- Erin Ewart (Executive Director, UVic Student Society)Executive Director, UVic Student Society
- University of Victoria
- Jim DunsdonAssociate Vice President for Student Affairs
We demand women's space at UVic
Call for Action
WHEREAS the University of Victoria Student Society has changed the purpose of the Women's Centre, which was founded as a safe space for females. and
Since the UVSS is moving to rebrand the Women's Centre as a "Third Space" for trans and gender-fluid people, and
Noting that the UVSS made the decision to change the name and allow people born and socialized as males to use and run the Centre without a vote by the students, and
In light of the fact the former Womens' Centre Financial Coordinator - a person who was born and socialized male - told UVic women that the new policy means that literature and discussion critical of gender theory, pornography, and prostitution are not welcome, and
Recognizing that the University of Victoria has now completely eliminated women-only spaces, and
Finding that 60% of UVic students are female, and
Having experienced male domination, abuse, and systemic discrimination, including in UVic's STEM fields and throughout the community, and
Acknowledging that people born male who identify as women have the right to their own space, but not at the expense of women's space, and
Understanding that women-born women also have the right to organize on their own terms with others who share the female designation at birth and who were socialized as women, in order to heal from and organize against male exploitation and oppression of women that's based on our biology and socialization, and
Noting the lack of public accountability and disclosure about the recent chaos in the former Womens' Centre, including accusations of hacking, bullying, harassment, and a toxic environment,
THEREFORE, we demand that the UVSS reinstate the Women's Centre as a space run by women for women - those born female who identify as female, and
FURTHERMORE, we demand that the UVSS expressly allow for radical feminists, gender-critical feminists, and women-born women to hold events without the presence of those born male, regardless of how they identify.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/uvicwomyn
Please contact us for information and networking: email@example.com
Why we are bringing this petition:
Apparently, there was no room for ideological diversity when we asked to run a Radical Feminist group at the University of Victoria. Radical Feminists on campus want to gather to discuss controversial but intellectual and ideological issues. We reject post-modernism, queer theory and identity politics and embrace instead a class-based analysis of women's oppression.
Four main points where we differ from liberal feminists:
- Gender is a hierarchy not an identity. It is socially constructed and designed to subjugate women. Transwomen are gender non-conforming men; not women. They are oppressed on the basis of homophobia which is the patriarchy's way of keeping men in line so they remain the oppressor class due to the suppression of empathy. Stereotypical male behaviours are not natural. Boys have these behaviours brainwashed into them as children.
- Women are oppressed because of our reproductive organs, not because of our behaviours. Stereotypical feminine behaviours were brainwashed into women since we were children and are not natural.
- Prostitution is not a job like any other. It is rape and exploitation. Consent must be freely given. A capitalist exchange is not replacement for true consent. Women are coerced to participate in prostitution due to poverty.
- Porn is is when a woman gets raped and tortured on film to facilitate the orgasms of men who are the majority of porn users. Pornography facilitates the orgasms of men by treating women as objects and connecting sex directly to violence and cruelty. Sex should be about love and making a real connection with another person; It should not be a violent performance. For more information about the harms of pornography please see Dr. Gail Dines book "Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked Our Sexuality" : https://www.amazon.ca/Pornland-How-Porn-Hijacked-Sexuality/dp/0807001546
We think you'll find our views are entirely reasonable. We do not endorse bullying against anyone. We support the human rights of transmen and transwomen and fully agree that they should be free from violence and oppression. We simply want to be allowed to question and criticize the ideologies of queer theory, post-modernism, and identity politics. We simply prefer to focus on the material realities of actual groups of people.
However, when we expressed our views in a printed poster, we were immediately told that our views are hateful and any criticism of the Transgender Movement would not be tolerated and that Radical feminists (ie. actual female women) would not be allowed to organize in the Women's Centre.
We call on the University of Victoria, the Student Union, and the Women's Centre (unofficially the Third Space) to ensure that there are women-born-women only spaces where women can find community with one another and exercise our right to free speech.
We do not want to be persecuted for our views. We would much rather have the ability to have an honest discussion with the people who disagree with us. But if we must have our meeting under the cover of night... We will. We encourage women who share our views to come and find us.
- Executive Director, UVic Student Society
Erin Ewart (Executive Director, UVic Student Society)
- University of Victoria
- Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
We demand space for women at UVic that is run by women for women. While trans people need safe space, it should not come at the expense of women. Changes to the Women's Centre have created a "toxic" environment. The majority of UVic students are women, and we deserve full disclosure and a vote on how students' money is spent.
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