What's Current: This year's hottest trend — bullying & silencing feminists — continues with zeal

Are you now or have you ever been a TERF?

Hey, did you know that men are not physically stronger than women? And “human beings actually differ very little in their sexual dimorphism”? I mean, female squids are usually twice the size of males, so comparatively, male and female humans are exactly the same! (This article actually makes this argument).

But if it’s all just “pseudo-science,” how do men physically overpower women in so many situations of rape and violence? For example, how was this woman in Turkey “killed for resisting rape?” Female protesters take to the streets of Turkey in outrage over the death of 20-year-old Ozgecan Aslan.

Bryn Mawr College is under attack for referring to itself as a “women’s college.”

Women of color working in male-dominated STEM fields are consistently mistaken for janitors.

NewStatesman contributor and blogger, Glosswitch, has consistently provided us here with fantastic feminist writing. However, after being doxxed, out of concern for her family’s safety, Glosswitch has left twitter and closed glosswatch.com. All thanks to the efforts of liberal “activists.”

 

Susan Cox An American expatriate who fled to the wonderland of Canada, Susan Cox spends most of her time writing, reading, and cooking. Follow her @BLASFEMMEY.

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Susan Cox

Susan Cox is a feminist writer and academic living in the United States. She teaches in Philosophy.

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  • Very sad and angry to hear that about Glosswitch.

    • FrustratedRadFem

      Why would they go after her? I don’t know her but I’ve read her work and she is one of the nicest people. Trans activists are acting like rabid dogs,always looking for the next person to bite. They are even getting her kids involved are they insane? You know for people who claim to be women the sure don’t act like it.

      I’m furious over Ozgecan’s murder can’t women go anywhere without this kind of threat? I hope the bastards rot in hell. I hope she’s in a better place.

      Fallon Fox is a deceptive (claimed to be female on the application) misogynist asshole who only joined because he couldn’t make it in the men’s league and he likes beating up women. He’s not prejudiced against he’s just another violent male.

      Women’s college are for women (adult human females why do I even need to clarify) why can’t they leave women alone.

      Assuming that women of colour are the cleaning staff is depressing have they not seen non-white women in professional positions before. I’ve seen plenty of people from many races and both sexes doing all sorts of work. There needs to be more opportunity of course but while that happens assumptions like that need to go.

      • Missfit

        ‘Why would they go after her?’

        Because she dared say things like women doesn’t and shouldn’t equal feminity.

    • I’m also very sad and angry about Glosswitch’s situation. The Glosswatch blog was/is brilliant and was required reading for me. The first I knew something was up at Glosswatch was when I did my daily check for any new posts by Glosswitch. I can only imagine the personal toll this must be taking on Glosswitch and her family.

      I don’t have the words really to describe how I feel about this – the fact that standing up for women made Glosswitch the subject of such relentless attacks. All for reiterating that women are human, and that Western society doesn’t treat us as such. The fact that stating these views generates such viciousness should tell us something about how our society views women, but I feel sadly certain that many self described feminists will see the shutdown of Glosswatch as a victory rather than a loss.

      Sure, the central problem here is with entitled men, who require women to sacrifice themselves in order to furnish the male privilege they deny having, and to validate their preferred identity (be that masculine or feminine, or ‘good’ man) by whatever means any particular male should require.

      But I’m beyond fed up with the women – so often self-described feminists – who aid and abet these males at every turn and appear keen to tear down women who support other women. It shouldn’t be so easy for males to get this kind of support from women, and so hard for women-supporting women to obtain it.

      Glosswitch hasn’t just decided not to post anymore, the blog is being taken down, so even that great archive of Glosswitch writing will be unavailable. How many feminists will realise what they’ve lost, and the cost to Glosswitch? The answers are – probably not that many, and who cares anyway because she was an evil TERF.

      So another great, incisive, necessary feminist blog is scuttled.

      • C.K. Egbert

        And yet I haven’t seen anyone go after MRAs who condone violence against women. Liberal activists indeed.

  • liza

    Oh no! I love Glosswitch at Glosswatch. I noticed she’d taken down her personal facebook page a while ago.
    This is horrible news. We need her!

  • C.K. Egbert

    That’s so terrible about Glosswitch. These are exactly the tactics that MRAs use to silence feminists.

  • Reader

    Men bullying, threatening and silencing women. Intelligent women that speak the truth.

