Queer the Night/ Hand Mirror clusterfuck: the fail continues

[Trigger warning: links include discussion of transphobia, mainstream Feminist silencing tactics and more than your recommended daily intake of cis/white women’s tears.]

I think if we’ve learned anything from the internet it’s that when white cis feminists on “mainstream”/large/established blogs commit massive fail, it only gets worse when they try to apologise (admittedly, a large number never get to the apologising stage, so hey, points for effort!)

Thus it is with Julie’s “apology” (yep, scare quoted it) at The Hand Mirror, where those commenters who didn’t get to show their own pantlessness in the original debacle decided to make the most of their second chance.

Let’s start with Scuba Nurse, who is totally sure they don’t allow abusive comments, and then happily conflates “abuse” with “disagreement”:

Offensive comments: As far as I know, we do allow comments as long as they do not personally attack anyone, are abusive or demeaning.
We have allowed several people making some comments I found exceptionally offensive because of my personal viewpoint on their beliefs around abortion, women’s clothing choices, racism etc etc. The trans-phobia discussions are certainly not the first time we have had differing opinions debating.

QoT’s Words of Wisdom:  Commenters stating “I refuse to consider calling a specific trans woman a guy transphobic because I don’t think it is” is simultaneously personal, abusive and demeaning!  Pretending that “”guy” is just a gender-neutral word!” is a matter of “differing opinions” which exists in a complete vacuum unaffected by cisgender privilege is douchey!

ScubaNurse is joined by anthea and stargazer in the “oh, but we just didn’t know what to do and couldn’t interfere because we were such timid little flowers afraid of getting it wrong!”

QoT’s Words of Wisdom:  This is hardly the first fucking time transphobic shit (not to mention misogyny, rape apologism, abuse apologism or general lack of moderating) has come up on The Hand Mirror.  You had your chance to figure this shit out [and as demonstrated below, you’ve got a pretty fucking clear commenting policy which should have provided you all with a damn clue].  Instead you chose personal comfort over calling out a cis woman’s massive disrespect and triggering behaviour of trans women.  Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

George returns!  Can you smell the fail already?

Don’t beat yourself up Julie. No one made any personal swipes at anyone, no one defamed anyone…quite frankly I think it was a huge misunderstanding based on the lack of voice intonation and body language on the internet.

TURN UP NEXT TIME EVERYONE! That’s the lesson here. 🙂 If you want a say in the kaupapa of an event, then come along and be part of it.

QoT’s Words of Wisdom:  You know what, George?  That nice apology I snipped out of the middle of your comment would’ve been marvellous if it weren’t bookended by the above assholery, in which you declared your version of how things occurred (guess what?  The women you were an asshat to probably disagree!  But gaslighting is so much easier when the thread is conveniently no longer visible …), continued to tone argument people, and finished off with a good ol’ tip of the hat to “if you don’t participate you can’t complain!”

People don’t actually have to show up to events which they find problematic and which because of you they do not feel safe at in order to express their opinions.

Julie clarifies that actually she wasn’t even apologising for the thing she should have been apologising for:

I haven’t addressed it because that wasn’t how I was thinking of it – as a stuff up involving transphobia – I was thinking of it as a stuff up of moderation. However I can see from this discussion that that was a mistake on my part – the stuff up is intrisincally related to the subject matter of the thread. Again, another useful aha moment for me, thanks.

Of course I think I’m not transphobic. I imagine Enoch Powell didn’t think he was racist either. And this has been a case where I’ve been blind to my own ignorance (of trans issues) and blind to my own prejudicies (of assuming cis as the default and not even seeing that I was choosing sides that lined up with cis versus trans until someone pointed it out).

QoT’s Words of Wisdom:  Your self-education could also involve a 101 primer on ableist language, Julie!  As for Enoch Powell?  Probably entirely aware he was racist, actually, just probably didn’t see a problem with it.  That’s how a lot of racism works.

I can tell this seems a lot like I’m having a go at Julie.  That’s because I am.  I really, really struggle with the notion that a person who has been part of one of the oldest, best-established feminist blogs in New Zealand, who is politically aware and internet savvy and has had the issues people have with The Hand Mirror’s moderation brought up to her on multiple occasions, is meant to be given a pass because she’s so busy, she chose to moderate while in a bad mood, she totally didn’t mean to thank people by saying she appreciated their efforts and found their contributions really useful, she thinks she totally moderates blatant transphobia but oops, maybe her definition of blatant is different to others’ because she’s so new at all this.*

Not buying it, sorry.

