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I see all of these handwringing posts concerning FILIA, Kellie Jay Keen, some post by Atlantic writer Helen Lewis "drawing a line" on KJK for going on Tucker Carlson, etc. Can anyone fill me in on the drama?

I see all of these handwringing posts concerning FILIA, Kellie Jay Keen, some post by Atlantic writer Helen Lewis "drawing a line" on KJK for going on Tucker Carlson, etc. Can anyone fill me in on the drama?

140 comments

Lots of feminists have gone on Tucker Carlson. And he's been perfectly respectful to them. It's one of the few saving graces he has. What's the big deal if KJK goes on?

Kara Dansky did some fine work on Carlson. She wasn't eaten alive, was she?

I'm sorry, but I think Kelly Jay Keen is right about certain British feminists- their classism is showing when they sneer at her. She's the working class daughter of teenage parents and she's nouveau riche. Other British feminists think she's trashy with her bleached hair. I know that attitude when I see it. And she showed way more grace to Kathleen Stock than Stock ever showed to her.

It's embarrassing and discouraging.

Look. I don't like the way conservative influencers are plagiarizing feminist work and passing it off as their own. Matt Walsh Columbused his way into this issue. But to be fair to Tucker Carlson, he simply brings feminists onto his show, asks them the questions, and lets them answer. He credits them as his sources. He could just have Matt Walsh on every night as a bro segment.

I believe feminists should talk to everybody who will listen. Even god awful conservatives. You never know who might be watching the show that is perhaps not so conservative. That woman who grew up conservative, knows nothing else, hasn't been exposed to real feminists, and is starting to wonder why her life is sub-par. She's stacking the dishwasher, watching Tucker Carlson, and she stops to watch KJK or Kara Dansky. These women aren't what Rush Limbaugh said they were.

We're de-platformed enough as it is. Why should we further muzzle ourselves to make sure we're only preaching to the choir at all times?

I believe feminists should talk to everybody who will listen. Even god awful conservatives. You never know who might be watching the show that is perhaps not so conservative.

Its a good way to bring new people into the fold. I was deep in the Tea Party & right wing spaces in my 20s. I believed all modern feminism was just hypocritical libfem bullshit because that was the only modern feminism I personally witnessed. But I started reevaluating those views when I saw Lierre Keith on Steven Crowder's show and liked her enough to look into other things she's done/written.

We will never succeed if we go down a purity spiral and refuse to appear on right wing spaces. Sadly, mainstream left wing media will not give us the time of day. So we need to take whatever platform we can get (with the obvious exception of people/platforms that are objectively awful and/or disrespectful to us)

No movement will ever succeed if all it does is preach to the choir. Especially if the movement is marginilized and at a disadvantage to begin with

I'm glad you got out! I also was brought up conservative. And I'm very grateful that I was exposed to new information so that I could leave it.

Other British feminists think she's trashy with her bleached hair.

Speaking as a Yank, I really like her look. KJK is very stylish, and I think that helps undercut TRAs' asinine claims of "terfs" being jealous of TIMs. How blunt she is also sets her apart from many of her critics. KJK does not give a solitary fuck what TRAs think.

Anyone stating that ANY woman is jealous of transwomen is just deep in projection mode

What is there to be jealous of? Like seriously lol

[–] hellamomzilla 31 points Edited

Also, Carlson’s been giving a platform to women on this issue FOR YEARS. Literally. If people don’t like that he’s allowing women to speak, maybe that’s on all the liberal/progressive/MAINSTREAM MEDIA to figure out.

For all of his flaws on other issues, Carlson at least has the integrity to let feminists speak and give them credit for their GC work instead of pulling a Matt Walsh and pretending that he's the first person to notice how sexist the trans movement is. It sucks that he's the best mainstream platform we can hope for. But that failure should be blamed on the left. Not women like Keen and Dansky who are doing the hard work to protect female rights however they can

Agreed. I was genuinely surprised at how Tucker treated the radical feminists and lesbians he has on his show. He didn't interrupt, talk over them, act like an asshole. His questions were thoughtful and his observations were interesting.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying he's not a sexist asshole, but he's able to be professional and showcase both sides of an issue. The rest of the MSM didn't even fucking touch Hentai Tits! They are totally silent about the dangers of puberty blockers.

