Their Child, Does it Matter?

Imagine there is a person who is so homophobic that they devote their time and energy to organizing against gay people having the right to their own spaces and events. Every time there is an LGBT event, they go and protest outside the venue and harass the attendees as they come and go. Imagine that after years of this, this person suddenly murders a gay male couple. Would many in the public not immediately jump to conclusions, without waiting for the court proceedings, and decry the murders as a hate crime? Would the media not immediately talk about the possibility that the murder was motivated by the perpetrator’s well-documented hatred of gay people? Would they not use the opportunity to highlight the stories of other gay people subjected to hate and harassment, and to start a conversation on the problem of homophobia in our society? 

Or imagine a similar scenario with Jewish people. Some raging anti-semite harasses congregants going and coming from the local synagogue, until one day, he finally kills a family that attended that same synagogue. Would this not prompt some media coverage? Some broader conversation on anti-semitism? Maybe a few weeks of interviews with other Jewish people who had been the recipients of hate? Replace with Black people or Muslim people – any minority group that includes men. In each case, it seems reasonable to imagine some coverage from liberal media, some mention of the possibility of the murders being a hate crime, some heightened awareness of the vulnerability of the targeted community. But in the case of lesbians in the Bay Area, no such thing.

Dana Rivers is a well-known trans-identified male who for years participated in a campaign to shut down Michfest, a female-only music festival that was largely attended by lesbians, and who harassed the women who attended the event. A few months after Michfest was shut down, he murdered a lesbian couple and their son in Oakland. The two women had been regular attendees of Michfest. We can’t say for sure why he committed these murders, and it’s not impossible that the fact that his victims were lesbians and attendees of Michfest was a coincidence. But like…. come on. Think of the coverage if the victims had belonged to an oppressed group that is deemed to matter.

There has been extremely little noise on this case, and nothing from “LGBT” outlets. To add insult to injury, most of the coverage at the time, like this headline of The East Bay Times, stated that a “woman” was charged with the killings. This was not a woman’s crime.

To erase and forget the murders of Patricia Wright, Charlotte Reed and Benny Diambu-Wright, and to brush under the carpet what motivated their killer, are further crimes against this family.

Read about the murders and about Dana Rivers’/David Warfield’s prior participation in “Camp Trans”, an organized protest against the freedom of association of lesbians, here:

Media Blackout on Dana Rivers “Michfest” Murder Trial

Famed Transgender-Identifying Activist Accused of Violent Murders of Female Couple, Couple’s Son

Kara Dansky is a radical feminist lawyer who seems to be the only person currently following the case and updating the public. Stay updated here:

State v. Dana Rivers Updates – Kara Dansky

 

Left to right are Patricia Wright, Benny Diambu-Wright, and Charlotte Reed, who were allegedly violently slaughtered by teacher and transgender rights activist Dana Rivers.
Left to right: Patricia Wright, Benny Diambu-Wright, and Charlotte Reed. Photo credit: Michael Campbell.
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The same people who supported gay rights 10 years ago are backing an anti-gay movement now

I am heterosexual, and back in the days when gay rights were the cool progressive struggle, I was in favor of them but it was never a primary cause or passion of mine. Given this, it might appear strange that a few years ago I suddenly (1) became very interested and outspoken not only about transactivism, but specifically also about the impact it was having on lesbians.

What I do have a long-standing interest in is the ways that change happens and the ways that it doesn’t. Power masquerading as opposition, or the status quo masquerading as change, is something that has been happening a lot–it even got Obama elected. The cooptation of social movements is a mechanism by which the status quo protects itself. How amazing and distressing, for anyone like me who wants to imagine that we can effectuate change, to see that the same people who were so passionate about championing gay rights a decade ago, who were so proud of their progressive credentials, have done a 180 on the gays because they were chasing those same progressive credentials.

Well, since I published my last post a few days ago where I mentioned the ease with which revolutionary movements get coopted, some interesting things have happened:

  • Matthew Parris, an apparently well-known and respected founder of Stonewall, published an article in The Times criticizing the direction that the organization had taken. 

