Sunday, August 23, 2015

Confronting Sexism on the Left (SOAPBOX PODCAST 8/23)

AUGUST 23, 2015


 This is one of my personally favorite discussions since I started The Soapbox.

I invited these three friends on The Soapbox after they wrote a LETTER to the organization Veterans for Peace asking for clarifications after VFP made a public STATEMENT about transgender. Almost immediately, after I wrote a message of support for the quest of Cheryl, Lisa, and Anita, I was attacked with much vitriol as you will hear in the show.

This is a discussion about radical feminism, queer theory, male supremacy, sexism, transgender politics, sexual assault in the military, and safe spaces for all. 


As a woman Veteran and a survivor of military sexual assault I am disappointed that Veterans for Peace is refusing to provide a safe place for biological women Veterans. Women Veterans deserve to have their voices and concerns heard. We also need a safe space just for us to help us connect with other biological women veterans that went through similar experiences while serving our nation. 

I was one of the Veterans that helped write the letter but due to fear of retaliation and abuse from those at VFP who are opposed to a safe space for biological women Veterans only I am choosing to remain anonymous. Veterans for Peace seems to care about creating Peace for everybody other than those in their organization who are biological women.

I'm a VfP member. I'm a man who supports, strongly, for a very long time women-determined spaces, for women.

All of us who are war veterans are unwilling participants in male driven wars, all of which , at their most fundamental, are directed at women, their ideas, requirements, desires.  The rest is just excuses and looting.
The fact VfP folded in front of the demands of a small "vanguard" clique once again pushing mens agendas so easily, while resisting for decades the requests of many VfP women and men speaks volumes.... another attack on women's autonomy, spaces, legitimate desires. If you are going to be another combatant in the war on womankind, i'm out. 

Another member of VFP (confirmed)

My name is William Clark. I am a retired Marine Sgt. and a member of Veterans For Peace, The Winter Soldier Chapter, Phoenix, AZ. This is an issue most men and most male dominated organizations would prefer to ignore. Personally, I wish the issue would just go away--- but it won't--- not in my lifetime. Year after year, decade after decade, century after century, women have been subjugated by male dominated societies and institutions. I'm a male and part of the problem. I'm working on it, not sure I'll ever change completely- but I'm trying. Veterans For Peace need to address this issue--- now. As long as they sidestep it... they are a part of problem as much as anyone or anything else and will continue to be. I am embarrassed by VFP's neglect concerning this issue. I am proud of the work of the Women's .Alliance and support their efforts. I hope the VFP, an organization I am, in all other regards, proud to be a member of will address this issue.

From a female veteran we know who at one point considered joining VFP:I never became a member of VFP due to problems I had seen in a local chapter. I had heard misogynistic remarks made by some members which also did not make me feel very welcome, especially when I think of why I left the military. It just was not an environment I ever felt completely comfortable with. Having said that, I do think there are some individual members that do good and needed work. Thank you for sharing and taking a brave stand for women.

Thank you so much for bravely entering this fractious arena. I support this letter and I support safety for everyone. Ellen Barfield



  1. Great program ... thanks Cindy! :)

  2. I am a cis woman and support trans women. I am disappointed to see that you support this transphobia, Cindy. You are on the wrong side of history. Remember, "feminists" tried to kick lesbians out of the movement, too.

    1. Hi Rogue, were you able to listen to the program? What specifically about calling out leftist misogyny sounds to you like a "phobia"? I heard women speaking truths about their lives, but it sounds like you want to silence them using false analogies and name calling rather than dialogue.


    2. I can't believe what I'm hearing. Did I hear someone say in relation to transwomen: "Born males still contain that violence". In other words, MtF transwomen cannot escape the "inherent male violence" because they were born biologically male? Talk about reinforcing gender stereotypes.

    3. Right??? because trans people are totally innocent and have no agenda but for their civil rights and yet women are being forced with even a fucking conversation as to what trans are asking for and the affects it will have on women (No prefix necessary).

    4. What a ridiculous reply. You realise there must be about 1 million trans women in the world of 7 billion. You really think that they are trying to take over the women's movement and "infiltrate"? They are flat out dealing with the transphobia, their transitioning, and the bathroom nonsense. Get a grip.

  3. I fully support spaces for women only. Kick ass sisters!

  4. Thank you, Cindy,, Cheryl, Lisa, and Anita for saying what needs to be said and what so many women are afraid to say, I am also a gender abolitionist. Your courage is inspiring me to write a blog post on this subject. What's happening is unbelievable and frightening. I was recently disinvited from a feminist writers group because I do not accept transgender males as female. We women are half the world's population, and none of us is a male. I'm so sick of hearing that "some women have penises." The introduction of autogynephilic males into female spaces is a patriarchal Trojan Horse.

  5. Yes, please abolish gender. Those of us who have always just been ourselves, be it superfeminen one day and ms. macho the next, will appreciate it. As a peace movement drop out after becoming fed up with years of sexism - including double standards supporting males who abuse women and children while crucifying women who complain about it - we need more such voices. One of these days I may even come back!!

  6. Update. Just saw on Veterans 4 Peace facebook page they had 30 women in the Womens' Caucus at the Veterans annual conference this year. Yeah! Reporter 8/13/16

  7. I agree that defining women by their biology is very important (rather than by the subservient outdated socially accepted stereotype of the past that women are trying to transcend). Trans gender men who identify as Barbie doll looking subservient hypersexualized females are not displaying biological women behavior but just reflecting the degrading shackling vision of what power tripping sexists men wish women to be. The same can be said of Trans gender females identifying as men following an old fashioned limiting stereotype of what a man should be. However how can you call violence carried out by men as “male pattern violence” instead of “male programmed violence” and not say that it is a stereotype and programming from society. The mothering hormone gives women the nurturing feelings after she gives birth ( however sometimes that goes awry). There are many nurturing men out there though. I am a nurse and have worked with countless male nurses through the years. Some of them were a million times more nurturing than many women I know. Military training seeks to eliminate a persons barriers to violence and promotes it. It you accept that men are inherently violent then how in God’s earth are women ever going to be safe in the military with men. Most of the times biologically men will overpower a women unless techniques or weapons are involved. I can’t understand why any women let alone man would want to join the military knowing that these are wars for profits and that they will be killing innocent women, children, men —to begin with.


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