Meghan Murphy, who runs FeministCurrent, Canada’s leading feminist website, is suing Twitter for banning her for her personal beliefs.
The lawsuit, filed on Monday, says she was banned because her beliefs don’t align with the company’s politics.
According to the suit, Twitter sent an email to Murphy, on November 8, stating that she’d violated the hateful conduct policy when she referred to Jonathan Y (who goes by Jonathan) as “him.”
Jonathan filed lawsuits against 16 different women in Canada for refusing to perform genital waxing services. While the women’s names and places of work were publicly released, B.C. Human Rights Tribunal protected the plaintiff’s identity as a marginalized class (known as JY in Canadian Press). The comment, “Yeeeah it’s him,” was a response to a question about Jonathan’s identity, asked via Twitter.
In a publication hosted on WordPress, screenshot’s revealed the plaintiff, Jonathan, asking questions such as “If I notice a 10-year-old girl that’s nude from below…Is it weird to just approach her? Just to bond?” He also asked if he could approach young girls to help them insert tampons and talk about “period stuff” in restrooms. WordPress shut down the publication without warning.
While stories like these are piling up (and censored in the left media), many feminists feel that new laws prevent them from being able to effectively convey events such as these in any meaningful way. That it becomes impossible to demonstrate the full picture, when you’re not allowed to paint the picture, or use the words that go along with it.
Feminists like Murphy believe they should be allowed to paint a full picture. The enforcement of compulsory language makes it impossible to even ‘name the problem’ in a realistic manner.
In October, Murphy had to delete tweets (to regain access to her account), including “Women aren’t men,” and “What is the difference between a man and a transwoman?” The question itself speaks to a concern that an estimated 80% of individuals identifying as transwomen, retain male genitalia. That with the changes made to law, there are no longer any requirements (at all) to access spaces such as rape shelters, prisons, homeless shelters, and other retreats.
Laws and law changes, concerning women’s lives and bodies, are overwhelmingly created and maintained by men.
In this clip, Alex Drummond, prominent Stonewall UK advisor who identifies as a “lesbian transwoman,” explains “what it means to be a woman.” While Stonewall UK, and other male-dominated “LGBTQ” organizations push changes in law, feminists feel when laws change, there should be discussion and debate. Feminists who do ask questions, risk losing their jobs, and frequently will get no-platformed, so many women are afraid to go near the topic.
Murphy hasn’t let intimidation tactics stop her, even though she’s faced threats and no-platforming. After regaining access to her account, Murphy responded to Twitter with a tweet that went viral, gaining over 20,000 “likes”: “I’m not allowed to say that men aren’t women or ask questions about the notion of transgenderism at all anymore?” But the tweet that prompted the permanent ban was, “Yeeeah it’s him.”
Notably, the other tweets Twitter asked Murphy to delete (in order to regain access to her account) were also comments pointing out where new laws have caused harm to women, or organizations that have been set up to help women.
Interestingly, before Twitter banned Murphy, they removed her blue (verification) check mark, and Murphy made a comment on her Twitter page regarding the check mark being removed.
In the suit, Murphy alleges that Twitter violated unfair-competition law. The platform initially committed to free speech. They changed their hateful-conduct policy late last year, so that users could be banned for identifying someone by a previous name that they no longer go by (“deadnaming”), or for not using a person’s preferred pronouns (“misgendering”). However, as in Jonathan’s case, a person may simply claim the pronoun used is offensive, even if otherwise displayed and used by the individual themselves on multiple platforms.
“The big tech giants are counting on users to quietly accept their bans and not stand up for their rights,” Murphy’s lawyers said, in Monday’s press release. “But Murphy is fighting back against the attempts of powerful social-media conglomerates to silence her and millions of others.”
The new changes, happening in multiple countries, have been kept vague, which have leveraged the quick passing of “self-ID” laws (more popularly known as “bathroom bill” in the US)—A list of legal changes that dismantle sex-based protections, in favor of creating a gender-based system. In layman’s terms, it removes all protocols/waiting periods previously required to access spaces marked exclusively for females (sex)—such as women’s rape crisis centers, homeless shelters, and prisons—in favor of reserving those spaces, for immediate access, based instead on one’s identity (gender), using an honor system.
One of the most basic premises of the discussion, which feminists have been actively barred from expressing, is the distinct difference between the words “sex” and “gender.” A shocking number of people aren’t aware that the words have two meanings, with two different definitions in the dictionary. To report on this topic, it’s essential to understand (and convey to readers), the very basic premise of what’s being debated in this matter—that sex and gender are not one and the same.
Yet when publications cover the debate, they often conflate the two words and/or use them interchangeably. Sometimes it appears intentional, other times it appears to be a lack of research (on the most basic level, of the very debate being reported). Gender (the stereotypes, roles and expectations assigned based on ones sex) is imposed. Lesbians, in particular, don’t abide by the rules of ‘gender.’ We’re actually pretty famous for flipping ‘gender’ off. We go by sex. Feminists have long viewed gender as a man-made box, a hierarchy, placing males in the position of dominance.