It's fuckin crazy, and it's all bc the left refuses to let us speak. This is completely on them

PU LEASE...it's not integrity that motivates Carlson, it's ratings. And 'letting feminists speak' how magnanimous of him. I wish feminists would stop giving this douchebag plaudits.

This is my view too. You’re not going on the conservative platform for the conservative host. You’re getting the message out there to people watching who may not know the issue. TRAs thrive in secrecy, biased media narratives and direct censorship.

You never know who might be watching the show that is perhaps not so conservative.

So much this. I'm a moderate, and I have watched more than a few previously die hard lefties slowly start watching/reading more moderate (and even conservative news) for the repeated reason that "mainstream liberal media feels like being constantly talked down to." I hear that over, and over again from those friends. If a feminist can get on any media and not be shown/set up as a fool, it's potentially a new ally for that open minded random person who's watching. Right, left, center, it doesn't matter because GC ideas, and IMHO many feminist ideas, are not limited to any political party.

The Center is bigger than the Left in particular realizes. Ignore it at your peril, I increasingly believe.

Of course, there are some Right and far-Right men all too willing to take advantage of this particular schism to coax Centrist people and women nervous about gender identity over to the Right, potentially against their better interests in the long run. It's important to be vigilant about trusting flatterers. But at the moment, the Left is not demonstrating that it's in our best interests as women, either.

This is me too. My husband and I talk a lot about GC stuff, and he was saying last night that part of the problem is that people on the right have all been painted as far-right extremists. Conservative = Qanon. Thats just not accurate. There is a whole sea of observant, centrist folks out there that come from both edges. Its the media thats cleaving us all into radical partisanship. Every morning I read both FoxNews and CNN, get myself somewhere understanding the middle...and then top it off with Drudge Report. Between the three I can get an approximation of what the fuck is actually going on.

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[–] SecondSkin 62 points Edited

Why would you want to know drama?

Not all GC women think alike and can have very different views on how the ‘movement’ should proceed.

Which is inevitable. As not all women think a like.

It’s fine to have an argument against others approaches, to discuss these and challenge them, but not ad hominem attacks.

Plenty people who are gender critical aren’t radical feminists. Which is fine, women are allowed their own views, and imho agreeing on one thing does not equal agreeing on everything. But the radical feminist class analysis that played a very large roll in what is known as GC movement these days can be at odds with those who are biological realists and sick of stereotypes, but don’t know the political theory behind how patriarchal hierarchy oppresses women. Even within those who know radical feminism well there can be plenty disagreements.

As long as no one is name calling or making snidey digs, then conflict is fine. Even when they do, women aren’t fucking perfect and why are we expected to be held to a higher standard???

No one needs to give TRAs screen shots (unintentionally) of us slipping into adhomien attacks though. All good to dissect people’s views, but it’s important imho not to let that slip over into misrepresenting their views/taking them out of context, or making digs at the person’s intelligence or character because of their views. KJK has done phenomenal work on GC matters, she appeals to a cross section that might not get other GCers. As gender ideology impacts everyone, then that’s good. It’s important radical feminist action and discussion remains centred on radical feminist discourse though. There’s room for radfem GC movement and other GCers in the world though, imho.*

*I could disagree with 99% of what KJK says, but I’d still think it’s hugely important to recognise the sheer fucking courage she has had in her actions. She isn’t a billionaire like JKR or a feminist theorist like many key figures, she wasn’t acting on her employment safeguarding regulations like others, or in a position of power like Yardley when he refused to back down when mermaidy fucker took him to court for transphobia. She wasn’t backed by solicitors that said she had a solid case, or by an organisation that pooled funds/support. She was just a normal mum who put her name and face out there, very early in this, before some of the relative safety of judgements like MF & AB & others, and didn’t cower when talking about children’s safeguarding. And she’s never wavered from that, she’s never backed down. I’ve known plenty women stick their noses up at KJK not being a radfem, but who are too fucking cowardly themselves to tell their kids school that funding stonewall isn’t fucking on, or that lying to kids about changing sex is a safeguarding fail or that the equality act has single sex exemptions for a fucking reason. I bet KJK wouldn’t hesitate for a second to tell some head teacher on a power trip to wind her/his neck in and learn to copy and paste the equality act properly.

