After the Vancouver Women’s Library was attacked by “queer” anti-feminists, even more anti-feminists started jumping on the bandwagon and writing social media commentary condemning the library.
I read several comments by people calling for feminist books to be banned who did not seem likely to have ever actually read the books in question. I believe the reason why these people are calling for feminist books to be banned without ever having read them is because they are virtue-signaling.
There is a distinct culture that has formed out of the toxic soup of neoliberal “queer” culture and anti-feminism that has taken over what is supposed to be the political left. (I do not believe these people are actually on the left, but they are considered to be the left, unfortunately.) For the purposes of this blog post, I will call them radiqueers, short for radical queers. One of the things radiqueers delight in doing is hating feminists. They claim to be feminists themselves, but their views align perfectly with patriarchy, and they fail to recognize this because they refuse to listen to actual feminists or apply any critical thinking to their political positions. Because shutting down feminists is one of the goals of radiqueer culture, anytime they tweet or comment about wanting feminists shut down it serves as a way for them to show their group membership and virtue-signal to their fellow group members. It is not an intellectual disagreement with the information that feminists present, it is a performance to demonstrate their group membership. It’s a bit like making sure to sit with the cool kids in the cafeteria instead of the geeks.
Here I will show you what I mean by discussing one of the books that the radiqueers want removed from the Vancouver Women’s Library
A book-banning campaign by Gays Against Gentrification (GAG) is demanding the Vancouver Woman’s Library (VWL) remove and ban over twenty feminist books from their collection. These works — written by renowned women authors who have a long history of engaging in critical analysis against the oppression of women as class — focus on female exploitation, male supremacy, violence against women, reproductive freedom, lesbian identity, women’s health and buddhist mindfulness. As a matter of principle and in defense of freedom of speech and thought, no library should ever ban any books under any circumstance – especially ones written by and for women at the VWL. As fascism takes deeper root throughout the world, it is more important than ever that any attempt to silence women in their struggle for liberation is resisted by all, at every moment. We urge VWL to keep these books on their shelves.
- Vancouver Women’s Library
Trans activists are not happy. In recent days they have started a couple of petitions aimed at preventing a talk by Julie Bindel at the Working Class Movement Library in Salford as well as at stopping the broadcasting of a BBC programme called “Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?” to be diffused on 12 January on BBC Two. They have also targeted the site Feminist Current (if you don’t visit it, do: one of the best feminist sites out there), which resulted in it being taken down on Thursday night. And they have no problem in targeting individuals, such as this stream of attacks on gnc_centric, a detransitioned lesbian, which has been defended by some on Tumblr.
There is nothing new here: attempts to no-platform Bindel occur just about every time she is due to give a talk, even when the talks have got nothing to do with transgender issues…
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‘They provided a second reason to exclude me, too.
“We have already formed a working relationship with InsideOUT – they co-hosted Queer my Zine with us as part of Zinefest meets Matchbox this month – and it would be a conflict of interest to have you be part of Zinefest, due to the piece you wrote on your blog that attacked their organisation.
“We feel that your presence at zinefest would jeopardise the safety of our queer and trans artists, people we have worked hard this year to protect and create a safe space for.”
‘This refers to an article I published on my blog in October, which challenges InsideOUT and RainbowYOUTH. It includes a list of questions requesting more information about how both organisatons are addressing different problematic aspects of gender identity politics. For example, one thing I mention is how there are clear statistical patterns now showing who is undergoing transition and sex reassignment. One strong pattern is pre-adolescent boys – even pre-schooers – who do not conform to gender norms or exhibit typically “masculine” behaviour. They might like wearing dresses, or playing with toys marketed at girls. Transitioning, for many of these boys, means sterilisation. So one question I posed to InsideOUT and RainbowYOUTH, was, in sum – what are you doing to ensure that your work isn’t faciliatating eugenics? Considering that both organisations are involved with the medication of gender non-conforming young people, whichever way you look at it, this is a legitimate question and concern.’
