Refusing to be an Ally

There’s this unironic use of the word “unicorn” I hear from women from time to time when they’re describing male feminist allies or their male partners.  Of course unicorns don’t exist so no man is a unicorn special dude who is magically immune to misogyny.  However I’ve found a lot of women gravitate towards certain men as models of pro-feminist manhood.  One such man who gets a lot of attention and respect from radical feminists is John Stoltenberg.  He lived with Andrea Dworkin and after her death admitted to being married to her.  So of course he must be a special, non-sexist sort of guy right?


I decided to ask him why he was referring to a man as “she”.  By this point I already knew I was opening a can of worms and that other women would no doubt come out and start questioning him as well, which they did.

In fact he was questioned about his position on Bradley Manning being put in a women’s prison, which he evaded by saying that he believes “Chelsea Manning shouldn’t be in prison”.  As if that were the question being posed.  That is a completely separate discussion to have.  Although Bradley does have a history of violent behavior with women which John even talked about to show us how well-versed he is with the details surrounding the case.  Obviously the questions


were too much for him to answer from women who you know, supported his work previously.  So he responded by saying that he is somehow an ally of


radical feminists that does not agree, nor align with, fear and loathing of transpeople.

So basically John Stoltenberg believes that radical feminists are only motivated by “fear and loathing” in their rejection of transgenderism.  Oh and that therefore women are out of line for having “fear and loathing” of men.

Cathy Brennan decided to ask him on facebook where there is more room for explanation.  The results were pretty interesting.  This was his in-depth explanation which I do not accept from a man who calls himself an “ally”.


Its nice that he knows nice transpeople.  I’m sure a lot of us do.  Thats not the issue.  Radical Feminists have a problem with trans politics because they’re detrimental to women and to the gains that feminism has made for women.  Its not about an ideological threat, its about a very real material threat to women’s only spaces, lesbian communities, young lesbians caught up in the trans trend, and sex-based protections such as title IX, shelters for battered women, etc.

He also made this stunning remark which again, points to the absurdity and misogyny inherent in a defense of transgender politics.


Only doctor’s can “interpret” the difference between a vagina and a penis!

Its important for women to know who men are.  When they claim to be our ally its important to understand what basis they have for doing so and if that basis is built on a shoddy foundation or non-existent at all (in the case of John Stoltenberg) its important that we expose it.  John has already made himself out to be the victim of a vicious attack from radical feminists (which earned me a bunch of stupid attack from lefties about the “police state” and how cops are bad??) but considering how angry a lot of us were at being bashed and thrown under the bus by him the dialogue was pretty respectful.  But of course we should never have to have these discussions with men about the intricacies of how we know the difference between them and us.  Being an ally to women means putting women first.  He continually makes the case that radical feminists believe transgender politics are harmful to our politics.  No.  Its harmful to women.  That is why we oppose it.  No ideological position comes before the basic position of opposing that which harms women.  It isn’t too much to ask that supposed male allies at the very least not harm women by obfuscating the very definition of woman.


20 responses to “Refusing to be an Ally

  1. I also noted that he said he will not align himself with radical feminists that fear and loathe transpeople. Now, apart from the ideological and material problems we have with trans politics, the use of the word transpeople completely invisibilizes what women ARE afraid of and LEGITIMATELY so: MEN.

    Imagine if we were to decode his coded comments and what you get is: I am a radfem ally who does not agree with, nor align with, fear and loathing of men.

    Because we as women have a reason for fearing men, and MtoF are MEN. That is the point!

    Also, he seems to think that he can put women in danger while still being an ally. My instinct on this is that he is waaaaay out of his depth and doesn’t know what we are actually talking about nor what has been transpiring between radfems and the trans community. He doesn’t care to learn why we do not agree with trans politics and he doesn’t seem eager to find out, either. That means he is not off the hook, but I do think he is operating on limited information and drawing his conclusions without access to the full picture.

    In any case, send him back to the dudes.

  2. LOL, this is a man using his dececeased wife’s reputation to make his living. Fucking pathetic, Mr. DworkIn

  3. I have been a threatened, stalked, battered and beaten woman. I fear and loathe trans people:

    Because they are men.

  4. How long do you figure before JS informs us that he is now a wooo-muhn ? 😉

  5. Nail head Mary.

  6. Reblogged this on winterdominatrix and commented:
    I joined in later in this tweet, you see I WAS a ‘good little Alley’ untill someone trans told me I would have to prostitute for them, to help with their income, BECAUSE I had the privledge of looking better to punters. Sorry, no-pimping. Whore your own ass if you want hooker money, I am NOT FOR SALE at any price, and I am not transphobic for not wanting to be a prostitute for you. Any female that falls for that one can be brainwashed more easily to use what starts out as a change of pronouns.

  7. This one is easy to read: trans are putting the moves on John, and he’s thinking he’ll get shagged. Oh poor John. But he has to be a real woman for those dudes, not a effeminate gay male.

  8. “real woman” scare quotes.

  9. Fact is John the men who claim they are really women in a male body didn’t have so much power and malestream support when Andrea Dworkin was alive. You John are presuming you know what the late Andrea Dworkin’s views would be on the subject of men who claim they are magically female. In reality you cannot possibly know because the claims biological males can magically transform themselves into women was not so widespread and there wasn’t any legislation passed by male supremacist legal systems giving these men the right to claim they are ‘supposedly female.’

