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Open letter to - Support Meghan Murphy suffered a misogynist campaign by the sex industry lobby

11 mai 2015

par Feminist organizations and individuals

To : The Editors, Publishers, Founders and Editorial Board –

 To add your signature, send email with your full name, organization, city, province and country at this address :

We, the undersigned, wish to express our deep dissatisfaction with rabble’s response* to the recent attacks on Meghan Murphy.

In past weeks, Meghan Murphy has become the target of a vicious and focused attack that we believe is aimed not only at her—as the most visible voice of a set of feminist principles with which we broadly agree—but at women in general and feminists specifically.

This attack—sparked by an article at Playboy magazine and a petition inspired by the Men’s Rights Movement and women who are known for their promotion of the sex industry—focuses nominally on a brief piece written by Murphy in response to nude photos published of a trans woman named Laverne Cox. Her piece criticized the notion that the publication of highly sexualized, pornographic photographs of a woman or trans woman is “empowering.” We see no fair basis upon which the piece can be characterized as “transphobic.” Moreover, the definition of “transphobia” is, like its partner in discourse, “whorephobia,” a subject of debate. For those of us who still adhere to democratic standards and principles of fair journalism, it is disturbing to see critique converted to “phobia/personal attack” resulting in an end to rational discussion.

Given that there is no reasonable argument that Murphy’s article discriminates against or is disrespectful to trans people, it is our belief that the breadth and vitriol of the attack on her and the ideas she articulates is rooted in a broader attempt to marginalize and inevitably silence women and feminists who agree with her political views—and ours.

As evidenced by her work at Feminist Current and at rabble, Murphy has taken a principled, feminist position in opposition to the institutionalization of women’s oppression and exploitation through prostitution and in support of the goal of the abolition of prostitution beginning with the criminalization of the men in charge of the prostitution industry—pimps and traffickers—and the consumers of women’s bodies—johns.

There has been, and is, deep division across many constituencies with respect to this issue, accompanied by a concerted effort from the sex industry and those on the sex industry bandwagon—often including women—to attack, smear, stalk, harass and threaten any woman—or man—who threatens the flow of cash streaming from women’s backs into the pockets of exploiters. In our view rabble has consistently supported, published and given wide berth to these voices at the expense of reasoned argument, debate and discussion, rather than articulate a principled stand on the issue.

The one ray of light at rabble on feminist issues and prostitution is Meghan Murphy. Unlike many in the pro-prostitution, anti-feminist, and transactivist movements, Murphy depends on analysis and reasoned argument in articles she has written at Feminist Current and rabble. Her detractors have failed to actually engage with the arguments Murphy makes. Instead they favour vicious, personal attacks and astroturfing. These attacks now threaten her employment and career, not only at rabble, but elsewhere.

As women and feminists who depend on Murphy’s integrity as a journalist and her ability to think and write analytically and lucidly, this is of deep concern to us. We support her and we vehemently oppose the effort to silence her public voice.

But the issue goes beyond Murphy herself to the principles of journalism, democracy and the valorization of public speech for a wide variety of otherwise marginalized voices. It is obvious that we live in difficult political times wherein there is deep polarization across many political divides and within oppressed communities with respect to political and “cultural” issues. While it may not be possible for rabble to take a principled position on each and every issue, we, your readers, demand that at the very least you provide an environment wherein reasoned discussion is encouraged and ad hominem attack is not tolerated.

Many of the blog and opinion pieces you have sponsored have not met that basic expectation. Personal attack against certain voices appears to be encouraged, thus legitimizing the kind of vicious campaign levelled against Meghan Murphy and her supporters. By not taking a firm stand and making a clear statement in support of Murphy’s journalism, published in your own digital pages and appreciated by a broad spectrum of women, feminists, and male supporters of feminist principles, you are implicated in the current witch hunt. rabble thus harms not only Meghan Murphy both personally and professionally, but also stifles public discussion of complex and difficult issues that are simply not covered adequately in mainstream media.

We believe that rabble has a responsibility to affirm its commitment to giving the voices of the largest class of oppressed humanity—women, and most especially Indigenous women, women of colour and women living in poverty —a hearing and a public forum for principled debate. We would like to see a new statement that acknowledges that rabble accepts its responsibility to act with professional and political integrity in the treatment of its staff, its writers, and the national and global feminist movement.

Yours truly,

*, May 5, 2015.

