The RadFem 2012 conference announced an amendment to its membership this year, did you hear? Said membership is now restricted to “women born women and living as women.” That’s nice, isn’t it? I can’t understand how something called “Rad Fem” or “radical feminism” is okay with alienating an entire community of strong, proud women just because they weren’t “born as women,” or they don’t identify as women in one way or another. And you know what? I’m not the only one who didn’t get it – feminists and the trans community at large both expressed their disdain at this change.
One of the main speakers at the conference is author and speaker Sheila Jeffreys, who has a new book coming out critiquing trans medical care. In Jeffreys’ earlier writing, she calls for “transsexualism” to be declared a human rights violation and then said surgery should be banned by international law. Honestly, to me, this is nothing more than hate. This is a conference of hate – not radical feminism, and it speaks volumes that they would even allow a woman like Sheila Jeffreys to be one of their key-note speakers.
The trans issue isn’t the only thing happening with this conference, but it’s the only issue I’m going to discuss in this article. I’ve gone over the fact that feminism is all about beating oppression. That’s why it started right? Women were treated as second class citizens, paid less than men, treated like cattle, and sold off like slaves in one way or another. So what did we do? We got together and fought back. We said “We’re not going to take this crap any longer.” And we didn’t. I find it hypocritical to call yourself a “radical feminist,” then turn around and oppress another group. But then again, maybe they’re right – they are “radical feminists” in the sense that they are the antithesis of what a feminist should be. If that’s not radical, then I supposed I just don’t know the proper definition of the word.