Some of you may have noticed the news and blogposts that have been popping up about the RadFem 2012 conference in London. I have avoided posting about it before because there were plenty who did, and I don’t like to give outspoken bigotry too much attention.
However I am writing about it now because some good news have come to my attention. The owners of the venue where the conference were to be held have released a statement explaining why they won’t let the conference take place in their venue.
In consultation with the organisers of RadFem 2012 and our legal advisors, Conway Hall has decided not to allow the booking in July 2012 to proceed. This is because it does not conform to our Terms and Conditions for hiring rooms at Conway Hall. In addition, we are not satisfied it conforms with the Equality Act (2010), or reflects our ethos regarding issues of discrimination.
The full statement is available here: Statement Regarding RadFem 2012
The original conference description explained that they would only allow “women born women, living as women” to attend. Taking the phrase at face value immediately raise the question how someone can be born a woman. Human beings are born babies. They have no concept of gender until a couple of years into their lives at best. The phrase is nothing more than a pseudo-logical attempt at discrimination against all trans people (men and women) without spelling it out. They have known transphobic speakers lined up, and I’ve interacted with some of their sympathisers on Twitter and gotten some very hateful and bigoted replies.
The trans community’s response to RadFem 2012 is not about wanting to join the conference any more than I assume people of colour would want to join the KKK, but it is about standing up against hate-speech; and this time it seems to have worked.
Feminism is about equality and rights for all women. These people defile it with their bigotry.
For a response to the RadFem 2012 organisers, read this exscellent post on the F word: