Speeches in English / Reden auf Englisch
I am delighted to be here to talk to you today at this important rally against the introduction of legal self-identification of male transvestites as women in Germany.
I am going to speak tell you about my new book Penile Imperialism: the male sex right and women’s subordination which is out this month. The main reason for writing the book was the need to show that men who pretend to be women are not some special oppressed category of persons who have mysteriously acquired an essence of womanhood and require respect and legal recognition, but sexual fetishists who are masochistically excited by the subordination of women. Women’s oppression is a sex aid for these men.
A minority of the men who pretend to be women are gay men who are unable to unable to love men while in a male body. But the great majority are heterosexual male fetishists who are excited by what they see as women’s clothing, women’s body parts and behaviour because they are sexual masochists.
There is a great deal of silencing of those of us who insist upon pointing out this truth. There are many, even among the ranks of those who oppose the demands of transvestites, who think that I go too far, that I am impolite and unacceptable at their gatherings and on their platforms. But I consider it crucial that we say what really motivates these men because otherwise the reverence with which they are treated by many in the media, in legislatures and governments, will continue.
I call these men transvestites because that is the word that was used until the 1990s by the sexologists, the scientists of sex, for men whose sexual fetish was the wearing of women’s clothes. No one at that time thought they were really women. They were universally understood to be motivated by masochism. I think the traditional term is clearer. From the 1990s onwards transvestite activists have sought to hide their sexual motivation and reinvent themselves as an oppressed group and they have been very successful. We cannot let this continue, and history is useful in this respect.
You will probably notice that often the men who pretend to be women are men who have practised aggressive masculinity in their lives, such as soldiers and boxers. Pretending to be women is particularly exciting for them because the contrast between their masculine status and what they see as the lowly position of women makes imitating women specially exciting. For the average man who does not do masculinity it might not be so titillating.
It concerns me that many of those who are campaigning against the rights of transvestites to pretend to be women do not mention the sex. It is seen as impolite to do so. They may pretend to believe that some of the transvestites have a real condition called ‘gender dysphoria’ which requires women’s sympathy.
That is not so, of course. If there was such a thing then women would surely have it too and there are no middle-aged heterosexual women who come out to their husbands and ask to be called Brian, show off their men’s underpants and demand male gay sex. This is because women do not have this sexual fetish.
The women who pretend to be men are overwhelmingly lesbians. These days they are most likely to be young or very young and their reasons are very different from the men. The transgendering of these women and girls should be understood as violence against lesbians and a form of eugenics or ‘transing the gay away’.
Some of those who are ‘gender critical’ as many call themselves, may make emollient statements to try to avoid the wrath of the fetishists. They may say such things as that they are not ‘transphobic’ or that they respect transgender rights. If there is no such thing as a transgender person i.e. a person who has somehow miraculously acquired an essence of the opposite sex, just sex fetishists, and unhappy lesbians and gay men then these sort of statements do not make sense.
It is hard to ‘respect transgender rights’ when you know that means men’s rights to get sexual satisfaction from invading women’s spaces, lesbian dating apps, women’s toilets. Men have no right to sexual satisfaction from things such as picking used tampons out of the wastebins in women’s toilets to stick up their bottoms. This is not what human rights are about. There is of course no human right to imitate and pretend to be a member of a category of oppressed people, no human right for white people to pretend to be Black or able-bodied people to pretend to be disabled. There are no special ‘transgender rights’.
Understanding and constantly reiterating that the male heterosexual transvestites that this movement is about are simply sexual fetishists, changes the whole landscape. These men can no longer be seen as an oppressed group deserving respect but simply sexual harassers.
The sexual practice of transvestites is very clear in their pornography which comprises a large part of the global pornography industry. They do not just adopt the clothing and imitate the behaviour of women, but fetishise women’s bodily processes by watching lactation porn and trying in some cases to induce lactation and to breastfeed their own babies. Some use Thai ladyboys in prostitution who have drug created breasts and will express a liquid to satisfy the fetishists sexually.
Some seek to acquire women’s body parts through the acquisition of open wounds they call vaginas. Some are pursuing womb implants. The doctors who are planning to put womb implants into the fetishists explain that the men will only have them on a temporary basis, specifically for sexual satisfaction and then they will be removed because they could create health problems. And, they say, the wombs could come from the lesbians who pretend to be men and are having theirs removed. So lesbian wombs can become men’s sex toys.
Some of the transvestites are into age regression and pretend to be female babies and young girls. Some transvestites are excited by shit and pee because a large proportion of them have more than one fetish as is normal for fetishists in general. When they practice nappy fetishism they pretend to be baby girls and the bibs and dummies they buy on the specialist websites that cater to this ‘community’, as they call it, are pink.
In my new book I try to make the sexual basis of transvestism clear by fitting this male sexual perversion back into its history.
My new book follows on from my 2014 book Gender Hurts which was critical of the ‘transgender’ rights movement and its harmful impact on women’s rights. In the years since it was published the movement, which I understand as a men’s sexual rights movement, has had considerably more impact internationally in rolling back women’s rights and a renewed feminist movement has developed in response to challenge men’s prerogatives.
In the book I place transvestism within the history of the liberation of male sexuality that has taken place since the sexual revolution so that the sexual motivation of the behaviour is clear. Transvestism, like other forms of what the sexologists once called sexual perversions and now call, for the sake of politeness, ‘paraphilias’, is an expression of what I call in the book the male sex right.
The paraphilias represent more unusual forms of male sexual behaviour. Until the gay liberation movement of the 1970s homosexuality was included amongst lists of the sexual perversions, but the gay rights movement was successful in getting homosexuality destigmatised and in 1973 it was removed as a psychiatric diagnosis from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the bible of US psychiatry.
Homosexuality is very different from the paraphilias because it is about wanted sexual relationships between adults and does not have victims. The paraphilias that are examined in my book are forms of male sexual behaviour which do have victims and have harmful effects on the lives of women and children. They exist in great variety and are serviced and created by pornography and include coprophilia (love of shit), urolagnia (love of urine), hair and foot fetishism, apotemnophilia in which men seek to get their legs amputated or their backs broken, and many more. They are assumed to be natural, though women do not have them. Feminists have not sought to explain them but I think we must do so, and I explain that they emerge from the construction of male sexuality out of the power relations of male domination.
I do understand that feminist researchers do not like to delve into the outer reaches of men’s fetish porn and support groups. Many women, indeed, have no idea what is going on in men’s porn at all, the propaganda of womanhatred as Kathleen Barry calls it, and would do anything to avoid knowing. So, it can be lonely for those of us who do look at this.
