The Defend Feminists Campaign


Defend Feminists Campaign (DFC) exists to expose abuse towards feminists who suffer damage to their reputations, careers and who endure social ridicule, defamation, libel and threats of violence, and in some cases, actual physical harm due to expressing woman-centered feminist views. DFC also provides grassroots support to feminists in need of reprieve from abuse by offering persecuted feminists a group to turn to that will listen and brainstorm ideas for how best feminists can defend themselves and recover from misogynistic abuse online and in their communities and neighborhoods.
DFC seeks support for women’s speech regardless of supporters’ agreement or disagreement with their ideas. DFC works to win active support from groups of women and other oppressed populations, and artistic, environmental, antiwar, anti-racist, and labor groups.

“There’s really no such thing as ‘the voiceless’. There are only the deliberately silenced or the preferably unheard.” Arundhati Roy

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Justice for Ann Menasche

Ann Menasche comments on sex-denialism

On May 11, 2022, Ann Menasche, a long-time civil rights attorney, lesbian, feminist, and left-wing activist, was fired from her job of 20 years without warning within a few days of sending an email to staff that abortion bans harm women as a sex, despite a strong work record advocating for her clients.

Ann’s case should be deeply concerning to lesbians, feminists, supporters of workers’ rights, and anyone else who believes that employers should not have the right to control the thoughts, opinions, and outside political activities of employees. No democracy can survive if employees are terrified, on pain of losing their jobs, of participating in political activity outside of work of which their employer may disapprove.

And it is impossible to fight to regain the right to abortion, if we cannot mention the one and only coherent group of humans that is directly affected by abortion bans, the only group capable of becoming pregnant- women and girls i.e., biological females, regardless how they identify.

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Thistle Pettersen, Madison, Wisconsin, Member WLRN Collective

Thistle up at the capitol for international women's day, March 2018.

Learn more about Thistle Pettersen and the harassment she has endured.

Thistle Pettersen is a long-time environmental organizer and musician in Madison, Wisconsin who has been harassed, defamed, threatened, and ostracized from her community for expressing feminist beliefs. Read our fact sheet for a timeline of the harassment Thistle has faced.

What does Thistle believe? Like many other feminists, Thistle believes that gender is a patriarchal construct. She advocates for the right of women, as members of the oppressed sex, to have protected and respected safe spaces. She advocates for an acknowledgement of the problem of male violence in society, and the ability to talk about it.

Why is Thistle Pettersen targeted?

Thistle publicly expressed her opinions on sex and gender, and interviewed well known feminist authors/journalists Julie Bindel, Meghan Murphy and Sheila Jeffreys on WORT 89.9 FM via the Access Hour. For more in-depth analysis of gender-critical feminism please see this 2015 article from Common Dreams and this 2014 article in the New Yorker. Since then it has been nearly impossible to get gender-critical journalism published in left-leaning and progressive publications.

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