Having promised myself I never would blog about the trans * issue, I find myself feeling obliged to do so. I have spent a long time on the twitter hashtag #radfem2012 attempting to explain what radical feminism is and what it is not. So much of the hostility is based on misunderstandings.
It now feels possible to speak out against the way in which radical feminists have been threatened, intimidated and censored by some trans* activists both on and off-line, thanks to two important blogs and other similarly minded trans * activists. (These are: http://transfemmergence.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/violent-threats-misogyny-anti-lesbianism-must-stop/#comment-462 and http://www.transactivisty.com/2012/05/no-more/ ) What these bloggers do is point out that misogyny and anti-lesbianism underpins aggression and harassment towards radfems for seeking a political space where (female-born, always lived as) women can discuss our politics.
Masked by trans* concerns that they are individually and collectively under attack, is a disturbing individual who uses a website and blog called “orange files” to target individual radfems. I read the language and observe the tactics used and, as a female living under occupation within patriarchy, with an instinct for survival, I know that there’s something extremely dangerous there. His threatening behaviour is made more legitimate, and remains hidden, among the furore over the entry policy for a radfem conference which was to have happened in London over the summer. I have also observed other MRAs/MREs (Male Rights Activists/Male Rights Extremists) join in with him on the hashtag. They are protected in their woman-hating agenda by the levels of hostility from some in the trans* communities and their allies because it’s hard to distinguish between the two.
I think we must distinguish between them, however, because they are coming from different places. Trans* activists are targeting radfems with hostility out of fear – MREs and allies target radfems because they hate all women. If a way forward is ever to be found, it is vital that trans * activists never ally themselves with MREs against radfems and actively speak out against their agenda. They are using our disagreement for their own purposes.