 To add your signature, send email with your full name, city, province and country at this address :

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  • Feministas of Canada
  • S.A.N.T.A.S. (Uruguay – Argentina – Spain)
  • Mujeres de AgrupaciÛn Lucretia Barredes (Uruguay)
  • Lunas Lesbianas Feministas (Mexico)
  • The Störenfriedas, German Blogger Group
  • Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter
  • WoLF ( Women’s Liberation Front)
  • Deep Green Resistance
  • ROSE (Remember our Sisters Everywhere)
  • CATWA (Coalition Against Trafficking in Women Australia)
  • CLES (Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle)
  • LAWC (London Abused Women’s Centre), London, ON
  • Women Fight Back, Vancouver Island, BC
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Feminists and Allies
  • The Resist Collective, Vancouver, BC
  • NorMAC (Nordic Model in Australia Coalition)
  • Collective Shout Australia
  • Persons Against Non-State Torture
  • EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating)
  • Le collectif d’aide aux femmes exploitées sexuellement, Le CAFES
  • CATW-Asia Pacific.


  • Alena Nikole, WoLF
  • Alexandra Pelletier, Montreal, Quebec
  • Ali Bee, Norwich, UK
  • Amanda Thornhill, Parrish, FL, USA
  • Ana Popovic, Montréal, QC, community organiser
  • Andrea Stumpf, Vancouver, BC
  • Angie Conroy, Cambodia
  • Anna Fisher, London, UK.
  • Anna Hoheide, Blogger
  • Anne Pyterek, Crestone, Colorado
  • Anne-Marie Bilodeau, avocate retraitée, Montréal, QC
  • Aoife Emily Hart, Vancouver, BC
  • Betty Qi, Stouffville, ON
  • Bo Novak, Bath, England
  • Bonhomme Fannie,Montauban, FRANCE
  • Brigitte Tucker, Australia
  • Carol Hanisch, Ellenville, NY, USA
  • Caroline Laplante, animatrice en art collectif, Québec
  • Caroline Werner, LISA Wiesbaden, DIE LINKE (german left party)
  • Cassaundra Blythe, Havelock, ON
  • Catherine Weiss, Melbourne, Australia
  • Cathryn Atkinson, Squamish, BC
  • Celia A. Nord, Chase, BC
  • Chantale Caron, directrice générale, Centre de prévention du suicide Pierre-de-Saurel, Québec
  • Cheryl Lynn Bergen BSW, RSW, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
  • Chloe Gustella, Melbourne, Australia
  • Chris Cherry, Writer and Former Communications Director, SC Democratic Women’s Council
  • Chris Hedges, Journalist, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • Chris McDowell, Vancouver, BC for ROSE (Remember Our Sisters Everywhere)
  • Christine Boyle, Q.C., Professor Emeritus, Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia
  • Claire Young, Professor Emerita, Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia
  • Colette Price Swietnicki, New York City, NY, USA
  • Colleen Fuller, Vancouver, BC
  • Colleen Glynn, Richmond, BC
  • Coralie Allison, Director, Collective Shout Australia
  • Coralie Pittman, Melbourne, Australia – Collective Shout
  • D. Klaric, Toronto, ON
  • Danielle Cormier, Vancouver, BC
  • Danielle de Ronde, Ottawa, ON
  • Daphne Gilbert, Associate Professor – University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, B.A. (Hon.)(Manitoba), LLB (Manitoba), LL.M. (Yale), Of the Bar of Ontario
  • Derrick Jensen, Crescent City, CA, USA – Deep Green Resistance
  • Diana Boston
  • Diana Salles, Emoryville, CA
  • Diane Matte and Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle
  • Didier Bois, abolitionnist activist, Paris, France
  • Dominique Bernier
  • Dr Meagan Tyler, Feminist Academic, Melbourne, Australia
  • Dr. Erin Graham, Vancouver, BC
  • Dr. Helen Pringle. Senior lecturer U.N.S.W (University of New South Wales)
  • Dr. Julian Vigo, London, UK
  • Drew Walker, London, ON
  • Elaine Audet, directrice des Éditions Sisyphe, Montréal
  • Elaine Grisé, MA in Sexology, Women’s Centre Coordinator, Montréal, QC
  • Elizabeth Ann Calhoun, Grandview, MO, USA
  • Elizabeth Fleetwood, Australia
  • Elizabeth Hungerford, Maynard, MA, USA
  • Elizabeth Pickett, Founder- Feministas of Canada
  • Elizabeth Sheehy, FRSC, Shirley Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profession, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law