I also happen to have a soft spot for difficult women, even when I disagree with them. Probably because I am a difficult woman. I’d much prefer my girls grow up to be difficult and loud, than silence themselves if everything out their mouths isn’t 100% well thought out.

I get completely exhausted by the complainers who do nothing but whine about how they can’t do anything, but then shit on someone who DOES SOMETHING and they disagree.

THEN GO AND SHOW YOUR FACE AND TAKE A FUCKING RISK OR SIT DOWN. Seriously.

Yes, thanks for giving your impression of the background to whatever is currently happening. I was curious about the details because it seems like a lot of people I follow on Twitter are really struggling with some kind of GC fallout, but I just don't know what precipitated this, the origin of it. I know a lot of GC and radfems take issue with KJK going on Tucker Carlson and have that background but it seems like something recently happened and I was curious about what it was.

I used the word "drama" because I assumed it would succinctly communicate that I was wondering what happened recently that would generate so much noise on Twitter. I don't feel embarrassed for using the word or for being curious about what I'm curious about.

I personally love Kellie Jay Keen. She seems like a very normal, relatable and grounded human being.

My impression that Sarah Ditum got the ball rolling on denouncing KJK. I could be wrong on that point though.

[–] GCRadFem 53 points

perfection is the enemy of good

Who wins when women are at odds with each other? Men do. TRAS do.

Women lose.

We can’t miss the forest for the trees. It’s the big picture we are up against here. We are never going to all agree on everything but we must stand together and focus on what we hope to achieve: the regaining (what has been lost already) and the preservation of women’s sex-based rights.

KJK is not cup of tea, but I’m a big fan because she literally does speak truth to power, has the courage and conviction to hold the line and not give a single inch or noun, and remains focused on safeguarding children and providing women with dignity, privacy, and safety. I’ve had some dark days over this preposterous, infuriating, and often disgusting GI movement, and KJK has given me hope - hope because she believes in women, she knows our strength, and constantly reminds us that we will win.

One of the first things I read on Ovarit was a comment that men were very effective at defending the members of their class, almost no matter what. “He’s my bloke, even though he’s wrong.” The poster extorted us to just support a women because she was a woman. Not because she was necessarily right or good but just because she was a woman. You are my sister and I’m on your side, no matter what. This sort of un-nuanced and absolutist thinking is 100% not me, but that comment changed how I approach things now.

I don’t know who those groups are that Helen mentioned, and I don’t care. Crazies and extremists we will always have with us. I DO think the house is on fire, there ARE children inside, and it IS dangerous to get distracted by the freaks, nut jobs, and do nothing cowards watching the house go up. Frankly, I was disappointed by Helen’s take. I wanted to put her own video in front of her and say “watch this!”. I’m thinking of an early interview I saw with her and the question was along the lines of what do we do to counter this, how do we engage, and her response was a clear, unambiguous “we just have to win”.

If someone asks me “so what do you think of KJK”, my response is “I think she’s doing important work and I think she’s great”. What about Helen Joyce? Same, and right on down the list. Next question, cause I’m moving on.

Helen Joyce wrote about it https://www.thehelenjoyce.com/joyce-activated-issue-21/ "Last weekend, I went to Brighton to attend the Standing For Women rally organised by Kellie-Jay Keen, aka Posie Parker. That has provoked a lot of criticism from people I like and respect—some of it in public, some through back channels."

My opinion - Basically people are sensitive to the possibility of being linked with far-right groups. Fair enough. They are not our friends. Feminists have no control over what they say or do, or where they turn up - it is like being trapped with a scorpion.

Why wouldn't RWNJs grab onto the utter ridiculousness of TRA idiocy to score points with their fan base? It is an easy win.

Notice it is the GC women being attacked and shamed and not the far-right men for pretending they're interested in women's rights now?

"Notice it is the GC women being attacked and shamed and not the far-right men for pretending they're interested in women's rights now?"

👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆 This, a million times!!!!

And the right wing men who think they "discovered" this and are the first people speaking against it, sigh.

