Continuing our series of interviews with women Twitter has removed from the public square for being the 'wrong' sort of feminists.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Rebecca Eddy and I was known on Twitter as @RadFemRebeccaE. I used to be a college English lecturer and poet but in the last couple of years I’ve been a full time carer for my eldest daughter who has some additional needs. I am a feminist and have recently started documenting the “POV: Ur A TERF in My Mentions” meme trend, for which I have received a number of threats and a ridiculous amount of abuse.
Is Twitter important to you? Why?
Twitter WAS important to me. As a single mum with caring responsibilities social media can be a great way of not only staying in touch with people but also of both learning about, and commenting on world events. When my eldest daughter was recently in hospital I received a lot of support from my online friends. To be honest, I also quite like a good debate, and I found that debating (arguing) with people on Twitter was a fascinating way to solidify exactly how I felt about various different subjects. There is nothing quite like a fully bearded, penis possessing man (albeit with lipstick) typing; “BUT I AM FEMALE, MY PENIS IS FEMALE!!” in his angriest capital letters to galvanise a feminist stance.
What was the tweet that got you banned from Twitter?
I appear to have been banned for the astonishing crime of “stating fact”. The (quite unremarkable) tweet that ended my relationship with Twitter was;
“Except for the small fact that trans identified people commit far more violent and sexual crime towards women than women commit towards trans identified people of course...”
My statement is undeniable fact. Women do not assault trans identified people! A quick google will easily back up my assertion. No study exists however (nor will one ever exist) to prove that trans identified males suddenly become less criminally inclined towards women once they decide to identify as women, they still rape, murder, attack and abuse at the exact same rate as they did before ‘transition’, and yet MY words were deemed hateful.
The myth that trans identified males are somehow ‘safer’ than any other male seems to be an integral part of the attempted infantilisation of such males. The fact that ‘1 in 50 male inmates in prison identify as transgender’ should be ringing alarm bells, but instead society places such males on even higher pedestals. The insidious mythology and accompanying compelled speech that has grown around the modern trans movement serves to distort reality in the most malignant way. That this surreality has gained such traction has terrible implications for everyone, particularly women. If such misinformation can become established fact what other lies can become easily embraced by society? It seems that anyone that speaks up against this bizarre circumstance eventually seems to get punished, my punishment this time was a Twitter ban. My only regret about the tweet that saw me banned is that I wasn’t more specific. I really regret not specifying that it is trans identified MALES that commit the sexual and violent crimes against women.
Was there a lead up to you getting banned?
I have received three Twitter bans in total, all of which Twitter claimed broke their rules for “Hateful Conduct” the first ban (for 12 hours) under my pseudonym ‘Ladyfat’ was for tweeting “...says an actual man” in reply to an anonymous account with 8 followers that I have since discovered exists solely to report feminists. I have absolutely no doubt that the person is indeed “a man” not least of all because after my ban they told me exactly this whilst gloating over my ban!
The second was admittedly a little more personal; “As a trans identified male “lesbian” Kiera finds it difficult to use male bathrooms. Men of Twitter; you must expand your definition of male to include such individuals as Keira, even when they insist on bastardising the English language.”
I stand by this statement 100% because, firstly; men really must expand their definition of male not force women to expand their definition of woman. A ‘woman’ is an adult human female, not a label for anyone that men deem “less than male”. Secondly; trans identified people and their supporters ARE bastardising the English language. As an English Language educator I obviously accept that all language evolves, however; evolution implies improvement and if language can be morphed to the stage where a man can ‘be a woman’ or even a ‘lesbian’ then how on Earth can my statement be “hateful”? Or indeed how can ANY statement be “hateful”?
Either words have meanings or they don’t. Who gets to decide which words are allowed to mean something? The deliberate obfuscation of language by ‘gender ideologists’ is, in my opinion a particularly underhand aspect of their campaign of hate against women. If you alter or remove the language used to describe a subject, how can anyone complain or challenge that subject? Trying to redefine the word ‘woman’ is perhaps the most deeply misogynistic move that males have ever made and yet I am the hateful one?