  • Emanuel Marcos Abinzano, Cordoba, Argentina
  • Emily Bagnald, WoLF, occupied Mi’kma’ki (aka Nova Scotia, Canada)
  • Emily Pascall
  • Emma Anstruther, Cambridge, MA USA
  • Emma Walker, London, ON
  • Erin D. Jackson, Albuquerque, NM, USA
  • Ernesto Aguilar, Houston, TX, USA
  • Estella Muzito, Kampala, Uganda
  • Estrella Sicardi, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Fathia Hizam, ancienne membre du bureau directeur de l’Association Tunisienne des Femmes démocrates
  • Florencia Negreira, Canelones, Uruguay
  • Françoise Pelletier, feminist, M.A. Art-thérapie, Mental health counselor, Maison alternative de développement humain inc, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC
  • Frank Austin, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Gail Dines, Professor and founder, Stop Porn Culture, Boston, MA, USA
  • Hanna Dahlberg, Blogger, Die Stˆerenfriedas, Germany
  • Hélène Morin
  • Hilla Kerner, Vancouver, BC
  • Inge Kleine, Munich, Germany (Abolition 2014)
  • Isla MacGregor, NorMAC, Australia
  • J. Renee Bernard, Farmer City, IL, USA
  • Jacqueline Gullion, Vancouver, BC
  • Jaqueline Sephora Andrews, Seattle, WA, USA
  • Jan Watson- South Coast Environment Group WA
  • Janet Hacker, Victoria, BC
  • Janet Suarez, Canleones, Uruguay
  • Janice Latisha Betts, Manti, Manabi, Ecuador
  • Janine-Heather Goodrum, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia
  • Jean Enriquez, Executive Dir, CATW-Asia Pacific.
  • Jeanne Sarson, Truro, NS
  • Jenifer Walker, London, ON
  • Jennifer White, London, ON
  • Jess Martin Dueck, Exploited Voices’ Allies (EVA)
  • Jewelles Smith, Artist, BC
  • Johanna te Boekhorst, Chilliwack, BC
  • Johanne Heppell, translator, Plaisance, Québec
  • Johanne St-Amour, Québec
  • Jonah Mix, Deep Green Resistance, Crescent City, CA
  • Judith M‰rz, Blogger, Germany
  • Julie Bindel, Author, Journalist, Feminist Campaigner, UK
  • Karina Ansolhabere, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Katarina Vidovic, Croatia, EU
  • Kate Graham, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Kathleen Barry, Ph.D., Sociologist and Professor Emerita
  • Kathy Miriam, Santa Fe, NM, USA
  • Kathy Scarbrough, E. Brunswick, NJ, USAKim Pate, Sallows Chair in Human Rights – Faculty of Law, University of Saskatchewan and Executive Director – Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS)
  • Komal Gilani, Austin, Texas
  • Krista Sawchuk, London, ONKylee Nixon, Edmonton Supporters of Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, Edmonton, AB.Laurel Long, MD, USALeah Harwood, Toronto, ONLee Lakeman, Vancouver, BCLeslie
  • Gildart, Boston, MA
  • Laurel Long, Maryland, USA
  • Lierre Keith, California, USA, co-founder – WoLF
  • Lily Munroe
  • Linda MacDonald, Person Against Non-State Torture, Truro, NS
  • Lira Laluz, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Lisa J. Whelan, London, UK
  • Lise Bouvet, Ressources Prostitution, Paris, France
  • Liz Waterhouse, ShoutOut Australia, Western Australia
  • Lorna Garano, El Cerrito, CA, USA
  • Lori Jean Meyer Khan, Houston, TX
  • Luke Bourke, Melbourne, Australia
  • Lynda Davies, Former Frontline Worker – VAW, Ottawa, ON
  • Madeline Beckett, St. Louis, MI, USA
  • Maggie Jihan, Knox, ME, USA
  • Manuela Schon, LISA Wiesbaden, DIE LINKE, Member of City Parliament, Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Margaret McCarroll, London, ON
  • Marie Hume, Mannum, South Australia
  • Marie-Andrée Boivin, militante pour les droits des sourds et des femmes, maîtrise en communications – profil média expérimental, UQAM, Montréal, Québec
  • Marie-Pier Lauzon, Québec
  • Marina de Carneri, Roverto, Trento, Italy
  • Marion Wallace, Memphis, TN, USA
  • Martin Dufresne, Editor/translator/activist, Montréal, Qc
  • Martine Roucole, FRANCE, Militante Osez le Féminisme
  • Mary-Ann Stephenson, Coventry, UK
  • Mary Ceallaigh, Tucson, AZ, USA (WoLF member)
  • Mary Lou Jones, London, ON
  • Mary Moylan, St. John’s, NL
  • Mathew Gustella, Melbourne, Australia
  • Matthew B. Ezzell, PhD, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, USA
  • Matthew Holloway, Australia
