RadFem 2013 correspondence

With this weekend’s RadFem2013 conference, there has been sizeable controversy due to it taking place at the Camden Centre, which is a conference venue owned by the London Borough of Camden Council. Because of this, several people, including myself, have FOIed the council for documents relating to the booking. While we’re waiting for that, one of the councillors for the ward the centre is in – Sarah Hayward, Leader of the Council and one of the three councillors for Kings Cross – has been rather helpful in elaborating some of the council’s reasons over the weekend. With her permission, I am publishing the correspondence.

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Queer elephants in the room

This is the third, and most likely the last, post in a series of recent posts about feminist circles; the first was a rather theoretical post on the roots and problems within neoradical communities, the second then followed on and talked about political acts of sexuality. This third post looks at problems within queer feminist and otherwise queer circles, and how we can fix them. Some of this is inspired by a blog post/talk called “Communities Built on Exclusion”, which has since been taken down, itself partially inspired by the Jo Freeman essay The Tyranny of Structurelessness.

I identify as queer, and more or less, I do enjoy queer spaces. However, as a trans woman, I do sometimes feel unsafe too. Queer spaces are good as a bulwark against patriarchal forces, but we must recognise that we cannot escape patriarchy and even choices to reject patriarchy may reinforce it. With this post, as I know many people who are as queer as I am, I would like to emphasise more than most that no harm is meant by this post; indeed, I would like a safer space for myself, as a trans woman, within queer spaces. Because these are issues that we, as queers, do need to recognise.

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The real pretendbians?

This is a shorter post compared to the earlier one this week. And in some cases, it’s a bridge between the previous and next post.

As a lesbian trans woman, like other lesbian trans women, I am often criticised by neoradical feminists for being a “pretendbian”; I am pretending to be a lesbian. Because I’m really a man, you see. And as such, by my very existence as a trans lesbian, I run the risk of appearing on the site of the same name, which is basically an excuse for transphobes to dox trans people. Because that’s what feminists do, apparently, put other women in danger.
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Examining neoradical feminism

I’ve written on transphobic radical feminism before, and I’ve talked about it outside this blog too. Over the past few years, there has been a renewed focus on examining the sort of radical feminism espoused these days, where criticism is often laid on it for being transphobic, whorephobic, or otherwise prejudiced, as opposed to the prima facie more exclusive intersectional feminism. And it should come to no surprise that I identify more with intersectionialism, given personal circumstances; arguably, it should follow, lived experience would lead to a similar conclusion. And while today’s radical feminists claim lineage from those of old, from the Steinems and the Dworkins and the Firestones, I would personally think that they would flock to the banner of intersectionality. Continue reading “Examining neoradical feminism”