But the supreme award for fail simply must go to Stef.

I missed the details of this bust up (yet again) but I feel that comments that THM needs to be this that or the other thing fucking obnoxious as I do bitchy comments that it’s only a blog about cupcakes and THM doesn’t do feminism properly. Seems to me part of this (not scar’s comments) is about new bloggers trying to get a rep and followers by picking on one of the big players and THM is so mainstream yada yada that it needs to be taken down a peg or two. Seen it happen in far too many online communities to give it much more thought than that. *yawn*

QoT’s Words of Wisdom:  Are you twelve fucking years old, Stef?  “They just hate us ’cause we’re so cool, mm-hmm, pass the fruit-scented lip gloss, omg I’m so, like, over this whole thing, right, they’re like, so jealous, omg.”  is your actual argument?  With bonus passive-aggressive not-naming-names-because-they’re-only-doing-it-for-attention?

For those unable to see the original post, Stef is probably talking about Octavia and Scar.  They’re either two Kiwi women with relatively newish blogs who think transphobia is fucking awful and should be called out, and aren’t afraid to go into spaces they perceive as inherently unsafe and call out blatant misgendering and privileging of cis women’s opinions and feelings, and an acknowledged moderation method based on Who Is Annoying Julie Right Now, where it is acknowledged that moderator comments thanked and privileged people who were being silencing and personal and transphobic …

or they’re just, like, totally ~desperate~ for ~attention~ and can’t handle that The Hand Mirror didn’t invite them to the after-prom party.

I find the latter to be a completely convincing argument.

But it’s their blog, their rules!

A final point a lot of the defenders are bringing up is “HDU tell the Hand Mirror writers how to moderate their blog!  They can do what they want!”

And this is a very valid point.  God knows I’m a huge fan myself of telling people to fuck off and make their own blogs if they want to do [insert obnoxious behaviour].

But here’s the problem.

The Hand Mirror does not anywhere state, “This is not a safe space for trans* people and gendered language and silencing tactics will not be moderated.”

Their commenting policy does say abusive comments or links to abusive posts will be deleted – yet moderators basically encouraged people to continue posts at their own sites,which was read by at least one commenter as saying “you have to go deal with [commenter who was accused of transphobia] at his own blog where he will probably continue to be transphobic at you but we don’t care about that.”

The commenting policy does say, “Disagreement should be written in a manner that does not demean either party.”  But this was clearly not interpreted by anyone at the Hand Mirorr as do not refer to a trans woman as a “tough guy”, nor do not tell trans women that they shouldn’t be offended because “guy” is a totes gender neutral term.

And the explicit stated purpose of their comment policy is:

We want this to be a safe space for women, and indeed for those who are othered in an internet (and political) culture dominated by white heterosexual men of comfortable income and right-wing politics.

Scar and other commenters aren’t actually holding The Hand Mirror to any higher standard than The Hand Mirror’s writers have already set for themselves.  If The Hand Mirror team want to clarify that no, they aren’t going to police transphobic language and no, they aren’t going to firmly moderate on any other basis than “I was tired and anyway you’re a troll” then now is their chance to make that clear to everyone.

Going on what has happened, and how they have followed up?  It’s pretty clear to me.

~

*In case I haven’t repeated this slightly key point enough?  “Blatant transphobia” apparently doesn’t cover referring to trans women as “internet tough guys” and refusing to accept that others find that offensive!

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37 comments

  1. Stef

    Oh for fucks sake you have the reading age of a 12 year old. It was obvious that I was directing my comment at the person who made the THM only posts about babies and cupcakes so therefore is not a real feminist blog. Which if memory serves is actually rageoholic, which was also a fucking bitchy comment to make however since you agree with her obviously not worthy of your flame torch.

    But I stand by comments THM is not going to be all things to all people which is the problem with collective blogs is that you have to have a pretty broad fucking umbrella to keep writers let alone readership happy. And with feminism where a lot of it is around personal issues things get heated quickly. Sometimes you aren’t going to agree and part ways and/or lose readership.

    Which you would well know. Remind me again how long did the group blog you helped start up last before it imploded into bitchy infighting? Was it three or four weeks?

    • QoT

      Yeah, it was totally obvious by the way you started your comment “Hey, rageaholic …”

      Oh wait, you didn’t.

