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WoLF is continuing to fight vigorously against the ongoing attack on women and girls in their intimate spaces, including bathrooms and communal showers. Below is an excerpt from our press release announcing our support for students, in a lawsuit that challenges the sexist and harmful “gender identity” policies adopted by the Boyertown Area School District in Pennsylvania. This case is a critical legal battle that may reach the U.S. Supreme Court, which has the authority to set binding legal precedent that will affect the rights of women and girls across the country.

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Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) has filed an amicus brief in the case of Doe v. Boyertown Area School District, in an effort to restore and protect privacy and safety in public school bathrooms.

The case involves a group of students who sued the Boyertown Area School District, alleging that the district failed to provide sex-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms where students can be naked or partially clothed without worrying about the presence of students or teachers of the opposite sex. The students lost at the District Court level and appealed. On June 18, 2018, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld that ruling. During the course of the litigation, one of the plaintiff students wrote a moving explanation of the need to maintain sex-segregated spaces. She and her co-plaintiffs have requested that their case be reviewed en banc, a procedure that would allow the ruling to be re-heard by all of the judges that serve on the Third Circuit Court. WoLF supports this request and argues that the ruling tramples on the privacy and safety rights of all those in public schools, but especially women and girls.

“Schools have a duty to ensure that girls have a safe learning environment, where their bodily integrity and privacy is protected against involuntary cross-sex nudity,” said Kara Dansky, a WoLF Board member and the group’s legal representative. “Girls are far more likely to be targeted with sexual harassment, voyeurism, assault, or rape. Boys are also entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy in their bathrooms and locker rooms. While some students may claim to identify subjectively with the opposite sex, the Court in Boyertown provides no legally-valid reason to abolish privacy and safety protections that are based on sex.”

The case zeroes in on an issue that is gaining increasing national and international attention. In the United Kingdom, for example, Parliament is considering changes to the U.K.’s Gender Recognition Act, which would allow anyone to change their sex designation on their birth certificate solely on the basis of self-identification. Similar sweeping changes are making their way across the United States.

WoLF’s brief highlights Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, a law that was enacted in 1972 to remedy centuries of discrimination against women and girls in the educational arena, and permits schools to provide sex-segregated spaces like bathrooms and locker rooms.

“It is not possible for a human being to change, or ‘identify out of’ his or her sex,” said Lierre Keith, one of the founders of the Women’s Liberation Front. “A male person cannot become female. Male people who wish to enter the intimate spaces that are reserved for female people are invading women’s spaces, which violates the human rights of women and girls.”

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This is an open letter to the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) demanding that the NCLR retract and correct its statement falsely accusing a small group of lesbian women of “violence,” when in fact the testimony of numerous witnesses confirms that these women were nonviolent, were physically attacked by other march attendees, and did nothing more than was reasonable for self-defense.

Lesbians have long been the target of hatred and violence for rejecting the demands of patriarchal society and being exclusively same-sex attracted. Even within LGBT communities, lesbians have been marginalized by a male-dominated culture, and that marginalization has only increased with the growing influence of “queer” ideology. Queer ideology elevates the concept of “gender identity” over the material conditions related to natal sex, and its proponents condemn and threaten lesbians who refuse to consider males as romantic partners.

On June 23 at the 2018 San Francisco Dyke March, a group of 12 lesbians, including some elders with disabilities, were accosted and assaulted. They were harassed for more than an hour while marchers surrounded them, shouting, ripping their signs and destroying them. One woman was knocked down three times and surrounded by aggressive marchers. Another woman had her heels stepped on repeatedly until she was tripped to the asphalt so violently that her purse and glasses were knocked off, and the handle of her walking stick broken. These actions meet the definition of criminal assault under California law.

The lesbian marchers continued on peacefully, carrying signs that stated: “You can’t silence us with violence; resist lesbian erasure,” “Change our society, not your body,” “Lesbian not queer,” and “Dangers of puberty blockers; transitioning children is abuse.” One of the women repeatedly stated: “we are not being violent, don’t touch us, we center women-safe spaces, we are fighting lesbian and female erasure, we care about the welfare of children who are being supported and even pushed to chemically and physically alter themselves without advocates for their future health, we are being peaceful, we belong here, this is our right and our space. We are not violent.”

The ironically-named “National Center for Lesbian Rights,” demonstrating a stunning degree of anti-lesbian bias, published a Facebook post three days later, falsely claiming that the lesbian marchers had “chanted transphobic slogans and violently harassed and threatened other marchers.” This slanderous claim is patently false. Nothing on the signs of the lesbian marchers demonstrated fear or hatred of those who self-identify as transgender. Instead they expressed love and fierce defensiveness for women and girls.

