This post will talk about trans* exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs). Many radical feminists support LGBT rights, but trans* issues often run against some strong rad-fem ideologies. This post is not claiming that every rad-rem hates trans*people or to be a rad-fem you need to hate trans*people.
Ok then, my entry into TERFs was with Germaine Greer, I don’t know that much about her in general, but I’ve seen a few doccos and so on, I then came across this quote.
“Governments that consist of very few women have hurried to recognise as women men who believe that they are women and have had themselves castrated to prove it, because they see women not as another sex but as a non-sex. No so-called sex-change has ever begged for a uterus-and-ovaries transplant; if uterus-and-ovaries transplants were made mandatory for wannabe women they would disappear overnight. The insistence that man-made women be accepted as women is the institutional expression of the mistaken conviction that women are defective males.”
And I was both angry and confused, since when are women a “non-sex”, or trans* women “man made”. I did not understand how people would think that, what triggered these comments that were so separate from the lives of trans* people. I then found this section of a rationalwiki page, here is an exerpt.
Academic radical feminism (as noted above) is premised upon the idea that gender is entirely a social construct (and further, that it must be destroyed). Transgender people tend to maintain, on the other hand, that gender is to some extent intrinsic (that is, even though they were raised as a male/female, they have always identified as a female/male, and further, they often, but not always, want bodies to match). As frequently happens when ideology runs up against someone else’s lived experiences, ideologues respond by trying to hammer the problem flat until it fits with what they already believe
The pieces of the puzzle started to fit together, and (horribly offensive) terms like “women born women” started to make sense. Trans* people challanged TERFs by their very existance, and it is easy to stomp them down and try to raise “women born women” on pedestals.
Then the issue becomes, why is this a bad thing, what is wrong with what TERFs are doing and saying. Obviously theres the trans*phobia aspect and and spreading misconception, but there is a biger issue at hand. And that is the TERFs often actuvely work against trans* rights. They reject trans* people being accepted by a gender other than the one assigned at birth, they reject trans* people’s rights to use public toilets. TERFs have even been connected in stopping trans*people gaining medical care.
How are they getting away with this you might wonder? Many reasons, they are left wing, because they are within feminist and often socialist circles, discussing pro-woman and pro-freedom messages. Due to this they are welcomed into spaces and debates where traditional conservatives would be rejected. Its a lesson on how our biggest threats come from here we least expect, and how the strongest argument is one we don’t debate.