ContraPoints on TERFs

TERFs don’t like being called TERFs, they think it’s a term of disparagement, which it is.

This line, which manages to be both unusually honest and typically disdainful at the same time, occurs two minutes into a video by a popular transgender youtuber called Natalie Wynn, better known as ContraPoints. The video is entitled Gender Critical and, at the time of writing, it has had close to a million and a half views and attracted 90k ‘likes’.

Natalie Wynn aka ContraPoints

Like most videos produced by trans activists, I wouldn’t be giving it the time of day were it not for the fact that I’ve seen it promoted left, right and centre on social media by people who obviously think it’s good and, in a perverse way, it is. Clearly, a lot of time, work, skill and creativity went into its production. Most importantly, the arguments are presented in such a way as to sound convincing even to some who would probably claim to be scientific sceptics but who, for some reason, leave their scepticism to one side when it comes to pseudo-scientific and regressive transgender ideology.

The fact that I see the video being promoted by people who should know better, means that I have to take a closer look at the content to see what I can learn and what I can pass on to people who, like me, find Wynn’s persona and style rather irritating but who, unlike me, aren’t willing to spend time studying the transcript, which I’ve copied here.

Having done that, I’ve decided that there is too much to respond to for one blog so I’ll focus on one thing for now:

‘TERFs’

After agreeing that TERF is “disparaging” and “a pejorative”, Wynn then denies it’s a slur, apparently believing that:

A slur is a pejorative that targets someone’s race, religion, gender, or sexuality.

Wrong. A ‘slur’ is an insult likely to hurt someone’s reputation, regardless of who they are or what they are. (Sources: Oxford Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary and Dictionary.com)

This is one of the two main ways in which the word is used by trans activists. All they have to do is say, “Oh but she/he is a TERF” and that is enough for disciples of the trans cult to condemn them, as they have been doing with J K Rowling, Graham Linehan, Martina Navratilova and Sharron Davis, as well as any number of us lesser mortals. In this article, Sarah Ditum narrates her experience of the word being used by a man to stop a woman drawing attention to a matter that concerns women.

Note that this is his response to a feminist sharing a comment by another feminist about domestic violence. Not solidarity against male violence, not horror at the fact that a woman has been killed by male violence every 2.3 days in the UK this year, but concern that the person speaking (in this case, me) is somehow unclean. 

‘TERF’ is a slur and to deny this is silly and dishonest.

The other way it is used is to target women for violence. Hundreds of tweets have been reported for telling people to “punch a TERF” and worse. It is a label whose purpose is to dehumanise us and make violence against us acceptable.

Within hours of the assault on me, trans activists who knew nothing about me except that I was waiting to attend a meeting about proposed amendments to legislation, justified and celebrated the assault. It was enough for them to believe I was a ‘TERF’ for me to be assaulted and, they hoped, intimidated into permanent silence.

Look how well that worked out, guys!

Even among those who wouldn’t promote violence, ‘TERF’ is code for “unworthy of consideration”. It’s use is a sign of intellectual weakness and an excuse not to engage with the arguments. That refusal to countenance that ‘TERFs’ could be saying anything worth hearing and that it’s OK to try to intimidate and attack us is one reason why more and more of us are fighting back and, in the UK at least, making some progress in reversing the attacks on women’s rights and the abuse of children that are the direct consequences of the promotion of transgenderism.

More from the video:

In the past on this channel, I’ve always caricatured TERFs as being like angry, man-hating bigots, whose only real tactic is accusing trans women of being creepy men. And there definitely are some people who are really like that…it’s not just evil bigots who are attracted to the gender-critical worldview.

Clearly, no feminist is seriously expected to listen past this admission by Wynn. Of course, when I use the word ‘feminist’, I mean the old-school kind who defines feminism as a movement for women’s liberation and who wants to preserve the sex-based rights fought for and won by my generation of women and generations who went before us – not the handmaidens of today who can’t even give a coherent, non-circular definition of the word ‘woman’ and don’t mind seeing sex-based rights flushed down the pan out of deference to men’s feelings.

The video is borne of contempt for feminists and its purpose is to serve as a primer for people who share that contempt, people who are incapable of thinking for themselves and people looking for confirmation of their existing bias.

They call themselves radical feminists, RadFems or lately, gender critical

Or none of those things. Let’s be honest. ‘TERF’ started life as an acronym for ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’. It was invented by liberal feminist organisers of the Michigan Womyn’s Festival. Now it’s a derogatory label pinned on everyone who is assumed to disagree with the core tenet of transgender ideology, which is that “transwomen” are actually women and that “transmen” are men.

Very few of those who take that position are radical feminists, nor do they claim to be. Radical feminism is male-exclusionary by definition, yet a search on Twitter brings up countless proclamations that “men can be TERFs”.