      Oh, but I could’ve assumed it from the way The Hand MIrror has threaded comments …

      Oh wait, it doesn’t.

      I didn’t address her comments because (a) Rageaholic was the only damn person on that thread capable of just saying “Yes my comment was out of line and I’m sorry” and also it wasn’t relevant to the topic of this post, i.e. the continuing unmoderated unquestioned transphobia and privileging of cis viewpoints at The Hand Mirror.

      It’s a complete fucking evasion to say “they can’t be all things to all people”. All that is expected of them is a clear statement about how transphobic comments will be treated and sticking to that in line with their own fucking comments policy.

      I’ve already made my statements on the ending of The Stroppery. Hilariously, many of the issues are entirely similar but since you’re just talking out your ass in the hopes people will ignore your fail I doubt you’d understand the irony.

      • Stef

        But you were happy to assume that I was bitching about other named commentators on the thread so clearly you were reading comments and spout off because oh my god someone called ou the outrage brigade and other passive aggressiveness that’s floated around about the THM for sometime was finally called out.

        Now I’m not saying that there wasn’t a fuck up and if I was the person fucking up I probably would have taken this to email rather than having a flock of vultures in saying how much they fucked up to the point now where I’d say it’s got to the point of bullying which this post clearly has.

        But I do find it mildly amusing that the blog wasn’t able to get much past the point of self-promoting introductions before falling into infighting because apparently they were doing their feminism right.

        right I’ll go contemplate my epic FAIL while you continue in the echo chamber…

        • QoT

          You get this is an individual blog, right? So that little “ECHO CHAMBER LOL” line which you picked up from misogynist trolls doesn’t really, um, work, like, at all.

          I was happy to make that assumption and frankly still am. At the very least, in your magical world where you were clearly only talking about one person whom you just failed to name or address directly, you propagated high-school bullshit about critics just hating the popular kids which is another wee troll-symptom you seem to have contracted from somewhere.

          Since you persist, here it is: one of the main reasons The Stroppery ended was because I and others did just like we’ve done here, and called out misogynist bullshit, and others, just like you, decided that tone arguments and trying to silence feminist bloggers by saying no one will like them and they’re being bullies and they’re not calling shit out in good faith.

          It feels fucking amazing, let me just add, to notice that you haven’t addressed a single point I’ve made. Just my tone, just my manner, just my (still haven’t explained why this was unreasonable!) assumption. You can’t even straight-up admit that there was a fuckup in the first place.

          And this is meant to make me feel like I was wrong? This is meant to make me question the underlying belief that cis feminists refuse to address the issue when they’re called out on being transphobic? How does that work, exactly?

        • Scar

          Stef, what are you hoping to achieve with this sniping at targets that have nothing to do with the problematic behaviour that happened on THM?
          Practising your aim? Indulging you inner teenager?
          No really, I’d like to know.

        • notafeminist

          One of the biggest issues I have with Shakesville’s commenting policy is that you are not allowed to accuse the writers of bad faith (ie, the very digital embodiment of White Woman’s Tears). One of the reasons I keep reading QoT is that she’s not afraid to call shit out.

          I thought it was bad how THM handled the situation, but what you have said in this comment thread is possibly the most childish I could have imagined.

  2. notafeminist

    (Aroha mai QoT – it may be unclear that the above posted is in reply to Stef, not you or Scar)

    • QoT

      No worries, thanks notafeminist. My darn layout gets cranky with too many threaded comments!

  3. Octavia Spitifire

    It is deeply problematic that when a group of people who have been marginalised stand up and say enough, and are supported by people who are not marginalised in the same way but agree that the situation is unacceptable, that this becomes bullying, or another one I’ve seen used, “trashing”.

    This is reproducing the current harmful social model and power dynamics – i.e. some at the top who deserve to remain at the top, and some at the bottom who shouldn’t be harshing the people at the top’s mellows – within a progressive movement. It’s the same tactics used by anti-choicers as to why we should sit down and shut up about abortion because the current law is not ‘that bad’, and the same tactics we rally against when used by misognist cis men to silence us cis feminists. The ‘your equal treatment/rights would [somehow] take away from my rights, therefore you the marginalised person are hurting me the more privileged person’ trope.
    I would like to know what people who are interested in social justice expect to gain by labelling push-back against prejudice as bullying, trashing etc – especially when having allowed/supported/stood by the original hurting of marginalised people in the first place. What, then, is an acceptable level of people saying enough? Is it to say it, but not keep pushing until there is evidence of actual changes? To say it once and then not respond to any continued prejudiced behaviour? I.e. effectively preserve the status quo?

