Open letter in support of Martha Harvey

We stand in solidarity with Martha Harvey and with the principles of free speech, critical thought, and woman-centered politics.

Image: Facebook/Pride Center of the Capital Region

On July 9th, 2017, Martha Harvey, the Executive Director of the Pride Center of the Capital Region shared an article from a feminist website to the Center’s Facebook page, along with the comment, “Interesting article. What do you think?” The article, “Lesbianism is under attack, though not by the usual suspects,” was about the historical erasure of lesbianism, lesbian women’s accomplishments, and the ongoing violence and coercion they are subjected to around the world in order to force them to submit to heterosexual relationships. The article criticized a modern version of this coercion, disturbingly rubber-stamped by many progressives and queer activists. These are recognized, long-standing issues facing lesbian women and girls, which any organization who claims to represent them should be concerned with.

But because a very small but vocal group did not agree with the arguments made in the piece, they decided that it should not be read by anyone at all. Within hours of posting the article, Harvey was attacked online by a group of people who labeled her “transphobic,” demanded she apologize and take down the article, and proceeded to write the Center’s board of directors, repeating these demands and calling for her resignation.The article contained no slurs, hate speech, or calls for violence, and Feminist Current, where the article was published, is a well-known feminist, progressive publication, that advocates against male violence and towards women’s liberation. Still, even after Harvey took the post linking to the article down and posted a lengthy, detailed apology, demands the board ask for her resignation, claiming she was unfit for the position, continued.

No political article will be wholly agreed on by all readers. It is ok to disagree, it is ok to critique, it is ok to have conversations, to argue, and to debate. It is not ok to silence, censor, or attempt to destroy the lives of those we disagree with. It is not okay to silence and smear a lesbian woman, for raising concerns about the human rights of lesbian women, on the page of an organization whose mission includes increasing political recognition and human rights for lesbians.

The article was said to have included “damaging rhetoric,” and Harvey was accused of “transphobia” and “transmisogyny” for having shared it. A statement posted on the Black Lives Matter: Upstate NY Facebook page read:

“The Executive Director of the Pride Center of the Capital Region recently shared, via social media, a cruel and dehumanizing ‘article’ perpetuating violent and transphobic rhetoric. The article, among other things, compared trans women to rapists and reduced members of the trans community to their genitals.”

No quotes from the article were offered as reference for these claims. In fact, what the article argues is that lesbians have the right to refuse sex and sexual relationships with people with penises. This argument is not hateful or phobic, it is a matter of respecting lesbianism, respecting women’s boundaries, and in opposition to a misogynist and homophobic culture that says all women should desire and be sexually available to males.

It has become common practice to evoke the concept of “violence” in reference to language or ideas with which we politically disagree. To claim an article supporting lesbian rights is “dehumanizing” and perpetuates “violence,” without supporting those claims is dishonest and dangerously manipulative. Considering the real-life violence lesbians (and other oppressed groups of people) have faced and continue to face as minorities in a patriarchal, racist, heterosexist world, painting words and thoughts as “violence” minimizes that violence and misunderstands the roots, reality, and function of systems of oppression, like patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy.

Social justice movements need to engage in critical thought and open, rigorous debate, with integrity. In the U.S., minority groups are up against a misogynist, racist, imperialist regime that poses a daily threat to their lives and human rights. Faced with a demagogue in power in the U.S., who silences and smears the free press with wild abandon, who rejects any and all critique/critical thought, and who bullies and punishes those who fail to toe the line, we need to ensure our social justice movements are not operating through the same tactics.

Many of those calling for Harvey’s resignation have stated emphatically that “Transwomen are women.” But, while it has become unpopular to say so, most of those who identify as transwomen have male bodies. It is indefensible to suggest that lesbians (i.e. women who are attracted explicitly to other women) must consider sexual relationships with males who identify as trans, simply because they say so or because it is considered “open-minded” by some. This should not even be up for debate within an organization whose core mission is to advance the rights of those who maintain a same-sex orientation. But it is, hence the article, which details the history of homophobic oppression worldwide, the erasure of lesbians and lesbianism, and the way our patriarchal culture and the media produced within it too-often fetishizes lesbianism, inserts males into lesbian relationships, and makes use of a narrative that depicts men “turning” lesbians heterosexual through penetrative sex.

The targeted harassment and attacks Harvey has been subjected to, simply for sharing an article, are sadly not uncommon. There are numerous cases of women, feminist organizations, and even experts in the field of gender dysphoria being targeted for questioning discourse around gender identity, transgenderism, and for centering women in their politics. Individuals are harassed online, in real life, and through their employment for asking the “wrong” questions, using the “wrong” words, and sharing the “wrong” articles.

Pride centers represent lesbians, as well as other groups and individuals who are marginalized in a patriarchal, homophobic society. Not all of those groups and individuals are or should be in agreement about every issue. Certainly they are not all in agreement about the issue of gender identity and the question of what is a woman.