Far right is often synonymous with anti-immigrant. Is that the issue? KJK is from working class folks, and the poor and working classes are usually the ones most affected by immigration issues. It wasn't the wealthy who were being raped by Muslim gangs.

You know we're always accusing the TRAs of conflating issues and concepts. JCJ, Bindel et al are doing the same thing.

Agreeing on ONE issue does not mean you agree with another person or organization on all issues. Claiming guilt by association is a cheap tactic.

Activism and politics has always worked by joining with others who may not share our views for the purpose of winning on a particular issue. It does not mean we will do so on all issues. To claim it does is asinine.

We need to be addressing this issue on multiple fronts with a variety of tactics. KJK is masterful at increasing awareness among the general public.

I'm no more bothered by TRAs calling me right wing than I am when they call me a transphobe. It's ridiculous and dishonest and I give it no attention. I don't care what those people think of me or their smear attempts.

[–] SecondSkin 28 points Edited

I’m disturbed by anyone who thinks left wing is a compliment.

I’m probably more left wing on many issues than many, just by being a former Labour voter, but claiming being left wing is a good thing is incredibly ignorant of many parts of world history and the very real impact on millions, if not billions, of people. Either extreme is evil, and right wing as an insult rarely means anything more than not being left wing. Which says a lot about the muppets using it.

Agreeing on ONE issue does not mean you agree with another person or organization on all issues. Claiming guilt by association is a cheap tactic.

Ten years ago, Democrats and Independents in the USA were all (rightfully) pointing out the bonkers tribalism on the right, and how right-wing echo chambers were rapidly accelerating the extremism among conservatives.

And now here we are with the left wing apparently determined to recreate EXACTLY the same tribalism. If I'm going to be a feminist then I am no longer permitted to associate with conservative women, no longer allowed to hear them out or find common cause on any topic, they must be shun shun shunned lest they get conservative cooties all over me.

Screw that.

I'm no more bothered by TRAs calling me right wing than I am when they call me a transphobe. It's ridiculous and dishonest and I give it no attention. I don't care what those people think of me or their smear attempts.

Right? It's like when TRAs say that I'm the one supporting "biological essentialism" because I recognize that sex exists and gender=sexism.

They can call me right wing if they want. I'll go right on being a gender nonconforming radical feminist woman. Because reality doesn't require affirmation to exist.

[–] GrendelsMother 25 points Edited

KJK has been personally snippy to me on my main and we got into an argument. She has done a lot of amazing stuff and worked really hard. Here we all are, as live human beings with different thoughts and opinions. It’s okay!

Getting on her for talking to conservative people though? Come on. That’s just childish.

It’s not about “talking to conservative people” but about a woman speaker from British far right racist organisation Hearts of Oak, and a group of far right men filming at the same event, one of the Let Women Speak Events.

Many GC women in the U.K. have asked Keen and other organisers to issue a statement dissecting themselves fro the far right. I agree that giving the far right an inch means they take a mile, and also that their views are repugnant and different from conservative views (with which I disagree but) whiich are mainstream, accept the full humanity of all people, and can be debated with in a civic space to reach compromises everyone can live with.

No such statement has been issued and by now the whole thing has become too heated for me to make much sense of, but it was never about “talking to conservative people”.

[–] snorlax 16 points Edited

People have political disagreements with KJK. For some inexplicable reason, some people decide the best way to express their disagreement is to make personal attacks on KJK. This makes KJK double down. KJK's fans, of whom there are many, feel sorry for KJK. They write disagreement off as a mask for personal dislike/envy. Various creeps have also been lovebombing KJK in the hopes that they can use her/get her to endorse them. People have further political disagreements with KJK (sometimes about seeing the creeps hovering). Some useless people express those disagreements by making personal attacks again. KJK + fans go overboard responding with personal attacks to any and all disagreement. Everyone gets mad at everyone else. Nobody does anything constructive.

tl;dr: ppl were worried KJK's tactics would backfire against women. some bright sparks decided the best way to get their preferred outcome was to take on a populist in a popularity contest, and then got surprised when that backfired. I'm irritated with just about all parties so am just eating fondant fancies until they get bored.

Excellent take.