Not platforming us can be a way to avoid confronting the degree to which men hate us and the delight that they take in imagining and enacting vicious cruelty towards women. As the bearers of bad tidings and often of a very disgusting kind, we can ourselves become unpopular.
The platform for the liberation of the perversions was the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 70s. The liberalisation of attitudes is exemplified by a controversial but well-known book published in English in 1966, Lars Ullerstam’s The Erotic Minorities: A sexual bill of rights. It was originally published in Sweden, when Sweden and other Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, were seen in the counterculture of the 1960s as being in the forefront of the sexual revolution.
Ullerstam presents a manifesto for male sexual interests and turns them into rights demands. He rails against what he calls the ‘old moralists’ cruelty’, which created ‘laws to prevent exhibitionists, pedophiliacs, and certain kinds of scopophiliacs (i.e. voyeurs) from ever being able to satisfy their sexual urges’ (Ullerstam, 1966: 11). He explains that what were once called ‘perversions’ must be destigmatised, because social disapproval of these forms of male sexual behaviour made men unhappy, ‘Throughout the ages the term “perversion” has been applied to the most divergent phenomena. But generally, this poison label has been applied to human needs. When an individual is called a “pervert” this means, as a rule, that he has the capacity for pleasure in a specific context. Whoever has as his concern the happiness of his fellow men ought therefore to appreciate and encourage “perversions”’ (Ullerstam, 1966: 17).
For men to be happy then, the perversions had to be liberated. In subsequent decades the development that he saw as so necessary, the normalisation of these practices, came to pass as the sexual revolution came into full force.
My book is composed of two halves. The first half sets out what I call the male sex right in action and shows how it creates penile imperialism. I wanted to make it plain that women live under penile imperialism, a regime in which men are assumed to have a ‘sex right’ of access to the bodies of women and girls which is delineated by sexologists, the scientists of sex, protected by governments and the law, and reproduced in culture.
Penile imperialism is a reign of terror in which men exercise their sex right in ways which profoundly harm the human rights of women and girls to privacy and dignity, to freedom of movement and expression, to political representation, to opportunities and even to their lives. This reign of terror is enforced by male violence (Romito, 2008).
It is exemplified in the fact that women walking to work or home at night must be alert to the fact that a man may abduct and murder them. In the case of Sarah Everard in the UK in 2021 that man was a serving police officer (Hawley, 2021).
The sexuality of male domination creates a regime of violence and abuse that shapes women’s lives in the home and in public space. It shapes streetscapes (Rosewarne, 2014), how women may dress and relate, and is the engine driving a ‘culture of sadism’ (Barry, 1984) in which women must live, work, and travel.
The second half of the book looks at the way political movements were formed by men for the advancement of the sexual perversions.
I look at child sexual abuse, which is called euphemistically pedophilia, sadomasochism, now more usually called BDSM, including nappy fetishism, and transvestism, now more usually called transgenderism, including drag.
All these movements use the same tactics to normalise and legalise their practices. They have a programme and it is mostly based, unfortunately, on homosexual liberation.
1/ They focus on the medical profession first and and seek to ‘destigmatise’ their practice so that is seen as something quite normal and not a mental health problem.
2/ They change the language used to describe their practice so that now pedophiles are called Minor Attracted Persons which, they think, sounds better.
3/ They pressure the legislators and try to change the law, in the case of pedophilia trying to reduce the age of consent to 4 or abolishing it altogether.
4/ Then they campaign to change polices and get themselves into the public eye, on the television and so on.
Each of the sexual perversions I look at in the book is at a different stage in this process.
In the chapter on pedophilia, more accurately called child sex abuse, I explain the extraordinary degree of public acceptance that gay male child rapists had achieved by the early 1980s. The men’s desire for children was accepted in gay men’s organisations and publications in the UK and the National Council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty) accepted the legitimacy of the campaign to get legal access to children.
Feminists fought the reduction in the age of consent. I was in a radical feminist group in Leeds campaigning against these men and we were successful. I found that it is now accepted in histories of this period that we, mainly lesbian, feminists defeated the child rapists.
The pedophiles went quiet after some prosecutions but from the 1990s onwards they have been wheedling their way into public acceptance again.
They have got parts of the medical and criminology professions to accept that their interest in raping children is a sexual orientation and biological.
They have the new name ‘minor attracted persons’ and have persuaded some academics and doctors that they should be seen as having a sexual orientation like homosexuality, and that their sexual interest is innate.
The devotees of sexual use of children, the academic literature now tells us, need more social acceptance because stigma may make them offend. This is quite a catch 22 but it is actually being said in the criminological literature. Either we accept them, in which case they will not abuse, or we remain critical, in which case they will abuse.
So, we feminists have to work all over again against these child rapists and their insidious propaganda.
The chapters on pedophilia and sadomasochism or BDSM serve as a lead up my two chapters on the most successful perversion liberation movement of all. I call my first of two chapters on transvestism, ‘From a Sexual Fetish to a Human Right: the extraordinary trajectory of transvestism’ and it is indeed extraordinary.
In the 1990s a movement developed to liberate transvestism. The first tactic was to seek law change to assert their ‘rights’ to have their sex changed in law and practice their perversion in public and especially in all women’s spaces. To this end transvestites in the US created a ‘Bill of Rights’ which used the new language of ‘gender’ which replaced the term transvestism. Suddenly the crossdressers were a particular kind of person and their sexual hobby was destigmatised. One of the men who wrote the Bill of Rights was the organiser of weekends away for men who wanted to go and wear their women’s clothes for two whole days as a form of sexual entertainment.
They campaigned to change the language that was used about them. By the late 90s the word ‘transgender’ was in routine use and no one talked about transsexuals or transvestites any more. Transgender was nice and sanitising. No more were they described by a term which suggested a sexual perversion.
Next, they sought to destigmatise their perversion by changing the wording in the DSM, the US diagnostic and statistical manual. Gender Identity Disorder, which suggested there was something wrong with their mental health, was replaced with gender dysphoria.
The campaign to force the medical profession to serve their interests was long and aggressive. They destroyed or threatened to destroy the professional reputations of any sexologists who refused to pretend that they were not sexual fetishists, in one case putting photos of the sexologist’s children online with sexualised captions.
They needed respectable campaigning platforms so they forced their way into lesbian and gay organisations and I can remember how controversial this was in the early 2000s. Getting in to and taking over lesbian and gay organisations gave them influence as they could use all the channels that those organisations had already set up to reach policymakers and control policy.
