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Riley Dennis is a feminist, transgender activist and YouTuber. She identifies as a non-binary lesbian and has been making videos for the website Everyday Feminism since 2015, and maintains an active YouTube channel.
She has covered a range of subjects in depth, including rape culture, fat acceptance, homophobia, the friendzone, sex-shaming of women, whataboutism, Islamophobia, non-binary gender and child abuse.
Dennis has put forward several opinions that have been the subject of controversy, and she has been the target of a large amount of harassment from those who disagree with her, with many of her videos being downvoted.
In November 2016, Dennis posted a video entitled "Your Dating Preferences May Be Discriminatory", in which she opined that genital-based sexual preferences may be socially conditioned and could be unlearned, and suggested that it may be discriminatory to write off potential partners based on what kind of genitals they have. This video sparked an online conversation on genital preferences, as well as a lot of negative attention, video responses, and outright transphobic harassment.[note 1] Some of her critics interpreted her argument as an outright attack on gay and lesbian identity, likening it to conversion therapy, and went as far as petitioning Everyday Feminism to drop her. Some of the criticism was relatively measured and reasonable, and her stance also had some defenders. Dennis later doubled down on her position with another video, "Can Having Genital Preferences for Dating Mean You're Anti-Trans?"
In a 2017 video called "No, Trans Women Are NOT ‘Biologically Male’", she broke down the concept of biological sex and asserted that it is a social construct, albeit in a different way from gender. This similarly caused controversy; among her critics on this issue was biologist Jerry Coyne.
Dennis was also critical of Laci Green "reaching out" to her political adversaries, beginning with her "red pill" video in May 2017, saying "…she seems more interested in pandering to anti-feminists, complimenting them, and making them feel good than she does protecting the people who are at the receiving end of anti-feminist harassment campaigns."
- Riley J. Dennis, Author at Everyday Feminism
- Your Rape Joke Isn't Funny (And Your First Amendment Right Isn't Being Attacked) – Here’s Exactly Why
- Unpacking What 'Fat' Really Means (And Why How We Use It Is F*cked Up)
- Here Are 5 Ways You Might Still Be Perpetuating Homophobia, Even If You’re Not a Homophobe
- Yes, the Concept of 'Friend Zoning' Is Harmful – And Here’s Why
- Sex-Shaming Is Ridiculous and Harmful – Here's Why
- Why You Should Stop Asking 'Aren't There More Important Issues to Care About?'
- Why Would a Queer Person Support Muslims?
- 3 Simple Steps to Recognizing the Existence of Non-Binary People
- Science Doesn’t Support the Sex Binary (Pssst: Not Everyone Is Male or Female)
- 6 Misleading Myths That Make It Hard to Recognize Child Abuse
- Your Dating Preferences May Be Discriminatory
- Yardley, Miranda. Transgender, Transtrender, Identity and Validity
- Petition - Everyday Feminism: Drop Riley J. Dennis from your team of contributors
- AccordingToRory.net -My Response To Riley J. Dennis’s ‘Are Genital Preferences Transphobic?’
- Finkelman, Byrgen. The Pride Center needs an intervention (a guest post by Teela Jewel Wild)
- Can Having Genital Preferences for Dating Mean You're Anti-Trans?
- No, Trans Women Are NOT ‘Biologically Male'
- Coyne, Jerry. Is sex a social construct like gender? Nope.
- Mamone, Trav. Is Biological Sex a Social Construct? It's Complicated
- Riley Dennis' Tumblr