Vancouver Women’s Library opens amid anti-feminist backlash

Vancouver Women’s Library/February 4, 2017

During the second wave, there was a bonafide feminist bookstore movement. Women’s spaces, presses, writing, and events were seen as integral to feminism. This meant that women’s bookstores were valued, not only as ways to make women’s writing and work accessible, but as physical spaces within which women could gather, meet other women, and become politicized.

At one time, there were over 150 women’s bookstores across North America. The first one — the Minneapolis’ Amazon Bookstore — opened on the porch of a commune in 1970, and by 1997 there were 175 of them, mostly run by volunteers and collectives. But just two decades later, almost every single one has closed down.

In Vancouver, Women in Print (which was in business for 12 years, closing in 2005) and the Vancouver Women’s Bookstore (which closed in 1996, after being open for over 20 years) are no longer. But the need has not gone away. In fact, it seems evident these spaces are more essential than ever before, as the feminist movement faces increasingly vicious backlash from the right, the left, and the media.

“Vancouver Women’s Bookstore” opening poster, 1973, designed and printed by Jo Cook. (Image: Simon Fraser University archive, Women’s Bookstore fonds: F-111-1-0-0-4 Flyers [1973-1980]/bothandvancouver.tumblr.com)

The Vancouver Women’s Library launched on Friday night in a small space on the Eastside. Women of all ages and varied backgrounds who came to celebrate and socialize were surprised to be met by protestors, who not only harassed them verbally, but attempted to physically bar them from entering the building.

Local feminist activist Jindi Mehat told me that she arrived at 1670 Franklin Street close to 9 p.m. There were people standing outside holding a banner reading, “Trans Communist Cadre,” and the situation was tense, she said. Mehat and a friend went inside, only to find things were “even worse” in the library.

“I heard a man saying really loudly, ‘I wish they would take all of the SWERF and TERF books off the shelf,'” she said. “I found it really shocking that he was very performatively spewing that kind of language in a feminist space, because those are clearly really misogynistic terms.”

Mehat entered the room where the catalogue of books was and saw two women standing in front of the books with their hands on their hips, physically taking up as much space as they could in order to prevent people from seeing the shelves. “I didn’t realize that’s what they were doing at first,” she told me. “I thought they were maybe just standing there and not being very conscious of how much room they were taking up in that small space.”

“I said, ‘Excuse me,’ very politely to one woman and then sort of tried to slip around behind her to get closer to the books to look at them, and she said to me, under her breath, ‘If you push me one more time you’re going to be sorry.'”

Mehat considered leaving, saying, “I was pretty concerned there was going to be some violence. Some of the protestors had been drinking heavily.”

Jen Kim, a feminist activist and member of the Guerrilla Feminist Collective, had a similarly intimidating experience. Arriving at about 8:30 p.m., she walked up to the door of the building, where one person holding a sign physically blocked Kim from accessing the door, pushing her aggressively. “They used all of their body force and I almost fell,” Kim told me, but she kept trying to work her way around them. “I managed to inch slowly past them and open the door, fearing they’d push and shut the door on my hand or arm.” During this time, another man stood beside Kim, yelling slurs at her. She managed to get in eventually, struggling past the individual blocking the door.

There were 29 protestors outside at one point, drinking beer. Approximately six to eight protestors came inside, some of whom began smoking in the non-smoking building, which hosts a number of artist studios. One woman shouted, “No SWERFs, no TERFs,” and another accused the library founders of “violence.” An elder feminist asked the protestors to explain the accusation of “violence,” saying:

“I’ve been in feminism for a hell of a long time — longer than most of you, and I’m supporting you and I’m supporting [this space]. I think you need to examine the library and I think you need to talk before you use such words, without really understanding.”

 

None of the protestors qualified their use of the word “violence” to describe the existence of a small, volunteer-run women’s library, and instead launched into various accusations rooted in disingenuous and confused interpretations of feminist analysis.

“To say that women who take a global view of prostitution and see it in a context of racism, colonialism, capitalism, and misogyny — who aren’t just focused on white Western middle class camgirls — are ‘exclusionary’ makes no sense,” Mehat said. “It doesn’t hold up to any cognitive scrutiny.”

“And these are the same people that trumpet that they are being silenced? Well, what were they doing here? They were trying to silence and intimidate and bully feminists,” she added.

A male protestor proceeded to rip a S.C.U.M Manifesto poster off the wall. Apparently confused about the content of the book and who the author was, he defended this act by claiming the S.C.U.M Manifesto was written by a woman “who was beating up transwomen.” (Valerie Solonas did no such thing. Of course, no feminist in history has ever done such a thing.)

Near the end of the night, the protestors poured red wine on the bookshelves and books, stole alcohol, and pulled the fire alarm, resulting in a charge of up to $500 to the volunteers who run the library. The library’s hand-painted sandwich board was stolen the following day.

One of the books protestors threw red wine on at the launch of the Vancouver Women’s Library, Feb 3, 2017.

“Absolutely, we were frightened,” said Keira Smith-Tague, a member of the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter collective who attended the event. “Especially when there were men in there intimidating us physically.”

Jeannine Mitchell, an original founder of the Vancouver Women’s Bookstore, attended the launch, but arrived after the police had been called and the protestors had left the building.

“The last thing I expected was pickets outside,” Mitchell told me. “When we started the [Vancouver Women’s Bookstore], people had different views on feminism, but everyone was glad that we were opening — it was a resource for the community.”

Mitchell told me there were nearly 30 people outside when she arrived, “a number of whom were men.” She was shocked at the extremity of the signs, some of which claimed the library founders hated women and were fascists. “It just seemed over-the-top,” Mitchell said.

“Greeting somebody else’s community project with such an overkill of anger and hatred seems like an odd way to be using resources to help women,” she added.

A pamphlet handed out to women by protestors at the launch of the Vancouver Women’s Library.

While the list of demands from the protestors was shared online by a group called Gays Against Gentrification (GAG), the group denies involvement in the protest. The note itself, passed along to women at the launch in the form of a pink pamphlet, rattles off a number of misrepresentions and outright lies about feminist politics and the aims of the library, and goes on to libel one of the founders, em laurent, demanding she step down.

Co-founder, Bec Wonders, told me that, counter to the claims of the protestors, the catalogue is very diverse in terms of authors and perspectives. But even if what the protestors said was true, banning books is a dangerous thing to advocate for. In Nazi Germany, books that represented dissenting views or ideology were targeted for burning. The Christian right continues to work to ban “blasphemous works” today. These protestors, ever-fond of loosely throwing around the term, “fascism,” seem unaware of how fine a line they walk when fighting to ban and censor work that challenges their preferred discourse and mantras.

In this case, the list of books the group demanded be banned seemed cobbled together, based on little more than a scan of titles.

Among the 20 titles the protestors have demanded be banned from the library were: Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, a book that teaches healing through Buddhism and meditation; First Buddhist Women: Poems and Stories of Awakening by Susan Murcott; and The Female Man, a science fiction novel by Joanna Russ. The list also includes books that are critical of men’s exploitation, abuse, and commodification of women, including: Andrea Dworkin’s Pornography: Men Possessing Women; Not a Choice, Not a Job: Exposing the Myths about Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade by Janice Raymond; and Kathleen Barry’s Female Sexual Slavery (inexplicably spelled “Sl*v*ry” in the pamphlet).

Wonders found the list inconsistent. “It’s not a real conversation or critique.” Laurent agrees:

“You can definitely tell that this list is born out of a vacuous approach. Anything that signified an association with the second wave — even if the content had nothing to do with second wave politics — was put on the list. It’s hard to take it seriously…”

Despite claims that the library is “trans- and sex worker exclusionary,” the space is neither. It is open to everyone (though memberships are for women only), and the website states: “We welcome all women, regardless of creed/class/gender/race/sexuality.”

The catalogue itself features a diverse selection of texts, from various political perspectives — many not political at all.

“We have texts by Leslie Feinberg, we have texts by Amber Dawn, we have books on global sex work,” Wonders tells me. The catalogue also includes fiction, poetry, mysteries, multilingual books, and Wonders says they want to expand their children’s section. Their library is still small (though it’s growing very quickly as donations pour in) — started from the founders’ own personal collections and the collections of other women.

“We don’t censor any text as long as its written by a woman, so any donation that comes our way, we’ll put it on the shelves,” Wonders tells me.

“We also have a ‘wish list’ feature on our website, so you can suggest texts if you feel like something’s missing or you want to read something… We’re trying to be as varied as possible, with as many genres as possible. When it comes to the overtly political texts, we do want to carry opposing views, but it’s important to us not to censor anything.”

While many are baffled as to why protestors would focus their energy on shutting down a library, Smith-Tague says the protest was rooted in “anti-woman attitudes,” aimed at silencing feminist voices and history:

“Women’s resistance and the women’s liberation movement has, as long as it’s existed, been willfully written out of history. It’s clear that in this day and age there are still misogynist attitudes towards promoting women’s liberation and the books that contain some of that history. This attempt to shut this project down was just another example of that.”

