On “lesbians as villains”


Hey. Remember when straight males gave up their spaces to lesbians? Remember when males, en masse, worked really tirelessly to end rape culture? Remember when straight males cared for their gay brothers during the height of the AIDS crisis? Or remember when males listened to the concerns of females without shouting “NOT ALL MEN”? Remember when males, even those who felt like women, respected women’s boundaries? Remember that? Of course you don’t remember any of this, because it never fucking happened.

Among the myriad of things males haven’t done (or haven’t had to do, owing to their privilege), males haven’t had to relinquish space to females, much less lesbians. Males haven’t had their boundaries crossed repeatedly only to be called “hysterical” or “unreasonable.” And yet, at every turn, women – lesbians in particular – are being asked to step-aside, to eat our fears, to cow tow to the precious feelings…

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Milwaukee Pride Parade strips Veteran Lesbian Activist Miriam Ben-Shalom of Grand Marshall Honors



The nameless members of the Milwaukee Pride Parade Board of Directors stripped legendary rights activist Miriam Ben-Shalom of her honored spot as Grand Marshall of the June 12, 2016 “Heroes of Pride” event after men monitoring her Facebook page noticed women had made posts there that were critical of the idea of heterosexual “male lesbians”.

Miriam Ben-Shalom will be a familiar name to Lesbian and Gay Rights activists and historians. She was the first openly homosexual individual to be reinstated into military service after serving as plaintiff in multiple lawsuits and refusing a cash settlement.


After serving in the Israeli Army as an Armored Personnel Carrier driver, she enlisted as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army from 1974-1976, when she was dismissed on the basis of homosexuality, and served again from 1987- 1990 following her reinstatement after a decade of trials. She was then discharged, yet again, on…

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Blog on The Bog

At Chelt Fems: Cheltenham-based feminist campaign & discussion group

By Tess Beck


Toilets seem to be a hot topic at the moment among transactivists, the religious right and radical feminists.  This is due in part to legislation introduced in North Carolina* making it illegal for people to use bathroom facilities that do not correspond to the sex recorded on their birth certificate.

This leads to the unedifying spectacle of Caitlyn Jenner (obnoxious Trump supporter) using the ladies’ at Trump Towers and making rapey jokes about it.

Video link

But even more worrying is this scene, where a woman is forcibly removed by police from a public bathroom, because she is judged not to look sufficiently feminine and she is not carrying ID on her to prove her sex.

Video link

Meanwhile, here in the UK there is no legislation about who can use male or female washroom or changing facilities.  In practice, most businesses recognise the discomfort users may suffer if they see someone of the opposite sex in their changing room or toilet, and will put up warning signs as appropriate when cleaning/ maintenance is being undertaken by a male or female operative, or even temporarily close the facilities.  We hope that all users, especially women, would have the confidence and means to report anyone using a public lavatory or changing rooms whose behaviour gave them cause for concern.

But public toilets have long been a feminist issue here, and not for the reasons the American controversies would have you believe.  Although public toilets for men were introduced for men in the 1820s, they were not introduced for women until several decades later.  Providing public toilets for women enabled respectable women to be present in public space, which is why it was controversial. Reforming organisations such as the Ladies Sanitary Association continued to campaign for better provision into the 1880s.

Now in the 21st century, there is still far less provision of public toilets for women than men.  This is despite recommendations that the ratio of provision should actually be 2:1 in favour of women, as it is in Japan.


Local authority cuts and concerns about the use of public toilets for anti-social and illegal activities have led to a decline in the number of public toilets across the UK.  The lack of availability of public toilets leads to certain groups of people not going out for fear of being caught short.  This particularly affects older people, people with disabilities and their carers, people with irritable bowel disorders, pregnant women, parents and carers of small children.  This leads to greater social isolation for these groups of people, who are mostly women.
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More moronic memes



A US radical feminist observes:

“This is such B.S … We’re the ones who have warned and educated our sons before they entered the restroom… stood outside the door and waited, glaring at the dudes who walked in after our kids did…. spoken to our boys about possible predators among coaches, teachers, friends, or pastors… and waited impatiently right outside the door until our kids get done using the bathrooms. The gullibility of some of these pro-trans posts is astounding.”


