Misogyny in the family courts

Dr Jessica Taylor

21/09/2020

Everyone who works with women who have been subjected to domestic abuse, or children who have been subjected to sexual abuse, will know how volatile, unpredictable and misogynistic our family court system can be.

I am going to use this space to explore some of the most common narratives and problems that arise for women and girls in the family courts, and I encourage all professionals working in this field to consider what will be presented here. It won’t be comfortable reading, and I fully expect people to try to tell me that these cases aren’t real, and this isn’t happening.

Each year, thousands of women write to me about their terrifying experiences of the family court system. Despite every woman being an individual, and residing everywhere from Essex to Sydney, the story is the same.

And if I have learned anything from working with and for women in need in the last ten years, it’s to watch out for patterns, especially when they span countries, languages and cultures.

As it happens, the way women and girls are pathologised in the family court systems is one of those patterns, and one that worries me greatly. I am, thankfully, not the only person to notice this or to be fighting against this, and recently the UK family court system has been lobbied to commit to reform and exploration of its practices. Campaigns by feminist activists such as #thecourtsaid have repeatedly highlighted the dangerous and abusive decisions of the family courts.

In this blog, I will highlight the most common issues that women are facing and how they are used to create an adversarial, misogynistic system that disbelieves, gaslights and destroys women step by step.

Believe me when I say that this is starting to look like a blueprint. I have been talking with women from around the world recently, and their cases are almost identical. The tactics and language used are the same. The injustices are the same and the risks to children are the same.

I hope by writing this, that more women will become aware of how common this is, and process the trauma, guilt and blame of these distressing court cases.

Women who report abuse are quickly reframed as crazy, jealous exes

Every single report I have read so far has either directly or indirectly described mum as emotionally unstable, jealous of new partners, delusional or has issues with the ex that they seem to be taking out by manipulating the court process or by coaching their children.

Reports seem to read that when women start new relationships after divorce or relationship breakdown, they are unstable and promiscuous, but when the male ex starts a new relationship, it’s taken as evidence that he is stable and settled down.

Often, women face an assumption that they are in the family court system because they are angry that their abusive ex has a new partner. Every woman I’ve spoken with so far has barely even mentioned the new partner, and indeed in some cases, I couldn’t even tell you if there was one. And yet, the way they are being portrayed is that they can’t let go of their ex, and that the court case is a waste of everyone’s time, because she cannot accept the end of the relationship.

What is interesting about this, is that in all of the cases I have discussed this year with women, the woman actually ended the relationship and left due to abuse. Some went to refuges, some went to family, some found other accommodation. All of them left because they realised they were being abused, or because their children disclosed sexual abuse.

None of them want to be with their ex, but it’s amazing how credible male ex boyfriends and husbands seem to be, when they accuse the woman of being ‘jealous’ that he’s moved on. Mud sticks, and professionals around her soon begin to make comments or write reports which include these inaccurate assumptions. This is particularly dangerous where children have disclosed abuse, and then the family court hearings become more and more focused on mum’s ‘agenda’ and ‘motivation’ instead of what the children have said.

No one seems to be taking young girls seriously when they disclose sexual abuse

The way that young girls are being dismissed by professionals ranging from social workers to paediatricians is worrying me greatly, and is the motivation behind this blog post.

The first thing that seems to happen is that the girl discloses randomly, during play or non-related conversation about something that a (usually) male family member has done to her.

Language is usually infantile and mixed up. This is completely normal. The girl describes the abuse in a way that would be clear to any experienced professional that there is something seriously wrong.

Examples include:

⁃ Daddy pokes me in my privates and my bum

⁃ Daddy checks my vagina all the time

⁃ Daddy takes pictures of my bum

⁃ I don’t like it when the yoghurt comes out of dad’s wee thing

As you can see, these real examples clearly show that the child is not coached or influenced. Some children draw pictures of their abuse or of male genitals. Some children write stories or poems about abuse and rape.

