No Justice No Forgiveness

I am writing this because as a survivor of abuse I have had bullshit ‘forgiveness’ culture shoved down my throat all week. This bullshit plagues abuse survivors 24/7. We are told if we don’t forgive we will never heal, we will hold bitterness within us etc etc. We are hounded with these emotionally abusive guilt trips everywhere we go when we have barely even found a voice to vocalise what happen to us. Before we even properly remember what happened to us and have only just started to question that we may have been abused we are already having forgiveness culture shoved down our throats and being threatened with never healing if we dont do it.

FUCK FORGIVENESS

We are made to think forgiveness is some kind of fait accomplis that we will have to submit to eventually. We are emotionally manipulated that we ‘do it for ourselves’ implying that we will suffer if we dont.

I am full of rage that this christian concept is being forced onto survivors like this as if it is a given. The only thing that made me feel better was watching Sinead O Connors video

This woman is a tonic for my anger. Thank goddess for women like this who are angry at abuse and dont try and brush it under the carpet. I truly believe that forgiveness culture is to blame for the christian and catholic church allowing abuse to happen. They forgave the abusers instead of stopping them

No justice no forgiveness – its as simple as that

Forgiveness culture. It is not helpful to those of us who dont want to/ cant forgive our abusers. To pressure us by making out we will have less peace if we dont forgive or that we are somehow inferior or somehow undeserving of healing. This is just not true. I will not be pressured to forgive or be made to feel less than for not forgiving. Sometimes people who forgive are just sacrificing themselves and they will have much less inner peace than someone who prioritises their own wellbeing by not forgiving. I really dont like how it pressures people who are already going through enough with something that is just not true.

Forgiveness culture puts extra pressure on survivors that we just dont need. Focus on healing yourself. FUCK forgiveness. Anger is healthy. Never repress your anger. Anger is a million times more healing than forgiveness in a world where there is already way too much forgiveness for abusers and survivors are blamed. Stop blaming survivors. Now it is our own fault if we dont have inner peace because we didnt forgive FUCK THAT.

We need a world where more people get angry at abuse. Forgiveness culture is why rapists get such low sentences. Everyone is so compassionate to them but have very little compassion for survivors. As a society we are so nowhere near ready for forgiveness. Before forgiveness we need outrage, we need justice, we need penance, we need reparations.

How about we get proper sentences for perpetrators.

How about we get an end to victim blaming and proper services for survivors to heal.

How about we get an end to all violence against women and girls maybe after all that we can talk about forgiveness.

You tell me my rape was my own fault for wearing a shirt skirt but that I must forgive my rapist. Why so little compassion for me and so much for him?

You tell me there is no funding for me to have therapy. That I must go on a 2 year waiting list and then only get therapy for 12 weeks but that I must forgive my rapist.

You tell me maybe I am imagining it when I say I cant fully remember but still you tell me I must forgive my abuser.

Telling me to forgive before I have even fully remembered what happened to me let alone grieved for it or sought justice. Telling me to forgive when I cant even get back into my body and am experiencing a billion kinds of pain all day that I have to endure.

No one tells robbery victims to forgive. Imagine your house got robbed. What is the first thing people say to you: hey you should forgive your robbers – is it hell. People tell you to call the police to get justice but when our bodies and souls are violated in a way that destroys our whole world we are expected to forgive. This is the first words out of peoples mouths.

“Oh but but but you forgive for yourself” Repeat x a million in different patronising ways – FUCK OFF. Swallow down my anger so I almost choke to death on it. Paint my smile back on and be all sweetness and light when I only just found my feelings. My anger is not bad. It is not wrong. I will not apologise for it.

There is nothing more beautiful, powerful and healing than anger in an abuse survivor.

