An investigation into hateful speech has been launched after disturbing messages were posted around Memorial University in St. John's. Transphobic stickers, blatantly reading "Women don't have penises" were put on doors, walls and even inside gender-inclusive washrooms around campus.
School officials who recently discovered the stickers say they are not tolerating the messages which basically state transgender women should not be considered women.
The #WomenDontHavePenises sticker is certainly controversial in my province. Nearly 14K views and 1K comments on the NL Feminists and Allies page that I maintain - https://t.co/qpjiF7h0kH - and so far, no media. #nlpoli #CompleteSilence pic.twitter.com/0lSemcAupP— Orla Moylan Hegarty BMath, MASc (@ohegarty) September 25, 2018
While they haven't yet discovered who exactly put them up, they have traced the sticker's image to a Facebook group.The Newfoundland-based page called, "NL Feminist and Allies" posted the image back on August 20.
According to the page, the group focuses on "issues pertaining to feminism that directly affect Newfoundlanders and Labradorians". While the group claims to preach feminism, Jennifer Dyer, head of gender studies at Memorial University says they clearly don't understand the term.
“The goal of feminism involves supporting equality across any identity and experience, supporting those that are oppressed, marginalized, or compromised socially, economically, and politically. Exclusion is not the point of feminism; it is what we challenge,” she said to The Telegram.
Dyer went on to explain that feminists who support this type of discrimination are known as TERFs: trans-exclusionary radical feminists.
A statement from Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president @MemorialU on recent transphobic messages that have been posted on doors and walls around the St. John’s campus, including in gender-inclusive washrooms. https://t.co/zeyqV0m74m— Memorial University (@MemorialU) September 25, 2018
The university is working to remove the hate stickers from around campus. In a statement from the school, they say they're committed to providing a respectful environment. "We strongly condemn and will not tolerate hateful speech directed towards members of our community,” the statement read.
Anyone who can assist in the investigation is asked to contact campus enforcement.