  • I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the idea that men are not in fact innately, physically stronger than women. There could be a natural strength gap between men and women, but if so it is increased by the fact that women are encouraged (starting from childhood) to starve themselves in order to be considered “pretty”, while boys are told to work out and develop ridiculously huge muscles in order to be “sexy” or “handsome”. Like I say, this starts in childhood, maybe even in infancy, with female infants being more physically restricted than male infants, who are already perceived as being more capable than women.

    Of course liberal feminists ignore both biology and the effects of gender indoctrination. They think that indoctrination does nothing but make people who don’t conform feel bad. They don’t realise that indoctrination can actually change someone’s personality, even though there is plenty of evidence that it can.

    • I think the comment about physical strength was meant to be sarcastic, and perhaps a bit caustic.

      There are clearly many women with great physical strength, and all women have the ability to train and improve their physical strength and abilities, but this doesn’t change the fact that, on average, men have greater physical weight and strength. The fact that some women might be stronger than some men is not a justification for the abuse of women by men. Even if Patriarchy didn’t exist, is this supposed to be an argument that might makes right? This argument is senseless. The assumptions are wrong, the facts are wrong, and the conclusions are wrong.

      Despite this, however, I do believe that all sports should be gender-neutral. Everyone should be able to compete together. For the same reason that different races of men should be able to compete together. We don’t tolerate segregated male sports anymore. Does this mean that in some sports men may predominate more than women? Sure, just as in other sports, women may predominate more than men. There will always be exceptions and outliers, as there is with everything in life.

      So what? Why make a fetish out of gender? You could just as easily make a fetish out of tall people, or short people, or people with long arms or legs. (Why do only tall people get to compete in the high-jump!) Some people are suited to one sport, some more to another, and others to none! 🙂

      Obviously this is not the world we live in today, but this is my view of how sports might exist in a non-Patriarchal society.

      • Rosie

        Chris – If all sports became gender-neutral, women would be excluded even more than they already are and female athletes struggle enough as it is! Look at the different records for Olympic events – e.g. 9.6 seconds versus 10.6 seconds for 100m.

        We have to deal with the fact that female bodies are just very different from male bodies (though I appreciate Independent Radical’s point that men are encouraged to beef up and women to starve down). The fact that women tend to be smaller, less strong, lower muscle mass etc. does not mean that their bodies are inferior, since women are also better at e.g. BEARING CHILDREN, but it does mean that women will be at a disadvantage in most sports. The differences between male and female bodies are vastly greater than the difference between the bodies of white and black men, so your comparison just doesn’t work.

        I’ve never heard of a trans man trying to compete in men’s sports. Similarly, I’ve never heard of a trans man wanting to be transferred to a men’s prison. This may be partly because trans men are so overlooked, both in the mainstream and in LGBT circles (and I wonder why that is!!!! ), but it’s surely also because having a female body is a massive disadvantage in men’s sports (because of physical differences) and in men’s prisons (for obvious reasons, which I don’t even want to think about it would be so awful…)

        Would Fallon Fox really be so keen to compete in the division that aligns with her gender identity if she were FtM instead of MtF…? I think we all know.

        • Rosie,

          I accept your second argument, but not your first. Yes, our bodies are different. But there are also strong women heroes and archetypes that we rarely acknowledge in western culture. Perhaps, on average, they do not meet modern male standards. I doubt they cared. They did not need our permission to be spectacular.

      • brunhilda

        I think we should have height/weight segregated sports for some stuff. For example: let’s say you’re a really good volleyball player, but you’re only 5’2”, logically, putting you in a game with people who are 6′ tall is unfair. Ergo, let’s separate out volleyball by height.
        For sports like karate and boxing, people are already weight segregated (but also sex segregated); having sex segregatio of partners (but not weight/height segregated) can cause a problem in the gym, as if you’re a taller girl, you’re stuck with partners who are too small for you to practice properly, and if you’re a small man, you’ll be in over your head.
        Some sports may not need any segregation of course (soccer probably). But that’s how I’d do it. By height and weight, not by sex.

        • Height and weight segregation is a good idea. If we segregate by enough physical characters we will not have to segregate by sex (e.g. women who are unusually tall and have an unusually high amount of muscle mass could compete with men who are more average.) The issue is that males are still taught from childhood to be more aggressive and that may give them an advantage in some sports, so we would have to abolish gender indoctrination before we removed sex segregation from sports and replaced it with segregation based on other physical traits.