    Biologically born males are males no matter what they claim and it is this claim which effectively erases the biological fact females are female because their biology is female not male.

    I don’t care if men decide they are really women if that decision doesn’t affect women collectively but this isn’t what is happening. We have laws in place putting mens’ pseudo right to declare they are female because as usual men’s claims are always far more important than womens’ fundamental rights; one of which still is not accepted by men and that is women are human not mens’ dehumanised disposable sexual service stations!

    Men are now claiming ‘I’m a female because I say so’ and we women are supposed to once again put men first and defer to men because they can supposedly magically become females. John you should ask yourself why are biologically born males continuing to refuse to accept biologically born females who claim they are really female? Is it because whatever lies men tell we women are supposed to accept them as ‘man’s (sic) definitive truths?

    John you were once an ally of radical feminists but sadly now you too have sold out to the men and their male supremacist system.

  10. I guess because of his association with her, he must have possessed a degree of integrity and I certainly presumed he must be legit because birds of feather, right?

    Because Dworkin was, and remains so fastidiously and consistently right about literally everything else, I’ve always just sort of extended some basic benefit of the doubt toward Stoltenberg, expressly because she did.

    And Refusing, his magnum opus, really has always struck me as his own work. Its existence has allowed me to trump male demands for my nuturing from men who want me to explain all the things but aren’t capable of actually hearing anything unless and until it comes from a d00d.

    Guess I always kind of figured that the d00d who wrote “Refusing to be a Man” could reasonably be expected to understand that not being a man does not automatically fall back to being a woman.

    But wtf do I know, lol

  11. More reasons for fear and loathing: All that we fought for, all that Andrea Dworkin fought for, lost or on its way to lost. When is it enough John? When do you choke on those words that betray this woman who gave you sanctuary?

    “Transgender Activists always dismiss the realistic concerns that women have about allowing males into spaces that are sex segregated for female privacy from male predators. Such as restrooms, locker rooms, showers, hospital bed assignments, jail cells, homeless shelters, rape crisis centers, etc. These activists deny and disregard the real threat to females by males, even males who want to dress in feminine clothes or who “feel like women inside” or who have a psychiatric disorder that causes them to claim they are actually female, even though they are male. These men do not give a shit about the actual people they want to minstrelize and dress up as and mimic. They not only deny that we are oppressed because of our sex, they claim our sex doesn’t even exist! But they do more than deny female reality and make kooky claims: They are using the political capital of Lesbians and Gays to pass laws enforcing their male-centric female-phobic sexist views. “Gender Identity Protections” are laws that eliminate sex-based protections for females.

    Examples of such protected areas are:


    Hospital Bed Assignments


    Locker rooms

    Sports competition

    Statistical Data collection

    Title IX endowments

    Women’s Health resources, statistics and research endowment

    Sex based crime statistics

    Support Groups

    Rape Crisis Centers

    Communal showers

    Children’s sleepover camps

    Women’s Shelters

    Women’s colleges

    One of the tropes Transjacktivists use to promote and legalize their desire to eliminate female spaces is to assert that males with GID are speshul snowflakes or claim that males wouldn’t adopt transgenderism in order to prey on women. Or that males who are arrested repeatedly for getting off on watching women perform intimate activities (in places they assume they are free from males) wouldn’t go through the trouble of putting on a wig that makes those same activities legal. Whut??? Are you out of your mind? Why wouldn’t a guy who risks arrest repeatedly to invade women’s space comply with measures which make his activities legal?? It’s considerably less inconvenient to put on a skirt and some lippy than to be arrested and processed, make bail, go before a judge, etc. etc. One might say it is quite more convenient indeed!

    Transjacktivists claim that arrest statistics for peeping and perving don’t show a sharp increase in states where men are allowed in women’s spaces. Well of course they don’t! Making a formerly illegal behavior LEGAL seldom results in more arrests for (now legal) behavior. Duh!

    The truth is guys do this shit all the time. And they’ll do whatever it takes to perv on females. Here are some of the things they’ll do to get into female spaces:

    Hide cameras and microphones in female spaces.
    Crawl through ventilation ducts to view female spaces.
    Install double mirrors to view female spaces.
    Drill holes in walls to peep women’s spaces.
    Place cameras in shopping bags next to females wearing skirts.
    Risking arrest –and repeat arrest- sneaking into women’s restrooms.
    Dress up as and try to pass as female.
    Claim they are female.
    Try to pass laws permitting men who claim they are female to legally enter spaces where females do not want men.
    Try to pass laws that state that females don’t actually exist.
    Force law enforcement and media outlets to report male crimes against women as woman-on-woman crime, if the male is diagnosed with GID.

  12. More justified fear and loathing of trans, dear John:

    The male to trans who marshalled the attack on Radfem Reboot this summer had been banned from a Toronto women’s and trans centre for “threats of violence” and “undue risk to the safety and health of others”. (Those “others” being, women.)

  13. well done synopsis. thanks

  14. No on my latter comments….?

    Can you tell me why? Email me.

    Plus, I’d also just love to hear from you.

  15. A penis is a penis is a penis. Without a y chromosome, there will be no penis, no exceptions.

  16. Why is he talking about being able to pee standing up? Is that what doctors are really looking for? Peeing ability? I can’t imagine a doctor

    For the record, not all men can pee standing (whatever that means) and not all women can’t.

  17. Seriously, this man is messed up, as all men are, it seems.

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