This is not an isolated incident. Woman-centered women in Baltimore were told they would be “hung by their necks” just a few days before the violence in San Francisco. Women across the country have been threatened with violence and harassed for simply affirming the right of women to reject men as sexual partners. Women in Australia, England, and Canada, have been attacked for asserting the same simple notion that women have every right to live and prosper on their own.

As an organization dedicated to the liberation of women and girls in all aspects of life, Women’s Liberation Front deplores and condemns all attempts to suppress or harm lesbians participating in any Dyke March. It has not escaped our attention that up to one-half of the NCLR’s legislative and litigation docket in recent years has been devoted to promoting an anti-homosexual, pro-“gender identity” agenda.

We call on the NCLR to retract its slanderous and factually-unsupported allegations against 12 lesbians in San Francisco. And we call on the NCLR to remember its stated purpose, of protecting and fighting for lesbian rights and lesbian liberation.

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Recently, a UK friend of Women’s Liberation Front members, Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, was summoned for questioning by local police because she made Susie Green, the CEO of Mermaids, feel bad about having taken her child to Thailand for a cosmetic gonadectomy for his 16th birthday. Green reported Keen-Minshull to the police for the ostensible crime of saying on Twitter that this incident involved castration, which is an accurate restatement of Green’s own public description of what was involved.

Here’s a link to a clip of Green laughing about how small her child’s genitals were when he went to be examined for surgery, because of the puberty blockers she’d taken him to the US to get at a young age. You can consider for yourself how distraught Green might now be to think that this incident is not as amusing to everyone else as it may have seemed to her when she was being interviewed by a journalist on the record.

Plainly, medically unnecessary castration doesn’t sound to us like an appropriate gift for a teenager. It also doesn’t seem appropriate to say that no one can discuss it in public except for people who think it’s a great idea, and to then get law enforcement involved to try and settle the debate.

And really, we are a bit shocked, as feminists, to get accused of being hateful for saying that a boy is a boy and should be able to keep his testes, regardless, but there it is.

In the ordinary course of our lives, we would prefer not to comment on incidents like this. Genital surgeries on children are a topic most people would rather avoid, and we are no different. But this isn’t a private, family matter.  Not least because the Green family has put these experiences on the public record in numerous interviews over the years, though more so because Susie Green wants to use the law to suit her own political interests, without any possibility of a contradictory public dialogue.

Susie Green used disparities in international legal standards to get her child treatments he would have been denied on the basis of his age in their home country, because of serious questions about capacity to consent, and this is a public policy concern. She has now spent several years lobbying and advising the UK government on policy, on the premise that the sort of treatment she pursued for her child — who’d been harassed and made to feel ashamed of his behavior since he was a toddler — should be readily available to others. She has also now decided that it should be a crime to accurately describe her actions publicly, or to question whether they might have been abusive, and has gotten the police involved.

Such surgeries on minors are allowed here in the US, and while there is no public data available on long-term effects, the Jennings family has made Jazz Jennings’ experiences similarly a matter of public record, through the reality TV show, “I am Jazz.” Jazz Jennings, whose pubertal growth was also stunted, was told very similar things about his lack of physical development by doctors as what’s described by Green regarding her own son, and has stated on camera that he has no libido and has never had an orgasm. When did everyone decide that this was an acceptable thing to do to a child because he didn’t act the way that he was expected to based on his sex, or a discomfort with social roles that often goes away?

“Gender identity” activists promote the idea that it’s wrong to talk about the topic at all if you disagree with them, or to mention that men and boys are male for the purpose of settling important medical and legal questions. They have further orchestrated mass public shamings and harassment campaigns against academics, media figures, and medical professionals who have brought these issues up. So it doesn’t seem to us that the subject has had an appropriately critical public airing before doctors decided it was fine to go ahead and start sterilizing otherwise healthy minors. Nor do we think that the public has had a chance to fully digest the idea that all of this feel-good “affirmation” they’re being pressured to participate in is an often irreversible step on a course to medically de-sex healthy children before they’re old enough for us to trust them to drink alcohol or vote.

So since the US has not yet revoked the free speech right to call a man a man in most jurisdictions, the very least we can do is say that the board of the Women’s Liberation Front wholeheartedly agrees with our sister, Kellie-Jay, that men are male and all children should be allowed to have a natural puberty and keep their healthy gonads until they’re adults. We think it’s appalling that women in a modern democracy should have to fear for their liberty because they dared to express an opinion about children’s health in public.

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The third annual WoLF Festival will happen July 11-16, 2018, in Crescent City, California.

Come for five days of radical feminist sisterhood, strategy, and revolution in the redwoods!

For more information and to register, go to: http://wolffestival.org/

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California governor Jerry Brown just signed a law that takes away the basic human rights of elderly and disabled women and girls to have a safe and private place away from men to use the toilet, shower, and sleep while in long-term medical care. This is now the law of the land in the seventh-largest economy in the world. If you’ve never heard about this you could hardly be blamed, for both the “progressives” sponsoring the bill and the conservatives opposing it have almost erased women’s concerns from the picture, while media has been nearly silent.

