Meghan Emily Murphy
|Residence||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Alma mater||Simon Fraser University|
|Known for||Founder of Feminist Current|
Meghan Emily Murphy is a Canadian writer, journalist, and founder of Feminist Current, a blog and podcast. Her writing, speeches, and talks have criticized third-wave feminism, male feminists, the sex industry, exploitation of women in mass media, trigger warnings, and transgender legislation.
Early life and education
Murphy began her journalism career in 2009, working for the Vancouver-based F Word Feminist Media Collective; writing until 2012 for its blog, The F Word, and as a host, producer, and editor of its radio program. In 2011, she began writing regularly for rabble.ca and worked as rabble's podcast network producer from November 2012, and evening editor from 2013, until February 2016. In 2012 she undertook a practicum at The Tyee. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Vancouver Observer, CBC News, Al Jazeera, New Statesman, Vice, The Globe and Mail, National Post, National Observer, xoJane, The Walrus, and the German feminist magazine EMMA.
Type of site
|News, commentary, podcast|
|Created by||Meghan Murphy|
|Alexa rank||182,658 (Global, June 2018)|
Murphy founded the feminist blog and podcast Feminist Current in 2012. 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".
Murphy has argued that trigger warnings amount to censorship, written about ageism within feminism, criticized liberal feminism, supported the MeToo movement, and questioned whether men can be feminists. 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. 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.
In 2015, she argued that anti-bullying campaigns ignore sexism and the way young men are taught to view women. She has lambasted feminist group Femen, who, she argued in 2013, was "making feminism palatable for the male gaze", presenting "a vision of female liberation that looks like a sexy, naked, thin, white, blonde woman".[a]
She criticized Slutwalk and the attempt to reclaim a word that has been used to shame women, and has criticized third-wave feminism in general, which she sees 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 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. She has written about her support for the Nordic model, in which buying, not selling, sex is illegal. She told Mic in 2015 that this includes public education, a strong welfare state, retraining police officers, and offering exit services for women. When Hugh Hefner died in 2017, Murphy called him a "billionaire who profited from women's subordination".
Murphy 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". 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".
She is critical of transgender activism. In a 2019 speech, she told Woman's Place UK, "I see no empathy for women and girls on the part of trans activists, that is to say, those pushing gender identity ideology and legislation. What I see is bullying, threats, ostracization, and a misogynist backlash against the feminist movement and much of the work it's accomplished over years." In an interview with The Scotsman regarding her views about transgender rights legislation, Murphy stated that she was "not interested in stopping anyone having surgery or hormones if they feel that's making their lives better", but that "laws and legislation and gender replacing sex" would have a negative impact on women's rights.
After Murphy challenged a photograph of Laverne Cox's nude body in a magazine as being "defined by a patriarchal/porn culture, through plastic surgery" and "a sexualized object for public consumption", a Change.org petition was created in May 2015 by sex workers' lobby group Maggie's Toronto, accusing her of racism and using transphobic language, and demanding that Canadian online magazine rabble.ca end Murphy's association with the site. The petition was countered by a collective open letter in solidarity with Murphy signed by 22 international feminist organizations and over 215 individuals. The Change.org petition was rejected by rabble.
Murphy contributed as a rabble.ca editor and writer from 2011 to 2016. In October 2016 she quit the site after an article critical of the language Planned Parenthood had used to address women, referring to them as "menstruators", had been published and then removed without informing her. Editor Michael Stewart felt that it had used transphobic language and gone against rabble's journalistic policy. In an email to Murphy, rabble's publisher, Kim Elliott, stated that "the piece denie[d] 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".
Opposition to Bill C-16
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."
Twitter ban and lawsuit
In late 2018, Twitter changed its policy on hateful conduct and harassment to officially prohibit intentionally calling a trans person by the wrong pronouns or using their pre-transition names. Beginning in August 2018, Murphy stated that her Twitter account was locked more than once after she tweeted about issues involving trans women. Twitter permanently suspended Murphy's account in late November 2018, after she referred to a trans woman as "him". On February 11, 2019, Murphy filed a lawsuit against Twitter in response to her banning. The suit was dismissed in early June under Section 230, but Murphy stated that she intended to file an appeal.