  • The Mess We’re In had a field day with all of this, and they also had Maya Forstater on their show, so to learn more watch their episode EXTRA MESS #5: Stonefall.
  • In the US, 60 minutes aired a segment on detransitioners. I haven’t watched it, and there is criticism from some of the people interviewed (here, here and here) that the segment was to be more focused on their experiences, including on how detransitioners are treated by the trans movement, but nonetheless just showing something of these stories on a major news channel is a departure from the status quo.
  • Some good news from Spain while we’re at it: An attempt to introduce self ID in Spain’s Congress was defeated thanks to pushback by feminists.
  • In the UK again, the International Trade Secretary defended the free speech of a law student who is facing disciplinary action for saying that a woman is someone with a vagina.

In the discussion about Stonewall, several (including the article in the Daily Mail) have explained that after gay marriage was legalized, Stonewall found itself without a purpose and instead of saying “Mission Accomplished” and the staff going off somewhere else, they needed a new focus to keep their jobs and organization going. This touches upon something that I’ve been thinking about and brought up during STC’s most recent webinar (which was on the mechanisms of social change), and that needs to be highlighted more. My dad used to say about the UN “these people are just creating work for themselves!” and the primacy of funding and careers over stated goals became glaring in my experiences in the animal rights movement. This is what happens when social movements get supplanted and absorbed by the non-profit industrial complex.

In any case, these new developments are fantastic news. Despite the incredible amount of funding backing the trans movement (2), and despite liberals turning their backs on those they so proudly supported just a decade ago, a relatively small number of people (mostly women, and mostly lesbians, i.e. those with the least funding and social capital) are succeeding in pushing back and getting through to the public.

Ultimately, our opinions and focus are inordinately shaped by the wealthy (3) and I don’t think the war is won. In fact, just yesterday was more news of Twitter purging its platform of pro-gay voices (A Stonewall veteran is silenced by Twitter). But as much as Silicon Valley tech bros try to colonize the rest of the world, there is resistance and it is powerful. This is a genuine victory for the underdog, and the result of the work and real sacrifice of so many people, and I think we can savor the moment.

Learn more: What happened to Stonewall UK?

(1) It actually wasn’t all that sudden, as my sense that there was both a lack of logic and a good dose of sexism in the discourse of the trans/queer movement had been building up for years, but it wasn’t my focus and it wasn’t my milieu so for a long time I didn’t investigate further.

(2) Read about the money behind the trans movement:
The Open Society Foundations & The Transgender Movement
Who are the Rich, White Men Funding the Trans Movement
Arcus Foundation Grants
The Billionaires Behind the LGBT Movement
Who Are the Rich, White Men Institutionalizing Transgender Ideology (Yes, it’s in the Federalist. Leftists refuse to publish pieces from gender critical feminists so some choose to use what platform they can get.)

(3) From The Open Society Foundations and the Transgender Movement:

“To sum up, more than a hundred women are murdered each year in the United Kingdom at the hands of males, but no day has been set aside to commemorate their deaths. Transgender murders are exceedingly rare—eight in the past decade (Trans Crime UK 2017; Evening Standard 2018)—and yet they have an institutionalized day of remembrance. Even if we consider the homicide rate rather than the number of homicides, Nicola Williams demonstrates that transgender people are no more likely to become victims than are women (Fairplay for Women 2017).

The prominence of transgender victims, compared to the virtual invisibility of female victims, is partly explained by the amount of resources devoted to compiling evidence and promoting commemoration. Thus funding from large American charities like OSF—along with the Arcus and Tawani Foundations—shapes the political climate in Britain and around the world.”

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When the East forces conversion therapy onto homosexuals it’s backwards, when the West does the same it’s enlightened

A friend recently emailed me an article titled Transgender woman convicted of sexually assaulting 10-year-old girl, and wrote “This will eventually happen in a public bathroom or women-only space. My guess is a lawsuit against the city or company is inevitable, in the US.” Like quite a few women I know in the animal rights movement, this friend knows of my views on gender ideology and falls somewhere on the spectrum from “finds my gender critical remarks reasonable” to “is very alarmed by the advancement of gender ideology”, but doesn’t share her views publicly.  The animal rights movement has wholeheartedly embraced woke culture which has been harmful to the movement in a number of ways, including by reinforcing the sexism in its midst. Female animal advocates have to make a choice between speaking up for animals or for women. When I started speaking openly about gender identity a few years ago, I became a safe person for others to share a “WTF” moment with, and I’ve seen that the WTF alarms are ringing for more and more people. 

