Blogs about Radfem 2012

UPDATED 1st June with an official blog, Roz Kaveney at the Guardian and Lashings of Ginger Beer blog.

If you know of anything I’m missing, please add in the comments.

I am concerned that Radfem 2012 is excluding women based on their gender identity. It’s 2012! Are we still doing this…?!

If you’re interested in the voices and perspectives of trans* people and allies on exclusionary door policies, look no further – here’s a collection of more eloquent bloggers than I, writing about the event. Beneath, are more general blogs on the topic of feminist transphobia and excluding trans* women from women’s spaces.

This article contains

  1. articles about Radfem 2012
  2. statements of solidarity from feminist groups
  3. News coverage
  4. General articles on radical feminism and trans* issues which might be of interest/use

Lashings of Ginger Beer blog: Radfem 2012 – Uniting Feminists Against Transphobia

New to the story? This is a roundup of what’s been going on with the resistance so far, summing up the articles, the links, what’s been done and how you can help.

Twitter: #radfem2012

Endearingly trans-positive. Feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Independent: Radfem 2012 Excluding on the basis of gender

Deceptively simple article makes some key arguments on why exclusion is anti-feminist.

The F Word:

There’s Nothing Radical about Transphobia

Takes on the idea that trans women have male privilege by discussing the problems faced by trans women that are bad in their own right.

Women Born Women?

‘women born women’ is an ideological construct of second-wave feminism, founded on pre-existing patriarchal definitions…I will admit that I find it impossible to square those features with any feminism to which I could safely subscribe.

The concept of Women Born Women: socialisation, biological essentialism, the difference between sex and gender, feminist history.

Legalities of excluding Trans Women from Women Only Spaces

It’s actually legal in certain, not-defined contexts. So can Rad Fem 2012 claim this defence? Also interesting – but rape trigger warningy – discussion in the comments.


Conway Hall: against discrimination (unless it’s transphobia)

Very useful example linked to of a Conway Hall event cancelled due to discrimination against women.

Follow up: Conway Hall respond on Transphobia

What it says on the tin.

Writings of a Trans Activist: My message to those who would attend Radfem 2012

Thought provoking, personal, powerful message underlining the problem of two incompatable belief systems. Written by one of the smartest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.

Guardian – Comment is Free: Radical Feminists are acting like a cult

Focusing on the wider problems of Radical Feminism – including its fixed orthodoxy and the writings of Sheila Jeffreys.

100 Miles from the Sea: 3 Reasons why Excluding Trans-Women is anti-Feminist

Exactly what it says on the tin. Good reasons they are too. Talks systematic oppression.

Trans Meditations: Rad Fem 2012 or Trans Hate 2012?

Discusses the way “rad fem” has become synonymous for trans-hating, and claims the movement has not developed since the 70s and has instead been usurped by new feminisms.

Tractor Girl: is Radfem 2012 transphobic?

Links to both pro- and anti-trans feminists debating this issue; discusses the biological arguments used against trans women as similar to those fought against by radfems in other contexts.

Biological Oddity: Radfem 2012

Personal reflection on life as a trans man; answers to some common anti-trans sentiments; radfeminism aligned with patriarchy when trans people are oppressed.

Rebecca’s Dystopia: Transphobic feminism – who can and can’t come in.

Talks about the subtlety of hate speech in the UK, and links trans oppression to wider door policy problems.

Transmedic: On Radfem Explicit Exclusion of Trans Women

Criticises the idea that there is a “shared female experience” among “women born women”, and describes her trans-ness as a characteristic such as hair-colour, not the entirety of her identity.

(Also, loving the Shakespearenerd suggestion that women born by c-section are, like Macduff in Macbeth, not actually Woman Born and must therefore be excluded…)

Lesbilicious: The responses to RadFem2012 show our queer and feminist communities to be standing strong against transphobia

Round up of articles etc supporting Resist Rad Fem

Gender Identitiy: Women at Radfem 2012

How can I as someone living as a woman and being the recipient of all those prejudices and acts of sexism or bigotry common to all women not be a Feminist? What I may or may not have had between my legs at birth is not known to my oppressor.

