Green Feminists Response to Lavender Caucus Complaint

Green Feminists Fist Logo          Green Feminists—A Women’s Liberation Collective
           Responds to the Accreditation Committee Complaint1
        brought by the National Lavender Green Caucus against
                                 the Georgia Green Party


1. Introduction

        a. Who We Are
       

We are an organization of Green Party feminists—women, adult human females—working to ensure that one of our Party’s Ten Key Values, that of feminism, is given due weight in the internal functioning of the Green Party (GPUS) and in our public campaigns, and that those who defend these rights are not targeted or silenced within our Party. We wholeheartedly agree that our society “has inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics” (TKV no. 7) and that the “change the world is crying for cannot occur unless women’s voices are heard.” (GPUS Platform, II(A)(1)). Our Women’s Liberation Collective demands equal participation and representation for our sex within the Green Party and society.

       b. Summary of Major Points  

As feminist Greens, we are deeply concerned about the complaint lodged by the National Lavender Green Caucus (NLGC) seeking to disaccredit the Georgia Green Party (GaGP) because the Georgia Party has voted to endorse the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights, an international document signed by over 14,800 individuals from 127 countries, in collaboration with 310 organizations. This proposed action, should it be adopted by the National Committee, will be in direct conflict with the Ten Key Values, one of which is “feminism,” another of which is “grassroots democracy,” another of which is “diversity,” and another of which is “decentralization.” If this regressive step is taken, it would send a message that the Green Party no longer cares about the rights of women and girls, progress on which has always been on the basis of sex, not ‘gender identity,’ and that the Green Party has abandoned four of its Ten Key Values. This action would have a chilling effect on feminists and feminist allies throughout the Party, undermining bedrock principles on which this party is built and the grassroots democracy we so strongly advocate and should be modeling.

Diversity is meaningless without respect and tolerance for diverse opinions and the encouragement of open discussion and debate. Moreover, asserting the rights of our sex in response to many millennia of male supremacy persisting to this day, has nothing to do with “hate,” “bigotry,” or right wing politics. Rather, the conflating of sex and ‘gender identity’ or the subsuming of the former into the latter, represents a big step backwards for our Party’s commitment to women’s equal rights as a sex, while doing nothing to advance the cause of those who do not conform to sex-based stereotypes, including those who identify as transgender. Such deeply sexist policies harm gender non-conforming children and youth in particular, especially future gays and lesbians, by encouraging body dysphoria, the harmful ingestion of hormones and pharmaceuticals, and removing or modifying healthy body parts as “solutions” for unhappiness caused by society’s rigid sex roles and anti-gay prejudice. These “solutions'', promoted by “Big Pharma,'' that turn physically healthy children into lifelong medical patients, are anything but Green.

2. The conflation of sex and gender identity threatens the rights of females as a distinct class of persons oppressed (both historically and currently) based on our sex. The following are some of the rights placed in jeopardy by this conflation that erases females and reinforces patriarchy:

 

  • The right of females to organize politically against sex-based oppression by males
  • The right of females to assemble outside of the presence of males
  • The right to accurate statistics to measure violence against females by males and persisting disparities in pay and job opportunities between females and males based on sex
  • The right to affirmative action programs or set-asides to address the exclusion or under-representation of females in certain male-dominated fields, professions, or other endeavors including politics 
  • The right to female-only sports programs
  • The right to establish grants, scholarships, and educational and training programs specifically for females to address female exclusion or under-representation
  • The right to create reproductive health clinics, rape crisis services, battered women’s shelters, and support groups for females;
  • The right to discuss female bodies, reproductive function, and health issues that exclusively or disproportionately affect females
  • The right to be free from the presence of males in areas of public accommodation where nudity occurs
  • The right of lesbians to create lesbian-specific organizations and to meet apart from males
  • The right of female patients, prisoners, and females in other congregate settings lacking privacy to be housed apart from males
  • The right of dependent females to choose female providers for their intimate personal care requirements


    3. Asserting Sex-Based Rights is not Hate

    We object to the NLGC’s framing of the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights as a “transphobic” document, and the Women’s Human Rights Campaign as an “anti-trans hate group”. We assert that there is nothing remotely hateful or bigoted about defending the sex-based rights of women and girls, or about advocating for policies that aim to protect vulnerable children from harm. Both of these positions are affirmed in detail in the nine articles of the Declaration, which is the founding document of the international WHRC. We applaud the GaGP’s brave and bold moves of endorsing the Declaration and amending its Human Rights planks #3 and #4 accordingly, and believe the GaGP should be commended, as opposed to condemned and/or disaccredited from GPUS, for these actions.