The linkage of heterosexual men’s fetish demands on to gay rights is clever because most of the public has over several decades come to think of lesbian and gay rights as something that should be respected. By attaching themselves to gay rights the transvestites automatically had access to a fund of goodwill, which is now, fortunately, wearing thin.
In the US and the UK major established lesbian and gay organisations refused to admit transvestites on the grounds this association would undermine their reputations as it is now doing. Stonewall in the UK held out til 2014.
The effect today is that it is seen as rude or even as hate speech to suggest that these men are motivated by a sexual perversion and not actually women. Today in the UK, and increasingly in other countries, feminists who insist on saying that men cannot be women are facing many forms of harassment, police persecution, violence at rallies, loss of livelihood and jobs for stating the obvious. Pedophiles have not achieved this level of acceptance although the campaigner Posie Parker in the UK received a visit from the police about a hate crime complaint relating to her being ‘untoward’ meaning critical of pedophiles.
In my final chapter, called Feminist Resistance I describe how feminists have been successful in curbing the male sex right. I say that that there is a new and powerful feminist movement arising in response to the demands of transvestite activists that women be erased or accepted as seen as just ideas in men’s heads. There is a new and wonderful fury at large. In fact, in the UK there is a lot of progress and I wish all my sisters in Germany good fortune in your campaign to stop these men. I send strength and the best of wishes.
Dr Ingeborg Kraus (not available in English)
Dear women, dear lesbians, before I speak for you, a trigger warning to the non-women: I will use very painful terms for you like clitoris, vaginal mucus, menstrual cycle. I will name what belongs to women, what cannot be artificially recreated and what you will never have. I do not want to hurt you. Therefore: better go home!
I would like to tell you women and lesbians why the feminist women’s &
lesbian movement was of course only about women and nothing else.
We didn’t have gender, we had and have real problems!
It started in 1971 with the protest against §218. Who was criminalized by this paragraph? Correct, women! Who organized the abortion trips to Holland?
Women’s groups and women’s centers were formed everywhere, because women realized: Enough is enough!
And the brave women at that time started to talk about their lives.
They had confidence in each other. And they told each other that sexuality with men was not fun for most of them. That was very brave. The framing at the time was if one didn’t orgasm through penis-vagina sex, she was considered frigid. And frigid was at least as bad as TERF is today.
Women realized that they were also defined exclusively by men in other
ways. They began to explore their bodies, even together. Probably
unimaginable today: in self-examination groups, they looked at each other’s wombs with speculums and flashlights.
We gave each other tips on contraception, abortion, and how to deal with menstruation and the menstrual cycle. I, as a lesbian, educated my
heterosexual fellow students about parsley tampons and the viscosity of vaginal mucus. If any of you don’t know what that is – feel free to talk to me after!
We explored our sexual needs beyond what was called “humping.” We
discovered our clitoris. There was an article “The Myth of the Vaginal
Orgasm,” penetration was discussed everywhere. Many of us chose lesbian life at that time.
We told each other about the violence we had experienced at the hands of men. Men on the street. The husband or boyfriend at home. The teacher or boss. The father or uncle in childhood. Who had beaten us because they could, because they were stronger, because they had power. Who had raped us because they could and because we had the female body that was penetrable. I paraphrased my rape as a girl “There’s an animal, it’s making a hole in me.”
That hurt a lot.
It took me years to understand that pain is not pleasure and humiliation is not love.
In GynÖk, Mary Daly described how universal male violence against women is throughout all times and cultures. Men’s violence has the function of keeping women weak and dependent.
It strengthened us to understand that the violence was not against us
personally, but virtually necessary to maintain patriarchal power relations.
When women talk to each other, they become strong. The private is political.
Male violence has always been directed against our female bodies.
The female bodies that are to be sexually provocative through fashion.
The female bodies that become consumer articles in prostitution,
pornography, and now rented motherhood.
The female bodies that women are still not allowed to decide for themselves about their ability to give birth.
The female bodies, because of which women have worse career
opportunities. They – and only they! – could finally drop out because of a pregnancy.
The expropriation of female sexuality through genital mutilation, through rape, through pornography and prostitution, through abortion bans. Female sexuality as a mere consumer article for men. Female pleasure is redefined as pain and humiliation, not only in porn.
The dispossession of lesbian sexuality by heterosexual men who call
themselves lesbians. They rape our spaces, our self-definition and our dignity.
They rape in the narrowest sense especially young lesbians.
Every third day in Germany a woman is murdered because she says no to a man.
In many countries femicides are even more frequent when women disobey men. In many countries, the female body of a fetus determines abortion. In many countries, girls are sold for child marriages. In many countries, girls’ clitorises and lips of Venus are cut off with broken glass without anesthesia.
When I talk about structural and habitual male violence, it is now devalued as sexism against men.
If I, as a lesbian, exclude men as relationship partners, it is now labeled
transphobic or even fascist.
Men determine that women are no longer allowed to talk about their bodies and men’s violence.
If young girls have problems with their female bodies because of all this, there is no feminist movement today that questions the conditions of life. Today, girls are offered mastectomy and genital mutilation as a solution. Their bodies, their sexuality are destroyed for the rest of their lives. This is the ultimate dispossession.
Women and girls are no longer allowed to talk to each other. The dick-
wielding biology and sociology deniers in women’s spaces are the
perpetrators of modern male violence.
In my lifetime there has never been such open and vile hatred of women as there is today. It is now to be enshrined in law.
As a lesbian and a survivor of sexualized male violence, I sometimes feel desperate and see no way out. But I remain angry. I remain passionate. And I am glad, as many of us are here, that more and more women are saying:
We say no!
The women are us!
Sarah Get the L Out
I first want to thank Radfel Berlin, especially Ana, for inviting Get The L Out here.
It is an honour for me to be here and meet a part of the new emerging feminist movement in Germany.
This summer, I realised I entered the radical feminist 5 years ago after a radical feminist event in 2017, when I was 23. And when I think about me and the movement today, I’m very proud of the progress made by radical feminist ideas and activists over the years, everywhere in the world.
When I felt alone and isolated as a radical feminist in 2017, I could have never imagined back then that 5 years later I’d be speaking here as part of a group like Get The L Out.
I could not have imagined that in those 5 years I would see lesbian groups showing lesbian visibility against lesbian erasure by transgenderism in the UK , Mexico, Brazil, France, US, South Korea, Canada, Peru, Argentina and many other countries where we have seen lesbians mobilising
Special congratulations to the lesbians here in Germany who have been organising groups or protesting Dyke Marches like this year in Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen. All these lesbian and radical feminist initiatives are great sources of inspiration for us at Get The L Out.