On September 5 WoLF sent a letter to main author of the bill, California state senator Scott Wiener, urging him to slow the bill down in order to remove those sections that put women in harm’s way. The bill will allow any man who claims to have a woman “gender identity” to have instant and unquestioned access to women’s bathrooms, shower rooms, and sleeping rooms. Women and girls who repeatedly object to men in their spaces, or who repeatedly “misgender” such men can be punished with fines and even jail time. The bill’s requirements and restrictions affect not only staff but also patients in long-term care facilities for seniors, developmentally disabled kids and adults, and abused or neglected children with serious medical needs – in other words, those most vulnerable to sexual and physical abuse at the hands of violent men.

On the same day WoLF wrote to Senator Wiener to protest his assault on women’s rights, his office issued a press statement dubbing the bill the “LGBT Seniors Bill of Rights,” and characterizing the opposition as coming solely from “the Religious Right (the same folks who oppose all LGBT civil rights bills).” To be sure, the bill also punishes discrimination on the basis of a patient’s sexual orientation, HIV status, or non-conformance with sex-based stereotypes. But none of that diminishes the fact that Mr. Wiener’s bill puts elderly and disabled women and girls at higher risk of predation and abuse. His press statement only alludes to these concerns indirectly, but brushes them off as “the North Carolina ‘trans people will rape you in the bathroom’ absurd argument.” Again, this obscures the fact that it is women who are worried about being raped or otherwise violated due to reckless “gender-neutral” policies for not only bathrooms but also women’s locker rooms, women’s jails, and women’s emergency shelters for victims of domestic violence or homelessness—and we do not fear violation by some vague undefined class of “trans people,” but men, regardless of their gender feelings.

The conservative opponents of the bill at least acknowledge its effects on women and girls, but almost as an afterthought, buried among generalized anti-government, anti-progressive rhetoric as in this article published by the Federalist, and this one by Fox News. They seem primarily to be concerned that the bill will force medical staff to use “preferred pronouns,” and that it does not allow for the sort of religious exceptions that conservatives demand from what they call “The LGBTQ+ agenda.” While incursions on the free speech of nurses and doctors is a valid concern, it pales in comparative importance to the material threat now facing medically vulnerable women and girls, and this threat cannot be addressed by granting religious exemptions for a few individuals.

People across the political spectrum must wake up and start prioritizing the safety and privacy of women and girls.

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WoLF led the Hands Across the Aisle Coalition, Safe Spaces for Women, the Just Want Privacy Campaign, and Washington residents in submitting the following comments to the Washington State Department of Health, opposing its proposal to allow on-demand changes to a person’s birth certificate sex designation. The state’s website with information about the proposal can be found here.

UPDATE: We slightly modified the comments below (which addressed the “pre-proposal notice”) and submitted this updated letter on December 5, 2017, in response to the final proposed rule. 12-5-17 Comment on final proposal WAC 246-490-075 sex change birth cert

WOMEN’S LIBERATION FRONT
HANDS ACROSS THE AISLE COALITION
SAFE SPACES FOR WOMEN
JUST WANT PRIVACY CAMPAIGN

 Sept. 28, 2017

Via email to: GenderChangeRuleMaking@doh.wa.gov
John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH Secretary of Health
Washington State Department of Health
PO Box 47814
Olympia, Washington 98504-7814

Re:      Comments on Preproposal Statement of Inquiry to amend
Chapter 246-490 WAC, Vital Statistics (Aug. 22, 2017)

Dear Dr. Wiesman:

We are a diverse group of people including liberals, conservatives, mothers, fathers, feminists, women of faith, lesbian and bisexual women’s rights activists, midwives, veterans, and concerned neighbors. In addition to the individual signatories below, Women’s Liberation Front, Hands Across the Aisle Coalition, Safe Spaces for Women, and the Just Want Privacy Campaign submit these comments on behalf of all their members, including members who reside in Washington.

The Department is proposing to allow people born in Washington to change their vital birth information for any reason or no reason at all, a move that would render the state’s vital statistics inaccurate and unreliable, and raise a raft of complicated questions the Department does not appear to have considered. We urge you to scrap this proposed rulemaking as it is unnecessary, outside of the Department’s statutory authority, and harmful to women and girls.

1.      The Proposed Rule Change is Outside of the Department’s Statutory Authority

The draft rule has two main features. For adults, it would allow any person for any reason to request and obtain a change to their birth certificate’s sex designation simply by requesting the change based on “self-attestation,” submitted on the proper form, signed and notarized.[1] For children, it would allow any adult for any reason to request and obtain a change to their minor child’s birth certificate sex designation by submitting a “a signed statement by the minor’s licensed health care provider attesting that… [t]he provider has determined the request to change sex designation on the birth certificate is consistent with the minor’s identity.”[2] Given that an individual’s “identity” is internally-felt and subjective, and therefore not a medically-verifiable fact, these minimalistic prerequisites are essentially meaningless.