Why should one vocal minority get to speak on behalf of all LGBT people? Why should that group be permitted to dictate what conversations are allowed to happen among LGBT people? Why is this group being permitted to attack, threaten, and silence a lesbian woman, who has worked for decades, on behalf of LGBT people, simply because they don’t like the kinds of articles she reads?

Harvey has done nothing wrong. She has not said anything hateful or bigoted. She is thinking critically about an issue that is of utmost importance to lesbians, and feminists, more broadly: bodily autonomy, boundaries, the right for women to define and enact their own sexuality. She was trying to open up a dialogue.

Those who are attacking Harvey are doing so without sharing — or even having read — the original article, so that people can read it and decide for themselves if it is wrong or “harmful.” Putting ordinary, nonviolent political speech — about lesbian rights and feminism, no less — so far outside the realm of polite conversation that the contents can’t even be meaningfully alluded to is to say that these topics are more dangerous than slurs, more dangerous than the harshest moral condemnation, more dangerous than direct calls to violence, more dangerous than the writings of mass murdering dictators whose words are still quoted for reference when appropriate. And if the writing is that dangerous, how much more so the feminists who write it, the lesbian who shares it? Are feminist ideas now so dangerous they are unspeakable? So dangerous they must be suppressed, so no one else may read these words?

To prevent critical thought, free speech, and robust debate, by silencing and harassing your opponents, is destructive of the democratic norms and institutions that have allowed the oppressed to advance our rights in systems not built to respect us.

Harvey should not have apologized for posting the article, but she did. We, the undersigned, think it is fair to believe her when she says she does not want anyone in her community to feel “unsafe, attacked, maligned, erased, unheard, or misrepresented.” Doesn’t she deserve the same consideration?

This is nothing short of a witch hunt. This behaviour should not be tolerated, no matter what your opinion. We implore the Board of Directors and all allies of the LGBT community to support Harvey in her position as Executive Director of the Pride Center of the Capital Region.

We stand in solidarity with Martha Harvey and with the principles of free speech, critical thought, and woman-centered politics.

If you would like to add your name to this letter, please email:

List of Signatories:

1. Angie Conroy
2. Manu Schon
3. Deidre Pearson
4. Meghan Murphy
5. Monika Beatty
6. Orla Hegarty
7. Elizabeth Pickett, LL.M.,
8. Colleen Glynn
9. Tina Minkowitz
10. Tara Prima
11. Memoree Joelle
12. Peggy Luhrs
13. Spider Redgold
14. Tracy Allard
15. MJ Reilly
16. Barb Gurwell
17. Melinda Mann
18. Russell Gibson
19. Jean P. Miller
20. M.K. McCaffrey
21. Marian Rutigliano
22. Jasmine Northrop
23. Lesley MacDougall
24. Pansy Watson
25. V.L. Zajdel
26. Sarah Richardson
27. Holly Northrop
28. S. L. Bondarchuk
29. Ashley Chickadel
30. Carol Crystal
31. Tracy Lanzafame
32. Martin Dufresne
33. Lynn Johnson
34. Susan Smyth
35. Meg Goodman
36. Casey Hall
37. Kacie Mills
38. Laura Brewer
39. Elaine Grisé
40. Natasha Chart
41. Sandra Harpes
42. Sarah Blaquiere
43. Ann Elizabeth Wheeler
44. Leah Harwood
45. Lea Pierce
46. Molly Donohue
47. Marie Guzzo
48. Nancy Lee Koenig Sr
49. Andrea Stumpf
50. Sarah Westbury
51. Cathryn Atkinson
52. Diane Guilbault
53. Vanessa Fraser
54. Sara Wiseman
55. Erin Graham, PhD
56. April Applegate
57. Ella Josten
58. Georgina Whitby
59. Robertson Taylor
60. Nancy Crase
61. Ellen Donohue
62. Magdalena Gutierrez
63. Trish Oliver
64. Natalie Ballard
65. Mary Syrett
66. Harry W Laughlin
67. Katherine Denison
68. Moira Ariev
69. Karla Gjini
70. Wendy Lewis
71. Dawn Wilcox
72. Kate Hansen
73. Amanda Sabean
74. Angela Lee
75. Cherry Austin
76. Tim Leadbeater
77. Julia Beck
78. Elizabeth Robertson
79. Susan MacHolan
80. Elana Dykewomon
81. Barbara Lapthorn MSc
82. Maxine Lewis
83. Ivy Ziedrich
84. Amanda Ripley
85. Penelope Greenhough
86. Jessica Gardner
87. Terre Spencer
88. Katy Saunderson
89. Emma Flynn
90. Sheena Best
91. Barbara Scott
92. Maureen Doll
93. Camilla Strand
94. Katarina Visnar
95. Helen Saxby
96. Susanne Bischoff
97. D’Arcy Pocklington
98. Maria Alferova
99. Charlotte Peterson
100. Mags Hodge
101. Corinna Cohn
102. S. Grace Skrobisz
103. Morgan Westcott
104. Maureen Bourke
105. Ida Jørgensen
106. Maria MacLachlan
107. Vaska Tumir
108. Rhoda Mueller
109. Brian Cross
110. Jennifer Murnan
111. Janet Cotgrave
112. N. Lawji
113. Cheryl Lickona
114. Max Dashu
115. Stella Jane Bowen
116. Leah Martin
117. Judith Sara
118. Ru Ide
119. Anne Bevan
120. Dr. Sean Heather K. McGraw
121. Lisa Steacy
122. Laura Phelps
123. Nicole Buckley
124. JJ Barnes
125. Trula Earthgarden
126. Tracy Shringarpure
127. Diane McGowan
128. Thora Broughton
129. Glen Morgan
130. Patricia Booher
131. Hearth M. Rising
132. Joshua Slocum
133. Sarah Cummings
134. Christine Muldoon
135. Susan King
136. Celia A. Nord
137. Lorna Garano
138. Alex McKane
139. Sarah Porter
140. Anemone Cerridwen
141. Barbara Derbyshire
142. Helen Staniland
143. Vicki Wharton
144. Alison Dover
145. Ann Menasche
146. Katie Watkins
147. Claire Heuchen
148. Spiro C. Lampros
149. Racheal Rodman
150. Carol Pinegar
151. Suzie Blake
152. Rebecca Harmon
153. Ruby Barnett
154. Lily Cage
155. Mary Lunetta
156. Bettina Brand
157. Nancy Lulic
158. Thistle Pettersen
159. Margaret Shivelight
160. Nicola Williams
161. Brett Howard
162. Darcie Whitehurst
163. Michelle R Miller
164. Jennifer Bilek
165. Temple Ardinger
166. Daisy Kler
167. Jennifer Chavez
168. Kim Macphail-Chicago
169. Karla Mantilla
170. V J Link
171. Debbie Liu
172. Henrik Persson
173. Eliza Karat
174. Charlee Connor
175. Kathleen Knight
176. Elizabeth Johnson
177. Inge Kleine
178. Pour les droits des femmes du Québec (PDF Québec)
179. Kate Gould
180. Abigail McGowan
181. Kitty Barber
182. Dru Smith
183. Rebecca Whisnant
184. Darl Wood
185. Susan Boyd
186. Ellen McManus
187. Elise Osha
188. Liza Cowan
189. Paul Joseph McDonough
190. Gina Quinlan
191. Claire Robinson
192. Nicole Jones
193. Casey Leeds
194. Miep Rowan O’Brien
195. Amanda Whyte
196. Lisa Mallett
197. Liz Waterhouse
198. Simone Watson
199. Anna McCormack
200. Karen Cayer
201. Jane Margaret Kelf
202. Mick Parkin
203. Hayley McPhail
204. Shawnee Freeman
205. Morven Magari
206. Laura Williams
207. Francine Sporenda
208. Marylou Singleton
209. Marieke Bos
210. Alisha Read
211. Jo Gaylor
212. Tua Wester
213. Ben C. Smith
214. Georgina Blackmore
215. Carol Hanisch
216. Shuli Goodman
217. Vandra Costello
218. Temple Morris
219. Teresa Henderson
220. Mark Fulwiler
221. Shoshana Handel
222. Kathy Scarbrough
223. Caity Strickland
224. Adam Sowa
225. Myriam Perera
226. Mandy Vere
227. Kelly Yardy
228. Kate Lewis
229. Rebeka Hoffman
230. Diane Szczesniak
231. Kay Rowan
232. J Gourley
233. Elizabeth Albright
234. Terry Harris
235. Sandra Russel
236. Aoife Assumpta Hart, PhD
237. Jessica Anderson
238. Josephine Bartosch
239. Amy Whitman
240. Cristy Webb
241. Lizeth Alvarez
242. Lia Patris
243. Sharon Fraser
244. Pat Whyte
245. Michele Richards
246. Mary Burns
247. Patricia Fraser
248. Kathleen Connor
249. Michelle Connolly
250. Merilee Thompson
251. Susan Wiseheart
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253. Maureen Peterson
254. Sarah Richardson
255. Krista Sawchuk
256. Mary McClintock, M.Ed
257. Joan Moore
258. Zoë Lafantaisie
259. Molly Belt
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261. Rachel King
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263. Keira Smith-Tague
264. Hilla Kerner
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270. Michelle Gale, PhD
271. Meredith Avila
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273. Susan Breen
274. Cherrie Bertha-Elizabeth
275. Tove Happonen
276. Jennifer Grimsley
277. Jodi Shaw
278. Dr Lesley Semmens
279. Elizabeth L Little
280. Raquel Rosario Sanchez
281. Tanya Lebar
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284. Lee Evans
285. Marie Moore
286. Emma Robertson
287. Magi Gibson
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292. Maureen K. Doll
293. Amy Guy
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296. Maureen Anderson
297. Bear Dean
298. Julie Smith
299. Cassandra Birch
300. Anika Cunningham
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302. Nori Budge
303. Karis H. Post, CAGS
304. Donna Zinno-Baybusky
305. Dani Richards
306. Linda Barnes
307. Linda K. Best
308. Cheryl Bergen
309. Harriet C. Forman
310. Melissa McCudden
311. Claire Williams
312. Richard Pope
313. Beckie Kuipers
314. Nick Dager
315. Jan Whitman
316. Joey G. Mueller
317. Patricia K. Wood
318. Rona Stewart
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320. Gunhild Mewes
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326. Robin Birdfeather
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332. Natalie Painter
333. Karen Bercovici
334. Kimberly Sabrosky
335. Alison Batts
336. Jen Izaakson
337. Jay Keck
338. Frances O’Connell
339. Corrinne Farner
340. Vajra Ma
341. Susan Matthews
342. Sandy Cleomaude
343. Donald J. Anthony
344. Mary Forst
345. Ramona Boston
346. Madeline Ruoff
347. Perig Gouanvic
348. Louise Moondancer
349. Sarah Mooney
350. Rand Hall
351. Kayley Self
352. Lori Curry
353. Marcia Levin
354. Melinda Tremaglio
355. Juliette Doroy​
356. Melissa Kelly
357. Claudia Raven
358. Nil Şimşek
359. Kristen Erskine
360. Wendy Lev
361. Trisha Baptie
362. Michelle Noonan
363. Helen Ridsdale
364. Eavan Moore
365. Lina Nordström
366. Melissa Kramer
367. Suzanne Jay
368. Barbara van’tSlot
369. Karolina Jurikova
370. Heather-Rose Ryan
371. Amilkar Romero-García
372. Emily de Castrique
373. Robert Doublin
374. Spyros Marchetos
375. Krysti Hollaway
376. Mary J. Mulligan
377. Rae Robinson
378. Aurora Linnea
379. Clara Göransson
380. Lacourarie Pascale
381. Gabriel Parra-Blessing
382. Jessica Weber
383. Candyce Rusk
384. Conni Johnson
385. Kajsa Ekis Ekman
386. Gaye Chapman
387. Jody Biesche
388. Sophia Ramsden
389. Elicka Sparks
390. Heidi Wilson
391. Rebecca Bergfjord
392. Sylvia Black
393. Judith Woolf
394. Suzanne M. Kupiec
395. Sibyl Frei
396. Jessica MacFadzen-Reid
397. L.A. Murphy
398. Wendy Davis
399. Susan Flindt
400. Pamela Morgan
401. Tracie Warden Dengá
402. Sarah Morgan
403. Dee Sias
402. Nicole Lacoste
403. Chris Sitka
404. Ann Allen
405. Marta Sofia Mendes Mendonca Correia
406. J. Bourge Hathaway
407. José Bateira
408. Michelle Mead
409. Lena Newman
410. Twilah Hiari
411. Christina M. Limpert
412. Maartje Kuilman
413. Candace J Groudine
414. Katherine Dalton
415. Maxine Lewis
416. Mia Mantello
417. Lise Pauzé
418. Florence Humbert
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420. Danitza Cornejo
421. Christine Delphy
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440. Magdalen Berns
441. Tammy Wilder
442. Lydia Morris-Jones
443. Natasha Magness
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  • Alienigena