Anger says: I am fighting back, anger says what happened to me was wrong, anger says I will not stand by whilst this happens to another woman. Anger says I am putting myself first despite everyone elses attempts to keep me down and make me small. Anger says I shall fight for all women even those unable to fight for themselves. Anger says the abuse was the perpetrators fault and no one elses. Anger says my being unable to heal is the perpetrators fault, no one elses. Anger says I will never be silent about sexual abuse whilst it is still happening to women and girls

Forgiveness culture says: I am submitting. Forgiveness culture says I am a good survivor who is accommodating everyone else and making their lives easier by not causing a fuss, Forgiveness culture says I will paint my smile back on. Forgiveness culture says I am above other women who haven’t forgiven. Forgiveness culture says I will ignore that this is happening to lots of other women 24 hours a day so I can have an easier life. Forgiveness culture says what happened to me wasn’t really that bad. Forgiveness culture says abused women are the ones to blame for being mentally unwell as if the act of forgiving or not forgiving was to blame rather than the abuser and the abuse and not forgetting the patriarchal system that leaves us with no means to heal. Forgiveness culture shifts the blame from the abuser to the victim. Forgiveness culture says I will uphold the status quo by going back to business as usual and brushing rape and sexual violence under the carpet.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticising women who chose to forgive or saying that it doesn’t work for anyone. I am just speaking out against this culture where forgiveness is seen as a must or the only option for real healing. It is just one option among many and for some women it may be much more damaging than healing and this should be spoken about. It should not be taking up so much space in survivors groups, especially not as a Christian/ Catholic concept when these churches have such a bad track record when it comes to child abuse. Why is their ideology still the main narrative given the recent disclosures of mass abuse of children in these churches? It certainly shouldn’t be shoved down our throats 24 hours a day. I want to get across that women can fully heal without forgiveness.

I think you need to look at why is it you need me to forgive? Is it so you don’t have to look at me – so you can remain in denial about abuse happening, tell yourself that your daughters are safe in the world? Is it so you don’t have to support me or feel guilty for not supporting me? Is it so you don’t have to face your own abuse? Swallow it down women nothing to see here. Is it so you wont have to do the real work of challenging perpetrators? If you cant stand up to abusers the least you can do is get out of the way of those of us who are and stop telling us to forgive so you can feel better about yourself

Advertisements

Debunking Cis privilege – Its Not a Privilege If I have To Fuck Men To Get It

Privilege

“A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.”

A privilege is something handed to you on a plate.

Its not a privilege if I have to fuck men to get it

Its not a privilege if I have to spend gruelling hours conforming to fascist beauty standards to get it

Its not a privilege if I have to develop bulimia or starve myself to get it

Its not a privilege if I have to be mutilated by FGM or foot binding to get it

Its not a privilege if I have to put up with being harassed on the street to get it

Its not a privilege if I have to spend a months wages on beauty products to get it

Its not a privilege if I will be severely abused and called fat and ugly if I dont do the things I need to do to get it.

Any benefits women get from conforming to or aligning with femininity cannot be classed as privileges because of the sheer damage done to women by them. These benefits come at a huge cost to both our physical and mental health and can in no way be classed as privileges

Lets not lie to ourselves – We all know that the only reason women get so called privileges by aligning with feminine gender is because they are pretty enough for men to want to have sex with them and that they dont get those ‘privileges’ without doing so. This is not a privilege.

Cultural Genocide

Cultural genocide is a term used to describe the deliberate destruction of the cultural heritage of a people or nation for political, military, religious, ideological, ethnical, or racial reasons. (http://jughaculturalgenocide.blogspot.com/2010/12/about-cultural-genocide-what-is-it.html)

Women are a people with a shared culture and history.

A shared culture and history that predates all other cultures and dates back to prehistoric times. Goddess figurines depicting a female body are evidence of this.

A shared culture and history of which our biology is just one small part but a part nonetheless.

When our bodies have been made into men’s property this is part of our history.

When we honour our bodies and reclaim spiritualities that worship our bodies this is part of our culture.

When we see our bodies as part of our humanness, as women, not men’s property this is part of our culture.

When we reclaim our bodies rather than have men define them this is a part of our culture and it is part of our healing from the violence inflicted upon our female bodies by patriarchy.

