The movement championed the right to enjoy sex and was supposed to free women from guilt or being shamed. But now many are questioning whether it has left them more vulnerable.
But if sex-positive feminism champions women pursuing their own desires without feeling judged, it also demands that they refrain from judging the way other people have sex – at least between consenting adults. Now, some are questioning who this free-for-all really serves and how consent is defined, in a society where women are still heavily conditioned to please men.
In her book Block, Delete, Move On, published this month, Lala writes of her gratitude to those who fought for women’s right to enjoy sex – however and whenever they want – and her refusal to be judged on the number of people she has slept with. But, while the endless supply of potential hook-ups provided by dating apps has been great for women who just want casual sex, she argues, it has downsides for those seeking long-term relationships. “Since sex has become easier to get,” she writes, “love has become harder to find.” Through her Instagram account and the dating column she writes for OK! magazine, she hears regularly from women tolerating activities they don’t enjoy in bed for fear of being rejected for someone more willing – an age-old story, except that those sexual norms are now set by pornography.
A third of British women under 40 have experienced unwanted slapping, spitting, choking or gagging in bed, according to research carried out for the pressure group We Can’t Consent to This, which campaigns to limit the so-called “rough sex” defence for murder (used by men who killed their partners to argue that the women died accidentally, in consensual sex games). It is one of a string of recent grassroots campaigns led by young women against tech-enabled forms of sexual aggression, from the unsolicited sending of “dick pics” to sharing intimate photos online.
Anna Kerr looks at why male interests will continue to dictate the human rights agenda, including specifically in relation to women and children, despite men’s overwhelming track record as the perpetrators of violent and sexual crime.
More than three hundred years after the Witchcraft Act was quashed, a member’s bill in the Scottish parliament has secured the support of the Scottish National Party to clear the names of those accused of witchcraft.
Campaigners for the justice of those accused and convicted under the Witchcraft Act 1563-1736, including the Witches of Scotland group are set to receive official apologies for the people who were tried as witches – two-thirds of whom were executed and burned between 1563 and 1736.
A total estimated number of 3,837 people – 84 percent of whom were women – were sentenced to their violent deaths after being accused of witchcraft, such as cursing the king’s ships, shape-shifting into animals and birds, or dancing with the devil.
Official Post from Despatches From The Matriarchy
French and Belgian women’s rights demonstrators are once again sounding alarm bells over the violence they are facing from trans activists while trying to campaign on women’s issues.
On November 28, a small group of about 12 female activists took part in a march against violence against women in Brussels, holding signs protesting the sex trade, including pornography. But the women’s efforts were quickly drowned out by a sea of trans activists, who they say surrounded them and pushed them into a corner.
The women report they were “beaten, insulted, intimidated” and had their signs stolen and torn up by a gang of over 50 trans activists who swarmed them despite their signs having nothing to do with them.
In footage a participant uploaded on Twitter, masked and hooded trans activists can be heard chanting “cassez vous,” (fuck off) at the women.
Similar events transpired at a violence-against-women demonstration in Barcelona on November 25.
These are not the only two occasions of women demonstrating against the sex trade being targets of trans activist anger. Earlier this year, women who gathered in Paris were pelted with eggs and assaulted with red spray paint in their eyes.
Later, the statue where the incident had taken place was spray painted with words translating to “save a trans person, kill a TERF.”
In Barcelona, during a March 3 Women’s Day demonstration, according to Women Are Human, a group of trans activists could “be seen suddenly kicking away and stomping on the women’s signs.” Then, the trans activists turned “their destruction into dance moves and set it to the beat of music and a rhythmically clapping crowd.”
Later on, an effigy of a woman was hanged on a tree in the same area.
The 56-year-old spoke out after three exposed her home address by posting online a photo of them protesting outside.
She added: “They should have reflected on the fact that I’ve now received so many death threats I could paper the house with them, and I haven’t stopped speaking out.
“Perhaps – and I’m just throwing this out there – the best way to prove your movement isn’t a threat to women, is to stop stalking, harassing and threatening us.”
