In December 2015, a desperate woman in Tennessee named Anna Yocca attempted to end an unwanted pregnancy by stabbing herself in the vagina with a coat hanger. She severely injured herself and was bleeding profusely. Yocca’s boyfriend, who had been present in the home while she was trying to self-abort, drove Yocca to an emergency room. Anti-choice medical personnel at the hospital called the police who arrested Yocca on attempted murder charges. Yocca was taken to jail. Her bond was set at $200,000. (The boyfriend remained a free man.)
Yocca is not the only woman in the US incarcerated for failing to be a good incubator. In April 2015, the state of Indiana sentenced Purvi Patel to 20 years in prison for the crime of feticide. Patel miscarried late in her second trimester, possibly spontaneously and possibly after taking pills to self-abort. Bleeding heavily, she sought medical attention. An anti-abortion doctor decided Patel should have been acting more grief stricken about the situation. He disapproved that she had disposed of her fetus at home instead of bringing it to the hospital. Patel’s failure to cry along with the fact that before the miscarriage Patel had mentioned abortion pills in a text message were enough evidence to convince a jury she was a murderess. Throwing the fetus in the garbage was portrayed as an especially evil act, even though flushing the remains of a pregnancy down the toilet is an everyday occurrence and standard procedure for the half million or more women who miscarry every year. (Medical providers routinely advise miscarrying women to flush miscarried tissue. This is standard practice in miscarriage care.)
Given that abortion rights are disappearing in the United States, we are likely to see more and more women both attempting to self-abort and going to jail for crimes against fetuses.
There has never been a golden age of accessible abortion care (although having an abortion got much easier in the U.S. in the 1970s, IF you had health insurance and IF you recognized the pregnancy early enough). Legal or not, women have always helped each other end unwanted pregnancies, usually safely and with good results. It’s time to revive the art and sisterhood of underground abortion. ARGH! has prepared this starter guide for self-abortion.
Rule #1: Never use a coat hanger.
Or a knitting needle or any other sharp object. Blindly stabbing yourself in the vagina or cervix in hopes of ending a pregnancy is more likely lead to injury, infection, and blood loss than a successful abortion. As Anna Yocca learned, medical authorities may turn you over to the police if you go to the hospital with coat-hanger abortion injuries.
Rule #2: Learn how to visualize your cervix
Patriarchal medicine intentionally keeps women uninformed about our most basic anatomy and physiology. Most adult women have had a pelvic exam with a speculum, but very few women have ever seen their own cervix. Fewer women still know how to visualize their own cervix outside of a medical office. Carol Downer, founding mother of the women’s self-help movement in the late-60s and early 70s, had given birth six times but knew very little about her own body. While working in an underground feminist abortion clinic, she saw a woman’s cervix for the first time and had an instant epiphany. Her response was, “That’s it?! It’s only a few inches away and has a hole in it for easy access! We can do this ourselves!”
ARGH! recommends feminist collectives start practicing cervical self-exam. Gathering with other trusted feminists and seeing each other’s cervices breaks patriarchal taboos. Visualizing the many different ways to be a normal woman with normal genitals helps us heal from toxic porn culture and also forms the basis for learning safe woman-centered abortion techniques. Your collective should consist of well-vetted women you trust.
Did you know there’s a relatively easy way to complete your period in 20 to 60 minutes instead of 3 to 7 days? Menstrual extraction gently vacuums the inside of the uterus, removing menstrual fluid and any early pregnancies that may be present. Menstrual extraction can safely end a pregnancy up to eight weeks past your last period. Learning menstrual extraction takes practice, practice that can be obtained within your self-help group. Any woman who has a menstrual cycle can volunteer to help train others. Motivated self-helpers will find it relatively easy to assemble menstrual extraction equipment. You can learn more about menstrual extraction here: http://www.womenshealthspecialists.org/self-help/menstrual-extraction
#4 Learn how to abort with pills
Medical and political authorities have placed mifepristone, the drug known as “the abortion pill,” under lockdown. Only one US supplier controls access to mifepristone and even doctors face extreme difficulties purchasing the drug. Luckily, other medications can be used to safely self-abort. Every woman interested in maintaining control over her own reproduction and helping other women do the same should learn about misoprostol (also known as Cytotec).
