A conference for lesbians*

Purple Sage

This year there is going to be a European Lesbian* Conference! Yeah!

…wait, what is that asterisk for?

“Our aim is to hold an inclusive European Lesbian* Conference. We insist on calling it a lesbian conference although we recognize that, as with any category or label, it may be contested and insufficient to describe the diversity of our communities. We are aware that many previous lesbian gatherings have struggled with issues about who should or should not be included at the conference. However, using the word “lesbian” is part of the political struggle for visibility, empowerment and representation. Therefore we will use “lesbian*” with an asterisk, so as to include anyone who identifies as lesbian, feminist, bi or queer, and all those who feel connected to lesbian* activism.”

Oh, for fuck sake. Just as I suspected, spelling Lesbian* with an asterisk is sorta like putting a footnote with the…

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Identifying as something versus identifying what you are

Purple Sage

Let’s talk about the difference between identifying as something and identifying what you actually are, because transgenderists like to think that it’s totally legit for anyone to identify as anything and they also think that everyone constructs identities for themselves. Nope!

I don’t “identify as” a woman or a lesbian, I just am a woman and a lesbian. I did not construct an identity of myself as a woman out of a desire to be one, I just know that I am one because I know what a woman is (an adult human female) and I am an adult human female. Before I was an adult, I was a female child, also called a girl. This is not because I had an “identity” as a girl, it’s because I was a girl.

Sometimes I want to ask transgenderists if they even believe in material reality. Do you know…

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Mothers and Pregnant People

The Politics of Mothering & Liberating Motherhood

The British Medical Association is following the Midwives Alliance of North America’s step (criticised in this open letter) last year in suggesting that pregnant women – expectant mothers – should be called ‘pregnant people’. See here for the BMA literature.
I addressed this issue in Liberating Motherhood in my chapter on birth. I wrote this: “are losing our village of wisdom and womanly experience about birthing. Are we starting to lose our language of birth? Are we as women losing something: a right to name ourselves, our condition or our needs? For what? For whom? Why? What are the implications? How do we feel? Do these things matter? Of course they do. And we have the right to say so.” 
In response to this BMA policy, it has to be said: It is extremely rare – vastly statistically insignificant – for transmen to become pregnant. In the extremely rare case of transmen…

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Same homophobia, different day

Purple Sage

Found in Gay American History by Jonathan Katz, p196–197, quoted from a study on female homosexuality from 1967 by eight psychiatrists and psychologists, headed by Dr. Harvey E. Kaye. Paper presented to the Society of Medical Psychoanalysts in New York.

“A comparison study was made of a group of 24 female homosexual patients in psychoanalysis with a group of 24 female nonhomosexual patients. The questionnaire method was utilized, with the patients’ analysts filling out the questionnaires. Our goal was geared toward the establishment of basic clinical data in this area, keeping highly inferential theoretical considerations at a minimum. Within the limitations of the methodological and statistical factors inherent in such a study, the following is a summation of our findings and conclusions.

Homosexuality in women, rather than being a conscious volitional preference, is a massive adaptational response to a crippling inhibition of normal heterosexual development…

Along this vein, we have…

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Thank you.

Rose and Mum and More

J.J. Barnes, Siren Stories, The Lilly Prospero Series, Rose And Mum And More, Mummy Blogger, Parenting Blog Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

I’ve been asked quite a lot recently what a “TERF” is and what it stands for.  Though it may not seem it on the surface, these are actually two different questions.

TERF stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist.  A feminist who puts the needs and focus of biological women as the focus of their feminism, at the exclusion of all others.  A feminist not interested in fighting for men, not interested in fighting for transwomen.  A feminist who recognises the oppression of women because of their sex, not their gender (which is what the brain identifies as rather than the body), and fights to correct that imbalance.

You might not understand why what a TERF is might be different to what it stands for.  But I’ll explain.

“TERF” has become…

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Conversion Therapy?

Well put. Good article and thank you.

First, Do No Harm: Youth Gender Professionals

When I suggest that it might be appropriate to do a thorough assessment of trans identifying youth before sending them down the road to become life-long medical patients, I am often told that such an approach would be tantamount to conversion therapy. In doing so, I would be committing the same sin that mental health providers committed for years in attempting to “cure” homosexuals of their same sex attraction. Though this may appear at first to be a valid analogy, the two things are very different.

Homosexuality is not a mental health diagnosis. Gender dysphoria is.

Tragically, it is true that for too long of a time, homosexualitywasviewed as a mental health diagnosis which required treatment and cure. Today, we know this isn’t true. I have had the honor of treating a number of young people who were in the process of coming out. I offered them support…

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Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best? Thoughts on BBC2’s This World programme

A butterfly's diary

On 12 January, BBC2 aired Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best? This documentary featured those who support a gender-affirmative approach to childhood gender dysphoria on one hand, and those who argue for a more nuanced approach to what is a complex issue on the other. It was the first balanced programme on this thorny topic (that I’m aware of at least) and one I’d thoroughly recommend watching if you can.

It has come as no surprise to see this documentary come under attack by trans activists who claim that it was biased. The issue really is not one of bias, it’s one of allowing alternative views to be heard, something the trans community is averse to. This is hardly a new problem: I wrote about it here, and Renee Gerlich has written an excellent article on the topic, with a focus on the no-platforming of feminists. In the case…

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