sex & gender

Violence Within Activist Communities

There are no acts of violence that are purely personal or isolated. As a function of oppression, violence follows a social structure and purpose. This is why I find it so upsetting when accusations of violence are dismissed or at best treated as isolated, interpersonal incidents. ... It is privilege that enables some of us to sit on the sidelines while others are the targets of violence and oppression within our communities. Refusing to involve ourselves and others in addressing violence in our communities supports the status quo. ... Before accusations of violence can even be considered as valid or not, there needs to be a means of supporting survivors to come forward and a process for the community to hold perpetrators accountable. ... Violence within activist communities needs to be seen as something that affects those communities collectively and understood in terms of the social structures under which it is perpetuated. (Read more...)

The Oppression of Universal Assumptions: Rhetoric vs. Reality

I witnessed an exchange on Twitter the other day where @VeganMudblood (Chelsea) was attempting to call out @_CarolJAdams (Carol Adams) on her transphobia. It started with a tweet by Chelsea stating: "Sexism, transphobia, homophobia, racism, classism, sizeism, ageism, etc., have NO place in the #animalrights movement. #vegan," which Adams retweeted. In my opinion, Chelsea was right to call out Adams for her hypocrisy in retweeting an anti-transphobia tweet given Adams' refusal to take responsibility for or be held accountable for perpetuating transphobia herself. Adams responded to Chelsea by continuing a pattern of avoiding responsibility while retain her cissexual privilege. Adams then posted, "I am against transphobia."

Yet, so far Adams has done apparently nothing but avoid calls for accountability for what she is being called out on. (Read more...)

Glee, GLAAD, PETA and Susan Sarandon

Recently, Susan Sarandon made tabloid news when it was announced for the world that the affluent, White, cissexual actress didn't think there was any problem with the term "tranny," which had been used as a pejorative on the television show Glee. It was reported that Sarandon defended the shows use of the slur in a statement denouncing the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for "getting like PETA - way out of control," when the anti-defamation organization called Glee out for the derisive use of the anti-trans epithet. (Read more...)

Your Baby or the Bathwater

Feminism is the political theory and practice that struggles to free all women. ... Anything less than this vision of total freedom is not feminism, but merely female self-aggrandizement. —Barbara Smith

I've written a lot on the topic of transphobia, and while I've tried to communicate that transphobia is part of a system of oppression, I still get responses from people saying they don't want to "throw the baby out with the bathwater." They claim to agree with me that transphobia is wrong, but they go on to resist renouncing those feminist beliefs and people that are complicit in perpetuating the transphobia described on this site.

I believe it is a privilege derived from social oppression that allows cis (non-trans) people to say they oppose transphobia but then ignore it when it is inconvenient to call it out or when it is otherwise beneficial to themselves. Trans people certainly don't have the same options to ignore transphobia since we are the ones being harmed by it. (Read more...)

Lierre Keith: A Case Study in Anti-Trans Hatred

Lierre Keith is the author of The Vegetarian Myth, a polemic against plant-based diets, and the forthcoming Deep Green Resistance, with Aric McBay and Derrick Jensen. Last year I wrote a post "Questioning Lierre Keith's Transphobia" when asked on another blog, "Can you site anything written by Keith where she expresses views about Trans people?" Joelle Ruby Ryan came across my post in preparation for a conference where Keith was presenting. Having discovered Keith's anti-trans connections, Ryan informed the conference organizers. Here are excerpts of Keith's response to being asked about her ideologically driven hatred of trans people, as posted on Ryan's Transmeditations’s Blog: (Read more...)