Thanks. I have a lot of sympathy for KJK as a person because it's not easy being up there and visible and taking flak from many sides. At the same time, I also worry about the energy she builds being then diverted in the wrong direction, and I get why critics are worried about where the populist approach will lead. I would like people to be able to address the longterm strategy without it devolving into personal attacks. In the meantime, I hope she can stay wary of flatterers and sort through the pettier insults for the criticisms with substance, because I think there are some very good points surrounded by the noise. But I am tired of people monstering her; I think her concern for children is genuine and she enjoys the cameras; it's not either/or, and there's really no need for people to attack her character if what they're worried about are consequences. And it's not just that there's no need; it's counterproductive.

And so I go back to my snacks.

I agree completely. When I've heard her discuss the impacts on children, on lesbians, on young women, she's genuine, believable, sympathetic and utterly ethical. I'm in awe of that kind of speaking power, frankly.

But when she delves into US politics, she's clearly out of her depth and it angered me that she'd criticize American women for voting Biden...like she's ignored our abortion issue completely. When she says her 'I never lose' it's just cringey. I wish she'd focus on her strengths. To me, that is a fair criticism of her. But when people start calling her all kinds of shit names, like 'housefrau' and 'aggressive', that's sexist as hell.

[–] SecondSkin 6 points Edited

While considering strategy it needs keeping in mind that 1) she’s not a strategist, and 2) it must be irritating as hell to have done all the work she has done, shown much greater spine than most, and have others talk down to her about how she’s not a strategist and how she should do strategy.

She’s not an mp or political pundit or public figure because of political connections. It’s not fair to expect her to fulfil a political role when she sort of fell on her feet in it. And imho, she gets to do with that as she wishes. If it doesn’t work for GC matters, then those who are working intentionally for women’s lib or with a background in campaigns and strategies, can get on and run with things in the direction they see fit. Trying to manoeuvre a woman who found herself at the forefront of this simply by speaking up when others were too cowardly, is a bit daft really. If anyone tried to puppeteer me like that I’d throw a world ending temper tantrum.

It’s all a bit talking at odds really. Which is counter productive.

[–] xy_equals_guy 7 points Edited

I admire Kellie Jay Keen’s stance and integrity for not kowtowing to cancel culture, and I am disgusted by the snobby liberals who are demanding it of her.

I am firmly in support of her “femalist” idea: support all FEMALES no matter what, including the ones you don’t like.

This involves not excluding women who belong to political groups you don’t like. It also involves not trashing women who have different opinions to you (you in general, not you, OP!), or who - Heaven forbid - dare to talk to women who have different opinions to you.

It was an open event, free of charge. Open events are for everyone, including people you don’t like.

Talking to people you don’t like, allowing them to speak, and being in the same vicinity of them, does not mean you approve of 100% of their beliefs.

Childish demands to completely ostracise people you disapprove of achieves absolutely nothing good. It only polarises people politically, and prevents each side from learning from the other and empathising with each other. “Far right” people being treated like criminals does nothing to open their mind to alternative worldviews.

What do they think - that people are going to catch conservativism by breathing the same air? Do they think liberals are so dumb they need protecting from hearing opposing opinions?

Cancel culture has got to stop, and I am disgusted by the sheer stupidity and arrogance of certain GC women using childish libfem cancelling tactics, trying to cause division among other women within the movement, just for the sake of forcing others to bend to their personal beliefs. If you don’t like KJK, and her stances, fine. Move on. Leave her alone, there are plenty of other GCs for you to follow who may align more with your personal opinions. Diversity of opinion should be our community’s strength.

[–] Lilith 19 points Edited

Never forget that in any internet controversy there will be some useful idiots and a shocking amount of provocateurs.

You can minimize the noise by looking past the snide, the rude, the offended, and digging for the deep and thoughtful. And then at last, asking yourself, "does this make my life better? does it meaningfully move myself, or 'my tribe' in the right direction? Is it, on the average, leaning towards balance and truth or towards absolutism and black/white thinking?"

I think an old essay written by Jo Freeman on trashing in the Women's Movement could help us not falling into that. https://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/trashing.htm

Divide and conquer was one of patriarchy’s most effortless wins. Because female socialisation conditions us to do all the work of policing it while they sit back and twiddle their dicks.

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