A prostaglandin drug originally designed to prevent stomach ulcers, misoprostol causes uterine contractions leading to expulsion of anything inside the uterus. Midwives and doctors use this drug to treat post-partum hemorrhage and also to stop heavy bleeding from miscarriages. The international feminist organization Women on Waves distributes misoprostol to women needing to end pregnancies in countries where abortion is illegal. Women on Waves and Woman Help provide detailed information on the use of misoprostol on their web sites. http://www.womenonwaves.org/en/page/6104/how-to-do-an-abortion-with-pills
Women can purchase misoprostol over the counter at pharmacies in Mexico and other Central American countries. Pharmacies in the US and Canada require a prescription for the drug.
Hypothetically, women may be able to obtain prescriptions for misoprostol from mainstream medical providers. A woman could tell a doctor or nurse practitioner that she needs to take ibuprofen for joint pain or a sports injury but has a history of stomach ulcers. She could say that in the past she sprained her ankle and took a drug to protect her stomach from the ibuprofen. Could she please get a prescription for this drug again? She should not volunteer any information about her sex life or imply in any way that she knows misoprostol can be used to end pregnancy. She should stick with the story about joint pain and needing to protect her stomach. If questioned by the provider, this hypothetical woman would need to say that she is not heterosexually active, or that she is using a reliable method of birth control. This technique could be used to stockpile misoprostol for a women’s collective.
Rule #5 If anything goes wrong, LIE!
If you are aborting with misoprostol, be prepared for some serious pain and bleeding like a heavy period. This is normal. Many women attempting to self-abort have unnecessarily gone to emergency rooms because they were not prepared for the pain of abortion. Natural miscarriages involve a similar kind of physical pain. Pain cannot kill you. Heavy bleeding can, though. So know the warning signs of serious problems and seek medical help if these develop.
“Women should seek medical attention if they experience any of the following side effects after taking misoprostol:
–very heavy bleeding (soaking more than two large-sized thick sanitary pads each hour for more than two consecutive hours);
–continuous bleeding for several days resulting in dizziness or light-headedness;
–bleeding that stops but is followed two weeks or later by a sudden onset of extremely heavy bleeding, which may require manual vacuum aspiration or D&C;
–scant bleeding or no bleeding at all in the first seven days after using misoprostol, which may suggest that no abortion has occurred and require a repeat round of misoprostol or surgical termination;
–chills and fever lasting more than 24 hours after the last dose of misoprostol, which suggest that an infection may be present requiring treatment with antibiotics; or
–severe abdominal pain that lasts more than 24 hours after the last dose of misoprostol.”
And don’t be shy about lying if you go to the hospital! Menstrual extraction leaves no visible trauma; there is no way a doctor could know that a woman had undergone the procedure. Misoprostol is cleared from our systems quickly so hospital staff will not be able to tell you took a medication, even though they may try to scare women into admitting they aborted by claiming it is possible. They will not be able to detect signs of misoprostol within just a few hours of the time the medication was taken.
Complications from menstrual extraction and misoprostol abortions look just like complications from a miscarriage. All hospitals are equipped to handle these common medical problems. If you tried to self-abort and now feel you need medical attention, tell all medical personnel you encounter that you think you are having a miscarriage.
And remember to act very, very sad. Your poor baby, you wanted this baby so badly, now you are so heartbroken. Purvi Patel was arrested for failing to produce enough tears to satisfy a misogynist doctor, so CRY! (If you’re having trouble getting the tears going, we suggest you think about our sisters in Afghanistan being stoned for the crime of reporting rape, our sisters in El Salvador in jail for suspicious miscarriage, our little sisters all over the world being trafficked as “child brides” and rape slaves, and the fact that you live in a country where embryos have more rights than the women growing them.)
Sisterhood is powerful. Now is the time to start meeting collectively with other women you trust and reclaiming our right to end our own pregnancies. Our bodies, our decision! We will not be incubators! Every child a wanted child!
The following resources and references contain priceless information for women seeking to put women’s health back in women’s hands.
Today, HRC reacted to news that Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has signed into law the state’s Health and Human Services Department funding bill, which contains a discriminatory, anti-transgender provision that allows legislators to refuse state funding for critically important, often life-saving transition-related care for transgender Iowans.
