On Sunday 28th October four Dorset branch members attended a rally in Bournemouth square to show solidarity with trans/intersex comrades in the USA, who are now threatened with highly repressive legislation, that if passed would set them back half a century at least. The category of gender would be replaced by a legal definition of ‘sex’ to be determined by a physical examination of external genitalia at the moment of birth, disputes to be settled by ‘genetic testing’.
This is not only bad politics it’s crank science, promoted by ignorant fundamentalists who don’t even believe in evolution or climate change. Nevertheless it’s already drawn approval from the far-right and TERFs on this side of the Atlantic. It’s got to be worth a fight, hasn’t it?
The event was hastily arranged on face book. We were glad to be part of a good-natured gathering of Working Class trans-,cis-, non-binary and gender-nonconforming individuals. We recognised none of the stereotypes being pushed by the reactionary journalists and pundits, nor did we see any evidence of suspicious funding sources or middle-class entitlement. The only aggression displayed was a heckle from a self-parodying religious fanatic. We are content to let them pursue their mediaeval dogma unmolested; some of the demonstrators expressed religious beliefs and affiliations of their own.
The IWW is One Big Union for All Workers – join us!
Please share widely, especially if you are an anarchist and/or revolutionary unionist.
Taken from facebook: Solidarity Federation – Bristol 19th October
We were shocked and angered to see the bitterly transphobic messages appearing on Norwich Solfed’s facebook page this week. Our last contact with Norwich SF was at a federal conference a year ago, where the Norwich delegate informed us they were now the only member of Norwich Solfed. Norwich’s facebook page hadn’t been active for several months, so we assumed that the group had disbanded. We were aware of some bad blood between the current member and ex-members of Norwich SF. We don’t honestly know who is running their facebook page at the moment; whether it’s a troll, a former member with an axe to grind or a lingering bigot who simply hasn’t understood the organisation which they are part of. We plan on looking into this and we sincerely hope that whoever posted that message is nothing to do with the Solidarity Federation.
We can say in no uncertain terms that the views expressed on the Norwich SF page are abhorrent to us and not remotely representative of the views of the Solidarity Federation. We feel ashamed to share a name with anyone who thinks and talks in those terms.
We’re not going to go into the specifics of what happened at the London Bookfair. But to be clear, our objections to the Trans-Exclusionary ‘Radical Feminism’ espoused there and elsewhere are as follows:
- Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary folks are non-binary. All of them are valid. Statements like ‘woman=adult human female’ aren’t ‘expressions of facts’, they are gross over-simplifications of complex issues that are designed to bait people and stoke transphobia. Don’t pretend you can’t see that.
- Self ID is the only true measure of a person’s gender. As anarchists, we believe that the State should have no role in defining a person’s gender.
- The claim that trans folks in women-only spaces pose a threat to the women in them has zero evidence to support it. There is a considerable amount of evidence that trans folk of any gender are at a huge risk of violence and denying them access to safe spaces, as the TERFs are campaigning for, would be massively harmful. The TERF’s claims that they are protecting women-only spaces are disingenuous and don’t stand up to scrutiny. Digging out a few token examples of trans women who are predators is a poor justification for demonising an entire social group.
- Transphobia is a real, material force for oppression. It needs to be stamped out. Claiming that transphobia is ‘very far from being of vital importance to most people’ just shows that whoever wrote that post doesn’t know any trans people. An injury to one is an injury to all. Think about what that means.
- TERFs are far-right bigots in a left-wing skin. Their tactics and rhetoric are no different to the tactics of Tommy Robinson and the rest of the alt-right, co-opting feminism and using the fear of sexual violence to persecute an already marginalised group. We can do better than buying their shit.
If anyone is unfamiliar with these issues and wants to know more, we can recommend the following organisations:
- Sister not Cister UK
- Sisters Uncut
- Action for Trans Health
- And if you can, we highly recommend checking out the excellent ‘Why we Fight the TERF War’ workshops which are running up and down the UK.
- You can also contact Solfed’s LGBT+ co-ordinator.
Finally, we want to apologise on behalf of the whole Federation for what Norwich have done. We really hope that no-one exposed to their toxicity has been negatively affected by what was said.
Our Federal conference is next month and we will be raising this issue then. In the mean time, we would welcome contact from anyone involved in Norwich SF who can shed some light on what has happened.
We will investigate what’s happened and deal with it. SF will never be a safe hiding place for bigots.