    Within trans ideology it is perfectly OK to be a misogynist that is why I find it so offensive that Ms. Harvey is being accused of being a transmisogynist. Can you say co-optation? Really, can biological males sink any lower? Now they claim that they are also subject to misogyny on the part of biological females. It is immoral and illogical. Biological males, i.e. trans identified males, are male. They can’t be subject to misogyny. Given that misogyny is hatred directed at biological females and at their sexually dimorphic bodies (for more information see porn, photographs of women’s injuries in police reports (of domestic violence or sexual assaults) or females treatment by males in the sex industry) it is ludicrous that these creeps and their supporters are now claiming they are victims of misogyny. Is it time to demand that they provide documented evidence of every claim of violence against them that is made? By documented evidence I mean police reports, transcripts of trials, school board meeting notes, etc. It is also necessary to demand that they make explicit the biological sex of those committing the violence. A hint, violence isn’t words and as far as I have seen biological females have never incited biological males to commit acts of violence against trans identified males (MtTs). Mostly we just try to ignore them and their nonsensical accusations.

    • Amy

      “ludicrous that these creeps and their supporters are now claiming they are victims of misogyny.”
      Clearly they don’t know the definition of that word. How can someone be so hypocritical?

  • Noanodyne

    Thank you for publishing the original article and now this open letter. Meghan, you are consistently one of the only public women who will take a stand for us on this issue. Without you it would be much darker for us. With you I have some hope that slowly and steadily women will wake up, because of your steady presence and clear thinking/writing.

    Thanks to J.J. Barnes for the original article – which was fantastic – and to all the signers of this letter, under your very own names courageously. You, too are the reasons things will change.