For males to redefine our bodies or ban us from speaking about them, or acknowledging them as a part of us, is cultural genocide. It could also be called cultural femicide or cultural gendercide.

To call female only spaces, rituals and religions, that date back centuries, transphobic is cultural genocide.

To call female elders who have worked for decades protecting women from male violence and who created the women’s spirituality movement, transphobic, and no platform them is cultural genocide.

To cause womens spaces and festivals to close down is cultural genocide.

Lesbians are a people with a culture and a history of which our female bodies are just a small part but a part nonetheless.

To rebrand lesbians throughout history as transgender is cultural genocide.

To say someone with a penis can be a lesbian is cultural genocide.

For males to redefine ‘lesbian’ is cultural genocide

To call lesbian Anne Lister ‘gender non conforming’ instead of a lesbian is cultural genocide

Stop cutting me into little pieces!

I am a human being first and foremost with a female reproductive system.

I will not separate myself from my body. My female reproductive system is just a part of me.

I will not separate myself or my culture and history from my reproductive system.

Stop trying to separate me from parts of myself or trying to make out that by simply acknowledging them as parts of myself I am reducing myself to them, thats ridiculous.

I am a whole woman, even if I have my uterus removed, I still have female biology, my body is a part of my womanness and a woman is a human being first and foremost.

My mind and heart are not separate from my reproductive system. Stop separating my humanness and my human rights from my biology. Stop cutting me into little pieces!

6 Abuse Tactics Used by the Trans Movement

What we are basically looking at with trans activism is a macrocosm of an abusive relationship with a psychopath or a narcissist. It has all the traits.

Reversal
The trans movement is being collectively abusive to the collective woman and then doing a reversal by accusing women of the exact thing that they are doing.

Lesbians who refuse penises are called vagina fetishists ignoring the fact that women are whole human beings with a culture and a history and a whole reproductive system that can produce new life and that lesbians are attracted to other women as human beings with a shared experience.

In fact it is the trans movement who are the fetishists in the form of autogynephilia

Gaslighting
If we have real concerns or try to challenge anything we are accused of being crazy or that our views are irrelevant or silly.

People say things like they dont understand why females have a problem with trans ‘women’ in their spaces because trans ‘women’ are women. Completely ignoring the fact that trans ‘women’ are actually biological males and that there are many reasons why women may not feel safe with a biological male in their spaces, especially in changing rooms where they are in a state of undress. It is massively gaslighting women to make out it is irrational for us to not want biological males in our spaces.

“Gaslighters conduct psychological manipulation toward individuals and groups through persistent distortion of the truth, with the intention of causing their victims to question themselves and feel less confident. In personal and/or professional environments, they manipulate by micromanaging (controlling) relationships, including telling others how they should think, feel, and behave under the gaslighter’s unreasonable restrictions and scrutiny. They often become critical, angry, intimidating, and/or hostile toward those who fail to bow down to their directives. Gaslighter manipulation is often highly aggressive, with punitive measures (tangible or psychological) executed toward those who fail to recognize and obey their self-perceived authority.” Psychology Today – sound familiar

We are told how to think feel and behave in the following ways:

We are told we have to believe trans women are women

WE are told we have to be open to dating trans people

We are told we have to feel comfortable with men in women only spaces even when our bodies tell us different and even if we are survivors of rape

We are told we have to feel ok having sex with someone with a penis even if we are lesbians

We are told disagreeing is committing actual violence when it isn’t

We are told we have to say peoples pronouns even if we fundamentally disagree with them.

Triangulation
Trying to get as many movements and groups onside to gang up against the collective woman. This is done through lies that if we object to trans politics we are racist, homophobic, right wing, Trump supporting bigots when many of us are lesbians, many of us are black, many of us are disabled and the vast majority are left wing and cannot stand Trump

Outright lying
i.e. Implying women have committed actual violence against them when there is not one recorded incident and in fact they are the violent ones.