To Boys Who Don’t Fit In


A guest post on Gender Apostates


To Boys Who Don’t Fit In – A Guest Post by Jesse

Hey son. Hey, hun. What would you rather be called? I mean, what are your preferred pronouns? Hun, right? Because that’s what we think girls say to each other (probably while they’re doing each other’s hair and nails). Maybe you don’t like my tone, but stick with it. You’ve been through worse, right?

I’m a bit like you. I was a boy who didn’t fit in, who grew into a young man who didn’t fit in, and wanted, and wished, to be a girl. You were the same. But maybe you don’t think about it that way any more. You’re going to tell me you were ‘assigned’ male. You were never a boy, you declare, you were just a baby, and the docs forced maleness on you! Maybe you now tell people you were always female, and the people around you, in your life or on social media (which might be most of your life anyway) agree and say, hun, you were always female, don’t let anyone tell you different!

That’s a recent thing, and you wouldn’t have said that five, ten years ago. Your friends wouldn’t have told you that either. Because times change, and trends change.

I was born a bit earlier, see, which means I had slightly different experiences and didn’t get told all that stuff. My story is going to be the same as yours in many ways, because that’s how we know what we are – we all tick the same boxes, don’t we, and compare it to a ‘trans narrative’, and realise it fits us better than the normal masculine one – but it’s also slightly different.

You don’t like what I’m saying, so let me tell you, I went through the same hoops. Wanted girl toys. Wanted to play with girl things, Barbie dolls and Strawberry Shortcake. Wanted to hang with the girls at school and do hair and nails. Took every opportunity to wear dresses. Then as I grew up, that kind of thing wasn’t cute any more and no doubt like you, I got caught doing it and made to feel ashamed.

I felt ashamed about it all through my teens into my twenties. People made me feel bad. At college I went to a club night wearing a skirt and make-up, and a woman from the feminist society told me to get out of the girls’ bathrooms. She said, wearing a skirt doesn’t make you a girl. That felt bad. It felt so bad I still remember it clearly, every word.

I found some other club night, for guys like me who wanted to dress that way. It was on the other side of town, a little place down side streets, and it took all my guts to go out on the street in my girl disguise, and catch a train into the city like that. Some jerk with his friends shouted at me. ‘Hey, woman-man! Hey, woman-man!’ They laughed. I was lucky they didn’t come over and hit me I guess. That felt bad.

See, I still remember it. I remember every bad thing people said about me, even if it was years ago. I remember when I came out to my close relatives and they said it was weird and sick. I kept doing it, and feeling the way I did, because I couldn’t change it. So yeah, there is bravery involved, I know.

I kept on doing it, and times changed. Famous people came out, in the media. There were TV shows and movies about trans women. Suddenly the way people reacted to me changed, and it took me by surprise. They almost treated me like a celebrity! Girl friends seemed to love the idea. They invited me out to their ‘girl nights’ and told me I was so brave. One of them was a lesbian, and when she said how brave I was and how special, and how hard it must be for me, something kind of clicked in my head: a little caution sign, like a TILT warning on a slot machine. Sure, it was wonderful to be accepted and embraced like that, but I knew lesbians had it really hard. It just didn’t seem right for her to put me first and make out I was the victim.

Another of my friends, a bisexual girl, asked me if I was attracted to men or women. I said women, and she was all, oh cool, you’re a lesbian. TILT! Sure, it was great to feel like I was special guest on their chat show, but it wasn’t right for them to think of me as a lesbian. Even though they were being super-nice, something in me started to resist. There’s an old song that popped into my head, by another guy who also didn’t fully conform to masculinity: Morrissey, the singer in The Smiths. He used to sing, ‘you just haven’t earned it yet, baby. You just haven’t earned it, my son.’

