Meghan Murphy

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Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy.jpg
ResidenceVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
NationalityCanadian
Alma materSimon Fraser University
OccupationJournalist
Known forFounder of Feminist Current

Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer, journalist, and founder of Feminist Current, a radical feminist blog and podcast.[1][2][3] The website won the "Best Feminism Blog" award in the 2012 Canadian Blog Awards.[4][5]

Based in Vancouver, Murphy has written for CBC News, The Globe and Mail, the National Post, rabble.ca, and the New Statesman, among others, on women's issues from a radical-feminist perspective. Her writing critiques the transgender feminist and transgender rights movement, the Me Too movement, the sex industry, sex education, and representations of women in the media.

Early life and education[edit]

Murphy grew up in a working-class family. Her father, a Marxist, was active in the Labour movement and campaigned for the New Democratic Party (NDP). Murphy believes that "everyone deserves access to affordable housing, free health care, and advanced education", and that "racism and sexism are embedded within our society".[6] From 2004, she attended Simon Fraser University (SFU) and in 2010 obtained a BA in Women's Studies. In 2012, she completed a master's degree in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, also at SFU.[7]

Career[edit]

Writing[edit]

Murphy hosted her first pirate radio show, The F Word, in 2007, which was broadcast from a trailer on one of the Gulf Islands in British Columbia.[5] She began her journalism career in 2009, working until 2012 for a feminist blog, radio show and media collective in Vancouver (also called The F Word) as a host, producer and executive editor.[7][8] In 2011, she began writing regularly for rabble.ca,[9] and in 2012 she undertook a practicum at The Tyee.[10] She worked as rabble.ca's podcast network producer from November 2012 and its evening editor from 2013 until February 2016.[7] Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including CBC News,[11] Al Jazeera,[12] New Statesman,[13] Vice magazine,[14] The Globe and Mail,[15] National Post,[16] National Observer,[17] XOJane,[18][19] The Walrus,[20] and the German feminist magazine EMMA.[21]

Feminist Current[edit]

Feminist Current
Type of site
News, commentary, podcast
Available inEnglish
Created byMeghan Murphy
Websitefeministcurrent.com
Alexa rankDecrease 182,658 (Global, June 2018)
LaunchedJuly 2012; 6 years ago (2012-07)[5]
Current statusOnline

Murphy founded the feminist blog and podcast Feminist Current in 2012. The site won the "Best Feminism Blog" award in the Canadian Blog Awards of the same year.[4] Describing itself as "Canada's leading feminist website", it aims to "provide a unique perspective on male violence against women, pop culture, politics, current events, sexuality, gender, and many other issues that are often underrepresented or misrepresented by mainstream, progressive, and feminist media sources".[5]

Views[edit]

Murphy has supported the MeToo movement,[22] criticized liberal feminism,[23] discussed whether men can be feminists,[18][24] written about ageism within feminism,[25] and argued that trigger warnings amount to censorship.[26] In 2015, she argued that anti-bullying campaigns ignore sexism and the way young men are taught to view women.[27] She criticized Slutwalk and the attempt to reclaim a word that has been used to shame women,[28] and was critical in general of third-wave feminism, which she saw as a backlash against second-wave and radical feminism: "That whole burlesque/sex work is empowering/feminist porn aspect of the third wave is making a mockery of the movement." She was similarly critical of the feminist group Femen, who, she argued in 2013, were "making feminism palatable for the male gaze", presenting "a vision of female liberation that looks like a sexy, naked, thin, white, blonde woman". She has identified certain contemporary movements as "cult-like" in their efforts to shut down debates by calling people "phobic" (such as "whorephobic") or accusing them of "shaming" (as in "kink-shaming") if they fail to "toe the party line".[8] In 2013, she called Twitter "a horrible place for feminism ... intellectual laziness is encouraged, oversimplification is mandatory, posturing is de rigueur, and bullying is rewarded".[29]