    This ties into that idea that a blog/event/movement/etc can’t be everything to everyone. The ‘truth’ of this statement is less important, and less needing serious examination, than the fact that this is only ever used against more marginalised people. It’s not a cry we commonly – or ever – hear on white cis feminist blogs regarding, say, abortion rights, pay parity, short skirt=deserve rape, or maternity leave. Because these things are considered self-evidently important; they are most important to the people at the top of the recreated power dynamic. Trans* concerns, for example – even things like basic trans* online respect and safety – are automatically coded as lesser, and thus become the movement/blog/event/etc’s “can’t be everything” with trans* people the “everyone”, remaining at the bottom of the pile.

    This is a piece I read very recently on the “can’t be everything to everyone” cry in the context of racism, and I think it’s very relevant to trans* marginalisation too.

  4. ms p

    So, question. In your opinion, can a person of a minority ever be wrong when they say they are being oppressed or are we obligated to believe every action that they declare transphobic/racist/sexist/ablist is so?

    • QoT

      Question right back at you. Why is it so important to you to have a checklist to let you know when you’re allowed to tell oppressed people (minority is a difficult term since many oppressed groups aren’t) that they’re lying about their lived experience?

      Because that just might seem like you think oppressed people are inherently dishonest or acting in bad faith just to get attention.

      You don’t actually have to immediately change your behaviour when it’s called out as transphobic or racist etc, you realise. You can keep doing it, and your critics can keep pointing out that your ass is showing, but hey, if that’s the look you want to sport you go for it. But an oppressed person’s ability to say “um,your ass is showing” is nowhere near equivalent in coerciveness or power to silence as the privileged person’s ability to carry on doing whatever they like, usually with the full support of other privileged people and the institutions they use to rule the fucking world.

      • ms p

        I’m not creating a checklist QOT. But I also don’t go around like some Pollyanna believing everything everyone says to me. My default position when someone from a minority says they are the victim of prejudice is to take them seriously. I’m open to learning. However, not all declarations of prejudice are equal. I don’t take Chris Carter seriously when he claims all his political trouble stems from homophobia, given his behaviour. But your position seems to be that if someone from a minority says something is prejudiced you accept it without question. I think discussing and dealing with prejudice resolves a slightly more nuanced approach.

        • QoT

          ms p, the notion that I am “some Pollyanna” is seriously funny.

          Chris Carter is a very interesting case. Because I do agree there’s a difference between “the way the media constantly emphasises my sexuality and names my male partner is homophobic” and “people are only complaining about my travel expenses because I’m gay”.

          The thing is, why do you even need to engage with that and say SHUT UP CHRIS THAT’S NOT HOMOPHOBIA? Why not just say “These travel expenses are inappropriate regardless of a person’s orientation?” Of course Duncan Garner’s avowed mission to take Chris Carter down and his clear choice to invoke homophobia while doing so probably doesn’t help your argument there …

    • Scar

      Let me bequeath upon you some logic, Ms P:
      If you keep doing the same things and people from that oppressed group keep calling you out on it, then it’s probably YOU – not them – that is being problematic.

      What do you have to lose by trusting an oppressed group that they’re telling the truth? Is it really so terribly important to you that everything an oppressed group says is completely and utterly, 100% pure TRUTH™?

      You’re certainly NOT obligated to believe that every action that they declare as problematic or phobic IS problematic or phobic, but you’re also not obliged to be a nice person, a kind person or even a decent person.
      You are not obliged to NOT be a total fucknuckle to everyone you meet, if you so desire.

      And you seem to be quite willing to demonstrate that last point.

      • ms p

        Well what I thought would have been obvious is that I’m not talking about a group of people saying that they’re finding an action (or lack of action) oppressive but individuals. So it’s not about 100% truth but about recognising that not all allegations of oppression are equal, especially if the person making them is a lone voice.

        Btw, I think your reliance on calling people douchebags and fucknuckles when you disagree with them is a kind of bullying.

        • QoT

          ms p I find it deeply problematic that you are willing to denigrate a person’s opinion if they are “a lone voice”, especially when that person is part of a particularly small minority who face significant issues around personal safety and anonymity.