The men I’m aware of who’ve been called TERFs on social media are as diverse as Jonathan Best, former director of the Manchester festival Queer Up North, Tory MP David Davies, comedy writer Graham Linehan and sceptic bloggers and activists Andy Lewis and Alan Henness. Some of them are even transsexual like Miranda Yardley, Jenn SmithFionne Orlander, Kristina Harrison, Debbie Hayton, Louise Berry, Seven Hex, Leanne Mills

So trans people can be trans-exclusionary? How does that work? If the tweet on the right is anything to go by, TERFs are people who disagree with silly ideas.

(And not just silly. See here for a good piece on why ‘non-binary’ is rooted in misogyny.)

 

TERF beliefs

It’s a derogatory term for beliefs and behaviours that deserve to be derogated. The phrase ‘gender-critical’ is really a euphemism, recently created to replace ‘TERF’ with a phrase that doesn’t have such negative connotations. It’s perfectly analogous to the phrase race realist, which was invented by racists wanting a more flattering and respectable description of their beliefs. I’ve used the term gender-critical in this video to be inviting to fence-sitters, but I refuse to cooperate with racists who want me to use their euphemisms and I generally do the same with TERFs.

Let’s just remind ourselves what these beliefs and behaviours that people like Wynn think merit “derogation” and comparisons to racism are:

  •  Along with all biologists (bar a very few like PZ Myers, who is ideologically-motivated and entirely lacking in integrity) we say that there two sexes: male and female.
  • Sex is immutable. We cannot change what sex we are. Cross-sex hormones and cosmetic surgery can only help give one a physical appearance more like the other sex. As they also carry serious potential risks to health they are, in most cases, an unsatisfactory solution to what is a psychological problem.
  • The word for adult male humans is ‘men’ and the word for adult female humans is ‘women’. These words have no other meaning
  • Certain spaces and occupations need to remain sex-segregated as far as possible for reasons of privacy, dignity, safety and fairness.
  • Nobody should undergo permanent alterations to their bodies for the purpose of appearing to be the other sex until they are adults, if at all.

This much I would expect to share with all other so-called ‘TERFs’, including those who are conservative, religious and/or transsexual. I also believe we share these views with most people outside of this debate.

Where we – by which I mean progressive feminists and our allies, again including some transsexuals – differ from the conservatives is that we argue that:

  • Gender is a socially constructed system of oppression that subjugates women for the benefit of men, helping to enable the sexual and reproductive exploitation of women’s bodies.
  • Redefining womanhood to include adult males erases us as a sex class and deprives us of the language to articulate our oppression by men
  • Gender should be challenged and gender non-conformity encouraged. People should be free to live as they like as long as they don’t hurt anyone else.

I’m keeping these to the minimum because, in spite of what our opponents want people to think, there is a diversity of views even among progressive feminists and allies on some aspects of transgender ideology, particularly around language.

 

TERF behaviours

So much for beliefs. Now, what are these behaviours that “deserve to be derogated”?

Well, obviously we like to have meetings to discuss the impact that trans ideology has on the lives of women and children but no person can, in all consciousness, object to that, surely? Oops, sorry, what am I saying? Of course they can! The vast majority of feminist meetings held around the country over the past couple of years, since “reform” of the Gender Recognition Act was first mooted (by our right-wing government let’s not forget), have been targeted by people trying to prevent them from happening – in one case with a bomb threat – and, when that failed, trying to intimidate attendees shouting things like, “No TERFs on our turf”, as if they own the ground we walk on. (Entitled much?)

Four of us that I know of have been physically attacked by trans activists while either waiting to attend or leaving these meetings.

We’ve also been known to put up posters and stickers or wear T-shirts giving the dictionary definition of ‘woman’, ‘lesbian’ or pointing out that women don’t have penises, which our opponents choose to interpret as acts of hate rather than the acts of resistance that they are. Pointing out that woman means ‘adult human female’ is “hateful” but redefining the very meaning of the word by claiming some women have penises and calling lesbians transphobic if they won’t consider bepenised men as sexual partners, is absolutely fine according to the trans cultists.

Some women have demonstrated in an attempt to keep sex-segregated spaces separate and therefore safe. Some women have staged protests at Pride and Dyke marches or simply carried banners giving the correct definition of lesbian. Again, some have been physically attacked by violent trans activists.

Yes, we should absolutely expect to be vilified, bullied and assaulted for daring to stand up against men who claim to be women, who demand the right to share housing room or work with vulnerable women survivors of male violence and sexual abuse and who claim the right to displace women in sports.

But how are any of these arguments and actions comparable to racism and in what way?