- For an English translation of the Isabelle Alonso interview, see Sporenda (August 2, 2013). "Interview: Meghan Murphy on the sex industry, individualism, online feminism, and the third wave". Feminist Current.
- "Meghan Murphy". Ravishly. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
- Manchester, Julia (December 6, 2018). "Self-described feminist banned from Twitter says platform is setting 'dangerous' precedent". The Hill.
- Davidson, Gina (18 May 2019). "Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy 'won't be silenced' in Scotland". The Scotsman. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
- Graduate Alumni. "MA – Course Based". Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. Simon Fraser University. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
- "The F-Word Media Collective". Grassroots Feminism. 2012.
- The F Word (February 14, 2012). "Occupy Valentine's Day!". rabble.ca. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
- The F Word (December 17, 2009). "Women and skepticism". rabble.ca. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
- Sporenda (22 July 2013). "Interview n°7: Meghan Murphy". Isabelle Alonso (in French).
- "Meghan Murphy". rabble.ca.
- Murphy, Meghan (3 May 2012). "Does Simon Fraser University Need a Men's Centre?". The Tyee.
- "Meghan Murphy". The Vancouver Observer.
- Murphy, Meghan (June 21, 2017). "Why a women-only spa in Toronto should not change its policy to accept trans women". CBC News.
- "Meghan Murphy". Al Jazeera English. 2013.
- "Meghan Murphy". New Statesman.
- "Meghan Murphy". Vice.
- Murphy, Meghan (March 28, 2015). "There's nothing 'safe' about silencing dissent". The Globe and Mail.
- Murphy, Meghan (March 27, 2014). "Meghan Murphy: The problem with the 'I am a feminist' campaign". National Post.
- Murphy, Meghan (October 25, 2016). "OPINION: Bill C-16 is flawed in ways most Canadians have not considered". National Observer.
- "Meghan Murphy". xoJane. Archived from the original on June 16, 2018.
- Murphy, Meghan (April 8, 2017). "Our Own Worst Enemies". The Walrus.
- Meghan Murphy (12 December 2016). "Meghan Murphy: Freiwillig entfremdet". EMMA (in German).
- "Launched in July 2012, Feminist Current is Canada's leading feminist website". Feminist Current.
- Kleiman, Jonathan (3 December 2012). "The Final Results for the 2012 Canadian Blog Awards". Canadian Blog Awards.
- Murphy, Meghan (May 12, 2014). "Meghan Murphy: A slow slide into censorship". National Post.
- Murphy, Megan (26 February 2014). "Kicking against our foremothers: does feminism have an ageism problem?". New Statesman.
- Kiraly, Miranda; Tyler, Meagan, eds. (2015). "'I do what I want, fuck yeah!': moving beyond 'woman's choice', by Meghan Murphy". Freedom Fallacy: The Limits of Liberal Feminism. Brisbane, Queensland: Connor Court Publishing. pp. 17–24. ISBN 978-1925138542.
- Murphy, Megan (16 October 2017). "Yes, you too". Feminist Current. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Flanagin, Jake (June 8, 2014). "Is It Possible to Be a Male Feminist?". The New York Times.
- Murphy, Megan (14 July 2018). "The problem with male feminists". Al Jazeera English.
- Sainato, Michael; Skojec, Chelsea (January 22, 2017). "Washington Post Insults Women's March, Stealth Edits Article". Observer.
- Berlatsky, Noah (2015). "Antibullying Campaigns Ignore Sexism Against Girls and Women, by Meghan Murphy". Bullying. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press. p. 107. ISBN 978-0737772111.
- Murphy, Meghan (May 7, 2011). "We're Sluts, Not Feminists. Wherein my relationship with Slutwalk gets rocky". Feminist Current.
- Mendes, Kaitlynn (2015). SlutWalk: Feminism, Activism and Media. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 95. ISBN 978-1137378903.
