Guest post: This is about shutting up women who want to talk about women’s issues

Originally a comment by iknklast on They never accused.

You’re right, I have the right not to invite you to my party, and do it on the flimsiest of reasons. But you also have the right to complain about that, loudly, to all your friends, and anyone who will listen (and even to those who won’t, because they have a right to walk off while you’re talking). This isn’t about birthday parties, or even events. This is about an attitude that is becoming increasingly pervasive, where women are not only not being invited to events, they are being smeared as transphobic or TERF, and at times being disinvited to speak, or being invited to speak by one group who is then targeted or who is not permitted to bring in the person they would like at their party. This is more like if I do invite you to my party, and the next door neighbor comes around and says because they heard some vague hearsay, they’re not going to let you come to my party (or maybe landlord would be a better analogy, since there is a power relationship there).

In short, this is about shutting up women who want to talk about women’s issues. This is a longstanding, pervasive problem that goes back through recorded history (and probably further). This is about finding a lever where progressive, feminist women are willing to shut down conversation about women, keeping us still down in a place where we are unable to talk about the things that concern women. A woman who questions the essentialness of gender is a pariah in many of these circles.

Of course, many of these women have other fora in which they can speak, and they are published widely. It isn’t that their voices are totally silenced. It’s that there is a progressing trend to shut down the entire concept of women and women’s issues, and persuade people to view those women who promote “the wrong kind” of feminism (or who someone vaguely perceives as promoting “the wrong kind” of feminism) as being evil, racist, transphobic monsters. And yes, I use the word monster advisedly. That seems to me to be the ultimate goal, given the language and the heated rhetoric surrounding these women.

This is more about people trying to claim these women are like Rush Limbaugh than it is about any situation that has shut down Rush Limbaugh.

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