Well, I definitely hadn’t earned being called a lesbian, and though it was really tempting to accept these girls calling me a woman, I started to feel I hadn’t earned that either. But by now, things had changed, and anyone calling me names or shutting me out of places was being considered as bad as a racist. How things changed! I went to a club, wearing a skirt and make-up, and the organizers made it clear that if you identified as a woman, you should go in the women’s bathroom. And nobody complained or said a word against it. But you know what. When the women came in and saw me, standing at the mirror, I knew they didn’t feel fully comfortable about it. Sure, they didn’t say anything. They wouldn’t. But anyone who wasn’t totally focused on their own self-importance can sense it when someone else is uncomfortable, and if they’re a decent person, they take action about that.

I wasn’t brainwashed. I wasn’t indoctrinated. I just started thinking about it, and I realized what was going on, and inside me, it crossed a line between right and wrong. Are you going to say now that I was never truly trans, and that my story doesn’t count? Well, that would go against what you believe and preach, wouldn’t it? About how everyone can define their own identity and we shouldn’t question what someone says they are, and how they feel inside. So don’t twist your own rules in an effort to exclude me and discount my experiences. Yes, I fit the trans narrative. I just chose to get a little perspective, and I’m sharing it with you in case you want to get a different perspective too.

Those women around me, the ones I knew, and the strangers? They were all feminists, the nice kind of feminist. They were great people. They were generous, and kind, and accepting. But you know why? Because women have been told they have to be that way, ever since they were little girls and someone tells them to share, and to not be unladylike, and to be polite and not be loud or difficult. They were feminists – a certain type of feminist, the nice type – and they weren’t going to say anything even if they felt uncomfortable. Which means it was for me to take some responsibility, and not put myself and my own wants and needs first.

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Patriarchy Isn’t Working for You

a rain and a gale

Once again, I am angered by the articles I read. Happy Friday!

Today, I read two articles that upset me greatly, each demonstrating the damaging effects of gender stereotypes. In the first one, How to Tell If a man’s penis is In the Right Placethe author draws a confusing analogy between people with penises in women’s bathrooms and  a “politician jizzing where he shouldn’t.”


Ok? This is the extent of his argument–don’t listen to people who don’t want penises in women’s bathrooms because…….they’re all conservative hypocrites? No. And please don’t conflate female solidarity with conservatism–there’s nothing conservative about it. I would argue it’s way more conservative to keep silencing women the way we have been for centuries.

The patriarchy machine needs you to silence dissenting opinions–it keeps the gears well-greased!

In the second article, Stop the “Women in Tech” Hysteria, the author laments ladies lamenting they’re aren’t enough ladies in…

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Mislabeled, Mislead

This Soft Space

This particular tale originates in one of the boxes in my attic, and I had been planning on writing it as part of a series. However, recent events have had me finding some themes relevant, so I’m writing about it as it is. It is about words, and labels, and visions we hold in our heads. It’s about habits and illusions and what happens when they all fall apart.

In my attic, I have several shelves full of model airplanes, and a box or two as well. I picked up the modeling bug when I was small, watching my brother carefully cut out and pin together balsa wood models at the desk in his bedroom, building rubber-band powered aircraft from thin sheets of wood and tissue paper. I don’t even need to make a joke about the smell of dope or glue – it was all magical to me. In…

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Bathroom Defenders

Important considerations here. Note that this piece does not cover all negative aspects of the former #HB2 (now North Carolina state law). We covered them in more detail earlier.

the big board

I’ve seen all kinds of nonsense in comment threads in some of the places I hang out. Folks somehow think that North Carolina’s recently passed HB 2 somehow requires that there be some kind of guards at restroom doors who will check either ID’s or undies. I don’t really think they believe this, but they do like to post rather silly images like this one:


Let’s be serious, there are lots of things wrong with HB 2, but it’s not creating some kind of police state where public restrooms and locker rooms are concerned. In fact, I think the part of the law about public restrooms gets it just about right. I agree with HB 2 that multi person facilities should be divided by biological sex rather than gender identity. HB 2 also addresses concerns about the safety of transgender people. Any business or institution that wants to do so…

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The Big Lie that no man has ever spied in women’s restrooms/locker rooms.