In addition to these clear signs of abuse, we also see girls with injuries and genital irritation such as scratches, marks, itching, soreness and spots. Even when this is happening, mothers are being told that it’s normal and that there is no need for tests or examinations.

This completely ignores all of our evidence base in child sexual abuse, which clearly states that these disclosures plus any kind of physical symptoms in small children are clear signs of sexual abuse.

So why are these signs and disclosures from girls being ignored in the family courts? Why are professionals suggesting that girls are making this up, or don’t know what they are talking about? Why are we so sure that she isn’t being abused, that we will continue contact with sexually abusive parents and ignore her disclosures?

This is the opposite of all of our safeguarding evidence and policies. What is the point of having these policies and child safeguarding legislation if we then ignore it during hearings and investigations?

Character assassination is par for the course; and no one seems to care

Reports and hearings often become obsessed with the character assassination of the mother – and become less and less focussed on the well-being and disclosures of the children.

This is something I’ve noticed more and more over the last few years, and now seems commonplace.

Even where children have disclosed and reported to the police, the reports become about the fact that mum was abused as a child or is on benefits. It has absolutely nothing to do with the abuse of the children, any yet the mum of the children finds herself defending her life choices, childhood, personality and background whilst trying to get everyone to re-focus on the disclosures made by the children.

When this happens, the hearings start to become an adversarial process about which parent is ‘telling the truth’, and which is ‘credible’ – rather than addressing the fact that a child has repeatedly described sexual abuse.

There’s a lot of dodgy psychiatry and psychology going on, with no real process to challenge poor practice

It concerns me how many women are diagnosed or labelled with disorders and psychiatric conditions after meeting a psychologist for 2 hours during an assessment. I have read several reports in which women have been labelled, accused and diagnosed after one short interview, whilst they were under severe stress and worrying about their child being abused.

Despite this, these reports are taken seriously and can be used to make important decisions.

As an example, one woman had reported that her child was disclosing abuse by dad, and so they were all assessed. On the psychometrics and assessment, the mum and dad scored the same, but mum was diagnosed and labelled, whereas dad received a glowing report. Interestingly, I noticed that on one subscale created to detect social desirable responding (where people ‘fake good’), the Dad (who was accused of sexually abusing children) scored much higher than the mum, but mum was accused of faking good with the psychologist and Dad was described as friendly and stable.

It was as if the scales were being completely ignored whilst the psychologist wrote a biased report based purely on their own opinion. When this was challenged, mum was accused of being delusional and emotionally unstable. The more mum protested, the more it was used against her to ‘prove’ she was unstable.

In short, mum was trapped. The more she criticised the report, the more she was pathologised using shitty psychology and psychiatry.

This example seems to be common, and I’ve come across similar cases over and over again. It worries me how little time is used to ‘assess’ the family, and the kind of comments that seem to be acceptable.

I’ve read some reports that are nothing short of libel, based on absolutely nothing and are difficult to get overturned or corrected. Conversely, I’ve read reports about Dad, whom the child has disclosed is sexually abusing them, in which they are described as nothing short of a saint among men. It’s very disconcerting reading the reports about a family, in which a fellow professional has written such a biased report, and the disclosures of the child have been almost completely dismissed.

Further, judges have been found to make awful comments, including one who argued that a woman whose daughter had disclosed repeated sexual abuse by her dad, was accused over being overprotective of her daughter because she had historical miscarriages over a decade earlier.

It raises the question of who regulates and manages these hearings and processes, and what rights do women have to challenge and change inaccurate, misogynistic and biased comments, judgments and reports.

Parental alienation seems to be the trump card for abusive men

Not just confined to the depths of MRA twitter and Facebook groups, parental alienation is now being used frequently in cases where children have disclosed abuse.

Even in cases where children have clearly described sexual abuse by dad, the dad is able to argue that the mother is committed parental alienation by stopping the child from seeing him.