        • Scar

          “not all allegations of oppression are equal, especially if the person making them is a lone voice.”

          Wow. Just…wow.
          I don’t even need to say anything.

          If being called a douchebag and/or a fucknuckle for screwing up is ‘bullying’ then what is being spat on, heckled and assaulted for expressing your gender identity? And what, therefore is behaviour that foster an environment where that stuff is acceptable?
          I think there are plenty of people out there you could calling out for being bullies, instead of pinning it on trans people who are bone weary of being treated like animals by society.
          I am so tired of it that sometimes I just want to find a beach on an island in the Pacific and live there alone for the rest of my life, where no one can judge me but the seagulls.

        • ms p

          Scar, I don’t doubt you have been bullied for being trans. That doens’t cancel out your own behaviour. And I’m not calling all trans-folks bullies; I was referring to *your* behaviour.

          You called me a fucknuckle because I questioned belief of any claim of oppression. I wasn’t suggesting you weren’t treated badly in the thread at THM under discussion and I wasn’t being transphobic toward you. Yet you’re calling me names anyway because I asked a question and got into a discussion about how/if we evaluate claims of oppression. Apparently asking questions/disagreeing with you is ‘screwing up’ in your opinion and grounds for verbally abusing someone. This is exactly the point I was concerned about – your idea of a safe space seems to be a discussion free zone.

        • QoT

          ms p and Scar, as below, I’m going to have to ask you to take this elsewhere as I am not able to monitor and clear comments 24-7 and the layout of my comments does not allow for extended arguments in this way.

  5. stargazer

    when white cis feminists on “mainstream”/large/established blogs

    yeah, thanx for disappearing my colour. i’d tell you to get off your fucking high horse and have a look in the mirror when it comes to your privilege, but i suspect that would be a waste of time. you’re too busy pointing fingers at everyone else.

    and thanx for disappearing my actual point, which is that we have new writers & we hadn’t figured out very well how we would relate to each other as regards moderating other people’s posts. which is entirely our fault, and i’d clearly said that my making that point wasn’t in any way an attempt to deny culpability – just a comment about what was going on.

    • QoT

      I completely apologise for disappearing your colour, stargazer. I shouldn’t overlook that there are writers of colour on THM and my ability to forget that is definitely a reflection of my race privilege. It is something I will work on not doing again.

      The point about having new writers doesn’t wash with me. The issues of moderation at The Hand Mirror have been raised by plenty of people in the past, and the issues of moderating posts on trans* issues had been raised specifically very recently. Not to mention that this wasn’t a post by one of the Hand Mirror writers but a guest post. It does deny culpability to have three of the writers of a group blog jump in to excuse their absences while two others are stating up front in various places that they aren’t moderating “fully” because of busyness or uncertainty.

      • stargazer

        i don’t really give a fuch about what washes with you. you have missed the point entirely. what matters is that you have misrepresented what i said – whether or not you agree with what it is i actually said has no bearing on that. more than that, i’m totally over your childish name-calling (“timid little flowers”? really?).

        all this bullshit from you about creating safe spaces when you provide anything but. i’m sick of you hiding behind the words “tone argument” when you get rightly called for some very shitty behaviour, and the way you stomp around other people’s places without any concern about who you hurt and how you are silencing others. and yes, i understand completely what the tone argument is about, and you get well beyond it to straight-out abuse, which you somehow think is justified because you’re being some kind of knight in shining armour, defending the downtrodden.

        as for your apology, it’s means jackshit when you haven’t bothered to change the post. but also, the fact that you can’t even see the use of “white cis feminists” includes a whole shitload of bigotry shows that you don’t understand much. guess what: i face racism & hatred because of my religious beliefs on pretty much a daily basis. but i’m not stupid enough to make blanket statements about “all white people” or “all christians” or “all atheists”. do you think it’s alright for you to make generalised statements about “feminists” because they aren’t a protected category under the human rights act? wrong. stereotyping a group in that way and acting as if every single one of them behaves in exactly the same way and believes exactly the same thing: that’s awful. it sounds exactly the same in my ears as when some bigot starts a sentence with “muslims believe”, and it alerts me to the fact that said person doesn’t know a fucking thing about muslims because they don’t even understand the basic fact that there is not one single issue where you could say that muslims have a unanimous belief.