In a recent Op-Ed in The New York Times, a false claim is made, pinning these discussions on right wingers. An untruth often passed off to readers on the left. While there are right wing groups, and there are people who hold extremist and hateful points of view, the majority of feminists who are trying to engage in this debate are liberals, running the gamut from straight, to bisexual, to lesbian, to those who are non-conforming, to trans, to detrans, younger, older, parents, their kids… And a smaller number of gay, straight, and bisexual men who follow feminist issues.
The reality is, feminists on the left have been quite vocal when it comes to various changes in law, pushed by the “LGBTQ” lobby. Some of those liberal feminists are “nice” and “polite” and others less so. Feminists on the left have been among the most vocally opposed to changes in law and APA guidelines. Opposed to things like early-childhood transition and giving double mastectomies to 13 year old kids, way before they’ve ever even had a chance to reach full cognitive brain development (which happens in your 20’s).
Lesbians, who are statistically the most underfunded and unrepresented group in the acronym, are also some of the most vocal when it comes to asking why.
Why they no longer protect L & G kids who don’t conform.
Why they don’t consider various religions and conservative parenting—where a gay child is considered the worst possible scenario, and abuse/shaming starts as young as with an 18 month old baby, for liking the “wrong” things.
Twitter is now banning people for saying things like “sex and gender are not the same.” On Feb 4, Twitter informed prominent trans activist Kristina Harrison, that saying “sex and gender are not the same,” breaks their rules on hateful conduct. Infamous transexual icon and brilliant ally to lesbians, Miranda Yardley, was also banned from twitter (among others), for similar thoughtcrimes.
Many on the left know that something bigger is at play. Why not allow people to talk about the difference between sex and gender? Enforcing a belief system upon others is not a human right. And lesbians hold their own set of valid beliefs, as do feminists in general. Even well-meaning parents (liberal or conservative)—who simply don’t understand “non conformity,” or know that sex and gender are two different things—can benefit from understanding something as simple as the fact that clothes, haircuts, colors, toys, activities and interests do not have a ‘gender.’
While some well-known ‘gender’-benders, such as Boy George and Mister Marilyn, have expressed their thoughts while avoiding the Twitter boot, many women are finding themselves on the bad end of a witch-hunt. Expressing any thought, outside of the approved thoughts, are cause for expulsion.
Director Graham Linehan noted that simply tweeting “him” and Jonathan’s last name, triggered a notification of hateful conduct (and lock out). As someone who reports on issues as they specifically pertain to and affect lesbians, I too was targeted and locked out for a year old tweet (where it’s clear I’m speaking of racist and homophobic names I’ve personally been called). My wife was locked out at the exact same time (for “suspicious activity”). Guilty by association.
My initial article about Jonathan and the Murphy ban, was the only article that was put out on the topic by the mainstream left. As I said then, while I may not agree with everything Murphy says—I rarely agree with anyone 100%… not even my own wife—I do agree Murphy has a right to her own beliefs.
Forcing your own belief system upon others is not a human right. Forcing a woman to handle a penis against her will, is not a human right.
Setting up a system that legally silences women, so they can’t even name what’s happened… that’s not a human right either.
Twitter has been criticized for failing women in the past. Amnesty International stated, “Twitter’s inconsistency and inaction on its own rules not only creates a level of mistrust… it also sends the message that Twitter does not take violence and abuse against women seriously – a failure which is likely to deter women from reporting in the future.” Murphy, who specializes in debates around gender, sex and women’s studies, has a master’s degree in this field. At the time she was banned she said, “I have reported countless violent threats, the vast majority of which have gone unaddressed [by Twitter].”
Twitter has been criticized for failing to protect lesbians. Lesbians have long held our own unique belief system where sex and gender are concerned, and a big part of that has always been our right to acknowledge that we’re raised to believe in “gender” like we’re raised to believe in Jesus… or the Koran…
When lesbians, as a protected class under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, are called actual slurs on Twitter, such as “vagina fetishists,” Twitter rarely sees this as a violation of terms. Lesbians are regularly targeted on Twitter.
Women and girls are subjugated on the basis of sex, often horrifically, worldwide. This subjugation is multiplied if you’re a lesbian, it’s compounded if you’re “incorrectly female,” and compounded further still, if you’re a woman of color—Laws must take that under consideration and hear our voices and concerns. Because laws, and changes to laws, are overwhelmingly created and maintained by men. Laws about our lives and bodies and autonomy. Laws should provide safety and equality to all people. And marginalized groups must maintain the right to hold their own beliefs.
Murphy’s lawyer, Noah Peters, commented, “Twitter claims its policies do not take into account political views. They actually do practice viewpoint discrimination.”
Twitter plans to defend itself against the suit and feels Ms. Murphy’s claims are without merit.
جوليا ديانا — JD Robertson, is an award-winning author, and a contributor for Huffington Post and AfterEllen—A first generation Arab-American, who grew up between worlds, and currently resides somewhere in the middle with a bird’s eye view.