Nonetheless, I can’t say I’m optimistic that things are really changing, that the small wave of WTF thought bubbles is strong enough to counter the well funded, expertly marketed tsunami of a pushback against feminism that we are experiencing. It is deeply deflating to witness the incapacity or unwillingness to engage in basic logical reasoning. The seemingly unmovable and unquestioned sexism–including in the supposedly progressive West, including among those expected to care about the oppressed. The effectiveness with which everything revolutionary gets co-opted, including the feminist movement. The incredible level of conformity from vegans of all people, the very same minuscule minority who supposedly have the courage to stick their necks out for animals. The trifecta of stupidity, misogyny and cowardice leaves little room for hope.  

I emailed my friend back that these things had already been taking place, that there were known cases of men raping women in female prisons. I attached the article, Women’s boundaries shouldn’t only matter when politically correct, written after the tragic murder of Sarah Everard, and copied this passage: 

‘Many of those taking to Twitter to tell us to #BelieveWomen and #YesAllWomen very quickly forget these principles the moment it counts. If you don’t believe me, try telling your progressive circle of friends that male sex offenders should not be housed in women’s prisons. You could add that women have allegedly been raped as a result of this policy, as any fool could have predicted. Rather than justified feminist outrage, you will likely be met with embarrassed silence at best, or some hemming and hawing about how it’s a “difficult issue;” or, at worst, ostracism and accusations of bigotry. Middle class women are allowed to be afraid to go jogging after dark, but there is no sympathy for incarcerated women — some of the most vulnerable members of society, large numbers of whom have prior trauma at the hands of males — who are now locked up with convicted rapists. Any concern raised is just hateful scaremongering masking a conservative agenda.’

Liberals have erected what seems like an impenetrable mental fort around the trans issue and it is supported by other elements beyond the stupidity, misogyny and cowardice. What is it that makes people refuse to consider that they might not be “on the right side of history”? Hubris, definitely. Racism too; it goes with the hubris. 

The unwillingness of many liberals to question the framing of “their side” or to take a peek at others’ arguments is facilitated by the fact that these others are systematically denied a platform, and those who do succeed in getting some visibility are relentlessly smeared as hateful transphobes. How many people actually read JK Rowling’s letter or Abigail Shrier’s book before accepting as fact that they are raving bigots? The go-to news outlets and influencers tell them it’s so, and they can’t all be wrong can they? Opposition to gender ideology is painted as coming exclusively from the religious right, which fits nicely into the black-and-white, us-v-them, “we’re enlightened and they’re all backwards racists” worldview common in the US. People who opposed civil rights for homosexuals were bad guys and trans is the next civil rights frontier, right? We’re going to make sure to be the good guys this time, dammit

In reality, much (perhaps most) of the resistance to gender ideology comes from lesbians and gays (many of whom built the LGBT movement), long-time feminist activists (gender as something socially-constructed and separate from sex was conceptualized by feminists) and others who have been involved in a number of progressive causes.

For a liberal who has waited this long to question the gender ID movement, it is threatening to start questioning it now. Or to question one’s own opinions – what do I really mean when I say that trans women are women? – because the whole house of cards would come down. So they hold on by looking around them and finding reassurance that their crowd still thinks like them. It’s just herd mentality. Not only will liberals simply not entertain the possibility that they might in fact be the reactionary, bigoted party, they also don’t relish considering that the causes they’ve championed were chosen not through reason but social conformity. The longer this goes on, the more you resist telling yourself, Man, I guess I’m a sheep. This vicious circle is basically a social conformist’s sunk cost fallacy. 