This is extremely problematic, especially as most people would agree that if a child has disclosed sexual abuse, the safest thing we can do is keep the child away from the potential abuser to instantly reduce the risk to the child. However, I have now spoken to several women who have been threatened with action, or accused of parental alienation, for stating that they will not allow their children to have unsupervised contact with a parent who the child is saying, has sexually assaulted or raped them.

Most of the women I spoke to were terrified of the accusation of parental alienation, and in cases where this had been used against mum, it often worked – and Dad was granted access even when the child was disclosing sexual assaults.

It is clear that real parental alienation does happen in some cases – but choosing to stop contact when a child spontaneously discloses serious sexual abuse is surely common sense, and not an act of parental alienation.

One woman I spoke to was threatened by a judge that if she didn’t support contact with her ex husband, (who had convictions for DV and the child was reporting had sexually abused her), that he would award full custody to Dad as a way to punish/control her.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this, either.

Something is seriously wrong with our system.

Evidence is not being gathered correctly or quickly enough when children are at risk from abuse

As if there were not enough issues already, one of the things that has really started to worry me over the last few years is how long children are being left after a series of serious disclosures without any interviews, examinations or referrals.

We already know that on average, children disclose 7 times before someone takes it seriously (according to an NSPCC, 2014 study).

However, I keep coming across cases in which children have disclosed sexual abuse and have even told adults that their genitals hurt – and no one has seen them for weeks, sometimes over a month.

Further than that, some children who disclose recent rape or sexual abuse have not been referred for tests or examination for several weeks, sometimes as long as two months, by which time all DNA evidence would be gone, and some injuries would arguably have healed.

This is counter to all of our knowledge and practice wisdom in child sexual abuse, and yet, it seems common when it comes to family court cases.

I have also come across poor practice in which children have disclosed serious sexual abuse, and the way we have dealt with it is to send uniformed officers into their houses, or taken children to police station evidence suites where the child has instantly stopped talking and has refused to speak about anything.

Rather than us acknowledging that our process has scared the child, we have then suggested that the child has not been abused or there is ‘no evidence’.

Even where parents have attempted to record their child’s disclosures in the moment, evidence is being ignored. Professionals are telling mums that they cannot do anything to protect children as young as 3 years old unless the child gives a full and specific disclosure of the sexual offences, which is also incorrect and does not align with safeguarding practice.

Decades of research evidence is being totally ignored

What this all amounts to, is that thousands of papers, reports and theories are being actively ignored in cases where women and girls disclose abuse.

Whether it’s evidence and theories about how to support children to disclose, or evidence based lists of symptoms and signs of sexual abuse – so much is being ignored.

Research clearly gives us lists of things to look out for in children who might be being sexually abused, and despite many of these signs being present in these cases, children are being ignored. Research also defines the different ways in which small children attempt to disclose abuse that they don’t understand, which ranges from verbal disclosures through to behavioural disclosures – and yet I have never read a report which includes this evidence base.

Research on offenders seems to be being ignored too. Men with previous convictions for sexual abuse or accessing child sexual abuse imagery have been given unsupervised access to children because professionals have argued that his own children are not at risk.

An example of this from around 2015 includes a man who had several convictions for sexual abuse of children online, and accessing child abuse imagery. A social worker approached me for advice because she was so concerned about his three children. Safeguarding concerns had been raised about the three small children, the youngest of which was 2 years old. Dad was known to download and hoard sexually abusive images of infants.

It baffled the social worker that the judge had argued that Dad was not a risk to his own children, but only to children on the Internet!

The judge had suggested that the children have locks on their bedroom doors and be given education about keeping themselves safe. Dad was given unsupervised access to the children.

I do think, having written this story out, that you need literally zero knowledge of safeguarding or sex offender research to know that this was a stupid decision which put the children at significant risk of sexual offences.

What is the point of academics, students. authorities and professionals conducting decades of research if we ignore all of it in real world application?

