DORI MONSON

Women’s group says Seattle Public Library protests belong in ’19th century’

Feb 4, 2020, 6:02 PM
Seattle Public Library...
The library board of trustees unanimously rejected a name and logo change Wednesday evening after $365,000 in private funds were spent. (AP)
(AP)

A self-proclaimed radical feminist organization received push-back from trans rights groups after a recent Seattle Public Library event– but the all-female organization says that it was the protesters who were acting in a discriminatory manner.

On Saturday, the Women’s Liberation Front hosted an event at the downtown branch of the library titled, “Fighting the New Misogyny: A Feminist Critique of Gender Identity.”

“We stand unapologetically for the rights, privacy, and safety of women and girls,” Kara Danksy, a member of the WoLF Board of Directors, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.

The group advocates for reproductive rights, an end to pornography and prostitution, and the abolition of gender.

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

“Gender is a caste system that exists in order to keep women and girls in our place, and we call for the total abolition of gender,” Dasnky said.

She explained that “gender” means certain stereotypes, such as girls preferring pink and boys preferring blue, or women being nurturing and men being aggressive.

“We think that they have no place in contemporary society,” she said.

Controversy over Seattle Public Library event

Opponents of WoLF took to the sidewalk outside of the Seattle Public Library on Saturday afternoon to protest what they called an event for “transphobic hate speakers.”

WoLF believes that “men are male and women are female,” according to Dansky.

“A man who says he is a woman is still a man,” she said.

Some protesters on Saturday called WoLF members “TERFs,” an acronym WoLF considers derogatory that stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”  Dansky noted that the accusation of “TERF” is “typically accompanied by threats of rape and death.”

Crowd members, including Antifa members, made threats of violence against event attendees and even used physical intimidation — one woman was shoved by a protester.

“We are women who simply wanted to assemble and speak about women’s rights,” Dansky said. “That’s it, that’s all we wanted to do. And we were told that that was hateful.”

Dansky pointed out that the optics of an all-female group having its voices quashed, especially in such a physical way, resemble the struggles the suffragettes faced in the 1800s.

“We are a women’s organization having an event to talk about the right of women to speak with and for women. Our opponents are saying that we do not have the right to speak as women,” Dansky said. “If you’re talking about men who self-identify as women, the arguments that they are making are extraordinarily regressive, and take us back to 19th-century men’s rights activists’ arguments — that women do not have the right to speak.”

While Dansky has always been a Democrat, she has found common ground with women on the right who firmly believe in female rights.

“We agree on a couple things, one of which is that women should have the right to assemble and speak, as all Americans do,” she said. “And the fact that the Seattle Public Library stood up for that means that they should be absolutely applauded. And the men who were protesting outside the library don’t think that women ought to have that right — and that should be very troubling.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Women’s group says Seattle Public Library protests belong in ’19th century’