There are hundreds if not thousands of quote online referring to killing and torturing terfs and not one by women calling for violence against trans people. We are told misgendering is actual violence. Not least that a 60 year old woman named Maria Maclachclan was actually punched in the face by a man who was bragging on social media about ‘punching terfs’ just for attending a meeting about womens rights.

Boundary Violation
Not letting women have their own spaces or even thought and feelings without being present and telling us what we should be thinking and feeling.

Emotional Blackmail
Saying we should submit to them because otherwise they will commit suicide. A classic abuse tactic

Open Letter to Stonewall

Open Letter to Stonewall

Dear Ruth Hunt
Remove the L from LGBT

We demand that Stonewall removes lesbians from the list of groups you claim to represent as a national LGBT organisation. Since its foundation, Stonewall has rarely represented our interests. Now, in your single-minded campaign to promote the trans political and ideological agenda, you not only fail to represent us, but you actually promote lesbian invisibility – and lesbian erasure.

Lesbians are biological women who are sexually attracted to, and have sexual and emotional relationships with other biological women, only. Being a lesbian is primarily about sexuality: it is a same-sex attraction. Stonewall no longer accepts this basic, socially-accepted definition of lesbians. In fact it defines homosexuality as ‘attraction to the same gender,’ not biological sex.

As a consequence you support the absurd idea that male-bodied persons can be lesbians, and you demand that they be accepted as such by actual lesbians. If we refuse to accept these men as lesbians you label us transphobes and “TERFs”, unleashing a torrent of hate speech upon us from your supporters.

The vast majority of biological males who self-identify as lesbians retain their penises. So Stonewall is not only promoting hate crime against lesbians, but imposing compulsory heterosexuality on lesbians.

Stonewall does not recognise or represent the many young women who reject conventional feminine stereotypes in appearance and sex roles, and who become lesbians at puberty. Instead you support the trans argument that many gender non-conforming lesbians must really be men, born with “male brains” in the “wrong body”.

This outdated definition of lesbians was first promoted by male sexologists at the end of the 19th century. It has now become the dominant narrative. In the absence of alternative information, young women are stigmatised and bullied into taking on a male identity, rather than being healthy young lesbians. As one young woman told the Lesbian Rights Alliance, ‘there was no one who looked like me or acted like me who I could turn to as a role model.’

In your support for trans ideology you are literally erasing young lesbians, telling them they must mutilate their own female bodies to impersonate men and appear to be heterosexual. In 2016-2017 female adolescents comprised over 70% of young people seeking to transition at the Gender Identity Development clinics, the majority of whom are attracted to their own sex.
In your educational programmes for schools you claim to address homophobic bullying, but none of your school materials represent gender non-conforming young lesbians.

For the few lesbians who have managed to escape lesbian conversion to trans and joined LBGT groups at college or university, they are often told that they should not use the term ‘lesbian’ since it is too ‘exclusive’. Instead they must define themselves as ‘queer,’ which means in practice that they must be open to having sexual relationships with men.

You also misrepresent the suicide statistics, claiming that young, transgender people are the most likely to attempt suicide. This is untrue: in fact young lesbians are the group most likely to attempt suicide, which is unsurprising, since they have become the most stigmatised group out of all LGB people.
According to your website, Stonewall has an income of over £7 million in 2018. You also support numerous LGBT groups and LGBT youth groups around the country. Women-only and lesbian-only space is crucially important to lesbians in the development of our lesbian lives and lesbian community. Yet as far as we are aware you have not supported a single lesbian-only youth group, or supported lesbian-only groups of any kind.

It is clear that being ‘stronger together’ in Stonewall does not include lesbians. So we urge you to stop claiming to represent us and leave the L out.

