Jacobin needs our support

July 15, 2013

On July 10, the left-wing magazine Jacobin published an article by Samantha Allen titled "CounterPunch and the War on Transgender People," which challenged a strand of radical feminism whose proponents, in Allen's words, see a transgender woman as someone who "invades 'real' women's spaces and perpetuates harmful gender stereotypes," and who acts "as a blight on the feminist movement."

In particular, Allen singled out Catherine Brennan as a leading proponent of trans-exclusive radical feminism--to the extent that Brennan has argued "against legal protections based on 'gender identity or expression,'" according to Allen. Allen also cited the CounterPunch website for publishing an article by Julian Vigo that defended Brennan and condescendingly attacked transgender activists for daring to criticize those who consider them a "blight."

Jacobin editor Bhaskar Sunkara recently announced that Brennan, in response to Allen's article, has reportedly begun legal action against the magazine--and that Jacobin is raising funds for a legal defense. Here, we reprint his call to contribute to Jacobin's legal defense--and hope SocialistWorker.org readers will support it.

Dear readers,

This week we were pleased to publish a wonderful essay by Samantha Allen on "CounterPunch and the War on Transgender People." It's a moving piece that brings to life the type of discrimination that trans* people experience on a daily basis.

In the piece, Allen laments the fact that portions of the Left, including some self-described feminists, are still bullying this vulnerable population. What's more, these reactionary voices are even finding outlets in some of our best publications, like CounterPunch. As Allen writes, "...pundits of both liberal and radical varieties can demonize us, ignore us, and question our legitimacy because they can get away with it."

As is the case with many other issues--and largely due to a lack of time and resources--Jacobin hasn't provided a very good counterweight to these tendencies. That's why we were so proud to publish Allen's piece, and it's one of the many reasons we stand behind it without reservation.

But not everyone is so pleased with its publication. Catherine Brennan, whose views are critiqued in the essay as being transphobic, has instructed her lawyer David Diggs to prepare litigation against Jacobin magazine.

Any money raised in the next few weeks will be held in escrow and reserved for a long overdue legal defense fund. Our payment pages are all secure and encrypted, but for those who prefer they can donate via PayPal to [email protected].

Your generosity is vital and appreciated. It will help safeguard our writers and our publication and enable us to continue what I believe to be valuable work.

First published at Jacobin Magazine.

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