“It’s deeply disappointing that Gov. Kim Reynolds is caving to the pressure from some radical lawmakers in the Iowa Senate, instead of protecting the rights and dignity of transgender Iowans,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign. “Gov. Reynolds had the option to line-item veto this provision and leave the rest of the funding bill intact, but she did not. This sends a strong message that she is not working for all of her constituents and a craven desire to please Iowa’s most extreme lawmakers. As a native Iowan, Iowa deserves better — and different — leaders.”
The discriminatory provisions were amended into the HHS budget without warning last Friday and in such a way that the House didn’t get to vote on whether to amend the language back out of the bill. These procedural maneuvers by Senate Republicans were a deliberate and brazen attempt to quietly rollback the rights of transgender Iowans. In March, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that Iowa’s Civil Rights Act protects transgender Iowans from discrimination based on gender identity, including in the provision of services via Medicaid. This legislation directly attempts to undermine that ruling.
In other states’ studies of the impact of providing transition-related care to transgender citizens under state programs, this type of care was shown to be cost-effective. 17 states and the District of Columbia offer these services as part of their Medicaid coverage and have not reported significant cost burdens.
FOR REFERENCE, HERE IS WHAT THIS WILL PREVENT:
Groups of girls signing up to be mutilated and sterilized together:
Horrific mutilation toward a goal that is the worst corporate medical lie of all time.
Eugenic sterilization and mutilation of healthy body parts for corporate profit:
I’ve been thinking about that proverb, “A lie goes halfway around the world while the truth is still getting its shoes on.” I’m still recovering from attending the San Francisco Dyke March, where a group of old lesbians were projected as the Enemy. Hate was beamed at us as the designated Other, the rightful targets of rage. My body has been feeling the aftershocks, a residue of stress and fear from being blasted by a mob. Meanwhile, I’ve had to counter a firestorm of false accusations that streaked across social media, and libelous accounts published by the SF Dyke March, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Bay Area Reporter.
I was one of ten lesbians who met at BART to attend the San Francisco Dyke March. We were not a “group,” but an ad hoc conglomeration of lesbians from the East Bay who came to walk peacefully in the march. We did not come to confront. We did not all know each other. We were old and middle-aged lesbian feminists, but other than that a rather mixed bunch, lefties, pagans, and feminists of various stripes. One queer had worked for years at the Hormel Center in SF; another had been a Women and Gender Studies professor. I’m an independent scholar of global women’s history, and came wearing my “Sisters in Solidarity” shirt from International Women’s Day in Richmond. A couple other women wore Dyke March t-shirts—“Dykes resist”—from previous years. (I’m not describing everyone because being TERFed has serious life consequences, and it is not my call to expose anyone else to that.)
I wanted to see how it would be to walk in this march, as an old Amazon lesbian feminist. I claim that proudly, along with the cost I’ve paid for being a butch gender-resister over the course of my life. I was at the first Dyke March, which lesbian feminists organized because Gay Pride was so male-dominated, and attended many others. I know some of the women who have worked on Dyke March over the years. But this march had stopped looking like a welcoming or safe space for lesbians. Last year, a queer woman wore a bloody shirt reading “I Punch TERFs” to the march (and a trans woman, more famously, wore it to GLBTQ Pride). No one seems to have objected to this misogynist threat being worn at a Dyke march. Next to that, the signs that caused such an uproar this year look tame. In fact, “You will not silence us with violence” is the polar opposite of that boast.
Four women carried signs, including Proud to Be Lesbian / Lesbian Visibility / Lesbian Not Queer. We had had a discussion about signs in emails exchanged between the dykes invited to attend the march. I had warned against bringing provocative or confrontational signs (knowing the climate in SF) and thought we had agreement on that. But these women didn’t get the message, and we all paid the price for it. The radioactive point was a sign protesting using puberty blockers with harmful side effects on kids — most of whom will turn out to be lesbian or gay. This subject of medicalizing gender is literally unspeakable now. Anyone who questions the institutionalization of puberty blockers on kids gets accused of “transphobia.” However, some de-transitioned women have compared it to “conversion therapy” for lesbian and gay youth. Those women wanted to speak out for at-risk lesbian youth, and for any teen, who could suffer serious side-effects from drugs like Lupron. (1) I knew it was dangerous to carry such a sign in San Francisco, and had tried to prevent that from happening. (The women knew it too; they kept the signs wrapped in garbage bags on BART.) But I was bone-tired, for unrelated reasons, and could not bring myself to police lesbian speech at the Dyke March, of all places.