About this realisation that I became a radical feminist 5 years ago, it is through this gathering that my life completely changed. Being surrounded by women, a majority of lesbians, from many different paths of life, felt so much like paradise that the urge to share this feeling with as many women as possible has never left me since. Of course, in 5 years of activism, I had plenty of time to realise that women-only spaces are not actually paradises and that women’s relationships with each other are sometimes vert challenging, including in radical feminism. But in spite of these challenges, I can’t help myself but hoping for and working towards building a strong radical feminist movement and politics with all lesbians and all women who want to take that specific road too.
The same way the organisers of this radical feminist event in 2017 have inspired me to live a woman-centred life dedicated to our liberation, I want Get The L Out to inspire lesbians to put lesbians first, because if we don’t do it, who will? Certainly not the heterosexual society, too busy cutting off our breasts or telling us that we haven’t met the right penis yet, or depicting us as crazy or dangerous. Who’s going to take care of us? Certainly not the left wing, certainly not the right wing, cettainly not the anarchists, certainly not any type of male politics. So we have to do it, and I hope some lesbians here want to do it too.
That’s why I’ve been involved in this feminist fight against transgenderism and going to Pride marches. I think there are many ways to oppose transgenderism, including a lesbian radical feminist way, which is too often overlooked. I believe there are ways to defeat this men’s sexual rights movement in ways that would both shake the whole patriarchy and re-build lesbians communities, culture and politics.
Such endeavour is always met with challenges within the movement, that’s why it’s so important to have as many lesbians as possible choosing to spend time and energy on taking seriously our community and politics and make it a better place for an increasing number of lesbians.
One of my reasonable dreams is to see an international movement of dozens or even hundreds of lesbians and radical feminist groups, both working together against the patriarchy and creating an alternative world for lesbians and all women. I think if I don’t see women’s liberation in my lifetime at least it’s reasonable to hope that we can have dozens of radical feminist groups in Europe for example.
The past few years have seen hundreds or even thousands of women around the world turn to radical feminism. I’ve been lucky enough to meet dozens, even hundreds, of them. And thanks to the work of feminists who came before us, many lesbians my age or younger now can see the problems of queer and porn cultures and want radical feminism.
For me personally, lesbian radical feminists are one of my priorities and this with them that I want to build a future with so we can have a stronger voice together, radically influence the world, and be there for each other.
If we manage to create a strong, long-lasting and flourishing movement of women who are autonomous, woman-centred, free and equal, can you imagine how many opportunities we would be able to give to all women?
It want to finish this intervention by reading a poem written by Nikita Gill, called “An Ode to Fearless Women” (so it’s an Ode for all of us here):
I think your bones
were made in an elsewhere place
How else does anyone explain
this inconceivable strength that makes you.
The way you look into danger’s mouth
and see no cemetery or death.
Instead, carve your name into
it’s teeth with a switchblade,
defeat it so effortlessly
and throw your head back and laugh.
Paradox girl, mighty woman,
you are the thing that terrifies them.
Both monster and maiden, both cure and poison,
all of these things and at the same time human.
Defined by no man, you are your own story,
blazing through the world, turning history into herstory.
And when they dare to tell you about
all the things you cannot be,
you smile and tell them:
“I am both war and woman and you cannot stop me.”
I am pleased that you have come here today from all over Germany to demonstrate together against the Self-ID Law. A law that has already caused enormous unrest in the countries where it was introduced. This law must never be allowed to pass. Often I hear from trans activists that it wouldn’t matter what happens in other countries, here in Germany everything is safe, the attacks by transgender men are just made up and the hysterical terfs only exaggerate.
Yet all it takes is a look at the subculture of trans activists. In the LGBTQ+ community and the leftist scene, SelfID has long been unwritten law. This means that in autonomous centers, for example, there are no women’s toilets. On the contrary, the term “woman” disappears more and more and is replaced by acronyms like “FLINTA”. “FLINTA” stands for women (Frauen), lesbian, inter, nonbinary, trans, agender, only the first two letters really stand for women. This means that men can easily gain access to all kinds of women’s events as soon as they are for “FLINTA”, they only need to call themselves trans, nonbinary or agender. At the same time, the motives for men to identify as trans or nonbinary are often quite different from those of women. Besides the classic autogynophilic fetish, where men feel sexual excitement by slipping into the female role that porn suggests to them, there are enough men who try to revalue their own status within the community by creating a fancy identity. For example, after it becomes known that they are sexually assaultive or have been criticized too often for their chauvinistic behavior. Some also plan in advance. These men then also have access to all feminist offers directed at women, perceive them and spread out there. It does not come from somewhere that prostitution and violent sex are suddenly glorified. Women who criticize this are not wanted and it does not matter how they otherwise stand on the subject of “trans”. I think few are actually radical feminists when they kindly point out that prostitution is mostly involuntary or that they/them pronouns do not change the character of a man. Nevertheless, this is already considered “terf” or “swerf” in woke circles, people are warned against “transphobic narratives” that put so-called “assigned male at birth” trans people as predators. Supposedly, women just can’t imagine that they too have a feminine side. The days of #Metoo
when it was clear that women don’t make up such accusations are over. A woman – even if she has already been subjected to violence by one of these men – who expresses criticism of the whole thing or addresses certain patterns must expect enormous hostility and bullying. Awareness team or not. In an emergency, I would not ask an awareness Team member with a transflag for help. In the end, they gaslighten me because I accidentally used the wrong pronoun for the guy who grabbed my body. Unfortunately, there are such people more and more often in counseling centers for sexual and domestic violence. Every time I see an asterisk or “all gender” at such a counseling center, my stomach turns and I wonder how they deal with victims there who don’t pray down “transwomen are women.” I know how my sisters and comrades were treated after they had made critical comments. A comrade who did not dare to take part in the free self-defense course for FLINTA, because she did not want to train with locally known perpetrators who would then know her weaknesses, was downright mobbed out of the scene. This went so far that letters were written to her old employer. Another comrade had to delete her Twitter account because, as a lesbian woman, she does not date transgender men and was insulted as “Terf” for it. I’m sure many of you know the stories of Meltem (a famous socialist tiktoker in Germany) or Marie-Luise Vollbrecht. Both experienced a real wave of hate and that only because they had expressed themselves critically as accounts with a certain range. From threats of violence to accusations of fascism, everything was there. Now imagine what will happen when the self-ID law is introduced and the first man reports a woman for calling him a man. Or because she didn’t want to be ogled by him in the locker room. At the latest, when the average man has checked how much power Self ID can give him, the social climate will change and these women will also be subjected to waves of hatred. What will women do then who experience violence from a man and he gets the idea to appoint himself as a woman or nonbinary? Will they still take her in the women’s shelter? Will she get support from the liberal feminists? Women’s shelters are already being pressured to accept transgender men. If a woman divorced in the 50s, she was socially ostracized for it. We will soon see that again, probably there will even be whole witch hunts on abused women. The leftist scene and LGBTQ+ community are showing how women will fare with the Self-ID Law. “Punch a terf” they say, meaning women who don’t submit to violent men. They mean lesbians. Now they are still subcultures that we can get out of. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Margitta & Lulu
Hello everyone! Good afternoon dear sisters!
