Magdalen Berns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation

Statement by the Redline blog collective

At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Berns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time).

Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender of science and rationalism and someone who hated social injustice and had an anti-capitalist consciousness.  She also hated fakery and hypocrisy – and was a staunch opponent of these across the left.

In particular she devoted much of her energy in her last few years to exposing the attempts of super-entitled and misogynistic heterosexual males to claim to be women – and even lesbians – and try to invade women-only, including lesbian-only, spaces.

She made a series of videos that were as witty and entertaining as they were educational and incisive.  With her messy hair and cutting wit, she had a style all her own.

She didn’t suffer fools, fakes and pretenders at all, especially ridiculous self-obsessed and attention-seeking males pretending to be women and trying to define actual women, both gay and straight, out of existence.  To  those supporters of trans ideology and postmodern gender theory who objected to her straightforward no-nonsense approach, she had the refreshing attitude of “I’d rather be rude than a fucking liar”.

She was a scathing critic of postmodernism in its various forms, including gender studies courses: “No-one takes those courses seriously!” she would scoff.  She was especially good at taking the piss out of the most blatantly absurd of transgender claims, while much of the left was falling like skittles before the blitzkrieg of transgender theory and practice.

She was very clear that being diplomatic with the misogynists is utterly pointless – they aren’t interested in compromise, they want to roll right over women’s rights, including lesbian rights.  You have to fight the New Misogynists.  Whether it’s on the issue of lesbian erasure, the “cotton ceiling”, medical experimentation on children, or the defence of hard-won women-only spaces.

A fine example of how she blasted away the bullshit: “To identify womanhood as femininity is about as sexist as you can get. Woman is defined as an adult human female. Female is defined by her reproductive sex organs. If you accept the mantra ‘transwomen are women’, lesbianism doesn’t exist. If you’re born with a penis and balls, you’re male – you don’t get assigned reproductive organs. Males are defined by their biological sex organs; likewise, homosexuals are attracted to individuals of the same sex. Lesbians don’t have penises.”

As  one of the Redline blog collective commented upon hearing of her death: “Her videos have probably had a very large international impact. There’s a very no-nonsense, working class element which cuts through the bourgeois pomo bullshit.”

While chunks of the left ditched science in favour of po-mo gender theory, Magdalen was a blunt defender of biological science.  As she would put it, for instance, “There is no such thing as a lesbian with a penis.”  Indeed, she had a strong background in science, having studied engineering and then physics as a mature student at Edinburgh University; she graduated in 2016.

For her staunch politics, she was vilified, threatened with violence regularly and also violently attacked.  Most of the self-identified far left simply turned a blind eye to attacks and threats directed at her – just as they have in the case of numerous assaults on women, especially lesbians, by transgender (ie biological male) thugs.

She was more than able for the thuggery of trans activists, being gutsy in spirit and also having been a boxer.  In 2010 she had won the Haringey Boxing Cup and, after moving to Scotland, she was a member of that country’s first female boxing squad.  In 2011 she won the British Universities Boxing Championship.  A Boxing Scotland statement after her death recorded, “Magdalen was a pioneer for both women’s boxing and university boxing in Scotland. . .”

Tragically, a tumour developed in Magdalen’s brain and, despite the best efforts of doctors, the outcome was her death on the morning of Friday, September 13th (British time).  She passed away peacefully surrounded by family and love.

As is so often the case with fine people, her death came way too soon.  But she leaves behind a powerful example of integrity, honesty and fighting spirit.  And a substantial body of work in her videos.

She was not a Marxist, although some of her video content shows she had a strong class awareness. Moreover, she had been active with the Socialist Labour Party, a left split from Labour led by militant miners’ leader Arthur Scargill.  And her brand of radical feminism certainly had much more in common with genuine Marxism than the New Misogynist faux-Marxists that have taken up gender identity ideology-mythology.

Magdalen has inspired us in New Zealand as she has inspired so many around the world. The fight for women’s liberation will go on, and we are much stronger because of her. 

Check out Magdalen’s youtube channel here

A few of our favorites:

 

11 comments

  1. It is time for the left to take a stand against the violence and harassment of women like Magdalen. Thank you for this article honoring her, her work and her legacy. The struggle continues and we are all much stronger because of the courage and resilience of this fighter for truth and justice. To learn more about a defense campaign to stop the kind of intimidation and hatred aimed at Magdalen and other gender-critical feminists, go to defendfeminists.net and be sure to sign on to the petition under the “Join the Campaign” tab.

  2. Cheers. We are happy to run material against the ongoing misogynistic and anti-lesbian harassment campaigns being conducted by a layer of transactivists and the disgraceful silence of much of the left.

  3. Thanks for the excellent article on this courageous woman. What a great loss! It is time for everyone – women and men, lesbian, gay and straight – to speak out against this dangerous ideology which has even begun to worm its way into our laws in many countries (including in California). Don’t Mourn, Organize!

    • Don’t mourn, organize!” is so apt. Hundreds of gender critics yesterday came out openly, taking inspiration from Magdalen. The new women’s liberation movement is growing by the day.

  4. being fluid in sexuality isn’t dangerous, it is healthy. I’m sorry for people directly hurt by this death. It doesn’t cancel out the harm that is caused by trans-exclusionary doctrine. violence begets violence.

    • It’s not about sexuality. It’s 2019. No-one cares less what sexuality people are. The issue is *biological sex* and sex-based rights. Instead of thinking abut the ‘harm’ caused to men by feminists, you should think about the actual harm caused to women by continuous abuse and physical assaults by men who identify as “trans women”. Not to mention the attempt to destroy sex-based rights of women, including the right to women’s sport, public facilities such as women’s toilets and changing rooms, women’s access to health care, etc etc etc.

  5. Gender-critical feminists don’t make threats of violence against men identifying as women. The threats of violence and the actual violence is all one way: the men who identify as women frequently making threats of violence against women – and also carrying out actual physical violence against women. You should stop condoning violence by super-entitled misogynist men against gender-critical women. This is a Marxist blog; we don’t tolerate violence against women.

  6. As a dyke hoping for a future that doesn’t repeat section 28 history, circumstances preceding stonewall etc. I tolerate an awful lot and compassion is my compass. Hate begets hate. Words are violent and as a DV survivor with C-ptsd I know that blame anger and hate do ME damage. I am sorry MB was filled with this.

    • I watched many of Magdalen’s videos and never saw the hate whereof you speak. I saw TRUTH.

      So many words and concepts have been twisted by postmodernism. Reform now means making things worse. Violence now means disagreeing with someone, and threats of violence are called free speech. It is not hate to speak truth to power.

    • Manita, you are a liar. There is no evidence of hate in Magdalen’s videos. Gender-critical feminists like her, however, have been continuously subjected to frothing-at-the-mouth venom, no-platforming, threats of violence and, sometimes, actual violence. Anyone here can provide a litany of examples of venom spewed out at gender-critical feminists. The PeakTrans site has *hundreds* of examples of this venom, right out of the mouths of male transactivists (ie men self-identifying as women). It is absolutely poisonous and continuous and has even resulted in murder in the United States – for instance, the murder by “Dana Rivers” of two lesbians and one of their children. Rivers had continuously harassed lesbians, and had developed an obsession with one of the lesbians he murdered – while people like you stood idly by. You are helping enable misogynistic violence, especially anti-lesbian violence and you really should stop doing this and show some solidarity with other women.

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