A group of radical feminists are working alongside ultra-conservative Christians who preach that women must obey their husbands – in order to attack transgender rights protections.
The unlikely move comes from activists from the so-called Women’s Liberation Front, who describe themselves as “radical feminists dedicated to the total liberation of women”.
The group, comprised of feminists who do not believe transgender women should be able to access female-only spaces, has got into bed with ultra-conservatives from the Family Policy Alliance and Focus on the Family, in order to challenge legal anti-discrimination protections for trans people.
Activists from WoLF have filed a challenge to policies enacted under the Obama administration that extend existing anti-sexism laws to safeguard trans kids in schools from discrimination – and they seem only too happy to join up with their usual enemies to get it done.
Others in the feminist movement have questioned the group’s willingness to get into bed with their biggest opponents, working alongside activists who want to outlaw abortion, and believe a woman must be obedient to her husband.
On their website, Focus on the Family preach a literalist Biblical order that husbands are heads of the household, and that “submitting to her husband is a quality worth cultivating” in a wife.
Speaking to Fox News, Kara Dansky of WoLF attacked any interpretation of Title IX of the Education Act, which outlaws discrimination “on the basis of sex”, in order to protect trans rights.
She said: “This goes far beyond bathrooms… it redefines ‘women and girls’ to mean anyone who identifies as a woman or girl, which matters to us, because we think that ‘women and girls’ are a meaningful category worthy of civil rights protection.
“If we define sex, under Title IX, to mean gender identity, what we’re essentially saying is that ‘women and girl’ can mean anyone who self-identifies as ‘women and girl,’ which makes ‘women and girls’ meaningless as a category.”
She added: “We’re seeing the erasure of women and girls as a meaningful category… we’re called transphobic bigots because we ask questions about gender identity. We’re asking questions and we’re standing up for women and girls. And that seems to be not permitted.”
PinkNews could find little evidence of WoLF campaigning on any women’s issues unrelated to transgender people, despite claims on their website that they “lobby for pro-choice legislation” and “defend women’s bodily sovereignty”.
Focus on the Family, meanwhile, encourage women to “keep your house in order as a service to your husband” and warns wives not to interrupt their husbands and to adopt a “respectful” tone.
The group also preach that sex should be “enjoyed exclusively between a husband and wife”.