Lawford-Smith, a New Zealand-born woman in her late 30s, is an associate professor of political philosophy at the University of Melbourne. In late February she launched a website, www.noconflicttheysaid.org, that invited women to contribute anonymous stories “about the impacts on women of men using women-only spaces”.
When Hannah McCann, a lecturer in gender studies at the same university, heard about the website, she was outraged. Two days later, McCann tweeted out an open letter to the university leadership accusing a staff member of creating a website that “vilified” trans people by denying the legitimacy of trans women and promoting the stereotype of trans people as predatory.
More than 2700 people signed the letter, including about 170 academics and 17 professors.
Students and staff staged a rally of more than 100 people and marched with placards to the office of the Dean of Arts, demanding action against one academic who, like many of them, identifies as a feminist and on the Left.
The letter caused divisions within the National Tertiary Education Union.
Big internet companies are increasingly defining gender-critical feminism as hate speech. In 2019, Lawford-Smith was reported for hate speech for tweeting that trans women who were biologically male should not have access to women-only spaces. Twitter banned her and she lost all her professional contacts and platform. Her protests to Twitter produced only automated responses.
“I’m in the peculiar position of being an associate professor at a great university, who cannot have a Twitter account to promote her own research, because it’s deemed hateful,” she says. “It’s terrifying that an American company is controlling the speech of the whole world.”
Lawford-Smith’s claim seemed to be borne out by a recent episode of the ABC program, You Can’t Ask That, on lesbians. A trans woman cheerfully tells the camera: “Trans women are women… I can be a lesbian and suck some dick. It just has to be attached to a good-looking lady.” On the same show gender-critical feminists, many of whom are lesbian, were casually trashed as TERFs, without a representative of that viewpoint being heard.
CA — . Gender critical feminism may soon be construed as hate speech in Canada under the Canadian Criminal Code.
Gender critical feminism is a branch of feminism that maintains that one’s objective, biological sex is immutable and should take priority over one’s subjective, self-identified gender. All other principles of gender critical feminism rely on these main principles of biology over ideology. Gender critical feminists are, first and foremost, feminists, and as such we prioritize the rights, safety and dignity of women and children.
Collectively, bills C-10 and C-36 will have devastating effects on both freedom of expression and women’s rights in Canada. They will effectively censor and criminalize gender critical feminism. They will censor our ability to freely speak to our uniquely sex-based experiences, to biological reality, and to our ability to name our oppressors. This is the ultimate twenty-first century practice of misogynistic, sex-based female oppression.
The time to speak up is now, before women are silenced and punished by the law like the so-called “witches” who were burned alive during the 16th and 17th centuries. The time to speak up is now, before one more woman is fired from her academic post for maintaining that sex is an immutable trait. The time to speak up is now, before one more Canadian female author is doxed and forced to live in exile in Mexico. The time to speak up is now, before the concept of female loses all meaning in the collective consciousness. The time to speak up is now, before one more man is credited as being the “first ever female to…” achieve a certain distinction that has always been held by males. The time to speak up is now, before one more female author’s feminist book is banned from local bookstores and burned by gender ideologues. The time to speak up is now, before one more woman fleeing abuse and poverty is forced to sleep on the cold streets at night while men occupy beds in her local women’s shelters. The time to speak up is now, before one more teenage girl has her healthy breasts surgically removed because she is fleeing womanhood like a house on fire. The time to speak up is now, before one more man from drag queen story hour for children turns out to be a registered sex offender. The time to speak up is now, before one more male rapist and murderer is transferred into a women’s prison, like a lion entering a cage of gazelles. The time is now, before one more female athlete has her skull smashed in like a tin can by a male opponent who identifies as a woman. The time to speak up and write to your Member of Parliament is now, before bills C-10 and C-36 have passed.The time is to speak up is now, before democracy receives another blow!
Kara Dansky’s book, ‘The Abolition of Sex: How the ‘Transgender’ Agenda Harms Women and Girls’ is part of a growing struggle by US feminists.