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Spanish LGBT organization called women TERFs, suggested lesbians have and like penises & then helped penis excluding lesbian refugees & asylum seekers

Spanish LGBT organization called women TERFs, suggested lesbians have and like penises & then helped penis excluding lesbian refugees & asylum seekers
Photo by James Beheshti / Unsplash

LGBTQI+ organizations in Spain have a problem, a problem demonstrated by data, by their activism on the streets, by their writings and their social media posts. LGBTQI+ organizations are overwhelmingly and disproportionately focused on one specific member of the collective, transgender, at the expense of other members.

I am a lesbian historian, an immigrant in Spain writing about the history of lesbianism dating back to the Roman period and sometimes even before. My currentproject is rewriting my lesbian history of Madrid. At the moment, I am writing a history of Lesbian Visibility Day. It was the first day in Spain dedicated to a specific member of the collective who have historically, and I do mean historically dating back to the Roman period, been ignored, deprioritized and erased.

In writing this history and examining LGBT organization activities around lesbians, it becomes clear that lesbians are being deprioritized and erased, including on a day that FELGTB, Spain’s national LGTB organization and public utility, was specifically created to increase their visibility. A few organizations specifically stand out as engaging in this behavior where the rhetoric says female homosexuals must like penis havers and some female homosexuals are penis havers who are entitled to vagina havers. These include FELGTB, COGAM, Fundacion Diversidad and Kifkif.

These organizations do some amazing work helping all members of the collective, including and in some cases especially lesbians. We, as homosexuals, have a number of rights in Spain because of these organizations.

But they also currently engage in historically problematic behavior for female homosexuals / lesbians. Props to FELGTB and COGAM. I have been able to criticize these public entities on social media and their social media accounts have not blocked me. Conversation is important, or at least being able to see what your critics think of you can be useful

As a lesbian immigrant, the rhetoric by an organization called Kifkif is particularly troubling for me, and it is worth exploring. Kifkif, located in the Comunidad de Madrid, is an LGTB rights organization for Moroccans, founded in Morocco in 2004 and in Madrid in 2008 with a broader focus on all LGTB immigrants. I think Kifkif does great work in many areas, especially in helping lesbians with asylum claims based on sexual orientation. I moved to Spain because I could not marry in my own country. I care about other lesbians who have limited rights in their own country, in needing to flee in order to avoid rape, torture and death. However, Kifkif’s rhetoric around lesbians, especially in 2022, was troubling. Starting two weeks before Lesbian Visibility Day and ending around two and a half weeks before Transgender Day of Remembrance, Kifkif used the term TERF a total of 42 times, TERFa seven times, TERFas four times and TERFs once. In contrast, they mentioned lesbians 37 times of which five were in conjunction with the word trans

In a Spanish speaking and Spanish context, demonstrated through a few studies, TERF and TERFa are used to silence women and to attack “vagina havers” who say they do not have mutual attraction to “penis havers.” The phrase, “Kill the TERFS” appeared last year painted on the chest of a person attending Pride in Barcelona. A drag performer who sold shirts saying, “Kill the Terfs” was invited to perform at a women queer friendly / lesbian bar in Madrid. TERF in Spain has been used by sexually aggressive penis havers towards women who have said they are not sexually interested in men. TERF and TERFa are hateful words used to attack and silence women in Spain. This is not a new experience for women or lesbians in Spain. There is a long history of attempts, and often very successful ones to silence women and lesbians. Lesbiana has a long history in Spain of being a slur intended to silence women, imply she is a deviant and not to be trusted. It is a word that has historically been weaponized to attack women.

These Tweets need examining as an institutional position on the part of this organization. Kifkif is an organization in Spain founded by Moroccan immigrants supporting LGTB rights, especially for asylum seekers. This aspect of their work needs to be looked at.

The Spanish government made a change to asylum laws in mid-2006, becoming the first country in the world to expressly include people seeking international protection because they were fleeing persecution because they were homosexuals or victims of gender-based violence in their home country. Prior to the mid-2010s, most lesbian and gay asylum seekers from Morocco routinely had their petitions denied on the principle of discretion. As bilateral relations between Morocco and Spain deteriorated and as homophobic abuse in Morocco became more well known, lesbian and gay asylum seekers from Morocco began to find greater success in having their petitions accepted. Ceuta and Melilla though remained an exception to this trend, with lesbian and gay asylum seekers in the autonomous cities facing greater scrutiny to their claims than petitions filed in mainland Spain.

Lesbians in CETI residences in 2015 in Melilla and Ceuta were vulnerable to harassment and violence because of their sex and sexual orientation. Sexual orientation in this case very clearly meant a clitoris haver who is romantically or sexually attracted to other clitoris havers. It does not mean a vagina haver who is romantically or sexually attracted to a penis haver. Special anti-discrimination protocols were implemented to try to prevent that from happening. One such protocol was to send some lesbian and gay asylum seekers to facilities on the Spanish mainland.