All of the old lesbians in our group were quickly surrounded, subjected to chants of “TERFs go home!” and blasted with hatefulness for the entire course of the march. Young queers berated, hounded, and crowded in on us. Most of them refused to speak with us, only glaring, chanting, and screaming. At times a person with a megaphone deliberately pointed it at our ears. Worse, assailants threw two lesbians carrying signs to the ground—one of them three times, the other, walking with a cane, once. Attackers pushed them, tripped them, and deliberately stepped on their heels, repeatedly. (They later claimed that the lesbians had tripped over their own feet.) Those women did not lift a hand against anyone; they did no more than defend themselves against people swarming and striking out at them.
I was walking behind these sign-carriers, trying to prevent people from pushing deep into their personal space, knocking them down, shouting at them —“transphobia’s got to go!”— at all of us, about whom they did not know one thing. They tarred us all with the same brush of TERF, and they would have feathered us too. I’ve been to many marches, including dangerous ones, but this was the most vicious episode I have ever experienced, ever in my life. Young queer marchers directed their concentrated hostility at old lesbian marchers over nearly the entire course of the parade. One woman said that she was more scared then, with this baying mob surrounding us, than she had been being chased by police with machine guns in her home country.
But I’m not gonna let any lesbian get stomped, least of all at a Dyke March which is supposed to be a safe place. That’s not who we are in lesbian culture, not how we deal with our differences, which are many. I did my best to prevent those women from being aggressed upon, and literally had their back. Many people ignored what was going on, and only one person in the crowd came to their defense: a butch in an NCLR cap who stepped in from the sidelines and cleared space around the women being assaulted. None of us knew her. She later told me that she was for fair play and free speech, and when she saw lesbians being mobbed and pushed down, she didn’t hesitate to intervene.
At first I thought Ms. NCLR cap, who was wearing black, was with march security. But the security staff was missing in action through most of the violence. They came after the first assault, but after that they stayed away and let it all happen. Apparently they weren’t about to protect any lesbians they deemed TERFs. And this itself was an erasure, a demonizing projection upon an entire group of old lesbians, based on guilt by association and the TERF stereotype. Whether you agree with them or not, those women were brave, and they carried their ripped-up signs through the entire march.
At the end, about 40-50 people had gathered in a semi circle facing us, chanting their hate. Their faces were closed and hostile, believing they were right to act like this toward lesbians they did not know, whose politics they did not know. We became the Enemy Other. That’s the USA today, and it’s not just from the right wing. It’s been happening in queerdom, on the left, in academia and many other supposedly “progressive” spaces, for some time. People keep pretending TERF is a neutral descriptive term, even as it is being used in verbal abuse, classic sexist insults, and increasingly in physical attacks against women. “TERF cunt” has also been hurled against gender-critical transsexual women, instead of the more usual slur of “truscum.”
Before the march ended, we exited to the sidewalk and tried to figure out how to avoid being followed and jumped once we were away from the crowd. Some of us knew what had happened to a lesbian in St. Louis the month before. Her antagonists got her kicked out of a bar in St Louis as a TERF, and then ambushed her, three against one, and beat her up badly. The perps bragged about it on Twitter, lol-ing about how “tonight was fucking wild,” and gloating that they had messed up the lesbian’s face. (2) http://www.afterellen.com/general-news/559907-queer-identified-women-jump-lesbian-outside-of-a-drag-show#xF7SCoHpihsY4ARq.01]
No one has been arrested for this beating. As KT tweeted, “So at [what] point is anyone other than lesbians going to give a shit about this and understand that “TERF” is the easiest way to justify violence against women? When is this gonna matter?” [@sugaredpeas May 31, 2018]
After the SF Dyke March, accusations and smears were launched against all of us. Lies about what happened proliferated on social media, followed by libel in the queer press. Trump-style, the attackers posed as the true victims, turning truth upside down. The assaulted lesbians were now accused of being the violent ones, and of actually initiating the physical attacks committed against them. As the designated Enemy, they must be guilty of the violence committed against them. They had no right to defend themselves, and their non-violence mattered not a bit, because it was denied. All of the women, not just the sign-carriers, got doxxed and our profile pictures posted on social media. One tweet was titled “Know Your Terfs.”
