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Helen Steel's statement about being assaulted on Saturday

(93 Posts)
christinarossetti Thu 02-Nov-17 20:05:26

Wanted to start a new thread about this because it's so important.

Helen's statement is on her Facebook page. Search Helen Steel.

What happened on Saturday was horrific. Sharing her statement and messages of support much appreciated.

pigsknickers Thu 02-Nov-17 20:17:27

I just skimmed through it on fb (breastfeeding a wriggly baby) and am now dancing with joy inside to discover that one of my heroes, Kate Evans is gender critical smile (sorry missing the point slightly I know)

IndominusRex Thu 02-Nov-17 20:21:59

Can you share a link?

pigsknickers Thu 02-Nov-17 20:26:05

If you're on fb just search her name, she's the top result. Can't do links on dodgy phone sorry

OlennasWimple Thu 02-Nov-17 20:27:31

Here's a link to the FB page that says "Here is a statement", but I can't find the actual statement IYSWIM

Bucketsandspoons Thu 02-Nov-17 20:39:06

Brilliant statement from Helen. flowers

SerfNTerf Thu 02-Nov-17 20:48:07

Here's the images of her statement smile

Anlaf Thu 02-Nov-17 20:51:24

It's now on a site

pisacake Thu 02-Nov-17 21:02:14

That's a fucking awful way to post a statement.

I was in the process of writing a longer article around the events at the Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday, but I am also trying to stay on top of the rest of my life while dealing with the horrendous bullying of people around me which is underway by some trans activists and allies. I have been traumatised by my experiences on Saturday and by events since, resulting in a lack of sleep and inability to concentrate. I wanted to complete the longer article, but as lies are being circulated by those who attacked me, I feel I have to put out a shorter statement now.

When I refer to trans activists in this statement I mean people who are activists on trans issues, I do not mean that all of them were trans, nor that they represent the views of all trans identifying people.
For those who don't know what TERF means, it is an acronym for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist, but whatever its origins it is currently used as a term of abuse to dehumanise women and so excuse violence and bullying against them.

I thank everyone who is taking a stand against bullying and I urge more people to stand in solidarity too. Those trans activists and allies who are carrying out the bullying can be defeated by growing numbers of people resisting that bullying. This will facilitate a proper space for the concerns of women and trans identifying people to be discussed.

Short statement on the facts:

• The Tories are planning to amend the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) to include Gender Identity as a protected characteristic in law. This does affect women and as such, women have a right to express their views on this issue.
• I am aware of three leaflets which were distributed at the Bookfair. I did not actually write or distribute any of them, but I supported other women's rights to distribute them. The first leaflet I heard complaints about is available here:
• None of them call for violence against trans identifying people, obviously I would not have supported them if they had.
• Refusing to validate other people's belief systems is not the same as threatening to harm them.
• Bullying people to force them to accept your views does harm people.
• If you think that other people should not be allowed to question your ideology, it makes you an authoritarian NOT an anarchist.
• Women are oppressed in our society on the basis of our sex, those who deny this perpetuate that sexism.
• It is a basic concept of progressive politics that oppressed groups have the right to organisation and autonomy in their fight against their oppression.
• l intervened to stop the bullying of two women who were distributing leaflets about the GRA at the Bookfair and who were surrounded and being threatened by trans activists. Women's voices have been silenced throughout history, which is why so many people have internalised misogyny and the assumption that women's concerns are unimportant.
• Half an hour later, I was surrounded for over an hour by a baying mob of around 30 trans activists who shouted misogynistic abuse in my face and at others, and who would not leave me alone. This included: ugly Terf, fucking Terf scum, bitch, fascist and more. That kind of behaviour should have no place in anarchism or any other progressive politics
• Despite that provocation, I did not at any time threaten or assault anyone. No trans activists were threatened by anyone else in my sight or hearing.
• While I was surrounded. I saw a man's hand moving towards my face and when it was within inches of my face I blocked it and pushed his am away. He then started shouting that I had assaulted him and I should be thrown out.
• Some of those in the baying mob tried to stoke anger and division by calling me a snitch, making false claims that I had filmed them assaulting a feminist at Speakers Comer and had handed that footage to the police. Footage of the incident is available and actually shows me intervening to protect the victim of the assault, not filming it. The videos embedded in this article show what actually happened, please do watch them and see the truth for yourself:
• Their claim of 'snitch' in the circumstances is obscene in any event - when you assault women you do not get to claim the moral high ground by complaining that they have reported your behaviour to the police.
• Those in the mob asserted that the leaflets setting out women's concerns about the GRA should not be handed out because they amount to violence against trans people. They then used this to justify actual physical violence and intimidation. They didn't care about the distress caused to others in close proximity, including children. Nor did they care about the trauma they cause to women by surrounding us, threatening us and using violence to silence women's voices, repeating the patterns women face throughout our lives when reporting sexual harassment or assault or other sexist behaviour.
• Women's experiences are always erased - we are asked what were we wearing at the time, what did we say and do. Always the message is; as a woman it's your fault, shut up. So what's new here?
• It is absolutely ludicrous that anyone could think that the behaviour of the mob was justified in any way by my actions or those of other women. That is victim blaming. People need to take a reality check.
• Progressive people need to call out sexism. male dominance and violence and stop protecting sexist behaviour. Those offering support to bullies need to stop appeasing sexist behaviour.
• Nonsense claims equating feminism to fascism are an insult both to feminists and to those who have endured racist and state violence under fascist regimes.