Final thoughts

I’m sorry that this blog is so negative and so concerning. I acknowledge that many professionals will feel wholly uncomfortable with such a critical view of family court systems around the world. It is not to say that all cases are like the ones discussed here, but it is my opinion that even one case this poor is a failure to protect children from abuse. One case is too many cases.

It is not acceptable for anyone to respond to this blog by suggesting that these cases are worst case scenarios, rare and therefore irrelevant. I am not hugely involved in this field (I am not a caseholder, I am not a lawyer, I am not a social worker), and yet I can give hundreds of real examples of this kind of practice towards women and girls in the family courts.

I wrote this blog for one main reason:

Women need to know that their case was not a one-off. They need to know that they are not to blame, and that they are one of thousands of women who have been labelled and gaslit in the family court system. So many women contact me to talk about their cases and experiences, and they have no idea that this happens to other women, too.

We need to raise awareness of the way women and girls are being treated – and then we need to work together to reform the family courts.

Dr Jessica Taylor

Femmes: Not feminist enough, not lesbian enough

Dr Jessica Taylor

I am deep in thought about the way I have been treated in the last several months, by women around me whom I respected, listened to, engaged with and spoke with. Whilst this blog could get very complex, the crux of the matter seems to be that I am consistently being criticised for not being feminist enough, and not being lesbian enough.

The first one is subjective, the second one is homophobia.

Having mulled it over for a couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a pattern that I want to flag up.

We have an issue with femme lesbians. And we have an issue with butch lesbians.

We have an issue with feminine presenting women.

We have an issue with feminists who are deemed ‘too feminine’ and ‘too butch’.

And whilst we are busy criticising individual women for their hair, makeup or bodies, we are completely ignoring systemic oppression of women, and societal contexts of that oppression. Instead, we become individualists, and target women we don’t agree with or don’t like, and rip into their character and appearance.

This isn’t feminism.

I want to give you some personal examples of this (and some I have witnessed happen to other women).

I have committed myself to radical feminism, and always will. I believe that women and girls are oppressed by their sex, globally. I believe we need liberation urgently. I have supported that cause by writing free materials, creating free courses, teaching, lecturing, influencing and doing everything in my power to push that goal. Specifically for me, I focus on supporting women and girls who have been subjected to male violence and trauma.

Despite my unwavering stance on this, and the fact that I have stood firm, lost jobs, commissioners, contracts, book deals, friends and colleagues – I am frequently accused of not being feminist enough by women who do very little for anyone else. Further, some women seem obsessed with how I look and what I can and can’t wear… which sounds like the type of misogyny I thought we were fighting against.

In 2018, I decided, terrified, to wear a bikini on holiday. I do not speak about this publicly, but I have struggled with body image and eating disorders since I was about 17 and it’s not something I speak on, or will ever speak on past this blog.

Only a couple of people in my life have any idea how severe this is, and for the most part, I keep it under control. Wearing a bikini, or shorts, or a vest top, or anything that exposes me, is a risky and terrifying move. I hate summer for that reason. I am constantly on edge. I love travelling and going on holiday, but I spend most of my time checking my body image and feeling anxious. I have to focus intently on the environment and the things we are doing so I can stop thinking about my body.

In 2018, I decided to challenge myself and not only did I wear a bikini, I took a pic of it when I was on the beach. I stared at it for days and then decided to upload it with the caption ‘How to get a bikini body: put a bikini on your body’. It went viral and I instantly regretted it.

The forbidden bikini pic

I obviously got a mixture of reactions – from disgusting comments to other women disclosing their own body image issues and thanking me for the image.

But the responses that perplexed me the most, were the feminists whom I worked alongside, who were posting vile comments about my body, my stretchmarks, my weight and suggesting I couldn’t be a feminist or a psychologist because I posted a pic of myself at the beach.

I received comments from radical feminists who told me that I was exposing myself and that I couldn’t do that, because I was supposed to be radfem.