It’s difficult to know who was behind the protest or what the group represents. One protestor told Smith-Tague they were not an organized group or collective, and another note published by GAG states the protestors are “a decentralized group of individuals.” Though chatter online about the library spread far and wide, in terms of official organizing, I found only one Instagram post* on the account of a man named Jason Riach (who witnesses identify as the same person who ripped down the S.C.U.M. Manifesto poster, and who was among those verbally harassing women in front of the building):

Regardless of what the protestors hoped to convey, the hostility towards women’s history and contribution to the canon of political thought was palpable. One protestor even held a sign announcing, “The Second Wave Is Over.” While theorists like Marx have yet to be deemed irrelevant to today’s leftists, women whose writing is only 40 or 50 years old are already being erased, characterized as out-of-date and insignificant.

“It’s so much harder for women to hold social currency,” laurent told me. “I read Aristotle and Plato, but am told Andrea Dworkin is ‘no longer relevant?’ I don’t buy that.”

Indeed, the existence of a women’s library seeks to counter the notion that men’s work, history, and ideas are intrinsically of more value than women’s.

Wonders points out that, beyond the sexism inherent to efforts to erase and dismiss an entire generation of women’s writing, “To generalize about a whole array of literature that was produced by women is ahistorical.”

“It’s really important to have an archive that reveals the fullness of women’s history,” laurent says. “A lot of contemporary feminist book sections are missing key historical texts — with the library, we’re able to reveal and demonstrate the fullness of women’s literature.”

In general, the protestors seemed to lack any interest in productive engagement with either the library or the women. Rather, they repeated various claims rooted in nothing of substance, made numerous assumptions that turned out to be untrue, and advocated the arbitrary censorship of women’s work.

Based on the shock and confusion expressed by feminist elders who attended the launch, it’s fair to say this particular backlash is one we have never seen before. Isolated and emboldened in online communities, young leftists have become comfortable attacking without asking, silencing without thinking — knee-jerking their way towards a doctrine that vilifies anyone who doesn’t join their church.

“We are living in a seriously politically divisive and dangerous time, globally,” Smith-Tague told me.

“There are people who have an incredible amount of power to oppress people in North America right now. Last month, women came together at the global Women’s March, and even though we didn’t all agree on every issue, we could at least understand that the stakes are very high right now and that alliances are necessary. To me, that is exactly the attitude that people who want to organize for social change need to be taking on.”

Smith-Tague questioned the decision to put one’s efforts towards “destroying a small grassroots women’s library,” adding, “They clearly don’t have an analysis of the reality we live in and of what’s important right now.”

While this protest and these demands for censorship will have no impact on the survival of the library (indeed, in light of the protest, the founders tell me they have been inundated with support and donations, countering the attack), it is distressing to see these tactics used against a systemically marginalized group. Patriarchal society has long determined women’s culture and words to be dangerous — systemically squashing and undermining any attempts to escape our subordinate status, dividing us to prevent solidarity among sisters. No matter what you put on your banner, no matter what you chant in defense, joining those efforts puts you firmly on the side of the oppressor.

*EDITOR’S NOTE, 02/08/2017: The Instagram page and post featured was public at the time of publication. The account was set to private after the publication of this story.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Melanie

    I donated to the library and to Feminist Current as well for all the work that you do for women. Thank you. I wish I could donate some books as well but I’m in another country. Oh well, good luck to the Women’ Library. What a disgusting thing to do. Such ignorance and hypocracy. Why don’t they put in the effort to make their own library if they don’t like it, or are they too busy drinking beer and harassing women?

    • keeva99

      i donated as well, and i’m thinking of purchasing and sending a couple of my favourite books.

    • Snork Maiden

      They’d have to sit down and write some more books.

    • Tired feminist

      For people who claim to be soooooooooooooo triggered by feminism, they do seem to spend a fucking lot of time policing feminists as closely as possible…

  • Jocelyn Crawley

    Exactly. It is perhaps an interesting coincidence that I just published a blog post about feminist literature produced by women during the second wave era. The ideology of this era is intimidating to androcentric powers because it does not pander to the patriarchy but rather critiques and condemns the phallic systems which reduce women to sex. Given the protesters’ emphasis on legitimating the sexual slavery that is prostitution, their ideology is in no way conducive to women’s liberation but rather constitutes an alignment with “fun” feminism. These ideologies are problematic because, in promoting the idea that women can “fuck” their way to freedom or advancing the notion that prostitution is “work,” they reinscribe women within the patriarchal philosophies and praxis which reduce women to sex. These protesters are creating a climate which is anti-revolutionary and non-resistant to the dominant discourse, which, as Catharine MacKinnon accurately argued in her important book Toward A Feminist Theory Of The State, constitutes a realm in which “some fuck and others get fucked and everybody knows what those words mean” (4). The significance of the word “fuck” is polysemic, referencing both the fact that “sex” materializes as a system in which women submit to the oftentimes violent “sexual” demands of men and, in a broader sense, women are oppressed in a world system predicated on the capitalist values which deprive them of economic livelihood. “Fuck” connotes the subordination of women on multiple planes, and these protesters advocate it by arguing that it is acceptable for women to operate within a system where they have to “have sex” on men’s terms for meager (and sometimes) no pay.

    That these protesters are vehemently anti-woman becomes plain not only through their acceptance of the sexual slavery that is prostitution, but their ideological alignment with individuals who support another heteronormative regime: pornography. I noted that these protesters listed Dworkin’s Pornography: Men Possessing Women as a text that should be banned. I wonder whether these individuals understand that pornography is a system of economic and sexual slavery which precludes women from existing outside the “object-not-subject” ideology of the phallus. As Gloria Steinem shares with us in documenting the experiences of Linda Boreman, “she described years as a sexual prisoner during which she was tortured and kept isolated from all normal human contact” (Outrageous Acts And Everyday Rebellion, 268). Also note that while Linda was paid twelve hundred dollars for her sexual slavery in Deep Throat, she herself stated that she never saw this money (269). Yet as noted by Steinem, “money continues to be made from images of her humiliation” (275). This is what pornography does to women. It deprives them of an autonomous, subject-based identity while ensuring that the representations of their “personhood” in terms of sex object will entail impoverishment, not economic empowerment. Why do the protesters want books that document and condemn this oppression of women to be suppressed? Perhaps they want to promote a myth that Linda Boreman was able to address once she escaped pornography, which is “the myth of female masochism that insists women enjoy sexual domination and pain” (271). As Steinem shares with us, “prostitution and pornography are big businesses built on that myth” (271). Here I see patriarchy and capitalism uniting to ensure the ongoing objectification and impoverishment of women. Yet these protesters seem to think that pornography, not books attacking it, should have a place in public discourse? No.

    Thanks for this piece, Meghan.

  • Diana_Fire_

    My God, even that protester’s Instagram username exudes misogyny. “Bornfrommydadseed” – nice way to erase women’s reproductive labour.

    • I caught the ideological underpinnings of that name too but forgot to comment on it. Thanks for articulating this aspect of androcentrism!

  • Cangle

    Heart warming to learn of the flood of donations and support for the Vancouver Womens Library.

    Everyone can support Feminist Current with a small monthly donation – toss in a ten’er for women’s liberation! You’ll feel good every month that you see that small charge knowing that you’re a part of helping Meghan et al.

    So inspiring to read behind the lines and learn of this women’s library launch – what a surge of hope that gives me.

    I saw Madison Avenue co-opt the second wave “You’ve come a long way baby” the demands for womens liberation bent into advertising slogans and peddled as a woman lifestylism. Then, feminists were labeled as “man haters” and overnight you were asked “are you a man hater?” and expected a capitulation from all women.

    They put women’s studies in universities, which I thought made that silo vulnerable to cutting off funding. I never saw gender identity stealth erasure of feminists, womena nd girls. But, it was easy to take over from the top – for rich white cross dressing fetishists to takeover LGB groups, and proote their male supremacy insidiously like a Trojan horse inside the very movement aiming to liberate women, gays, lesbians and people of color in a quest for expnsion of civil liberties.

    I witnessed the Second Wave through the eyes of an elder lesbian adoptive sister, in UCBerkeley in mid-1960’s going to consciousness raising circles, women only conversations creating fertile ground incubators for book stores, radical resistance and a huge stew of creatiity and passion by women for women to emerge.

    First feminism was co-opted, then a tamed dumbed down version was mass promoted. Once the “politics of orgasm” – that it was edgy to adopt male-pattern sexual availability as women’s liberation and it was not. Free Love was neither.

    Feminist leaders knew they could not do everthing at once. Painful decisions were made to uphold reproductive choice and economic equality – abortion and ERA. The next issues on the list were supposed to be poverty and children’s issues, racial equity…but feminism was torn apart as were all alliances for greater freedom…before it could finish the job.

    Then came the backlash…..and now outright threats of physical violence over a women’s library.

    THAT is how powerful feminism truly is – keep up the good work Vancouver Womens Library I’m so glad you’ve been born!

    • susannunes

      Feminists NEVER supported the sexual revolution. In fact, abuses by leftie males against the women in the antiwar and civil rights movements of the sixties was a direct cause of women creating the second wave of feminism, especially radical feminism. You have the timeline wrong. “Free love” predated the second wave of feminism. That started in the hippie era right before radical feminism. The seventies was an extension of the sexual liberation crap of the sixties.

  • FierceMild

    How do they keep getting away with actual physical intimidation (due to larger size and male aggression) and property destruction while claiming women are victimizing them? Why does no one seem to see this for what it is? Oh yeah, male privilege. Hurting their feelings is worse than any other crime ever. Women just don’t understand what it’s like to be left out…

  • keeva99

    “knee-jerking their way towards a doctrine that vilifies anyone who doesn’t join their church.” – truer words were never spoken. the blind devotion to transgenderism truly rivals any religion.

  • JingFei

    I donated to this library after I saw this go down. It is so deplorable, and if anyone had yet to meet “Peak Trans”, this would probably be yet another reality check for women out there, on the fence assuming all these people are victims. Telltale sign; large drunken MAN, screaming, yelling, swearing in a small female’s face, after ripping down a poster exclaiming; “You’re saying I’m not a REAL woman!!” in his deep, masculine voice.
    How much proof do we need that the majority of these activist types are uneducated, privileged, entitled men ( and their handmaidens)?
    Their behaviour was abysmal. Their demands nonsensical, and in the end it can only mean one thing; mysogyny. They HATE females. They hate us so much that they even have to try to destroy an innocuous little library, open just 10 hours a week, run by volunteers.
    And I absolutely believe that “GAG” had more to do with this than they now claim. I saw their Facebook page, where they were deleting ALL criticism of this protest, only to be left with 40+ comments of “TERF! SWERF!”. Now the comments are invisible, and we’re just left with one wingnut declaring; “Cathy Brennan is after me! OMG!”.
    Are they freaking 11 years old?? They looked like adults to me, but I see in Canada no one has to work, or be productive, so they have time to carry on like perpetual teeny-boppers and play make believe while causing true distress on others.
    I screen grabbed one of the comments under the GAG article, to show the the nature of these Trans activists, versus the books they wanted to ban ( for no reason? It is apparent they have never read them and have no idea what they are about).
    The top is a Trans activist from the protest group. The bottom is from Tara Brauch, whose book has helped thousands of people, and is even recommended reading in a lot of mental health DBT programs ( dialetical behaviour therapy) :

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/af1c001b2833c0b6ab63c6c0c7d33973983912fec7bb8603ff717c621549ea88.jpg

    This is the idiocy we’re dealing with. When will the masses wake up that the majority of these Trans/SJW “activists” are overly privileged, destructive, uneducated, rude, mentally ill children in adult bodies?

  • Snork Maiden

    Disgusting, anti-intellectualist behavior. It won’t help them either, the more you try to crush an idea, the further it spreads.

    • Tired feminist

      Exactly. At the very least people will get curious about what the hell is SO wrong with those books.

  • yrba

    Great article. Thank you. Very helpful to learn more about this library, see the video, and learn about the harassment of those who have created and/or want to use it. Male trans are inherently sexist: their claiming to be women is appropriation of women’s existence and experience, including that of male’s oppression of us. Male trans who further attack feminists are downright MRAs. I second Melanie’s proposal: why don’t they go create their own library? And their own music festivals. And domestic violence shelters. And “women’s” homeless shelters…since they claim they are women. Leave us alone. The organizers of this space have been generous to a fault with them. It is painful to see that poster torn down. And the man who did it shouting and swearing. Was that poster an original document? I hope not.

  • Kathleen Lowrey

    A bit of googling suggests that anti-feminist would be revolutionary Jason Riach is a punk sk8ter boy. Quelllllllllllle supreeeeeeeeeeeze lol lol lol

    • JingFei

      But he is “woman”! A delicate flower. It’s obvious by “her” aggression, entitlement, threatening behaviour, bullying and destruction of property.

      *sarcasm intended.

  • stella

    Thanks to the protesters for drawing my attention to this library! Can’t wait to check it out and maybe get involved.

  • Karla Gjini

    I can’t WAIT to visit on my next trip to Vancouver! Thanks for collecting all of this and putting it together with your wise words, Meghan.

  • Karla Gjini

    PS I would love to have a poster of the SCUM manifesto

  • pjwhite

    I would like to thank the protestors for bringing my attention to the Women’s Library. If not for them, I wouldn’t have donated (and I will donate every time I am able).

  • Meghan Murphy

    Who?

  • Rachael

    “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” – Virginia Woolf

  • Reuven Mizraha

    I appreciate that these feminists recognize basic biology – that a man cannot become a woman just because he thinks he is.

  • JingFei

    LOL showing a single post on a public Instagram account isn’t “Doxxing”, snowflake.

  • Alienigena

    “their use of the word “violence” to describe the existence of a small, volunteer-run women’s library”

    If these jerks / protestors had really decided to take on violent members of society they would have

    1) insulted the home town hockey team at the game or at the bar
    2) insulted fans of any professional sport team or athlete while at a game or athletic performance
    3) insulted or made fun of drunken men at bars (and anywhere really)
    4) insulted those four guys yelling at each other and skirmishing on the street corner
    5) made fun of hardcore gamers (those who rant about how ill-treated they are and how society does not respect them)
    6) committed an act of vandalism (ripping down a poster in a private space (like a storefront or this library, which does not receive government funding, so not a public space) is vandalism) against a john’s (male seeking a paid sexual interaction) motor vehicle
    7) flipped off a male cop

    There are any number of ways to make men and their apologists angry, just choose one and make an effort.

    • Meghan Murphy

      The accusation of ‘violence’ is so completely unbelievable and manipulative. I am just totally appalled that people feel comfortable accusing feminists who have a different analysis than they do of ‘violence.’ It’s such a disgusting and misguided reversal, especially coming from men who are literally destroying property and physically intimidating and pushing women around.

      Indeed, if they care so much about ‘violence,’ you’d think they’d go after violent johns who pick up women in that very neighbourhood. They could stand outside drinking beer, smoking, and attacking johns if they really gave a shit about marginalized women ffs.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The answer is clearly no, this person does *not* understand what ‘doxxing’ is. Riach was identified by a number of witnesses who attended the launch and who know him, his actual face is in the video, and his identity is easily confirmed via public social media accounts and a quick Google search (for ex: the Beatroute article). Maybe next time he wants to harass and threaten a bunch of women he should wear an anonymous mask.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The protest was totally counter-effective. Not only did the library get a TON of monetary support because of the attack on them, but it’s also revealed how misogynist the tactics and ‘politics’ of these people really are.

    • JingFei

      I’m so pleased they received so may donations. It should keep them going for awhile 🙂

      .

      • Meghan Murphy

        They have plans to move into a bigger/private space at some point (right now they are in a tiny space in a shared space that contains a bunch of artist studios, so it’s an open space… Vancouver rent is nuts, as many of you probably know, so I’m hoping all these donations will help them move into another space at some point. They have some really cool ideas for a free cafe and for books clubs and movie nights etc. Also, they are getting so many book donations, they will need a bigger space to keep ’em all!

  • Meghan Murphy

    There people were being physically aggressive/threatening and were verbally harassing young lesbians and women of colour, but yes, these women are the *real* woman-haters. Insane.

  • Meghan Murphy

    SWERF and TERF are anti-feminist slurs. Regardless of who uses them. Bullying, intimidating, and smearing women + advocating to ban women’s writing = anti-feminism. I really shouldn’t have to explain this. It’s made very clear in the piece that this was an anti-feminist protest.

  • Meghan Murphy

    They were called right after the poster was torn down. The women initially tried to be polite with the protestors, tried to talk/hear them out, etc. But yes, I agree that what happened constitutes physical assault and vandalism (theft also).

  • Meghan Murphy

    laurent did neither of those things. Please do not post libel here. Also, Riach is a man (a man who apparently bullies and harasses women) and I am not gaslighting anyone into pretending otherwise. What you are asking me to do is lie about what actually happened on Friday, which is something I’m not willing to do. Men don’t get a pass on their behaviour simply because they decide to claim (scream) they are women. It is manipulative to the point of being psychologically abusive to tell women to accept abusive behaviour from men who scream “I’M A WOMAN” at them.

    • Just Passing Through

      But wait, haven’t you learned that misgendering a transwoman is the worst crime a person can commit in all of human existence throughout all of time? It’s worse than all murders, wars, natural disasters, plaques, illnesses, rapes, tortures etc… all put together.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes to all of this, Rich. Thank you.

  • Kendall Turtle

    They could just open their own library… but nooo if women don’t do emotional labor for EVERYONE they are just terrible.

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    I hope some of these vandals were charged for the crimes they committed.

  • Laura

    in that booming voice too, lol

    • Tired feminist

      YEAH hahahahaha. Glad I wasn’t there because I could SERIOUSLY have laughed straight at his face and he’d probably punch me or something.

  • Cassandra

    The man yelling and screaming at women is a feminist? ROTFLMFAO
    None of the people “protesting” is even remotely a feminist. They are misogynists.

    • pyrite00

      And this nonsense that swerf and terf are not known to MRAs —-> I have read MRAs chortling to each other about how great it is to use trans stuff to beat up on and punish women and come out looking like great guys supporting an “oppressed” minority.

  • Shanti

    BUDDHA was a trans exclusionary?!

    It … does make sense. She
    did preach some kind of wishywashy enlightenment for all people with
    transwomen NOT being the central focus of any of of the noble truths.
    AND come to think of it … ‘transcendence’ … trans cendence >
    trans end dance *gasp* TERF! And om my god! ‘Transcendence’ is an exact
    anagram of ‘Can Centers End’! This Uterus Bearer’s Library wasn’t even
    being subtle in its trans eradication agenda!

    I want to hear from
    one of the real activists, the queer handmaidens of these delicate
    petals of purple violents. What would Elaine Atwell say?

    Shame
    I’ll never know. She’d never read about this because “feminist current
    is DANGEROUS GARBAGE WITH A DANDELION ON TOP”. *smh* you people
    shouldn’t have said women need their own spaces; that’s no way to make
    friends with women who are friends of transwomen.

  • Cassandra

    “She” is a man who’s harassing women; a lost, clearly not particularly intelligent self-absorbed and fucked-up male who has latched onto this nonsense to feel some sense of place in the world, to feel as if he matters. That’s sad, but he’s doing this at the cost of the rights and space of female people. Yelling at women this way is deplorable. He is nothing but a male bully, a big galoot on the playground beating up kids and taking their lunch money. It’s completely transparent. It’s right there on film.

    Also, “transphobia” is not a thing and women all over the world are catching on. We REFUSE to comply.

    • Just Passing Through

      “transphobia” is not a thing and women all over the world are catching on. We REFUSE to comply.” Good gawd I hope you are right Cassandra. I really hope more women are catching on to this bs.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Totally. Like, this is a (figurative) slap in the face to women like me and so many others here and across the world who have actually experienced male violence/domestic abuse. How DARE these people claim women who write words that challenge that (literal) violence attempt such a reversal. I hate the word triggering, but it’s triggering as fuck, because it’s so similar to the gaslighting I experienced while in an abusive relationship/after I left the relationship. “Anarchists” acting like I am the baddy for calling the cops when the dude wouldn’t stop harassing and threatening me, accusing me of lying, accusing me of bringing on the violence, etc etc. It makes me fucking sick and livid and triggered as all fuck.

    • I’ve been questioning the concept of triggers since I read Susan’s analysis on the context and meaning of it… how it’s used to medicalize anger in women.

      But I too felt my anxiety go way, waaaay up and got really tense when I saw that video. I almost couldn’t get through it because I was afraid one of the women from the Libary was going to get assaulted at some point. There’s violence and there’s violence masquerading as social justice. Sickening.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Oh yeah. I was shaking after seeing the video the first time. It’s still hard to watch, and I’ve watched it maybe a dozen times now, to get all the details etc.

      • Just Passing Through

        I can’t bring myself to watch it. I’ve gotten the picture from everyone’s comments. It will just make me too mad and I’m mad enough as it is. Just more poison.

    • Just Passing Through

      What’s really awful is to realize how much the Trans bathroom Obama approved drama here in the US has emboldened these whack jobs. Having Obama give total legitimacy to this movement has had devastating effects on trying to push back against all this. Having Obama’s stamp of approval has turned these guys into the biggest self righteous jerks ever. I cannot understate how much damage Obama brought upon us by championing men demanding entrance into women’s private spaces. I really am pissed at that guy. (Sorry I went a little off subject)

      • Wren

        SAME.

  • I am very glad that all the women being intimidated and threatened are safe. I am very upset that violent people are trivializing the word ‘violence.’

    I see anti-feminists protestors threw red wine on Janice Raymond’s ‘Not a choice, not a job’ because they don’t want women to read it’s content… Here, fellow feminists friends are page 64 and page 65 of that book: the pages they defiled. I encourage you all to take a peek to see what is it that these people were so hell-bent on hiding from you and women everywhere:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e9f9616b9d5706db9894863040467cdfd9794c2d0e9858e179b7e745c542adfb.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ab473dec75169187688e31b4ecd152bd67db6676d26cfe82a634811f8f3d6a41.jpg

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you, sister! It was definitely revealing to talk to so many people who attended the launch… Like you say, the protest is incredibly disappointing, but I am so heartened to see and hear about all the support the library has received to counter it.

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    I would’ve been on the phone with the police as soon as I saw that mob.

  • melissa

    ” Why is it we don’t see trans-men forcefully invading male spaces-
    screaming discrimination? Because, there would be hell to pay, that’s
    why.”

    Exactly this. Would most likely get knocked the fuck out. Come to think of it, they don’t even pull this crap with men on social media. Why don’t they attack ‘Men’s Health’ or “Men’s Fitness’ magazines for aligning male biology with men? Somehow everything to do with women, even just the word ‘woman’ is always the focus of their obsession.Its seriously disturbing. If this is not misogyny i don’t know what is.

    • Melanie

      Imagine what they could achieve for transgender people if they spent half as much time focusing on the men who actually commit the violence against them, instead of harassing women.

  • gryswtr

    I was banned for merely being found to have talked to you outside of the channel. Apparently they now say they will follow people elsewhere to make sure they keep in line, so after this I don’t want to comment under this name anymore. It is hard to imagine being so small minded but I suppose people feel comfortable in their boxes. If you fear being challenged, I can’t imagine your beliefs have very strong foundations.

    Anyway. Though I’m sort of shocked at how it all ended I’m grateful for my dialogue with you. <3

    • Cassandra

      That is some cult-y shit right there. Sounds like you realize it but JFC.

      • gryswtr

        Yep. And then they made a thread about it, doubling down, and after there was a lot of backlash just deleted everything. I’m done.

  • melissa

    Wish i knew which article you guys are referring to. Do you remember the name of the author by any chance?

  • Just Passing Through

    I hope you are able to recruit some of your male friends/relatives/acquaintances to learn about radical feminism. (one can wish right?)

  • Cassandra

    “These are the feelings that define women. A willingness to allow others to speak. A willingness to enjoy non violent living. An unwillingness to go around hurting other people.”

    Most of the time I am this way^^^ because I am punished if I am not. Speaking for myself, watching the video of that neanderthal yelling at a bunch of women like a rabid kangaroo definitely makes me want to throw glitter in his eyes. (Oh noz teh violence!)

    But I totally get what you’re saying.

  • Cassandra

    Did you ask them how many ways they could fuck a broken bottle? I mean, if you’re going to be accused of violence for talking about reproductive rights you might as well go all the way.

  • Cassandra

    “I don’t understand this mental process wherein if you acknowledge that a human has a penis and has received privilege from it, it’s called hatred or bigotry.”

    This is as old as the hills. This is always the reaction from males. Now it’s just wearing a dress (or pants, in the case of the shitstain at the library) and gaslighting women in a way that just knocks the breath out of you because you just CAN’T BELIEVE anybody is listening to this fucking insanity.

  • Cassandra

    “Also, if he is making money at sex work, men are much less transphobic than I thought they were.”

    LOLOLOL

  • Cassandra

    It’s a drag that I haven’t figured out how to code in disqus to give people strings of shooting stars in response to particularly well-phrased sentiments. 🙂

    • Yisheng Qingwa

      Meep. :3

  • Cassandra

    Petunia Cat! And your emoticons! How ya been?

  • Cassandra

    “I wonder if any of these protestors ever read a book. Not just books on the second wave, but any book.”

    I vote no. No on “any book.” Definitely not.

    • Melanie

      It’s very telling that they call the second wave ‘outdated’. The laws we have today that protect women in the home, in the workplace, in public, against sexual violence, during rape trials etc are a direct result of second wave feminists. Their analysis is the basis of the legal protections and understanding of male violence that we have today. The women’s refuges they’re trying to tear down exist as a result of second wave feminists, the health centers, the women’s community groups, libraries, court support etc. Second wave feminists founded them and still run them. These people are the ones who are outdated and trying to set us all back.

  • Cassandra

    “Their feminism is so inclusive, that it includes everyone except women that dare question males.”

    WOOT!

  • pyrite00

    Didn’t I block you on Twitter today for this attempt at trolling? No feminists treat women this way.

  • Cassandra

    I’m headed over to read your take on it. 🙂

  • Skye

    This is just crazy…

  • atranswidow

    What hateful, hateful men and their handmaidens. Hatred for women, hatred for reason and free thought. Projecting their own self-hatred onto those that they perceive as weaker than they are. Bolstered by alcohol, lacking in rudimentary verbal reasoning skills. I call them losers and cowards.

    The attempts at collective gas-lighting were awful to watch and, yes, fucking triggering. The only thing in the end was to call ”game over’ and call the cops. I’m so sorry that the wonderful women who had given up so much of their time and energy to organise a place and event that would benefit others had to suffer this.

    ”I think you’re using the word violence incorrectly”…….Exactly. How many times I could have said that as my marriage broke up over my ex’s need to be some version of a woman that just didn’t equate with that word. I’ve learned that women are strong and powerful together and men know this too. Knowing that a group of women in Vancouver, a place I’m never likely to visit, are working together for other women makes me feel proud to be a woman.

