I must be a lot more unplugged than I thought.
As a Trans person, it’s important to strike a balance between having your finger on the pulse of adversity and progress, but also keep a safe distance from the toxicity the can wear you down and ultimately pull you under the current.
Especially in the current climate, where emotions are running at an all time high and common sense has exited the building, which is on fire and crumbling around us like a scene from a Hollywood disaster movie. Minorities, specifically those who have found themselves on the receiving end of an onslaught of political abuse and social terrorism, have to self preserve. Sometimes that means turning off social media, which can inundate a casual user with hateful rhetoric, wordy news articles spreading misinformation, and people they care about, friends, family, casting away their fear of retribution or accountability and putting their prejudices proudly on parade. It can be shocking, deeply disturbing and overall very, very sad.
Knowing when to shut the world off can be a blessing. There is nothing wrong with putting down your sword and retreating to the safe harbor of netflix and pizza, at least that’s what I tell myself. Things are spiraling into some dystopian parallel universe, where upside down is right-side up. Trying to make sense of the chaos and understand the insanity can make you insane.
A lot of people have gone crazy. We don’t call it crazy anymore, though. We call it religious freedom, or alt-right viewpoints or alternative facts. It’s all radicalism.
While on the phone with a friend in the UK, she told me about a woman on the news who created the “Radfem” movement. I had not heard the term Radfem before, but it’s not exactly science to determine that it implies a Radical Feminist. They’re basically TERFS- Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists, but reject being referred to as TERFS, claiming it is a slur.
“They’re a hundred times worse than TERFS…” My friend told me. After a few days of research, I discovered she was right.
Radfems are indeed much worse than the traditional TERF. As where TERFS are typically casual with their prejudices, I’ve found they lack self-awareness. They try to logicize their bigotry and sell it to their audience packaged as a “Sophisticated Arguments” and “Clever Rebuttals.” They resist being called a bigot, it offends them. Instead they ask others to sympathize with them for being portrayed as villainous. They are villainous, make no mistake, but they lack the capacity to comprehend why we make that deduction. Therefore, they presume the role of a victim under assault by an army of “Men in Dresses.”
Radfems are a different beast in that they embrace their radicalized sensibilities with pride. They covet their bigotry and wear it like a badge of honor. They aren’t interested in posing as innocent victims of a make-believe Trans agenda, but desire to be viewed as vigilant guardians of femininity, sexuality and womanhood. They aggressively attack, unprovoked, nonsensically hellbent on creating a narrative that paints them as a hero trying to slay a mythical beast. Radfems are completely consumed by their hatred and any awareness of a shared reality is entirely absent- They exist in an imaginarium where only others like themselves exist. They feed off each others rage. They have handed over their freedom of thought and developed a hive mind, informing each others opinions- and their very souls have gone septic, sending them into a state of madness not altogether unlike a rabid dog. They can no longer differentiate between right and wrong, helpful or harmful, kindness or cruelty. They have gone primitive, they only know outrage. They fling their arms about, bellowing inflammatory slurs and when shut out by the public, they complain they have been oppressed for being women.
Despite their vocal intensity, they’re actually a cowardly collective. Their movement lies mostly on social media where they create ridiculous smear campaigns against Transgender women, whom they believe are trying to coerce into their space with the intent of penetrating them by force. Radfems, I’ve noticed, mostly identify as lesbians, and have presumed entitlement over the whole of lesbianism, for example, how lesbians behave, who can be one, and what makes you a good lesbian. If you’ve ever had relationships with men, you’re going to be viewed as traitorous to the RadFem collective. There is one way to be a Radfem, and any departure from that makes you their enemy.
As far as I can tell, the RadFem movement sprouted up like stinkweed, first in the UK, from one woman’s dissatisfaction with the Labour Party deciding to include Transgender rights as part of their manifsto in defending The Gender Recognition Act of 2004. Recently, the GRA has had broad changes proposed, allowing Transwomen to self-identify, rather than navigate years of obstacles and red tape.
Spearheading the RadFem movement is Venice Allan, a 43-year-old from South London, who was suspended from the Labour Party after an investigation revealed she had been heavily engaged in creating and posting anti-trans photos. Doubling down on her hate-parade, Allan publicly condemned Lily Madigan, the first transgender woman to be elected as a women’s officer in the Labour Party. Then, just last week, Allan also found herself banned from twitter for promoting hatred and inciting violence toward Transgender women. She still has her facebook page.
Transgender women have become more visible in the UK, even assuming positions of power. This alone can likely be credited with Allan’s gory birth of RadFem as an opposition.
