Until the Erasure Stops

(Update: This is going back up because Cathy Brennan and her stalk-brigade have figured out who I am. Good job. But, the fact that I was a member of a group that approached you, doesn’t mean you didn’t sexually harass me. You forcibly suggested that I sit on your lap. That’s sexual harassment. No ifs, ands, or buts. Deal with it.)

I am writing to say exactly what it says on the tin. I am claiming identity as the woman who Cathy Brennan sexually harassed at Dyke March. I am the woman who was misgendered by her crony. I am the woman who both Cathy Brennan and at least one other crony deliberately transgressed the personal space of multiple times, despite being politely asked to maintain a calm distance from me. I joined this confrontation because another trans woman needed backup, because of what we all knew would happen–she would immediately silence and personally attack us, and to attempt to provoke us into base displays of anger. I was the target of more ad-hominem attacks, blatant silencings, rude interruptions, and tone arguments than I can count.

And I am not going to let you give my friends shit because they had the guts to write about it and I didn’t. If you want to shout at somebody for the aggressive context that argument took, don’t you dare shout at somebody who tried to start a calm conversation and needed the backup. Don’t you dare shout at any of the people who tried to make calm contributions to the argument. Don’t you dare shout at the cis woman who was silenced very nearly to blows. Don’t you dare. They wanted nothing more than a peaceful conversation and a peaceful chance to ask her to stop endangering the lives of trans women. I am the trans woman who had the spoons to deal with that stuff, so I am the one who stepped in when things got way out of hand. And I will tolerate no ridiculous bullshit being thrown at me. WordPress has an IP ban function, and I am ready to use it. Commenters stay within my comment guidelines or they are gone. You claim to want to have a constructive conversation, prove it.

I have previously taken a very olive-branch-y stance towards radscum. I still believe in the inherent goodness in all of these people, and that everyone really just needs to try to expand their worldview to take a more gentle approach to each other. But what Cathy Brennan had in mind by carrying a Sheila Jeffreys sign at dyke march was not peaceful. She was attempting to instigate a conflict. Dyke March is supposed to be a safe space. A person who is actively contributing to the unsafeness of a safe space has no right to be there, and that is very different from just being a transphobe who wanted to have a good time without spreading their transphobia. I will not ever ask a transphobic person who is not spreading their transphobia to leave a safe space. The sign is what pushed it for me. I still think we can come to be allies. But not like that. I will protect my sisters, cis and trans, lesbian or not. Dykes are Dykes, according to a picture of me that is also all over the web these days.

Oh, but btw, Cathy Brennan–you made my girlfriend cry. So you’re not on the list of people I’m willing to give a second chance. You make all this hullabaloo about protecting CAFAB lesbians, then you bring one that is very close to my heart to tears, just in the name of keeping me from pissing in public restrooms. So this big-tent-feminist-community, we-can-all-find-the-good-in-each-other stuff I’m saying? You’re not welcome in that big tent.

Comments on: "I Am The Lady who Cathy Brennan Sexually Harassed at Dyke March" (34)

  1. Wait… I’m glad you’re speaking up, but what happened? This is the first I’ve seen about whatever happened, and this post seems to assume we’re already familiar with at least some of what happened.

    Sorry, but I feel like the trans feminist blogosphere is getting hopelessly fragmented, and with it, trans feminist communication is becoming increasing difficult.. Most of the ones I used to follow have disappeared. Some of the ones I set aside because I needed to read about ptsd, but not while triggered, have disappeared.

  2. I couldn’t sleep, and I checked your voicemail and your text, and so I came here, and I just want to give you *all* the virtual hugs! If you want them! You and these other folks who dealt with her yesterday (I believe I met one of them at an awesome burlesque show recently… how do I get to meet so many awesome people?) are as brave and awesome as the radscum are terrible, which is to say, very brave and very awesome. I will give you a call tomorrow night!

    @MarjaErwin Things have definitely been splintering all over the activist blogosphere lately, especially with the rise of tumblr. Google ‘Cathy Brennan Dyke March’ if you think you’re up for reading about it. Long story short, she is this radscum ‘activist’ who harasses and abuses trans women online and now, apparently, in person.

  3. I heard something about it in RadFem Hub (I happen to be a masochist), they claim they were assaulted. What actually happened?

    • A group of people approached her to have a peaceful conversation about her presence there and the fact that she was carrying a “Sheila Jeffreys is My Dyke Hero” sign. She was standing in an open area and insisted we move into a corner, which is when she sexually harassed me, which she tried to play off as a joke (real class act feminist right there). There was no physical assault of any kind on either side, but both of the people I talked to transgressed my personal space even when politely asked not to.

      • I see. And they’re not over, you should see the horrible things they’re saying over that RadFem Hum (or better yet Don’t).
        I’m sorry you got harassed by this self-proclaimed “Feminists”. They are horrible people who know nothing but hate, and don’t deserve to be on the same planet as we do.
        You have my support, and I’ll be following on Tumblr!
        Good Luck!

  4. Lori,

    I’ve run into Cathy Brennan’s nonsense. She was harassing some of my friends. She also used to troll my blog and some of my friends’ blogs. I just haven’t heard about this, and I hope everyone’s okay and no one faces any legal harassment over it.