Yours
The Lesbian Rights Alliance

Lesbian Rights Alliance – signatories to Open letter to Stonewall

Lynne Harne (founder member – Lesbian Rights Alliance)

Elaine Hutton (founder member – Lesbian Rights Alliance)

Liane Timmermann

Julia Long

Anne Ruzylo

Georgia Constantinou

Zoi Lleshi

Sara Cohen

Linda Bellos OBE

Dawn Smith

Juliana Brustik

Sarah Masson (Get the L Out)

Angela C. Wild (Get the L Out)

Lauren Worth (Young London Lesbian Group)

Sheila Jeffreys, (Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne)

Paula Boulton, (founder of Corby Women’s Centre, Lesbian Visibility 2000)

Val Dunn

Vivienne Roberts

Kathryn Nicholson

Anne Bardon

Olive Chapman

Krys Farrell

Alice Bondi

Lynn Alderson

Sue Leigh

Lee Nurse

Jacqueline Gullion

Maureen O’Hara

Sabine Ingeborg

Elizabeth Carola

Dr Tessa Bernstein

Sheida Pirouz

Mary Harper

Sarah Carlin

Jess Silverstone

Ellie Hollan

J. Gourley

Cllr. Louise Paine

Deborah Evans

Rebecca Heath

Annette Mckay

Jane Allen

Eve Sutafam

Jennifer Drew

Catherine Harper

Joy Vann

Daisy Jones

Cloud Taylor

Gerdien Baker

Barbara Hughes

May Mundt-Leach

Susan King

Julie Moss

Jane Hutton

Teresa Hope

Maggi Knowles

Toni Meredew

Lynne Keys

Marian Davis

Anne-Marie Speed

Ruth Todd

Vivien Care

Jennifer Cooper

Lin Harwood

Frances Gillard

Barbara Hartley

Jackie Mearns

Kate Graham

Helen Warwick

Heather Ford

Carol Smith

Katherine Cohn

Kathleen Richardson

Carole Reeves

Olivia Palmer

Isha Todd

Kate Coleman

Nic Mainwood

Sarah Stewart

Fatina Lisa

Joy Sturgess

Jill Leigh

Emma Thomas

Pam Isherwood

Charlotte Edwards

Louise Bond

Anna Rommel

Sharon Dixon

Margaret Page

Eliza Hayward

Nicola Shaw

Sandra McNeill

Jess Fleetham

Josephine Bartosch (Critical Sisters)

Jodie Wood

S. Sharkey

Magdalen Berns

Anne Mayne

Ceri Dyke

Kathryn Zoechild

 

Lesbian Allies

Stephanie Davies-Arai

Heather Brunskell-Evans

Ann Sinnott

Ruth Serwotka

Jayne Edgerton

Sas Payne

Nicola Kerry

Cathy Devine

Jacky Holyoake

R.Brueton

Abigail Elizabeth Rowland

Karen Broady

Emma Dolan

Bethany Pulman

Ali Bee

Dr Lesley Semmens

Julie Furlong

Emma Salmon

Diane Jones

Julie Armstrong

Hazel Turner-Lyons

Radha Burgess

Lynne Caffrey

Ann Morch

Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull

Jilly Hickinbotham

Julian Vigo

Leonora Christina

Ruth Conlock

Dianne Vine

Emma Flynn

Sian Henry

Jan Pemberton

Catherine Muller

Jane Galloway

Eliza Self

Elizabeth Miln

Adele Williams (Women’s Voices Matter)

Darina Roche-Kiang

Tina Reynolds

Helen Watts

Amy Desir

Celia Wangler

Marion Calder

Emma Wilkes

Hannah Roberts

Hannah Thompson

Jeni Harvey

Julie Moss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayers and Chanting to Protect Womens Human Rights

Dear Sisters,
The consultation for the Gender Recognition Act is already upon us and women are already doing amazing work. Our movement is gaining momentum every day and we need to take our power back in as many ways as possible.

There are many parallels between the trans attack on women and the witch hunts. The main difference is that last time around women were demonised for gathering together and exercising spiritual power. Whether you believe in spirituality or not it cannot be denied that women gathering together to pray and dance chant is powerful or the patriarchy would not have worked so hard to prevent it.

A woman named Ani Marimba said that ‘Culture is the immune system of a people’ Whilst our womens culture alone will not protect us from patriarchy it can be a powerful tool in giving us strength, hope and solidarity.

