Female-Only Spaces


Female: We respect trans women as women, but they are not female. Females have a right to organize as females, apart from trans women. Females suffer because of our female biology, which is used to keep us second class worldwide. So, we have issues we care about as females. Perhaps we can work together at other times on issues where we have solidarity of interest on issues we both care about. We appreciate that we can have this time.

Trans Woman: I totally respect that. There are times when trans women also wish to meet separately from females. Have a good conference.


Female: We respect trans women as women, but they are not female. Females have a right to organize as femalesapart from trans women. Females suffer because of our female biology, which is used to keep us second class worldwide. So, we have issues we care about as females. Perhaps we can work together at other times on issues where we have solidarity of interest on issues we both care about. We appreciate that we can have this time.

Trans Woman: Die in a fire. YOU ARE unfuckable AND A Dinosaur AND A bigot..

Trans Women, We Ask You For Respect. When You Don’t Give It, You Won’t Get It.


  1. RoseVerbena · ·

    Got it in one. This is exactly how they react. I’m convinced that it’s all part of the same metal disorder (currently called GID in the DSM) that makes them react this way to anyone who DARES to challenge their fragile delusion that they are “real women”. When I’m not pissed off at their rude, violent, hateful behavior, I can step back and feel truly sorry for them. Hating your own body must be a miserable experience. But they are truly endangering, threatening and harming women. We have too much at stake to surrender to their outrageous temper tantrums and odious attention-seeking behavior.

  2. erm, I’m not a trans woman and I was shocked that the radfem conference was excluding them… as far as I can tell I’m far from alone in that. I’ve been a feminist for 2 decades and fight for all women. women are oppressed in multiple ways including because of their race, age, social class, impairment/(dis)ability and cis/trans status. Excluding women who are oppressed and marginalised in wider society for any of those, or other, intersectionalities is not acceptable. fighting oppression is why I’m a feminist. why are you surprised that those of us motivated by that would also target oppression within the feminist movement?

    1. It is not oppressive for females to create their own space. It is survival. You are doing feminism wrong. Try this http://bugbrennan.com/2012/01/05/females-first/

    2. Reality · ·

      You need a reality check, if you were “shocked” by this. Also a review of feminist history. Sorry to be so blunt but that’s how it is.

      1. SHOCKING! The radfems care about …. FEMALES.

  3. I totally agree with you.

    I also wonder if engaging the opress-o-meter is a slippery slope. Female: We suffer because of our biology. Trans: No, we suffer harder from ours. Female: No, we do. Trans: No we do.

    When I go to women-only events it is to celebrate, network, discuss, stragegize, meet up with old friends, make new ones etc. And sometimes I want to do that with people who have been female all their lives. Sometimes I don’t care. But when I do care, or when other women/females care, I respect and encourage the opportunity to hang out in our own spaces. Not because we are “more oppressed” but because we have more of the same things in common that pertain to that gathering and we just like it that way. If some don’t like it, obviously the event is not appropriate for them and they can stay away.

    It’s not like we are creating policy, or making laws. It’s not congress, or even a gathering of power-brokers. It’s just a bunch of old broads getting together for a couple of days.

    Call it a hags weekend. Call a celebration for having negotiated the path of girlhood. Call it a menstrual fest. Call it an ovary party. Call it an xx gathering. Call it whatever.

    Not everyone gets invited to every party. It’s not kindergarten.

    The solution? Not sure. But I’m fairly sure that we will never win the oppression olympics.

    1. I agree with you. It is enough for females to say “we need space.” That should be enough.

      1. Yisheng Qingwa · ·


    2. Reality · ·

      “Call it a hags weekend. Call a celebration for having negotiated the path of girlhood. Call it a menstrual fest. Call it an ovary party. Call it an xx gathering. Call it whatever.”

      Sadly none of these things work. They even get mad at not being invited to talk about periods. That’s “cissexist” and done only to leave them out, you know. Biology is cissexist! And they were girls too, just ask them! The stupid and crazy never ends. I’m tired of being kind about it. You can’t negotiate with people this delusional.

      1. I guess we have to say, “We’re just not that into you.” And leave it at that.

      2. Wouldn’t that be good, if we could say that and be listened to? Imagine!

  4. Mary Sunshine · ·

    When males lay siege to a population, the word “respect” does not apply. Males respect nothing but male power.

    Have we not learned by now that male power will never protect females? Have we not learned by now that the murderous motives, and urges, and nature of the male will never change?

    Blandishments make us feel better but do not budge the beast.