You see, from where I’m sitting, women still look very much like a sex class being oppressed by men as a sex class on account of our being female-bodied. Men demanding the right to be recognised as women, policing our speech and expecting women to simply defer to their feelings and disregard our own, then targeting us with abuse and violence when we disagree, seems to me to be just another way of oppressing us.

I could make a better analogy with racism but I wouldn’t be so crass. I’m reminded of Magdalen Berns’ video on non-binary bullshit.

Several hundred years of slavery and oppression is somehow comparable to “misgendering” someone? Are you fucking joking me?

Now let’s look at Wynn’s examples of ‘TERF behaviours’,

First, there’s this:

Most of the language used by TERFs is specifically designed to be maximally hurtful, harmful, and insulting to trans people.

For instance, TERFs refer to any and all trans-related surgery as mutilation. They call trans women ‘TIMs’, an acronym for trans-identified males and trans men ‘TIFs’, trans-identified females, obviously with the intent of mockery and misgendering.

Doesn’t this quote just scream of narcissism? Wynn thinks that feminists use specific language with the intention of insulting trans people –  a bit like racists using the n-word perhaps? Or trans activists calling feminists ‘TERF’? What I’m not sure about is whether Wynn is being deliberately disingenuous here or just monumentally stupid and pig-headed.

Let’s set the record straight. The reason we use certain terms is out of a refusal to go along with falsehoods that harm us – falsehoods that result in grievous injustices that have been documented on many pages of this site and include extremely vulnerable women being molested and taken advantage of by predatory men, millionaire’s son Laurel Hubbard cheating women from a tiny developing country out of the medals they deserved and Jonathan Yaniv putting working-class immigrant women out of business because they won’t touch his genitalia.

The slicing off of healthy functioning body parts is accurately described as ‘mutilation‘ but if that’s what you want to do, why would you care what people you hold in contempt anyway call it? Is it, perchance, because you can’t bear the thought of not being able to control us? There is no ‘mockery’ involved in what the acronyms TIM and TIF stand for. They are truthful. ‘Mockery’ is men performing a pastiche of womanhood, while denying women our autonomy.

Then there’s this:

Just to give you a sample of typical TERF prose, here are a couple of comments from literally the first thread I saw on the gender-critical subreddit while I was working on this video.

[Woman] And I have to admit to considerably more contempt for the likes of (bleeps) since he makes a point of taking selfies with ridiculous, insulting-to-women facial expressions. I also get a good laugh at TIMs putting their hands up to their chins. They’re trying to look all dainty and to hide their Adam’s apple, but it only draws more attention to their enormous man hands. I saw an AGP photoshoot where this neanderthal in his 50s was posing with one leg up like a flamingo, his hands dainty at his ear. In every photo, even group ones at events. Now I was just grossed out.

You mean…you mean a woman was mocking the appearance of men? Gosh, that NEVER happens the other way round does it?

 

Trans cult behaviours

Not that laughing at autogynephiles who insist on waving their fetish like a flag by posting selfies all over the web does anything to lessen the insult to women of being caricatured in this way – but it hardly compares to the abuse levelled at us, does it? (Apologies for simply copy and pasting this list from a previous blog, rather than typing out new examples from my extensive collection of screencaps).

“Let me know if ur a terf so I can beat the shit out of you.”
“Kill every terf you see.”
“That’s the only thing terfs deserve, being doxxed and killed.”
“Would you kindly suck my womanly dick.”
“Terfs should be shot.”
“I haven’t pissed in the face of a terf in ages.”
“You know I can’t even be bothered setting the terfs on fire myself go and fucking self immolate you cunts.”
“If you are a terf, I want you dead.”
“Round up every terf and all their friends just for good measure and slit their throats one by one.”
“Time to eat a gyro and masturbate furiously to the sound of terfs crying.”
“Suck my girlcock cunts.  Preferably choke on it.”
“The only good terf is a dead terf.”
“Cut your throat, terf.”
“Death to all terfs.”
“Go and die in a fire terf abuser.”
“I want to set every single terf on fire I hope every terf and their disgusting allies literally dies in a fire or from cancer.”
“Why can’t we throw every terf into the volcano and watch them burn.”
“I wanna direct a snuff film where multiple terfs get shot in the head but don’t die, they just suffer in agony.”
“If you encounter a terf in the wild, deposit them in the nearest dumpster.”
“Enjoy my ladydick in your mouth cuntwipe.”
“Somebody slap this terf cunt across the face.”
“All terfs need to cease existing. Wipe them from the Earth. They are a plague to be purged.”

Please show me the examples you have of the feminists who promote, carry out or justify and celebrate violence against trans people? When was the last time a feminist told you they want to torture and kill you? When did you see any of us posting ‘punch a tranny’, ‘kill all trannies’, or anything remotely like the stuff that appears on Twitter and was captured on this site?