The preproposal statement of inquiry cites RCW 43.70.150 as the statutory basis for the draft rule, but nothing in the statement explains how the proposed rule is consistent with or authorized by that statute. Instead the Department offers a single-sentence justification: “Because some people identify as neither male nor female, this rule making will consider changing sex designation to include male, female, and non-binary options when requesting a change to the sex designation on one’s birth certification.” In comparing the proposed rule to RCW 43.70.150, it becomes clear that the proposed rule directly contradicts the Department’s longstanding statutory mandate to record and maintain accurate vital birth statistics:

Registration of vital statistics. The secretary of health shall have charge of  the state system of registration of births, deaths, fetal deaths, marriages, and decrees of divorce, annulment and separate maintenance, and shall prepare the necessary rules, forms, and blanks for obtaining records, and insure the faithful registration thereof. (emphasis added).

As discussed further below, a person’s sex is innate and immutable, and it is one of the most important vital statistics about them. In contrast, a person’s subjective “identity” is not mentioned in RCW 43.70.150, nor is it a “vital statistic,” and therefore it has no relevance to the Department’s statutory mandate to “insure faithful registration thereof.” Indeed, the process of recording of vital birth information would be made meaningless if individuals were allowed to replace their sex at birth with a subjective identity that differs from their sex. The Department therefore lacks the authority to adopt the draft rule under RCW 43.70.150, and in fact the draft rule would directly violate the Department’s duty under that provision.

2.   The Proposed Rule Change Conflates Sex, “Gender,” and “Identity.”

Sex is a vital statistic; “gender” and “identity” are not. Washington has many legitimate interests in recording and maintaining accurate information about its residents’ sex, for purposes of identification, tracking crimes, determining eligibility for sex-specific programs or benefits, determining admission to sex-specific spaces, and determining the appropriate emergency medical and police services, for just a few examples. In contrast, there is no legitimate governmental interest in recording a person’s subjective “identity” or giving that identity legal significance in lieu of sex.

Sex and “gender” are distinct concepts. Sex refers to the two reproductive classes found in the human species: a woman is an adult human female, i.e., an individual with XX chromosomes and predominantly female anatomy; a man is an adult human male i.e., an individual with XY chromosomes and predominantly male anatomy.[3] As sex is recorded at birth by qualified medical professionals, and it is an exceedingly accurate categorization: an infant’s sex is easily identifiable based on external genitalia and other factors in 99.982% (all but .018%) of all cases; the miniscule fraction of individuals who have “intersex” characteristics, now called disorders of sex development, remain either male or female, or are difficult to characterize but do not constitute a third reproductive class. [4]

In stark contrast to sex, “gender” and “gender identity” refer to nothing more than the degree to which one embraces or rejects stereotypical roles, personality or behavioral traits, and clothing fashions that are socially imposed on men and women—superficial stereotypes that are in constant flux according to changing social forces and trends. These sorts of things have nothing to do with the biological state of one’s sex. While some individuals may claim to feel or possess an “identity” that differs from their sex, such feelings have no bearing whatsoever on the person’s vital birth characteristics.

The text of the draft rule conflates sex and “gender” and has additional problems due to the absence of clear objective definitions for key terms. The title of the proposed revision is “Changing sex designation on a birth certificate,” but the “sex designations” made available under the draft rule include “male, female, or nonbinary.” To be sure, male and female are universally-accepted names for the two sexual reproductive classes of human being—yet the implicit premise of the draft rule is that male and female mean something quite different, something like “gender identity,” which is not innate, not externally verifiable, can be based solely on internal subjective feelings, and can change over time.

The definition of “non-binary” further illustrates this conflation: it begins by saying that “non-binary” means “a gender that is not exclusively male or female, including, but not limited to, intersex….” But male and female are sex designations, not gender designations. “Intersex” is an outdated term for disorders of sex development, but “intersex” is not itself a sexual reproductive class comparable to male and female. The proposed definition of “non- binary” goes on to give examples that range from vague to preposterous, including the  terms “agender, amalgagender, androgynous, bigender, demigender, female-to-male, genderfluid, genderqueer, male-to-female, neutrois, pangender, third sex, transgender, and Two Spirit.” Some of these terms, like “Two Spirit,” are taken out of historic and cultural context. Some, like “amalgagender” and “neutrois” seem to have been invented by teens and young adults posting on social media.

In short, the text of the proposed rule is hopelessly convoluted and therefore directly at odds with the Department’s statutory mandate to “insure faithful registration” of vital birth statistics about sex.