    1. welcome to the hotel california

  5. “Female: We respect trans women as women, but they are not female
    . Females have a
    right to organize as females”

    This is a contradiction. By your actions, it is proven to be a lie.

    1. No, there are plenty of trans women who don’t inject themselves into this debate and assume that they are the asshole misogynists we target. Because they aren’t.
      You are the asshole misogynist we target, I am guessing.

  6. Labryis sharpened to my dying day, and beyond…I will support Female Only spaces, first and foremost. Female only spaces are Sacred. Just saw it all in action, at a Dyke workshop last weekend and one male crashed the space, nobody was gonna evict him from it, I guess in the hope of ‘education’ and he kept getting up, drawing attention to himself and jerking his hand up and down, till finally I said “Let the women talk, let the women talk!” He caused a whole bunch of chaos and of course was ‘accomodated’ by some, not by others of us. I don’t think he knew he was getting into by landing in a roomful of Dykes, NOT straight women, and that we wouldn’t put up with his sexist bullshit and constantly drawing attention to himself, saying such stupid shit as ‘well what if you don’t have a sexual orientation?” when we’re talking about our experiences on the job AS Dykes and AS women, as BOTH! And that ‘if you just ignore what everybody else says against you and do your job 10 times better than everybody else, you’ll be just fine”(women and Lesbians have to work 2-3, 10x harder to keep a job in a nontraditional field than ordinary men who get to just put on their 8 hours and stay on). And other more ignorant stuff.

    Just one man, or one male born can ruin a woman only space, cuz they don’t just sit down, shut up and ACTIVELY LISTEN to us and what we are saying amongst ourselves……they ALWAYS have to take over and draw attention to themselves and TELL US WHAT TO DO! Damn, that fucking workshop drained me, and pissed me off so fucking bad! The name of it was “Gay in the Trades” but being a Tradeswomen conference, meant really “Lesbians in the Trades”.


  7. Here’s another thought, I saw in action last weekend. I saw the ironworker women with a tshirt on that said “Ironworker Bitches”. I liked it and hated it at the same time. These women REALLY HAD immense solidarity and strength with each other. The shit they dealt with, the kind of men they have to work with, male ironworkers, beyond sexist, is all I’ll say…..and only 1% of the ironworker workforce, plus the extreme danger of their field, climbing the iron with immense drops below them, puts the rest of the construction worker world into the field of sissy wimps(in comparison), or on the other hand extreme testosterone poisoning…..

    So I ASKED THEM! “How come you wear “Iron Worker Bitches” on your shirts? If a dude called me that, I’d be offended, it would DEPEND who called me that.” She said “WE designed these shirts, we refer to ourselves as Ironworker Bitches, BECAUSE WE RUN IN A PACK! And when we do, they don’t mess with us!” I said, “Oh, like a pack of wolves!” So, I LIKE this concept. If Lesbians DID run like a pack of wolves(as straight folks always THINK we do) or like the DykeAMazons some of us are, I really saw that primitive form of Amazon Sisterhood this weekend, amongst these Ironworker women, and some of the other groups of women…but especially them….that you DON’T MESS WITH US. And that we KEEP this solidarity, in a REAL Sisterhood way.

  8. Awesomely said FeistyAmazon!

    Cathy, great post! I loved and lol’d at the pic, you have a great way with words and imagery. I was just having this conversation with a fb transman friend of mine, about feminism, safe spaces and violence, so I paste below what I said:
    I like what you said in your reply, especially the part about focusing on our similarities over differences, though I also feel like the differences that cause confusion, anger and pain need to be understood to get worked out. Surviving violence begs safety and boundaries, and everyone has different thresholds. When someone feels unsafe around someone else, then shouldn’t we, as you say, “respectively go to our separate spaces while still holding room for that shared space”? Everyone is entitled to a safe space to heal from trauma, and though the umbrella of violence is shared between cis and trans ppl, unfortunately our anatomies strongly shape our different socializations that then impact our experiences of the violence. i.e. Same but different. Trans communities seem big and vibrant with lots of networking going on, there’s gotta be some trauma support groups happening, though clearly not enough when hearing about each trans suicide, such as a bigtime community activist and educator transguy Kyle Scanlon here in Toronto who killed himself last week. This is horrible. I am in the process of trying to land a student placement to complete my therapy degree; I’m hoping I get into an LGBT org. I had applied to the same org that Kyle worked at but was told they don’t do practicums! [due to lack of resources.]

    How has your past violence impacted your current reality? As a transmasculine person, what kind of space do you need for healing?
    Question: approx. how many transwomen are we talking about who blatantly and violently boundary trample?


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