[Sat 28th Oct 2017] London Anarchist Bookfair (London)

Discussion in 'protest, direct action and demos' started by Kate Sharpley, May 30, 2017.

London Anarchist Bookfair
Start Date: Sat 28th Oct 2017 10:00 AM
End Date: Sat 28th Oct 2017 07:00 PM
Time Zone: Europe/London +01:00 BST

Park View School
West Green Road,
London N15 3QR

Posted By: Kate Sharpley

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  1. Athos

    Athos Well-Known Member

    Come on, you know a lot of this is untrue. If necessary, I can go back and find relevant quotes, but, in the meantime, I'd say:

    I've commented empathetically many times across many different threads about the challenges trans people face, and condemning the abuse they receive. I've certainly never denied or defended it.

    I've been very explicit in pointing out that not all trans activists behave in the ways of which I'm critical.

    I have acknowledged that some of the criticism of trans people is motivated by bigotry. But I don't consider it all is, or that the fact that some is, undermines that which is not.

    I've often said that trans people should have facilities that meets their needs. But, however much you might try to over-simplify the discussion, it's not 'just' a matter of trans people having the everyday stuff they need; that only looks at one half of the picture - there's also the issue of women's concerns, which I'm not so willing to discuss so lightly.

    I picked 'gender critical feminists' precisely because it was it was less loaded than, say, TERFs. But, if you can come up with a better description, I'd happily adopt that; I'm not trying to make a point with the name.

    Yes, I post on a lot of these threads; but, why shouldn't I? Plenty of other posters do the same. You've not questioned their lack of skin I the game, nor explained your own (which is fine, as long as that standard is applied equally). I think your real objection is that I disagree with you.

    I appreciate that what I say might upset some people (albeit ir receives support from others). But that's not my intention, and, if it were just a matter of idle curiosity I'd leave it (as I had begun to do until recent developments), but I happen to think it's becoming a really important issue.

    I've thought about this issue a lot. And I can honestly say that I don't consider myself transphobic. I believe much of the effort to smear me that way is a dishonest attempt to close down discussion. And its unhelpful and polarising reduce it to good versus bad (on either side); it needs a more nuanced discussion about how best to accommodate competing good intentions, whilst minimising negative unintended consequences. I think your line and tactics actively hinder that discussion.

    Most importantly, I don't know how you can say I take a trans- exclusionary line. I've repeatedly and consistently said I favour trans inclusion, and stated my own inclusionary position (in fact, you criticised me for saying a number of times how I consider trans women to be women). Once again, you're conflating the issues of my answer to the question and my stance on whether women have the right to ask the question.

    That's the whole of my point: that, regardless of my conception of trans women's gender, women (including trans women) ought to be able to discuss this without abuse or the fear of abuse. Is that something with which you disagree? It that a transphobic position, in your opinion?

    Notwithstanding that much of our discussion to date has been ill-tempered, I'd be happy to move forward more positively, to really try to nail down exactly what divides us (in particular what it is in my fundamental position that you consider transphobic), and to see if there's any way to overcome that. Perhaps by each of us setting out some fundamental principles (as I've done above, with the principle of women's freedom to discuss what it means to be a woman), for the other to explain whether or not they agree with them, and why? Maybe you could answer that point, then set out some of yours, for me to accept or reject? (Can do it on another thread or by pm, if you think it'd be a derail, here.)
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  2. Sue

    Sue Well-Known Member

    I think you're out of order. While you may not agree with Athos (and I don't always either), I think his thoughts on this are pretty clear and certainly not transphobic.

    I also don't understand the bit in bold above. Are you saying people can't post on an issue unless they 'have skin in the game'? What does that mean in this context? Do you have to be trans or a feminist or a terf or what? Who decides?
  3. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    I must have been at a different bookfair because while the bookfair I went to was disrupted by the incident under discussion on this thread, it wasn't closed down by same
  4. It’s a rather bizarre position: is smokedout saying they are trans - so can post on the topic - or simply know someone who is?
    And surely shitting up the book fair drags in more than those with direct interests in it.
    Nigel and FabricLiveBaby! like this.
  5. FabricLiveBaby!

    FabricLiveBaby! /wɜːst tɜːf ɒn ɜːθ/

    Not just that, but if everyone has a gender identity (which proponents argue is true, and for arguments sake, let's suppose everyone does) and everyone also has a sex then surely *everyone* has a dog in the race?

    Apart from a-gender people, who presumably don't have a gender identity, in which case does this not affect them? Do they have no dog in the race or is the act not discriminatory to them? Do a-gender females deserve recognition of gender absence or sex based protections or both? Do a-gender males have male privilege even if they don't identify as men? What about people who don't believe in gender identity as innate? Should they just suck it up?