          As for the claim that there is an inherent gap in prettiness between males and females (made by some person below me), it is totally ridiculous given that prettiness is an invention of society to begin with and you can’t compare males and females in terms of prettiness because the standards are totally different. Do you find female orangutans prettier than male ones? Probably not. Humans are obviously very different to orangutans, both physically and mentally, so I don’t think it’s valid to say “oranguatans are like this, therefore humans are like this”.

          • low down dirty dawg of a male

            Maybe i didn’t articulate well enough as I think you missed my point about apes. I wouldn’t find any female orangutan attractive, but a male orangutan could, and if he was a dominant male he would likely take his pick of the smartest, prettiest and most fertile.

            Is prettiness an invention of human society? Maybe some aspects of it. I’m positive that we aren’t the only species to select reproductive partners in terms of beauty. ( beauty defined by health, symmetry and ability to produce healthy offspring just to list a few measures)

            What are your thoughts on how being pretty/cute may be a biological response to being selectively bred for submissive characteristics? ( i.e. how foxes show floppy ears and doe eyes after being bred for submissiveness characteristics after only a handful of generations)

            Humans obviously aren’t selectively bred in such a controlled manner so it would take much longer if at all. but it could be possible right? ( there were times where people were much more ruthless while deciding whether a baby was worth nurturing to adulthood) These traits would also be passed down through matrilineage but not be exclusive to females. Feminists are the first to point out how woman have been historically indoctrinated to be submissive so I imagine this could only contribute to this effect.

            I was just trying to point out that the differences we see in men and women psychologically and physically were seeded in our infancy as evolving humans and that it will take a bit more broad spectrum education rather than blogs and protests etc. before the hardwired attitudes can be changed.

            Complete blending of genders in sports/professions or anything of that sort for that matter based on height,weight, skill etc.. seems like it would work well in theory. But doesn’t it also seem like a trend that would move towards a complete homogeneous society of one race and no defined genders.

            At which point do you along this trend would you find the optimum condition for humans? and would your opinion on this be any more valid than a hard line right wing conservative who desires the exact opposite?

            It would be my stance that in some paid professional sports be based on skill and ability, not gender, but for amateur sports like in the Olympics to still be gender segregated. I am unsure how well this would work for school aged children but I would expect that exceptions for the rules could be made for those individual cases so the children can be exposed to a particular competitive element. It would also be tough for certain one on one sports like tennis. but in this case I suppose you could have mens/womens only tournaments to compliment the gender inclusive tournaments.

            I’m honestly just trying to understand your perspective, and also hoping that you aren’t taking this as hostility or disrespect.

          • low down dirty dawg of a male

            I also forgot to mention that Orangutans have been shown to share many human characteristics and is one of if not our our closest living animal relatives. :p Very different? Not so much. So I do think it’s relevant to point out similarities

            http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090623-humans-chimps-related.html

          • vagabondi

            Orangutans aren’t as closely related to us as chimps, bonobos, or even gorillas.

            And, if you want to compare orangutans to humans, you’d have to explain how the presence of two divergent types of males has some sort of human parallel. Among orangutans, there is a fully mature type, similar to gorilla silverbacks, and a much larger group of males who remain small and adolescent (though sexually mature). This has an enormous effect on orangutan mating habits.

        • Pete

          The idea that sports shouldn’t be gender segregated is ridiculous, it really isn’t at the moment. It’s not like women can’t and haven’t tried to play with men but there has never been anyone good enough to compete on a regular basis. Michelle Wie and Annika Sorenstam are great golfers but they couldn’t compete with the men. Serena Williams is the best female tennis player in the world but she is quoted as saying she wouldn’t be able to score a point against the men. It’s biology(testosterone)pure and simple. Men are bigger, stronger, faster, and have more endurance. And who in their right mind would want to watch a volleyball match where it is height segregated? Maybe they should make an under 6 foot tall NBA league too lol.
          I know radical feminists hate hearing that men and women are biologically different and testosterone and estrogen have huge impacts on the way men and women think, act, develop, etc but it’s scientific fact.

          • Meghan Murphy

            “I know radical feminists hate hearing that men and women are biologically different and testosterone and estrogen have huge impacts on the way men and women think, act, develop, etc but it’s scientific fact.”

            That’s an odd thing to say, considering that radical feminists seem to be the only ones willing to acknowledge the existence of biology these days.

