The all-too familiar chants

Julie on the misogyny of trans activists:

To the annual FiLiA conference in Portsmouth. A 1,000-strong gathering of women of all ages and viewpoints, united by a desire and commitment to ending male violence, oppression and domination of women and girls.

Everyone there is interested in dipping their toes in the water of the women’s liberation movement. A big focus is the campaign to end rape, domestic abuse, commercial sexual exploitation, and femicide, the killing of women and girls by men because they are women and girls.

As I approach the Guildhall where the conference is taking place I hear the now only-too familiar chants by trans activists: “Trans women are women!”, “No TERFS on Pompey”. One sign reads: “Imagine calling yourself a feminist while trying to dismantle the rights of a marginalised group of women and girls.”

But of course that sign is talking about men and boys, ones who say they identify as women and girls. However marginalized they are, they are not a group of women and girls. Only women and girls are women and girls; men and boys are not women and girls. Feminism is for women. It’s not for men. Also, we (feminists) are not trying to dismantle any rights of men and boys who call themselves women and girls. There’s no such thing as a “right” for men to force women to agree that men are women.

During my session on the themes in my book on feminism, trans activists positioned themselves directly outside the windows, and attempted to drown out my words with “Blow jobs are real jobs” (they also object to any critique of the sex trade).

At the end of today’s conference, there will be a vigil to honour the many victims of femicide. The plan was to be outside, in the weak autumn sunshine, reading out the names of the women who died at the hands of men and to call for an end to deadly male violence. The fact that we will have to do this on a pavement defaced with such misogynistic graffiti is as heart-breaking as it is infuriating.

The pavement was covered with a feminist colors flag.

That doesn’t make the misogynist graffiti one bit less disgusting or infuriating or heartbreaking.

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