The Sexual Politics of Carol J. Adams

In failing to approach feminism from any kind of materialist base, failing to take race, ethnicity, class into account in determining where women are at sexually, many feminists have created an analysis of sexual oppression (often confused with sexuality itself) which is a political dead-end. —Cherríe Moraga, Loving in the War Years

I'm concerned that The Scavenger, an online self-described "progressive" magazine, is uncritically promoting the 20th anniversary edition of Carol J. Adams' Sexual Politics of Meat. By promoting her book, The Scavenger is perpetuating the dominance of the anti-sex worker, anti-trans, affluent White normative feminism offered by Carol J. Adams. In this respect, there's some sort of cognitive dissonance going on here when The Scavenger promotes Adams, whose work is based almost entirely on the assumed given vilification and misrepresentations of sex workers, while publishing another article opposing the vilification of sex workers. (Read more...)

Γιατί ο Veganism και οι εμπρηστικές βόμβες δεν αναμιγνύονται

Σε μια πρόσφατη δημοσίευση στο La Chola blog, η brownfemipower χρησιμοποιεί την εμπειρία και τη γνώση της για τον φεμινισμό και τα άλλα κινήματα κοινωνικής δικαιοσύνης για να εξηγήσει «γιατί οι εμπρηστικές βόμβες δεν πρόκειται να λειτουργήσουν» – (“why fire bombing will not work.”). Η ανάλυση της αγγίζει πολλούς από τους λόγους για τους οποίους δεν υποστηρίζω τις εμπρηστικές βόμβες, και γενικά το ALF (animal liberation front -μέτωπο απελευθέρωσης των ζώων). (Διαβάστε περισσότερα ...)

Talking About Transphobia and Ecofeminism With Ida Hammer

The following interview was originally published on the Bitch magazine blog.

A number of ecofeminist writers have written in deeply offensive, often terribly misguided, ways about trans people and have done a lot of damage to the movement’s credibility as open, accepting, and working for the liberation of all people. Why do you think transphobia persists and continues to come up again and again in ecofeminist rhetoric and activism?

In order to understand why transphobia and cissexism persist and are continually perpetuated throughout feminist communities, particularly the vegetarian-ecofeminist community, it is important to consider the origins of anti-trans advocacy as a conscious project of prominent, elite White feminists in the 1970s. In the late sixties and early seventies, trans people were very active in the women's and queer liberation movements. The Compton's Cafeteria and Stonewall rebellions of the sixties are evidence of that, as are women like Beth Elliott of the Daughters of Bilitis, Sandy Stone of Olivia Records, and Stonewall veteran Silvia Rivera who was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activist Alliance. (Read more...)

Falando Sobre Transfobia E Ecofeminismo Com Ida Hammer

A entrevista a seguir foi publicada originalmente no blog da revista Bitch. É parte de "The Woman biótica" série sobre o ecofeminismo por Brittany Shoot.

Ida Hammer tem escrito no The Vegan Ideal por vários anos como uma forma de analisar e desconstruir opressões que se sobrepõem. Seu trabalho é focado em desfazer a transfobia nas comunidades vegetarianas e ecofeministas. Ida estava cansada de falar recentemente comigo sobre como o privilégio cissexual mina muito da escrita ecofeminista e como ela tem esculpido um espaço seguro para si mesma dentro de um movimento muitas vezes anti-trans. (Ler mais...)

Class Privilege in Anti-Sex Worker, Anti-Homeless Activism

Jenna directed me to an important post by Johanna at Vegans of Color reminding us: "Don't Use Classism and Anti-Sex Worker Rhetoric to Protest Fur." Johanna's post provides a needed look at the anti-homeless and anti-sex worker rhetoric of a few nonhuman animal advocates.

In a post titled "Fur is for Beautiful Animals and Scary Hookers," "Vegan Shoe Lady" proudly quotes PETA's Ingrid Newkirk as saying, "Fur has lost all its cachet. It's yesterday. I see prostitutes in Atlantic City wearing fur." Shoe Lady goes on to suggest that nonhuman animal advocates refer to women wearing fur by saying, "She's probably a hooker. Tacky coat, lower-class manners – no one respectable presents themselves that way." (Read more...)