The SF Dyke March statement vaunts its supposed inclusion of all dykes (even if they do put lesbians in the sixth rank of those named as dykes), but they pointedly kicked all the lesbians in our cohort to the curb after the June 23 march. They posted a libelous account on their Facebook page, as did the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The Dyke March committee, the NCLR, and the queer press all assumed that our group were to blame for the menacing and assaults we suffered. They presumed that we deserved all the hate being thrown our way, by people who knew nothing about us, our years of activism, or our political positions. They treated old lesbians, most of whom were not carrying any signs, as a hostile alien force that had to be denounced, rejected and expelled.
Because that is the McCarthyist power of TERFing. Once a woman is branded with the epithet TERF, she loses all credibility. No one will listen to a word she says after that; she has no right to speak. She becomes a target who must be cast out and publicly excoriated. Those who sympathize with her fall silent, horrified, bewildered, because they cannot find a way to break the frenzy without being accused and reviled themselves.
This is witch hunt behavior. It is the opposite of the “inclusion” proclaimed in the Dyke March promo: “It does not stand by erasure. By displacement. By appropriation. By hate.” In the event, that is what it did stand for, and Security was not in evidence after the first assault, although the aggression continued for virtually the entire march. We walked it the whole way anyway. We had every right to be there, free of harassment or menace, and we did not bow down to the bigotry unleashed upon us.
But queer orgs repeated the lies about what happened, and the distortions grew, like a game of telephone. On Twitter, the bunny-headed cane carried by a lesbian with a mobility issue became “a dangerous weapon,” and its resin handle a brass club “that could inflict serious damage.” She must have brought the cane with the intention of assaulting trans women! but in reality it was the lesbian with the bum knee who got knocked to the ground. When Ms. NCLR cap rushed in, took the cane, and swung it around to clear attackers away from her, they distorted that into an assault. Some claimed that the disabled woman had herself “attacked” people. But it was only a walking aid, not like the bats and axes the Degenderettes parade around with.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (!) jumped on the bandwagon: “We recently learned that at Saturday’s San Francisco Dyke March, a small group of approximately 12 people chanted transphobic slogans and violently harassed and threatened other marchers…” I wrote a correction on the NCLR Facebook page: “You could not be more wrong about what happened here. I was there and tried to protect two women carrying signs from getting stomped. They kept saying We’re not violent, over and over; one woman retorted, ‘We WILL BE, bitch’.”
But I’m an old working class butch, and I told that woman, and a few of the others chanting at me at various points, “I’ve survived worse than you.” What makes them think that they are justified in making me into a target? Looking at them, I doubt that any of them has been misgendered, as I have been, or attacked on the streets for being gender non-conforming. I also doubt that on the occasions that men tried to assault me, or other butches / GNC lesbians I know, that the attackers gave a damn whether we identified as butch or trans men. So much of the aggression is about how the world sees you, not “how you identify.” These women don’t understand that they are targeting the targeted, women who have faced opprobrium all our lives.
Happy Hyder, a past member of the SF Dyke March committee (2007-2012) sent a letter of protest to the current committee: “Considering the concern we always had for the safety of Dykes in the streets, the lack of safety for these marchers and the lack of security stepping in to stop the physical and verbal abuse toward them is criminal. The Dyke March began with the purpose of Dyke Visibility, aka Lesbian Visibility. It was a claiming of power in the word Dyke in an age when it was still used as a derogatory term. And last time I checked, even as we are fast losing many of our rights, free speech is alive and well.”
It is chilling that both the Dyke March brass and NCLR bought the lies being spread about what happened here, and ignored violent assaults on lesbians in the SF march. This is part of a larger pattern. The Dyke Marches in Seattle and Vancouver BC explicitly stated that “TERFS” are not welcome, and later Boston followed suit. In Baltimore, a GLBTQ event stated on Facebook that “TERFs will be hung.” (This declaration was later modified, but not by much.) On a Bay Area listserv, all of the lesbians (including Jews) who walked with us got compared to Nazis, the Westboro Baptist Church, and to a “lesbian alt-right.” By people who were not there!
