I’ve noticed that there seems to be some confusion about what a TERF* is so, here’s a quick guide to help you figure out if you’re a TERF. Chances are that you’re a TERF if you believe that you’re a feminist when you…
2.) Out trans people to employers.
3.) Tell trans women their surgery is about supporting rape culture.
5.) Claim that a world without trans people is preferable.1
6.) Find that your anti-trans arguments and the anti-trans arguments of far right-wing groups match.2
8.) Claim that gender isn’t real, but the MAAB/FAAB binary is.
9.) Claim that trans surgeries were pioneered by men in service of the patriarchy.3
11.) Fearmonger about the rape/violence threat trans women pose to cis women in the women’s restroom.
12.) Assert that trans people transition to satisfy their sexual urges.
14.) Work to overturn trans equality protections.
16.) Appeal to the Klan Fallacy.
18.) Claim that trans people transition due to political or social pressures.4
19.) Claim that when you work to halt the propagation of anti-feminist stereotypes it’s empowerment, but when trans people work to halt the propagation of anti-trans stereotypes it’s censorship .
20.) Assert that trans women transition because they’re actually gay men and that trans men transition because they’re lesbians wanting to escape the patriarchy.
21.) Threaten actual radical feminist organizations with killing its trans members, and then show up at the radfem event armed with guns.
22.) Beat actual radical feminists for protecting trans women from a TERF bashing.
23.) Mob Lesbian Avengers who have a trans kid with them and then threaten the kid with a knife.
24.) Menace a butch Lesbian radical feminist so much that the radfem decides to start their own inclusive Women’s Music Festival.
25.) Threaten a group of trans women with bodily violence so that they have to start something called Camp Trans in protest.
26.) Promote so-called “bathroom bills” because you think it’s “pro-Lesbian.”
27.) Find that Tea Party Republicans start promoting your TERF rhetoric.
28.) Promote right-wing propaganda mill nonsense to substantiate your hate because they’re the only ones who, in your estimation, are your ideological allies.
30.) Appeal to vaginal odors as being a sexed essence which demarcates an authentic sexed status, so that trans women aren’t actual women because the vaginas of trans women are so smelly that it causes “serious smell issues” while, simultaneously being so non-smelly that a trans woman can never know (as actual women apparently do) what it’s like to have a “big, hairy, smelly vagina.”
Bonus: Pretend that the term “TERF” –popularized, in 2008 by a radical feminist-inclusive feminist community as a way of distinguishing between radical feminists from anti-trans bigots who label themselves “radical feminists”– was actually created by the trans community in order to slur feminism.
Would you like to read what TERFs, in their own words, say they believe?
Read about #TERFlogic here.
So now I want to be unequivocal in my words: I believe that transgender people, including those who have transitioned, are living out real, authentic lives. Those lives should be celebrated, not questioned. Their health care decisions should be theirs and theirs alone to make. And what I wrote decades ago does not reflect what we know today as we move away from only the binary boxes of “masculine” or “feminine” and begin to live along the full human continuum of identity and expression.
Work with transsexuals, and studies of formation of gender identity in children provide basic information which challenges the notion that there are two discrete biological sexes. That information threatens to transform the traditional biology of sex difference into the radical biology of sex similarity… Every transsexual is entitled to a sex-change operation, and it should be provided by the community as one of its functions.
Male dominant society has defined women as a discrete biological group forever. If this was going to produce liberation, we’d be free.… To me, women is a political group. I never had much occasion to say that, or work with it, until the last few years when there has been a lot of discussion about whether transwomen are women… I always thought I don’t care how someone becomes a woman or a man; it does not matter to me. It is just part of their specificity, their uniqueness, like everyone else’s. Anybody who identifies as a woman, wants to be a woman, is going around being a woman, as far as I’m concerned, is a woman.
The notion that truly revolutionary radical feminism is trans-inclusive is a no brainer. I honestly do not understand how or why a strain of radical feminism has emerged that favors a biology-based/sex-essentialist theory of ‘sex caste’ over the theory of ‘sex class’ as set forth in the work of Witting, Andrea, and MacKinnon. Can radical feminism be ‘reclaimed’ so that its trans-inclusivity—which is inherent—is made apparent? I hope so.
— transadvocate (@transadvocate) July 2, 2016
The above is a statement from the iconic radical feminist journal, Lesbian Tide and was published as a direct response to a TERF effort to purge trans women from women’s groups.
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