    But here we are right now: A supposed leader for the (lesbian) “community” and someone who should have a stiff-enough spine to stand up for lesbians simply won’t. Martha Harvey must also be held accountable for being this cowardly. She thinks her job is to stand by meekly while lesbians are shouted down? In fact, she has SO little courage, she can’t even stand up for HERSELF and simply say, “hey wait a minute, I did nothing that you’re accusing me of, we need to hash this out and stop all the vitriol in our community.”

    We’ve all talked about how this pressure for lesbians to date male-bodied people is worse for young women and I completely agree. Those of us who already fought battles with the men sexually harassing us are not taking that shit from those who claim to be transgender. It struck me in reading this letter what it’s going to take for young women to fight back: The same thing it took the generation before mine. I came out in the late 70s and rode the coattails of lesbians who had been forced into marriages/relationships with men out of fear for their lives, jobs, families. When I came out I could be loud and proud BECAUSE those women went before me and literally showed the way to not take shit from men.

    What I see now is that it’s probably going to take a large percentage of a generation of lesbians having forced relationships (of whatever kind) with male-bodied “transgender” people for them to wake up and start fighting back for their right to be with other females exclusively. Right now they’re making do with calling themselves “queer” to either protect themselves or ride a little bit of cred. When that shine wears off – and it already is, plus never existed for the vast majority of the lesbians in North America, let alone the world – lesbians will still exist and they will have to fight the battle as we always have before. I hope they remember that they didn’t invent lesbian pride, but I won’t hold my breath for that. Good luck to them, though, they’re going to need it.

  • Jeanne Deaux

    You’re doing the same lazy thing everyone does and equating progressives, liberals, and leftists of all stripes as if every one of them believes the exact same thing. What the hell do you think we should do, go conservative? When those assholes want us enslaved or dead? No no no, honey. Not even close.

    It IS possible for civil discourse to be a front for oppression. We saw that when white people debated the merits of banning slavery. A lot of that discourse was *quite* civil. That doesn’t mean FC was engaging in oppressive speech when they discussed what’s happening to lesbians, though.

    The ACTUAL problem here is men are so fed up with feminism that they’ll do anything to undermine it, up to and including pretending to be us so they can wrest away the reins and drive us off in entirely the wrong direction. And because non-conservatives are not immune to bro culture, non-conservative, non-“trans” men are happy to side with these imposters. They never liked us anyway unless we were warming their beds and washing the skid marks out of their shorts. They only support legal abortion because it gets them out of child support. (Any means to an end when women’s lives are on the line, I say, but let’s not lose sight of this.) But mansplaining… being condescending generally… molesting and raping us… refusing to take us seriously as full human beings? Yep. Always.

    There are some MTTs who honestly are not trying to co-opt womanhood, they just prefer to present as stereotypically feminine and some of them have psychological issues with retaining male genitalia so they have that removed too… and these are NOT the ones out there DEMANDING that we see them as full women. They mind their own business and leave us to ours. Unfortunately they’re a minority now.

    • Wren

      “The ACTUAL problem here is men are so fed up with feminism that they’ll do anything to undermine it…”

      I keep thinking that once the ladymen have succeeded in driving radical feminists and forward thinking women out of positions of influence and have completely destroyed women’s sexual boundaries, will they hang up their skirts and throw out their makeup. I think that they will have a laugh at it all and carry on being manly men who terrorize us the old fashioned way.

    • Noanodyne

      Hey Jeanne, do you see that the word “progressives” is in quotes in the comment you so snottily dismissed? That’s because it’s the word they use for themselves. It’s the label they use as a weapon against a bunch of us who have been engaging with them on this issue for going on decades (for some of us). So before you get on your high horse to tell off a total stranger about the word they use, how about spending some time in the trenches with the people who believe they are the pristine representatives of The One True Progressive Movement and the rest of us must be brought to heel or shunned to the gates of hell. I recommend Twitter if you want to get a taste of their special form of “progressive” hatred for anyone who doesn’t think exactly the same way they do.

  • Jeanne Deaux

    Why on earth do MTTs not just date bisexual women? It is not like it wouldn’t give them “cred”. If they want to not be seen as rapists, demanding that lesbian women should want to touch their wee-wees is not the way to get there. If she’s not freely willing and happy to be with you, MOVE THE HELL ON.

    • M. Zoidberg

      I think it’s about the power felt when when coercing a resistant girl or woman into doing something she doesn’t want to do.

      • Hekate Jayne

        Only human beings are allowed to have preferences, boundaries, rights to their own bodies, a say in their own life.

        Males say that they are human and that we are not. We are objects for their use.

        They see us as a set of holes to masterbate into. They see us as incubators, sex givers, cheerleaders, sandwich makers, house cleaners, their personal servant, their support staff.

        We exist only in relation to them, and only as they allow it. Males have now decided that lesbians will not continue to ignore them. They are letting us all know that we will not be allowed to have boundaries, or to tell them no, or to make our own choices.

        Males are putting us back in our place. Below them, as non humans.