Of course I believe that all trans identifying people have the right to live their lives free from harassment and abuse, as does everyone. But I note the double standards that while women are repeatedly told to explicitly affirm that right, there is never a requirement on those advocating for trans issues to acknowledge the level of violence and harassment that women face or to state their opposition to sexist abuse, or to challenge the outrageous statements made by some trans advocates which repeatedly deny women's experiences and silence women's voices. This is a power imbalance based on the long held expectation in society that women should be subservient.
It is notable that a statement issued a few days ago calling for groups to boycott the Bookfair in future, makes no mention of sexism or of women's rights or for the provision of women only meeting spaces. There is no acknowledgement at all that women are subject to oppression, sexual violence and harassment on the basis of our sex. It appears that those who have signed the statement are in denial about women's experiences in much the same way that the rest of society is. Only the recent and snowballing reports of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, Parliament and via #MeToo have started to awaken people to reality. It is time those who signed up acknowledged that reality too.

The Anarchist Bookfair organisers do a huge amount of work to facilitate an amazing event which allows thousands of discuss ways to improve society for the benefit of all. The self entitled mob attacking women for leafleting thought they had the right to dictate who could say what in that space rather than arguing their views and listening to the counter arguments to develop critical thinking. They need to think again.

I am lucky to have so many friends and comrades who put themselves in the line of fire to protect me, I thank them for this, especially those who were assaulted and abused. I also thank everyone who has sent messages of solidarity and support which are enabling me to get through this horrendous experience. I include in my thanks those trans identifying people and supporters who may not agree with my views but who recognise the importance of women being able to speak too and are resisting the intimidation they face from people claiming to act in their name.

I want to add that a couple of people have commented that while they agree with women being able speak n these issues, they feel that in a few places the wording used is not helpful. The problem with requiring leaflets to be perfectly worded before they can be distributed is that it excludes very many people from being able to express their opinions. Only the confident will feel able to speak. It particularly excludes those born female who are generally socialised from a young age to keep quiet about their views and so are less confident about expressing them. Perfection is certainly not a qualification used to prevent men from speaking. And ultimately, who decides what is right? That is the purpose of having debate, so we can all clarify our thinking.

Helen Steel

christinarossetti Thu 02-Nov-17 21:20:11

Thanks for your editorial comments, pisacake.

I see other posters just got on with searching.

pisacake Thu 02-Nov-17 21:28:36

I think we cross-posted. It took a while to run the OCR and clean up the output.

wrappedupinmyselflikeaspool Thu 02-Nov-17 21:34:29

What a fantastic statement that has made my day. Off to see if I can share it on Facebook. So glad I wasn't at the book fair this year because I usually take the kids and it sounds like this was pretty frightening. How could they scream at her for an hour? So much sympathy and solidarity with her and all the women involved in this.

QOFE Thu 02-Nov-17 21:36:51

"How could they scream at her for an hour?"