One ‘feminist’ mocked me for having ‘fat knees’ and told me to do more squats. I argued with her but she wouldn’t budge, she told me I shouldn’t have posted the image if I didn’t want shitty comments about my fat legs. Sounds like victim blaming, but okay. Very feminist.

At the time, I brushed it off.

But it happened again.

In 2019, I made several videos as part of a free course I created for women and girls subjected to sexual violence. In the videos, I am wearing a white and navy full length wrap jumpsuit and a blue cardigan. The course has been accessed by over 40,000 people. On the week of launch, I received comments from a radical feminist whom I had always respected, saying, and I quote, “no one wants to see your ugly saggy tits on videos talking about sexual violence, you’re going to trigger survivors of sexual abuse”.

I was mortified, but also confused. The jumpsuit was a wrap design, but you couldn’t see my breasts. I went back and watched them.

This is a still from the video.

The offensive jumpsuit

I then received several milder comments from feminists who asked me why I felt the need to wear the jumpsuit in a video for survivors. They said it was ‘sexualising’.

I still don’t get it, to this day. But the judgment was pretty harmful for me, and I remember feeling like I had just spent weeks creating a free resource for people who really needed it, but all that was being talked about was my body. Again.

At the beginning of 2020, I started to notice more and more comments from radical feminists about my breasts, and my bra size. Comments about my body, what I wear, what I look like, my hair, my eyeliner. The same was said about my partner, Jaimi.

There was a rumbling of conversations that we were both too feminine, too sexualised, wearing the wrong clothes.

We found a thread in which 20-30 radical feminists (many of whom we knew) were making sexualised comments about our bodies, claiming we were fake lesbians, playing up to men, ‘take dick’, and more interestingly, that we were fake feminists and fake lesbians, because… we both have big breasts??

A set of comments in the thread were about imagining us being sexually intimate which were creepy as fuck.

One of the comments from a woman I had respected said that she couldn’t take anything me or Jaimi say seriously because every time she sees us, she imagines us talking and ‘then their tits just boing out of their tops and they act like they don’t want men to see them’.

It made us both feel creeped out. We do both have big breasts, and there’s fuck all we can do about that, but why would radical feminists be engaging in a thread that objectified our bodies?

Further, what seemed to be growing was a narrative of ‘well, if they don’t want to be sexualised, they shouldn’t wear those clothes!’

Which I’m sure we’ve heard… somewhere… before… hmmm

We’ve been together for around 18 months and been out only for 12 months. In those 12 months, we’ve been consistently shocked by how many radical feminists have accused us of faking our entire relationship, or being fake lesbians. The other frequent accusation is that we are ‘political lesbians’ – which neither of us are.

We didn’t feel we had to publicly explain our lives and sexualities, but as discussed on our podcast a few weeks back, we both knew we were attracted to girls from being very young. Jaimi was younger than me when she realised, but I was about 11. I had been involved with different girls from 11-16 but had never told anyone. I had other shit going on in my life and I wasn’t processing my sexuality. It took until I was much older to finally process it all. I haven’t made a choice to be gay, and nor has Jaimi.

Finally being able to live as lesbians has made us both physically and mentally healthier, more confident and calmer. We are visibly happier. Everyone around us says it.

There seems to be a real issue around what we look like, too. We’ve both been directly or indirectly accused of playing up to men because we appear feminine. It’s as if the only way to ‘be’ lesbian is to be butch.

I’ve been accused of ‘playing games with men’ because I mock men who send us disgusting messages. Yes, I do mock them. It helps me deal with the thousands of abusive messages I get. Mocking them is literally the only thing we have, sometimes. I report men to the police frequently for sending me threats and abuse and so far ZERO of them have been prosecuted. So yes, mock them I will.

Which brings me to another example which I witnessed a few months ago. This one does not involve me, but was a long thread which mocked two butch lesbians in our circles.