    Edit: What's the difference between sympathetic a-gender people who say they don't have a gender, and people who don't believe in gender identity saying they don't have a gender? Is it just the belief? In which case are we going to legislate on faith? Those with the faith get a free pass but those without are hateful?

    I think this act affects more than some are willing to admit.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    sheothebudworths, pug, Nigel and 5 others like this.
  6. smokedout

    smokedout criminal

    I'm not sure what's to be gained by stating positions, because whenever you do state your support for transpeople it is is always followed by a big 'but'. Perhaps if you applied the same rigour and frankly nit-picking to the trans-exclusionary side of the argument that you apply to trans-activists then your posts on this wouldn't appear so biased. Perhaps if you stopped alluding to trans-activists being violent towards people who have organised meetings or who want to questions the definition of what it is to be a woman, when this has never happened, your support for transpeople might appear more credible.

    I do think it would be useful to have an alternative term for terf, and I do think it's unhelpful to lump anyone who may have questions or concerns about this debate under the terf umbrella. To go back to the originbal meaning, terfs are radical feminists who oppose transwomen organising as women, with women and as feminists. The main battlegrounds in the states have not been refuges and changing rooms but music festivals and conferences. The widely held view amongst this group is not just that transwomen are men, but that transwomen are men's rught activists and as such the enemy of women, the enemy of feminism and are raping both women's bodies and identities. They are opposed to the existence of transpeople, hence their objection to any kind of medical intervention to alleviate gender dysphoria. I have no problem calling them terfs, and sadly, several of them are leading the campaign against the proposed changes to the GRA. They were also almost certainly behind the bookfair leaflet. A bit more scrutiny of this group, what their agenda is, and how they have come to dominate the debate, might go a long way.
  7. smokedout

    smokedout criminal

    Since Ireland introduced self-identification two years ago only 240 people have applied for a GRC. There is no evidence that there has been any misuse of the system or that the fears raised about this have come to pass. There are no reported problems in other countries which have introduced similar changes. So the evidence suggests it is really not likely to affect many people at all.

    The proposed change in the equalities act to include gender identity as a protected charicteristic (which is probably not going to happen) was intended to address exactly the people you describe. It would have protected both those whose define their gender identity as non-binary or agender and those who reject gender identity completely because it is based on the presumptions of anyone who might be discriminating - so if someone was refused a job or flat because they looked a-gender, or something they said led someone to believe they rejected gender, then they would be covered by the act. In addition the floated plans to allow a legal gender neutral category would have protected these groups.

    Neither of these things were proposed to help transpeople who are already reasonably well protected, but to help non-binary or agender people. They would have had no bearing on women only spaces because people identifying as non-binary would not be legally women and so it would be down to service providers, as it is now, on whether to invoke the exemptions or not. And yet these changes are vehemently opposed by some of the rad fems organising against the GRA changes - including the people behind the bookfair leaflet.

    And that really sums them up for me. They are prepared to throw away the end of a state mandated gender binary on the off chance it may occassionally make the lives of a tiny minority of transpeople slightly more tolerable. Which really brings into question the sincerity of their rejection of gender and starts to make them look like a group who are obsessed with attacking transwomen and little else.

    Which is why they weren't mobilising when benefit changes were introduced which had the potential to close every women's refuge in the country. There were no meeting tours or earnest pieces in the press from them then. They were fucking invisible and it was trans-inclusive feminists, such as Sisters Uncut, who were leading the fight to protect women only spaces from economic extinction.
    nyxx and Thimble Queen like this.
  8. Athos

    Athos Well-Known Member

    I noticed you didn't answer my questions. Please would you try?

    The reason I think it'd be helpful to set out some principles is because it would help us understand each other. You certainly don't seem to grasp where I'm coming from, and I really don't understand what it is in the content of my position that leads you to think I'm transphobic.

    Yes, I sometimes say 'but'. Like I would say it about freedom of speech, or freedom of movement, or even the right to life. You can still believe that's something's a right whilst recognising it might be limited or qualified, especially when it conflicts with other rights. But you seem to be suggesting that trans rights area absolute, and trump everything else. A very entitled position, and one which completely disregards women's rights.

    Isn't TRAs attacking women who sought to organise a debate exactly what happened at Speaker's Corner?
    Nigel likes this.
  9. kenny g

    kenny g Totally Aware.