    • Meghan Murphy

      <3

  • Just Passing Through

    I guess this is all just the inevitable trajectory of the way men operate. Men have been trying since day 1 on this earth to keep women in a state of subjugation and under male rule and now that women (at least in the west) have gained a grain of salt sized amount of “freedom” men are literally freaking out. Just look around at the world right now….everywhere we look, men are terrorizing women and all across this planet women’s lives are in danger. Women and girls being forced into sexual slavery at alarming numbers, the violent hateful porn….Our rights are literally being yanked away from us… Men are literally losing their shit and the trans phenomena is just another way for men to administer that terror. I agree with another poster that women need to stop being so damn nice. We certainly don’t need to become like men and lack compassion, but “nice” has not gotten us anywhere in this world. It’s time to gain strength in our numbers…. So tired of male aggression.

  • Laurie

    Thank you Meghan for this article. What happened was horrifying, but I always love the accessible way you analyse things.

    I agree with all the points from everyone that the violence of the protesters was disgusting and frightening.

    For me, this wasn’t a protest that this group staged. It was just an opprsssive act, using the language of protest and resistance to silence challenge and opposition, which of course is another layer of oppression as it pulls apart the framework that allows women to name what is happening to them. Without their placards they would have more visibly been a group of violent trespassers and there wouldn’t have been a hesitation to call the police. I don’t particularly support police intervention generally but in a case like this, of course- what else can be done? I would have called the police sooner. But what made me angry was one of the protesters saying ‘of course, your cop sympathisers’ or something like that once the police were called. Resolving conflict through dialogue rather than police intervention is a traditional left approach, but only works if the parties are able to have a dialogue. It was the protesters unable to engage in dialogue, leaving the women in the library with no option but to call the police BUT then again the protesters turn the traditions of the left, that they themselves were violating back onto the women. This kind of blaming and indeed appropriation of women’s and indeed any liberation movement’s tools for freedom (which in my mind includes exploring ways to resolve challenges without police intervention) is just more oppression and violence. Especially as the women at the library may themselves experience the police as opprsssive- they are hardly the bastion of women’s liberation so how distressing that they were put in a position of such powerlessness by these people that they had to make recourse to the police.

    Lately I have been trying to engage with queer studies as I want to understand where this thinking comes from. I work a lot of the time with young people and many of them identify as queer, I wanted to understand their world and thinking more. I was so deeply surprised that a lot of what queer studies reaches for (in the texts I read) is actually aligned with my own politics as a radical feminist- gender analysis not included of course- but the way a lot of what I read framed heteronormativity, gay marriage, the failure of liberal politics- I was thinking a lot of it is not on a different page to second wave feminism in its aim to really deconstruct social power structures and social norms. So I think people like this are just working from no framework, their actions are divorced from any analysis at all, which is to say their actions are just pure and simple violence. There was no protest here, and I refuse to refer to this incident as a protest. This was an act of violence. They won’t take my language from me.

  • FierceMild

    There are no “feelings that define women”. None at all. Many women share your feelings of non-violence and peace, but many other women are soldiers or prosecuting attorneys or terrible listeners. It isn’t feelings that define what a woman is it is our bodies.

  • I agree 100% regarding the “sexual revolution,” which is ultimately a misnomer meant to mask the true significance of the reality referenced by the term: sexual slavery. As Gloria Steinem noted, “In the 1960s, any sex outside marriage was called the Sexual Revolution, a nonfeminist phrase that simply meant women’s increased availability on men’s terms” (Outrageous Acts And Everyday Rebellions). As you accurately argue, this has nothing whatsoever to do with women’s rights but rather reinforces what Marilyn Frye refers to as the Patriarchal Imperative, which is male insistence upon having ongoing access to female bodies. When I hear arguments and ideologies advancing the idea that the “sexual revolution” somehow liberated women, I understand that I am hearing what Breanna Fahs referred to as the “master narrative” in her important essay “Radical refusals: On the anarchist politics of women choosing asexuality” (446). This type of dominant discourse obscures the reality that there are many other, more anarchic modalities that a woman might adopt to escape repression, including asexuality. Yet the goal of the Master is not to create space for women to exist independently or autonomously, but rather to ensure that they can only operate in context of, and subordinate to, man. This context is inevitably “sexual,” with sexuality being defined by and for men to ensure that the phallic schema of male domination and female submission continues. This is why I agree with individuals who use the terms “compulsory sexuality” and “compulsory heterosexuality” to describe the systems of relations which keep women under male power.

  • Midori

    Preventing women from entering a library. How progressive…/sarcasm

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah that’s one of the most — if not THE most — upsetting things about all of this… That these people are so ignorant about that which they are protesting. They have no idea how dangerous it is to erase and vilify women’s work like this, because they haven’t even read the work and don’t understand the history of the movement.

    • Wren

      I don’t know if they’re that ignorant. I think you’re being kind. Lol. But maybe you’re right and they’re just stupid children. I felt embarrassed for them as I watched.

      He’s definitely just a total dick head who hates women, but why the fuck do these women go along with him?? I did not see any charismatic cult-of-personality allure in him AT ALL.

  • Tired feminist

    And it’s clear to *us* that you have no fucking clue of what feminism is.

    Read around a bit before commenting. Don’t embarrass yourself this much.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’d like to know why leftists in general aren’t speaking out about this. These are their friends, here in Vancouver, in any case. They have nothing to say about this behaviour? Talk about brocialism…

    • JingFei

      The only time I’ve seen leftists speak out on this, is towards comments made by women that are “misgendering”. Which makes them “violent”.
      They don’t give a damn about the real issues here.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Here is the ex-Vice President (she is still a union member, just no longer has the position of VP) of IATSE local 891 stating that she supports violence against women. I wonder when we will hear from the labour movement on this kind of talk? (VRR, for the record, refers to Vancouver Rape Relief). https://www.facebook.com/LispingLisa/posts/1546391372039532?comment_id=1546534998691836&reply_comment_id=1546931538652182&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R%22%7D

        • Meghan Murphy
        • JingFei

          Well, at least she isn’t getting much support. In the comments she’s complaining how the post isn’t “Liked” enough, and seems to be exclusively supported by Trans women.
          We can also see in this section how anyone who questions the ideology, even after spewing their undying support and loyalty for everything Trans to make sure they capitulate enough before they dare breath anything but enthusiastic agreement – are immediately smacked down as “wrong”, “transphobic”, or “no true ally”.
          With Trans activism, there is no room for opinions, thoughts, or even the slightest questioning. You are with the ever changing ideology 100%, or you are 100% their enemy.
          I have said it before, I will say it again; they will be their own undoing. They cannot contain the totalitarian nature of their movement. They cannot keep the crazy under wraps, and much like an infected wound, it oozes and spreads. I know quite a few Trans men now who are distancing themselves from “Trans/Queer activism” as they are realizing it’s doing them more harm than good. They are finally beginning to alienate gay men (who are the load-bearing wall of LGBT), create more and more enemies by the constant pressure and vilification of lesbians ( did you catch a glance at this TERRIBLY homophobic, mysogynistic article on Buzzfeed? More Cotton Ceiling crap and the commenters are not having it anymore: https://www.buzzfeed.com/shannonkeating/can-lesbian-identity-survive-the-gender-revolution?fb_comment_id=1571857972843628_1573630532666372&comment_id=1573630532666372&utm_term=.sbwB2BxB5r#.ke2mWmLmPR ).

          It is not only downright despicable to cause difficulty for a Rape Relief foundation, but it looks horrendous to even the most average of people who don’t know much about Identity Politics.
          As women, much like with the Vancouver Women’s Library, we have to continue to support each other, to support VRR, and places like it; with our words, our money, and absolute unwavering defiance in the face of this delusional, misogynistic onslaught.

          • Wren

            It’s good to see the comments on that buzzfeed article. Buzzfeed is complete shit now. I used to love it for the cute animals/random quizzes/what to buy on amazon fluff but now it’s a lot of trans/bdsm/pro-prostitution/anal sex for everyone trash. TOTAL propaganda for male sexual desires. It’s a shame.

  • Tired feminist

    *YAWN*

  • Raysa_Lite

    Hello, sarah!!! It’s wonderful to see you.

  • Noiresque

    Destroying books. This is heartbreaking.

  • FierceMild

    I would call them brotestors.

  • gnc and you can’t stop me

    It appears I have stumbled upon one of the largest cesspools on the planet. What joy do you receive in denying a transwoman her identity? What are your preserving? Her suffering? Her inability to feel safe in a public restroom? The fact you all have such a sordid world view is astonishing and infuriating. When you say a transwoman isn’t trans it is hateful. Perhaps this is because none of you have ever felt a gender identity crisis. You countlessly misgender these women who are cursed to lived with you and it’s despicable. You refuse to see these women as women and yet you can’t seem to understand how that is not trans exclusionary? How does it baffle you that you have all earned the monicker “terf” when you have essentially paved the road to wear that badge. I am eager for your responses on how I am mysoginistic when you’re the ones hating women. I guess it doesn’t count if you don’t think they are women in the first place? I don’t see how you all can’t see that if I said you were not a woman, it is the same as you denying a transwoman of her identity. This is a disgustingly depraved place rooted in self loathing and desperation. Your transphobic, sexwork and transexclusionary feminism is not welcome to those whom you long to oppress and you should only expect more opposition as each day passes.

    • Meghan Murphy

      How does it baffle you that you and your friends have earned the label “anti-feminist?”