Not only this but much of womens spirituality is and was centred around the connection of our bodies to the rest of the universe. Womens menstrual cycles being in line with the 13 moons. To celebrate our bodies link with the universe is a radical act in times when we are being made to deny our biology.

This is for all women of all faiths, all spiritualities, all beliefs. Even if you are not spiritual or religious you can take this time to connect with other women, Light a candle, take time to meditate and reflect on the work you are doing to protect women.

JOIN US on the new moon partial solar eclipse of Friday the 13th.

Please share this with your contacts Please use your own prayers or if you are not sure what to do you can chant the Gayatri mantra:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zirCV5-7Mcs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQjHSIHPJfw

“Gayatri is the Mother of all scriptures (Vedas). She is present, wherever Her name is chanted. She is very powerful. The One who nourishes the individual being is Gayatri. She bestows pure thoughts on anyone who worships Her. She is the embodiment of all Goddesses. Our very breath is Gayatri, our faith in existence is Gayatri. Gayatri has five faces, they are the five life principles. She has nine descriptions, they are ‘Om, Bhur, Bhuvah, Swah, Tat, Savitur, Vareñyaṃ, Bhargo, Devasya’. Mother Gayatri nourishes and protects every being and she channelizes our senses in the proper direction. ‘Dhīmahi’ means meditation. We pray to her to inspire us with good intelligence. ‘Dhīyo Yonah Prachodayāt’ – We beseech her to bestow on us everything we need. Thus Gayatri is a complete prayer for protection, nourishment and finally, liberation.”

[‘My Dear Students’, Vol 3, Ch 2, Mar 19, 1998]

The actual eclipse is at 3am GMT. If there are any women able to chant at this time also that will be great.

What is a Woman?

When violence against women was legal ‘Woman’ was classed as an adult human female.

When women were allowed to be payed less ‘Woman’ was classed as an adult human female.

When they were burning witches based on the fact that ‘Women are closer to the devil’. Woman was classed as an adult human female.

Even today all over the world in countries where women are still the legal property of males ‘Woman’ is classed as an adult human female

Yet when males decide they want to come into womens spaces suddenly ‘Woman’ is classed as an identity

When males want to compete in womens sports ‘Woman’ is classed as an identity

When males want to take spaces meant to increase womens participation in politics ‘Woman’ is classed as an identity

Why dont we just cut to the chase and change the definiton to Woman means what ever is convenient to and most benefits males at any particular time

In fact the whole time that ‘Woman’ has meant adult human female it has been used to the detriment of adult human females to keep us oppressed. Yet now we want to claim that word for ourselves, now we are breaking ground using ‘Woman’ for something that might actually empower us all of a sudden males want in on it and it is classed as an identity. The split second the word ‘Woman’ might be used for something that might empower adult human females rather than oppress us suddenly we are not allowed that word any more. ‘Woman’ is only allowed to mean adult human female if it is being used in ways that will oppress us. The minute it might empower us or at the very least free us from our oppression suddenly it becomes a free for all

 

What was between your legs was important when they were deciding who can vote, when they were allowing people to work or not, when they were deciding how much to pay people. When they were forcing people into a life of domestic servitude that allowed rape and violence depending on it

But now all of a sudden when women are making political gains and rising up against this suddenly what is between your legs:

Is irrelevant
Is no ones business
Is bigotry to even ask
is not important

Funny how what is between your legs is only important if men can benefit from it in someway

Open Letter To Women’s Organisations – Gender Recognition Act

I am a survivor of incest, childhood sexual abuse, domestic abuse and sexual exploitation who experiences ptsd symptoms around men. There are many women like me, women who are survivors of some of the worst kind of abuse from men.

