Reality Check: Fallon Fox and the Transgender Advantage
April 13, 2013
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April 23, 2013

[UPDATED] #RadFem2013 Lies, London Irish Centre Truth + a Preview of Sheila Jeffreys’ New TERF Book!

RadFem 2013 organizer, Cathy Brennan responds to this post in a totally rational, non-hateful way.

RadFem 2013 organizer, Cathy Brennan responds to this post in a totally rational, non-hateful way.

For the second year in a row, the TERF hate conference  has been booted from their venue.

For the second year in a row, the TERF hate leadership is claiming to be victims of a conspiracy. Last year is was a transgender conspiracy and this year it’s a so-called “Men’s Rights” conspiracy:

Here’s why the TERF’s claim they’re being booted from their venue:

The reality is that the men’s rights activists have behaved unacceptably in their harassment of staff at the venue, as they have to feminists organising the conference. The London Irish Centre should be standing strong with the women of the world who suffer male violence, silencing, bullying, threats and harassment on a daily basis because we are standing up and saying, “no.” Organisers of Radfem 2013 have gone out of our way to help the centre and it’s staff with criminal investigations.

Yes, it’s just one big conspiracy, isn’t it? Remember the conspiracy angle. I’ll come back to that in a moment.

The TERF hyperbole goes on to get a little more strange:

The London Irish Centre may be unlawfully and unjustifiably considering cancelling our booking but this will not stop us from holding our event and standing our ground. The repercussions on our movement for liberation are too great if we allow ourselves to be bullied out of our rightful booking. We do not accept the London Irish Centre’s unjustifiable rejection of our booking. We have done nothing wrong and we will not accept being punished because of MRA’s using terror tactics.

They then assert that the venue can’t give them the boot and that they’ll have their conference at the venue no matter what:

We will have our conference. It will be at the London Irish Centre from the 8th – 9th of June. We are standing strong with our sisters around the world for our liberation. We will not be moved.

So, is it all really a conspiracy?

Let’s cut through the TERF lies and see what the venue itself says about their reasons for booting RadFem 2013 from the venue:

Quite a few of the complaints were from the transgender community and then a men’s group cam along the other day a hand out leaflets about why the event shouldn’t be held here.

We did some research into RadFem and discovered certain language was used and some statements were made about transgender people that would go against our equalities and diversity policy.

– David Barlow, The Irish Center’s Director

There you have it. Trans folk were the ones mostly complaining about endorsing TERF hate and then a couple of guys from the TERF equivalent of a men’s group handed out some fliers but that’s not why RadFem 2013 got the boot. The venue itself researched the TERF movement and concluded for itself that RadFem 2013 is an anti-trans hate group with which it did not wish to associate.

TERFs did this to themselves. There’s no conspiracy. That’s a lie (or perhaps delusion). The reality is that the movement’s own hate rhetoric led to their expulsion from the venue.

Speaking of conspiracies. Sheila Jeffreys was going to be a speaker at RadFem 2013. Certain trans folks have gotten hold of advanced copies of her new book and OMG! It’s wackier than any TERF conspiracy theory ever! Here’s the gist of Jeffreys’ new book:

There’s an anti-woman, trans instigated eugenics conspiracy going on behind the scenes and fortunately for all, Jeffreys has been able to punch through the veil of secrecy and expose the evil that lies at the heart of the conspiracy. Can you guess what that evil is? Yup. It’s transwomen. Of course.

You thought Janice Raymond’s Transsexual Empire was obtuse? Sheila Jeffreys’ soon to be published book is about to top it! You see, kids who are assigned female at birth are being systematically absorbed into the patriarchy by a Joseph Mengele-like medical technological apparatus which identifies young butch lesbians and forces them to transition as children into men so that they can become obedient pawns of the  patriarchy. Whose fault is it for creating this medical technological apparatus? Transwomen. Yup, you see, this conspiracy would not have been able to take place had it not been for transwomen who, acting as agents of the patriarchy, both invented and pioneered the narrative and credibility for the conspiracy to take place under the very nose of the American populous! Won’t you think about the children™!?! It’s a female holocaust and it’s all made possible by the existence of transwomen!

And the TERF wonder why they’re being labeled as a hate group?

RadFem opinion leader and attorney Catherine (Cathy) Brennan, Partner at Hudson Cook LLP

This was sent to the TransAdvocate by one of the RadFem 2013 event organizers, Cathy Brennan.

Yes, it’s all just one big ol’ conspiracy, isn’t it? TERFs are innocent women suffering under the boot-heal of the man (ie, transwomen), right? TERFs aren’t the hate group, it’s everyone else that’s the hate group. You see, TERFs are brave warrior women who have special knowledge and it’s their job to spread this knowledge in the form of cut-out dolls on twitter.

They create unfalsifiable conspiracy narratives which feature themselves as both the victim and humanity’s savior. All of their venomous obloquy is inherently good because the ends justify the means.  Any evidence which is given that questions that delusion suddenly becomes evidence supporting the reality of a vast conspiracy against them. The TERF leadership is playing tennis without a net. All of the TERF conspiracy theories are impervious to fact checking; instead, they must be taken on faith alone and if you’re too skeptical, well then, that’s just evidence of your involvement with the conspiracy against them.