I can well believe a bunch of pumped up woman hating young males could and would do this. I'm not even that surprised that nobody stopped them. Looks like nobody wanted to be tainted by association angry

christinarossetti Thu 02-Nov-17 21:42:51

The statement mentions 'friends and comrades who put themselves in the line of fire'. She was protected from being assaulted.

PencilsInSpace Thu 02-Nov-17 22:49:56

That's a brilliant statement.

Helen Steel has been a heroine of mine since she taught me not to give my dinner money to bullies in my early teens (McLibel) She's gone from strength to strength since then and if I'd known she was at speaker's corner I'd have shaken her hand. She's one of those people who seems to get a fuckton of stuff changed for the better while somehow remaining in the background herself, despite the high profile of some of the cases she's brought.

From everything I've read, her treatment at the anarchist book fair is absolutely shocking. How fucking dare they surround her like that as a mob and intimidate her for over an hour when she did nothing wrong? How dare they pretend that's a lesser violence than handing out flyers about women's rights?

The mob who did this appear to have no proper understanding of male violence against women, how it operates or what it means in practice. If they did they would understand that it is they who are perpetuating it.

hipsterfun Fri 03-Nov-17 00:55:26

Because Facebook can fuck right off, I’ll have to leave a message of love and solidarity here for Helen and hope she’s reading.

ChattyLion Fri 03-Nov-17 07:54:01

What a brilliant statement. flowers

Natsku Fri 03-Nov-17 10:05:48

Excellent statement.

Natsku Fri 03-Nov-17 10:06:18

Its actually got me raising my head above the parapet on facebook now (which is scary)

GuardianLions Fri 03-Nov-17 11:56:15

What a fantastic statement from Helen Steel - such clarity even though she must be terrified.

HornyTortoise Fri 03-Nov-17 13:07:54

The treatment she has received over this is disgraceful tbh, but not shocking. I am so glad prominent figures are starting to speak out over this issue now.

Anyone else seen the ridiculous versions of the bookfair story that are going around twitter? I saw a version which had 'terfs' literally throwing disabled people out of toilets and shouting at children ffs.

HornyTortoise Fri 03-Nov-17 13:09:25

The activists seem to have agreed on a false version to give out too. As they all reckon they saw the same thing, but in different words. Like the attempt to make out Maria attacked the 3 men. Less and less people are taking them at their words now though it seems. About time, as they are amazing at spin and lies. Seems to be the only thing they actually are good at, besides intimidating women.

Natsku Fri 03-Nov-17 14:15:44

Have you got a link to those versions horny?

HornyTortoise Fri 03-Nov-17 14:29:08

I don't as they were pretty much just random posts on twitter, though one was definitely typed up in statement form. Will have a look later on.

A lot of the false versions blaming 'terfs' for all manner of ills have been posted on here though

And the thread in general should show the lengths some are willing to go to to pretend that it was all the 'evil terfs' fault, rather than as usual, TAs

Natsku Fri 03-Nov-17 15:52:58

Bloody hell, they are really trying to justify the violence in that thread.

HornyTortoise Fri 03-Nov-17 16:23:28

Yes. I believe a lot of the 'transphobic' comments have been deleted since I read it, which seems to mean that all reasonable posters have had their posts removed. It was deemed to be transphobic, for example, to say trans women and cis women. So even use of the word forced onto 'us' was transphobic as it differentiated between trans women and women. The whole thread was pretty bonkers to start with, I haven't read back over it since admin removed comments, I imagine its even worse now. But yes, the lengths gone to to defend the violence and intimidation were really something.

I believe I even saw one person say that violence against 'terfs' is entirely justified and is infact self defense (as nasty words are actually worse than violence) and that anyone who attacks a 'terf' is in the right.

HornyTortoise Fri 03-Nov-17 16:25:54

A lot of 'terfs disagree with trans peoples right to exist' too. Its an odd point that one, as its never said yet argued against constantly. I also don't get the 'just want to pee in peace, terfs want to stop us from peeing!!!111' thing. Noone is saying you cannot pee. Just that you should pee with the rest of the male population. As the male person that you are.

christinarossetti Fri 03-Nov-17 20:38:35

I don't get that either. I don't know anyone who objects to a trans person 'right to exist' as, erm, a trans person. I have no doubt that there are people who are truly transphobic ie believe that trans people are worthy of abuse and oppression and shouldn't have access to specialist services etc, but they're not the ones actually thinking about these issues.