These are ritualized performances of exclusion in the name of “inclusivity.” Why do so few people, on the left and in queerlandia, acknowledge that the term “TERF” has been used as a misogynist slur for years now — often in combination with death and rape threats, and other incitements to violence. Things like “Kill TERFs”; “Burn TERFs”; “Shoot all TERFs”; “I want them to die slow agonizing deaths,” along with an array of classic sexual insults directed at “cunts.” Lovely stuff like this: “i will jerk my ladymeat right in front of you and cum in your eyes.” And: “Would you kindly suck on my womanly dick? Preferably choke on it.” Women I know have suffered death threats, rape threats, no-platformings. At some point the sexism of all this has to register on the radar of the queer community, which continues to be in denial about it — or, in the case of many lesbians, afraid to ever bring it up.
Of course! not all trans women. The point here is “community” tolerance for sexist bullying and hating on lesbians. Many (or even most) of the aggressors were not trans, but queer and “cis” identified people whose idea of being “trans allies” is to harass and assault lesbians. There is a huge body of hate out there on Twitter and Facebook, dealing out old-fashioned misogynist abuse against socalled “TERFs.” The bullying goes on and on, and yet no one says a word against those hurling this epithet. Why?
The name-calling is part of a menacing climate in which women’s speech is attacked through threats, intimidation, doxxing, DDoS attacks, and no-platforming. Be very clear: the targets are female, lesbian, feminist, often old and/or butch. This beat-down is about silencing women. (Most men do not even know that any of this is going on, or have only recently become aware of it.) It’s totalitarian and persecutory, like the Two-Minute Hate — only it lasted much longer.
I saw the vicious expression in the eyes of those young people who surrounded us, who fervently believe in their doctrine. They cannot understand what is at stake for women in deleting all references to oppression on the basis of sex, or in insisting that lesbianism is a “gender preference,” not a sexual orientation. Those queer women refused to talk to us but just kept chanting like zombies. They presumed that old lesbians were automatically the enemy, that it was right to attack us. Their perception is so distorted that they will lie about who attacked who— and believe that lie.
This is destructive. We cannot afford this, especially in these times. I believe we need coalitions and cooperation, and I’ve been trying to mediate on this issue for years. But who is listening? In the current lockstep, open discussion or difference of opinion is considered intolerable. Things are hurtling in a very repressive direction. As if basic respect for every person was too much to ask. As if female speech about patriarchal oppression, or analysis of our own experience, is once again a dangerous thought-crime.
The SF Public Library took down the I Punch TERFs shirt from its Degenderettes exhibit only after a public outcry forced its removal, and later they covered over part of a shield that read “Die Cis Scum.” But the pink-and-aqua striped axes and bats wrapped with barbed wire are still on display. (3)
I’ve spent weeks trying to correct the lies about what happened, the TERFing of lesbians attending the march, and the projections that followed after, especially on social media. The task became overwhelming, which is why it has taken so long for me to finally complete this account correcting the defamations. Then, last week, that same libel caused me to be de-platformed from the Witches Confluence, which had invited me to present in October. These false accusations lost me a paid speaking engagement, which is an attack not only on my speech but on my livelihood.
Accusations of terf-craft are siccing people who think they are being “progressive” on the same women who have always been sociopolitical targets in patriarchy: the women who speak out against it. Lesbians must be blamed for male violence against trans women, and for their suicides. This is McCarthyism; but don’t forget its much older persecutory model, the European witch-hunts. Women are condemned in the public square for magically causing harm from a remote distance, and therefore deserve to be vilified, shunned, and attacked in public.
What’s next, “scoring aboon the breath”, a Scottish phrase for punching or stabbing accused witches in the face, drawing their blood in order to break the “spell”? Or are we already there, as the bloody “I Punch Terfs” shirt suggests, and as the number of attacks on lesbians and feminists grows? When, at long last, will misogyny and sexist insults be taken seriously? When will the demonization and erasure of lesbians abate? It’s past time that good-hearted peope recognize the bigoted epithet TERF for the misogynist hate speech that it is and stop using it.