I feel it is also worth noting that all three of my bans occurred within 30 minutes of tweeting the offending tweets. I have waited many hours before for Twitter to decide whether “I think you should be hit by a bat Rebecca” or “Rebecca I’m going to break your nose” is, or is not deemed by Twitter to be hateful statements. They were not. Racists, paedophiles and sellers of violent pornography are still very active on Twitter; it would be frankly bizarre for me at this point to not believe that there is an active campaign on Twitter to silence ‘gender critical’ women’s voices.
People are often confused by the gender debate. Can you explain it and explain your part in it?
In recent years there has an active campaign by ‘gender ideologists’ to confuse sex and gender. Sex is biological fact, all humans have an identifiable sex (even if some are more easily identifiable than others). Gender is a social construct, it is an expression of personality, sold as a movement catering to individuals but in reality relying on tired visual and behavioural stereotypes, many of which are harmful, particularly to women and girls. The biological reality of sex is important to feminists because women are oppressed because of our biology, we are the typically physically weaker, large gamete producing sex that under healthy conditions has the potential to gestate and nurse young. All women are united by this biological reality.
The danger of conflating sex and gender is that under ‘Gender Ideology’ the desire to express one’s ‘gendered’ personality is given as much if not more importance and protection in society and law as immutable aspects of sex and the realities of sex based oppression. Many points of contention of the ‘Gender Debate’ like; mixed-sex bathrooms, males in female rape crisis centres, males on “all women shortlists”, males competing in women’s sport and winning their titles ALL have one thing in common, they are putting the desires of a few men above the needs of the majority of women and girls. I believe that anyone should be free to challenge this, women and girls NEED single-sex facilities and opportunities.
Like many feminists and ‘gender critical’ people I believe that all people should be able to express themselves through dress and actions, until those actions start to negatively impact other people. Want to be a man who wears a dress? Fabulous! Want to change your name to Princess? Lovely! Want me to lie by asserting that either of those changes make you a woman or even female? No, I refuse. I will not be forced to affirm harmful stereotypes. Humans cannot change sex and I refuse to deny the reality of my lived experience of being female to cater to your delusions. Women are oppressed because of our biological reality, a reality that cannot be opted into or out of and shouldn’t be reduced to a few superficial stereotypes to make a man feel better about himself.
I have recently started to document the Twitter meme trend of “POV Ur a TERF in My Mentions” a trend that sees (mainly) men posing with a variety of weapons whilst demonstrating the POV (point of view) of what a ‘TERF’ would see as they attack them. I believe that this trend is a fantastic example both of how extreme behaviours can be normalised by a ideology based on conformity and indeed how esoteric language is used to obscure meaning from a wider audience; say “POV: Ur a TERF in My Mentions” and only people that understand POV, TERF and Mentions understand your intent, say “this is what I want to do to women that do not share the same opinions as me” and people would quickly start to question your actions.
How do you plan to go on fighting?
I may buy a fake beard and try to sneak on to Twitter under a new identity, it seems quite fashionable and I’ve always liked the name Rafael. Seriously though, during my first ban I endeavoured to find local feminists and become more politically active ‘in real life’, I did exactly that and have since met up with my local ‘Resisters’ group for a wonderful afternoon of feminist discussion. During my second ban I planned to start a feminist blog, so I have started a feminist blog.
Now I am permabanned I shall continue my blog and continue meeting with women to discuss women’s issues. I will also continue to document the ‘POV Ur a TERF” trend from my blog and I additionally have plans to take the “POV” photos to local MPs and political candidates to see exactly what they think of the ‘stunning and brave’ trans activists they appear so eager to defend at all costs. Women must be allowed to have our say, despite all attempts to silence us.
You have broken in to Jack Dorsey's weekly ankle cleanse, what do you say to him?
I’d inform him that he was doing his cleanse incorrectly, and that his inept interpretation greatly offended me. As a working class single mother I understand as much (if not infinitely more) of being a multi-billionaire male as any man does of ‘being a woman’ so surely my opinion is just as valid? No? Why not?