Are you my brother too?

Brother look how your misogyny invites the next level from our boy here. This man has now used xenophobia, classism, ageism combined all because a 76 year old woman with a funny accent said something he doesn’t like.

Man let me tell you this I and I can count on the fact Greer will too, know history. And herstory.

I know how the individual threads of various liberation movements come together, cross over, weave over and form knots at the intersections of multiple oppressions. This means we have shared struggle. I know class struggle and the fight for liberation from poverty and capitalism and the brutal domination inflicted on the poor. I know what a debtors prison was. I know who the Tolpuddle Martyrs were. Do you?

I know the history of the lesbians and gays who stood side by side with miners against the Tory shero. I know the white working class men who will call my brother a fag but take a beating from the police in his place. These men call Tory shero a cunt too and you know I am alienated for calling them on it but you know I do and I will continue to.

I know of the black liberationists who listened to CLR James speak of race and class together. Of the black queers who came out so strong as both black and queer. Audrey Lorde’s black, lesbian, proudly political self gives me life every time I read her words.

I know all about the queens and dykes and trannies who reclaimed such words and were brutalised by the police at stonewall. I know a shit ton of them were not white and if alive today may identify as trans*

I know older lesbians in my own town who have little blood family because of how things were when they came out. Some never had kids and now enjoy older lesbians network as a female space for those older women who have always loved women, back when it wasn’t ok to marry, when they were scorned, threatened and attacked constantly. They need to be able to be together with likeminded women. And Greer speaking out like this means your attacks fall on Greer and not on the isolated older women with a little social circle who don’t want men in their 60s who still have a penis, who built careers, married wives, fathered children coming to their space to tell them what woman means.

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A letter to my brothers.

My Sister is correct and entitled to her space and her voice. And you have no right as a male to call a female a cunt. That is misogyny Brother and you know it is. I don’t give a shit how you like to wear dresses and fake tits at parties, how we share much in common as rape survivors, how as a gay man you face oppression. You know I know this.

You also know you will never know the unique oppression I as a member of the cunt owning sex class female face. The indignity of my treatment as a female labouring to give birth to another female. The woman hating inherent right to the core of every institution, yes even our beloved NHS who treat women like cows birthing calves to be stabbed, cut, prodded and ignored. Being female isn’t a choice, it is something we are born as.

Yes one is not born a woman but one is made a woman as de Beauvoir rightly points out but being female is our truth. How as females we are made into women is the problem because of what “woman” is synonymous with. The bottom of the hierarchy of gender.

When males cannot live in a world of such gendered lives, such segregation, such toxic masculinity that they suffer dysmorphia and must transition to live rather than merely survive let me tell you no feminist I know seeks to deny them their freedom.

However they are not women. They are trans women. The adjective if you want to have the space and see it as a descriptor of a type of woman or the prefix if you are brave enough to use transwomen without the space matters. It represents their unique identity and their journey to living socially and wherever possible being seen and treated as women. It also recognises that despite a million comments using the girls like us hashtag these women were not girls like “us”.

Us being women born female, raised as girls in patriarchy and living as women. They were unique children facing their struggle because of a world that doesn’t recognise the full humanity of both women and men, that sees the hyper feminine submissive as who I am and the hyper masculine dominant as who you are despite this likely being bollocks for 99% of the world whatever their sex at birth.

Brother you ought to think hard on this. Make space for the voices of the L and the female B in your rainbow. We have our truth too.

Smoking your cigarettes, drinking your brandy. Messing up the bed that you chose together

I am a socialist feminist. In that order. This is because I am a working class woman. Also in that order.

I have been a socialist since I was old enough to understand that I was poor and not everybody else was.

I have been a woman since a dirty fucker flashed his flaccid penis and grey hairy sagging balls at me. When I was in my school uniform. So as a girl child I felt like being a girl is over now for me, best crack on and act like a grown up fairly sharpish.

I have been a feminist since I thought well this shit isn’t on. My brother and me cousins and me mates don’t have this shit on top of everything else we all have.

Working class women fight. We organise. We agitate. We do it for our communities, our families. We often do it seemingly for men. It is not new to us. We know why we fight. Putting the “feminism” on hold for the sake of class struggle is standard. We’ll get to that woman stuff after the revolution or what have you. You all know the type of comrade. Doesn’t mean the work being done isn’t for and about and often times led by women. We know.

Though our sisters don’t always. They fight for women. They are feminists. They are even radical feminists. Or they are intersectional feminists. Or they are Black feminists. Or they are anarcho-feminists. I could go on. And we all agree on fighting for women. We don’t agree always on what a woman is, or how to fight for them. But we fight.

And fighting is hard. And organising is hard. And surviving is hard.

I took the decision many many moons ago to fight what I needed to fight as myself. Not as part of myself with people who have that one part in common. As myself.

Today my very good friend Monica said to me (and she has said this before) that people keep telling her I am scary. That they can’t fathom working with me because they can’t even bare to read the things I write online. It’s just too aggressive. And she is always puzzled when this happens (and she very kindly told me it has happened more than once from different people). So she went back to read some things. And being originally from Yorkshire much of it didn’t bother her though she does understand that in actual fact it is scary for some people who aren’t used to this way of speaking and conducting oneself. So being both kind and wise she asked me a question. If you understand that people say these things and it doesn’t cause you to want to change I would like to know why. Is it because you can’t change or is it a point of principle. I have always found that the wisest people ask the most sensible of questions.

Of course it is a point of principle.

I grew up poor, female and angry. Angry but clever. I knew how to please people. How to be good. How to be smart. How to get good grades. How to make boys like me and girls want to be my friend. And it all worked out very nicely thank you. I got the highest SAT scores in my rough working class inner city primary. I got a place at a good church school. I got into all the top sets and got all the top grades. And all my friends were segregated from me. My clever, wonderful, hard working and massively insightful female friends were not where I was. Instead I was with articulate and studious and quiet girls. And confident, outspoken, clever boys.

And then I dyed my hair pink and got into a lengthy discussion with faculty about why making a statement with your hair instead of your intellect isn’t ok (yeah actually it’s totally fine). So when the pink faded back to blonde I shaved it off.

I was young, female and free. Because I looked like a boy. In my football shirt and jeans with my bald head I looked like a small, skinny working class lad. I became involved in youth politics, I went to an international youth summer camp in Germany. I met with councillors and politicians and I helped shape summer programs for working class kids. And I did it with other working class kids.

And within 9 months of this I went crazy. Bat shit crazy. Because as my hair grew back and my schoolwork became important again (passing without working was very possible but very frowned upon) I was juggling being working class with being someone who mattered. And you cannot be both. You must be articulate. You must be polite. You must even be respectful about Ken sodding Clarke.

If I as a child can understand the multiple layers of fuckeries within this charade I’m quite certain the women who are ALWAYS being victimised by angry and difficult women can. They choose not to. I choose to say fuck you. Like it or lump it. Just don’t ever come to me preaching sisterhood or solidarity. These women wouldn’t know the meaning of the word solidarity if they were hit round the head with a solidarity shaped frying pan.

And men who want to be siblings in the struggle for gender equality? Jog on lad. I’ve no time for you till you acknowledge that fundamental truth. Women are people. It really is that simple.