Though I’ve never had a stall before, I love the Wellington Zinefest and look forward to it each year. I’ve got a pile of zines at home that I’ve bought, swapped, collected and enjoyed from markets over the years. Through the art supply shop I work at, I sponsored the Wellington Zinefest 2015 gladly, with free prize packs and zine-making kits. It’s a uniquely accessible and inclusive affordable, no-frills, not for profit, grassroots event. I take heart in the fact that it’s there and allows us Wellingtonians to share and exchange creative work and ideas – even challenging ones – so freely.
This year, on October 25, I finally registered and paid for my first very own stall at the Wellington Zinefest – after over a year of preparing my books. This is them: Free West Papua 101; How Freedom’s Won, and Sisters Speak.
Freedom zines. So imagine my surprise when, over a fortnight after my…
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“Interview about Female Erasure book” from WLRN by Ruth Barrett, Elizabeth McKeown. Released: 2016. Track .
So this idiot took a poll to see if lesbians are attracted to “women” or “their genitals.” Because in crazy transgenderland, these things can be separated. In real life, of course, women and their genitals are actually connected together in one piece, and lesbians are attracted to both.
When this person’s friends answer the poll, the conclusion is of course that lesbians fancy “women,” a word that in transgenderland can include absolutely anyone, regardless of their sex. Also, TERFs should get some fleshlights because we are just into genitals. (I had to ask someone what “minge” means. Apparently it means “pussy” in the U.K. I definitely prefer “fanny.” Anyway…)
A fleshlight is a sex toy for men consisting of a fake vagina in a hollow tube.
This person is suggesting that TERFs would enjoy playing with this toy. Now, I don’t think this person actually believes this—I think they’re…
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We are writing to express our great appreciation and support of the Morning Star for its exceptional courage and solidarity with women everywhere in publishing two recent articles [here and here] highlighting the problems of current political dogma regarding gender identity.
Along with the writers of those articles, we are watching with some alarm as the few hard-won rights and protections that women have managed to gain are being eroded through political and social developments that will have very serious consequences for women indeed.
We very much appreciate your efforts in giving a platform for a sex-class based analysis of women’s position, in the face of the convergence of neoliberal individualism and alienation from class consciousness which we believe is very clearly at the heart of gender identity politics.
Those of us who speak out in defence of women are no strangers to the particular viciousness of the backlash that such speech is invariably met with.
We applaud the Morning Star for taking a courageous stand against the erasure of women as a class, and stand in solidarity with you in the face of this inevitable backlash.
Please note that some signatories were only able to provide their initials, for fear of possible repercussions were they to be identified. This, sadly, reflects the climate of fear and intimidation that we are currently living in.
A. M. B.
Ali Jean Batts
Grace Restauro Belleveau
Cheryl Lynn Bergen
Maritza Y. Bermudez
C. L. Blythe
Aleta Lisa Brady
Louise A. Brown
Poppy Taylor Brydon
Linda Calder Trapp
Giovanna S. Capone
C. K. A. & Big Ocean Women
Marie Solange Crosswell
Stephanie Davies Arai
Tracie Warden Dengá
Donna J. Every
J. T. Green
Meg Henson Scales
Chante Shirelle Holsey
Peggy Drake Imhoff
Megan C. Langreck
Amanda Gracey Lesiatoi
Megan Diana Mackin
L. A. Mallett
Jennifer C. McCarthy
Paul J. McDonough
Keely Emerine Mix
K. K. Olsen
Laura Marina Perez
R. A. R.
Louisa Cruz Reinke
Richard D. Schmidt
Mary Lou Singleton
Michelle Peixinho Smith
Camilla Astrid Strand
L. M. Taylor
Kathleen de Vries
Lisa J. Whelan
Angela C. Wild
STC note: the ‘fighting fund’ of the Morning Star (its fundraising project to keep running) has probably been hit by the onslaught of accusations of ‘transphobia’ and worse which it has received.
Please consider helping them out.
On Monday 25 April, I took part in the Victoria Derbyshire show for a discussion about free speech in British universities. Given that the show tried to cover the inner workings of NUS politics, the ad-hoc activism of unofficial no-platforming, the history of the anti-fascist movement on campuses, and free speech as an abstract principle, it all seemed rather overstuffed even at two hours; but I got to sit next to Julie Bindel and Peter Tatchell as though I’m someone who actually does things, which was nice.