Gender Critical Feminism is Fascism


Meghan Murphy was booted from Twitter recently for spewing transmisogynistic and anti-sex work garbage. Cue: Ding Dong the Witch is Dead! Meghan Murphy as an individual human person is a complete joke, having edited Feminist Current for nearly a decade, a site consisting of random pepperings of George Soros conspiracy theories muddled together with the language of feminism. Nonetheless, her “gender critical” ideas are gaining traction among so-called feminists and fascists alike, and that’s the part that worries me.

Many “gender critical feminists”—aka TERFs and SWERFs—have aligned themselves with violent allies, proclaiming, much like the alt-right does, that “men aren’t women” and “sex work isn’t a thing.” In a pitiful blog post with endless martyred complaint about her locked Twitter account, Murphy whines:

While the left continues to vilify me, and liberal and mainstream media continue to mostly ignore feminist analysis [sic] of gender identity, people like Dave Rubin and Ben Shapiro (and hundreds of right wingers and free speech advocates online), and right wing media outlets […] have attempted to speak with me and understand my perspective […] the left seems to have taken to ignoring or refusing to engage with detractors or those who have opinions they disagree with or don’t like [while] the right continues to be interested in and open to engaging.

Raise your hand if you see a lucrative YouTube rant about “Red Pilling” on the horizon!

The alliance between “gender critical feminists” and the alt-right has been forged on mutual bigotry: hatred for trans people and sex workers. “Gender critical feminists” are willing to sacrifice access to medical care, abortion, and self-determination in their alliance with the alt-right for the sole purpose of harassing, doxing, and generally inciting violence against trans people and sex workers.

Historically, factions of white feminism have flirted with fascism, from the overt racism of the Suffragists in the US to the Christian Temperance Movement here and abroad.

It’s time to give serious consideration to the fact that these factions are still alive and well.

Jason Stanley recently described fascism as having three distinct and alarming qualities: a mythic past, cultural division, and a targeted attack on truth. The alt-right exemplifies these qualities, from “Make America Great Again,” to the carefully cultivated division between “patriots” and The Other and ruthless attacks on the press wherein oppressors suddenly lay claim to victimization. Let us not forget that Hitler wrote an entire book about his “struggle,” detailing the myriad ways he believed himself oppressed.

Gender critical feminism is helping to perpetuate a mythic past, cultural division, and a targeted attack on truth, and it’s time for all the Meghan Murphys of the world to be exposed as the fascist bootlickers they are.

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The Imaginary Choice Feminist


afeminismmeansWhen I make porn I find it to be a positive experience. That is based on a wide range of factors that I’ve spoken and written about in depth over the past eight years. For one, trans women’s sexuality is greatly misrepresented in media and it’s important to me to be able to create representations of sexuality on my own terms. I also take great care to address and incorporate ethics into every level of production. My porn includes Audre Lorde references. My porn has been nominated for and won several feminist awards. My porn includes complex discussion of police violence, immigration politics, post-traumatic stress, and other social issues.

Yet, inevitably, I encounter individuals who point at my work and declare that it is objectifying on face—typically without having even watched it. Then they demand that I come up with a thesis worthy defense of my claim that making my porn is a positive thing. Anything I’ve already said or written in defense of my work is ignored. Any reasoning or argumentation about my informed decision to work in porn is lost. My argument is simply represented by my detractors as “because I chose it.”

Choice feminism is the idea that anything that any woman personally chooses to do is a feminist act. The most commonly given example of this argument is that choosing to do sex work—or to take pole dancing classes, be in porn, sext, fill in the blank—is empowering simply because a woman has chosen to do it and criticisms against perpetuating objectification are irrelevant.

The problem here is that in most cases women are simply trying to point out that they know their own lives and are making an informed decision. They are not claiming that any woman’s exercise of her agency is by definition a feminist act, but that denying a woman her agency is an inherently un-feminist act— especially coming from someone who doesn’t have a shared understanding of the context of that decision in her life. Continue reading

The Week In Links—August 23


RIP Lusty Lady (Photo by Thomas Crown in 2005, via flickr)

RIP Lusty Lady (Photo by Thomas Crown in 2005, via flickr)

Veteran activist Emi Koyama writes in Shakesville about how her talk at the 38th National Conference of Men and Masculinities on the problems with anti-trafficking discourse was censored and how she and other women of color were subsequently harassed by a group of so-called “feminist men”, members of a group called the National Organization of Men Against Sexism, who co-sponsored the event.

Writing in In These Times, Melissa Gira Grant relates how the Philadelphia police’s transphobia contributed to the brutal murder of trans sex worker Diamond Phillips, and how Phillips was further violated after her death by the media’s misgendering.

San Francisco’s unionized and worker-owned peep show, the Lusty Lady, will be forced to close in less than two weeks, signalling the end of an important era in sex worker history. Does anyone “have a miracle up their butt” to save the place? The New Yorker gives us the real estate details behind this sad development.

Cameryn Moore tells everyone to “Shut Up About How I Should Talk About My Sex Work” in Thought Catalog.

It’s about time for Meghan Murphy to shut up about sex work, too. Porn is universally horrible, no matter what the lived experience of porn performers proves, but despite the carceral feminist lobby for laws that imprison millions of sex workers, there’s no feminist war against us? Oh, and can stop providing her with a venue for her vileness any time now.

On the other hand, did post a great summation by Joyce Arthur of the fifth national sex workers’ rights conference Desiree Alliance held in July in Las Vegas.

Malawi human rights organizations oppose a government decision to force suspected sex workers, pregnant women, and other groups to undergo forced HIV testing.

The Sunday Times, The  Guardian and the Daily Mail, aptly and none too affectionately nicknamed the Daily Fail by many, all want to know if your manicurist is a sex slave. Hurray for the promotion of more trafficking hysteria and all, but what we’d really like to see is a sober and substantive inquiry into the rights of migrant Vietnamese sex workers and other laborers. Forbes writer Tim Worstall comes to the rescue, taking issue with the Guardian’s blown up trafficking stats. (Now, if only he’d stop using words like “tarts.”) Indeed, the Guardian, after being questioned by its own Reality Check blog, sheepishly included a postscript to the article amending some of their claims.

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