At the same time that Spain was dealing with this situation, over in Morocco, religious figures were promoting the same ideas that were put into practice in Iran: Homosexuality can be fixed through sex change. The law did not contemplate the idea of lesbian identifying penis haver being charged with “lewd or unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex” by having sex with a vagina haver because the penis haver and vagina haver are not legally the same sex.

Lesbians face huge issues in applying for asylum based on their sexual orientation. In a case in the United Kingdom, a lesbian was denied her asylum case because on the journey to the country, she was raped and got pregnant as a result of the rape. The court considered the fact that the lesbian had had sex with a man which was obvious as a result of getting pregnant, she was not a lesbian even though the sex act in question was rape. Like, this is all completely fucked up.

And this fuckery in Spain means lesbian asylum seekers need to be moved away from other asylum seekers because of their sex. Reality is penis havers know who uterus havers are and they will sexually abuse them. It is frustrating and vexing.

There is not much data to give a clear picture related to asylum seekers in Spain based on claims around their LGTB status. One study suggests that 17% apply because they are transwomen or TIMs while 83% of applications are because they are same-sex attracted asylum seekers with 70% being gay men and 11% being lesbians with zero bisexuals. A different sample from the same study found none of the five lesbians were trans and none of the six transwomen / TIMs identified as lesbians. Further, it found that lesbians seeking assistance wanted psychological assistance while gay men wanted economic assistance.

But these lesbian asylum seekers are clearly TERFs in the classic definition of being female who exclude penises from their sexuality. There would be no reason to seek asylum in a country based on the claim of persecution for being a lesbian otherwise. These women would not fear for their life based on their sexual orientation if they were open to having relationships with and having sex with testical havers.

So it is into this environment, where Spanish lesbians have historically been discriminated against and lesbian asylum seekers faced potential rape and death for being vagina attracted where Kifkif decided that fifty-four times over the course of 192 days.

Let’s explore what Kifkif had to say about TERFs. This one says, “The PP spokeswoman begins her speech by stating that they support LGTBI rights and the rights of trans people and then gives way to her arguments against the terf typification law.” What Partido Popular did was support sex based rights. This is typical TERF behavior in Spain. Respect transpeople but maintain sex-based rights. Maintaining such spaces are important for lesbians, especially given some of the psychological trauma same-sex attracted women have gone through at the hands of penis havers.

Another tweet: “Kind reminder: The controversial dilemma of genitality that has suddenly reached the LGTBI community, with some transphobia, unfortunately, comes from the terf movement. That in itself means something.”

It does not. Lesbians have always asserted they were same-sex attracted. The history of Spanish lesbianism though starting in the late 2000s says lesbians started being scared to call themselves lesbians because lesbian means they exclude penis havers from their sexual partner options. As such, lesbians started leaving LGTB groups and aligning with radical feminists, started using other words to describe themselves to avoid being called bigots or went back in the closet.

And let us not forget, Kifkif is fully aware here that TERF is a slur used against women and lesbians because of lack of sexual access to lesbians. Lesbians in Spain have historically been discriminated against because of the genitals of their romantic and sexual partners. Kifkif cannot show a history of lesbians being all, “Lesbians love based on gender presentation, not genitalia.” There is nothing, nothing in lesbian history until maybe the late 1990s when the Trans Women are Women mantra began.

Tweet: “Have you seen any terf voices condemning this? We do not. It's probably because Imane isn't a woman either and what she's putting up with isn't patriarchy, for good measure. The priorities!”

Here is this thing: Spanish radical feminists and lesbians who don’t suck cock are not aware of everything that is going on. I looked on Twitter. Most of the stuff related to that was reported by newspapers and outside Kifkif, I struggled to find any thing from COGAM, FELGTB and other lesbians can have penises and lesbians like to suck dick organizations either.

It was not just Spanish radical feminists who were silent. This was a very specific niche issue for a very specific set of intersections. Everyone ignored it. COGAM ignores lots of things, like they do not talk extensively about why there are no out homosexuals playing for La Liga and how the climate can be changed so more gay men can come out of the closet… or how COGAM doesn’t talk about how fathers in Spain often discourage their daughters from playing sports because it makes them lesbians. Silence means nothing. There are a million reasons for it. Now, if Kifkif had quote tweeted a TERF or a Spanish radfem hating on Imane Raissali, that would be different. They cannot. And while Kifkif is busy condemning people for remaining silent, Kifkif themselves uses a sexist and homophobic slur weaponized against lesbians to support a woman …. condemning homophobia. Condemn homophobia by using a homophobic slur.

Tweet: “In response to the criticism, the BBC has declared that it is their duty to take into account the terf point of view in this type of coverage, which outrages the LGTBI movement. Let's hope the BBC goes back to what it was and doesn't put hate and our fight in the same place!”

Kifkif again engages in homophobic comments, suggesting that vagina havers need to accept penis havers as sexual partners. Further, when it comes to female sexuality, Kifkif is using a sexist slur to say that the gay men, bisexual men and transwomen/TIMs are outraged about lesbians talking about sexual coercion.