    Neither does the GaGP’s endorsement of the Feminist Amendments to the Equality Act (FAEA)  signify “hate” nor would these amendments lead to “further marginalizing trans and intersex people.” The FAEA do not “remove rights afforded to trans persons'' by the Supreme Court. Rather, the Feminist Amendments would further protect the rights of everyone to dress and express themselves as they like and love whom they love without discrimination in jobs, housing, etc. through adding explicit statutory language prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and sex-based stereotyping.

    For additional insights into how “transgender ideology harms women, gays, and especially feminine boys and masculine girls”, please review this article co-authored by Colin M. Wright and Dr. Emma N. Hilton titled “The Dangerous Denial of Sex”.

    We reject the claims of the NLGC et.al. that these actions taken by the GaGP in support of the rights of women and vulnerable children are “in direct violations of this Party’s Social Justice Platform.” We do not feel that the NLGC has done their due diligence in this matter, opting instead to pick and choose which planks they accept as valid and which planks they opt to either dismiss or disregard. That there are conflicting planks in the GPUS platform is a fact all too often overlooked in these discussions.

    For example, we note that in point #7 of its complaint, the NLGC asserts that the “Georgia Green Party is in violation of several sections of our Platform and opens with a quote from II. Social Justice section A. Civil Rights and Equal Rights. The complaint jumps from there to section 5. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, quoting the header and citing points 2-4 which they no doubt find relevant to their argument, while completely ignoring the relevance or existence of the Women’s Rights planks in their entirety. These platform planks speak to the Party’s recognition of women as an oppressed sex class, and support and call “on others to support, the many existing and ongoing efforts for women” detailed under the categories of Social Equality, Reproductive Rights, Economic Equality, and Violence and Oppression. 

    Under the section addressing Social Equality, the platform specifically advocates passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) which is “designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex2, not ‘gender identity’ (emphasis ours).

    The following language is also included in the Women's Rights section:

    The Green Party calls for U.S. passage of CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, which was adopted in 1979 by the U.N. General Assembly and ratified by 173 countries.3 The U.S. is one of the very few countries, and the only industrialized nation, that have not ratified it.”4

    Of note, CEDAW outlines women's rights on the basis of sex, not ‘gender identity’. 

    Also of note, the Declaration reaffirms women and girls' sex-based rights as enumerated in CEDAW and subsequent international agreements. To be clear, the GPUS platform calls for the passage of CEDAW, which outlines women’s rights on the basis of sex, not ‘gender identity’, and the Declaration derives directly from CEDAW as well as subsequent international agreements such as the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women 1993 (UNDEVW).

    4. Rights of Children

    With regard to the rights of children which were also referenced in the complaint submitted by the NLGC, we will remind you of the following passages in the opening paragraphs of the Social Justice section of the platform:

    "We advocate a diverse system of education that would introduce children early to the wonders of the Great School (Nature), and would cultivate the wisdom of eco-education, eco-economics, eco-politics, and eco-culture. We seek to protect our children from the corrosive effects of mass culture that trains them to regard themselves first and foremost as consumers.

    We support the shift in modern medicine to include healing through complementary therapies and engagement with the Great Hospital (Nature). We seek, in short, to facilitate the healthy unfolding of the person within the unfolding story of the family, community, bioregion, state, nation, and Earth community."

    In our view there is nothing ‘natural’ about the recently-adopted practice of medically and/or surgically altering the healthy bodies of children who may not conform to sex-based stereotypes, the majority of whom would grow up to be happy and healthy lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults if provided the appropriate support and guidance instead of immediate 'affirmation' of their presumed ‘gender identity’. Frankly, it could easily be construed as child abuse to tell a child s/he is “in the wrong body” or that s/he should “transition” because of a preference for certain toys, colors, clothing, etc., let alone prescribing unproven and life-altering medical interventions. 

    We assert that the ‘affirmation’ model of today is the latest form of ‘conversion therapy’ which as defined per Wiki, “is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual using psychological, physical, or spiritual interventions.” What this latest form of ‘conversion therapy’ does in addition to damaging children mentally and physically with its attempt to ’trans away the gay’, also turns them into consumers of Big Pharma for life.

    There is also evidence that social contagion (i.e. 'corrosive effects of mass culture') may be playing a role here, particularly with young women. We invite you to review Dr. Lisa Littman's extensively peer-reviewed study on Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) with this in mind.

