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Guilty Feminist: minefields

(82 Posts)
LondonPainter Tue 12-Sep-17 11:29:53

I usually listen to the Guilty Feminist podcast and enjoy it as they have an interesting diversity of guests. However, this week's episode...

The trans woman on the panel was talking about pussy hats with the argument about their being offensive due to not all women having vaginas. There was some attempt by others to argue the case for the hats but it sounded very much like someone who'd grown up with male privilege telling the women how they were doing feminism wrong, with no attempt to compromise or understand their reasons.

Later there was a discussion on gender-neutral toilets and it would have been good, for balance, to have a voice on the panel speaking for those women who quite like to have their own toilets.

Did anyone else listen?

AssignedPerfectAtBirth Tue 12-Sep-17 11:40:47

Haven't listened to that episode but the GFs are very pro-trans ideology. Put me off them as they are otherwise funny and interesting

Twelvety Tue 12-Sep-17 12:36:08

You beat me to it OP! I was going to post something, but it would have been very rambly. Yes Deborah kept coming back to the bit about why shouldn't women wear something which they have (and which was directly related to Trump and the reason for marching) which I was pleased about, but I don't think Reubs was really listening.

And when they discussed about FGM and whether it should be called something different so as to not exclude trans women (hmm) Leyla did say, but it is because they are a woman/because of their biology that FGM happens, so yes it should be called that. And again they were like 'yes, ok' and then kind of ignored it in the next sentence.

I haven't listened to the full episode yet though, only about half.

Datun Tue 12-Sep-17 12:53:36

I saw the guilty feminists some time ago, and whilst I thought they were very funny, they just stopped short of getting it, as far as I'm concerned.

The trans ideology is the line in the sand for me.

Cherrypi Tue 12-Sep-17 12:56:04

I though this was a great episode. It really addressed the elephants in the room about trans activism. I'm glad they were finally discussing it. Deborah talking about editing out mentions of female biology and how it was troubling her. Though somehow that was all Germaine Greer's fault somehow according to Reubs. I found it a really interesting listen.

cordeliaflynne Tue 12-Sep-17 13:40:20

I generally really enjoy their podcast but I am uncomfortable with their wholehearted embracing of the trans party line. The last two or three minutes of episode 60, Male Privilege make interesting listening. The trans woman guest interrupts the co host mid saying something and we never get to hear what it is. A practical demonstration of male privilege in action.

Cherrypi Tue 12-Sep-17 13:44:11

Yes that episode irritated me too. She was silencing them.

SophoclesTheFox Tue 12-Sep-17 16:06:07

I couldn't listen to the male privilege episode all the way through, it was too irritating. I normally really enjoy the podcast, and just have to close my ears when they go all My Feminism Will Be For Everyone. I listen to it for the female voices, so I've no interest in it being representative of trans identifying males, and find the male voices a) off putting, and b) not very funny.

I haven't listened to the minefields episode yet - I am not sure I can give head space to a feminist podcast airing the idea that women should be told by a born male not to wear pussy hats because it results in hurt feelings from people who don't have vaginas for presidents to brag about grabbing? Come ON Deborah! Think about it!

The facebook group they used to have exploded over this issue. They put on a show and made much of the fact that they were offering support at the venue for people with anxiety or other mental health problems - very worthy and thoughtful. But they had also made the loos gender neutral, and when questioned on what that would mean for people whose anxiety was worsened by being made to share loos with males, Sofi Hagen suggested they'd be better off staying at home because bigots weren't was a car crash.

Cherrypi Tue 12-Sep-17 17:24:28

Deborah did challenge that point and said Trump wouldn't be interested in grabbing a penis identifying as a pussy.

IrritatedUser1960 Tue 12-Sep-17 17:32:28

Sorry did you say pussy hat? Who would wear a pussy hat?

Twelvety Tue 12-Sep-17 17:38:53

Irritated it was just for the women's march I think.

Datun Tue 12-Sep-17 18:02:42


They were hats that women were buying online to wear to the women's March. They're actually just bright pink woollen hats with what looked like little ears. They were subsequently dubbed pussy hats.

One woman had a placard saying this pussy grabs back. So then the consensus was they actually referred to one's genitalia.

The connection being Trump's locker room boasting of how he grabs women by the 'pussy'.

Many transwomen found it exclusionary, because they don't have them (pussies, not hats). They felt it was transphobic, cissexist and bigoted.

PricklyBall Tue 12-Sep-17 18:42:22

They weren't "subsequently dubbed", Datun, they were intended to be a reference to female genitalia all along, to remind people of Trump's infamous "grab them by the pussy" remark.