There’s a reason TERFs of the 1980s found common ideological ground with racist leaders in their successful bid to have trans health care removed from health plans. There’s a reason TERF leaders often quote far right-wing blogs when making their point. Both ideologies are circular, self-sustaining solipsistic constructs which feature the players as both victim and savior. There’s a reason both of these groups are regarded as hate movements (by everyone except the SPLC). Unfortunately for humanity, they are the only ones incapable of seeing what’s so painfully obvious to everyone else:


HUGE THANKS to Caprica for staying on top of this story and bringing it to my attention(!!!!):



A question that needs that needs to be answered is  why does the Southern Poverty Law Center endorse Cathy Brennan as being their voice of reason? You should probably go over to the SPLC’s website, FaceBook and/or twitter (or call them at 334-956-8200) and ask them about that!


UPDATED 4/23/13 @ 6:31: 1.) Event organizer responds to this story with the usual Pavlovian TERF hate; and, 2.) it looks like RadFem 2013 has taken to recruiting unsuspecting participants to their drama at heath venues. Why do you think they would want women with no real knowledge about the group’s history showing up at the ousted event? Surely they wouldn’t be so crass as to use naive women for a publicity stunt, right?

Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of the transgender community. She started the first trans homeless shelter in the South and co-founded the first federally funded trans-only homeless program, pioneered affordable healthcare for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. Cristan is the editor at the social justice sites and, is a long-term member and previous chair of the City of Houston HIV Prevention Planning Group.
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  • I’ve posted a recommendation on the SPLC’s facebook page. I made sure to be firm but civil in my request that they comment on their choice to quote Cathy Brennan rather than any of the thousands of respected, non-hateful feminists they could have just as easily talked to, and how irresponsible it is for an anti-oppression watchdog group to quote such a person. We’ll see if I get any response.

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  • Interesting article. However, as one of the people who attended to the protest, I’m not sure I agree with your description our group as a “RadFem equivalent of a men’s group”.

    You have never met us and know nothing about us. To simply assume that we must be extreme in some way, because – actually why did you assume that? Was it because you just thought that we are just a bunch of men? I don’t mean to be impolite, but would that be called prejudice if applied to another group?

    MRA London is actually a mixed sex, mixed race group and was originally founded by a gay man. We are inclusive and all are welcome to support and join us. We campaign for the human worth of men and boys because we see the prejudice against them as “invisible” within society. Think about it…

    Brennan’s website (now defunct) is full of remarks like this:

    “I hate little boys as much as I hate grown men.”

    “… boyz are little shites most of the time …”

    “I needs [sic] to be so unfashionable to have boys and then they would be aborted before seeing the light of day…”

    “Necrophilia supports male power.”

    “I have honestly have been reassessing the fact that I am giving care to these little future rapists, and what that says about me about me and my separatism. I know it is kinda going against my principle to support and care for these little fuckers.” – A radfem child care worker


    Whenever a radfem casually accuses men of raping women or says that men are dominant oppressors, they are talking about me. They are talking about my father. For both men and women who are parents of boys, they are talking about their sons. And for men and women alike, they are talking about their brother and their fathers.

    Now, David Barlow’s seems to state something to the effect that the Irish Centre [only?] cancelled Radfem because their language is anti-transgender. So, I ask you, what does that say about the human worth of men and boys in this? Let me tell you — it appears they weren’t even a consideration.

    We are actually sick of sitting on the sidelines while the likes of Brennan and Jeffreys trample all over our human worth–and that of our sons, fathers and brothers. We actually believe in the human worth of ALL people because we are ALL human beings, and as such, we are ALL sensitive to hurt when subjected to social and physical aggression. We are most certainly not any male equivalent of Radfem.

    • Phoenix Singer

      If you actually thought about it for one second, as awful as Cathy Brennan is, who is actually in control of society, of culture, of politics, of religion, of economics, and other facets of power? It’s men. Men are privileged by the patriarchy guess what! Trans* Women believe exists – because it impacts us in all sorts of ways. Saying boys are “shit” or whatever does not have the same impact as a culture of rape and sexual assault and violence towards women, or the enslavement and legacy of Jim Crow towards black women, or the colonial expansion and genocide towards native women, or the imperial actions against women of color in the third world. White men have it made. Their humanity is never in question, because Western intellectual traditions have always favored the humanity of white men. Your ideas are, silly to say the least. They don’t conform to reality.

    • Not to disregard your concerns but I don’t think you fully understand the greater levels of vulnerability that transgenders face. Brennan tries to push for legislation that is openly discriminatory towards a small and already hated minority. I seriously doubt that she has the power to openly pursue any desire she might have to subjugate and abuse cisgender males.

      • +1

        At the end of the day, the repellant think about MRA ideology is they’d love to convince us that this is precisely what women *are* doing.

        To me, it’s no different than when white nationalists cry their crocodile tears about how white people are an oppressed minority (even going as far as to repeatedly make claims about “white genocide”)

        What both have in common is that they require you to actively ignore and discard the kyriarchy in general, and the white patriarchy specifically, in order for someone to accept their respective premises. And as anyone who has an even passing understanding of privilege and unearned power would tell you, ignoring it is one of the key ways to perpetuate it.

        It’s sick, and it takes a special sort of boneheadedness to entertain.

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