- Christiansen, Rebecca (January 18, 2019). "The wrong kind of feminism: Meghan Murphy speaks in Vancouver". The Post Millennial. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
- Walker, Connie (30 August 2018). "Sex doll brothel turns 'women into objects', says critic". The Current. CBC Radio One.
- Murphy, Meghan (April 23, 2018). "Canada's Twitter Mobs and Left-Wing Hypocrisy". Quillette.
- Murphy, Meghan (June 3, 2013). "A prostitution solution: Outlaw the customers, not the hookers". The Globe and Mail.
- Aleem, Zeeshan (March 13, 2015). "16 Years Since Decriminalizing Prostitution, Here's What's Happening in Sweden". Mic.
- Ramzy, Austin; Bilefsky, Dan (September 28, 2017). "Celebrities Remember Hugh Hefner for More Than Just the Articles". The New York Times.
- O'Connor, Maureen (23 December 2013). "Can Feminist Hashtags 'Dismantle the State'?". The Cut.
- "Interchange – Sex Politics: Meghan Murphy and the Feminist Current". WFHB. March 20, 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- "Authenticity & empathy: Meghan Murphy". Woman's Place UK (WPUK). 20 May 2019. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- Murphy, Meghan (July 22, 2019). "The Yaniv scandal is the end-product of trans activism". The Spectator. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
- CTV Vancouver (January 11, 2019). "Trans advocates rally against controversial feminist speaker Meghan Murphy". CTV News. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
- Sitwell, Ros (May 24, 2019). "Hundreds of women gather in London to discuss sex and gender". Morning Star. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
- Murphy, Meghan (April 22, 2015). "Laverne Cox's objectified body 'empowers' no one". Feminist Current. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
- Bindel, Julie (9 October 2015). "No platform: my exclusion proves this is an anti-feminist crusade". The Guardian.
- Greer, Darryl (November 3, 2016). "Writer Quits Rabble Over Pulled Blog". Canadaland.
- "Open letter to rabble.ca - Support Meghan Murphy suffered a misogynist campaign by the sex industry lobby". Sisyphe.org. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
- "Statement on review of Meghan Murphy petitions". rabble.ca. May 14, 2015. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
- Murphy, Meghan (September 7, 2016). "Are we women or are we menstruators?". Feminist Current. (first published in rabble.ca)
- Murphy, Meghan (October 21, 2016). "Hi friends. Just an overdue update". Facebook. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
- on YouTube
- "The Standing Senate Committee On Legal and Constitutional Affairs – Evidence". Senate of Canada. Parliament of Canada. May 10, 2017.
- "Legal and Constitutional Affairs – Meeting Detail". Senate of Canada. Parliament of Canada. May 10, 2017.
- Tasker, John Paul (May 12, 2017). "Transgender rights bill threatens 'female-born' women's spaces, activists say". CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
- Robertson, Dylan C (May 30, 2017). "Senate committee rejects motion to narrow trans bill's scope". Daily Xtra.
- Wells, Georgia (February 11, 2019). "Writer Sues Twitter Over Ban for Criticizing Transgender People". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
- Prengel, Kate (November 24, 2018). "Meghan Murphy: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
- Robertson, Julia Diana (November 27, 2018). "Twitter Bans Meghan Murphy, Founder of Canada's Leading Feminist Website". AfterEllen. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
- Brean, Joseph (February 12, 2019). "'Yeeeah it's him': Vancouver writer sues Twitter over its rule against misgendering trans people". National Post. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
- Matt, Naham (February 12, 2019). "Feminist Writer Sues Twitter After She Tweets 'Men Aren't Women' and Gets Banned". Law & Crime. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
- Fry, Madeline (July 10, 2019). "This journalist lost her lawsuit against Twitter for banning her account, but she's not giving up". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
- Davis, Wendy (June 13, 2019). "Twitter Defeats Lawsuit By Journalist Banned For 'Misgendering'". Digital News Daily. MediaPost. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
- "California Court Finds Section 230 Protects Decision to Suspend and Ban Twitter Account". JD Supra. June 27, 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2019.