When Hugh Hefner died in 2017, Murphy called him a "billionaire who profited from women's subordination".[2] She is highly critical of the sex and porn industry, which she regards as "inherently misogynistic and exploitative". In an interview with CBC Radio's The Current in 2018, she argued that sex dolls may reduce men's empathy for women by presenting women as, literally, objects.[30] Regarding prostitution, she has written about her support for the Nordic model, in which buying, not selling, sex is illegal.[6][31] She told Mic in 2015 that this includes public education, a strong welfare state, retraining police officers, and offering exit services for women.[32] In January 2017, she argued, in the context of a Washington Post editorial praising men for taking part in the 2017 Women's March, against making concessions to men to make them feel comfortable within feminism.[33] It is not women who need to adapt, she wrote:

Women are not targeted by men walking alone at night, in their homes, at work, in bars, or in any of the other myriad of places women are attacked, harassed, and raped, because they are passive, wear high heels, have long hair, wear dresses, or behave in other "feminine" ways, but because they are female. Female children are not prostituted or abused by adult men because they identify with "femininity", but because of the sex class they were born into. Girls are feminized, not "feminine" by choice or because of some kind of internal, unchangeable personality flaw that turns them into victims.[33]

Controversies[edit]

Because of her oppositional position on prostitution and transgender rights, she has found herself at odds with many parts of the Canadian Left.[8][34][11] In May 2017, she appeared before the Canadian Senate, together with Hilla Kerner of the Vancouver Rape Relief & Women's Shelter, to oppose Bill C-16, which encoded gender identity and gender expression into Canadian law. She told the Senate: "Treating gender as though it is either internal or a personal choice is dangerous and completely misunderstands how and why women are oppressed under patriarchy as a class of people ... The rights of women and girls are being pushed aside to accommodate a trend."[35]

Her views brought her into conflict with rabble.ca, the left-wing Canadian site to which she contributed as an editor and writer from 2011 to 2016.[34] In 2015, a sex workers' lobby group, Maggie's Toronto, which criticized her for, among other things, questioning the decision of Laverne Cox to pose nude, ran a petition asking that rabble.ca fire her.[6][20][34][36] A counter-petition was posted to defend her.[34] Murphy stopped writing for the site in September 2016 after it removed an article of hers, "Are we women or are we menstruators?",[37] without informing her. The site responded that the article had "contained transphobic language". Kim Elliott, Rabble's publisher, said it had denied "the gendered identity of trans men who menstruate by implying that if a person has ovaries and a uterus, they are by virtue of those biological markers, a woman".[34] On several occasions since August 2018, Murphy has been suspended from Twitter and asked to delete certain tweets about transgender issues that violated its hateful conduct policy.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kielburger, Craig and Kielburger, Marc (30 October 2014). "Have Your Say: How do we combat subtle sexism in the workplace?", The Globe and Mail.
  2. ^ a b Ramzy, Austin and Bilefsky, Dan (28 September 2017). "Celebrities Remember Hugh Hefner for More Than Just the Articles", The New York Times.
  3. ^ "Muhammad Yunus: Aung San Suu Kyi 'has to fix it'", UpFront, Al Jazeera, 20 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b Kleiman, Jonathan (3 December 2012). "The Final Results for the 2012 Canadian Blog Awards". Canadian Blog Awards.
  5. ^ a b c d "Launched in July 2012, Feminist Current is Canada's leading feminist website". Feminist Current.
  6. ^ a b c Murphy, Meghan (23 April 2018). "Canada’s Twitter Mobs and Left-Wing Hypocrisy", Quillette.
  7. ^ a b c "Meghan Murphy", LinkedIn.
  8. ^ a b c Sporenda (22 July 2013). "Interview n°7: Meghan Murphy" (in French). Isabelle Alonso.

    For an English translation, see Sporenda (2 August 2013). "Interview: Meghan Murphy on the sex industry, individualism, online feminism, and the third wave". Feminist Current.