As ignorant as liberals might be about an issue, they still know for sure that theirs is the side of equality and greater acceptance (and most are ignorant about the beliefs and demands of the gender ideology movement, and think they are on the side of the gender non-conforming when in fact it’s the opposite). At an individual level, the conviction that one is tolerant and righteous and on the right side of history is rooted in hubris–that unshakeable notion that I’m a GOOD PERSON (TM). At a collective level, it translates to the belief that WE’RE civilized. When you explain the extent of the backlash and loss of rights suffered by women, it doesn’t land because for it to do so there would need to be an understanding that, here too, we live in a patriarchy. Libfems make vague and reprobative references to some of the ills of patriarchy, but there is still a pro-Western bias wherein it is believed that, here in the West, we are fundamentally a progressive society and that most men truly favor equality. To see the homophobia and misogyny of the gender ID movement would require seeing the homophobia and misogyny of our society at large; it would require a fundamental shift in worldview.    

A lot has been said and written about Iran’s “tolerant” attitude towards transgender people. Below is a 2014 BBC documentary that makes the case that in Iran, homosexuals often choose to medically transition due to fear, pressure and lack of information and other options. Shadi Amin, a coordinator with the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network (6Rang), says, “A lot of people think that Iran is the paradise of transexuals, but I say it’s the hell of homosexuals”. Her quote is at 29:59, but please watch the whole video. While homosexuality is not illegal in the West, other experiences that they identify as driving some homosexuals to transition are similar to what is happening in the West. The lack of acceptance and visibility of lesbians is often echoed in the personal accounts of Western female detransitioners. The pseudoscientific nonsense underpinning these projects is the same everywhere. What does it mean for a doctor to tell an effeminate gay man that he is “98% female” and that they can change the 2% to make him fully a woman, but they can’t change the 98% to make him a man? [see Marie’s story at 30:35] Do 98% of the cells in his body have XX chromosomes? No, what it means is that to be a “real man” one can not be attracted to men and prefer the activities or mannerisms that a patriarchal society prescribes to women. Therefore, one’s male body is the “2%” of the equation, but one’s soul and personality are really those of a woman. This is in line with the official view of the Iranian state that gay people have a mismatch between body and soul: gay men have a woman’s soul in a man’s body, lesbians have a man’s soul in a women’s body. It’s also in line with the view of gender ideologues in the West. How is the Iranian therapist different from Dr. Diane Ehrensacht, a San Francisco clinical and developmental psychologist and leader in the field of pediatric transgenderism, who considers that a female toddler tearing out her barrettes is a sign that she’s really a boy? In the UK, therapists at a child gender clinic famously said “it feels like conversion therapy for gay children” and reported that “there was a dark joke among staff that there would be no gay people left”.   

Again, this narrative about Iran is not obscure. It could have invited some self-examination on the part of Westerners. But chauvinism goes hand in hand with racism, and conceptualizing the other as backwards preemptively dismantles any comparisons. They’re stuck in archaic oppressive traditions–but when we do the same thing, it’s totes progressive.

Gender ideology is being exported and pushed onto the rest of the world by the West, especially by the Anglosphere. Linda Louis is an Indian feminist with a background in international human rights law. In this presentation, she speaks of the neocolonialism of the gender identity movement. She notes that various UN agencies all agree that women need access to separate toilets, “but somehow, this is forgotten when it comes to developed countries as if the girls in developed countries are not eligible for the very same basic facilities that the United Nations recommends for developing countries”. She says that it’s like a “reversal of human dignity” because what is afforded to girls in the Global South is being refused to girls of the Global North. “Reversal”, because the usual pattern is that we afford dignity to those in the Global North and not South. But the way I read this is that men of the Global South are seen as predatory, while men of the Global North are not. Not much of a reversal. Though the corollary is that when women in the Global North (those wretched “white feminists”) speak of fear of male violence, they’re just pearl-clutching prudes and bigots.  

If you’re curious about my claim that there have been attacks on women in prisons, these cases are compiled on the website Women are Human. I’m sure that the fact of this compilation will be construed by genderists as proof of fear-mongering and victimization of trans-identified males by feminists, but the point is that the violence that we know men commit at higher rates than women doesn’t magically disappear when a man declares himself a woman.