3.   Accurate recording of sex matters, particularly to women and girls.

We are particularly concerned that the draft rule will result in a situation where any man can claim access to women’s single-sex spaces, programs, and facilities. We are also especially concerned that the draft rule would skew or even make unusable crime statistics that are crucial in the fight to stop violence against women and girls, or would help individual violent men to evade law enforcement efforts at apprehending them. These concerns are well-supported by the facts. As demonstrated consistently by the FBI’s  Uniform Crime Reporting system and similar state programs, women face a dramatically disproportionate statistical risk of violence, rape, assault, or voyeurism, and in the vast majority of cases women suffer these harms at the hands of men. For crimes reported by law enforcement to the FBI in 2015, men committed over 88% of all murders, 97% of rapes, 77% of aggravated assaults, and 92% of sex offenses other than rape or prostitution.[5]

Further, available evidence indicates that males’ disproportionate engagement in violent criminal behavior does not change significantly based on their subjective gender feelings: one long-term study of post-operative transsexuals confirmed that males continued to engage in a significantly higher rate of violent crime compared to females, but not compared to males, particularly in the absence of focused and intensive investment in specialized counseling and social services[6]—which are not mandated as a condition for changing one’s sex designation under the draft rule.

Unscrupulous violent offenders would have every incentive to use the Department’s proposed mechanism to obscure their identity. Even setting that risk to the side, there is still the likelihood that allowing the sex designations on birth certificates to become a free- for-all would skew basic crime statistics traditionally recorded and analyzed according to sex. At least one organization for transgender-identified individuals in Washington state adopts the estimate that the state is “home to approximately 10,500 transgender youth aged 13-19 and 15,900 adults aged 20 and older.”[7] Further, there is no telling how many requests for sex designation change may be filed if the draft rule is adopted, and nothing in the rule limits an individual to one change per lifetime. The concept of the rule is fatally flawed and it should be abandoned before more precious public resources are wasted.

There are far too many questions the Department does not appear to have asked, much less considered thoroughly, before proposing this rule. For example, what sorts of rights will be affected by a birth certificate sex change? Will violent male convicts be allowed to change their sex designation and thereby gain the right to demand a place in a women’s prison? What sort of “treatment” is required before parents are allowed to make a life-altering decision to change the legal sex of their children? What effect will this change have on the state’s ability to accurately record parentage, and how will this affect the children of parents who change their sex designation after the children’s birth certificates were issued, creating a discrepancy in the state’s records? Adopting the draft rule without thorough consideration of these questions would be irresponsible and arbitrary.

4.   The Department Should Direct its Efforts Toward Studying the Sudden Uptick in Interest in “Gender Identity”

While recording subjective identity is not within the Department’s remit, studying and bringing to light serious public health threats is a core duty. Given the Department’s interest in exploring public policy issues with “gender identity,” we encourage you to direct your resources toward studying the medical and social causes and risks associated with the recent explosion in “gender identity” among young people, particularly women and girls:

  • Clinicians are diagnosing and “treating” young children for gender dysphoria without any basis in long-term medical research. [8]
  • A 2015 survey, conducted by Dutch clinicians who pioneered pediatric medical transition, found that many gender clinicians believe there is no “explanatory model” for gender dysphoria, no agreement on the nature of gender dysphoria, and a lack of study about the role of puberty development and comorbidity, and no consensus on the competence of children to make decisions about their treatment.[9] Survey respondents cited the possibility that “increasing media attention affects the way gender-variant behavior is perceived by the child or adolescent with [gender dysphoria] and by the society he or she lives in.”
  • In the UK a recent report revealed that pediatric transition referrals have soared for girls, many of them below the age of 10.[10] This deserves further study, given the estimate cited above that Washington state is home to approximately 10,500 transgender youth aged 13-19.”
  • Medical treatments for gender dysphoria and other transition-related practices are well known to harm women and Lupron, a drug used to suspend pubertal development, is associated with serious lifetime problems.[11] Chest binding is also known to have serious health effects.[12]

All of these are worthy subjects of the Department’s time and research resources. Rather than rushing to embrace what largely amounts to a poorly-understood social trend, and we urge you to redirect your attention toward better understanding the causes and risks of “gender identity” claims, gender dysphoria, and associated clinical and social responses.