      You very clearly have no concern for women, women’s work, women’s safety, women’s communities, and women’s fight for liberation, nor have you even *tried* to understand feminist arguments against the system of prostitution (which, for the record, COME from women who are victims of sexual exploitation and abuse themselves, who are racialized women, Indigenous women, poor and working class women, vulnerable women….)

      You are, what? Defending a man from being accountable for his misogynist, threatening behaviour? And pretending we are somehow in the wrong in calling out that behaviour? Please.

      You manipulations won’t work here.

      Oh, and “Perhaps this is because none of you have ever felt a gender identity crisis.”

      lol. What on earth do you think feminist critique of gender are??? Do you think we are feminists because we all feel comfortable with the femininity imposed on us from birth.

      How ignorant can you get. Really.

      • gnc and you can’t stop me

        Where we differ is I choose to respect that WOMAN’S identity and properly identify her as woman, as my sister and you instead wish to vehemently reject the notion of equality. If you would destroy the notion that trans women are men then you would truly understand and maybe even listen to those who stand up against your discrimatory and exclusive and inherently white feminism. If you have suffered a gender identity crisis I just don’t see how you can ignore the heartbreak and pain it must have caused you-or even worse-acknowledge it and push it further onto people who simply wish to exist as they feel comfortable. Why did that woman yell so angrily? She was angry her only attainable rights to womanhood were being

        • Meghan Murphy

          Are you on glue?? That dude is a dude. Literally no one thinks he is a woman. I don’t even believe HE thinks he’s a woman. He is a dude, acting dudely. Pushing women around, calling them misogynist slurs, physically and verbally bullying them.

          You are literally defending a white man in his attacks on women. “White feminism” my ass. You are doing Men’s Rights Activism here. Again, this manipulative shite doesn’t work on us.

        • Tired feminist

          I’m still not quite sure whether you’re intentionally trolling (as in parodying queer activists) or just being incredibly stupid…

          Your unfinished last sentence suggests the first one, but still, you’re quite boring for a parody.

      • gnc and you can’t stop me

        her only attainable rights to womanhood – her words and how she presents herself – were being stripped from her by every person in that library not with her. Why are those the only attainable rights? Because cishet transphobes are hell bent on making sure there is one correct woman. I bet you wake up in a cold sweat just knowing trans women exist.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Bullshit. Stop defending entitled, abusive white men.

        • Melanie

          Nobody has a ‘right’ to womanhood. You either are a woman or you aren’t. It’s nothing personal, it’s just biology. This person is a male who was clearly socialized as one. Women are not obligated to deny their own perception, reality or rights to appease the feelings of men, let alone at our own expense. Did you watch the video? Garden variety male aggression. Open your eyes.

    • Zuzanna Smith

      Those poor oppressed men in dresses who just want to exist, how much they suffer because actual women don’t just lay down and let them walk all over us, good gawd.

    • Yisheng Qingwa

      AHHAHAHAAHAHAHAAAA…

      Bye.

  • IvyHall

    Just wanted to say hi and can I follow you over here?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Totally, Rich. Thanks for cutting through the bs.

  • Meghan Murphy

    No difference — same video.

  • Meghan Murphy

    yuuup.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I had the same reaction.

  • gnc and you can’t stop me

    Also seeing you all praise cishet males here like what type of Feminists are you….

    • Meghan Murphy

      lollllllllll

  • calabasa

    Oh, to add to my long response–I had been reading FC a while when I met my roommate (whom I met through mutual acquaintances), and ya, I was skeptical about (or had no idea how enmeshed) all these facets of liberal feminism are: burlesque, “sex work,” pornography, the trans movement–here they were, embodied by my new roommate (who got INTO them–and his trans identity–through burlesque; I think he was just a male exhibitionist who wanted attention–he danced as a man first–who realized he’d get it more dancing as a woman; I think he was encouraged quite a bit by women in the burlesque scene, and no, I don’t think he is actually trans–I think he is just a bit of a fetishist who doesn’t like masculine norms–and I don’t think it’s been good for him, but that’s me). To see how all these things REALLY cross over–I mean, these people REALLY are part of the same/group movement–was eye-opening (he was with some woman when I first met him–married, poly–who, when not even TALKING about feminism but I think I mentioned someone who is a writer and also a feminist? Or she mistook the person?–began lecturing me about feminism, “oh, SHE who you mentioned is second wave, now there’s something called the third wave which has replaced the second wave,” in this arch way, and I had to cut her off and tell her I knew all about the various waves and disagreed with much of liberal feminism and there was no need for her to continue. She was so surprised that someone wasn’t going to be “illuminated” by her “knowledge”–which tends to be the case with these types–I find a lot of feminist policing by young white women of other white women–“are you being intersectional enough?” “you’re not LISTENING to trans VOICES,” etc.). This same young white woman said how she wanted to feed her kids Brie cheese now because “it won’t be around in future” and made some kind of Darwinian argument about how it was okay that we exploited others and the planet (I was like, your fucking six year-old doesn’t want Brie cheese, he wants Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and you sound absolutely delusional and like a conservative and not a so-called “liberal”). She talked about all this as if she were the “wisest” person (I realized how easily led my roommate was by the “wisdom” of these idiots). I sort of put a bug in his ear about how she was taking advantage of him a bit (she was) and then left on vacation and lo and behold they broke up, thank GOD, because I couldn’t have stood to be around that woman another minute. At another event (a supposedly feminist event entitled “my body is,” with spoken word artists) there were “fat black lesbian,” “skinny Latina trans gay,” “white dude with a painful illness,” “middle-aged white trans woman” and “young Latina gender-nonconforming trans woman.” So, first of all, the only white people at all were both men. The woman who was “fat black lesbian” (as she identified) identified with all of these labels above anything else–she didn’t talk about what it felt like to be a WOMAN in her body (more what it felt like to be overweight, or gender nonconforming in her lesbianism).

    The only person who said anything really meaningful (I mean, that resonated beyond herself) was a black woman who talked about the physicality of being black in a poem that referenced slavery and was brought up to the present moment; but she STILL didn’t talk, at a feminist event, about being a woman (or about the special horrors of women under slavery and under modern-day racism). Absolutely NO ONE got up there and talked about the COMMON EXPERIENCES WE ALL HAVE of sexual harassment, objectification, body hatred, sexual assault and male violence we experience under patriarchy, in a feminist spoken word event titled “my body is.” A LOT of space was given to the ghoulish-looking middle-aged trans woman (obviously recently transitioned) insisting he was a “woman” and giving a big fuck you to anyone who didn’t think so (a lot of shivering from the audience and “oohs” and “ahhs” at this).

    I got rather drunk afterward and said to some young white woman that where was the voice of WOMAN? I told her I had just had the rather common experience of being abused and raped by a man I dated, and I thought that was a rather common experience of “my body is a battleground” under patriarchy, and where the fuck were women talking about this?

    Not only did she not give the slightest word of sympathy (common, which is why I avoid talking about it to anyone), she said there were “plenty of spaces” for “women to talk about these things,” “plenty of other venues” and this “wasn’t that venue” and “people talk about those issues all the time” and “we are here to listen to other voices,” and then, like the other infuriating-as-fuck libfem woman, began lecturing me on “intersectionality,” and I interrupted her and told her, “I know more about this than you, and it doesn’t change my fucking question.”

    Yes, so, long story short–liberal feminists are the handmaidens of the trans movement and give SOOO much encouragement to otherwise awkward-feeling males when they transition I sometimes think they are treating them like the little brothers they’ve always wanted to try out their make-up on (or they think it is revolutionary, transing men, or something); I feel like they get some kick out of it. They are definitely not just enabling but extremely encouraging of any man who wants to claim he’s a woman (and get instant victim status and tons of attention online and IRL). They are more annoying to me than trans women and equally as pernicious to the feminist movement, if not more so. It’s white liberal feminists policing other white women to see if they are being “intersectional” enough and crying foul about “white feminism” if a woman disagrees with identity politics or libfem ideology. They are some of the most annoying women on earth, and, as evidenced by first woman in anecdote, a lot of them believe in a neoliberal philosophy and don’t give a shit about oppression of the marginalized or of the earth under capitalism.

    And I really, really had NOOOO idea before meeting this person just how much all of this was “thing” now. Jesus Christ.

    (He has another married poly girlfriend with kids now, but at least she’s nice, and never talks about feminism, so I like her a lot better).

    But yes, moving out soon.

    • JingFei

      “I got rather drunk afterward..”

      Holy crap-on-a-cracker. I’d have to be hammered to get through what you just described! LOL

      • calabasa

        Ha, I know, right? I did get really drunk–so drunk I kept falling asleep and they asked me to leave–it was just too much.