Xenophile Fri 03-Nov-17 22:56:46

I've come across a fair bit of actual transphobia. I've yet to hear any from anyone I'd consider a feminist.

Trans people are not denied healthcare, murdered, prostituted or harmed in any other way by feminists. It's men that do that, and I'll give you a fiver if any of those men do it because they have a radical feminist understanding of gender.

christinarossetti Fri 03-Nov-17 23:05:27

Or indeed a TA understanding of gender or that they are women.

I do wish that TAs would focus their anger at the people who actually are harming and oppressing them, rather than women.

Ereshkigal Fri 03-Nov-17 23:11:44

One of the Libcom idiot men about Helen Steele:

"It is also clear that she doesn't have any issue with one of her TERF colleagues calling the police on the trans-activists, as she considers violence against women and issue which is immune from such reporting being "snitching" (for clarification, I'm not saying I do consider it has such. For example if survivors of domestic or sexual violence want to contact police I completely support their right to do so. But I don't think that calling the police on someone who confronted a bigot at an anarchist book fair is acceptable)."

christinarossetti Sat 04-Nov-17 07:25:11

The lengths that people are going to to desperately frame this as something other than male violence towards a woman are extraordinary and simultaneously utterly ordinary.

Bucketsandspoons Sat 04-Nov-17 08:21:07

So women shouldn't call the police when abused by TRAs but should just take the abuse? Where have I heard that before? Oh yes, DA perpetrators.

Plus I never understand why those shouting terf don't take into account that women saying they are unhappy about men entering women's spaces absolutely support the trans men who use those spaces and always have - so it's not trans exclusionary, it's purely about their right to say no to biological men which is under attack.

Datun Sun 05-Nov-17 03:12:53

The man responsible for the violence at speakers corner, and subsequent violence at the anarchist book fair has finally been arrested.

SophoclesTheFox Sun 05-Nov-17 07:27:19

It really says something about your politics and your character if you think shouting abuse at Helen Steel, one of the most stalwart champions of free speech of our times, is a good way of getting your message across. If your cause was righteous, people like Helen would defend it. Did the even know who the fuck they were shouting at about being oppressed by words? Did none of them ever hear of McLibel?

If you need a space to do your anarchy where you're protected from words and other people having ideas you disagree with, I really, really think you're doing it wrong.

SophoclesTheFox Sun 05-Nov-17 07:31:00

Oh my goodness, just saw your post re the arrest, Datun. I didn't realise it was the same person! He is unhinged. Good news that he's been arrested.

Ereshkigal Sun 05-Nov-17 08:53:18

From "Rob Ray" on Libcom about terfisaslur:

It's pretty much entirely just a gallery of screenshots of hotheads being angry-shouty on Twitter. Which I'd agree is unpleasant, but is also something that happens all the bloody time because people of all political stripes can't seem to help but act like mouthy tossers on Twitter. It'd not be too hard to find similar levels of bile directed at trans people.

Really? What an idiot. Radical feminists do not threaten to rape people to death. Many of the comments are very sexual in nature. Ignorant men like this don't see the misogyny.

Datun Sun 05-Nov-17 09:17:11


They have absolutely no idea who Helen Steel is. She is a woman with a different view, that’s enough.


Well exactly. The inequality between feminists/women and transactivists becomes patently obvious to anyone who has the slightest clue about either.

And this is always makes me feel astounded. If you are just talking about two sets of people with different views arguing, it wouldn’t be so bad. But you’re talking about allowing these mouthy, violent men to campaign for access to the women they despise.

Ereshkigal Sun 05-Nov-17 09:20:30

If you need a space to do your anarchy where you're protected from words and other people having ideas you disagree with, I really, really think you're doing it wrong.


AssignedPerfectAtBirth Sun 05-Nov-17 09:30:16

Apparently released without charge according to a tweet

HornyTortoise Sun 05-Nov-17 10:53:52

Not surprised he is released without charge. the police didn't seem too keen to catch him in the first place. probably cried 'transphobia' the second they got him to the station. Horrible little runt.