ENDNOTES

[1]   https://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/BirthDeathMarriageandDivorce/RuleMaking (“[i]mportant components of the rule include allowing self-attestation for adults….”) [2] In any event, it is not clear that there exists any existing Washington statute or regulation that establishes what type of clinicians do and do not have within their “scope of practice” the “attestation of a sex designation change.” [3] Nat’l Institutes for Health, Genetics Home Reference: X chromosome (Jan. 2012),  https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/chromosome/X.pdf (noting that “[e]ach person normally has one pair of sex chromosomes in each cell. Females have two X chromosomes, while males have one X and one Y chromosome”); Joel, Daphna, Genetic-gonadal-genitals sex (3G-sex) and the misconception of brain and gender, or, why 3G-males and 3G- females have intersex brain and intersex gender, Biology of Sex Differences, DOI: 10.1186/2042-6410-3-27 (Dec. 2012) (“Whether a scientist or a layperson, when people think about sex differences in the brain and in  behavior, cognition, personality and other gender characteristics, their model is that of genetic-gonadal-genitals sex. . . . 3G-sex is a categorization system in which ~99% of human subjects are identified as either ‘male’ or ‘female’, and identification with either category entails having all the characteristics of that category (i.e., ‘female’ = XX, ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, vagina, labia minora and majora, clitoris, and ‘male’ = XY, testes, prostate, seminal vesicles, scrotum, penis)”). [4] Sax, Leonard. “How Common Is Intersex? A Response to Anne Fausto-Sterling.” The Journal of Sex Research, 39, no. 3 (2002): 174-78. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3813612; Dawkins, R. The Ancestor’s Tale, A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution, 135 (Mariner Books ed. 2005) (stating that, “[i]ndeed, the gene determining maleness (called SRY [sex determining region y]) has never been in a female body”); Nat’l Institutes for Health, Genetics Home Reference: SRY gene (March 2015) https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/SRY.pdf (noting that “[a] fetus with an X chromosome that carries the SRY gene will develop male characteristics despite not having a Y chromosome”). [5] Dept. of Justice Fed’l Bureau of Investigation, 2015 Crime in the United States, Table 33, Ten-Year Arrest Trends by Sex, 2006–2015. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/table-33 [6] Cecilia Dhejne, et al., Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden (February 22, 2011),  http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016885 (finding that males who claim some sort of female or woman identity had a significantly increased risk for violent crime compared to females, but not compared to males). [7] http://transformwashington.com/faq/how-many-transgender-people-live-in-washington-state/ (citing Hasenbush, et al., UCLA School of Law, Williams Institute, “The Fiscal Impact of Washington State Initiative Measure 1515” (May 2016). [8] See, e.g. Boghani, PBS Frontline, “When Transgender Kids Transition, Medical Risks are Both Known and Unknowns,” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/when-transgender-kids-transition-medical-risks-are-both-known-and-unknown/; Biography of Ximena Lopez, M.D., Children’s Health (director of GENECIS gender clinic, stating: “There is a strong need for research in this field to improve the outcomes of our patients… For example, it is still unclear which very young patients with gender dysphoria will persist as transgender individuals through adulthood. There is no objective diagnostic test available that can predict this.”)  https://www.childrens.com/doctor-profile/ximena-lopez; Talbot, Margaret, New Yorker, “About a Boy; Transgender surgery at sixteen” (March 18, 2013) (quoting Eli Coleman, Univ. of Minnesota Med. School, stating: “We still don’t know the subtle or potential long-term effects on brain function or bone development. Many people recognize it’s not a benign treatment”). https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/03/18/about-a-   boy-2. [9] Vrouenraets, Lieke & Miranda Fredriks, A & Hannema, Sabine & Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy & de Vries, Martine. (2015). Early Medical Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Gender Dysphoria: An Empirical Ethical Study. Journal of Adolescent Health. 57. . 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.04.004. Available at:  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279313190_Early_Medical_Treatment_of_Children_and_Adolescents_ With_Gender_Dysphoria_An_Empirical_Ethical_Study. [10] Taylor, Diane, Guardian, “Children seeking gender identity advice sees 100% increase, says NHS,” (Nov. 5, 2015), https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/nov/05/children-seeking-gender-identity-advice-sees-100-increase-nhs. [11] Jewitt, Christina, California HealthLine, “Women Fear Drug They Used To Halt Puberty Led To Health Problems,” http://californiahealthline.org/news/women-fear-drug-they-used-to-halt-puberty-led-to-health-problems/ [12] Health Consequences of Chest Binding, McLean Clinic, http://www.ftmtopsurgery.ca/blog/ftm-faq/health-   consequences-chest-binding/.

Sincerely,

/s/ Natasha Chart
Acting Board Chair
Women’s Liberation Front

Jennifer Chavez
Board Secretary
Women’s Liberation Front

Miriam Ben-Shalom
Co-Founder
Hands Across the Aisle Coalition

Kaeley Triller Haver
Just Want Privacy Campaign

Meg Kilgannon
Concerned Parents and Educators

Autumn Starre Bennett
Safe Spaces For Women

Emily Zinos
Project Coordinator
Ask Me First MN

Additional individual signatories can be seen in this PDF version: Comment-on-wac-246-490-075-birth-certificates_final_9-28-17

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WOMEN’S LIBERATION FRONT (WoLF)
Monday, September 18, 2017

WoLF condemns the violent attack and physical intimidation of women that occurred during an event called “What is Gender?” on Wednesday, September 13. The event was initially set up as a debate about a pending proposal to allow people to change their legal sex designation based solely on self-identification under the UK’s Gender Recognition Act. After representatives from the group Stonewall UK pulled out of the event it was redesigned as a discussion panel featuring speakers Julia Long, a radical feminist scholar, and Miranda Yardley, a male who identifies himself as transsexual.