    We would be remiss not to mention two critically important events that occurred recently in the UK that could have vast implications for future policy-making throughout the western world. The first was a new Guidance issued in September 2020 by the UK government’s Department for Education (DfE) to its schools advising against teaching ‘gender identity’ ideology in their sex-ed curriculum. The key language in the directive is excerpted below.

    We are aware that topics involving gender and biological sex can be complex and sensitive matters to navigate. You should not reinforce harmful stereotypes, for instance by suggesting that children might be a different gender based on their personality and interests or the clothes they prefer to wear. Resources used in teaching about this topic must always be age-appropriate and evidence based. Materials which suggest that non-conformity to gender stereotypes should be seen as synonymous with having a different gender identity should not be used and you should not work with external agencies or organisations that produce such material. While teachers should not suggest to a child that their non-compliance with gender stereotypes means that either their personality or their body is wrong and in need of changing, teachers should always seek to treat individual students with sympathy and support.”

    Link for practical application of the DfE Guidance:
    https://www.transgendertrend.com/department-for-education-rse-guidance-schools/

    The second was a landmark judgment that is also anticipated to have significant repercussions around the world. On December 1, 2020 the UK’s High Court ruled that:

     puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are experimental treatments which cannot be given to children in most cases without application to the court. The judgment concluded that it is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would ever be Gillick competent to give consent to being treated with puberty blockers and very doubtful that children aged 14 and 15 could understand the long-term risks and consequences of treatment in such a way as to have sufficient understanding to give consent. The court also ruled that it would be appropriate for clinicians to involve the court in any case where there may be any doubt as to whether the long-term interests of a 16 or 17 year-old would be served by the clinical interventions of blockers and hormones.

    The judgment handed down today has established the salient facts about puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones:

    • Puberty blockers are not ‘fully reversible’.
    • Puberty blockers do not ‘buy time’, they are the first stage of a medical pathway very few children come off.
    • There is no evidence that puberty blockers alleviate distress.
    • The pathway of blockers and cross-sex hormones has serious physical consequences, including the loss of fertility and full sexual function, with profound long-term risks and consequences.
    • The treatment is experimental.

    The legal challenge was initially brought by Sue Evans, a former clinician at the Tavistock gender identity clinic and whistleblower who first raised concerns about GIDS practices 15 years ago. Ms. Evans was later joined by Keira Bell, a young woman who regretted having embarked on medical transition, citing the lack of appropriate counseling to explore her reasons for wanting to do so, pertinent history, etc., and Mrs. A, the mother of a 15-year-old autistic child with several mental health conditions, who had concerns that her daughter would be put on puberty blockers without her other issues being adequately explored.

    British newspapers The Sunday Times and Daily Mail successfully overturned a court order banning publication of clinicians’ testimony warning of the dangers associated with medical transitioning such as possible harm to patients’ brain and bone development and infertility risks, arguing it was in the public interest to hear all the evidence presented. 

    Infertility risks alone raise serious questions about whether minors should be deemed to have the capacity to engage in informed consent for these experimental and irreversible treatments. Feminists and progressives have traditionally supported restrictions on the ability of minors to choose to be sterilized since they do not have the emotional maturity to make these permanent decisions and in order to protect against sterilization abuse. For example, Medicaid’s provisions requiring that persons who choose to be sterilized be 21 years of age or older are not to our knowledge opposed by Greens.

    5. The Corporate Interests Promoting Gender Identity Ideology

    The lesbian/gay liberation struggle began as a call to raise awareness of and ultimately end the discrimination and abuse all too often experienced by LGB men, women and youth in our rabidly heteronormative culture. That grassroots movement propelled by a marginalized and loosely organized minority population, has in recent years “morphed into a relentless behemoth, one that has strong ties to the MIC [medical industrial complex] and global corporatists5 that is obsessed with the “T” to the exclusion of the L, G, and B.6 Jennifer Bilek, who has extensively researched this issue, has raised the question, “Is this a civil rights movement or an ad campaign?” 

    Lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people have waged a 50-year fight, and while making some significant gains, have still not achieved federal civil rights protections. Yet transgenderism, a term coined barely twenty years ago and included in the LGBT acronym only since the mid-90’s, appears to have millions to burn and has successfully captured academia, the media, the professions, as well as entire political parties and governments, all collectively promoting the tenets of this regressive, postmodernist ideology. This author makes the case that the transgender movement is less one where marginalized voices are finally being heard, but more one where large amounts of money are being heard.

