Why we are not supporting RadFem2013
Brighton Feminist Collective was tweeted with a request that we would promote Radfem2013 and we felt it necessary to outline the reasons why we refuse to both promote and support the event.
The statement of intent outlines that Brighton Feminist Collective are 'trans* inclusive, sex positive and pro-sex workers rights'. This year’s speakers at Radfem2013 include Sheila Jefferys and Cathy Brennan, both known for their transphobic views, and Julia Long, author of 'Anti-Porn: The Resurgence of Anti-Pornography Feminism.'
Radfem2013 state that they oppose the sex industry and believe it to be both exploitative and degrading. As BFC is pro-sex workers’ rights and anti-shaming, we cannot support a group that call for the abolition of the sex industry on these grounds. We are anti-exploitation and engage with sex-workers’ rights groups in our activism.
What is most troubling about radfem2013 is that by inviting speakers like Jefferys and Brennan, radfem2013 is providing them with a platform to air their transphobic views.
Due to her offensive views on trans* identities Sheila Jeffery's was banned from speaking at last year’s event at Conway Hall and went on to write this piece in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/29/transgenderism-hate-speech.
Cathy Brennan both on her blog and Facebook account makes it clear she does not recognise trans* identities as legitimate and does this through what can only be described as outright bigotry and hate speech. At this year’s conference she will be running the workshop “CUT THE BULL SHIT: IDENTITY POLITICS, QUEER THEORY AND THE APPROPRIATION OF RADICAL FEMINISM”.
BFC is made up of individual members therefore does not adhere to a particular brand of feminism, but we do strongly agree that transphobia has absolutely no place in the feminist movement and believe radfem2013 to be endorsing these views.