        also, sometimes being an ally means you shut the fuck up and let the group (which you are not even part of) speak for themselves. they’ve shown themselves quite up to the task, and i notice that you don’t bother to make any mention of julie’s updates to her apology post which show that they have succeeded with the points they have been trying to put across. let me also note that it has hugely helped my understanding of the issues, and i thank them for their efforts, which they shouldn’t have had to make. you have added nothing to that, but i know for a fact that you have silenced at least one member of the group that you are trying to be an ally for, and you silence plenty of others.

        well, i know that one of a very few number of women of colour who post on a well-read politcal & feminist blog, and fucked if i’m going to let YOU silence me in my own space. so. not that i probably need to, but i’m going to ask you to please refrain from commenting on any of my posts at THM (i don’t speak for any of the other bloggers there, and they can let you know how they feel about their posts if they are so inclined). i will gladly extend that same courtesy to you, as this blog hasn’t felt like a safe space to me for several months now. i don’t believe for a second that either of us is going to feel the loss.

        • QoT

          1. My point remains that The Hand Mirror has a longstanding history of moderating issues which have never been addressed. Introducing new writers does not excuse this, especially on a guest post which does not have a specific writer.

          2. My blog does not specifically state it is a safe space and does not have a longwinded comment policy talking large about protecting people who are othered.

          3. I am really not actually going to apologise for associating white cis feminists with fail in areas of race and trans* issues, especially when I have linked to multiple examples of the same scenario happening again and again when the dominant voices of the blogosphere (hint: they’re usually white and/or cis) are called out on failing.

          4. I am really happy that people like Scar, whose posts I have linked to throughout this, are able to speak for themselves. I do not want to dominate this conversation. But I’m also not going to leave people like Scar to face the blatant abuse and silencing she faced on The Hand Mirror alone just because it’s her battle. That’s not being an ally to me.

          5. I will respect your wishes not to comment on your posts or any future ones at The Hand Mirror. I don’t even like commenting at The Hand Mirror because of all the stated problems which are still basically being ignored. But I will not stop challenging your fellow blog writers and moderators in my own space when they enable abusive behaviour.

          As to changing the post. I have already mentioned that I feel the behaviour I have raised is pretty damn common to blogs run predominantly by white/cis feminsts, and frankly, stargazer, the “white” fail doesn’t fit but the “cis” fail certainly does given your history of abusing trans* commenters by deliberately misgendering them (excusing your behaviour by claiming you thought they were someone else) on other sites.

        • Scar

          Wow Stargazer, some really great points in there! It sounds like your REALLY REALLY UNDERSTAND oppression! Why then aren’t you shouting your outrage at your fellow bloggers with regards to trans issues?
          This is my unconvinced face. *Points*
          It is unconvinced.

        • Scar

          Oh, and Stargazer…
          Don’t you fucking DARE talk about people who “aren’t a protected category under the human rights act” because I’m one of those people – and you don’t know jack shit about what it’s like, because you ARE protected.
          So shut the fuck up.

        • Timid daisy

          Thanks so much for saying this Stargazer. You have put into words all of the frustration I have felt about this situation. I am sure it won’t change anything but thanks so much for taking the time to say it. I was too scared to a I knew it would fall on deaf ears and I’d just get ranted at in response Yes! I say, yes! 🙂

        • QoT

          Timid daisy, it would behoove you well in future to pick a less obviously sock-puppetish identity, and dropping the ableist “deaf ears” metaphors would be choice.

        • notafeminist

          stargazer, this comment is really, really, really far out of line. Just so you know what it looks like from the outside.

        • Acid Queen

          stargazer, having seen the interaction between Scar and QoT it seems that transwomen are quite happy to have her assisting them and don’t want her to shut up.

    • Zinnia

      Given that you were involved in pretty much exactly the same things happening to transpeople over at WYFC, Coley, and I watched that mess culminate in actually banning the only trans person brave enough to push issues around some pretty awful transphobia occurring there, I’d say it’s probably a very good thing you can’t see what’s happening at THM, wouldn’t you?
      Really hope you learned something from it – saw you and the others at the march – really hope you weren’t chanting about transphobia, you haven’t earned that right.

      • coleytangerina

        Zinnia, I do not want to start a thread on a totally different topic here, but I need to respond to public false accusations.