    • Tweek Jones

      Transwomen can supposedly change their sex, but not their sexual orientation. Isnt that weird?

  • JingFei

    And the BLM page is deleting ALL comments that don’t agree with them because they think it “perpetuates HARM”.
    Lesbians don’t matter to them.

    • Hekate Jayne

      And there are comments saying that the comments are being removed not because of dissent, but because it’s hate speech.

      Saying that a penis is male? Hate speech.

      Saying that lesbians can decide to have sex with only women? Hate speech.

      Saying that it’s bullying and coercion to tell lesbians that they are transphobic if they refuse to call males women? Hate speech.

      This is insanity.

      • Tweek Jones

        And its never hate speech to discriminate lesbians this way, while it is.

      • Kathleen Lowrey

        I truly don’t understand who has eaten the brains of the contemporary North American left. We don’t have a proper anti-war movement despite the entire West being a massive war machine (Yemen anybody? Crickets on the left). compare that to the massive mobilization of the Vietnam era.

        If you read about the civil rights / black power movement of the 60s, they were so aware of and connected to global anti-imperial liberation movements. some portions of BLM seem like 50% Beyonce fandom plus shit like this — like why is “BLM Upstate New York” even a platform for transactivist lesbian bashing? Who the hell is actually running that facebook page?

        Why is AI pro prostitution, why does the black head of Georgia’s ACLU chapter get run out on a rail for coming out on the wrong side of trans issues? What is going on?

  • Tobysgirl

    I’m reading Germaine Greer’s The Whole Woman, which a commenter on FC mentioned. Here is a quote from the chapter on Pantomime Dames:
    When he forces his way into the few private spaces women may enjoy and shouts down their objections, and bombards the women who will not accept him [and those who do, such as Ms Harvey] with threats and hate mail, he does as rapists have always done.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I emailed my name to be added.

    This is just sickening. We can’t mention our bodies, we can’t have boundaries or pick our sexual partners. What is happening?

  • Milli

    I kinda don´t understand it. Sexual relationships are (not only, but at least partly) about sex. Some people like vaginas and some people like penises. That´s what we call sexual orientation. Lesbians are women who are sexually attracted in female physiognomy. Off course, sexual attraction is not just about physiognomy but when you decided to have sex with somebody, it is a little bit weird don´t like her/his genitals. You can befriended anybody, you can be romantically involved or “have feelings” for anybody but sex is about…sex. Not gender. Another thing – it is transphobic don´t want penis-having partner (even this partner don´t use it during sex, I understand that lesbian is simply not attracted to penis-having person) but it is not homophobic (and downright misogynist) to say to lesbian what she should like…? LIKE REALLY???!!! This is…insane.

    • Tweek Jones

      It shows that most transwomen that love women, aren’t attracted to transwomen either and they project that all on lesbians, while its their own feeling of non attraction to transwomen and knowing they’re not female. But noone talks about that.

      • BVS

        good point! why don’t they fuck each other and leave us lesbians alone?!!

      • Cassandra

        This has always been the very obvious hypocritical elephant in the room. If genitalia doesn’t matter, then why are male to trans insisting that females be open to sleeping with them? I mean, we’re all lady-brain women, right? Why not just go fuck other lady-brain women and their female penises?!

        It’s exactly what it looks like—males not allowing females to say “no”—same old same old.

        • Tweek Jones

          Very well said! Yep.

  • Thom Prentice

    What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.
    – Salman Rushdie, writer (b. 19 Jun 1947)

  • Amy

    I’m saddened by the backlash against Martha. To tell any woman, lesbians including, they they can’t pick whom they want to be with is straight up misogyny. Women in the past have had sex forced upon them for too long. Can we please live in a world where women have choices as men do? Sheesh

  • Thom Prentice

    Salman Rushdie What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.
    – Salman Rushdie, writer (b. 19 Jun 1947)

  • Deanna B.

    The foundation for this bullying, intimidation and domination was laid years ago. The “Pride Center of the Capital Region” was once the Lesbian and Gay Community Center of Albany, NY. The building used to function as a safe space for lesbians and gay men living in Albany, NY and the surrounding area. Today, it is an outpost of transgender activism. Look at the picture above and note which flag is in the center and which flag has been pushed to the margin. “LGBT” is the colonization of lesbian and gay people. Once lesbian or LGB organizations become “LGBT,” they are compelled to serve the interests of trans activists. Martha Harvey doomed herself to a career of subservience and groveling abjection the moment she acquiesced to “LGBT.”

  • lk

    “Are gay males experiencing the same pressure to accept female transgender lovers into their bedrooms? I am not a member of the LGBT community, so this is a sincere question, not a rhetorical one.”

    From what I have seen, there seems to be very little pressure on gay men to be open to dating FTM’s or to see vaginas as manly, there also doesnt seem to be much pressure on straight men to date biological MTFs.

    I think TRA’s recognize that they can’t get away with telling men who to have sex with…

  • lk

    “black males have no problem fighting white males for themselves, and they leave black women to fight for themselves. And then they expect women to just shut up and make their sandwiches.”