 

We are massively over represented in places like mental health wards, disability support services and prisons, places where female only spaces are vital. What you will be interested to know is that we are also massively over represented in radical feminism. That’s right, a lot of the women who are having violence threatened against us for wanting female only space are some of the most vulnerable women who are survivors of some of the most horrific kind of abuse. We are being completely misrepresented that our speaking out about not wanting trans ‘women’ in our spaces is because we are transphobic when in fact it has nothing to do with transgender issues and everything to do with our right to be able to access social and healing spaces and be safe in those spaces.

 

When I am in a space with men I experience symptoms of ptsd. If I am around a particular man for too long, for too many times or he knows too many personal details about me I can experience extreme paranoia that men will kidnap me and hurt me or traffic me. If a man does anything to remind me of my abuser I become extremely frightened and unable to function. This brings me into a child like state where I have to have a friend look after me. I can have symptoms for days, weeks or even months after something like this happens to me. I get panic attacks. I become terrified and have to put all the bolts and locks on my door.

 

Even when men don’t remind me of my abuser and I am only around them briefly I am still very on edge and struggle to relax which I find very exhausting as someone with a chronic illness. Unfortunately I know other women who can’t even do this which makes having things like repairs done in the home very difficult, even having things delivered. I had a friend who had no furniture, not even a bed, for months because she was too scared to have a bed delivered by males, she had to make a bed out of boxes. These symptoms do not just change because a male transitions. My ptsd does not distinguish between a man and a trans ‘woman’. In fact my symptoms become worse around trans ‘women’ as I don’t know whether that person is someone who genuinely believes they are a woman or they are an autogynephile who gets off on dressing as a woman or they are a male rights activist who is dressing as a woman to purposefully sabotage that womens group. All of these kinds of people come under the transgender umbrella, this issue is not as clear cut as it seems.

 

Womens groups are becoming even more inaccessible for me than mixed groups where at least the men there are there to access the event not with potentially more sinister motives.  If any man was allowed to just declare himself a woman at any time that would open every abuse survivor up to being stalked and harassed by her abuser. Abusers will do anything to continue their abuse and identifying as a woman is not beyond them. All females need to be able to access female only spaces that are for biological females only if that is what they need. Of course as womens sector organisations you are fully aware of the need for women only space but some of you seem to think there is no difference when the particular male in the space is identifying as a woman. You may disregard this but as I said before my ptsd doesn’t. Many survivors need to be in female only spaces before they can even feel safe enough to admit to themselves that they are survivors.

 

Would you have me pretend that I am not traumatised by being round biological males just because they identify as women when I am finally starting to listen to my body and be open about my feelings that as a survivor I have supressed my whole life? Compromise my boundaries when I have had none my whole life and have only just learned that I am allowed to have them?

Would you disregard my suffering in favour of transgender people? That their feelings and safety is important but that mine isn’t. That the trans movement’s complete disregard of my lived experience, to the extent I am told I deserve to die for wanting female only space, is valid but that my asking for female only space to heal is some kind of hate speech towards trans people?

Would you have me forget about my healing because I can no longer access support group? Do you think I will feel better alone stuck in my house knowing that I am helping trans people, that I am providing safe spaces for them by abandoning my healing?

Would you have me called a bigot and disregard violence threatened against me just because I think this is not acceptable, because I want a chance to heal and a chance to have a life?

 

Since the trans movement started attacking womens spaces I know of many such spaces that have shut down, including Michigan Womens Music Festival where many survivors of abuse say the festival helped them heal from their experiences of sexual violence. It is shocking for the trans movement to try and make radical feminism to be about them and for them to make out women wanting female only spaces to be about them when it isn’t about them it is about us. It is about survivors of male violence and our right to safe spaces to heal. When I was more well I worked in women’s refuges and met women who were terrified their cross dressing partners would follow them into the refuge.

