Transactivists – protesting what now?

Transactivists and their supporters basically protest for a ‘no boundaries’ platform – that trans have access all areas, and never mind anyone else’s needs.

Nowhere is this more obvious than recent protests and terrorist actions by transactivists – they even target organisations that are trans-friendly, GallusMag has more on the failed molotov cocktail bombing in Portland.

The transactivist platform is one of – 100% capitulation, or we protest you, terrorise you, shut you down. Targets of such actions are frequently women’s support organisations that support raped/battered women, no matter what level of trans-friendliness they have. This is a boundaries issue, and transactivists refuse to accept any boundaries set by women.

Vancouver Rape Relief (VRR) has again been the target of transactivists and their supporters, leafleting a recent fund-raising walkathon in a park. The transactivists were protesting with such slogans as “support services for all women”  and “ask Rape Relief about their trans policy”.

The first slogan is ridiculous, because had offered their support services to all women, including transwomen, which is how they found themselves defending against a ten-year legal battle against a former service-user transwoman, Kimberley Nixon. VRR had been vocal to all level of governments about this support need for transwomen. See also the chronology of events and summary decision of the case. VRR were also accused by the prostestors that they were ‘anti-prostitute’, which is ridiculous, like most women’s organisations founded out of the Second Wave, they support prostituted women, but wish to criminalise the buyers of prostitution, so yet another false accusation.

The overview of the Nixon case, Nixon had Sexual/Gender Reassignment Surgery (SRS/GRS) about three years prior to becoming a service-user of VRR. Nixon had completed eight months of counselling by VRR and subsequently used the drop-in services, and soon after joined the counsellor training programme. Nixon was told by staff to take at least another year off before applying for the programme for Nixon’s own healing. This is not uncommon in the women’s support sector, many female-born volunteers are discouraged from volunteering too early in their healing process – it can take anywhere from two to five years to properly heal from male violence. Some potential candidates are never suitable due to interpersonal skills or other factors. However, there are always plenty of other areas in which to volunteer support for these organisations – like fundraising or office work. In fact, the alternative of fundraising was offered to Nixon, but Nixon refused and instead commenced legal proceedings against VRR.

At some point during this, VRR formalised a policy that deemed it inappropriate for transsexuals to counsel female-born service-users because of transsexuals’ lack of life experience of being brought up as a female, as well as any reminder of ‘maleness’ can upset female service-users, particularly late transitioners that do not pass very well as women. I am unsure if their policy still includes transsexuals as service-users; possibly.

The ten-year legal battle through the various courts financially endangered VRR, putting into jeapody the services for vulnerable women, domestic violence victims and rape victims. In short, it was an extremely selfish act by Nixon to continue to drag this out through the courts – another reason, personality-wise, that Nixon would have been unsuitable in the role of counsellor to victims.

VRR were successful in defending their case, that Nixon had been treated fairly, and that the subsequent no-transsexuals to counsel females policy was not a violation of transsexual human rights. A just decision by the courts. The needs of the service-users are paramount in all women’s support services, the victims come first. Female victims are entitled to their human rights too.

Those who work in rape/DV support areas know that boundaries, and respect for boundaries, are very important.

Transactivists have no respect for boundaries, this is clear in their targeting of even moderately trans-friendly organisations. The fact that transactivists and their supporters would rather shut down a women’s support organisation if the organisation has set a boundary, is anti-woman, anti-feminist. Trans-supporting feminists working in the sector should really think about their alliances, and how transactivists have no problem shutting down women’s services.

This is the same lack of boundary issue with transactivists protesting and threatening the forthcoming Radfem2012 conference. There are many survivors of prostitution, rape and male violence, at various stages, attending or speaking at the conference, and their needs and safety come first for us.

15 thoughts on “Transactivists – protesting what now?

  1. If it were so important to transactivists to protect the supposedly hard put upon trans population, they would set up their own network of shelters and relief actions. That’s why women had to do it in the first place. Then they could be as inclusive as they wanted. Women had no money to start this and we did it anyway.
    But that’s clearly not the goal here.
    The only such network I know of results from the takeover of a battered women’s shelter and lesbian support network. Now they are running their ads to attract attention of people in the “poly queer BDSM communities” with cutesy little sidelines that say “SM is not abuse!” I won’t say publicly who they are here, though.


    • Yes, BDSM and porn seem to come with the ‘trans package’ don’t they? As well as pro-prostitution (because many TWs do before/after GRS).

      I have seen some pro-trans feminists say things like “I am a radfem ally” or “my feminism leans towards radical feminism” – meaning that they are anti-porn, anti-prostitution – yet they align themselves with the pro-pornstitution trans movement. Way to undermine your own political stance!


  2. Thanks for logging this entire debacle so that we can point people in this direction should anyone ever attempt to say, ever again, that transwomen have got anything to do with feminism.


  3. Way to go Lib fems – keep supporting the men and their trans allies because all you will achieve is the total elimination of women’s rights. Except of course we Radical Feminists will not be silenced.