Before I get started, a few words beforehand: the speech I am about to give is not mine alone, but I wrote it together with my daughter. My daughter Lulu lives on the other side of the globe, in China.
Due to travel restrictions because of Covid, we have not seen each other for over three years. Her return trip to Germany was already scheduled though. I should have picked her up at the airport the day before yesterday, and she would have been here at the mike together with me. But just before her departure, there was a lockdown in her city because of Covid. And now we have to be patient again until we can end this huge distance between us. So my daughter Lulu, and I, Maggie, her mother, are speaking to you together here. As daughter and mother. It is important for us to speak with a shared voice, because although we could hardly be further apart in space, we have both had a marvellous experience. Over the past year, we have both become part of the new feminist movement and have become very close to each other as a result.
We have had countless conversations about feminism. We have participated together in WDI UK’s webinars on radical feminism. We read the same books. We listen to the same podcasts. We’ve participated together in Twitter Spaces hosted in very different places around the world. And we’ve spent many hours discussing via Zoom. We’ve seen the privacy of our mother-daughter relationship through political eyes. Though physically distant from each other, we have become close in wonderful ways we could never have anticipated. Today, when we talk about our growing closer as mother and daughter, we are not talking about ourselves though. We have the feeling of being part of a new major women’s movement. What is special about this new movement is that it brings generations together. This new movement is carried by older women who built the last movement, by middle-aged women like myself who are wiping the sand of queer feminism from their eyes, and by young women like Lulu who are discovering, experiencing, and shaping feminism in a whole new way for themselves. This new women’s movement, OUR movement, is new and special because it is intergenerational and international. Feminists are connected as never before: across generations and countries,
transcending time zones and spanning continents. Our new women’s movement, of which we are both a part, is making great progress, or so Lulu, the daughter, feels. But wait, what do you mean by progress, I the mother ask. After all, it’s the grand narratives of progress that drove us apart in the first place, and that continue to drive us apart. Lulu tells me what she sees on Insta all the time: young women explaining that you have to use anti- ageing cream from the age of 16. Preventatively. If you refuse to do that, you will inevitably get very bad wrinkles and become old and ugly very quickly. I was 25 when 25-year-old women told me the same nonsense. Social media has brought us the progress that women now fear age as early as 16 and invest in that fear. Lulu also tells me how, at 14, she got lost in Internet forums celebrating hentai porn. Young women at her school also gave her the feeling: if you don’t like porn, there’s something wrong with you. I
remember well the feeling of bewilderment I had when I saw porn for the very first time in my early twenties. It was in a sleazy porn cinema here in Berlin, 30 years ago. Because I wanted to know what porn was all about. It was the time before the internet vastly increased men’s porn consumption. The misogyny of the film and the sleaziness of the furtively jerking men around me, my disgust about it – Iwill never forget it. West Berliners laughed about how, after the Berlin Wall came down, the very firstthing the men from the GDR did was to empty the sex stores. But for me – and perhaps for many
other young women as well – the Berlin laughter stuck in my throat. When I was Lulu’s age, in my latetwenties, we women hardly talked about it. It was considered “progressive” to tolerate porn. We were considered “modern” women if we accepted that porn was part of male sexuality. Today, we are considered “modern” and “progressive” if we consume and celebrate porn ourselves. If we express our discomfort and disgust, there is something wrong with us. We are not ticking right. We are a TERF or SWERF, a hate figure, a nonperson.
It is Lulu who first discovers Andrea Dworkin’s books. She then asks me, “How come I’m showing you these books and not you showing me? Together we begin to ask: Is there progress in the women’s movement, or is the narrative of progress itself a narrative of oppression? What does it mean to be modern – have we ever been, or is it just that misogyny has progressed? Together, young and old women united, we recognize that the filmed violent excesses of the porn industry are becoming more extreme, while we women are being asked to be “sex-positive”.
Together, we recognize that women’s and lesbian spaces are disappearing. Together we recognize that prostitution is now celebrated as a glamorous act of feminist liberation, while girls are mutilated and still married off to maximize the profits of fathers and sons.
Together and united, we understand what male supremacy means. Male supremacy means that what old women say never applies to young women. Everything old women say is yesterday’s news.
Old women, on the other hand, have barely a concept of the pressure that young women face. Today, you have to watch porn at 12, bind your breasts at 14, and use anti-ageing creams at 16 to protect yourself against the words of the old women. Because despite all the progress, one thing hasn’t changed and has remained the same over the centuries. A feminist, a woman who stands up for women, is always a wrinkled old woman. Today, she can be wrinkled at 16.
But if we look around this circle, we see: Young women are listening to old women and old women are listening to young women. Women are talking to one another and listening to one another. As terrible as we may feel about the anti-feminist developments of the last few decades, they are finally bringing us together. We listen to one another, we connect, and together we are standing up for the liberation of girls and women!
it is no coincidence that today we are gathered together seeking among us to channel our energy to fight back the attack against our sex based rights.
Contrary to what many promoters of sexism think, denouncing the misogynist policies that erase the category of women is not hate speech, nor is it saying loud and clear that women are going to continue talking about issues that concern us only and exclusively we.
The misogynists are afraid of what is happening now: they are afraid that women are united and organized, they are afraid that we know our rights and that we fight not to lose them, they are afraid because we have reality on our side, while they speak of defending sexist and patriarchal stereotypes, we talk about the reality of being a woman, the reality of being a lesbian, the reality of loving other women and no matter how hard they try, they will never know what that is, because they play at being women, and we are.
We women are, no man can ever know what it feels like to be a woman simply because being a woman is not a feeling. Being a woman is a material reality, and all the experiences we live as women are influenced by the sexist stereotypes imposed by patriarchy, stereotypes that vary according to the territory, the time, the religious system and even the economic system. Men know how to perform femininity very well because they are the ones who benefit from the imposition of sexist stereotypes in the patriarchal society. While we want to abolish gender, they want to perpetuate the patriarchal hierarchy by naturalizing sexist stereotypes, performing femininity without neglecting masculinity and the power that this gives them as a sexual class.