        The trans person who was banned originally left because we asked them not to be abusive or threatening toward members, in particular toward a member who was reaching out to the trans member to discuss parallels between wahine feminsm and trans activism. The trans person told the member they had an “ass kicking” brewing inside them, and took it upon themselves to ask her never to comment ever again.

        The WYFC is a learning space but we won’t tolerate transphobia or hatespeech of any kind. However, one of our explicit missions is to provide a forum for discussion for people at all stages of their feminist journey, as long as they are genuinely interested and supportive of feminism and social justice. This means not all members are going to say the right things all the time, and we try and facilitate education when this happens.

        The trans member left because they felt ultimately this 101 type environment wasn’t a safe space, and we were sad to see them go. We were called transphobic by this person for the use of the word “aggressive” in our warning around threatening members. This person felt that the word “aggressive” was masculine and therefore we were transphobic for using it, which I strongly disagree with (and actually find the concept of aggression only ever being attributed to men somewhat misogynistic).

        However, after leaving through personal choice, the person was banned when they returned and posted suicide threats and accused admins of giving out this person’s details to violent radical feminists.

        Long before this member was banned, they were contacted by an admin (who was a safe space coordinator in another life) in order to try and make sure their voice was heard and they were able to give suggestions on how we could improve the space for them and other trans people.

        While we have many trans members who find the WYFC a useful and safe space, it was disappointing to have even one member have a negative experience, and we are all still learning around accessibility and marginalisation to improve this.

        And re: Queer the Night, as much as I am flattered by creepily being told of my own whereabouts by effectively an anon, I did and will continue to chant about transphobia needing to go, because although the WYFC is not perfect we are doing our best. This might not be right for everyone, but we will keep trying.

        If you want to continue this discussion, feel free to email our safe space admin at wellingtonfeminists@gmail.com, as I am sure QoT would rather this went elsewhere.

        • Scar

          It’s fortunate that I’m a much stronger person now, otherwise this sort of post would have been extremely damaging to read.

          You’re talking about me, Coley. I’m the ‘trans person’ in question here and Zinnia is well aware of the whole story and has read all the email exchanges between myself and the WYFC people involved.

          I was certainly NOT threatening towards the person who chose to hijack trans discussions with Oppression Olympics. I was annoyed, but I never expressed any kind of ‘threat’ and I certainly don’t have the phrase ‘ass kicking brewing inside me’ in my vocab, so you’re pulling that out of your ass.
          Nor did I ask her never to comment again. I asked her not to hijack trans topics again – which I don’t think is unfair, as nearly every damn discussion I start on trans issues gets derailed with cis people’s business and them ‘comparing’ their crap to my own crap.

          I find it deeply troubling that you’re still not willing to accept that calling trans women ‘aggressive’ is a common trans trope and that it’s really HURTS when it’s used against a trans women – especially when she’s do nothing but fighting to be heard. I also agree with your sentiments about it being misogynistic, as I pointed out to you in my email to you; one feminist should not attack another feminist for being ‘aggressive’, as we SHOULD be able to be aggressive when we’re passionate about what we’re talking about.
          But you appear to be comfortable with invoking the Tone Argument in order to save face for doing something that you were informed was unacceptable, then refused to apologise for.
          And that fucking stinks.

          What really rankles though, is this accusation of returning to the WYFC page and posting suicide threats, as I did no such thing.

          That’s a really disgusting thing to do, Coley. Really, really disgusting. Even if I had done such a thing on your facebook group, why on earth would you bring it up? Just…why? Do you ever think about the shit you say, or is defending your rep more important than having any kind of sensitivity towards people’s mental health issues? Fuck, I’d be horribly ashamed if I were you.

          Yes I did call out WYFC for leaking my surgery blog, because it’s the only possible way I can think of violent radical feminists finding my blog. I was horribly stressed and upset as well as being scared out of my wits. But nice to know that your response to trans women who HAVE actually been threatened and are terrified is to ban them (I was unaware of my ban, I re-joined, posted, then removed my membership again as joining was the only way to post). Kudos to you and your crew. You’re fuckin’ ACE allies!

          I don’t think either Zinnia or I would wish to talk to your ‘safety space admin’ because we’re not interested in sweeping this under the carpet. I have been storing spoons and I’m capable of standing up for myself this time.

        • QoT

          Hi Scar, I appreciate this is an important conversation for you but since I’m not able to devote too much time to approving comments at the moment and my layout isn’t really conducive to long threaded conversations I suggest you address it in your space.

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