        To add to his hypocrisy, this same young white woman (friend of my roommate), right before I told her of my recent horrible experiences and asked where was the voice of woman in this feminist event, had been complaining about how she knew she was getting paid less at her job because she was a woman, for about ten minutes; when I said to her, “Well, where was the voice of woman in this feminist event, rather than every other identity on the planet?” and told her “I was raped and abused this year by my ex-boyfriend, a rather common event, and where were women talking about how their bodies are abused and exploited under patriarchy at this feminist event?” Not only did she not blink an eye–a lack of the usual feminine “oh I’m so sorry”–or seem to realize that, oh, well, maybe being raped and abused might be a bit more traumatic than being underpaid at her full-time job (that in fact, SHE was doing “white feminism”–not that the wage gap isn’t bad, but it’s significantly better for white women than WOC, and fighting for equal pay above, well, freedom from violence, is something “more privileged” middle to upper class, typically white feminists have been accused of being more focused on)–and hey, here I was, getting paid poverty wages with no benefits or job security as an adjunct while dealing with a horrible trauma–but she didn’t blink an eye, and began lecturing me then about how “these things” (oh, “these things like rape and abuse” you just experienced “are talked about at plenty of other places”) etc.–I mean Jesus fucking Christ. She’s lucky I didn’t throw my drink in her face (although my glass was probably empty).

        The mind-boggling hypocrisy of spoiled liberal feminists. It’s no wonder they fight for “identity politics” and the right to “choose” oppression and want to claim that everybody else is more oppressed than women within their own movement, including men. I noticed many of the radical feminists on here are impoverished, or women of color, or have been violently and sexually abused by men, and are older and have actual EXPERIENCES, which tend to include absolute shit from relationships and interactions with men–which these (typically young) and relatively more privileged women really DON’T, so they have not opened their eyes to the realities of female oppression (not to mention the enormous gas lighting of porn in the guise of “empowerment” and etc. they’ve been exposed to their whole young lives).

        But yes–I had to get drunk to get through this event (even my trans movement acknowledged I had a point when we talked about it, and said he wasn’t sure why women’s issues had been excluded from a feminist event–although this was after I posted on Facebook that I was sick of identity politics and third wave feminism, and he messaged me saying he felt “unsafe” to come home–this 6’2, muscular man–and I said nothing about trans people–I had to, of course, not tell him I felt “unsafe” with his porn all over the house etc.–I just covered up the worst of it and told him to stop telling me about his sex life, and he got the point–but I had to talk with him rationally to get him to understand, and then he was all, “Oh, well, you have a point,” and conceded he didn’t know why women had been so excluded, as a class, from this event).

        But yes. This is why I don’t go to “feminist” events anymore.

  • Cassandra

    Groan and laugh at the same time. 😉

  • Kelly

    Recently a man like the man at this library won a coveted spot that is reserved for ‘women or those that identify as women’, by pretending to be a woman : http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/male-liberal-staffer-pretended-to-be-a-woman-to-win-student-executive-position-20161020-gs6reg.html. (Liberal in Australia is conservative, by the way).
    All he had to do was provide a statutory declaration to say that he identified as a woman. He has never ever identified as a woman before. This is the sort of thing that is happening by focusing on ‘gender’ not ‘sex’. Anyone at any time can just say they identify as a woman in order to get in to somewhere that is reserved for women.
    Gender is like religion. It is thrust on you when you are young. If you don’t like it, ditch it and just don’t subscribe to gender norms, but don’t try and say that this makes you a different sex. There is nothing wrong with anyone’s bodies. There is something wrong with the gender norms that have been ascribed to those bodies.
    It is like the whole world has gone completely mad.

    • Raysa_Lite

      Liberal feminism is constantly saying “butbutbutbut males wouldn’t do that! They wouldn’t claim to be a woman just to intrude into the spaces of women! No way!”

      It’s almost like they have never met a male. Or read a book.

  • Cassandra

    No need to worry about an essay-length comment. Yours are always a pleasure to read! I didn’t know that particular bit of history about Arendt. Humor is a survival mechanism, of that I am sure.

    Like most of us here it’s very clear to me that these people are lost and emotionally unwell. (Then again, aren’t we all to some extent?) It’s no different than finding religion or being born again. They need *something* to find purpose in, and as you said, follow or conform to. And hey, I don’t blame them; life is brutal. It’s like free-falling through a black hole at times.

    I certainly enjoy a sense of meaning in this place and in donating to different women’s causes and from spreading the word when I can, but I’d like to think I’m not a numbnuts just repeating things I don’t understand because it’s what’s popular and fun and hip. This is not just a fad like mini skirts or heavy metal, however, it’s an intentionally obtuse, non-reality based state of mind and self-absorbed way of going through the world that’s become a most terrifying ideological juggernaut and causing real problems, and I cannot, for the life of me, understand the women in that video. To me it’s eerily similar to watching women screaming at pregnant women outside of abortion clinics. But these guys think of themselves as being enlightened when they’re essentially doing the same thing.

  • Cassandra

    Totally.

  • Wren

    What a fucking sick pig he is.

    Sometimes you do have to go somewhere new to heal. Go to you brother’s and try to find a trauma counselor when you’ve settled and feel stable and let some happiness and love back into your life, like doggy love, new friends, good family.

    Don’t worry about revenge. I will pray for his dick to fall off and I will pray hard.

  • Wren

    So true. I swear they can smell us. I have to be so fucking vigilant.

  • Wren

    I get it. I used to laugh at Trump, certain that he wouldn’t be president.
    🙁

  • Cassandra

    “He is playing on the tense racial divisions between white women and women of color (especially black women) by labeling critiques of gender and opposition to sexual slavery as “White Feminism”.”

    So true. The more clever ones (not this guy) do it to poke very specifically at the old and very real wound for black women within the context of the feminist movement.

  • Wren

    I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never heard of DARVO but JFC it explains so much shit I’ve been through.

  • Cassandra

    I am SO SO SO SO sick of the term/idea behind “inclusion.” It’s just the most manipulative, evil bullshit ever. Here’s a hint for anybody batting that stupid term around: Any “inclusion” that tells women they can’t talk about their female bodies is abusive and patriarchal to the core. Fuck the pussy hat. I’m going to get a trompe l’oeil suit of my entire inner body.

  • RobO

    “I heard a man saying really loudly,”

    Did you just assume zir’s gender?

  • Meghan Murphy

    They did not face backlash like this, no.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ohhhh I don’t believe for a second that this dude is a ‘sex worker.’ Someone probably, like, bought him a beer after sex once.

  • Tired feminist

    Hm, no. “Misgendering” is not used to subjugate and violently control trans people.

    It’s not “misgendering” either that makes transwomen come across as liars and deceivers; it’s their attitudes.

    Nice try at gaslighting though.

  • Tired feminist

    Now THIS is a good parody of queer activism. Observ and learn, trolls.

    Bonus points for “his gender”, heh.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Somewhere in the woodwork behind this protest you will find the name Tami Decolonize or Harsha Wallia, or both, I garauntee.”

    Oh yeah. Wouldn’t be at all surprised. Both of ’em have been working to attack and sabotage my work from behind the scenes forever. Harsha was one of those behind the petition to have me fired.

  • RobO

    You raise some good points there, Morag, but I’m going to have to avoid acknowledging any of them and insist you’re a bigot.

  • Wren

    Great post!

  • susannunes

    No, they did not at all. There was no “transgender” movement back then. Women’s bookstores were not controversial and were even welcomed.

  • Wren

    The guy in the video is not a ‘sex worker’ any more than he’s a woman unless he fancies himself the pimp of somebody or maybe he mooches off friends who are in the industry and considers himself one of them. He’s just completely crazy and delusional. But I do appreciate your comments about the violence that many transwomen face being part and parcel of being prostituted and that most prostituted trans people aren’t white (although I knew some). But anyway, it really pisses me off when trans activists use the violence done to prostitutes to further a male agenda of invading women’s spaces. It’s like fucking them all over again. It just makes me furious.

  • Katie

    “The only reason I can see for my ex-boyfriend’s sudden character change is that he suddenly felt vulnerable to me–he felt the balance of power was shifting in my favor, and he didn’t feel so in control anymore; basically, he felt like maybe he loved me more than I loved him, or I had more power over him than vice versa. That’s IT. That’s ALL. He got scared.”

    Thank you for sharing this; i think this is also the circumstance of my rape, but I’ve never been able to fully recognize it until reading this.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I was pretty disappointed to learn this as well. Not the only unethical, manipulative behaviour she’s engaged in here in Vancouver, that’s for sure…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Got another version up.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you, sister.

  • Meghan Murphy

    They’ve very successfully created a culture of fear. Those people are gonna have to start speaking out.

    • Patty Smith

      Totally agree

  • JingFei

    I’m sorry, the violent, drunken, belligerent, aggressive MALE on that video, with his male voice, male body, masculine clothes and MALE entitlement threatening females, invading their space and destroying their worked-for property is MALE.
    You can’t Pomo- word-circus me into delusion, as I actually know what real oppression is. That white, Canadian, western MALE is not being oppressed by the women who run that library in the slightest.

  • Wren

    I cannot believe this shithead supports anyone’s mental health. If I was his supervisor and saw this video and his behavior I would fire him on the spot.

  • Tired feminist

    Yes! From my understanding they aren’t even a “radfem” library, they’re a women’s library that welcomes different views on women’s issues. I don’t get the whole fuss (or rather I do, but if I were naive to think they were really concerned about trans/sex workers, I would not get it).

  • FierceMild

    You are unassailably correct. You basically just proved that they don’t want dialogue or inclusion. They will only be satisfied with utter domination. That’s what they’re after. It isn’t a safe place to pee they want or a seat at the table. They want to rule over women. And we say no more.