I won’t be the first to have noticed the utter hypocrisy of trans activists demanding that we change our language to suit their feelings and their agenda, while insisting we are our wrong in objecting to their use of this one word. On this page, I link to over two dozen articles about the word. The arguments contained in them have never been rebutted.

A typical response by trans cultists looks like this:

And, frankly, for all the performance, costume and special effects, Wynn’s response is no better. The message is the same: standing up for women means we’re trash who should get in the bin.

Who are the real bigots here?

 

Edited to add: I had originally intended to write at least one more blog responding to other things in this particular ContraPoints video but I’ve since discovered this wonderful take-down on youtube by King Ar-Pharazôn so I probably won’t bother.

 

Published 30.07.19

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11 Responses to ContraPoints on TERFs

  • What you say is basically true but there is nowhere in your post we see the proof that the binary on/off of gender is true.

    This is an illusion, I think it is a straw man to say that anyone to be taken seriously believes that gender does not form as you say to average male and female acts observed and perceived.

    It is that anyone is totally male or manly, or totally female or womanly that we get confused.

    This is why actions are more important to gender than genitals, because we learn gender from actions and our reactions (mental and otherwise) to them, then we are told it is gender based and then act accordingly. We see patterns and use them to understand the world. The patterns are real, the binary grouping of two genders matched to our genitals is not. The pattern is still real though.

  • There are men. There are women.
    It has long been observed that men behave one way and women another.
    What counts as feminine?: that it is typical of the way women in general behave.
    What counts as masculine?: that it is typical of the way men in general behave.
    This is how a man can be effeminate and a woman butch.
    If there is no such thing as biological sex, that is to say, there is no man/woman distinction, then how can there be such things as masculine and feminine in the first place?
    Sure, there can be a range of behaviors, but what makes one masculine and the other feminine?
    Gender makes no sense without biological sex.
    Gender may be socially constructed, but it derives its meaning from its basis in independently existing biological reality.

  • They hate when someone uses logic and points out that they can’t debate these very real issues. Death threats, rape threats, curses galore that’s all they have because there is NO LOGIC in their beliefs.
    It’s just their faith, faith in those intangible notions of social constructs. The world has been operating under the sex classification for so long – are we HONESTLY supposed to believe all of a sudden it has nothing to do with biology and that these trans women are entitled to UNWAVERING support and that it is EVERYONE ELSE’S JOB to validate their existence? That nothing up until this point was classified in the correct manner?

    They love pointing out how sex is a spectrum as well – but MOST intersex people a) know it’s a condition with negative effects and b) hate that it’s being used by the cultists. Why reconfigure society as it functions for 99.9% of people for the illogical feelings of a tiny mentally ill minority? I refuse to take part in that, and I’ll drown out their REEEing bullshit in a smug state.

    Nothing built on such shaky ground will last long – as history has told us it all tumbles down for us to laugh at dumber times in the past.

  • I find it hilarious that a smart and funny person making well-researched educational content would bother you so much that you have to shit on an entire demographic as a result.

    Trans people have rights, and that bothers you.

    Good. Stay bothered. They have this cis woman’s full support.

    • You find it hilarious that I’m bothered by a privileged white male waging a hate campaign against women? OK. Just to keep you amused, I’ll be sure to write some more blogs exposing Wynn’s nonsense soon. In the meantime, thanks for proving my point about intellectual weakness and not engaging with the arguments, “Patricia”.

      Btw, I’m sure you’re as much of a “cis woman” as Wynn is. 😉

    • “well-researched educational content”

      Hahahahaha! Read the damn blog, idiot.

    • Patricia, what did you find in the video that was “well-researched educational content”? True, it’s very slick, but that’s just smart PR.

      Someone who invents incorrect word definitions (eg “a slur is a pejorative that targets someone’s race, religion, gender, or sexuality”) is clearly relying on their readership being too lazy to tap a word into a search engine — and taking advantage of their readers’ ignorance rather than trying to educate them. The video is full of misinformation, the opposite of education.

    • Yeah. Clever in a snarky twisting of reality way. But not remotely funny.

      More of the usual attacking valid female concerns about Trans appropriation and negative impact on women and girls.

  • Not even remotely a fan of extremely annoying contrapoints. The persona is annoying and typically into twisting reality and parodying valid and genuine concerns of women. Increasing demands, more encroachment and appropriation. The ludicrous accusation of Transphobia when anyone accurately points out that a Transwoman is not a type of woman. A Transwoman is a type of Trans. Gender certification which has included changing birth certificates and consequent “entitlement” to opposition sex places proving to be increasingly harmful. Women are more negatively impacted by Trans demands be they Transwomen or Transmen. Children are being harmed by medical and social Transing of children. Contrapoints sneers at concerns.

  • Thank you for your writing.

  • I really does beggar the imagination doesn’t it?

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