When WLRN first got word that anonymous lesbian and gender-critical activists in the San Francisco Bay Area were calling for people to hold up signs reading “I was called a TERF because…”, we jumped at the opportunity to help in our capacity as your Feminist Community Radio Station online. The call-out for the action was released on May 16th to private or secret feminist FB groups, which is how WLRN came to know of it. At first, the gmail address listed was inaccurate, but a few hours later, that was corrected and now women can send their pics to email@example.com to participate.
These activists are creating this media stunt in response to the San Francisco Public Library’s decision to exhibit the Degenderettes “art” that features axes and baseball bats some covered in barbed wire and blood splattered t-shirts, one with the phrase “I punch TERFs” and a sign that says “Die Cis Scum.”
The blood splattered t-shirts were removed from the exhibit after feminists complained they represent a call for violence against women, but the exhibit remains up and the library supports the general gist of it which is alarming and in need of some creative feminist media action.
The organizers of the TERF Exhibit are also asking participants to tweet their photos to the SF public library during an “Art & Activism in the Bay” panel discussion featuring the Degenderettes exhibit to be held at the library at 2 PM Pacific Time on May 26th.
Use the hashtag #IwasCalledTERF and tweet them to @SFPublicLibrary.
Here are some of the photos WLRN captured for this action!
The action is being called by a small group of Bay Area based activists, largely being led by women. They are intersectional in their feminist analysis and specifically are calling on women to participate who are in more than one oppressed group. On their public Facebook page, the organizers state:
“It seems highly improbable that the SFPL or any other publicly funded institution would partner with an organization that has called for violence against black people, Jewish people, disabled people, or any other oppressed population. Therefore, their willingness to partner with an organization that calls for violence against women comes across as blatant sexism.”
“I would like to specifically appeal to women from doubly-oppressed communities to come forward with their stories. I still find myself appalled when I read accounts in which women have been smeared or harassed for stating their same-sex attraction or for pointing out that males accessing the women’s restroom is not the same thing as racially segregated facilities during Jim Crow. Homophobia and racism are prominent aspects of these larger anti-TERF narratives and I think it’s important to point this out.”
This is a wonderfully grassroots art action being initiated by and for women who are standing up to the trans narrative that has as of late, become about accepting and promoting violence against women as “feminism.”