Male Violence and Gender Self-Identification

A couple weeks ago, I was privy to bits of conversation of a driver who shouted his rage at a woman who was on speakerphone. He yelled at her to “go to the apartment” and that he would see her there. At the next traffic light I heard him shout “I’m going to fuck you over so bad” and then her cry “why” sounding confused and scared, like she wanted to calm him down and genuinely didn’t understand why he was so angry.

The man was in a truly frightening state and I feared for the woman–I still do. Maybe I should have done something but I didn’t know what to do. Can you call the cops in such a situation? It seemed that the woman lived with this man, but I still hope that she had a way of avoiding him that night and hopefully forever.

Too many women are incapable of leaving or avoiding the men who abuse them and the figures show it. Every day in the US more than three women are killed by a current or former romantic partner. In response to widespread male violence, second-wave feminists pooled their resources and created domestic shelters. These are usually all-female spaces, for women and staffed by women, where women can escape from abusive men and bring their children if need be.

This was an important win for women but, like our other sex-segregated spaces, we are losing them to the cult of gender. A women’s shelter would normally be a safe space from men who might be determined to exert their perceived right to violence against their partners, and from other men who might harass or abuse women. However, with the current move to replace sex with gender ID and gender ID being verified by a simple declaration, these spaces will no longer be safe.

A man who is outraged by some perceived slight from his partner will often go to great lengths to “discipline” or get back at her. With gender self-ID, all he has to do is say that he identifies as a woman, and poof! He is one. As such, he suddenly belongs in women’s spaces and any woman who objects is a horrible bigot who should die in a fire.

It’s not only the men we know that we need to worry about; it is indisputable that women face systematic harassment from strangers as well. We are entitled to protect ourselves from all men, especially when we are at our most vulnerable, for example homeless or in prison. A recent case in Fresno, California, shows how gender self-ID removes this right from women.

Nine homeless women filed a lawsuit against a homeless shelter in Fresno because they were forced to shower with a trans-identified male who sexually harassed them. According to the charity that runs the shelter, federal law requires them to treat anybody who identifies as a woman as a woman. The shelter also requires women to shower in groups. It wasn’t hard to predict that this would lead to problems.

In Canada, two women were kicked out of a homeless shelter after raising concerns over a male resident. According to one of the women, “He wants to become a woman, I mean that is his choice but when a man comes into a women’s shelter who still has a penis and genitals he has more rights than we do.”

In their eagerness to be progressive, policy-makers are hopping on a trend that is anything but, and throwing society’s most vulnerable women under the bus. Women’s concerns have been ignored not only in broader “progressive” circles, but also by the very organizations that are supposed to work for them. This is why in the UK, female survivors of male violence have written an open letter to all women’s organizations asking them to support female-only spaces and to reject current proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, which would see the legal replacement of sex with gender self-ID.

Until now, the words man and woman have been defined on the basis of biological reality and the study of male violence against women has used these definitions. Even if you believe that there exists some internal essence or other non-biological trait that should redefine “man” and “woman”, it does not follow that oppression and systemic violence now fall along these new lines.

People with penises are known to frequently perpetrate violence against people with vaginas. “Women’s shelters” were created as a response to this and were named as such at a time when it was assumed that a woman was a person with a vagina. Redefining the words man and woman in no way changes this reality and in no way negates the need for people with vaginas to have spaces that are separate from people with penises.

Like shelters, the creation of women’s bathrooms was also a feminist win, as the absence of separate bathrooms had previously impeded women from participating in the public sphere. Reports from areas that lack separate bathrooms show that our need today for private spaces is as great as always, but gender self-ID allows any man to identify his way into female spaces, effectively doing away with them.

This week, a trans-identified male was charged with several counts of sexual assault against inmates at a women’s prison. And no, the point of sharing these stories is not to vilify men who identify as trans or to paint them as particularly predatory. It is to remind those who have embraced gender ideology that men as a whole are systematically predatory and abusive and that women have a right to exclude any and all men from our spaces so that we might be safe, heal, organize, participate in the public sphere and so on. While individual men can be lovely, they don’t get to opt out of the category of man by stating that they identify otherwise.

Describing the disappearance of lesbian (but not gay) spaces, Susan Cox writes: ‘It appears that even though the project of “queering” is, we’re told, about going beyond gender, the movement disproportionately affects females in negative ways. (…) We can make progressive-sounding pronouncements about certain spaces being inclusive, non-binary, and gender-neutral all we want, but these declarations do not magically disappear the material relations of power between the sexes foundational to our social world.’

People with penises belong to a class that oppresses people with vaginas as a class, regardless of their beliefs, self-perception or wishes that it were otherwise. By putting the demands of males, based on a subjective sense of self, over the rights of females to privacy and protection, we uphold male supremacy. Male violence against women has never stopped being a problem and any truly liberatory politics will condemn the erosion of the boundaries that women have painstakingly erected.

 

 

 

 

 

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Support San Franciso Lesbians

Please support these women who were attacked at the Dyke March by the ever-woke gender ideologues.

Three weeks ago a small group of lesbians was attacked at the San Francisco Dyke March for asserting that they were, well, lesbians. This is where gender ideology has gotten us. Homophobia is cool again and self-professed progressives are too afraid of being chastised for wrongthink to activate their brain cells and think about what they’re condoning. Enough with the ID politics, time for critical analysis.

My analysis (and that of many others) is that gender ideology harms all women and girls and especially lesbians, and San Francisco has been proving me right. After the library exhibit celebrating violence against women, we get lesbians attacked at a march that was supposed to be for them, in a city that used to be known for being gay-friendly.