  9. ^ "Meghan Murphy", rabble.ca.
  10. ^ Murphy, Megan (3 May 2012). "Does Simon Fraser University Need a Men’s Centre?", The Tyee.
  11. ^ a b Murphy, Megan (21 June 2017). "Why a women-only spa in Toronto should not change its policy to accept trans women", CBC News.
  12. ^ "Meghan Murphy", Al Jazeera.
  13. ^ "Meghan Murphy", New Statesman.
  14. ^ "Meghan Murphy", Vice.
  15. ^ Murphy, Meghan (28 March 2015). "There’s nothing 'safe' about silencing dissent", The Globe and Mail.
  16. ^ Murphy, Meghan (27 March 2014). "Meghan Murphy: The problem with the 'I am a feminist' campaign", National Post.
  17. ^ Murphy, Meghan (25 October 2016). "Opinion: Bill C-16 is flawed in ways most Canadians have not considered", National Observer.
  18. ^ a b Flanagin, Jake (8 June 2014). "Is It Possible to Be a Male Feminist?", The New York Times.
  19. ^ "Meghan Murphy", XOJane.
  20. ^ a b Murphy, Megan (8 September 2017). "Our Own Worst Enemies", The Walrus.
  21. ^ Meghan Murphy (12 December 2016). "Meghan Murphy: Freiwillig entfremdet". EMMA (in German).
  22. ^ Murphy, Megan (16 October 2017). "Yes, you too". Feminist Current. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017.
  23. ^ Murphy, Megan (2015). "'I do what I want, fuck yeah!': moving beyond 'a woman's choice'". In Kiraly, Miranda; Tyler, Meagan. Freedom Fallacy: The Limits of Liberal Feminism. Ballarat, Victoria: Connor Court Publishing.
  24. ^ Murphy, Megan (14 July 2018). "The problem with male feminists". Al Jazeera.
  25. ^ Murphy, Megan (26 February 2014). "Kicking against our foremothers: does feminism have an ageism problem?". New Statesman.
  26. ^ Murphy, Meghan (12 May 2014). "Meghan Murphy: A slow slide into censorship", National Post.
  27. ^ Murphy, Megan (2015). "Antibullying Campaigns Ignore Women Sexism Against Girls and Women". In Berlatsky, Noah. Bullying. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press. p. 108.
  28. ^ Murphy, Meghan (7 May 2011). "We're Sluts, Not Feminists. Wherein my relationship with Slutwalk gets rocky", Feminist Current.

    Mendes, Kaitlynn (2015). SlutWalk: Feminism, Activism and Media. London: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 95.

  29. ^ O'Connor, Maureen (23 December 2013). "Can Feminist Hashtags 'Dismantle the State'?". The Cut.
  30. ^ Walker, Connie (30 August 2018). "Sex doll brothel turns 'women into objects', says critic". The Current. CBC Radio.
  31. ^ Murphy, Meghan (3 June 2013). "A prostitution solution: Outlaw the customers, not the hookers", The Globe and Mail.
  32. ^ Aleem, Zeeshan (13 March 2015). "16 Years Since Decriminalizing Prostitution, Here's What's Happening in Sweden". Mic.
  33. ^ a b Sainato, Michael and Skojec, Chelsea (22 January 2017). "Washington Post Insults Women's March, Stealth Edits Article", New York Observer.
  34. ^ a b c d e Greer, Darryl (3 November 2016). "Writer Quits Rabble Over Pulled Blog". Canadaland.
  35. ^ "Evidence". The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Senate of Canada, 10 May 2017.
    "Meeting Detail". Senate of Canada. 10 May 2017.
    "Meghan Murphy Presents a Feminist Case Against Bill C-16". YouTube.
    Tasker, John Paul (12 May 2017). "Transgender rights bill threatens 'female-born' women's spaces, activists say". CBC News.

    Robertson, Dylan C. (30 May 2017). "Senate committee rejects motion to narrow trans bill's scope". Daily Xtra.

  36. ^ Bindel, Julie (9 October 2015). "No platform: my exclusion proves this is an anti-feminist crusade", The Guardian.
  37. ^ Murphy, Meghan. "Are we women or are we menstruators?". Feminist Current. Published by rabble.ca, 7 September 2016.
  38. ^ Camp, Frank (24 November 2018). "Progressive Feminist Suspended From Twitter After Criticizing The Transgender Movement". The Daily Wire; "Hateful conduct policy". Twitter.

External links[edit]