The road less travelled (redux)

February 11, 2009

20090211It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling with my crisis of faith with UK online feminism for several months – I’ve written about it in depth and at length in a series of posts here.

In recent weeks this state of affairs has intensified to the point where I am no longer able to identify as a feminist.

Although, at the time of writing, I still subscribe to many of the basic principles, I’m increasingly at odds with the interpretation and application of those principles by various members of the UK online feminist community. Whilst that is troubling enough for me to witness, I am pained more by the reaction – or to be accurate, the inaction – of the overwhelming majority in taking any meaningful stand against those hate-mongering bigots who are appropriating feminism for their own ends. In the process they are continuing an unfortunate tradition of excluding transsexual women like me, and I no longer have the stomach to fight those who, in reality, should be working with transsexual women in pursuit of our common causes, and not seeking to exclude us through their heavy-handed and inappropriate policing of the borders.

This erasure of transsexual women by cissexual women feminists is nothing new but it’s now time for me to cut my losses, forfeit my investment in feminism, and move on.

Over the past few days I’ve realised that my isolation and alienation from feminism is complete. I’ve reached the end of this part of my journey to find a personal ideology, a ‘politics of being trans’, that I can carry with me in my daily life and draw on to give me the strength and comfort I need to see me through my darker personal moments. It saddens me immensely that UK online feminism is either unable or unwilling to offer me the safe space I need to be able to discuss and work through the matters that concern me as a transsexual woman; discussions and debates which would ultimately benefit not only me but also our respective communities.

Therefore I will no longer be blogging at The F-Word, effective immediately.

I would like to thank to those of my co-bloggers who have accepted me as the human being I really am; and who have demonstrated their willingness and ability to work in solidarity with me. They are truly my sisters and my friends, and I think of them with both fondness and respect.

11 February 2009


10 Responses to “The road less travelled (redux)”

  1. Renee Says:

    It truly saddens me to read that you are denouncing feminism. As a WOC who has faced similar isolation and marginalization by the feminist community I can completely emphasize with your feelings. I would like to point out that those that are being willfully ignorant and transphobic do not own feminism, nor do they have the right to speak on behalf of feminism.
    When we withdraw from feminism we allow these bigoted women to represent a movement that belongs to all of us. This is the victory that they are seeking by their hateful deeds. I hear your pain and I beg of you to take the time to consider that you have every right to the feminist label as these haters. If we do not fight back and demand to be recognized we will have surrendered a movement that belongs to us all.

  2. msruthmoss Says:

    I’m really sorry it’s come to this.

    You’ll be missed on the F word I’m sure!

    Hope you’re going to keep posting here.

  3. Jess Says:

    We’re going to miss you loads :/

  4. Anji Says:

    Oh Helen, I’m really sorry to hear this. :( I hope you keep writing here. Your voice at the F-Word was an important one and will be sorely missed. *hug*

  5. That sucks. I guess some people are just jerks (Big surprise right?). The contributions you have made have been greatly appreciated . You do what you need to do for your own personal happiness. I don’t really comment over on the F word but I do read it, and I’ll miss hearing from you. I’m sorry you’ve been hurt so much and that these idiots have managed to push you out :(

  6. belledame222 Says:

    Good for you for taking care of yourself. And having read your recent entries, I have to say that selfishly, I far prefer this option to your nuking -this- blog/withdrawing altogether. Fingers crossed for it being better from here on out.

  7. Kirsty Says:

    I’m sorry to hear this too Helen, but I totally respect your decision.

    I have always found your blogs incredibly educational, and you have truly made me think in new ways. I’ll keep reading whatever you write, wherever you write it. x

  8. I’d like to thank you for your contribution to The F Word and for your writing on this blog too. All the best!

  9. For what it’s worth (as i’ve not been around long) I’m really sad it came to this. Like Renee said as well, its important to remember that feminism is not owned by any of these people. But at the same time I can understand why its important for you to stop posting at the f-word in order prioritise your own well-being. I’m glad you are still posting on here though!

  10. queen emily Says:

    Well, you know my thoughts about this….

    They’re Deep and Thinky.


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