There have been the usual cries of “transphobia!” over the internet within the last week or so regarding the forthcoming Radfem2012 conference in London.
Article 11 of the Human Rights Act ensures that everyone has the right to freedom of association (or protest) as long as the purpose is non-violent, and is in the interests of protecting the rights and freedoms of a group.
A few snippets, with emphasis added:
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. This is a right closely linked to the right to freedom of expression.
It provides a means for public expression and is one of the foundations of a democratic society.
The right applies to protest marches and demonstrations, press conferences, public and private meetings, counter-demonstrations, ‘sit-ins’, motionless protests etc.
The right only applies to peaceful gatherings and does not protect intentionally violent protest.
The right to peaceful assembly cannot be interfered with merely because there is disagreement with the views of the protesters or because it is likely to be inconvenient and cause a nuisance or there might be tension and heated exchange between opposing groups.
Freedom of association
Everyone has the right to freedom of association with others. This includes the right to form and to join trade unions and to join with others to pursue or advance common causes and interests. It also includes the right to formally join or create associations.
Necessarily included in the right of association is the freedom not to associate with others. There is no right for any individual to join a particular association if other members of the group decide not to include them or to expel them on the basis that their membership was not compatible with the aims and interests of the association. However, in relation to trade unions, if a decision not to include a person has adverse employment consequences, any such decision must not be unreasonable or arbitrary.
So it is our human right, as radfems, to have a peaceful gathering of radfems only. Lots of other groups are allowed to gather or assemble without inviting counter ‘viewpoints’ – eg the Labour Party can have a conference without the Conservatives and vise versa. Muslims are allowed to assemble without Christians and vise versa. Alcoholics Anonymous can meet without having non-AA members in attendance. And radfems are allowed to meet without having non-radfems – those opposed to all or part of radfem politics – in attendance.
This means, not only transwomen are excluded, but a lot of others as well – pro-porn and ‘sex-positive’ pro-prostitution liberal feminists and 3rd wavers, postmodern (pomo) and queer feminists, and males. That is right, all of you are excluded. Therefore the accusation of being ‘transphobic’ is bunk, they are merely on the list of many others, who are not welcome to Radfem2012.
Radical feminism is a revolutionary politics for the liberation of all women from male domination. Radical feminists neither seek ‘equality’ with men within a fundamentally oppressive system, nor simply to extend women’s range of choices whilst leaving that oppressive system intact. Radical feminists are engaged in the struggle to end all forms of male violence, and for the liberation of all women from patriarchal oppression. In short, we are engaged in a struggle for total social transformation. In Catherine Mackinnon’s phrase, radical feminism is ‘feminism unmodified’.
That also includes excluding liberal feminists who may be partially aligned with radical feminism, but insist on putting forth their liberal “what about the men” agenda. Nor are we interested in the male point of view as to what feminism should be. We do not want to tinker with the male system of domination, we want to eradicate it, for the liberation of all females.
So all of you, all of you opposed to the radical feminist point of view, are excluded from the conference. That is not ‘transphobic’, that is a political strategy – we get enough of the libfem/trans point of view all over the internet every day of the week – we are meeting together to get two days without hearing about it, as is our human right.
The kerfuffle that transwomen are feminists is difficult to believe. When I attended the Feminism In London conference a few years ago, no transwomen bothered to turn up, such is their interest. Their interest is only in disrupting feminism rather than contributing to it – this protest against Radfem2012 is a protest for protest’s sake. Besides which, the ‘transfeminist’ platform is primarily ‘sex-positive’ pro-pornography, pro-prostitution, the antithesis of radical feminism, and on those grounds alone are unwelcome.
‘Transfeminism’ is now showing itself to be anti-female too. Well-known transactivists such as Julia Serano have this kind of thing to say about female reproductive and contraception issues:
…but I have to say that as an infertile woman, all this contraception-centric feminism over the last month has been alienating for me…
~ @JuliaSerano, 03 March 2012
Serano does not speak for ‘infertile women’ at all. I am an ‘infertile woman’. Reproductive issues are still feminist issues, whether it affects you directly or not. Most females spend many decades of their lives fertile, and reproduction issues span a large segment of life. That isn’t something one forgets conveniently at menopause. The reason Serano and other ‘transfeminists’ don’t get it, is because they have not had to live as fertile females – their fertility has been always from the male perspective. And of course, this is one point radfems keep making, the difference being raised as a girl, a fertile female, is vastly different to being raised as a boy and with the lack of reproductive repercussions of a male.
This makes ‘transfeminism’ generally at odds even with liberal feminists, those libfems who still care about abortion and contraception rights. ‘Transfeminism’ is very much at odds with those liberal feminists who are anti-porn. Yet ‘transfeminists’ like Serano are setting the agenda within liberal and 3rd wave feminism.
So if radfems are ‘transphobic’ they are also libfem-phobic, sex-poz-phobic, pomo-phobic, 3rd wave-phobic, pimp-phobic, etc. Except that we are not. The word ‘phobic’ comes from phobia – ‘fear of’. We don’t ‘fear’ any of you, we just disagree on a political level. Get over it.
This thread will be moderated.