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WoLF v. trans women and girls

Commentary: Trans Progressive

“A bathroom battle! Transgender students can choose which bathroom or locker room to use at schools, but now a women’s group is suing,” began Lisée Mitri for her Aug. 12 KRQE News report .

Its easy shorthand to think of the battle enemy of LGBT civil rights as being religious right aligned organizations. Sometimes it’s hard for us in the LGBT community to wrap our heads around the idea that an organization that defines itself in terms of radical feminism would work to oppress an LGBT subcommunity.

Yet, the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) last week filed suit against Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) over the Department of Education’s (ED) interpretation of Title IX.

ED published a Dear Colleague letter about civil rights protections for transgender students May 13. “This letter summarizes a school’s Title IX obligations regarding transgender students and explains how the ED and the DOJ evaluate a school’s compliance with these obligations.”

The guidance can be summarized from the text of the Dear Colleague letter: “The Departments’ interpret Title IX to require that when a student or the student’s parent or guardian, as appropriate, notifies the school administration that the student will assert a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records, the school will begin treating the student consistent with the student’s gender identity. Under Title IX, there is no medical diagnosis or treatment requirement that students must meet as a prerequisite to being treated consistent with their gender identity.”

In other words, trans girls are to be treated as girls and trans boys are to be treated as boys.

Where there has been organized political pushback – mostly from religious right aligned organizations – it’s been focused on trans students’ use of sex segregated bathrooms and locker rooms.

WoLF is different. On its Statement of Principles webpages, the organization defines its membership as:

• Unapologetically radical feminists.

• Dedicated to the total liberation of women.

• A women-only organization: We are females who survived girlhood.

WoLF filed their suit in the U.S. District Court in Albuquerque Aug. 11 in support of their stated principles. WoLF states in their suit that the ED’s “unilateral decree that women are not, as has been understood since the dawn of time, people who are biologically female, but anyone who, for any reason or no reason at all, choose to so describe themselves at any given time, is an arbitrary and breathtakingly irresponsible action that denies every female’s biological and social reality.”

The two named plaintiffs in the suit are “AB,” identified as a 15-year-old public school student, and AB’s mother. Both are members of WoLF. According to the suit, “They fear not only the increased risk of sexual assault on AB, but the embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety and loss of personal dignity because they will have to share such intimate spaces with men while in various stages of undress. Each of AB’s injuries is imminent, traceable to the May 13 guidance and redressable by this Court.”

There’s not a breadth of hair’s distance between the language that WoLF radical feminists are using to describe the alleged dangers of transgender girls using school bathrooms and locker rooms alongside non-transgender girls, and the language organizations such as the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom and American Family Association are using to describe the same alleged dangers.

WoLF board member Kara Dansky was asked by KRQE about children who were assigned female at birth but have a male gender identity. Dansky replied, “If a particular biological female wants to use a male space? No. That’s not our main concern.”

Of course it’s not Dansky’s or WoLF’s concern. This “bathroom battle” WoLF is waging in feminism’s name has nothing to do with trans men and boys, or even about how trans women and girls actually behave in women’s and girls’ spaces. It has everything to do with eradicating trans women and girls from public life.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=73162

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016. Filed under Trans Progressive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

3 Comments for “WoLF v. trans women and girls”

  1. In the day to day world WoLF has a lot more support among the LGBT than the T and their magical thinking that biology means nothing when it comes to physical sex or gender identity. I wouldn’t want my 12 year old daughter sharing a bathroom with a 12 year old penis packing “girl?”.

    You guys and gals are asking way too much. What do you think is going to happen the first time sexual harassment charges pop up in school?
    Like it or not, you, me, the guy down the street and his male dog are ruled by our biology. The one fact you and your ilk try to cover up is this even holds true for transgender folks.

    And another thing, how is this going to be enforced?
    What if Henry decided he wants to become Holly for a week?, If there is no standards that sets a baseline for what a transgender person is, then Holly can go back to being Henry the week after. This adds to the confusion both students and teachers have to put up with. Being Post transition for over 36 years now I have to agree with WoLF. And if you would open your eyes to the truth, you would find a large number of people on both the Lesbian and Gay communities who agree with me and WoLF, and I am not just talking about radical feminists.


    • What is with this toxic assumption that trans women want to flash their genitals at anyone? In this society I could not be more ashamed of my body for all the people asserting how much of a pervert I am for even owning it. Is it too much to ask for safety for me too? Despite what the oh-so-knowledgeable Henny Pennies think, there is no threat posed by me or other trans women to anyone. Trans women shouldn’t have to be segregated because of this imaginary and perceived threat.

      • I never made any such assumption.

        You cannot possibly speak for every male bodied person who walks into a woman’s restroom. You know there are males who would pretend to be transgender just to get into a girls bathroom. I have seen it first hand at the Mission Valley 20 cinema.

        So instead of seeing the obvious problem with allowing any boy who says he is a girl into the girl’s bathroom at the local elementary school you attack me instead, of my position, talk about making it personal.

        Honestly you need to learn how to debate.

        So just to make you happy you and anybody who says they are a woman / girl should be let into the girl’s bathroom at the local elementary school, even the perverts?

        You need to learn 2 things.
        1. Don’t make a debate personal, dragging emotion into a discussion and attacking your adversary is the fastest way to destroy your credibility.
        2. Stick to the issue.

        36 years post transition

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