The data we have on male violence against women is on the basis of SEX, not gender identity. And we have no reason to believe that men’s gender identities are correlated with their propensity towards violence. If transactivists want to make that case, they should provide the data. If we have reason to create spaces from which we exclude men (or males/male-bodied people/the scrotal half/prostate-havers/bepenised ones/AMAB/XY people or whatever your choice of words may be) there is no reason to make exceptions for men who have special gender identities. But that’s the crux of it, isn’t it? Liberals don’t believe or don’t care that we have reason for such spaces. We’re back at square 1, having to argue for our gains all over again.

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Great interview on the state of the left: identitarianism, appeals to authority, transactivism as McCarthysm, and more

“When you challenge an oppressor, the first thing you have to be able to say is ‘You are not who you say you are’. And what identitarianism does is that it deprives us of the ability to say that” – Stuart Parker

This is a great interview with Stuart Parker – a guy I hadn’t heard of before this – on the state of the left. I am generally not a big fan of Meghan Murphy’s youtube content (though I think she is an excellent writer when it comes to feminism) but this interview hits it out of the park. There is a lot that’s spot on and well articulated regarding transactivism as a new McCarthyism, the stupidification of the left and how gender identity fits into that, identitarianism and more.

A couple of comments: Regarding this stupidification, he points out that the billionaire class pushes gender identity ideology because it’s in their interest that we be incapable of having coherent conversations with each other. While I appreciate that he names that this is what’s happening, I think it is only part of the picture. They don’t mention in the same context that this is also a direct attack on women’s rights, which also serves the billionaire class (not to mention men as a whole) because the exploitation and disempowerment of women is foundational to capitalism and especially to several industries that are currently flourishing.

While this is mitigated by the comments on billionaires in a different segment, they do also depict the gender ideology movement as being genuinely about the safety of trans people, which is misleading. For example, they rhetorically ask who it serves to repeat the mantra “transwomen are women” and assert that it serves no one, not even trans people. But this isn’t true. It serves men as a class for women to be erased politically, legally and conceptually, and for women’s spaces and resources to be up for grabs again by men. Many transactivists and supporters and funders of the movement are not trans themselves, however I think that in recognizing this point they are also portraying all trans people as being separate from the larger movement, outwardly gender non-conforming and at risk of violence. It seems that the speaker is referring to the trans people of 30 years ago and not taking into account how the definition has changed, especially with gender self-ID. There are men who identify as women, present entirely as male and are therefore not remotely at risk of male violence or in need of third spaces. There are people who identify as trans and also participate in misogynistic harassment and advocacy, who are motivated by misogyny and not merely the discomfort of gender roles or a sexed body. These are not mutually exclusive.

On the question of third spaces, they point to the example of transwomen pushing for separate bathrooms in Thailand as an obvious solution, but that doesn’t square with the current reality of the movement here. Instead, it generously presumes that the problem the movement seeks to address is male violence against trans-identified males, which isn’t true. If it were, why admit entirely male-presenting men to women’s spaces? Third spaces aren’t the solution most advocated for because both on a micro level and certainly on a macro level it’s not only about safety.

Regarding McCarthyism: this is not unique to the gender movement but is instead a fact of woke culture in general. In the few years that Seed the Commons (STC, the organization I co-founded) was active in local animal rights circles, we experienced a lot of unethical behavior from within the movement. I’ve written about the backlash I received for my disbelief in gender, but it actually started before that. One of the issues that people took with us was that we weren’t seen as sufficiently opposed to Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), an animal rights organization/network that is highly contentious and maligned within the movement. My organization never partnered with DxE and none of the founders or board members of Seed the Commons were ever members of DxE. In fact, I have had my own reservations about, and frustrations with, DxE. But what we did was enough to tarnish us as friends of the bad guys and therefore bad guys ourselves.  

This is what we did: In 2016, Seed the Commons signed a letter of support for DxE when they were facing an eviction, we shared a video of theirs on Facebook, and we invited one of the founders of DxE to speak at our conference. For context, we have shared content from numerous groups, many of which are not vegan. I also invited a wide range of speakers to my conference, again, many of which weren’t vegan. Somehow this was never an issue for animal rights folks, but any sign of anything other than hostility towards DxE was subject to veritable policing.   

