Not all that peaceful

One of the London Bi Pandas wrote a blog post about last night’s heroic women-bullying escapade:

Yesterday, we held a peaceful rally protesting and picketing an event held by Labour Women’s Declaration.

It wasn’t peaceful, but leaving that aside – they held a rally to protest and picket women having a meeting. They did that, and they find it so normal that they announce it as if it were going to the shop for some Heinz tinned beans. I guess we’re not supposed to meet and talk at all.

The event’s purpose was to force the Labour Party into enforcing “sex-based rights” and “challenge extremist gender ideology and say that sex matters”. The event hosted speakers from the Anti-Trans hate groups LGB Alliance, A Woman’s Place UK and more.

Shock-horror! Lesbians and Gays, and Women!

The protest was a much needed moment of trans+ solidarity in a landscape of rising violence against trans+ and non binary people with the London Bi Pandas, B With the T, L With the T, G With T, the Muslim LGBT Network, Transmissions, Queer AF Brighton and all the LGBTQIA+ folks and allies who joined us for the evening to challenge the violent and harmful rhetoric that continues to exclude trans+ women from women’s spaces and movements.

Emphasis mine. It’s not violent harmful rhetoric, it’s reasoned analysis and discussion. Women are allowed to “exclude” men from women’s spaces and movements, because women, as an oppressed class, need spaces and movements to organize away from their oppressor class. Trans women are men, so women have the right not to include them in everything. Many trans women are quite shockingly hostile to women, which just gives us all the more reason to decline to include them in everything.

As we said, there is no feminism without trans+ women and men, and there is no liberation without trans+ and non binary people.

Not their call. Men don’t get to say what there is no feminism without. Men especially don’t get to say there is no feminism without them. How does it sound to say there is no black liberation without white people? Not too good, does it. Very rude, very domineering, very intrusive. It’s the same when trans women scream at us and threaten us to force us to include them. The more they scream the less we want them anywhere near us.

For those not there, we’d like to tell you that there was a police presence there last night, and we were not arrested despite being around police officers observing and policing that space. This is because we were not violent, and did not commit any illegal activity. We peacefully protested and picketed the gathering of several anti-trans groups who are continuing to strip us of our rights, access and opportunities while misgendering, invalidating and othering us. 

Hmm. Wait a second. Didn’t he just accuse us of violent rhetoric? Yes, he did; see the bolded passage above.

Also I don’t really think I would call this “peacefully protesting and picketing” when it’s so shouty and angry.

The shouting and anger aren’t literally violent, to be sure, but given that what they are shouting angrily at is not a meeting of corporate bosses determined to bulldoze a national monument or a tribal burial site, not a meeting of military planners who want to invade a tiny weak country to seize its oil – given that the meeting is of women discussing their rights, the angry shouting does hint at violence. Women – all women – are unpleasantly familiar with angry shouting, and aware that it doesn’t always stop with the noise. I’m not calling the shouting violent, but I am saying it’s not exactly peaceful either. The word, I suppose, is “threatening.” Loud threatening shouting doesn’t really get the label “peaceful.”

We’d like to reiterate that conflating conflict as violence does no one good. Yes, it was an event filled with conflict because we were literally there picketing it. But to state that we were violent, braying, and a mob is incorrect. 

See above. The author conflated conflict and violence himself, and they were indeed braying. That’s the nature of a demo, but they were men braying at women, so…

Ultimately, this narrative continues to make it clear: Trans+ people are not allowed to be angry about the treatment, violence, harm, trauma they face in a cisnormative society. We are only allowed to be angry in ways that are deemed palatable to women’s sensibility politics. That any anger about our treatment is deemed as aggression, and that aggression is used to invalidate our viewpoint, our gender, and our purpose. 

This is theft of a core insight of feminism: that what is seen as forthright and brave in men is redescribed as improper aggression in women. This is men defending their aggression against women in feminist terms as if they were themselves women. This is one of many reasons we refuse to “include” them in our feminism.

And once we were done making our voices heard, just before 9:00pm we stood in silence at the end of the event, with our fists raised in Trans+ solidarity.

In other words they screamed all through the event in order to disrupt it and make it difficult for the women there, and didn’t stop until it was over.

19 Responses to “Not all that peaceful”