Women Picket D.C., 2021

My Experience of Finding Myself on the Front Lines of Today’s Actual Feminism

Women Picket D.C., March 8, 2021: International Women’s Day

A year ago, I spent hours privately discussing gender critical and radical feminist theories, developments in trans-specific laws, and increase in the social contagion of the transgender movement with a group of women I met online; I wouldn’t have imagined then that a year later, I would stand in the nation’s capital with a modest group of women, speaking out against the enshrinement of “gender identity” in federal law. We traveled from all across the country, some of us from thousands of miles away, to make our voices heard on the topic of the erosion of sex-based protections. We stood (and stand) in opposition to President Biden’s January 20th Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation (please visit https://womenpicketdc.org/ for more information on how this seemingly-innocuous EO erodes women’s rights).

It was January 25th, on my lunch break at work, when I first saw the Women Picket DC event mentioned. It was a post in a Facebook group for networking with women who are actually feminists (#superfeminist, for anyone who still needs this spelled out to you). The post said that there would be a march for the sex-based rights of women and girls; I sent a screenshot to my friend, Annie, bemoaning the fact that I wouldn’t [responsibly] be able to afford to travel 800 miles (one way!) with only six weeks’ notice! Less than two hours later, however, at 3:00 in the afternoon, it was decided that we’d go together… sharing the cost made it manageable, and standing for women’s sex-based rights was more than worth (and more important than) the strain on my budget.

Not even a week after Biden’s executive order and I had confirmed my time off work and booked a hotel, far before I had truly had the time to realize what an important and historic moment this would be.

The photo that I posted in a public forum (and known battleground of “TERF’s” and transgender ideologues), which prompted accusations of white supremacism and even Nazism, and prompted promises to counterprotest.

On February 20th, we met to make signs for the picket… and posting my sign on Facebook resulted in some backlash from the transgender community and its supporters. I’m not surprised by the responses, but they are important to mention. It goes without saying that I was called a TERF, but additionally I was called an incel, a Nazi, a ‘crazie,’ and a ‘dumb paranoid fuck.’ I was accused of transphobia and white supremacy, because I was standing for the sex-based rights of women first. The slogan on my sign was disparagingly compared to Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan. It was directly stated that I must have “Daddy Issues,” and others speculated about “who hurt [me].” I was told that this specific event would be directly responsible for continued rising Covid numbers (as if you can’t easily social distance and wear masks to an outdoor protest!). I was told to Go To Hell (sorry sweetie, I was already going for being homosexual), and I was promised (threatened with?) a counter-protest. It’s worth noting that there wasn’t a single actual counter protester to be seen, let alone the organized counter protest that we had been promised. I was genuinely surprised by this, until I remembered that these are the same people who need to leech off of feminism and gay rights because they can’t manage to organize or lobby for themselves independent of an existing organized group. Well these days, it’s more to the point to say that they’ve co-opted gay and women’s rights movements… and organizations, and non-profits, and lobbying groups, and so on.

Annie and me with our signs.

And so, on the eve of International Women’s Day, Annie and I drove around 800 miles to celebrate March 8th with a group of women in what I am [unfortunately] sure will be the first of many gatherings in the US capitol demanding that women’s sex-based rights remain intact in a world where males are allowed to identify into women’s spaces and positions and awards.

And the media has kept silent… And political parties around the world have kept silent. But I cannot stay silent… and neither could the brave women I met beneath the National Monument last week.

Aisling Cornett, a powerful young woman I’m honored to have met and subsequently marched with.

And so I showed up, wrapped in a Labrys flag, a nod to lesbian feminists of the 70’s. After all, what better iconography exists than a symbol that represents the ability to slice through patriarchal lies and control? What better flag to wear than one made for and adopted by lesbians, but especially lesbian feminists? My primary motivation for speaking out has always been my lesbianism, and how the transgender community preyed on me for it (and still does). I stood with women wearing sashes in the colors of the American suffragettes, women carrying signs demanding justice, and a few men who understand the importance of our fight. We stood shoulder to shoulder and mourned for women around the world, horribly and violently oppressed because of their sex; for our mothers before us, and especially for the black and indigenous women who were mutilated, tortured, and killed in the name of progress, their bodies nothing but a commodity. The gravity of the path we are on has brought me to my knees more than once… but knowing that I am united with these women, and women all around the world, gives me strength.

As luck would have it, as protestors were beginning to disperse, a man who struck me as official nudged me. He was wearing a badge (press pass? Security? I’m not certain) which I barely glanced at, because his words were more important: “Biden is about to drive by.” Sure enough, there was a large police presence and blockades had been put up at the intersection nearest us. Too good of an opportunity to miss, I somehow reached far enough into myself to utter a rallying cry; I don’t remember what I said, but it moved dozens of women to the corner with signs, ready for the final push of a demonstration for the procession of the POTUS.

The front line of our impromptu march.

Once Biden had passed, the group was once again loosely dispersing, but around me were multiple women who wanted to march, to do something!, but with no organized agenda left, momentum was dying. With some much-needed encouragement from Annie, I decided to take matters into my own hands… We raised our signs and walked (no, marched) down the line of women at the sidewalk, joined immediately by a brave, bold woman whose name I regret I do not know, and then by a fourth woman, Nancy; together we led a procession of women along the street in DC, chanting, singing, and soaking up each other’s strength in the name of our fight for sex-based rights.

Nancy and I, meeting for the first time in the name of sex-based rights and the integrity of the word Woman.

Two months ago I never would have imagined finding myself on the frontlines of the battle today’s feminists have just begun to start waging, but here I am. I am incredibly humbled to have been (and know that I will continue to be) a part of herstory, and I am proud to have been an integral part of what happened at the first protest at the United States Capitol against the transgender take-over of women’s spaces and resources. I hope that all of the women who stood with me feel the same way, and I will be proud to stand with these sisters (and many more) at whatever future demonstrations I can.

Huge thank you to the women behind organizing this event… without you, we wouldn’t have stood together on International Woman’s Day to use our collective voices to say No More. Women will not be silent until we have our sex-based rights. The word Woman is taken.

Here’s to next year’s International Women’s Day… may we celebrate what it means to be a woman and continue to demand our sex-based rights, today and all days.

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stonedbutchblues

stonedbutchblues

Lesbian who married an MTF transsexual; recovering victim of evangelicalism & queer theory.