The attacks on the event began days in advance, with local transgender activist organizations demanding that the event be cancelled and threatening to cause disruptions if it went forward. Their bullying worked, and the leaders of the original venue, New Cross Learning library, canceled citing safety concerns. The organizers found another venue and, rather than risk further disruption by announcing it in advance, decided to gather at London’s legendary Speakers Corner and take it from there. That afternoon, the group Action for Trans Health London used social media to create a well-coordinated plan to locate and disrupt the event. Trans activists piled on – one such activist, called Tara Flik Wood on Facebook, went so far as to  say that that he wanted to go and “fuck up some terfs” (referring to an anti-feminist slur popular with proponents of “gender identity” ideology).

That evening, London feminist Maria MacLachlan arrived at Speakers’ Corner on her way to the event. When the transgender activists arrived, they started chanting, “kill all TERFS,” and “when TERFs attack, we fight back”—despite the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever of women attacking anyone. When Maria tried to film the protestors, three male transgender activists attempted to grab and steal the camera, which was attached to Maria’s wrist. With their attempted theft initially thwarted when Maria stood her ground, the three men battered her repeatedly until she was thrown to the ground, leaving her with bruises, cuts, and abrasions around her face and throat.

Immediately, prominent transgender activists took to social media to craft a false narrative, claiming that Maria, a 60-year old woman, had attacked three tall adult men rather than the other way around. But videos from the event show clearly that Maria was simply standing and filming when the three men attacked her. Other clear views of the attack can be found here and here.

While the details of this episode are important, we should all be deeply concerned about the fundamental attack on women’s sovereignty and women’s speech that the London Square attack represents. Women have every right to gather and discuss how a major change to the law will affect them – from their right to correctly identify men as such, to their right to gather in women-only spaces and organizations, to their right to be housed safely away from men in emergency domestic violence and homeless refuges and women’s prisons. In a patriarchal society that regularly condones or turns a blind eye to violence against women and girls, the UK’s proposed law to allow self-identification of sex is nothing less than a life-and-death issue for women and girls.

The reaction from transgender activists and their allies has been appalling. It has ranged from silence to excuse-making to lies to open calls for violence against any woman who dares to ask questions about “gender identity” self-identification laws. One prominent male transgender academic who lobbied for self-identification in the UK spent the following day “quietly working with other trans women behind scenes to stop trans orgs putting out statements of condemnation.”

Many transgender activists have gone so far as to provide a financial reward to one of the men alleged to have been involved, Tara Flik Wood, taking his GoFundMe campaign that had languished for more than five months with one £5 donation up to £515 in a matter of three days.

We must call this what it is – male violence aimed at silencing and punishing women who refuse to submit to their demands. We encourage everyone to share the following articles about the Speakers’ Corner attack wherever you see it being discussed.

‘Punch a TERF’ Rhetoric Encourages Violence Against Women
Clair Heuchan, Sister Outrider

Historic Speaker’s Corner becomes site of anti-feminist silencing and violence
Meghan Murphy, Feminist Current

The Battle Over Gender Has Turned Bloody
Janice Turner, The Sunday Times

60-Year-Old Woman’s Face Beaten By Trans Activists Trying to Stop a Debate on Gender the Activists Had Already No-Platformed
The Homoarchy

Transgender activists assault woman at Speakers’ Corner
Magdalen Berns

*Note: the photo at the top of this post shows some of the transgender activists involved in the attack, including a male assailant threatening his fellow protester after she attempted to intervene to stop him.

*          *          *

WoLF works to halt male extraction of resources from female bodies and minds, by regaining reproductive sovereignty, ending male violence including the sexual exploitation industry, and ensuring that women control the material conditions of our lives. http://womensliberationfront.org/

 

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Crescent City, CA: The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) asks California legislators in a letter today, September 5, 2017, to reconsider the rush to mandate, through SB 219, that long-term care facilities for the elderly and disabled must allow male residents to demand to share rooms and bathing facilities with elderly women or disabled women and girls, based on subjective claims of gender identity, and removing the right of women and girls to complain about their loss of privacy.

While we appreciate the spirit of the proposed law in wanting all residents of long-term care facilities to be treated kindly and with dignity by staff, it does not appear that legislators have taken into account the increased vulnerability to harm of women and girls by male peers. Women and girls of every demographic are victims of male physical abuse and sexual violence, which is overwhelmingly committed by men they know; elderly and disabled women in long-term care are no different.