On the letter and video: When the Berkeley Animal Rights Center (the de facto DxE headquarters) was facing what seemed like an unfair and politically-motivated eviction, STC was one of many organizations to sign a letter of support addressed to the mayor of Berkeley. Both myself and the other founder of Seed the Commons had been very involved in anti-eviction activism in the Bay Area in previous years, and one of our board members was a professional housing advocate and anti-eviction organizer; it would have been strange and hypocritical for us to not extend this barest level of support to a local organization facing an unfair eviction. As soon as the letter was made public (like, instantaneously) one of our volunteers emailed me to ask for an explanation. She had been contacted by a friend of hers who sounded the alarm on, I guess, our questionable associations, or her questionable association to us. 

Just like free speech is for everyone and not just those you agree with, illegal and unfair evictions are no less wrong if the people getting evicted aren’t to your liking. Opposing evictions is a cause that surpasses the story of any individual evictees, and all the more so in the Bay Area. Amazingly, this was not how our volunteer saw things, despite being a person who was building her career and identity on being at the forefront of progressive causes and preaching to vegans about social justice. Instead, she did some mental gymnastics to minimize the wrongness of the eviction and to criticize DxE for fighting back. Her friend then informed her of the video we had shared weeks prior, and that sealed the deal. The volunteer said she could no longer work with Seed the Commons, but that she did want to continue working with me and the other STC founder as individuals. What this really was about was avoiding a public association with a tarnished organization, not because of her personal conviction, but just for the optics. (1)  

As to inviting Wayne Hsiung to speak at our conference, this was used against us for years to follow. Lauren Ornelas, a person who has marketed herself as a reference and arbiter on all things social justice to the animal rights crowd, tried to get me uninvited from Berkeley Earth Day in 2018, using my invitation of Wayne (two years prior!) as a pretext. Berkeley Earth Day was organized by the same person who later dropped me from her book for my gender critical views, but in this instance, she agreed that this was an unreasonable level of guilt by association (and she shared with me that she herself had been bullied into not letting Wayne speak at another one of her conferences, and was very frustrated with what she saw as irrational groupthink on this issue). Lauren got angry with the organizer for not uninviting me and canceled her own talk at Berkeley Earth Day instead. I also later found out that this was not the only time that Lauren had berated organizers for giving my organization a platform, accusing us of being “in cahoots” with DxE. None of this was made public, indeed she asked the organizer of Berkeley Earth Day to keep the whole thing secret. By using guilt by association, a person with clout in the movement was throwing their weight around to exclude others. This was nothing other than behind-the-scenes bullying, which leads me to my next point.    

There is also a connection between identitarianism and McCarthyism, where the first enables the second. In my experience in the animal rights movement, the policing of others often came from people of color or other minorities who put forth this facet of their identity as a way to establish themselves as an authority on social justice. White people are typically not willing to challenge their ideas or behaviors, for fear of being perceived as too fragile, unwoke, etc. In cases where people of color with whom I’ve spoken have plainly used the words “bully” and “bullying” to describe certain individuals and their behaviors, white people were much more diplomatic and circumspect. Identitarianism can foster an environment in which bullying is unchecked, because the opportunity to use your identity to be an unchallengeable authority appeals to a certain type of personality. In his recent article Identitarianism created Jessica Krug, Jesse Singal wrote “If you’re a certain type of attention-seeking person — particularly the type who wants to be able to browbeat or bully others — it must be irresistible to seize this type of power. It’s something that no one can take away from you — who wouldn’t want to be the subject of that sort of deference?”. (2)  

We ended up in a different place than where we started, and it got more personal than planned! But going back to the interview: my few comments and bones to pick don’t change that I find it interesting and very insightful. A+, would listen again.

(1) This is the person whose book I helped make happen, as I mentioned in my post on getting dropped from an animal rights anthology. At some point I will tell that story because as I’ve said before, it is the perfect illustration of the problems with so-called “intersectional veganism”.

(2) Ironically and sadly, despite an apparent reversal of power and increased representation at a superficial level, ultimately power and wealth mostly remain in the same hands. Those who are from groups that have traditionally been unheard and unrepresented, typically remain so. This is also something that I touched upon in my recent post, How being a feminist got me dropped as an author of an animal rights anthology.

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