Yes, that libcom lot are just ridiculous tbh. They will defend anything at all that TAs do, by the looks of it. When one murders a woman, it will be the womans fault somehow. Sounds familiar...

Datun Sun 05-Nov-17 12:28:12


Any chance you could link to the tweet?

AssignedPerfectAtBirth Sun 05-Nov-17 12:42:50


This person calls herself a '4th Wave Feminist' while defending attacks on Maria at Speakers' corner. Also accusing 'TERFs' of calling the police to their boycott of the Ripper Museum yesterday*, where Tara was lifted. She was part of the protest to so presumably a friend of Tara's.

*(Because of course the owners of the museum would never think to call the police now would they?)

Datun Sun 05-Nov-17 12:50:38

“released pending further enquiries” apparently.

That idiot is spinning it.

AssignedPerfectAtBirth Sun 05-Nov-17 12:57:02

Probably the same little dweep who said that she was glad they attacked Maria. Her mother must be so proud

HornyTortoise Sun 05-Nov-17 13:24:53

Whats this Ripper Museum thing about?

Surprised if theres been yet another event/venue hijacked that theres not a thread about it

pisacake Sun 05-Nov-17 13:35:44

From what I can see there was a violent protest against the Ripper Museum organised by some of the young anarchist types, which annoyed lots of local businesses who called the police. Entirely incidental to this the man who attacked Maria MacLachlan was spotted there and the police were informed that this was a wanted person and he was arrested.

This was somehow twisted into 'TERFs shutdown a peaceful protest against the Ripper Museum'.

The protest seems to involve the '4th wave feminist' people These are the group who wear masks and say that if you don't accept men as women then that's verbal violence and you deserve to be attacked for it.

There have been quite a few protests at this place, these are the violent types who set fire to businesses for selling cereal and what not, and the police have been out in force before

But obviously it's all the fault of TERFs. Everything. Ever.

BlackForestCake Sun 05-Nov-17 13:37:35

There’s apparently a Jack the Ripper “museum” in London which you could view as something that glorifies violence against women.

HornyTortoise Sun 05-Nov-17 13:46:51

Wow those '4th wave feminists' seem to be quite scary overall. Definitely not what I would call 'feminists' anyway, especially if they are encouraging violence against women simply for having opinions.

pisacake Sun 05-Nov-17 14:00:15

apparently people were discussing 'sex work' and 'transgender issues' too much, so they banned the discussion so they could get on with more important topics

Now they say "New Cross Learning is holding a terf "debate" of the Gender Recognition Act on Weds 13th September. There's no "every opinion is valid" and no "silencing terfs is as bad as silencing trans people". Bore off with that nonsense and make lives difficult for terfs and people who give terfs a platform."

So their plan to avoid divisive discussion and unite feminists is to, er, silence feminists, and cheer on men beating up women.

AssignedPerfectAtBirth Sun 05-Nov-17 14:09:38

By the look of the photos it was 4 men, a few questionables and a scabby dug. When the police turned up, they blamed it on TERFs and an undercover cop who was working in a nearby pub. Cos they are organised and police are watching them

Delusional fuckwittery at its finest

pisacake Sun 05-Nov-17 14:19:38

it was literally the barman who happened to be a special constable as well. they are warning everybody not to go into the 'scab pub'.

OlennasWimple Sun 05-Nov-17 16:30:34

I'm confused - why were TRAs protesting outside the Ripper museum?

Datun Sun 05-Nov-17 16:32:23

Yeah, I’ve had a look at the links, and I must admit, I’m still a bit bewildered.

pisacake Sun 05-Nov-17 16:39:21

I think it's like this:

The Ripper protesters are violent people who like smashing things up, which they did for instance, to a café selling cereal in 2015 (same group).

TRAs also like violence, so the overlap between between TRAs and café-smashing anarchists is around 100%.

Datun Sun 05-Nov-17 16:42:06

They object to a cafe selling expensive cereal? Because it’s indicative of the gentrification of areas and prices going up?

And they’re trans inclusive? Quite heavily?

And some of these are women? Calling themselves 4th wave feminists?

Sorry for all the Questionmarks

PencilsInSpace Sun 05-Nov-17 16:57:31

I'm confused. Are 4th wave definitely linked to Class War?