Elder abuse and abuse of dependent adults in particular continues to be a serious problem in California. It is entirely irresponsible to create, as SB 219 does, additional opportunities for men to abuse women in sex-specific spaces, while removing women’s rights to object to the elimination of their privacy in shared housing situations.

“Elderly and disabled women are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence and abuse. What’s seen in patterns of sexual predation is that entitled males tend to show a strong preference for victims whom they perceive as less likely to either put up a fight or be believed afterwards. There is no broad category of woman who is not sexually harassed or preyed on by her male peers, who is safe, so, there can be no broad category of men who are above suspicion,” said Natasha Chart, WoLF’s acting board chair.

In short, by mandating the placement of men in intimate living spaces or restrooms with women, SB 219 places women in need of long-term care at greater statistical risk of harm, in order to promote fatally flawed “gender identity” ideology. The women and girls of California deserve better.

Natasha Chart can be reached for comment at contact@womensliberationfront.org

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There have been a few developments in the lawsuit filed by Gavin Grimm, a female who recently graduated from high school and who “identifies as a boy.” Grimm filed a lawsuit in July 2015 to force her school district to allow students to choose whether to use the girls’ bathroom or the boys’ bathroom based on the student’s self-declared “gender identity.” WoLF has filed three amicus briefs in Grimm’s case, including two before the U.S. Supreme Court and one before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, setting out the radical feminist analysis of sex and gender and defending the rights of women and girls to preserve sex-segregated spaces under Title IX. (See here, here, and here.)

After we filed our briefs in the Supreme Court, the Trump administration issued a policy letter  withdrawing the Obama administration’s policy that was highly favorable to Grimm’s case. Whereas the Obama policy declared that “sex” under Title IX can be superseded by a person’s self-declared “gender identity” — allowing any boy or man in a school or university setting to access spaces, programs, and funding designated for women and girls — Trump’s policy restores the plain meaning of “sex” under Title IX. After the Obama policy was retracted, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the 4th Circuit to reassess Grimm’s arguments.

But Grimm has now graduated, and that raises questions about whether Grimm still has a case to press. In light of these new questions, the Fourth Circuit sent the matter back to the District Court on August 2, to give Grimm and the school district a chance to provide more evidence and arguments about whether Grimm still has a viable case.

On Friday, August 11, Grimm filed an amended complaint, dropping her request for a preliminary injunction but continuing to push for 1) a legal declaration of her rights under Title IX and the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, 2) monetary damages against the school as well as reimbursement of her legal fees, and 3) a permanent injunction that would compel the school to allow Grimm and any other alumni of the school to allow cross-sex access to bathrooms based on self-declared “gender identity.” Grimm will have to prove not only that she has a continuing connection to the high school but also that the school board’s policy on bathrooms even applies to alumni — both claims the school district disputes.

Given that this case is a big priority for the ACLU and other NGOs pushing “gender identity” ideology, there’s a good chance the case will go up on appeal once more. WoLF will continue to watch this case closely and evaluate our future options for presenting keeping the radical feminist perspective in the legal debate.

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Recently two WoLF members met with District of Columbia Councilmember Brianne Nadeau concerning a bill she is sponsoring, B22-0331, that would compel the District’s Department of Motor Vehicles to allow a person to designate their “gender” as “X,” indicating “non-binary gender,” in lieu of “M” for male or “F” for female.

Councilmember Nadeau says she introduced the bill because “some of [DC’s] residents do not identify as male or female,” and “[c]urrent licenses force residents to conform to genders that don’t accurately reflect their identity.” WoLF disputes gender identity ideology in all its forms, so it should come as no surprise that we oppose this sort of legislation. Female and male indicate sex, not gender, and gender is nothing more than artificial sex-stereotypes and sex-roles designed to keep women and girls in a subordinate position under patriarchy.

But our objections go well beyond the ideological. As an initial matter, while the government has many legitimate interests in recording residents’ biological sex for purposes of identification, admission to sex-segregated spaces, and the provision of emergency medical and police services, we can see no legitimate governmental interest in recording a person’s subjective identity and personality traits in lieu of sex.

We have serious concerns about the implications of this bill for the safety, privacy, and bodily integrity of women and girls. As this bill moves through the legislative process we intend to seek answers to the many questions this legislation creates: Will any man, for any reason, be allowed to declare himself to be “nonbinary gender” and gain access to women’s spaces? Will the District’s special programs for women and girls become available to men who self-identify as “non-binary”? Will the District be exposed to liability if its emergency services administer the wrong dose of medicine or even if they “mis-gender” a person who obtains a “non-binary” identification card? We’ll keep you posted on the answers we find.

In the meantime, if any WoLF members see similar legislation introduced in your communities, please email us (contact@womensliberationfront.org) or use the member-only forum to access a copy of our talking points that you can customize for a meeting with your own local representatives.

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