  5. DUDE, you waltzed your FEMALE ass into the Dyke March and proceeded to verbally harass a lesbian? Really? You must have balls of brass. Truly. Next time, you and your gender-obsessed friends need to check your farking female privilege and respect women’s space.

    You didn’t belong there in the first place.

  6. RoseVerbena deserves what the Bug deserves: banning. Unfortunately, when she (Brennan) is charged in real/time for assaulting someone who refuses to take her shit anymore, only then will her employer and the ABA sit up and take notice.

  7. You have all my sympathy, madam. I’m sorry that had to happen to you. *e-hugs*

    Also; RoseVerbana–read up on transsexuality if you please. Have some respect.

  8. Ms. Brennan sent me unsolicited email and started a very bizare conversation with me.
    I think she should be disbared as she is clearly unstable.

    • Nothing she said invalidated the letter’s arguments at all. I would hope Brennan realised this, but given what we’ve seen so far, that would be asking a bit much.

  9. I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the existence of people like Brennan. Stay strong, and let your community know if we can help.

  10. Thank you all for your support and positive energy. To be perfectly honest I’d really just like to get on with my life right now, so unless some major shit hits the fan, I’m not really planning to talk about this anymore. I want to focus my efforts on peaceful intellectualism, not whatever the fuck this is.

  11. 1. watch the video
    2. rethink your words
    3. apologize for lying to the nice people

  12. Young Teezy said:

    I’d miss-gender you, but all you are is just a bipedal trash heap. Calling you anything else would be an insult to actual human beings.
    TRIGGER WARNING: you suck
    As a person desperately at the gym trying to get into any kind of physical shape to transition, I CAN NOT BELIEVE you’ve got your head so far up your own ass you can’t see that YOU PROVE ANDREA DWORKIN RIGHT!!! You went to a march for dikes and you shit all over everything. NO RESPECT! No respect for women that didn’t have to be transmogrified. The loser with the blowjob sign cries about being harassed, give me a break. It was a joke, moron, but you’re so thin skinned and pathetic you can’t even grasp the concept of that. You are really tough when you got your whole crew against one person aren’t you? OH WOW I’m scared of you.
    As far as the public relations department, you do a shittier job than Shinra’s Turks, and you need to be fired POST HASTE! Is this what a Trans inclusive Michfest would look like? Would you crowd around and yell at lesbians there too? I’ll never go, save you from being punched. I’d wear a real fancy dress just for the occasion, then mail Cathy your hat. That’s not a threat mind you, because it WILL NEVER HAPPEN viva women born women.
    None of you together made a pimple on Bug Breenan’s left ass cheek. You didn’t think she had the PERSONAL INTEGRITY to tell you how she feels to your face. You thought she’d cave because of superior numbers right? You thought you could shout her down? That’s awful big of you. And EVERY PONY knows “CIS” isn’t a REAL word, and not one you can just cram down someone’s throat. I don’t agree with everything she says, far from it, but you made her look like she cries 100 karat gold tears. My little heart bleeds for everyone she’s “ outted”. The soundtrack of my sympathy is:
    1. Sound of Madness by Shinedown.
    2. Step up by Drowning Pool
    3. Pawn by Epic LLyod
    The kind of battle she’s fighting goes back to the beginning of time. I hate to tell you, but there is no right to ownership clause for Trans people in the old testament. There is in Genesis for women born with uteruses! But we can’t all get on board with the program now and fight about who is or isn’t a woman later OH NO we’re more important, we’ve got to do this thing! Screw this anti-patriarchy stuff.
    The Matriarchy’s butch lesbian police squad is going to come to your house and “morally mandate” you, in your dream, which is not the world we live in. Wake the fuck up.
    We are going to win hearts, minds, and acceptance with bullying and intimidation. I can see it now. You braying jack ass. You complete obnoxious loathsome tool. You need to get out of that echo chamber you are in, breathe some fresh air, and realize the world doesn’t owe you a god damn thing.
    Lastly, I wanted to share a link with you I got from Lucille Sorella, http://www.voicefeminization.com/, for that hideous caterwauling you’re calling your feminine voice.

  13. Why isn’t the video linked here?

  14. WOW! I have no love for the Brennan and it’s cis-madfem scissors-circle. Indeed, I am waging my own war against them. I applaud you for your strength, and I want to use “Young Teezy’s comment” for my own purposes. You must know already YTZ is actually one of the madfems, not pre-TS. Thanx! DCS.

  15. [...] – in the form of manufactured (if not outright fake) martyrdom – by the most disgusting of the [...]