There have been quite a few protests by various groups at the ripper museum since it was first proposed.The developers told the planning department it would be a museum of women's history. AFAIK there have been protests by both class war women's death brigade and by 4th wave but they're not the same org.

hipsterfun Sun 05-Nov-17 17:03:52

Class War Women’s Death Brigade. Blimey.

pisacake Sun 05-Nov-17 17:09:29

Apparently there is such a thing as tranarchism

"As tranarchists, we believe that the patriarchal heteronormative cisnormative state-capitalist establishment is directly responsible for the oppression of transgender individuals and therefore must be destroyed. The revolutionary tranarchist platform seeks to build a fabulous society (the trans world order) in which our comrades may be glamorous and beautiful without compromise!"

Also anarchafeminism

The argument appears to be that as an anarchist you are opposed to all sorts of authority, including inconvenient things like biology.

So the people smashing up cafés are anarchists and are sympathetic to trans because trans are also smashing up boundaries.

The 4th wave women and Class War appear to have links, there's not much distance between.

PencilsInSpace Sun 05-Nov-17 17:14:55

Ah thanks, pisa.

Datun Sun 05-Nov-17 17:17:49

Good Lord.

I’ve seen a lot of insane things around this issue, but that takes the biscuit.

What is the profile of the people involved? I imagine they are high up in the privilege stakes.

OlennasWimple Sun 05-Nov-17 17:30:05

What about people who don't want to be (conventionally) glamorous and beautiful? Is that going to be allowed in the New World?

pisacake Sun 05-Nov-17 17:34:32

They started this worthy petition, but they insisted on distracting people from signing it by making it about trans

"All comments after this one criticising our decision to use gender neutral language will be deleted.

It is important to us that we are intersectional and love all of our feminists. You are safe here."

Bucketsandspoons Sun 05-Nov-17 17:35:34

Quite. One wonders what happens to 'cis' people, particularly women, in this idyll. Since this 'anarchism' is actually extreme authoritarianism and fascism in its control of what may or may not be said or where people may set their boundaries, it's incoherent in the extreme.

Which reinforces yet again this is about some extremely troubled people with far too much time on their hands who have lost all contact with reality.

Bucketsandspoons Sun 05-Nov-17 17:36:46

'love all of our feminists' so long as they do what they're told at all times.

hipsterfun Sun 05-Nov-17 17:37:03

I don’t really do ‘glamour’ in the sense I imagine they mean. Perhaps I’ll be sent for re-education grin

LineysRun Sun 05-Nov-17 17:40:07

Helen Steel has been a heroine of mine since she taught me not to give my dinner money to bullies in my early teens (McLibel)


AssignedPerfectAtBirth Sun 05-Nov-17 17:50:08

"in which our comrades may be glamorous and beautiful without compromise!"

Fuck the fuck off with this bullshit and even more fuck off to the abuse enabling women who support these fuckwits.

LineysRun Sun 05-Nov-17 17:57:16

Which reinforces yet again this is about some extremely troubled people with far too much time on their hands who have lost all contact with reality.

Looks like it.

Xenophile Sun 05-Nov-17 18:36:11

They know exactly who Helen is, her wall is a sea of men telling her that her previous activism won't save her if she's a TERF.

Anarchy has only ever centred violent men. And enormously privileged ones at that.

Fourth Wave is behind the times, the original protest over the Ripper museum was ages ago, as was the period justice protest. They are coattailing.

ArcheryAnnie Sun 05-Nov-17 18:40:04

Nothing a woman has achieved will save her from being attacked by men as a TERF, if those men wish to attack.

(See also: Linda Bellos, for crying out loud. Linda Bellos!)

SophoclesTheFox Sun 05-Nov-17 18:48:55

I can't help it, whenever I think about anarchists, this is who I see...

SophoclesTheFox Sun 05-Nov-17 18:49:25

Rik would definitely hate TERFs. Facists!

PencilsInSpace Sun 05-Nov-17 20:24:25

The anarchists I knew back in the day were all limp, flakey, vegan pacifists. None of them gave the impression of having enough energy to commit violence, let alone the inclination.

But yes, a lot of the current crop of young SJW remind me of Rick grin

hipsterfun Sun 05-Nov-17 21:29:12

The anarchists I knew back in the day were all limp, flakey, vegan pacifists.