Who does she think she is?: Feminism, transphobia and parenting

Personal piece, written as a parent who does more research on transphobic feminism and reflects on how it (possibly) impacts her family

Another Angry Woman: Sheila Jeffreys, Radfem 2012 and the Imaginary Trans Conspiracy

For cis feminists, there are three major reasons to fight transphobia coming from those who are supposedly on our side. The first is a moral one: we should be against misogyny and hatred in all forms. Second, we must fight gender essentialism. And third, we must stand up for bodily autonomy.

Briefly focuses on the arguments of Jeffreys herself, then on why transphobia is incompatable with feminism as per the quote.

Those Pesky Dames: No feminism with transphobia [VIDEO]

are trans women to be excluded because they look too male or because they look too female?…I call bullshit!

The video is a wider rebuttal of feminist transphobia, but this argument in particular stood out.

Those Pesky Dames: Trans* inclusive feminism [VIDEO]

Ideological criticism of Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist views.

Statements of Solidarity

UCL Student Union: Statement

Note – this was passed yesterday, unable to find a link yet.

Royal Holloway Feminist Soc: Statement on Radfem 2012

“We suggest that the organisers of the conference rethink their policy, because by excluding trans* women, they will be missing out on the participation of many passionate, dedicated feminists, both trans* and cis, who refuse to be associated with such a transphobic policy and believe that all women should stand together for liberation.”

Brighton Feminist Collective: Why we Cannot Support Radfem 2012

“…under no circumstances can we support any event which has transphobia at its core. We will not support an event which fights for equality by promoting inequality, nor will we accept this strange formation of a hierarchy of women, particularly one where a person’s status is based on the external.”

NUS Women’s Campaign: Statement on Radfem 2012

“Sexism and transphobia thrive on the same outdated and misogynistic models of binary gender roles that can be used to oppress all women.”

Nerdlet: Radfem 2012 Actively Perpetuating Cissexism

“I’m not so sure what’s so radical and feminist about excluding trans women and perpetuating cissexism.”

Against Sexual Harrassment: twitter statement

Radfem2012 invited us to have a stall at their event. However, given that they are banning trans women, we are boycotting it.

Oxford University Student’s Union Women’s Campaign: statement on Radfem 2012

RadFem 2012 does not merely wish to maintain a cisgendered women-only space, it is denying that trans* women are women. WomCam finds that RadFem 2012’s participation policy eventuates the policing of women’s bodies and buys into fundamentally misogynist notions of gender essentialism; that gender is fixed and that women are limited to their biological capacity.

News Coverage

Fyne Times: Radfem 2012 Excludes Trans Women

Related Reading

These blogs are not about the event, but are helpful.

Cisgingertransgender: Transphobic Values are Patriarchal Values

Likely inspired by the controversy surrounding RF2012, this very recent post describes transphobia as damaging to feminism – transphobia is a product of the patriarchy.

Pam’s House Blend: An Example of Controlling Antitrans sentiments

Outlines some arguments by radical anti-trans feminist Shelia Jeffreys. Discusses Roz Kaveney’s 6 Axioms of transgender activism, which I’d not come across before and are really helpful. Talks about the problems of protesting while not unduly squshing free speech.

Womanist Musings: Andrea Dworkin on Transgender

It’s not what you think.

5 thoughts on “Blogs about Radfem 2012

  1. Li Sian Goh says:

    Hiya – Oxford University Student Union’s Women’s Campaign (OUSU WomCam) have released a statement on this:

  2. [...] time this one goes up there will be even more – if you still want to read more, I recommend Unquiet’s RadFem2012 links round-up, which is currently updating [...]

  3. Becca says:

    Hi, I don’t know if a video counts but we had a couple up on Those Pesky Dames last week in response to RadFem2012:

  4. [...] down the radfem argument for excluding trans women from women-only spaces. Many more posts are listed here, and support continues to [...]

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