It’s almost two decades now since Kim Nixon tried to destroy the work of feminists who set up the Vancouver Rape Relief shelter to aid victims of male violence who were raped or beaten. (http://thetyee.ca/News/2007/02/03/Nixon/)
Nixon, a trans-cis-man, is only one in a long line of straight and gay men and their allies like Barbara Findlay who have relentlessly worked to shut down the initiatives and advances we feminists have struggled to establish over many decades, even centuries. In the particular instance of Nixon’s sabotage there was a deafening silence, bereft of any protest against this destruction of women’s efforts to protect themselves. Instead of condemnation, Nixon received support from the gay patriarchy, in fact, he garnered ardent and loyal legal help over an agonizing dozen years in which the work of the Rape Relief Shelter was obstructed and impeded. They were assailed with accusations like, “Sounds like heteronormatism to me.”
As many shelters, rape crisis centers and women’s centers were similarly attacked from the seventies on, the women of Rape Relief did survive, but at great cost: politically, personally and economically. Many others succumbed to the onslaught of misogyny or managed to survive only by betraying their raison d’etre, which was to provide a safe space for women (minus female imposters) and demonstrate authentic models of women taking care of each other and themselves, while turning back male violence and economic exploitation of women.
Today, we see how female impersonators in drag, in womanface, are invading shelters for battered women and harassing the women, driving them out, taking over positions in women’s organizations, diverting funds that should be going to support women; like the donations women make to Planned Parenthood to help other women, which instead go to paying for hormone treatments for men attempting to impersonate in womanface. And now, suddenly, some women are noticing and crying foul when people like the rapist trans-cis-man McCallum aka Contreras is given no jail time, but were silent when he was previously honored as the 5th of the 31 Most Important LGB”T” People In Tech and in so many other instances.* Isn’t this a case of too little too late?
Twitter engineer, LGBT activist pleads guilty to domestic violence. Tuesday, October 07, 2014
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A senior Twitter engineer hailed as one of the most important gay or transgender people in the tech industry was sentenced on Tuesday to three years probation after pleading guilty to false imprisonment and domestic violence charges, San Francisco prosecutors said.
Dana Contreras, known professionally as Dana McCallum, was also ordered to attend 52 weeks of domestic violence classes and stay away from her wife, the victim in the case, as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. Under that agreement prosecutors agreed to drop more serious rape charges against Contreras, 33, who was arrested in January after the attack, said Max Szabo, a spokesman for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
Contreras, who is transgendered, has advocated for gay, women’s and transgender rights. In December of 2013, Business Insider ranked Contreras No. 5 on its list of the 31 most important LGBT people in tech, calling her “one of the geniuses behind Twitter.” (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Eric Walsh)