Transgender activists have attacked Sweden’s first women-only festival for only banning biological men, as this could imply transgendered men are not real men.
Comedian Emma Knyckare set up the festival in response to reports of mass sexual attacks at music festivals in Sweden, largely committed by migrants.
However, questions were quickly asked about how they would define “men”. Organisers said only “cis” men would be banned (men who were born male and still identify as male).
In the past, all-female festivals have been attacked by transgender activists for doing the opposite and excluding all “physically male” people, including “transgender women”.
On Instagram, user emma.bkstrm was not impressed. She asked: “Why only cis men and not just men? Are transgender men less male?”
The festival’s organisers replied that “of course they are equally male” and “we are taking the criticism on board and will discuss it internally next week to see if a revision is needed”.
A different user noted that “you have previously argued that transgender men know how it is to be vulnerable and oppressed, just like women, and should, therefore, be welcomed.
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“What do you do with the rest of the men who are vulnerable and oppressed, then? Homosexual men, non-white men? Are they welcome? I don’t buy your logic. Men are men, full stop.”
“That’s an argument we’ll take on during the coming days and the project group will discuss it during a meeting next week to see if the decision needs to be reconsidered or not,” festival organisers replied.
In early 2016, the Swedish media and police were accused of colluding to ‘cover up’ sexual attacks by gangs of migrant youths over several years at a teenage music festival in Stockholm.
In the wake of the New Year’s Eve Cologne migrant sex attack scandal, in Germany, the police promised to act and the press started to report on the issue, but the problem persisted.
In July 2016, so-called “foreign men” allegedly attacked nearly 40 women, including five rapes, at the country’s largest festival.
The trend continued at the Bråvalla Festival the following year, with reports of another rape, leading to organisers cancelling next year’s event.