Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism

by The Council of Disobedient Women

Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “

After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their own publication? Why is she attacking one of the few places left that are unapologetically woman-focused?

Lizzie Marvelly

Paula Gosney – a feminist for 30 years replied to the tweet: “Lizzie I’m sorry to see you using a slur that has been created to shame & silence women. You don’t need to agree with what every woman has to say, but I would hope as a leading young feminist you didn’t contribute to the bullying & violent threats many are experiencing.”

Marvelly responded: “I actually should’ve written TENF – trans exclusionary non feminist – because if your ‘feminism’ is exclusionary, it’s not feminism.”

Marvelly, the commentator who is on top of her righteous morals game, writing her judgemental pieces in the Herald, showing us her engagement ring to her girlfriend, has declared that your feminism isn’t feminism unless it is her brand of ‘inclusive’ feminism. 

Ms Marvelly’s inclusive feminism welcomes men who self ‘identify’ as lesbians (bearing penises renamed ladydicks) – and that is what – in her view – is wrong with After Ellen. Its authors and audience – actual lesbians – wickedly and inexplicably fail to include such men in their ‘dating pool or as the subjects of the journal’s articles.’ Her feminism also includes women who never want their own spaces, prepared always to share prison cells or school changing rooms with men who identify as women but she excludes women who sometimes do want to meet separately.

The foolishness of ‘inclusivity’ is that it is basically always impossible. Everything cannot be for everyone. So including be-penised men claiming to be lesbians excludes female lesbians who are same-sex attracted. Including female same-sex attracted lesbians probably excludes queer women who want sex with cocks in frocks. So – why can’t everyone have a place for themselves and others like them? Why complain about and demand to be included in someone else’s spaces?

What epitomises the self-appointed breed of new feminists like Marvelly is their total ignorance and lack of respect for women who have worked tirelessly in front lines they can’t even imagine. Does Marvelly know anything at all about our history/herstory? All the advancements won by the great women before her who are the very people she is referring to as non-feminists. To even think of describing some of the incredible second-wave feminists who have dedicated their lives to the advancement of women as non-feminists takes a mega-ego.

With all the confidence of someone who has never really fought for anything, Marvelly brushes aside the decades-long fight for legal rights, the right to vote, the right to economic independence, the right to work in all spheres, to equal pay, to maternity leave, to contraception, to safe legal abortions, the right to childcare, to education opportunities, to be in leadership positions. These were all fought for by the feminists she despises. The fight against domestic violence, the setting up of women’s refuges and rape crisis centres,the fight against sexism,  the fight to take positions in government, to have sole parent benefits, the fight against genital mutilation, against child brides, against the sex trade and denigration of women, none of that really counts in Ms Marvelly’s rule book. For her, the only feminists are those women who accept males as literally female if they self-identify as women.

The first principle of a liberation movement is the right of the oppressed to self-organise, speak for itself, and to define its own goals. Marvelly has not taken up the struggle of those before her, she has disregarded it. She stands on the shoulders of others and forgets they are there.

The faux inclusive feminism is an intolerant mistress. Would Marvelly’s book That F Word, now, really meet the standard of today’s gender identity commanders? With her talk of being born female and there being lots of blood, from puberty each month, when giving birth, or after an abortion, Marvelly has literally equated womanhood with the very things that no transwoman will ever experience. Is That F Word a wee bit terf-y?

As the staunch feminist Helen Joyce points out “You can never be woke enough. So probably best to not even to try.”

On the other hand, the just as staunch feminist philosopher Dr Jane Clare Jones is perfectly right in reminding us: “If everyone was woke enough then how would the woke publicly cleanse their souls?”


  1. I wonder how much that Second Wave Feminism would have achieved if women had never had their own spaces to meet, were willing to regard the category woman as available to any man who ‘felt like a woman’ and called out lesbians for being same sex and not same gender attracted.

    I wonder how much ‘third wave feminism’ will achieve when it has not only given all that away but even the language by which women can describe ourselves and our situation and further when some women feel that they can throw epithets strongly linked with violent and intimidatory words and images at other women.

    With feminism like this surely we must know – “penis havers will inherit the world”

    • So true Jan. Third wave feminism is largely unrecognisable and completely disconnected from the women’s liberation struggles of earlier times.

  2. Ironically Marvelly slags off the male portion of the population on a regular basis in her articles. It seems that according to Marvelly the only male you can be is one who like pretending they’re a woman.

  3. To be a TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist) or a MUFF (mostly useless fake feminist). Yet again men have managed to set women up to fight amongst ourselves rather than getting on with fighting the patriarchy!

    • All oppressed groups include people who identify with their oppressors. Plenty of second-wave feminists were essentially equal rights feminists who wanted women to have the same right as men to dominate and exploit other human beings. But at least they weren’t pro-prostitution and pornography!

  4. Dr Jane Clare Jones is perfectly right in reminding us: “If everyone was woke enough then how would the woke publicly cleanse their souls?”

    The self-righteous will always find ways to be [deliberate bad grammar] more good than everyone else. They’re vegan, the bad eat meat; they drive Priuses, the bad drive pickups; they’re oh-so-inclusive, the bad are judgmental and critical (try living for one day in a capitalist society without being judgmental! It’s a lot easier if you close your eyes and have plenty of money). Our shiretown — Belfast, Maine, U.S.A. — is so fucking woke it’s nauseating, or in more local terms it’s flaky AND crunchy.

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