    Women’s Rights??? Nah we don’t have any according to the trans activists and their female handmaidens – we just exist to be men’s disposable sexual service stations. Neither must we forget biologically born females have no right of exercising boundary restrictions to men of whatever ‘gender’ they claim to be. Yes indeed women are nothing but ‘sex’ according to the trans activists and their female handmaidens.

    Total erasure of biological women’s and girls’ lived experiences of male sexual violence committed against them because – wait for it – biological women’s and girls’ experiences are all ‘fantasy’ and hence not relevant given the real issue is maintenance of Male Domination over all biological women. But it is ‘party time’ for the MRAS; the trans women-haters; because they are the supposed ‘real victims’ of something which is impossible to define – but it certainly exists.

    The Emperor has no clothes immediately comes to my mind but of course those lib fems continue to delude themselves ‘that the male Emperor is wearing clothes!’


    • The Emperor’s New Clothes is exactly what this reminds me of.
      On twitter the other night a woman told me that she was shocked that I was using the hashtag #delusionalmales, and she then expressed her disgust of me to the transwomen. I answered her with: “They’re MEN who THINK they’re WOMEN” to which she replied, “If thinking they’re a woman makes them become one then that’s good for me”


      • It’s sad for the libfems that they don’t know what they are on the most fundamental level.Libfems are just a very sad type of victims of patriarchy.

        If being a woman is just a role or predicate to you that anyone can take you must have some serious issues with your body to start with. It is impossible you are “grounded” in your body AND think men can be women.

        I smell an unhealthy detachment to the body in many females – which must also be the case with these libfems.
        Many probably have eating disorders.
        I also have the impression they don’t do math as well because math requires spatial intelligence which just can’t really flourish if you’re not fully grounded inside your body, fully sensing your spatial body moving in the spatial world.
        You have these vulva-drawing books and workshops people tend to make fun of but I suspect 0% of libfems can accurately draw their own vulva (or a random one) or themselves (many female artists draw themselves as stick-figures without hips/breasts I’ve noticed, like they lack some sort of basic acceptance).


      • “It is impossible you are “grounded” in your body AND think men can be women”

        This is such a good point, and it’s something that my thoughts have been touching on (although I couldn’t articulate it as well as you). I feel human, first and foremost, but I also feel female.
        That’s true about women shying away from their vulva (internalizing patriarchal disgust most likely), and in Beauty and MIsogyny, Jeffreys writes about the fact that most women have no idea what other womens’ vulva’s look like, so they don’t realise theirs is normal. All they have to go on is the photoshopped (or operated on) women in porn.


  4. It’s even more sadder when the LibFems and their transactivist use science as a weapon to silence women. The kind of science they use has been debunked and disproven time and time again. Which is why when Trans try to use the intersex angle to silence the opposition it just pisses off intersex people like myself.


  5. “It is impossible you are “grounded” in your body AND think men can be women.”

    I think you’re on to something there Elin… It’s the personal part of “the personal is political” and yet sorta smacks of character assassination, but not really. More like… What kind of psychological damage is required for a feminist with an average IQ to misunderstand how the principles of basic feminism would be applied to herself?

    Consider. They hang out on libfem blogs and express a great deal of outrage whenever some conservative or evolutionary psych nut makes the claim that females are inherently inferior due to our biology. So they frequently display an awareness that it is stereotypes associated with bio sex which is the basis for any discrimination they experience in their lives. They are clearly vehemently opposed to any attempt to stereotype women.

    And yet they’re perfectly okay with men who stereotype themselves as women merely because those men feel more comfortable with traditional female stereotypes.

    That cognitive dissonance which libfems exhibit CONSTANTLY has never made any sense to me — but that’s because my own starting assumption was that they were relatively mentally healthy. But as soon as I change my starting assumption to “they are damaged in some mysterious way”, well all of a sudden their inability to recognize their own inconsistent position, make sense. Unfortunately.

    The only reasonable conclusion is that they are damaged. Is there any other possible explanation which could explain their dichotic position? I’m asking just to be fair, but really the answer is no. Sadly.

    Sorry for the novel but this is interesting and now I speculate… Elin used the word “grounded” as if at some level libfems don’t even feel connected to their own body. Perhaps they feel like they don’t even own their female bits or have any rights to their genitalia — as libfems they are the public property of liberal men and designed for public consumption by liberal men, after all… (For some mysterious reason they draw the line at conservatives; conservatives aren’t allowed access…) Anyway. If they don’t own their female bits then it would make sense to them that other people don’t own their own genitalia either and could switch it out at random. And if they believe that it’s possible for folks to not own their own genitalia, then it would also be possible for folks to not own their own gender. I think that’s it… With that (terrible) “logic” then their position is internally consistent.

    According to that, anybody can have any genitalia and any gender in any combination, and at the same time it is the female gender which is discriminated against. That also explains their ludicrous insistence that a woman who refers to herself as a dood magically gains “male privilege which must be checked at the door”. It explains all sorts of things, really… Most excellent point Elin!!


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