Datun Tue 12-Sep-17 21:48:22


I have seen a different context. The person who first knitted the hats, made them pink, because 'girls' and wasn't expecting the pussy reference. It's probably lost in the mists of time, when exactly they came to signify a 'pussy'. But it happened fairly swiftly. So who knows?

But I completely agree that almost off the mark, they came to represent genitalia.

Fishinthesink Tue 12-Sep-17 21:49:31

I think they tried. There was a pretty impassioned speech by dfw about biology. I thought Leyla Hussein kept her cool in a way I couldn't have- how privileged do you have to be to complain FGM is exclusionary?! FFS.

I do like the podcast- but also have to lalala sometimes. There aren't many spaces for female voices like it. And it's usually funny.

CoCoCoconut Tue 12-Sep-17 21:55:07

They were always a reference to "grab 'em by the pussy," that's the reason why they had cats' ears. A play on cat / pussy.

MulhuddartDrive Tue 12-Sep-17 21:59:41

I've stopped listening, unfortunately as I enjoyed it early on. I find it references and includes men (not just MTT) too much.

As an aside, where did Sofie go?

SophoclesTheFox Tue 12-Sep-17 22:04:36

She left to pursue other projects I believe.

She did always strike me as being a bit vulnerable and unsure of herself- put a bit too much of that out there maybe? I'm much more comfortable with DFW's more robust approach- she really cracks me up. whereas with Sofi's humour, I always wondered "should I be laughing at this? she sounds like she's hurting"...

Discotits Tue 12-Sep-17 22:04:42

Sofia went off to do her comedy tour.

I've always found it very odd that they have never really discussed how trans activism impacts on women's rights.

LondonPainter Tue 12-Sep-17 22:23:22

Oh yes twelvety I forgot to mention the FGM, which Reubs thinks should be renamed Misogynistic GM confused

As pp have said, Deborah really did try to reason but there was no willingness to take points on board at all from Reubs, in contrast to the other 4 women on the panel.

And sorry if this is an old chestnut, but Reubs identifies as non-binary trans. Is that not an oxymoron? How can you trans from one gender to the other if you don't believe there is a gender binary?

user1496321962 Tue 12-Sep-17 22:45:52

Haha I agree

Datun Wed 13-Sep-17 00:09:00


Yes, you're right. I've googled it again. It was meant to have ears, and the knitters wanted to see a sea of pink. But there was a definite reference to reclaiming the word pussy.

Auldspinster Wed 13-Sep-17 07:52:37

I was listening to it yesterday and thinking about posting about how full of shit Reubs was.

biscuitbadger Wed 13-Sep-17 08:12:03

I'm half way through listening to the episode, and finding it exhausting! Really interesting though.

I agree that Reubs didn't seem to be listening and taking points on very much, but there was at least an attempt to discuss and hear different perspectives in general, in a non-confrontational way, which is more than we usually see elsewhere.

I thought DFW sounded quite upset when she talked about having to edit mentions of her own body parts. I was glad she brought that up. Maybe the fact that a liberal, inclusive feminist has raised some concerns and questions, maybe this will mean that other similar minded women listening to the podcast will connect with that and question things too?

I like the starting point of inclusion/acceptance. I generally like to take this approach, and I am happy to with trans women too in principle. It would be easier if it wasn't for these points about adjusting language so much that 'cis' women's experiences and bodies become invisible or invalid.

justanothernameagain Wed 13-Sep-17 08:12:19

Sofia (whose comedy I love) is younger and an intersectional feminist I think.

The Guilty Feminist facebook community used to be somewhere people could talk about feminism, not just the podcast. It was the first place I'd ever come across intersectional feminists en masse.

It was a very hostile place. This particular bunch seemed incapable of actually having a debate. It was all about people with trenchant views calling other people out for saying things the wrong way or telling people who were perceived to be more privileged to STFU in not so many words.

The fighting got out of hand and it looked like Sofie tried really, really try to make it a place where feminists could come and talk without the fighting. She was exasperated at all the fighting. She seemed to spend a lot of time recruiting and setting up new moderators. Then they had some kind of disagreement I think.

They had to admit defeat and pull the plug on the it in the end. Within days of the new moderators starting, the whole thing got shut down. Deborah came in and turned off commenting and turned it back into a simply a promotional place for the podcast.

It was a real eye opener, I'd never seen how intersectional "debates" happened before. Not much debating of actual subjects, lots of calling each other out and people getting upset.

I felt bad for Sofie as it was obvious she really wanted it to work but she'd inadvertently released a monster!

No idea if this is typical but I can't see how the movement will sustain itself if it is.

I wonder if it pushed Sofie any closer to peak trans. A couple of years back she used to insist on gender neutral toilets at her venues so she certsinly used to be on board with the trans agenda.

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