  • FierceMild

    Ha! First Roosh V mention I’ve heard here (I think). Hilariously apropos.

  • JingFei

    I’m pretty sure that the person who created the manual for DBT (Marsha Linehan) took her concepts directly from Buddhism which might explain why some of it seemed a bit spiritual/religious. When I was introduced to the concept of DBT, I instantly thought ” This is like Zen-Buddhism for Beginners”.
    Then again, some sects of Buddhism are more of a discipline than a religion, that surrounds mastering one’s own mind.
    It’s true many of these people could really benefit from it, but to do so would mean abandoning their stranglehold on the material world. Whether they like it or not, their concept of gender identity is dependent on societal ideas, group think, and material items. Material items such as gendered clothes, hair dye, jewellery, etc etc. Their identities are very much connected to their physical presentation.
    But who would they be without them? How would anyone know what type of unique snowflake they were? How would they know which other humans to group with? How would they judge people? It’s scary to have to really look inwardly, and be alone with your thoughts and your own mind. There are truths about oneself that are hard to face but ultimately we benefit from trying.
    Idk, maybe this is why they want those Buddhist books banned. We can’t have anyone NOT worshipping at the alter of gender identity and all the bells, whistles and sparkles that go with it. They would realize that it isn’t important as they think.
    Like, with no pastel hair dye, how would anyone know who was more wokeful? ( lol I kid. I’m just getting tired of the pastel hair + problematic glasses = “Queer” SJW thing).

  • Barb Levesque

    I just came across this article today – a very long piece but well worth the time.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/womanhood-redefined/

    We’ve come to a place where Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues has now been branded transphobic and bigoted at one of America’s premier women’s colleges. The author of this piece has taken great personal risks, as does Meghan Murphy, for stating the obvious:

    “It defies logic to say that womanhood is a construct when men and trans women are naturally excluded from these female experiences. There are essential elements to being a woman; they are few, but they are profound, and they shape the way we interact with the world. To erase or deny that reality because it doesn’t include biological men is an insult to women.”

    It’s interesting that this piece, written by a progressive left wing writer, appears in a conservative publication – the comments that follow the article are also well worth a read.

    Dark times my sisters.

    • Just Passing Through

      The Heritage Foundation has given Radical feminists a platform. Ck out Gender Trender for latest video with Miriam Ben Shalom, a representative of WOLF, and 2 conservative women on a panel ….it is an excellent video (and thank you to them) Through the looking glass times we go…. The Heritage Foundation! Who would have thought!?

      • Meghan Murphy

        The Heritage Foundation is awful…. The panel was good, though, I agree. The association with the Heritage Foundatage is hard for me to swallow, though, I’ll admit.

        • Just Passing Through

          I know… proceed with caution on this one for sure. But even MBShalom said that the H Foundation at the least, gave them a platform where they could speak out and not be harrassed and yelled at for the entire time like has been the case elsewhere. But yes I agree on that.

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    I couldn’t watch most of it either. I am going through many of the things you are right now… I wish we could hang out and talk. Men have shit on me, raped me, abused me, LIED about me all my life. Over and over. Now I speak the truth about men. They are cancer. I hope you find peace… I hope I find peace.

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    Wouldn’t it be unfortunate if these men caught painful herpes, got hit by a UPS truck, fell down an elevator shaft or got mauled by a rabid badger.

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    It’s gone.

  • Wren

    lol!!

  • Lisa Tremblay

    Name calling, physical intimidation, destruction of property and threatening behavior against women is what batterers, rapists and pimps do to women and girls. I’m not suggesting that these protesters are batterers, rapists and pimps but still their behaviour is frightening. My heart races even reading about it. How many women at this event felt fear??? Will feminists need security guards when they hold events – to protect them from leftist men and trans women of the Trans Communist Cadre? This group should be called to account for their behavior, pay for costs of pulling the fire alarm and apologize to the library founders and guests.
    Books written by women have saved women’s lives. They’ve helped us understand our experiences, connect with a movement, analyze the world we live in and learn from other women. This suggestion by the protesters that certain books should be banned because they don’t reflect their experience or analysis reflects their childish self-absorption. The women who organized this small volunteer run community bookstore should be appreciated and respected for bringing back something women have lost in the last two decades.
    Despite their best efforts, these misogynist protesters will not kill the second wave. We just got started and we’re going to keep going until all women are free.

  • Meghan Murphy

    lol and good god.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I think some of them can see but are just too cowardly to say anything. Liberals and leftists alike are the biggest cowards around these days. All group-think and insincere ass-kissing.

  • Cassandra

    One is not comparable to the other. In fact trans is in direct conflict with sexual attraction, which for the vast majority of people, is based on biologcial sex.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I totally understand why women would go on the panel. It’s certainly important to speak our about this stuff, and the left and liberals refuse to host the conversation… But yes, like you I have deep reservations about partnering with organizations who so wholly and completely go against everything I stand for.

    • Just Passing Through

      What strikes me as so odd is that the HF is anti-woman as hell so I wonder why the wide open arms on this. Kinda makes you wonder what’s up their sleeve. I mean what do they stand to gain from this because its hard not to think along those lines knowing who we are dealing with. A headscratcher.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yes indeed. I wonder what their motivations are…. I can’t imagine they are rooted in women’s rights…

    • Cassandra

      Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Neither side cares about females.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Your friend sounds very nice. (And the library is in Vancouver, actually, not Toronto.) But I’m curious to know why you feel it is feminists who make the lives of trans-identified people harder? The things that make transwomen’s lives harder are not things that feminists are responsible for… Indeed, we are the ones fighting male power, male violence, and the gender binary…

  • Raysa_Lite

    If people (and by people, I am assuming that you mean at least some women) were “swearing at her and abusing her”, I am sorry to tell you that I just don’t believe that.

    Transgender people who were insulted at the marches were very vocal about it, down to how attacked they felt by the Vagina hats. Or the words being used. We are constantly and consistently told by Transgender women that language surrounding our female bodies is “violent” and “attacking”.

    Feminists aren’t violent. Not as usual course and certainly not enough to be statistically relevant, if at all. We evade violence, we don’t create it.

    So what happened when your Transgender friend was abused? Did he have to go get medical attention? We’re the police involved? No one recorded it?

    So he has problems procuring birth control? Or he has to worry about pregnancy occurring from rape? And he has grown males leering at him, sexualizing his body from a very young age?

    Misogyny not an equal experience between you and a male dressing as a woman. Misogyny isn’t experienced by males at all, whether they are in a dress or a suit. It’s not my job to make things easier for males to survive or live their lives in peace. They do a good job of that on their own.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I don’t believe it either, for the record. There is no feminist I know who would or has ever behaved like that. And I know *a lot* of feminists. Indeed, the only *actual*, veriable accounts of trans-related violence, threats, harassment, and abuse are of trans-identifed males on women, girls, and feminists.

      • Raysa_Lite

        I can only imagine the fall out if a woman had “abused” a male, Trans or no.

        Also, the phrase “it cuts both ways” flies all over me. How many times I have heard that women are just as bad or violent as males???

        Uh, NOPE. It can’t go both ways because POWER doesn’t go both ways. What power do we have over males? They control us with fear and violence and their male system backs them up.

  • Tired feminist

    Nope. Sexual orientation is a real thing, gender identity is not.

  • 01-7896

    According to the World Health Organization, being transgender is a mental illness.

    >Science
    >Feelings
    -pick one

  • BaldwinBravo

    Interesting

  • libkid08

    Heavens to Betsy I feel so awful for those poor women. What kind of weak ass, pathetic, coward do you have to be to start big dramatic fights in a volunteer library? I mean honestly. Grow a set of ovaries and take on the big boys. That’s what “real” women do. Pansy ass losers with nothing to frigging do. What’s his next stop? A day care center? Perhaps the intensive care unit of a hospital. He can scream about how the burn victims aren’t centering his feelings.

  • Arundeep Chohan

    This looks done by the left..

  • Katherine Collins

    My comment was just censored out. Why? I was not rude or abusive.

    • Meghan Murphy

      No it wasn’t. It was in the moderation queue. All comments are moderated and have to be approved manually.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You don’t think trying to shut down a small, grassroots women’s library because they have feminist books that you don’t like is anti-feminist? You sound very confused….

    • Morag999

      Confused, yes, but he also sounds like a terrorist-in-the-making.

      Honestly. All his talk about cruel women, whom he calls “the enemy” … all those women who have ruined his life by not allowing him in, by not submitting to his demands, by not dutifully reflecting back to him his vision of himself … all those women who make him suffer, who erase him and make him want to die … Jesus, what a scary guy.

      I wonder if that man in San Bernardino — who called his new bride “an angel” a few weeks before he shot her, and then himself, in front of her young students, thereby making collateral damage out of a couple of kids, one of them fatally — had similar thoughts?

  • Meghan Murphy

    I think the best solution is for me to stop sleeping. Or, really, doing any work beyond comment moderation.

    🙂

    • marv

      They would still expect you to be a vigilant sentinel on duty day and sleepless night responding to every whim.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It is revealing that it is specifically women’s spaces that are targeted, not male dominated spaces, isn’t it…