    Transgender ideology around the world is driven by billionaires of the medical industrial complex, a huge growth market.7 Through their connections with other globally influential oligarchs and their non-profit foundations, they have used their wealth to fund the indoctrination of ‘gender identity’ dogma in universities, medical institutions—including the American Psychological Foundation (APF), police training, sports associations, faith organizations, women’s reproductive health organizations, grade school and high school curricula, and have pressured businesses to sign on to and promote transgenderism. They’ve built the political infrastructure in many countries to implement changes to laws, schools and language. 

    One of the most prominent billionaires is Jon Stryker, heir to the Stryker surgical supplies and software fortune, who used his Arcus Foundation to funnel over $58.4 million to “organizations doing LGBT-related work from 2007 to 2010 alone, making it one of the largest LGBT funders in the world. Stryker gave more than $30 million to Arcus himself in that three-year period, through his stock in Stryker Medical Corporation.”8 Several of his family members are engaged in promoting transgenderism as well. Stryker has also funneled, at minimum, $2 million to fund an endowed chair in “Queer Studies” at Spelman College in Atlanta in the name of Audre Lorde, celebrated lesbian feminist, poet and civil rights activist. Stryker funds were matched by the “exclusively for women” Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in its own fundraising efforts. Spelman, a “global leader in the education of women of African descent”, implemented its decision to open admissions and enrollment to trans-identified males in the fall of 2019, which will result in black women being deprived of educational opportunities.

    Next up is Jennifer Pritzker, formerly James Pritzker, a thrice-married trans-identified male and father of 3 with a net worth of $1.9 billion, and whose family is ranked at #9 on Forbes America's Richest Families 2020 list with a net worth of $32.5 billion. In 1995, Pritzker founded the Tawani Foundation, an organization with a significant grants program that gave $1.9 million towards ‘Gender & Human Sexuality’ initiatives in 2019 alone, in addition to donating considerable sums towards education, health and human services, and human rights advocacy. Top recipients of Tawani grants include the ACLU–which in turn enables the organization to file legal challenges to new legislation that would support continued enforcement of Title IX, for example–and Planned Parenthood, which by 2018 was providing ‘gender affirming healthcare’ (including puberty blockers followed by wrong-sex hormones, as well as surgical referrals) to gender confused youth in 28 states, the vast majority of whom are female. In many states this ‘healthcare’ is initiated without parental consent and often on a child’s first visit to a participating clinic with little or no examination of the child’s underlying psychological issues.

    Since identifying as transgender in 2013, Pritzker has donated “$6.5 million to the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota; $5.99 million to Palm Center, an LGBTQ think tank, for a study on trans people in the military; $2 million for the world’s first chair of trans studies, at the University of Victoria, British Columbia; $1 million to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for a Gender and Sex Development Program; and $50,000 for the first trans-study course at the University of Toronto.” Pritzker and his family (a brother, J.B. Pritzker, is Governor of Illinois, incidentally)have enormous power and vast investments in the MIC, which they used to influence the normalization of transgenderism – dissociation from our sexed human bodies.”

    Other exceedingly wealthy, white male ‘philanthropists’ driving this agenda include but are not limited to George Soros, Martine Rothblatt, (a self-described transsexual and transhumanist), Drummond Pike, Tim Gill, Mark Bonham and Ric Weiland’s non-profits. 

    All of the billionaires behind this top-down movement have ties to the medical industrial complex and stand to make millions more off of the bodies of healthy children and young adults. The Sex Reassignment Surgery Market size is poised to surpass USD 1.5 billion by 2026, according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. And this growth market forecast does not include the cost of puberty blockers for kids or cross-sex hormones for adults, though this analysis by Research and Markets does.

    This ‘market’ has been created, developed, and promoted by global capital, the farthest thing from historical, hardscrabble grassroots movements like the abolitionist movement, suffrage movement, civil rights movement, labor movement, women’s liberation movement, lesbian/gay liberation movement, Indigenous movement, anti-police brutality movement, disability rights movement, or the Occupy Wall Street movement. It also must be said that no other social justice movement in history has ever sought rights for themselves by taking them away from another oppressed group—in this case those of us born female. Worse, this regressive agenda has been enacted in stealth, by design.

    6. Importance of Debate and Grassroots Democracy in the Green Party 

    The first of the Ten Key Values listed on the national GPUS website is “grassroots democracy” which would indicate the Party takes citizen participation, (including the right to discuss and debate controversial issues), very seriously when measuring the health of our political processes. 