And here we are again, just like our mothers and grandmothers before us, claiming what belongs to us, claiming our rights based on sex. Now the patriarchy wears a wig and lipstick thinking that this way they can enter our sex-segregated spaces, they think they can be one of us to do what masculinity has always done: seize what belongs to women to control us and maintain the patriarchal status quo. They will not get it. Women are united, alert and ready to raise our voices. They will not be able to silence us.
It must be terrifying for them to see that we women are united… to see us like this, gathered, organized, owners of the power to be who we are, must scare them a lot… and I as a woman, can’t imagine what they must feel knowing that lesbians only love other females and that we choose to surround ourselves only with women, and that our life doesn’t revolve around them…it must be really scary.
They, like us, know that the patriarchy is going to come to an end, while they will continue to promote misogynistic policies to erase us and seek to intimidate us and keep us quiet, we have something better, because we have ourselves, and above all, we have the reality of our side, because we are women.
And we will remain united, loving each other, caring for each other, supporting each other. A feminist society is possible and we are building the road to that, for all those who fought before us and for our sisters who come after us.
Here we are feminists, here we are adult human females fighting against patriarchy. For us and for our sisters.
8- Frances (not available)
I am proud to be a woman.
An adult human female. And it took me 31 years to realise this.
I am standing here in front of you as a woman who only with 31. I lived a life filled with confusion, shame, no idea of boundaries and a sexuality that was never really mine to discover. As a survivor of incestual childhood sexual abuse and the trauma of what followed after this abuse (that was all part of „our little secret“ ) I lived a life rejecting any sex stereotype, any trend, any fad. I was with the punks in my teens, I hitchhiked and cycled on my own to other countries and hated being asked if I wasn’t afraid to get raped. I actually felt like this classic „non binary trope“ of „I just want to be seen as a person rather than a girl/woman“
I was always an eco feminist, I was always anti capitalist and anti-religion and I lived my minimalist life on the edges of society at most times of my life. I never held any job more than a year… I wanted to be happy but I never was, always ending up in a relationship with a man who got onto me and then – boom! – I was in a relationship. For years.
And then, when I had just stopped hard drugs and raves as well as lost my last corporate job, I met a young glamour model (that I crushed on a lot) and she told me how sexy I was and how muscular and that I should try Modeling. It started at 50£ per hour Modeling in lingerie. And, as I had no money, I was hooked. I was very alternative and androgynous looking.
And so my adventure, my hero’s journey began. With Lovebombing, choosing a new identity (stage name), receiving bookings, foto-shoots, learning makeup… it was the world I had always despised, The world of femininity. I felt like an imposter the whole time. I still found it fascinating to do all these things – live this fake persona.
I was living a totally new life, had new friends, got validation – had wads of cash.
But like in all toxic relationships, I pushed any negative experiences (that I had from the start) and feelings down and focused on the cash. Focused on spending it.
But what I saw as I was getting deeper and deeper into the sex trade as a dominatrix made me more and more uncomfortable. The porn/fetishes we see when on the main page are nothing compared to what a prostituted woman, a content creator or porn performer has to hear, read or talk about.
The reality is that internet porn created most of the fetishes that are based around porn addiction, created by the FREE AVAILABILITY of it online. Modern Men fetishise their shame around erectile dysfunction as demasculation – and the constant propaganda of bimbos and whores has lead to sissification or forced feminisation being one of the most requested fetishes
But we all know: none of this is real. Sexwörk is work isn’t real
And I will end with: it’s clearly men who
-copy our slogans because they don’t have anything of their own
WOMANS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
Women like us won’t be bullied out of resistance.
Most time of my young life I felt homeless. As if I were a foreign body, like it’s in the nature
of things that the world spits me out. As if I were a stone that weighs heavily in society’s
stomach. Spat out like that I was lying there in the corner, an easy target to patriarchy that
immediately puts girls like I were through the wringer. It immediately latched onto me,
digging its fingers deep under my skin. Warped my thoughts, warped my lust, warped my
sexuality, warped my will, warped my body.
Back then I called this patriarchy feminism.
It told me that it is totally normal wanting and having violent sex, that it is totally normal to
watch videos of other women being raped for the purpose of sexual exploitation for profit,
that it is totally normal to pluck out your hair, to hide and distort the own the face under
make-up, that it’s normal to want to lose weight and eventually starve yourself down to
40kg. And this queer, feminist patriarchy eventually approved and supported my abuse by “a
transwoman” as well. Everyone knew it and everyone could or could have seen that I was
abused for months, it was obvious because I was 16 and he was 36. We were in a
relationship and he met me in a known queer youth group in my home city. In a youth group
it would have been a responsibility for the leader to guarantee a safe space for children and
teenager. They knew about the relationship, they knew about the grooming.
Besides that he worked for a well-known organization for LGBTQ+ and advised trans-
Everyone knew about it, nobody has lost even one critical word.
It took long time, till I understood, that this was abuse and it took even longer until I
understood that this abuse didn’t do a woman.
That women are not believed or not taken seriously when they are opening up about their
perpetrators is in every case horrible and nothing new but now this doesn’t only do
misogynistic men, but also women that call themselves feminists.
Every time when they say things like transwomen are women they trivialize my trauma and
the trauma of other women whose perpetrators are also transwomen.
They also say that things like this doesn’t happen, that it is a narrative by us “TERFs” to
discriminate transwomen, but here I stand. So either call me, a survivor of a transwoman
that groomed and (sexual) abused me, a liar or believe me and listen to me.
And I know damn well that Im not the only victim.
I were 8 years in therapy, including psychiatry. But no therapist, no psychiatric stay, no
medication, nothing could helped me heal, just learning, realizing and understanding, that
certain things are not normal, understanding how deep the patriarchy invaded me, allowed
me to fight me out of this.
He took me. But through radical feminism Ive learned that no man, no perpetrator ever can
took me away from me. Radical feminism has taught me that Im out of stone, in the best
sense, that Im not deformable. That I can face anything.
We are all stones and we build a wall now. Together we build a fortress. A home for all
homeless girls and women. And a safe castle. Our castle is called feminism and sisterhood.
And yes, only women are allowed in there. Yes, we are exclusive. Because we have the right
to say No. Because exclusion means protection, because exclusion means setting boundaries
and we will not allow these boundaries to be shifted any longer.