    Historically, when minority men (Black Civil Rights, Chicano, Native American etc) fight for equality..they really focus on equality for men…the concerns of women (rape, DV, reproduction etc) are usually barely acknowledged or pushed aside.

  • Amilkar Romero

    There was a gay youtuber who made a video telling his followers to quiet down about not liking vagina since “some dudes have them”, and he virtue-signaled with “If I fell in love with a guy with a vagina, I’d accept it” though he didn’t seem comfortable at the thought.

    But it’s merely a drop compared to the intense campaign for lesbian sexuality to include penis. Trans women are at the top of the victim hierarchy in the community so their grievances are the most important and unquestioned.

    • lk

      “a guy with a vagina”
      ROFL…no matter how many times I see phrases like this, I can’t really do anything but laugh….
      I’m curious-Did you read any of the comments on the video? Did they mostly agree or disagree with him?
      Guys don’t have vaginas. Women don’t have penises.
      How is this something we have to explain to adults?!

  • lk

    “I as a pansexual and a trans woman I see how both sides of this argument are some some what correct.”

    There is nothing correct about lesbians being pressured/expected to have romantic relationships with biological males.

    There is nothing correct about labeling women who do not want to date men as bigoted, transphobic or prejudiced.

  • Tweek Jones

    Lesbians dont want sex with transwomen as you are male. If she was a real lesbian, you have raped/sexually assaulted her having sex with her. We know the climate of coercion transwomen have created for lesbians, that is rape culture. You are a disgusting rapist and need to shut the fuck up. The fact that you even slept with her, knowing she is a lesbian, shows you violated her sexuality, and thus sexually assaulted her, you fucking rapist pig.

  • Tweek Jones

    He sexually assaulted her if she was a real lesbian. See his disrespect for her lesbian sexuality, him being a biological male. That itself is sexual assault. The fact he thinks as a male having sex with a lesbian is justified, tells you he’s raped her. I hope she wasnt a lesbian. Its important to remember that the disrespect by transwomen of lesbian sexual orientation ITSELF is corrective rape mentality. They have an extra power as they can manipulate lesbians b/c they’re transwomen and they use it. I fucking hate such transwomen to no end. Every transwoman that disagrees lesbian is female only basically is a rapist.

  • Omzig Online

    That reminds me of an Andrea Dwarkin quote: “The common erotic project of destroying women makes it possible for men to unite into a brotherhood; this project is the only firm and trustworthy groundwork for cooperation among males and all male bonding is based on it.”

  • Meghan Murphy

    At first I thought the story line was going to be about mocking these privileged narcissists… Like Ian (who grew up so poor, in the bad part of town, had to struggle to get through school, whose parents were MIA, struggling with mental health issues, addiction, who had to struggle to deal with those issues himself, etc… ) shows up for lunch and all these middle class, educated, self-obsessed kids start listing off their ‘pronouns’, and he’s like, ‘um, I’m just gay?’ I thought the story line would be critical, but instead he is, like you say, pressured into accepting the transman as a male, and Ian starts trying to sell those around him on the idea.

  • lk

    And if the character wasn’t trans, people would recognize how gross it is to push someone’s sexual boundaries.

    Imagine if the show had a non-trans female trying to convince Ian that he should broaden his sexuality to include women. No one would be talking about how Ian learned a great lesson..everyone would notice that it is manipulative and deeply disrespectful to guilt someone into dating or sex.

    “And the whole “trans teach people lessons” trope gives me the chills.”

    So much of the talk around trans is about trans people teaching us, educating us…like we are all ignorant, backward idiots who just don’t get it.

    What exactly are they going to teach me? That men can get pregnant? That biology is a construct? That I need to sacrifice my own sexual comfort and safety to be inclusive? That women need to share all their spaces with men?

    Just the other day, the link to this article was on Yahoo’s front page:

    The underlining tone of the article was about how we need to learn and understand what it is like to menstruate while trans.

    I’m a woman, I know what menstruating is about…I don’t need to learn that “men get periods too.”

  • Tobysgirl

    I totally get what you are saying, Kati. That said, I do not have receptors for the word “empowerment” and variations thereof (hope you are smiling).

    • Kati

      I am 🙂

  • will

    “Between transideolgy, sex positivity and religion..there is so little room for genuine enjoyment and exploration of female sexuality.”

    I think that sex positivity and transideology are intertwined with patriarchal/Abrahamic religions. It is precisely the body-hate and body-shame articulated and perpetuated by the Big 3 (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) that triggers the arousal. There would be no sexual arousal at “race play” without active racism in the collective psyche. Similarly, I think that body-shame is at he root of arousal from the humiliation of having someone penetrate your anal canal. Without body shame no one would gleefully use the word “dirty” in relation to sexual excitement.

    • lk

      “I think that sex positivity and transideology are intertwined with patriarchal/Abrahamic religions.”