    Grassroots democracy emphasizes putting decision-making power into the hands of ordinary people, (as does the value of decentralization), as Greens recognize that those decisions impact the quality of life of the people involved. By this logic, decisions about the Green Party’s platform and policies directly affecting women should involve as many female members of the Party as possible to ensure these decisions are arrived at democratically, and are reflective of our shared values of grassroots democracy, respect for diversity, and feminism.

    The complaint before the Accreditation Committee about the Georgia Green Party ignores the grassroots democratic process that took place in that state. Open discussion with regard to the impact of gender identity ideology on the existing rights of women and children were discussed on multiple occasions at the regular monthly meetings of the party's state committee across the Summer and Fall of 2019, with each meeting considering new versions of the resolution crafted to address the concerns raised in previous meetings. A special meeting called in December of 2019 adopted a resolution of the state committee on the subject. This agreement of the state committee formed the basis of the platform amendments submitted to and adopted at the party's Bonaire Convention in February 2020. We believe the GaGP, or any state or local party for that matter, should have broad discretion to discuss and endorse any document they believe to be in alignment with Green values. 

    In contrast, open dialogue and discussion of women’s sex-based rights has not only been discouraged but actively suppressed, and feminists and their allies attempting to voice their concerns have been met with outright hostility in most GPUS spaces, even as grassroots democracy demands that “all human beings must be allowed a say in decisions that affect their lives.”9 This kind of punishment inflicted on women who express their opinions and advocate on issues of great import to them precludes discussion or debate and is the antithesis of grassroots democracy.

    In fact, in our view, the state parties and caucuses involved in this dispute are far more guilty of non-compliance with the platform and Ten Key Values than is the Georgia Green Party, and are reprehensibly remiss in recognizing and addressing the basic human rights of those born female by condemning Georgia’s endorsement of the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights.

    Additionally, we hold that the “Green Platform is an evolving document, a living work-in-progress…”10 that can and does change over time, and also that most members do not expect individual Greens to embrace every word of every existing plank. If that were the case, the Party would not have been able to nominate Howie and Angela as our candidates for President and VP, respectively, who both adopted stances in opposition to the platform's stated planks in support of The Nordic Model and also urges that the term 'sex work' not be used in relation to prostitution. Nor would the Party’s bylaws allow for the periodic consideration of amendments to the existing platform as a matter of routine practice as evidenced by the existence of the Platform Committee, and the bi-annual platform process it administers.

    To summarize, GPUS members are indeed allowed to disagree on these issues, as on every other issue, and the Green way of resolving disputes is through rational discussion and debate, not by harassing, disparaging, doxxing, silencing, threatening, or banishing those with whom we may have a political disagreement. We maintain that defending the sex-based rights of women and girls is not ‘hate’ and that biology is not ‘bigotry’. We further maintain that “respect for diversity” also includes respect and tolerance for diverse opinions, particularly in a political party that claims feminism as one of its 10 Key Values, rather than attempting to silence the voices of those of us born female.

    We urge the Accreditation Committee (and the National Committee, if necessary) to uphold our Green values of feminism, respect for diversity, grassroots democracy, and decentralization, and dismiss the mean-spirited and ill-founded complaint made by the Lavender Caucus against the Georgia Green Party.

    Green Feminists: A Women’s Liberation Collective can be reached at greenpartyfeminists@gmail.com


    Footnotes:
    1 National Lavender Green Caucus files complaint with Accreditation Committee seeking dis-accreditation of the Georgia Green Party 

    2 https://www.equalrightsamendment.org/

    3 By 2010, the treaty had actually been ratified by 186 countries and not ratified by only 7.
    https://www.aclu.org/cases444/cedaw-convention-elimination-all-forms-discrimination-against-women

    4 Most US citizens are unaware that Jimmy Carter signed CEDAW on July 17, 1980, and that despite the lack of ratification by the Senate—in actuality it has never been brought before the full Senate for a vote—that signature is significant because according to UN protocols, a country’s signature on a treaty “creates an obligation to refrain, in good faith, from acts that would defeat the object and the purpose of the treaty.” In a just world all entities in the US, including the GPUS, would be held to the same standard.

    5 https://uncommongroundmedia.com/stryker-arcus-billionaires-lgbt/

    6 Stonewall has sold out lesbians and it’s time they be held to account

        https://lgballiance.org.uk/
      “Discussions with a stone wall

    7 U.S. Sex Reassignment Surgery Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Gender Transition (Male To Female, Female To Male), And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

    8 https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2020/01/the-billionaires-behind-the-lgbt-movement

    9 https://www.gp.org/ten_key_values

    10 Green Party US — A Call to Action