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August 13, 2014

#TERFweek: Debunking TERF Tropes

By Cristan Williams


TERFs tend to behave much like a fundamentalist echo chamber so that once a new malicious anti-trans trope is created, it is quickly disseminated and replicated until the trans community and/or allied communities must waste their time addressing the fallacies. Therefore, the TransAdvocate has put together this list of debunked anti-trans TERF tropes for your reference.

The Cotton Ceiling:

TERFs assert that Planned Parenthood conspired to helped teach trans people how to force lesbians to have sex with them and this amounts to corrective rape.

Trope Deconstructed

The Transsexual Empire:

TERFs assert that a medical-technical apparatus, in service of the patriarchy, is moving to subsume the female form and this amounts to rape.

Trope Deconstructed

Trans Surgery is a Creation of the Patriarchy:

TERFs assert that men, acting in service to the patriarchy, created MTF/FTM trans surgery and, in this way, it is the ultimate rape of the female form.

Trope Debunked

Cis was created by trans people as a slur:

TERFs assert Cis and Cisgender are slurs recently created by trans people.

Trope Debunked

TERF was created by trans people as a slur:

TERFs assert TERF was created as a slur against lesbians, women, RadFems and/or feminists and as such, represents one of the ways the patriarchy subjugates women.

Trope Debunked

The Evergreen College Incident:

TERFs assert all trans women should be viewed as a potential risk because a trans woman had, on multiple occasions, stripped nude and paraded her genitals around in front of 6 year old girls.

Trope Debunked

The Florence Colorado Incident:

All trans women should be viewed as a potential risk because a 16 year old trans girl was actually a boy pretending to be trans in order to gain access to the girls restroom in order to sexually harass cis girls.

Trope Debunked

The Bad Apple:

Laws protecting trans equality promote rape, public indecency and assault.

Trope Deconstructed


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Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of the transgender community. She started the first trans homeless shelter in the South and co-founded the first federally funded trans-only homeless program, pioneered affordable healthcare for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. Cristan is the editor at the social justice sites TransAdvocate.com and TheTERFs.com, is a long-term member and previous chair of the City of Houston HIV Prevention Planning Group.
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  • In the Christian faith, there is one called the grand accuser of the brethren….the “devil”. Whether fictional or true, whether a concept birthed of a religion or not, incessant accusations, especially those spanning nearly 1/2 a century in duration are indeed very devious or “devilish”. Such an obsession, based not on gender, for transmen are men and yet are given a free pass based on labia that contain no testicles, is an obsession that raises the “boy crying wolf” story to an entirely astronomically new level.

    Constantly repeating “I hate penis”, “I hate penis”, “I hate penis” despite having “penis” as a father which we all do, does not for good attention make. Ironically, many of us also hate penis, so much so that we seek to surgically reconfigure it, and yet we share not the same obsession such that we must join in on the chant. Once we deconstruct all TERF arguments, it isn’t about the gender, but the penis, which of course they readily do admit. The problem with making hate a daily companion is that it becomes a burning rage such that it begins to, like a raging inferno, destroy the host.

    The problem with repetitive false assertions is that there truly comes a time when a point of diminishing returns is reached. This point, history is showing, is this year: 2014. The TERFs and their 4-star literary generals who spew out oral flatulence in book format are raising one more thing to an entirely new level: the meaning of an exercise in futility. The question is when will they concede? To give their argument any credence, rather to execute their mission objective would require nothing less than airport-styled X-ray scanners outside restrooms and locker rooms. I doooon’t thinnnnnk soooo.

  • juli

    You rock!