Quick to join Allan in the formation of the RadFem movement was Lily Maynard (A pseudonym, she informs us via her website.) Lily is Mother to a 15 year old girl, Jessie, who came out to her as Transgender in 2015. Maynard, who describers herself as a one-time “bisexual, polyamorous, gender-fluid, rainbow-sparkle unicorn (who) lived that way for many years,” was so distraught by her daughter’s confession that she was Transgender, she intervened and claims that, together, they worked their way through it and are now committed to revealing the truth regarding the “Transgender War on Women.”
Maynard wrote and article called “A Mum’s Voyage Through Transtopia: Love and Resistance.”
It’s essentially a confession on how she mentally tortured her Trans daughter, Jessie, brainwashing her into conforming to her birth gender and rejecting Transgender ideation. Jessie, herself, contributes to the article in the postscript, and it is heartbreaking.
“Although at the time I didn’t appreciate it, the constant repetition of “you can’t be a boy” did me good. A lot of good. I had been spending too much time on the internet and I had got it into my head that somehow, biological girls could really be boys, if they “identified” as such (& vice versa).
As someone who’s always had a mostly realistic grip on the world, for some reason I had been pulled into a world where boys could become girls and girls could become boys. I felt that because I said I was a boy, I was a boy” — Jessie Maynard
Drawing a parallel; If TERFS are the Focus On The Family of hyperfeminists, the RadFems are the Westboro Baptist Church. They make great spectacles with the intention of generating attention from the public and recruiting other women into their ranks. It is a warped, cult-like organization that is equally dangerous to the public as it is to the mental state of those who enthusiastically self-declare as RadFems. They have no time for science, facts, and reject the idea of sexual or gender fluidity across the spectrum. They hate Trans women and this wholly defines their identity. It is their only purpose; To serve RadFem justice by spreading propaganda and promoting the erasure of Trans people. To be clear, they state in their manifesto that they do accept Transmen into their legion. Because they Bleed.
No one told the RadFems that not all women menstruate. Many women deal with infertility as well, and have never been pregnant. That doesn’t disqualify them as women. But, I digress.
Allan began organizing efforts to recruit other women into her collective, including Linda Bellos and Shiela Jefferys and eventually decided to take her band of angry Fem-Lesbians on tour, which she called “We Need To Talk: UK and Ireland Tour.”
Most do not welcome the RadFems with open arms. As soon as they publicized their intent to tour Ireland, dozens of National organizations and hundreds of individuals alike composed an open letter to Allan and her folly, saying, “We neither want nor need your lecture tour. You’re not welcome here.” Many others have followed suit in cancelling RadFem’s “Transgender War On Women” rallies and appearances, including Millwall in Southeast London.
During an event for International Women’s Day, Allan appeared before MPs Heidi Alexander and Ellie Reeves, as well as Steve Bullock, mayor of Lewisham to ask “Why can’t I speak?” But… that’s all she did, uninterrupted.
The ire of RadFems is as extreme as it gets, save rounding up Trans women like dogs and shooting them. This is the kind of rhetoric they post:
It is untrue that 91% of Trans women are autogynephiliacs. So you don’t have to google, Autogynephiliac is defined as a sex-fueled mental illness. This is the kind of material that RadFems distribute in order to shape opinions regarding Transgender women, implying they are “Extremely jealous” and want to “Wear our skin.”
In my foray into their cesspool of hatred and repugnant lies, I found some of their posts humorous, ironically.
Sadly, there is nothing feminist about blind hatred. It’s clear these RadFem lesbians fear Transgender women. They believe that Trans women threaten their sexuality, or represent some form of competition for them within the lesbian community. They have sexualized the state of being Transgender to the point of obsessively associating the acts of rape and physical assault with being Trans. They become defensive over their lesbianism when broaching the subject of Transgender women, which is ironic, because as far as I had researched, many of these RadFems routinely present outside gender norms- even as the opposite gender- often with such masculinity and dominance, I had to wonder how many steps away these women are from being labeled Transgender themselves.
Historically, we know that the most anti-gay individuals exhibit, albeit discreetly, gay interests. Most staunch anti-gay Republicans have been caught in compromising circumstances with other men, including male sex workers and underage boys.
One thing is evident, there is no valid motivation for these extremists. Transgender women cost them nothing and their existence does them no harm. They lose nothing by coexisting peacefully alongside people whose plights they do not know, understand or have any interest in. As with so many instances of social terrorism, there is no winner, there is no genuine purpose except to demonize innocent people who do not meet their standard of acceptability. Odd coming from lesbians who, when it comes to many others, don’t meet that standard either.
Interested in learning more? Here’s their facebook page.