That the progressive, skirt-clad patriarchy reacts so aggressively shows that they are just
that, just another patriarchal infection full of misogyny that wants to see us on the ground.
But we remain steadfast, like stone. We will not be deformed, we remain uncompromising
for the protection of girls and women. We remain whole, we don’t let ourselves be taken
away, we don’t let ourselves be shaken and tear out no part of our castle.
Against any patriarchy. No matter how many may come. We are staying here.
11-Ina Wagner (Not available)
Dear Sisters, I stand here today to speak for mothers, about their strength and about the double pain and violence that patriarchy does to mothers over their children.
Without a woman who gave birth to us, none of us would be here. Men can’t be women, fathers can’t be mothers, and lesbians don’t have penises. And that’s really the beginning and end of why they hate us so much. Men don’t have “Eier” (in German we say Eier = Eggs for “balls”). Men need women just to exist.
But for 8000 years they claim to be the creators and degrade us.
Because: WE ARE THE CREATORS!
Many think that in rich countries like Germany patriarchy is history. That this is not true becomes especially visible in crises and wars and in women and mothers who fall outside the patriarchal grid.
Women who are mothers are particularly vulnerable through their children. In the form of vicarious violence, patriarchy takes advantage of this to oppress mothers over their children and to force mothers to dress up children for patriarchy.
EXAMPLE PREGNANCY AND BIRTH:
In Germany, not only is it still a tolerated crime to terminate a pregnancy. Germany is also struggling with a massive decline in the care of pregnant women. Midwives hardly attend to births anymore because of too high liability insurance costs. Maternity wards in clinics are closing. In some areas of Germany, a pregnant woman can no longer find support in her neighborhood. In the middle of Berlin, one of our nurses had to give birth in a parking lot because there was not a single delivery room available, even after hours of driving around. Violence during childbirth is still widespread in Germany. We are treated like unfeeling birth machines. Our bodies are handled as if we were not human. Meanwhile, on top of that, we are supposed to accept being dehumanized as “birthing persons” or “human beings with uterus” and reduced to our reproductive abilities.
With the desire to legalize surrogacy in Germany, our bodies and our children are finally reduced to the status of a rentable and purchasable commodity.
We say no! We deserve humane treatment and comprehensive support during pregnancy and childbirth. We have a right to full sexual and bodily self- determination.
EXAMPLE FATHER VIOLENCE AND FATHER’S RIGHTS:
In Germany, as in many countries around the world, mothers are punished if they separate from the father. Complete separation is virtually impossible with joint children – even if the father has become the perpetrator.
Through shared custody and residence rights, the father can have a permanent influence on the lives of mothers and children, even if he does not care for the children at all. He is allowed to prevent therapy for traumatized children by refusing to sign. He has access to the children’s bank account. He is allowed to refuse a move of mother and child, while he himself is allowed to move wherever he wants. He may force contact, even if the children do not want to see him. But he may not be forced to have contact with the children.
Mothers who flee domestic violence with their children abroad – for example to their family – are liable to prosecution under the Hague Convention. This means: They end up in prison for child abduction. They are forced to return with their children to the country of the perpetrator.
In youth welfare offices and family courts, mothers are regularly made out to be intolerant of attachment and mentally ill if they want to protect themselves and their children from an abuser father or if the children refuse contact. Some children are forcibly relocated to their father or placed in homes, even if they want to stay with their mother. The state thus perpetuates the violence of the perpetrator father through institutional violence. At the same time, the bond between mother and child is usually close for good reason. Contact and interaction with a perpetrator father are life-threatening for both mother and child.
Violence and femicide statistics in Germany confirm that father violence affects mothers who separate in large numbers. This violence also affects the children and has lifelong consequences.
In addition, separation massively increases the risk of poverty for women and children. This means that women alone are punished economically throughout their lives for the actions of the father and a separation.
We say no! We demand the immediate implementation of the Istanbul Convention in Germany and a basic security for children and mothers, so that mothers can protect themselves and their children from male and father violence. We demand a containment of fathers’ rights – purely based on a sperm contribution.
EXAMPLE GENDER IDENTITY LAWS:
The claim that a child may be born in the wrong body also means: a woman gives birth to a wrong child in a wrong body. This attitude alone is outrageous. No human being is born in the wrong body. No mother gives birth to a wrong child.
But reality is also: almost every girl has difficulties with her body during puberty or rejects it. Who conforms to the beauty ideals on Instagram? Who wants to be put in the gender corset that patriarchy imposes on women? Who wants to be stared at and harassed by men in a sexist way? Who wants to be so severely limited in their options? Who actually agrees with a cis stereotype of woman?
Transgenderism fools girls into thinking they can be boys. But that doesn’t correspond to reality, because no human being can change their gender. We can achieve a simulation of a man through experimental hormone treatments and body mutilation. We can deny our sexuality and not admit that we love women. This is not resistance to patriarchy.
Mothers are now supposed to support their daughters cutting off their breasts, getting sterilized, and swallowing hormones that make them sick for life. They are supposed to accept losing their daughter and agreeing to the lie that she is a son. If they question this wish, they are threatened that the daughter will kill herself. Trans activists advise the daughter to cut off contact with her mother. Through the German conversion therapy law, mothers are even forced to support the lie that girls can be boys. If they refuse, they are liable to prosecution.
In turn, when a man and father claims to be a woman, he takes his whole family into this lie. Many of these fathers even claim to be mothers. This is a contempt of women, because no man can comprehend the experience of menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding. Forcing one’s family to deny the truth is psychological violence. Expecting the mother to go along with this lie and convince her own children of the lie is a form of coercive control and gaslighting.
When men declare themselves women and occupy women’s spaces, mothers can no longer adequately protect themselves and their children from male violence. They are forced to lie themselves and force their children to lie in order to avoid prosecution.
We say no! Men cannot be women. We demand to preserve our gendered spaces, rights and events. We demand to be able to name our reality as women and not be forced to lie. We demand freedom of belief and expression, a secular state, and full protection from psychological violence.
All this and much more is the illogic of patriarchy.
Women have survived these contradictions, lies, oppression and violence since the beginning of father rule. Mothers still bring children into the world and take care of their lives and survival – even under the most difficult conditions. This alone shows how strong and resilient we really are.
We are all the stronger as a community of women.
Patriarchy is always trying to divide us. It divides mother from daughter and grandmother from mother. It divides women as friends. It divides women. Because women as staunch allies who turn to each other instead of serving men are a great force and are dangerous to the power of men. Women are enough for themselves.