  • Max Dashu, Suppressed Histories Archives, CA, USA
  • Max Wilbert and Deep Green Resistance Seattle
  • Maya Shlayen, feminist activist & journalism student
  • Megan Bourke, Melbourne, Australia
  • Megan Walker, London Abused Women’s Centre, London, ON
  • Michelle Hurtibise, London, ON
  • Michelle Lyn Jones, Winchendon, MA – Deep Green Resistance
  • Micheline Carrier, éditrice de, Montréal, Québec
  • Miep Rowan O’Brien, Carlsbad, NM, USA (WoLF member)
  • Miranda Yardley, Essex, United Kingdom
  • Mira Sigel, Feminist Blogger, Germany
  • Monica Moore, Melbourne, Australia
  • Monique Carbonell, Lilburn, GA, USA
  • Morris Dalla Costa, Journalist, London, ON
  • Myrian Machain, Sydney, Australia
  • N. Fraser, Guelph, ON
  • Naida Pintul, Heidelberg, Germany
  • Nancy J. Meyer, Hyattsville, MD, USA
  • Natacha Rault, Geneva – Switzerland – economist
  • Nicholas James, Ottawa, ON
  • Nicole Jameson, Collective Shout, Adelaide, Australia
  • Orla Hegarty, BMath, MASc, WoLF member, Newfoundland & Labrador Feminists and Allies
  • Otilia Puiggros, PhD Candidate, Université du Québec en Outaouais
  • Owen Lloyd, Deep Green Resistance, Port Orford, OR
  • Patricia Antuna, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Patricia Karina Vergara Sanchez, DF, Mexico
  • Paul Lavergne, MACP, The Turning Point Counselling, Peterborough, ON
  • Paula Schmidt, Vernon, BC
  • Paulette C.Turcotte, Victoria, BC
  • Pei-Ju Wang, Ottawa, ON
  • Pete Newbon, Walthamstow, London, Greater London, UK
  • Peter Maxwell, Melbourne, Australia
  • Rachel Goodine, Victoria, BC
  • Rebecca Huntington, Lansing, MI, USA
  • Rebecca Thornhill, Ottawa, ON
  • Rebecca Whisnant, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, the University of Dayton, OH, USA
  • Reece K. Sellin, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
  • Rhéa Jean, PhD Philosophy, Université Laval, Université de Sherbrooke, founding member of La CLES
  • Robert Jensen, University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA
  • Rose Sullivan, Québec, Le collectif d’aide aux femmes exploitées sexuellement, Le CAFES
  • S.C. Gillett, Toronto, ON
  • Samantha Berg, journalist, co-founder – WoLF
  • Sanda Rogers, Ottawa, ON
  • Sara Lynn, Bracebridge, ON
  • Sarah Forrester, London, ON
  • Shanie Roy, Montréal, QC
  • Shannen Bethune, Mount Waverley, Melbourne, Australia
  • Sheila Jeffreys, Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Sheila McIntyre, Ottawa, ON
  • Shelagh Day, CM, VAncouver, BC
  • Simone Andrea, Fremantle, Australia
  • Simone Watson, Director NorMAC, Australia
  • Solveig Senft, Terre des Femmes, Germany
  • Sophia Chaudhary
  • Spider Redgold, The Feminine Byte, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • Sue Breeze, Windsor, ON
  • Susan Barley, Australia
  • Susan Boyd, Vancouver, BC
  • Susan Hyatt, UT, USA
  • Suzan Attwood, Snellville, GA, USA
  • Sylvia Black, co-founder WoLF, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Tamara Gorin, poet and front line anti-poverty and housing worker, Vancouver BC
  • Tatjana Cherifi, LISA Wiesbaden, Germany
  • Teagan Westendorf, Melbourne, Australia
  • Terre Spencer, Peachtree Corner, GA, USA
  • Terri Moore, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Thistle Pettersen, Madison, WI, USA
  • Tracie Warden Denga, Pacific Grove, California
  • Trish Oliver, Beaver Hall Artist, Toronto, ON and co-founder – WoLF(Women’s Liberation Front)
  • Trisha Baptie, Vancouver BC and EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating)
  • Trisha Wilson-Singer, Mississauga, ON
  • Ulla Wojciechowski, translator, Oberhausen, Gemany
  • Veronica Penfold, Windsor, ON
  • Victoria Humak, Atlanta, GA, USA (WoLF member)
  • Wendy Lewis, London, ON
  • Whitney Austin, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Wynell Austin, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Yolande Clarke, Queenstown, NB

     To add your signature, send email with your full name, organization, city, province and country at this address :

    On Sisyphe, May 11, 2015

    Feminist organizations and individuals

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