  16. Glad to find this blog! I was the woman that offered you a hug right after that confrontation at the dyke march ended, even though I don’t know you. But I could see how upset you were after trying to maintain an intelligent conversation while several radfems were screaming in your face and figured you could use a hug. (Did it in a very different way then suggesting you sit on my lap though. I said something like, “You look like you could use a hug” and you said “yeah” so we hugged.) I had never heard of “radfems” before that day and was really horrified not only by the stuff the were saying but the manner of their communication. Young teezy’s comment is a perfect example of the way these women use language… something you’d expect to hear coming out of the mouth of a young child or pre-teen, but not from a grown adult. Since then I’ve done a bit of research on radfems and all that I’ve found was quite disturbing. I posted a few comments on Cathy Brennan’s blog (I know, masochistic of me!) but was never able to get any sort of mature conversation going. Amazing that this woman is actually a professional lawyer considering her inability to rationally debate and her need to resort to childish insults. However, the more I read the more relieved I was, in a way, because I realized that this is a very very small group of people. They all comment on each others blogs and repost things written by each other, that’s about it. If you were to count them all (at least in the internet world) I would guess there would only be several dozen. They’re a hate group, for sure, but a very small one thankfully. I wasn’t even able to find any info about how many women attended the radfem conference in London in July. This info isn’t posted on any radfem blog, so I’m guessing that the number of attendees was very low. Less then a hundred, I’d imagine.
    I’m 49 years old, so I’m not a stranger to the viewpoints of lesbian separatists. I encountered separatists when I first came out as a dyke in the early 1980′s. I never felt much warmth from that community. In fact, 2 of the first dykes I ever met in NYC stopped being friends with me simply because I had a male room mate at the time (who happened to be my adopted brother, who I really loved!) They said I couldn’t possible be a “real lesbian” if I was living with a man, and it didn’t matter that he was someone I loved and respected, it didn’t matter that he was a member of my family. So instead, I gravitated towards a mixed community of dykes, fags, trans people and politically-minded straight people. It was the right choice for me, it’s where I’m comfortable and where I feel I belong. But I can tell you from personal experience, the lesbian separatists of the 80′s were not like these radfems of today who are actively seeking to hurt people who don’t agree with their, very narrow, view on what it means to be a woman or a feminist. It’s sad. But, as I said, this seems to be a very small hate group and little more. Activists working for social justice should keep an eye on them, as we should on anyone trying to hurt members of our community, but it’s a relief to realize how small this group actually is.
    Oh, and Young Teezy – “Cis” is a real word. It’s a scientific term. If you don’t know the meaning of a word look it up in a dictionary.

  17. I think you, Alyson, are delusional. Cry me a freaking river, honey, somebody ‘misgendered’ you, boo hoo. You are delusional! Get a life, a real one, and get out of your own head for one instant to see that this world doesn’t give a damn about your ‘gender!’ Don’t go to a dyke march and expect to be welcomed with open arms by anyone but other trans–whatevers. Don’t accost someone and then tell them they’re ‘silencing’ you. Read the definiton of sexual harassment before you claim it’s happening to you (it was not.)
    Finally, get the hell out of the academy for awhile and join the Earth People for a change. You will see that you are insignificant.
    Go take your strange little life (which exists almost exclusively online anyway) and leave the Earth People alone, will you?

    Sincerely

    Kitty Barber
    Arlington, MA

    • I gotta admit, I burst out laughing when I read this comment. My cisbian partner burst out laughing when she read this.

      You’d have been better off just writing “Generic, unresearched, hostile response.” I mean, did you think about the fact that this blog hasn’t been updated in months before telling me I have no life? Did you notice the zero new tweets on the twit app?

      Oh, and you must not have read anything else on this blog either. I write prolifically about street harassment and kink scene rape. My gender does matter in the real world, in ways that I think you’d notice if you got your head out of your ass and lived with us “Earth people” a little.

      Oh right, the best part was Earth people. That’s when I burst out laughing a SECOND time.

    • I’m a a ciswoman, from a couple towns over from you, and I really think you should consider learning some tolerance, especially considering where you are from. You should be ashamed representing Massachusetts with that kind of intolerant attitude. You do us all a disservice with your words.

      This lady would be welcome at all my dykes-only events, unlike fake radfem lesbians-for-political-purposes.

  18. Plexfoward said:

    You sure did a lot of yelling for a person who said nothing.

    • If the best you can manage against me is a tone argument, perhaps you should reconsider your support of a woman who stalks me, harasses me, doxxes me, and outs teenage girls to their parents.

      You radscum are disgusting with the kind of bullshit you’ll support, then turn around and jump on people for swearing and raising their voice. Get a life.

  19. Carolyn in Baltimore said:

    Poor baby,
    I saw several videos of the confrontation. I saw you crowd so close in a threatening way to Ms. Brennan that she sarcastically asked if you wanted to sit in her lap. Sarcasm and an attempt to defuse rather than harrassment. And you just kept crowding her and arguing. I thought she was amazingly polite for being accosted by a group of non-female women and told that she, a real dyke, did not belong at a Dyke March. She didn’t come up to you and harrass you. Grow up.
    Silly Rabbit, Dyke Marches are for Dykes. Even the inclusive ones organized by – she is either a straight woman or gay man, but not a dyke in any sense.

    • I guess you’re kind of new to the new york dyke scene. See, here, they correctly consider me a real dyke instead of your pretendbian ass.

      Also, banned for misgendering.

  20. PunkPrincess said:

    You go girl! Lose the fedora though, its really ugly…

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