The SF Dyke March and National Center for Lesbian Rights ought to publish a retraction of their libel of the lesbians who were assaulted at the June 23 march. Both organizations failed in their responsibility to ensure safety to all lesbians and violated their own mission statements. They owe us an apology as well. The Bay Area Reporter (and any other queer media who picked up their “report”) broke the most basic principles of journalism. They simply reported the lies of the assailants as fact, instead of investigating and doing real reporting. The SF Public Library also bears some responsibility for fostering a climate that is hostile toward lesbians, in hosting the Degenderettes exhibit in all its toxic misogyny. The woman-hating is in full view, and it is unacceptable. It’s time to stop it.
(1) Lupron is a chemotherapy drug used first in prostate cancer, then for endometriosis and uterine fibroids. It has come into wide off-label use on children as a puberty blocker. Among the side effects are severe bone and joint pain, swelling and other inflammatory responses, headaches, depression, memory loss, anxiety, hypertension, sweating, nausea, vaginal bleeding or discharge, pain in breasts, testicles, chest, stomach and abdomen, and abnormalities in liver, vision, and thyroid, among many others. See https://www.rxlist.com/lupron-side-effects-drug-center.htm Another study of Lupron’s effects on adult women (who unlike preteens had already completed their neurological development and bone growth): https://www.nwhn.org/lupron-what-does-it-do-to-womens-health/
(2) Letter from Joan Annsfire to the SF Dyke march (with permission): “Not everyone even had the same politics. I was wearing an uprooting racism shirt from the dyke march in 2004. The young woman pushing at me and screaming with a microphone wouldn’t listen to my suggestion that she was mirroring the atmosphere of hate instigated by our fascist political administration. In spite of the fact that she was young enough to be my granddaughter, her hatred spilled like battery acid out of every pore. When I present my body in protest and a hate fest like “The Battle of Berkeley” I know what I am going to face. Whether its TERF or PERVERT or JEW it’s all the same to me, emotionally. But since this is the community that saved my sanity, my life, so many years ago, It is much, much sadder.”
In a July 5 letter to the San Francisco Public Library, Annsfire also protested the hateful exhibit of the Degenderettes, hosted by the Hormel Center. She wrote, “I am a retired librarian who worked at SFPL at the James Hormel Center from its founding in 1996 under Jim Van Buskirk until the year of my retirement in 2012, under Karen Sundheim. I was one of the lesbian activists who was attacked at the Dyke March by rabid, ageist, anti-lesbian thugs presumably inspired by hate groups like the Degenderettes. As a queer, leftist activist, I’d never experienced that level of pure, unadulterated hatred from folks supposedly on the same side of the LGBT struggle. It was brought to my attention that a hateful “artwork” advocating violence is on display at SFPL. From the photos I’ve seen the advocating of violence against lesbians is astounding. As a former Hormel Center employee and queer, leftist activist, I am revolted and disgusted.”
An outcry from women forced the library to remove the infamous I Punch TERFs shirt splotched with fake blood. Later on, they covered up part of a shield which read, “Die Cis Scum.” Still remaining in the exhibit is Mya Berne’s claim that “it is possible that more trans deaths have occurred as a result of TERF harassment than by cis men homicides.”
They have taken our bathrooms, they have taken women’s homeless and domestic violence shelters, women’s gyms and locker rooms, women’s positions in leadership roles and governance. They are transing & sterilizing our children. They have stolen our ability to name ourselves and are attempting a total destruction of words as we know it as they diligently work to eliminate all true meaning from the words woman, girl, and female. Now, they push for further female erasure as they takeover our sports & steal scholarships and opportunities away from young girls. How one “identifies” is irrelevant to biological sex. To say one was BORN as male can become a female is not only a lie but ignorant, privileged, and delusional. Regardless of what measures of deception one engages in to hide their true sex—such as wigs, fake nails, makeup, clothing, surgery, hormones, prosthetics, etc the biological makeup of a person can NOT be changed. Opportunities are literally being stolen from girls by boys who think they are girls because of the massive amounts of propaganda being pushed out by the mainstream media and funded at least in part by the pharmaceutical industry and backed by government and powerful corporations. Young people are being programmed to believe that if they do not closely uphold the gender stereotypes attached to their sex then they must actually BE the opposite sex. Don’t forget to like, share, & subscribe to help me overcome the heavy censorship of my channel! I was recently deplatformed from Twitter and Instagram. You can find my new instagram account at: thedeprogrammerxx http://www.instagram.com/thedeprogram… My channel is NOT MONETIZED. Any advertisements that run before my videos were placed there without my consent and generate profits for Youtube/Google. The work I do is very difficult (long, excruciating hours editing through stomach churning footage & materials) so any donations to help keep me going are deeply appreciated. You can DONATE via Paypal: email@example.com or become a Patron on PATREON http://www.patreon.com/thedeprogrammer Thank you so much to those who have donated and to all those who watch, comment on, and share my videos!