 

Now we are being told that soon any man could be able to access any womens space just by saying he is a woman. That my rapist is allowed to access my healing space as long as he claims to be a woman. This is putting a lot of power into the hands of abusive males and is throwing women under a bus to be sacrificed on an alter of transgender rights. This is not acceptable. That would be the end for women like me. For us women only spaces are the only place we have to go. As a disabled woman leaving the house is already difficult. I have to rest for 2 days before and after I go out and then to can cost me up to 30 pound in taxis just to go out for an hour. I have paid £40 just to go swimming for an hour before. I am lucky to leave the house once a month. If males are allowed in women’s spaces it will make it even more difficult for me and women like me. Survivors of male violence are much more likely to suffer from illnesses and disabilities. I am already unable to access my local autism women’s group due to knowing there is a trans ‘woman’ there. I am recently diagnosed with autism but unable to access the support I need because of this.

 

Women like me have every right to speak out about this. To be shunned by other women and told that we deserve to die in a fire and to have violence committed against us by the trans movement just because we want access to safe space to heal from abuse is absolutely shocking. It is discriminatory and very abusive and is gaslighting us.

 

Are women like me bigots for wanting a space to feel safe? When many women’s organisations cannot even stand up to this or speak out this just how many survivors are too scared to speak? Some women are completely silenced about this issue. If I am struggling to speak out as someone who has been on my healing journey for several years what about the women who are newly trying to get help for the first time? It already takes survivors 7 times to seek help before they can leave an abusive situation. Do we really want to make it even harder for women to access support? Are transgender rights so important and women’s rights so unimportant that we are willing to sacrifice women and their healing?

 

I completely support trans people to also have safe spaces but I think it is very wrong for women to be made to sacrifice ourselves for this to happen. Trans people need to create their own safe spaces or access womens space with women who want to mix with them, of which there are many, and stop forcing vulnerable women to give up our rights and safety. No matter what people say trans peoples experiences are different than growing up as a girl child or experiencing things like menstruation and pregnancy and women need separate spaces to be able to discuss these different issues. Trans ‘women’ are able to access trans spaces, LGBT spaces (from which many lesbians including myself now feel excluded),  trans ‘womens’ spaces and the majority of womens spaces. Where can women like me access? We don’t have another movement to fall back on and as a disabled woman I am excluded from disability related spaces also. I don’t think it is much to ask to be able to have spaces we can access and the fact that the trans movement is so intent on not allowing us to have or doesn’t care whether we have this is very suspiscious. It massively benefits rapists when women don’t have a space to heal from rape and abuse as they are less likely to report their rape to the police. We have to look at the bigger picture here and who is benefitting from this,

 

If you are a womens organisation or worker who supports the rights of biological males to be in what are supposed to be safe spaces for survivors of male violence then you are letting me and other women who may be too scared to speak out down. I urge you to support women like me in the up and coming government consultation on the Gender Recognition Act to keep our female only spaces and make other arrangements for trans people that do not encroach on the rights of vulnerable women.

 

We face such a long journey as women. To even  be able to think we matter, that our voices matter, that it matters that we have been abused. We have a longer journey as survivors of child abuse as we grow up thinking we have no value for our whole lives. When you finally get to the point where you know your worth to be told that you are a bigot just for believing you have the right to have a safe space to heal is soul destroying. When you start to set boundaries for the first time after having let people violate them your whole life and other women are telling you that you are wrong for doing so it makes you feel that you don’t matter to the womens movement and the womens sector. I feel massively invisibilised and let down. I feel completely silenced. Please listen to my story if you care about women. Female only spaces are vital to our healing and we must not be made to carry transgender people. This is not our responsibility as traumatised women who are trying to heal from male violence.

 

Here is some information about how the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act could affect women’s spaces:

http://www.aroomofourown.org/women-only-spaces-and-proposed-changes-to-the-equality-act-and-gender-recognition-act/?utm_content=buffercd072&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

Here are links to the storys of two other survivors:

https://thefeministahood.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/what-is-a-woman/

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/02/when-i-was-raped-it-was-female-only-spaces-helped-me-recover

I am keeping this letter anonymous but I have Drs letter etc documenting my symptoms and would be willing to show this in an official capacity to organisations that are bound by confidentiality and can guarantee it. I am contactable on radlesfemsurvivor@gmail.com Please feel free to use this blog piece as evidence

.