Moroccan women have successfully applied for asylum in Spain because they are vagina havers who are sexually attracted to other vagina havers. And Kifkif, their advocate, is outraged that vagina havers have talked about sexual coercion they faced.

How can an organization that does such amazing work on behalf of lesbians be this tone deaf in asserting male supremacy over female sexuality and condemning females for excluding penises? There is a reason Kifkif does not post this stuff to Facebook or their web page. It is more maddening when you understand that one in three Spanish lesbians have been sexually coerced by transwomen and that women in Spain are regularly socially, culturally and economically punished for saying no to sex with penis havers.

Tweet: “Currently, the BBC is going through a credit crisis within the LGTBI community, due to its approach to the trans question and the inclusion of terf rhetoric in its programs. However, in the past, it has made contributions to the rights agenda, as in this case.”

Kifkif, the crisis of gay men, transwomen, bisexual men is irrelevant to the sexual coercion faced by lesbians. Kifkif should retroactively condemn this. There is a study related to Spanish lesbians and sexual coercion from transwomen, and it found that the sexual coercion between men and transwomen towards same-sex attracted women was exactly the same. Further, lesbians have applied for asylum in Spain because they are same-sex attracted. Kifkif, when faced with a problem dealing exclusively with lesbian sexuality, needs to stop and think about lesbian sexuality. When an issue of lesbian sexuality comes up, the immediate response should not be, “But think of the penis havers!” That does not help lesbians.

Tweet: “❌❌ TERF hate is far from feminism and is not on our side, vulnerable people.”

Kifkif works for vulnerable people, including lesbians who have been victims of male sexual abuse because of their same-sex attraction. Radical feminists care deeply about the effects of male violence on women, no matter their sexual orientation. Kifkif needs to be internally coherent here. If Kifkif cares enough to support asylum claims for lesbians who exclude penises from their sexuality and are persecuted in their home countries for this, then Kifkif is TERFy in the sense that they can acknowledge that lesbians are same-sex, not same-gender attracted. Kifkif needs to acknowledge they are helping women who are not attracted to penises. Kifkif would and does find itself in agreement with radical feminists in this regards.

Lesbians should not have to go to Kifkif and have in the back of their mind, “Kifkif thinks lesbians like penises and people with penises can be lesbians. My asylum claim has merits on being persecuted for not liking penis. I have to be careful when it comes to Kifkif as their help is conditional on my liking penis.”

Tweet: “The TERF 👻 have elevated their absurdity #LasLesbianasNoTienenPene to a trending category. 💡His abracadabrant polemics shouldn't take a minute of our time, or distract us from what's important ❤️🏳️‍⚧️🏳️‍🌈. Let them vent. Go for it ladies 😂😂😂”

Kifkif supports lesbian asylum seekers that are specifically persecuted in their home countries because they refuse sexual and romantic partners who have penises. The degree to which it is absurd is the degree to which an organization that helps women who reject penises does not understand why feminists are concerned that lesbians are being pressured into having sex with penis havers. Kifkif, based on who they help. should be involved with this stopping the absurdity that demands that lesbians accept penises. Kifkif does that with their work in helping lesbian asylum seekers and refugees who reject penises but then turns around says, “But you know, lesbians should like penises.”

Kifkif’s other tweets are often in the same vein, including at least two were they suggest that TERFs are racists, classist and conservatives. This ignores that PSOE and Partido Feminista de España are neither of those things. They support the working classes. Sure, Partido Popular has people who believe in the material reality of sex but they also believe women belong in the home and are homophobes. That sort of narrative may play in the United States and United Kingdom but it does not play in Spain. Spain will get a far right government in late 2023 in part because PSOE ignored their core militant feminist women who have been with them since the democratic transition who believe in the reality of sex. Feminists, that is women who believe in the material reality of sex, have vowed not to vote for traitors. They have made that abundantly clear. Kifkif, in supporting patriarchal concepts and returning PSOE to its roots of repressive gender norms from the Second Republic where vagina havers must partner with penis havers or be declared bad women, are like FELGTB, COGAM and Fundacion Diversidad. They are ensuring a right wing government comes into power for the benefit of penis havers.

Kifkif, through these tweets and others in that 192 day period, represent a continuation of the absurdist narrative coming out of the LGTB community that says they support feminism, do actions that support lesbians like assist trans excluding lesbian refugees who are fleeing their home countries because of their penis excluding sexual orientation, and then turn around, use sexist and homophobic language towards women who exclude penis from their sexual orientation. Their words speak loudly of being part of the patriarchal Spanish and Moroccan history of demanding trying to control female sexuality by insisting that women like penises. Kifkif does not appear to have changed since 2 November 2022, except that they no longer use TERF in their tweets and have only mentioned feminism in the context of Trans Day of Visibility. They do appear have dialed down a bit the rhetoric that suggests lesbians must accept penises, but only in the sense that they no longer appear to discuss this publicly on Twitter.

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