On Thursday, lesbian feminist Julia Beck testified before Congress against the gender identity provisions in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Meant to protect transgender people, these provisions actually act as a “misogynistic trojan horse,” undermining key protections for women and girls, Beck argued.
“The first piece of U.S. legislation to even acknowledge the epidemic of violence against women is now a misogynistic Trojan Horse,” Beck declared. She argued that “all women and girls are oppressed on the basis of our female sex,” not their gender identity.
Beck herself recalled facing threats of violence due to her opposition to transgender activism. “People on the Left have tried to silence me by using threats and other tactics of intimidation, a kind of hatred that most lesbians would expect to receive from people on the Right. I’ve been told to die in a fire, to get raped, and to choke on ‘lady c*ck’ by members of the GBT community,” she said.
“My so-called allies cast me out for speaking about male violence, so I spoke with the only people who were willing to listen, people on the Right, who usually never see eye to eye with lesbians or feminists,” Beck explained, referencing her appearance at the Heritage Foundation in January.
She praised the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as a critical protection for women and girls facing violence but warned that when gender identity provisions were added in 2013, that undermined the very purpose of the law.
“The distinct sex categories of female and male are mutually exclusive. Therefore women and girls benefit from female space,” Beck said. “In its earliest forms, VAWA defended female space.” In 2013, however, “one small addition to the act dissolved all of its sex-based provisions. VAWA now protects the nebulous concept of gender identity, defined in Title 18 as actual or perceived gender-related characteristics.”
Beck argued that protections based on gender identity are “illogical and completely irresponsible.”
“While sex is a vital statistic, gender and identity are not. VAWA was created for women and girls, not for those who feel like or identify as female. Woman is not a gender or a feeling,” Beck declared. She undercut the entire gender identity concept, attacking it as sexist. “No one has ever been able to explain what ‘feeling like a woman’ means without using sexist stereotypes.”
“Women don’t need to identify as female in order to be women,” the lesbian added. “Woman means adult human female. New gender identity laws allow male people to claim womanhood.”
“The Violence Against Women Act has become the Violence Against Anybody Act,” she quipped. “Its original sex-based protections are now meaningless because men with gender identities who commit violence against women are protected by federal law. When gender identity wins, women and girls always lose.”
The lesbian argued that those who think “gender identity is the next frontier of social justice … couldn’t be more wrong.”
“Gender is based on rigid sex roles and superficial stereotypes that legitimize male dominance and female subordination. This harmful hierarchy is something that women and girls can never ‘identify’ out of,” she explained.
Violence against women around the world is horrific and cannot be explained in terms of gender identity. “Female fetuses cannot identify out of sex-selective abortion. Global majority women cannot identify out of genital mutilation or forced impregnation,” Beck added, mentioning three of the worst abuses faced by women around the world.
“Women and girls are targeted by men because of our female sex, because the doctrine of gender codes females as subhuman,” the lesbian argued. Transgender identity buys into that “doctrine of gender” and throws a “misogynistic Trojan Horse” into the very law intended to defend women and girls against sex-based violence.
“One of four girls will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old and 96 percent of people who sexually abuse children are male,” Beck said. “Half the population is living in a state of emergency. Violence against women is a hate crime, but as of 2013, it is state-sanctioned, as long as perpetrators ‘feel like’ they’re women.”
The lesbian concluded her testimony with a call to action. “Everyone here, whether you’re female or not, knows what a woman is. Everyone knows that violence against women is a sex-based issue,” she said. “So for the sake of women and girls, please remove gender identity from VAWA.”
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.