We mothers and our children have a right to a safe and dignified life and protection from male and paternal violence and from institutional violence by Father State and its organs. We mothers should be able to count on being supported by a strong circle of women. We should not be impoverished, lonely, unemployed or arrested for being mothers and protecting our children. We should be allowed to stand up for reality.
And at this point I adopt the motto of the women from Rojava and from Iran: “Without women no life, without life no freedom”. “Women, life, freedom!”
Dear Lesbians, dear Women,
in Germany, we are faced with a Self-ID law, the so-called “Self-Determination or Diversity
Act”. One of the outstanding features is the so-called “prohibition of revelation”.
What does that mean? We are apparently moving towards an age that George Orwell
predicted: the state wants to prohibit its citizens from telling the truth under threats of
sanctions. Namely, that there are two genders. That men cannot be lesbians because
lesbians are obviously women whose sexual orientation is directed at other women.
First of all, let’s note: “Gender identity” is a subjective feeling, nothing more. Sex, on the
other hand, is a material fact. This important distinction is apparently to be blurred and no
longer addressed. Why?
In order to protect a marginal group from discrimination – trans persons – an entire society
should refrain from its perception and expression of opinion if it wants to avoid criminal
However, 50% of the population – women and girls – are particularly affected, because
patriarchy does not disappear with “self-identification” of a man as a woman.
It should only become more difficult for women and girls to defend themselves against the
violation of borders by men in relation to protected and autonomous women’s spaces, e.g.
women’s and girls’ changing rooms, women’s prisons, women’s toilets, women’s shelters,
women’s pubs, bars, clubs, etc. Men who have daughters will also be affected.
Let us remember: thanks to the first German women’s movement before, between and after
the two world wars, it was possible for the first time in Germany to constitutionally secure the
equal rights of women and men. This means that women can claim their equality with men
up to the Federal Constitutional Court. Since 1994, the state does also have the
constitutional duty to promote the equality of women and men and to ensure the elimination
of existing disadvantages for women.
How is this compatible with the “Self-Determination Act” favored by the Federal Government
and the extension of the law against hate crime to include the characteristic “gender identity”
also planned by the Greens?
This is not about women’s rights, but clearly about men’s rights. Women should be deprived
of their autonomy, their right to self-determination, their dignity. With the trick “gender
identity”, boundaries are simply torn down that protect women from male violence or
empower them to lead a self-determined life without male influence. This requires freedom,
yes, demarcation. Women also have so much to clarify among themselves, and for that
purpose, they neither need nor want men.
Dear women, let us defend our rights by all means at our disposal. Let’s dare to join forces!
It’s high time!
14- Susette Schubert (not available in English)
I’ve been thinking a lot about courage lately.
As a lesbian, I had to be courageous all my life. As a lesbian, you die if you aren’t courageous.
There is a term we have for when you first start naming and living your truth: Coming Out.
This term is now used by trans activists to describe the opposite. A rejection of the self, an escape. A person who flees into the label trans flees from herself.
I keep thinking about the words the movement for the oppression of the female sex that recently started calling itself the “transgender movement” stole from us.
“To come out” means to speak the truth even if you know the whole world will hate you for it.
What’s so true about cutting off parts of yourself?
When I was shunned in 7th grade because I was suspected of being a lesbian, I had the choice to be cowardly or brave. I chose to be cowardly. I denied being a lesbian to fit in.
It eats away at you until you no longer recognize yourself. If we deny who we are and what we stand for, we win approval but lose ourselves. We say it’s for survival, but is a life like that worth living?
With 18, I again had the choice to be cowardly or brave. To put myself in harm’s way for what I believe in or to shut up and shut down.
Me coming out marked a turning point in my life. Accepting my sexuality made me realize that sexuality is a source of spirituality, of love, of creation. I realized that what is being sold as ‘sexuality’ is a corrupted, destructive imitation.
Accepting myself as a lesbian made me realize that transgenderism is a destructive lie.
Once you speak the truth, you can never take it back.
I refuse to deny myself any longer. I refuse to go back into the closet so men won’t feel offended.
They’re standing over there, right now, to instill fear in us. Funny enough, the reason they do this is their own fear. They fear us and they should.
They depend on our fear to keep us quiet and subservient. What’s standing between us and our freedom is fear.
I keep thinking back to an encounter I had with a police officer who abused his power. Petrified as they were, girls hid behind me and I had no choice but to face the man. He backed down and said “You’ll always be the person who doesn’t look away.” and I lived by that.
Cowardice makes tyrants. Silence diminishes democracy.
“And this is why we cannot be silent,
because our silences will come to testify against us out of the mouths of our children.”
Audre Lorde, 1985.
I love women, in every sense of the word. I refuse to accept a world that despises us.
Courage calls loud and clearly, waking the hearts once stilled. When women rise, the earth starts shaking.
The female sex is Atlas in her sleep.
Courage calls to the heart and unleashes something primal. Hearing my sister’s cry I feel something primal awaken in me.
I feel the size of the mountains shrinking.
After all, we are female rage.
“Within living structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive… We have hidden that fact in the same place where we have hidden our power. They surface in our dreams, and it is our dreams that point the way to freedom.“
Every terror regime, every fascist state, every oppressive structure is terrified of a courageous woman who will not back down.
Whatever they throw our way, we will not falter. Whatever they call us, we will not back down.
Instead of a Brave New World,
let us imagine a courageous new world.
A world in which oppression has no footing because the people aren’t silent.
Never accept injustice. Refuse to be destroyed.
It’s not a choice to be lesbian,
but courage is.
Dear sisters, stay courageous.
Ana Julia Di Lisio
Can we women “choose” in the patriarchal system? How come that we understand “choices” so well for topics like prostitution but we don’t understand the scheme in the other aspects of our lives? When we talk about “consent” we think it is the same as desire, and it is not. What is it for us women to “choose” in the patriarchy of consent in which we live? Every act that a woman does is political, being lesbians is political. We are not born political, we become political. We are not born feminists even if it is a beautiful destiny for women: we become feminists.
To understand feminism is to realise that our “choices” are not free. We are born as the second sex even if we are born without knowing it. We are born women and as feminist women and radical lesbians we begin to understand that what every single woman does impacts every other woman in the world, our lives can’t be abandoned to male definitions of who we are. It is time to understand radical feminism, it is time to go to the source and to stop identifying with men, we need to live in OUR definitions, we need to discover who we really are and to abandon the belief that we are who men say we are. We need to start building our world, with our meanings: we are not a male creation and our sexuality must not respond to male dominance and definitions. We are women, we are lesbians and we, women, have to come back to ourselves and the moment is now.