This blogger is rather too generous in tallying the reasons why ‘liberals’ might prioritise the desires of transwomen to have access to females’ toilets and changing rooms, over the safety and privacy needs of women and children.

Rape culture, policing women and prioritising males are thoroughly scripted into ‘liberalism’, because liberalism offers its adherents few sturdy ideological defences against the dominant culture. Which also makes it a more natural favourite of those who either wish to predate, or are currently aligned with predatory individuals and classes.

However, accounts of such male predation are always useful, given the constant reality-denial of trans politic supporters.

The Prime Directive

Ever since laws have been proposed against men entering women’s restrooms or locker rooms, it seems that the mainstream media has been dedicating itself to the defense of a Big Lie (an absurdly false statement which, repeated over and over, becomes true): the “fact” that no man has ever tried to spy in women’s restrooms or locker rooms by pretending to be women. It is often explicitly said that this has happened zero times.

This statement is absurdly false, and anyone should be ashamed of propagating such a lie. As a matter of fact, many men have been caught spying on women while pretending to be women, and no doubt many more have not been caught. Here are some examples.


Meanwhile, in Birmingham, England, a man posed as a mannequin and hung around in the women’s bathrooms at a shopping mall filming women, um, doing their business. MSN…

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Rape culture involves making targets feel bad about their boundaries

don't want you to make me uncomfortable.jpg
Meme being circulated by those in favour of making multiple-stall/cubicle restrooms and changing rooms either ‘gender-neutral’ or open to anyone on the basis of self-asserted ‘gender identity’


FYI, if you support forwarding this meme, you support rape culture.

An inherent part of rape culture is trying to put on the defensive those who raise concerns about predatory behaviour happening in front of or to them (or policy which enables it), or are in the classes of people most predated on (women and children), who might also conceivably object. The aim is to make them feel as though they are doing something wrong.

Accordingly, those invested in rape culture need to make targets and potential targets feel upfront – even ahead of time – that their boundaries and concerns are wrong. Preparing ground by ensuring that potential targets know to feel badly about thinking critically of them, and don’t gather allies against predation (but maybe even distance themselves from likely allies), is a common activity of predators.

Predators and their enablers achieve this quite easily when they apply a ‘reversal’ to what’s really going on, by making the targets/ targetted classes sound like the predatory ones.

Those who’ve been studying and opposing rape culture know why – it’s because the targetted classes are those least likely to be automatically believed and supported. Whereas men, who are the bulk of predators, usually get automatic acceptance of whatever they say.

These reversals about predatory behaviour are so standard that many will recognise common forms: women seeking to set sex-based boundaries will be jeered at as “wanting to do panty checks”. Men who did not get the outcome they wanted in propositioning women may jeer about them as “thinking every man wants them”. The goal is to prevent any possible broader agreement with the women’s “no”, and sometimes to punish her for that “no”. Either way, she learns that a “no” will get her negative and isolating consequences.

Predators and their enablers also work to focus sympathy on the perps. Where these are male (as they usually are), this is especially easy, given our society’s expectation that women devote our time disproportionately to welfare work and, especially, to supporting males.

It is marked how trans supporters work overtime to promote the narrative that anyone concerned about ‘gender inclusive’ policy changes to restroom/locker-room usage is really calling all trans people predators. The narrative serves its purpose of making critics (mostly women) look bad, while keeping attention diverted from the real problems of allowing males to be in females’ facilities purely on the basis of their self-declared ‘gender identity’.

Making women’s supporters work overtime repeating basic facts about the numerous reports of male predation in female restroom/ changing facilities, and about the far more limited justification for the claim that male-on-transwomen predation in male facilities is common, is part of rape culture. This information is easily available via googling.