          • susan

            Yeah, seriously.

            Also, it’s pretty weird how lately everyone just tallies up sexual difference to estrogen and testosterone. There are WAYYY more physical differences than that.

          • Strangely liberals are the ones screaming “born that way” over and over again and then they call other people biological essentialists. I don’t even know what the term means any more.

            Hormones are actually influenced by behaviour and circumstance. Excessive amounts of testosterone in males could just as easily be the result of aggressive behaviour as the cause of it. In any case, humans are not completely ruled by hormones. We do this thing called thinking, MRAs might want to try it sometime.

      • marv

        Our conceptions of sport have been influenced by patriarchy to a greater extent than we realize, especially when it comes to the value of competition. Our identities are exceedingly invested in winning: to throw further, hit farther, run/swim faster, jump higher, score more points than our rivals. Why not reconceive sport in terms of cooperation to reach a common goal or pleasure?

        From a more egalitarian standpoint the purpose of athletics is that it is integral to becoming an educated, enlightened, healthy and socially just person. It values true self-awareness, pleasure in motion, cooperation (not the male bond), physical self-respect, self-possession, an overall sense of well-being and fun. It surpasses the hollow point of view that we have to beat someone at something as a source of meaning in our lives. We find satisfaction in our bodies as acting vigorously as opposed to acting upon others or being acted upon by others. Furthermore equality games embrace women and men, girls and boys, disabilities, people of size and those who don’t fit into the competitive mould, all in one arena. This approach also affirms those who have chosen to opt out of sports not because they couldn’t make the cut but because of their rejection of the masculine ideal. When the focus is on mental/physical health and glee, not victory over rivals or gracious defeat, everyone is valued equally for their unique abilities.

        A vision of sport that is critical of rivalry, femininity and masculinity under male dominion cultivates the hope of a new social reality and identity that is not bound up with patriarchal outlooks. It is a new standard that could assist in transforming females and males into equal human beings as a substitute for the social fabrications of women and men, girls and boys, abled and disabled, winners and losers. It is a lot more empowering and sublime than competing. Quite simply it is a matter of choosing elegance, mindfulness and equality over vulgarity, conventionality and oppression.

    • low down dirty dawg of a male

      I’m not sure where you are going with this? Wouldn’t gaps in strength and beauty between genders be a result of our evolutionary history coming from a patriarchal society of great apes? Like the extreme differences between an alpha male orangutan or gorilla compared to the alpha females? Anyways I wouldn’t think the last 100-200 or 1000 years of societal pressures could have caused that gap in strength and aesthetic appeal we see today, they merely exemplify it.

      That being said it is still necessary to educate the masses that obligatory differences based on gender is a primitive way of thinking.

      Everything starts in childhood you are 100% right. Can’t argue the facts

      You can’t soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys, and you can’t soar like a feminist when you are surrounded by misogynists.

    • FrustratedRadFem

      I think a lot of liberal feminist want equality by men’s standards while keeping the feminine expectations. I feel like they value femininity over women, which might explain why they constantly prioritise transwomen. We basically are expected to take on both men and women’s gender roles, but men keep their privilege and they allow them relief from masculinity while still coddling them. It’s a burden not freedom. They argue for more expectations but not more corresponding solid power. The are arguing from a point that we’ve already achieved equality it’s just a few assholes and a lot of misunderstanding.

  • purple sage

    “NewStatesman contributor and blogger, Glosswitch, has consistently provided us here with fantastic feminist writing. However, after being doxxed, out of concern for her family’s safety, Glosswitch has left twitter and closed glosswatch.com. All thanks to the efforts of liberal “activists.””
    WHAT!?!?! Glosswitch is a brilliant and talented writer, and I’ve been sharing and quoting her work for months. This is fucking unbelievable! Glosswitch, if you’re reading this, your words will be remembered. I have quotes of yours swimming around in my head all the time.
    And to those who doxxed Glosswitch: FUCK YOU. There will always be more outspoken women around, we’re not going away and not shutting up. If you’re scared of women talking about female anatomy and female oppression, just remember that no matter how much you bully us, we continue to bleed every month, we continue to get pregnant, we continue to go through menopause. Female reality doesn’t fucking go away just because a bunch of misogynist turds harass a woman online. Every time you cowards shut a woman up, more of us realize we need to speak.