      Yes, its strange how much BDSM really has in common with religious ideologies–strict rules, punishments, rewards, male domination over female, rituals etc.

      “There would be no sexual arousal at “race play” without active racism in the collective psyche. Similarly, I think that body-shame is at he root of arousal from the humiliation of having someone penetrate your anal canal.”

      Yes…it kills me when people try to talk about being aroused by raceplay or violence in the bedroom as some innate/biological thing. What?!

      That doesn’t even make sense..what innate reason would we have to desire violent sex? Is there some gene we are born with that makes us turned on by slurs and insults?

  • FierceMild

    I take comfort from the fact that the Trans movement contains the seed of it’s own destruction in four distinct ways:

    1) Its premise is factually and scientifically inaccurate.
    2) They are beginning to try to foist women on to gay men and men onto straight men. Men aren’t used to that king of pressure and they don’t take kindly to it.
    3) If the trans activist lobby were to just completely win on all points men would actually start treating transwomen like women…they would hate that.
    4) Many fathers desire to protect their daughters from the predation of other men. It doesn’t matter if that desire is rooted in paternal tenderness or Patriarchal authoritarianism, the results will be the same.

  • Stroke_Your_Own_Ego

    Their attacks are so targeted. They like to find those lone bastions of positive gay representation in the media and then either transform them into effigies of evil to be burned or convert them into jargon spewing loudspeakers.

    It’s like what they did to Kate Mckinnon, the SNL actress. She’s gay, proud, funny, potentially a role model for lesbians. But she had the audacity to say the words “I’m 100% lez, never touched a human penis,” (GASP!) and it was dredged up that nearly a decade ago she made some comedy skits where she played a little British boy who dreamed of having a vagina. For this she was dragged through tumblr by the back of a truck. Anyone who posted a picture of her, confessed to being a fan of hers, or otherwise spoke about her in any kind of positive light was lectured into revoking their support for such a violent transphobe.

    Just look at this shit:

    They don’t do that to straight celebrities. Or to the straight fans of straight celebrities.

    Thankfully, the tumblr stuff doesn’t seem to be having any effect on kate Mckinnon’s actual life or career, I think because her fan base is probably mostly straight people. But in queer circles she’s held up as the prime example of a bad gay.

  • lk

    I’ve always kind of thought that the lgb (I’m not adding the “T” community was one of mutual support between gay man, bi people and lesbians.

    But in reading some of the history in the fight for lgb rights, there have often been times where its lesbians really supporting gay men (for example the AIDS crisis), but not always the other way around.

    I would expect that gay men would be pissed off that lesbians are being pressured into dating men (just like the would be pissed off at people telling them to date women) and really speak out in defense of women who only want to date women..

    But most of the articles I’ve seen on lgb websites are not doing that.

  • unfashionable

    FWIW, I’m told by gay male friends that recent gay male porn has included dominant trans men. But bear in mind this stuff is being made by and marketed to men, and I imagine (I don’t want to check it out myself) it is still all about women serving men; I can’t imagine how it could be otherwise.

  • unfashionable

    What it’s about is keeping their jobs. They have chosen the job over liberty, justice, and free speech.

  • Women are speaking out even though we get tarred and feathered and threatened and fired. If we can speak, so can you. Tell trans activists they don’t speak for you and that you don’t support their misogyny.

  • Clarene Wong

    Really, putting “article” in quotes because you disagree with it is such a 12 year old move lol! these people need to be laughed at and publicly mocked for being so hyperbolic and narcissistic. That’s the only way forward IMO, treating their arguments with seriousness elevates the ridiculous bullshit being said.

  • kfwkfw

    Thank you for your emotional words.

    It’s like meta-abuse, I feel that’s what patriarchy is. Fear is so real under abusive & controlling conditions, which is what makes women so docile. It’s ingrained to not rock the boat for the good of everybody (men’s pathetically weak egos & immature narcissistic desires, it turns out). Women with experience of living under abuse are logically not going to have the bravery to speak on it, or even feel it’s ok to be angry about it, or even have a concept of it and its gravity (it’s just seen as their life, it’s a frog in boiling water). They feel they deserve it. Fear is so very powerful. It’s what makes reprehensible abuse even possible. Fear that should be reserved for a life or death situation is felt all day every day, because without that, it could not go on.

    This has been my personal experience prior to an awakening of sorts and now I’m angry. I’m angry without thinking twice about if it’s “okay” to feel that way. Seeing intimidation and fear and manipulation thrown around in such a wild and irresponsible way is enraging once I begin to see more clearly outside of an abuse-shaped worldview.

    Angry women are hated for a cult-y reason… they’re straying. Yeah, liberal feminists…this is not autonomy or empowering. If there are repercussions for being your own person & thinking outside the box…that’s not progressive, it’s aggressively status quo and backwards. And if you do not see it in that way… you’re a frog in a boiling pot & I feel for you.

  • oneclickboedicea

    The trouble with trans is that there is a large fascist element in it that demands domination and subordination. It feels very anti human rights for women and lesbians