I was shocked to see radical feminists and so-called ‘gender critical’ women brutally mocking two butch lesbian radfems and claiming that they were probably men. The comments were appalling. Women I thought totally understood gender and misogyny were laughing about their short hair, their clothing, their styles and suggesting that they should just be put on testosterone.

I read whilst they placed metaphorical bets that butch lesbians would eventually all come out as identifying as men.

So, I’m too femme, and they are too butch?

Last month, Jaimi and I posted a drawing she had done of me. Again, I had the same anxiety around it because years on, my body image issues have gone absolutely nowhere. However, the drawing felt calm and peaceful. It felt like a representation of my body that I had never seen before, and for the first time in a very long time, I looked at that image and thought, “that’s actually okay.”

We had spent the week watching perseids which is the reason she drew the windows dark, with a large moon and two shooting stars. We had been driving into the countryside to find areas of dark sky to watch the meteors and it had been an epic week.

The drawing is based on a pic she took of me looking out across our garden. It’s not posed, it’s not sexy, it’s not anything really. It’s just an image of me looking out of the window.

The issue seems to be that I have high waisted short knickers on, which has caused several women to go into some sort of misogynistic meltdown in which I am now being accused (again) of not being a real feminist or a real lesbian.

This is now, at least the fourth time, where an image of me has been deliberately sexualised by women who claim to understand sexualisation.

My bikini pic was not sexual at all, but it was made out to be. My videos for sexual violence survivors were not sexual at all, but it was made out to be. My relationship with my best friend, and a woman I love intensely, is not sexualised or for men, but it is made out to be. The drawing Jaimi did of me has been made out to be sexual content, too.

The same ‘feminists’ who commented on the drawing of me claiming to be concerned about my ‘professionalism’ also made comments about my body, and claiming Jaimi didn’t ‘draw enough’ of my cellulite.

The same radfem women making these comments also engaged in yet another huge thread which included comments about my sexuality, my personal life, my weight, my body shape and what I was wearing.

Comments very clearly suggested (again) that if I didn’t want to receive criticism or sexual comments, I should cover my body up.

Now, where have we heard that?

Jaimi was upset by the suggestion that her art was ‘porn’ so she also shared it in her female-only art group with over five thousand established artists, and received a thousand positive comments. She asked about the nature of the drawing and asked if other female artists felt it was sexualising, and over 1000 women commented their thoughts underneath, not one said it was sexualising the woman in the drawing (me, but obviously, they don’t know that).

This interested me too, as the female artist group contains women who are radfem, libfem, and not feminist at all.

No one felt it was ‘porn’, except the the ‘feminists’ who were using it to try to humiliate me. Amazing, eh.

This escalated considerably recently where Jaimi and I were subjected to weeks of intermittent homophobic abuse from ‘feminists’. Lies have been spread about the age gap between me and Jaimi, which is only 7 years. I look old for 29, lol. I get it. I had a rough paper round. Jaimi looks younger than she is. So what?

You want some ID?

Amazing how age gaps in hetero relationships are seen as normal, in fact, the average age gap between hetero couples is much bigger than this according to research by the Pew Centre. To be honest, it was just another stick to beat us with. No one is actually concerned that a 22yo is with a 29yo.

Jaimi has been mocked by ‘feminists’ for stepping up to be a parent to my kids, for which I respect and admire her. I’ve recently been mocked by ‘feminists’ for having a child from rape when I was a teenager. There isn’t really any lower anyone could sink at this time.

But back to the point. There is a pattern forming here, and unfortunately, it looks as though we have fallen into the patriarchal trap of seeing all female bodies as sexual, whilst we attempt to argue that they are not.

Radical feminism is anti-objectification and anti-sexualisation – but it’s not anti-female body or anti-female nudity. It’s not prudish. It’s not about covering up.

We have body art, vagina art etc.