With a twist of Situationism, if you were lucky.

Now, you try and tell the young people of today that, and they won’t believe you.

Bucketsandspoons Sun 05-Nov-17 22:08:28

What I keep trying to get my head around is the shouting of terfs being fascist.

How exactly are they fascist? How are they defining that word? How is not fascist to lay down an orthodoxy from which you may not deviate, and rape and death threats may be casually involved if you talk about it wrong?

Is this massive projection and yet another thing that reminds me so much of the behaviour and personality disorders of perpetrators of DA, or is it that 'fascist' these days is about the worst political label or dogwhistle to scream along with overtones of 'Nazi'?

Ereshkigal Mon 06-Nov-17 09:07:45

Yes have had that image too Sophocles grin

Ereshkigal Mon 06-Nov-17 09:09:57

How is not fascist to lay down an orthodoxy from which you may not deviate, and rape and death threats may be casually involved if you talk about it wrong?

Most of them aren't really bright enough to grasp this IME. They don't question, they just parrot ideology.

christinarossetti Mon 06-Nov-17 09:59:06

This is one of the (many) problems with identity politics, in general. The individuals spouting this stuff don't even have a basic understanding of what left/right wing mean, the power relationships within capitalism, what patriarchy is, what facism, liberalism, Marxism, feminist etc etc actually mean.

Moreover, they don't seem to have grasped that The Equality Act didn't appear from nowhere in 2010; it's part of a progressive wave of legislation, building on/replacing the DDA, Equal Pay Act etc etc.

Hence, that discussions about moving from 'sex' and 'gender assignment' being protected characteristics to 'gender identify' necessitate a discussion about who will be affected, in what ways, by whom.

It's demonstrative of the absolute narcissism of their position that they don't grasp that women are trying to talk about how this legislation will affect them. It's not that feminists particularly want to talk about trans issues when discussing the legislation, it's just that there is no choice when considering the possible impact on women.

They have no sense of the perspective of women at all, or even that there could possibly be other points of view. Any attempt to suggest that feels like an attack on a fragile, unstable, nonsensical ideological position, which is why they get so angry.

Other points of view, or even saying 'let's think about this a bit', threaten to annihilate their narcissistic ideologies, and they internally experience it as some sort of 'fascism'.

CartoonistaKate Mon 06-Nov-17 11:45:39

Hiya, I just wanna say that Helen has my love and respect and support, but I am critically examining both trans activist philosophy and gender critical theory. I don't want to be put in one camp or the other, and I would like to be part of something that heals this rift between the two branches of feminism so we can get on with fighting the patriarchy.

Datun Mon 06-Nov-17 11:47:11


That’s fantastic. Have you come up with anything?

Because the rights of the two groups seem to clash unequivocally.

CartoonistaKate Mon 06-Nov-17 11:47:14

also, I wasn't at the Anarchist Bookfair 'incident' but my friend who was said that the crowd going after Helen appeared to be predominantly young cis women, not transwomen and not men.

CartoonistaKate Mon 06-Nov-17 11:53:49

I think it would be useful to get a series of position statements together and see how much people on either 'side' agree or disagree with them. There isn't much general understanding of what the gender critical arguments are - trying to break people out of all gender conditioning rather than jumping across from the pink box to the blue box, or whatever. But at the same time, the gender critical argument is mixed up with other threads of rejection of trans people, in a wider way, so I'm not surprised that transphiles are hostile to their ideas. How realistic is it for gender critical feminists to expect transwomen to challenge the patriarchy by appropriating masculine spaces for themselves, given how violent and abusive cis men can be? And as a basic starting point, it would be good for all feminists to agree to refer to people by their chosen pronouns. That's common courtesy.

CartoonistaKate Mon 06-Nov-17 11:55:19

And I'm only commenting here because the second poster said I was one of their heroes and I'm gender critical, so I just wanted to say, I'm actually gender critical critical and trans theory critical, and am probably going to piss off both sides in the process but at least I will have tried. It's Kate Evans. Good luck with the breastfeeding the wriggly baby.

Datun Mon 06-Nov-17 11:58:23


The main sticking point is the denial of biology. And why that is detrimental to women, since they are oppressed on the basis of it.

SecretHandshake Mon 06-Nov-17 12:53:12

I don't think changing the language is common curtesy. I think staying out of women's changing rooms when you have a penis is common curtesy.

christinarossetti Mon 06-Nov-17 13:03:58

The disagreements about language are part of the problem which is why it's so difficult to talk about these issues.

I agree about using preferred pronouns. Yep, fine, no problem with 'common courtesy'. I would like to retain the word that I have had to talk about my sexed body experiences throughout my life - and indeed throughout history and the rest of the world - which is, of course, woman. With no prefixes.

And already that's not okay for the TAs. More than not okay, that's hate speech/fascism/genocide and whatever other garbage they come up with to avoid actually talking sensible about things.

This is going well, Kate!

AssignedPerfectAtBirth Mon 06-Nov-17 13:08:02

The problem I have with the 'common courtesy' argument is that the most demanding TRA do not possess any courtesy and further have ZERO concern for women's safety and concerns and they no-platform, silence, abuse and threaten us when we try to speak of these.

The terms inch, and mile come to mind, so I'm not going to extend courtesy just to be steamrollered over. When they start coming up with solutions other than STFU then I might reconsider. Sorry.

Datun Mon 06-Nov-17 13:45:45

The terms inch, and mile come to mind, so I'm not going to extend courtesy just to be steamrollered over. When they start coming up with solutions other than STFU then I might reconsider. Sorry.

Yes, let’s get rid of all the rape threats, doxxing and punching of women first. I mean it’s only courteous, if you want to negotiate, to stop punching the person you’re trying to talk to.

DonkeySkin Mon 06-Nov-17 14:05:19

CartoonistaKate, since you mentioned you were interested in exploring gender critical thought, here is an article that summarises the main problems feminists have with gender identity ideology:

IMO trans ideology is fundamentally incompatible with feminism, although there are compromises that could be worked out in law and policy regarding protections for trans-identified people and women's rights.

Miranda Yardley (gender-critical transsexual) has written a very interesting blog piece on this:

Yardley concludes that there can be no reconciliation between trans ideology and women's rights until transgender activists abandon their anti-materialist and anti-reality approach to sex and sex-based oppression:

I’m going to be bold here and present this as a solution, mainly as I’ve written, talked and argued about how to fix transgender ideology incessantly for years. We need to recognise that:

human beings are sexually dimorphic mammals;
‘transwomen’ are biologically male (if we aren’t, then what do we transition from/to?);
human beings are subjected to sex-based socialisation which begins at birth (what does this say about transwomen who cannot accept this?);
the lives of transwomen are different to the lives of women (by this I mean women born women, again what does this say about transwomen who cannot accept this?); and
rape and death threats directed at lesbians and other feminists are wholly unacceptable.

Agerbilatemycardigan Mon 06-Nov-17 15:59:59

The thugs that perpetrated the violence and intimidation against Helen and other women just for having an opinion that they don't agree with, are no better than the misogynists that were involved with Fathers4Justice. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they are now jumping on the trans bandwagon just to have an excuse to abuse women. It doesn't bode well for either women, or genuine members of the trans community. I despair.

BatShite Mon 06-Nov-17 16:38:14

How realistic is it for gender critical feminists to expect transwomen to challenge the patriarchy by appropriating masculine spaces for themselves, given how violent and abusive cis men can be?

And how realistic is it for transactivists to expect females to open up their doors to male people in well fought for female only areas, given how violent and abusive males can be?

See, this is the problem. There is no middle ground. The rights conflict with each other directly.

The sad thing is, that before all of this, transwomen have been using female areas for years with no issues that I know of. Its this 'new breed' of 'transgender' thats causing the problems..obvious males, males without sex dysphoria, those who cry 'my penis is female, worship it lesbian' and so on, these are the ones that we are pushing back against on the main. Laws to allow basically any male into female areas are just, as my UN would suggest, batshit. Both transsexual people AND females (and even males, if they can be arsed) should be pushing back against this. Given the reason transsexual women use female areas to start with is male violence..what good does it do anyone to open up the doors for all males? Which is what activists are fighting for?

Betty184 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:29:44

Another account from one of the other women who was attacked:

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