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Self-proclaimed radical feminist group WoLF says event ban would be discrimination

The Seattle Public Library. (AP)

The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), a national all-female group that refers to itself as made up of “unapologetically radical feminists,” is drawing ire from some Seattleites over a coming appearance at the downtown branch of the Seattle Public Library.

The group is scheduled to speak Feb. 1 at an event called “Fighting the New Misogyny | A Feminist Critique of Gender Identity.” Opponents claim that the talk will include language that discriminates against and excludes trans individuals, in particular people whose biological sex at birth was male but who identify as female.

WoLF’s Statement of Principles includes the following beliefs:

– That female humans, the class of people called women, are oppressed by men under a male-supremacist system called patriarchy.

– That patriarchy is organized around the extraction of resources from female bodies and minds in the service of men, including reproductive, sexual, emotional, and labor resources.

– That gender is a hierarchical caste system that organizes male supremacy. Gender cannot be reformed – it must be abolished.

– That we are enmeshed in overlapping systems of sadistic power built on misogyny, white privilege, stolen wealth, and human supremacism, and all of those must be dismantled.

“What is considered mainstream feminism today deviates quite a bit from our statement of principles,” said Kara Dansky, who sits on the WoLF Board of Directors. “We believe very much in protecting the rights, privacy, and safety of women and girls — and that includes, for example, protecting women from prostitution, and trafficking in the sex trade, and protecting women-only spaces.”

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She stated firmly that the group is in no way anti-male, but rather is anti-patriarchy.

“Standing up for the rights, privacy, and safety of women and girls is not anti-male … It has to do with the system of structural oppression that prioritizes the needs and interests of men over the needs and interests of women,” she said. “At WoLF, we are interested in tearing down that structure of oppression.”

WoLF and the trans movement

As part of this philosophy, WoLF advocates against allowing people who were born as biological males but who identify as females to share bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams with biological females.

“It does not make any sense that we should have men and boys in women’s sports at all, let alone in women’s locker rooms and changing rooms,” Dansky said. “That’s just absurd.”

WoLF members refuse to call someone a gender that is different from the sex they were born with.

“Men are male, women are female,” Dansky said. “It’s not complicated.”

Dansky and the other members of WoLF find that “gender identity ideology is politically regressive” because it reduces females to people who dress and style their hair a certain way, act in certain ways, like certain things, and have certain qualities.

“We want to fight that — we absolutely think that people should be able to dress and behave however they want to, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else, and we are absolutely in favor of eliminating sex-based stereotypes in the employment context and in any context,” she said. “But we don’t think that a person who likes pink and likes sparkly things and has long hair is necessarily female.”

If the group is indeed prohibited from speaking at the library on Feb. 1, Dansky said they are open to taking other forms of recourse.

“We have a First Amendment right to gather, assemble, and speak at the Seattle Public Library, and we intend to do that,” she said.

Trans rights advocates decry WoLF as a discriminatory organization, but Dansky said that the real discrimination will come if they are banned from holding the event.

“Women are being told that we are not allowed to assemble and speak,” she said. “This is one of the most sexist, misogynistic, and, I would add, homophobic movements that our society has seen in a long time … It’s not possible to protect same-sex couples if you can’t acknowledge the reality of biological sex, and we are very interested in protecting the rights and safety of same-sex couples.”

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