Radical feminism is not supposed to be a movement which encourages women to cover their bodies to stop them from getting sexualised and inappropriate comments.

And yet, here we are.

I’ve also mused on why it is seemingly empowering and cool for masculine presenting women to be pictured in crop tops, bras and sportswear, but not femme presenting women.

I know I’ve been in several feminist environments in which butch women have taken their tops off. I wonder what would have happened if I did that? I wonder why there is such a difference in the perception of our bodies?

I know I’ve seen images of butch women in very little, but there are no comments about how they are sexualising themselves and performing for men. Only when femme women do it.

Isn’t that because we are employing the same gender roles and misogyny as society is? Isn’t that because we are seeing femme women as ‘asking for it’ and butch women as ‘not conforming’?

Don’t we both have female bodies?

Why is it considered feminist and empowering when butch lesbians are pictured kissing or being together, but when femme lesbians do it, it’s pornographic and ‘for the male gaze’?

Doesn’t this objectify femme presenting lesbians?

Why is lesbian sexuality having to be hidden away, obscured and ‘kept private’ in 2020?

Or is this only applicable when the women are femme-presenting?

I know how some will react to these questions – they will argue that all femininity is oppression and all femininity is for the male gaze.

As a woman who has zero interest in men, their views, their opinions or their ‘gaze’, this position perplexes me. Are we saying that femme lesbians are all performative? That femme lesbians are all sexualised?

Are we ignoring female sexuality and the female gaze? What if femme lesbians are appealing to other femme lesbians? Are we just going to ignore their sexual attraction to each other and pretend it’s all for men?

I don’t even have space to go into the fact that many of the radical feminist women making these comments are heterosexual and married to men.

It’s gotten to the point now where women in radical feminism are openly posting about watching my Instagram and looking at pictures of me. And then having entire conversations about my body, my weight, my clothing, my relationship and my sexuality.

You are doing what you claim to hate.

You are engaging in narratives you claim to reject.

You are doing what MRAs do to feminists.

I’m sick and tired of women in this ‘sisterhood’ dragging each other. If it’s not ‘gender critical women’ mocking butch lesbians for being ‘men’, then it’s ‘radfems’ mocking a woman with cancer and asking why they aren’t dead yet. Younger radfems mocking second wave radfems for being old. Older radfems dismissing and humiliating young radfems, and then moaning that we don’t have enough young radfems. And I will never have the space to go into the blatant racism towards Black and Jewish radfems and do that justice, because that shit runs deeper than I ever imagined.

We are attacking each other.

The culture is sick. It needs to change.

We don’t all have to be friends, but we should at least acknowledge that radical feminism is made up of thousands of different women who look, live and act completely differently.

As long as we are all working for common goals, and we are not using harm, racism, oppression, bullying, abuse etc. to achieve that, shouldn’t we be holding each other up?

At present, I see no reason to continue engaging with a very large number of women in this movement, whom have either stayed silent whilst we’ve been harassed and abused, have engaged in it, have laughed at it or have not even noticed how common these comments are about women around us.

Turning a blind eye to the level of homophobia and internalised misogyny amongst us, and within our feminism, is not an option. Nor is blaming women who are targeted, for their appearance or their sexuality. Nor is mocking butch lesbians and femme lesbians in different ways and then pretending there is no homophobia present in our groups of friends or organisations.

My apologies, I thought we were all here for global female liberation from patriarchy.

Who needs a fucking patriarchy when you’ve got handmaidens like these?

On second thoughts, I am not ending this blog like this. I just want to send my love to all of the femme presenting lesbian women who are struggling with this constant shit being slung at them. I see it happening online and I reach out to as many women as I can to check they are okay, but I just want to take a stand and remind you that you are fuckin real, you are lesbian enough, you are feminist enough and the only people who need to reflect here are those who are using misogyny and homophobia to try to shut you down.

We will NEVER build a powerful movement for women if we exclude lesbians and femme presenting women purely based off what they bloody look like.