  • Rchen

    I am so angry that Glosswitch was doxxed. I love her writing, particularly her writing on motherhood. She has saved my sanity by bravely and plainly stating the reality of a woman’s life, a mother’s life, in a way I never thought possible. It just goes to show online harassment of women and feminists isn’t just words. If you are reading Glosswitch I hope you know that you have touched my life for the better.

  • Adding to the voices mourning Glosswitch.

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooo.

    We’re going backward so far, so fast. And the good fall silent one by one.

  • Cepheid

    I’ve only been reading Glosswitch for a few months after being linked to her work through this website, and I was so crushed to see her blog closed when I went to check it today. I think I read just about everything she’d posted on her blog archives, and I loved her writing style and how open, honest, and clear it was.

    Really going to miss her work.

  • Pippa

    OH NO. I had been kind of delusionally hoping that Glosswitch’s blog was down temporarily or that there had been a mistake and it would come back.

    This is just terrible. Hers is one of the most insightful voices I have ever read. I felt so many times when reading what she wrote that she had articulated something incredibly important that I had always been vaguely aware of but never been able to articulate. She is an incredibly talented writer. It is such a loss to everyone that her writing isn’t there anymore.

    And all for saying that pregnancy isn’t a gender neutral issue, that there is biology underlying the definition of woman, that the institutionalised oppression of women as a class is intertwined with the reality of female bodies.

    I don’t understand how the people who have done this to her could possible think of themselves as anything other than scum. If they could ever really pick out pieces of her writing and the beautifully clear explanations she gave for the things she believed and say ‘yes, I feel my response to that was reasonable’.

  • Rebecca

    Adding to the chorus of heartbreak and outrage re. glosswitch. I had planned to use some of her writing for a course this term, as well as to help me write my book . . . how wretched that it’s all inaccessible now.

    I wonder if someone could create an archive of some of her work (with GW’s permission of course), much as was done for the now-long-departed, much-mourned Biting Beaver.

    • purple sage

      Omg, don’t even get me started on the loss of Biting Beaver. She was amazing.

    • jo

      I was thinking the same thing – if she approves, can her writing be published somewhere else? It’s a huge loss when important feminist writing just disappears.

      It seems like a similar thing going on over and over again. Intelligent, empathic woman writes feminist texts, haters shut it down while shouting a lot of crap and refuse to actually engage with what is written.
      For example, the empathic Andrea Dworkin were/are constantly misquoted and labelled a manhater and a prude, when she really wasn’t.

    • Nicola Miller of The Millers Tale

      A lot of it is on the New Statesman archive.

  • Missfit

    This ‘what’s current’ started with an excellent article I read smiling thinking ‘yep, that needs to be said’. And I ended almost crying reading that Glosswitch stopped blogging. I too discovered Glosswitch through this blog, add her to my favorites and read everything she wrote since then. This is such a huge lost. She is a brilliant thinker and writer who dedicated her talent to the cause of women. It’s not that they are legion and we can’t afford to lose anyone of them! That she was put in such a position… I have no words. I am outraged. How come transactivits get so much support despite behaving like they do? How come they have a free pass to bully women? When did that start? What happened? It seems to only escalates. So much nonsense and anti-feminism and a bunch of faux-progressives nodding and going along. What a shame.

    • FrustratedRadFem

      Because they are men and everybody knows it. Whether they admit it is another issue. Men can be as belligerent as possible and their argument be taken on merit and if you pull the tone argument on him it’s considered irrelevant. If a man is harassing you saying you don’t like his tone does not shut him down because he doesn’t care. We are raised in a way where our socialised response is to accept it. But a woman has to be perfectly polite and can’t make any accusations (directly or indirectly).

      Women don’t get the special treatment from the left that is afforded to trans activists. They don’t point out how unfair it is to pick on us because we are oppressed and marginalised. If they do it’s only to attack their political enemies not ours. They need our labour and votes but don’t suck up to us why is that? Most leftist men use trans politics as an excuse to dismiss us.

      Glosswitch didn’t deserve this. If we doxxed violent men they’d scorn us but when they doxx women with non-violent opinions (backed by fact) she must be silenced at all costs. At least people are finding out what’s happening and we have documentation.

      Biting beaver was awesome I hope she’s doing alright. Her writing is some of the first radfem work I read.

  • Glosswitch very generously contributed to a piece I compiled about childhood and adult literary inspirations, She was so utterly generous with her time and her words. The link is above if any of you would like to read it?

    I am appalled and saddened.