It’s truly scary to see how quickly a movement can be co-opted and colonized, and this is something that warrants reflection from anyone who is involved in a social movement. I admire the courage of San Francisco and London lesbians who are reclaiming their movement and their marches in the face of hostility, slander, and even “actual” violence.

After the women were attacked at the SF Dyke March, the march, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Bay Area Reporter posted defamatory statements about them. Please support them by signing their petition for a retraction of these statements and by  supporting their fundraiser for legal expenses.

 

Read the statement of the women who protested the London Pride:
Get The L Out

 

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Degenderettes Exhibit at SFPL

Photography isn’t my forte, but hopefully this is useful to women who have been curious (or outraged) by the exhibit and don’t live in the Bay Area.

I took pictures of the Degenderettes exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) for those who can’t make it there themselves. The Degenderettes are “a humble and practical club, fighting for gender rights within human reach rather than with legislation and slogans”, or a trans advocacy group that goes around intimidating and threatening women, especially lesbians. One of the pieces originally displayed was a bloodied t-shirt with the words “I PUNCH TERFS”.

A Degenderette wears a “I PUNCH TERFS” t-shirt at the 2017 San Francisco Pride parade.

Following outrage from women around the world, SFPL removed the t-shirt with this disingenuous comment: “This exhibit contains strong language, blood and mentions of transmisogyny and police violence. The Library has altered the exhibit, removing artwork that could be interpreted to promote violence which is incompatible with our  policies.” Transmisogyny is defined as “misogyny” towards transwomen, but you would be excused for assuming it refers to the misogyny displayed by trans people.

SFPL should have either removed the entire exhibit (and there is a petition to that effect that I encourage you to sign) or kept the t-shirt, so that the public understands what this TERF rhetoric is about.

Who is a TERF? A TERF is a woman who doesn’t believe in gender essentialism, or the idea that there are certain personality traits (or an essence, soul, mind, etc) that define all women. A TERF is a woman who thinks that her experience of oppression is rooted in being born in a female body. A TERF is a woman who believes that people born with penises, regardless of how they identify, have had different life experiences than those born with vaginas. A TERF is a woman who defends female-only spaces and resources (such as scholarships) set aside for women. A TERF is a woman who questions the medicalization of children who don’t conform to gender norms. A TERF is a lesbian who excludes males from her dating pool. Above all, a TERF is a woman who doesn’t know her place.

According to these guys, she should be punched, beaten, even killed, and SFPL found it appropriate to give them a platform. This is because they are white American males, who always have a license to spread terror to anyone they deem in their way.

An “inaccessible” women’s restroom door. Because all female spaces should be accessible and all women’s boundaries should be smashed.

We are living a global pandemic of violence against women and this exhibit was put up mere days after a massacre in Toronto that was motivated by misogyny and male entitlement. It is an ode to more of the same and allowing it at a public library is unbelievably irresponsible and insensitive. Regardless of how you choose to define “woman” and “man”, it is a fact that people with vaginas are born into an oppressed class that experiences systematic violence from people with penises, who make up the oppressor class. However, by positing that there is another axis of oppression – cis and trans – in which “cis women” (in this case lesbians) are suddenly the oppressors of “trans women” (in this case heterosexual males), they’ve reframed the violence and intimidation of the Degenderettes as a case of a marginalized group “punching up”. That’s all it takes for a stamp of approval from the enlightened folks at SFPL.

Men go into a space for lesbians and claim they “might not feel safe in a crowd of cis women”. This is the classic reversal of abusers who claim to be the abused.

Even if SFPL does believe that trans-identified males are oppressed by women and that that the violence of those punching up is justified, would they allow similar exhibits from other oppressed groups? I can imagine that they might host exhibits about other movements that include violent tactics in their struggle for liberation, but would they zoom in on their bloody weapons and violent slogans? Can you imagine Palestinians or Kurdish women or Black liberationists being allowed to exhibit weapons and slogans like “I punch Jews”, “I kill men” or “die white scum”? Somehow I doubt it. This is a privilege only afforded to those who are white American males.

As someone of Muslim descent, I see both something very different and very familiar in how the marginalized groups of Muslims and women are treated. If SFPL had exhibited a t-shirt that said “I punch Muslims”, I know that Bay Area community organizations and activists would have raised hell and had it shut down. But women? That nagging underclass of humanity? Nobody cares about us, be it on the left or the right.

There is also a chilling similarity. Violence is often justified by presenting the aggressor as the victim. When I see the lies and histrionics about radical feminists who “want all trans people to die” it reminds me of claims like “Muslims want to destroy the West/kill all Christians”. I have never seen any radical feminist advocate for violence against or wish death upon transpeople. Radical feminists simply do not believe that gender is natural or innate, and therefore do not agree with the current dogma that a woman is “anybody who identifies as a woman”. And in the ultra-privileged bubble and navel-gazing culture of American identitarians, disagreeing with someone’s beliefs about themselves is construed as the ultimate violence.

The Degenderettes exhibit is nothing more than misogyny and male entitlement and violence repackaged with the help of some eyeliner. As to the “liberals” who condone this, they have so wrapped their self-worth and social capital around being “woke” and supporting progressive causes, and they are so skittish about being reprimanded for wrongthink, that they allow themselves no room for critical thought.

IYIs [Intellectuals Yet Idiots] fail to distinguish between the letter and the spirit of things. They are so blinded by verbalistic notions such as science, education, democracy, racism, equality, evidence, rationality and similar buzzwords that they can be easily taken for a ride.
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Read more:
TERF isn’t just a slur, it’s hate speech
Trans activism is excusing & advocating violence against women, and it’s time to speak up

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