TERFs are the InCels of Feminism
Note: I changed the photo alongside this after learning that banner is not an official part of Dyke March
“Dyke is not just a sexual orientation. It’s a political identity. It stands for community. It stands for solidarity. It stands for radical fight. It stands for trans*, black, brown, queer, bisexual, lesbian, disabled, chronically ill, fat, femme, butch, indigenous, gender expansive love. It does not stand by erasure. By displacement. By appropriation. By hate.”
So says the homepage of the 26th annual SF Dyke March, which happened this year on June 23rd. You can therefore imagine my surprise when I heard about a group of 4 or 5 trans exclusionary “radical feminists” who decided that they deserved to not only actively and violently claim this space for themselves, but attempt to push out the trans women who were explicitly invited to participate by the March itself.
As the TERFs have attempted to paint themselves as the victims here (much like “involuntary celibates” do when women don’t behave the way they want), I wanted to offer up what I’ve managed to piece together from the various eyewitnesses I know.
As the Dyke March went by Good Vibrations on Valencia, a small group of TERFs had gathered and were chanting transphobic slogans at the rest of the marchers. The group was about 12 people, with around 4 or 5 who were particularly aggressive, including one who repeatedly shouted “trans go home”.
Some of those involved seemed to be anticipating a fight.
Keeping in mind that the Dyke March is actively and vocally trans inclusive, this is not only violent to participants but goes against the aims of the March itself.
After these TERFs spent some time shouting at participants in the March, telling them to go home and trying to disrupt the event, eventually some participants tried to tear the signs out of the TERFs hands.
The TERFs claim they were pushed down — other eyewitnesses say that the TERFs tripped on their own feet in the ensuing altercation after shoving those chanting “hey hey, ho ho, transphobia’s got to go”.
One woman, Mitz, ended up with VNess’s rabbit-headed mobility cane — while VNess/Vanessa claims that she needed this device and that she was afraid for her safety, it does seem strange that she would give something that is both support and a weapon to another TERF. Yet the photos show that she did.
Mitzi then hit and choked a trans woman, leading multiple bystanders to pull them apart. At this point, the TERFs ran and hid behind the SFPD who had appeared on the scene.
“As we arrived at Market and Castro, I engaged Sherri in dialogue. I pointed to the big rainbow flag and said ‘See that rainbow? You’re not going to turn it black and white.’
Sherri said, ‘I’m part of the rainbow. Why do you want to exclude lesbians?’
I said, ‘We’re not excluding lesbians. We’re including trans people.’” — Rebecca
The end result was that the police basically gave these violent TERFs *an escort in the Dyke March*. This is after Pride staff had asked them to leave. Bystanders also allegedly showed police video of Mitzi’s attacks, as well as these photos above, and were ignored. In fact, at 18th and Sanchez, a police van following the March was blocked by a person on a bicycle — in response, cops told participants that they would be run over if they didn’t get out of the way, according to multiple accounts. Several people stood with the cyclist in solidarity until officers physically forced them out of the way.
The SF Dyke March staff put up a statement condemning transphobia at the Dyke March the next day.
Just as a side note, these TERFs are now claiming they’re being doxxed — unfortunately for them, Sherri, as you can see above, named all of her crew in a public post thanking them. Initially, she also tagged them all, so their profiles were linked publicly, making the information easily available to all.
You can also see above that Sherri attempted to punch another in her group, Max before realizing they were on the same side — kind of ruins the whole “poor us, we were attacked and did nothing” story they’re trying to tell. They HAVE however allowed a link to *my* doxxed information stay up, so I guess violence against women (even cis women!) is ok if they don’t like you.
There is, apparently, no video footage from the TERFs of these alleged attacks, though they spent most of Sunday attempting to claim they did. There are also no photos of anyone being shoved down, or the broken cane, or of the police attempting to arrest them as they claim.
A formal complaint has been filed by a participant at the March with the Department of Police Accountability (civilian oversight).
TERFs have long been using the techniques of the patriarchy they claim to hate against trans women whospeak out against them. Cathy Brennan is well known for doxxing trans people, often outing them as well, which puts them in danger. It may not surprise you that Cathy was active on Max’s wall, asking for an edit about the Baltimore Dyke March (thread here).
TERFs often claim that violence against women is on the rise, but completely ignore how much of that violence is against trans women, especially trans women of color. What’s not surprising is that the most vocal TERFs tend to be white, middle class older women — what may surprise you is that many of the 12 women involved in the SF Dyke March altercation claim to be active in Black Lives Matter, immigration rights activism, and other leftist movements. Their presence there puts some of our most marginalized communities at risk, not only from the world at large, but from inside our activism.
The call is coming from inside the house.
People have been ignoring the violent rhetoric coming from incels and the alt right, because so much of the harassment was online and happening to people who were on the margins. We’ve seen how that emboldens that violence to escalate from online to in person. We’ve seen how dangerous cognitive dissonance can be, and how silence is complacency. As we’ve seen with incels, “letting it go” doesn’t work. If anything, it encourages people to become more violent and more reactionary.
TERFs follow the same playbook as incels and the alt right to terrorize those they feel deserve it, and are perfectly happy to use the racist, patriarchal state to do so. These women hid behind cops after assaulting trans people at the SF Dyke March, and then tried to spin it as a mob of trans people attacking them *and they got away with it*.
This is in our communities, connected to our friends. Maybe they’re not all TERFs, but they were definitely named as supporting TERFs who *hit my friends with a fucking cane, so*. I don’t care if you call them in or call them out, but transmisogyny is not ok, and I’m tired of “they’re from another generation” being an excuse for this active harassment and violence against trans women (often half their age, too, btw!). We know better than to say that age excuses bigotry. Imagine if the first wave of feminism was it, and we never got past it! This is how second wave feminism seems to want things — but no, we adapt, we grow, we learn. I’m not ok with feminism being just for middle class white cis women, and I hope you aren’t either.
So what are we going to do about TERFs in our spaces, both online and off? There may not be many of them, but they seem to have the protection of the police, just like the neoNazis. Conversations seem like a good place to start, but I also think we need to have a firm no-tolerance policy for TERF bullshit. It’s a relic from the 70s, and it’s time we moved the fuck on.
This article may be added to as more information is received.
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