We spoke to the ‘radical feminist’ group behind the transphobic stickers found on campus
The stickers have been labelled as ‘too extreme’ and ‘transphobic’ by UEA SU and university students
(TW: sexual violence, transphobia)
A number of 'radical feminist' stickers were found stuck to lampposts around and just outside the UEA campus at the end of last week, leading to concerns from students about transphobia on campus
The stickers, which displayed statements such as "Refuse to date men who watch porn", "Female is not a feeling", and "Pornography fuels sexual violence" had been found by students throughout the week. By 4pm on Friday, the majority had been ripped off and their messages left unreadable.
General responses from those who have seen them have been negative, with some students feeling that the statements are "too extreme."
Hannah, a third year student called them "misandristic, transphobic and anti-feminist."
Students have also criticised the statements about pornography, calling them too generalised.
Dan, a Maths student saw the attack on pornography as "a scapegoat.. [a reason] to be angry at porn or men" as well as having gender bias with Charlotte, an English Literature student arguing that it's "not just men who watch porn."
The Norwich Tab found that the group behind the stickers is a group called "Radical Feminism Norwich". We spoke to their organiser on Instagram, a resident of Norwich, who is worryingly, not a student, and whose identity remains unknown, to find out why the stickers had appeared on our campus.
What has made you decide to post these around campus?
"The aim for the whole campaign is to start a radical feminist group in Norwich. I’ve been putting up stickers around the city in the hopes that other women will see them, find me on social media and get in touch. I thought UEA would be a good place to target as I wanted to reach more people."
What is the Radical Feminism movement?
"The core belief is that women are a sex class oppressed by men. Radical feminists believe that gender is a hierarchy imposed on women to keep us subjugated, and so we believe abolishing gender is the way forward. Other radical feminist campaigns focus on issues against male violence. For example sexual violence in the form of pornography and prostitution, domestic violence.’"
There is clearly strong opposition to radfemnorwich’s attempts to create a conversation, and we asked how they felt about this opposition, especially in regard to the stickers being removed by the general public.
"They’re perfectly within their rights to disagree with me, but I would obviously prefer for the stickers to be left up so people can see them. The solution is not trying to censor these views and sending me messages on social media telling me what an awful person I am, it’s having a conversation about the issues that I think needs to be had."
Radical Feminism Norwich has been criticised over its transphobic stance leading to UEA SU releasing the following statement on the issue of the posters being on campus:
"We are proud of the diversity of our membership, and the inclusive, supportive attitude that the vast majority of students approach one another with when they join UEA – it’s truly one of best things about this University.
"Unfortunately it’s come to our attention that stickers have been distributed around our campus that carry transphobic messages – we want to be clear that this sort of behaviour is contrary to our beliefs as a Students’ Union.
"Over the past three years our Never OK work has promoted our zero tolerance approach to any kind of transphobic language or behaviours; we are very clear about this – we’d encourage any students that witness or experience transphobia to report it via the Never OK reporting tool
"At this point in time it’s unclear who is distributing this material but we have alerted security – please don’t attempt to remove the stickers yourself, simply take a picture of its location and make security aware via [email protected]"
The Norwich Tab reached out to the university for comment, who said:
"UEA is a place where everyone should feel welcome and we will continue to work closely with the Student's Union to ensure that students and staff are not subject to any form of harassment.
"We encourage all members of the UEA community to report any incidents that they experience or witness so that appropriate action can be taken. In addition, our staff in Student Services are ready to provide support and advice to anyone who has been affected by these posters."