Witch Hunts and Boundaries

The Martlet refused to publish the following op-ed after publishing the libellous article accusing UVic Womyn of being a hate-group:

The Martlet article of August 4th, 2016 entitled “Summer at the Third Space: A timeline” by Sarah Lazin left the University of Victoria community with a lot of misconceptions about what Radical Feminists are all about and I would like to take a moment to set the record strait. Calling a group of women a hate-group just because they recognize the material reality of biological sex is outrageous, and an affront to journalism. We are not a hate-group and calling us such is a Witch Hunt. Witch Hunts are a long time patriarchal pass-time; Get rid of the unacceptable women, the women who don’t conform, the powerful women who won’t roll over and do everything a man says, the women who have boundaries. I want to draw a boundary between Transwomen and Women and that boundary is along the line of biological sex. But, saying “no” to men is always a dangerous proposition and transwomen have conformed to the male pattern perfectly.

Recognizing the importance of women’s biology on women’s oppression is paramount to understanding feminism. The fact of the matter is that we are denied abortions, aborted and killed because our sex is not the preferred one (male), subjected to gross genital mutilation in order to be marriageable, sex trafficked and raped at alarming rates all over the world, not to mention get paid less and, not hired at all due to the possibility that we might get pregnant and go on maternity leave. These sex specific harms happen to women because we are female, not because of our behaviour. A person with a penis cannot share the experience of female oppression with us, but the entire female half of the human race can. Not acknowledging the shared embodied reality of being female is to deny the basis for the class consciousness of women; Without class consciousness there can be no collective action; Every problem that female people experience is turned into an individual one. Women (biological females) are a class that are oppressed by men as a class. We may have different experiences of our oppression but all our oppression is for the same reason: We are biologically female.

A group of women got together and started to discuss these ideas and we thought that more women were out there who believed the same but had nowhere to go and were feeling quite alone and persecuted. So we asked to run a Radical Feminist group at the UVSS Third Space advocacy organization. Radical Feminists on campus want to gather in order to discuss these controversial but intellectual and ideological issues. Radical Feminists reject postmodernism, queer theory and identity politics and embrace instead a class based analysis of women’s oppression.

Four main points that we differ from liberal feminists:

– Gender is a hierarchy not an identity. It is socially constructed and designed to subjugate women. Transwomen are gender non-conforming men; not women. They are oppressed on the basis of homophobia which is the patriarchy’s way of keeping men in line so they remain the oppressor class due to the suppression of empathy. Stereotypical male behaviours are not natural. Boys have these behaviours brainwashed into them as children.

– Women are oppressed because of our reproductive organs, not because of our behaviours. Stereotypical feminine behaviours were brainwashed into women since we were children and are not natural.

– Prostitution is not a job like any other. It is rape and exploitation. Consent must be freely given. A capitalist exchange is not replacement for true consent. Women are coerced to participate in prostitution due to poverty.

– Porn is is when a woman gets raped and tortured on film to facilitate the orgasms of men who are the majority of porn users. Pornography facilitates the orgasms of men by treating women as objects and connecting sex directly to violence and cruelty. Sex should be about love and making a real connection with another person; It should not be a violent performance. For more information about the harms of pornography please see Dr. Gail Dines book “Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked Our Sexuality“.

We do not endorse bullying against anyone. We support the human rights of transmen and transwomen and fully agree that they should be free from violence and oppression. We simply want to be allowed to question and criticize the ideologies of queer theory, postmodernism, and identity politics. We simply prefer to focus on the material realities of actual groups of people.

However, when we expressed our views in the form of a poster, we were immediately told that our views were hateful and any criticism of the Transgender Movement would not be tolerated and that Radical feminists (ie. actual female women) would not be allowed to organize in the Third Space.

We call on the University of Victoria, the Student Union, and the Third Space to ensure that there are biological-women-only spaces where women can find community with one another and exercise our right to free speech.

We do not want to be persecuted for our views. We would much rather have the ability to have an honest discussion with the people who disagree with us. But if we must have our meeting under the cover of night… We will like witches of yore meet under the moon. We encourage women who share our views to come and find us.

Please email us if you feel as we do and together we will build new spaces for women that are truly safe: uvicwomyn@gmail.com

Why We Spell Womyn with a Y

People are curious about why we spell “womyn” with a “y.” Good question! It’s a kind of shorthand. Traditionally, womyn-with-a-y means “women without men.” For us, the Y is also short for “Why?” As in: “Why are women not allowed to have safe space away from males?” and “Why can’t we talk critically about gender without being harassed?”

How does UVic Third Space spend its money?

It’s a troubling question, and we’re looking for answers. So far we have not seen any accounting or financial reports.

We also do not see any advocacy on behalf of women, non-binaries, gender-fluids, or students in general.

This is the web site that greets students, a week after classes began for the fall semester.

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The former Women’s Centre (now called Third Space, for anyone who identifies as gender-variant) started the fall semester with a blank page. There have been no updates, events, or meeting announcements since April. It seems the money is not being spent on outreach or assistance for undergrads.

The Centre’s budget is money taken from student fees. So where is the benefit for students?

When we looked further, we found meeting minutes with a very questionable budget item: A $3200 donation to former finance coordinator Daphne Shaed.

 

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Source: August 2 2016 Collective Meeting minutes

 

It is not clear from the minutes why an advocacy group is giving such a large part of its budget to a former staff person as a “donation,” or why the group would create a new position to support Daphne.

How is this consistent with the mandate of the Centre or any non-profit organization?

We are seeking answers from the University. Any info we receive will be published here.

 

Related post: Conflict on Campus as Women’s Centre becomes Third Space

“Knives Out” for feminists at UVic

This right here is why women need a SANE space on campus.

We tweeted about going to an event at the 11th Annual Victoria Anarchist Bookfair at UVic. An organizer posted a warning that “TERFs” would be kicked out. Then this happened.

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Yes they are talking about us. They don’t know who we are but they are asking for info so they can find us.