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
    Pickman's model and Nigel like this.
  10. thisweb

    thisweb Member

    as i understand it next years bookfair has been cancelled. Maybe I heard wrong. People evacuated this one after a fire alarm went off.
  11. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    Yeh. You weren't there. Yet you're making out you know better than me, who was there. Oh, and next year's bookfair not cancelled bring as it wasn't organised.
    TopCat likes this.
  12. thisweb

    thisweb Member

    It seems that what smokedout wants is total silence if you don't support trans people. Or an unambiguous position of support for transpeople if you must speak. Genuine debate isn't allowed. Thats why 'TERFS' have to print leaflets. Because nobody wants to hear them talk. I was just looking at those leaflets on page3 of this forum again. Youy do not have to agree with everything, but I have serious doubts any person, including trans people , can disagree in their hearts and mind with at least 2 of the 20 or so points raised. Yet they remain undressed in discussions here by trans people. Its the insincerity of some - many (but by no means all) - trans activists that bothers me most. Bigotry is stupidity that has the potential to be overcome (however difficult) . But insincerity? It is sinister and calculating, loveless and impossible to overcome. Un-anarchist. Thats the reason why the book fair had to be canceled.
    Nigel likes this.
  13. TopCat

    TopCat Gone away, no forwarding address

    Insincerity eh?
    MrSpikey, Nigel and Pickman's model like this.
  14. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    By your own admission..

    Yet here you are still badmouthing people here you have no idea are or are not trans. :confused: Are only trans people allowed an opinion then? If so, are you trans?

    You are posting, calling for honesty and honest debate? Put your points where your mouth is...which points on those leaflets could trans people disagree with and which 2 are unquestionable IYO?
    Pickman's model likes this.
  15. thisweb

    thisweb Member

    The main organisers stated publicly they were not going to do it next year. Whatever. a) Your being pedantic. and b) as a pedant: I never said I knew anything better than you, at any point, anywhere, ever. Never said it. But now I heavily suspect it.
    maomao and bimble like this.
  16. kenny g

    kenny g Totally Aware.

    Please post in English.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  17. thisweb

    thisweb Member

    Well ive been following this thread and lots of people have said that the leaflets are bigotry and hateful. I have no idea if trans people are on this thread. yeah, I should really have said anti TERF trans activists. I already linked to other websites of trans people that do support the aims of the feminist leaflets. So I figured that was a given when i said trans people. My bad, i guess. I couldn't care less what gender others think they are. What matters to me is the arguments being made against feminists as bigots. I don't understand your question. I said there are at least 2 points that everyone CAN agree on. So I'm curious to know why where they dismissed by some on this thread. It wasn't targeted at everyone.
  18. thisweb

    thisweb Member

    I did.
  19. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Why not, surely they know better than you?

    You keep talking about the leaflets and dividing the points into those you agree with/that can't be challenged and by default those that can be challenged. Instead of doing this dance around what those points actually are, invest in this thread in a meaningful way and outline what those things actually are... Why would anyone here be solely interested in you linking to the thoughts of other people/blogs and whatnot... You seem to want to defend the contents of the leaflets...do that or not at all.
    Fozzie Bear likes this.
  20. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    Yeh. I never said you said you knew better than me. Do get your facts straight sweetcheeks.
  21. thisweb

    thisweb Member

    OK, I thought id made it clear. l agree with ALL the points in the leaflet. I have defended them already. Do you agree with any of the points or not? Would you like to defend any you disagree with?
  22. thisweb

    thisweb Member

    'Yet you're making out you know better than me'

    Also sweetcheeks is a sexist patronizing anti-woman cliche. Don't.
    maomao likes this.
  23. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Eh? You seem to have changed your mind really quickly... 44 minutes to be exact... you have gone from wholesale saying that at least 2 of the 20 points can't be challenged to now saying they are all stone cold, concrete, fact?

    This is you 44 minutes ago...
    What changed in the last 44 minutes?
  24. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

  25. thisweb

    thisweb Member

    Nice try. No, i said AT LEAST 2 of them. I KNOW people challenge some of the other points, and i disagree with them. But theres 2 on that list I haevnt heard arguments against by anyone. They are important but have been dismissed because they are on a leaflet that has been denounced hateful and bigoted. Whenever i bring them up, the subject changes, pedants start using personal attacks, critisie my language, or sentence formulation, insinuate im stupid or illiterate. eg ' speak english', 'sweetcheeks' just in the last hour!
  26. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    Quite so: you are making out - suggesting, implying - you know better than me. Which is just what you're doing. Moving on... Don't what? Don't spread lies? Don't believe hearsay? Both serious flaws throughout your posts.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  27. Thimble Queen

    Thimble Queen Sparkly cat whisperer

    What are the two points?
    Pickman's model and Rutita1 like this.
  28. Athos

    Athos Well-Known Member

    Just set out the two points for God's sake.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  29. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    Nice try...here you go again dancing around the two points you do absolutely agree with and the others you know others disagree with yet you still can't and won't actually name or discuss any of them.

    Let me know when you are actually ready to discuss these things. Even the 2 points that you insist no one can argue with would be a start :D
  30. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    Yeh thisweb, but without hesitation, deviation or repetition

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