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Much as I agree with Nedra Johnson’s quote, being called a ‘TERF’ doesn’t exactly cut to the quick. Many fantastic and inspiring women are disdained as TERFs so being called one myself feels like being tortured by comfy chair. Then again, I don’t care about being called a cow or a bitch or a slut or any of the other terms of abuse largely reserved for women and to which ‘TERF’ are the modern-day equivalent. Most people on twitter block me before using it about me anyway. Can’t think why.
It started as an acronym for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. The term was coined by a woman involved with the now defunct Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival to differentiate between those, like herself who did and the radical feminists who didn’t think that men who “identified” as women should be accepted as women. She has proclaimed on social media that she never considered herself a radical feminist. In other words, the term was coined by a liberal feminist aka handmaiden.
Nowadays it is widely used as a slur against anyone – regardless of whether they are radical or feminist or even female – who dares to question any part of trans ideology. It is even used against male-born trans people themselves. The purpose of labelling critics ‘TERFs’ is to dismiss, dehumanise and silence rather than engage with reasoned criticisms.
Users of the term tend to be disingenuous and say it isn’t a slur, it is merely descriptive. However, anyone looking at how it’s used and whom it is used against can see this for the nonsense it is. It is never used in a neutral, respectful or objective way. On the contrary, it is frequently accompanied by insults and abuse. So much abuse, in fact, that a website was once set up to document it. To make the header to this website, I typed out the content of many of the screenshots collected and I’ve decided to preserve them on a separate page here. If you’d like to see them in their original form, go directly to the terf is a slur site.
The word was used a lot by those celebrating the assault on me at Speakers’ Corner and I’ve put some of those on a different page here.
There is also a website created by a member of the trans cult called the terfs. (Edit 14.03.19: the website appears to have disappeared. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.) It is introduced with this piece of fiction.
Radical feminists who exclude male-born trans people from the category known as ‘women’ do not also exclude them from housing, employment, education, or from local, national and UN protections and certainly don’t exclude them from “fully participating in society as equal citizens”. What absolute codswallop! Nor do they hate people because they are trans, which is also claimed on that site. On the contrary, the evidence that many love and admire those trans people who support women in our fight against misogynistic trans ideology is easily found on social media.
Thus, the allegations to this effect are so preposterous that I can’t be bothered to say any more about that silly website except that, in spite of the nameless creator’s best efforts to collect hateful quotes from ‘TERFs’, the most he could find was a couple of loonies wishing men dead and not even wishing they could kill men themselves. Compare this to the dozens of tweets by trans and allies wanting to set us on fire, break our bones, choke us with their dicks, etc, etc.
Another such site, amusingly entitled terf is not a slur, is just as silly. Go take a look and compare it to the site it was set up to oppose.
And, by the way, there is this thing called ‘terf blocker’ on twitter, which allows trans activists and allies to mass block anyone designated a TERF, which means anyone who has questioned or opposed any part of the trans agenda. It means I don’t have to spend time arguing with idiots on whom my superior reasoning skills and incisive wit are wasted. The block list is also a wonderful resource for people looking for gender critical twitter accounts to follow but beware that even people not exactly known for their radical feminism, such as the Welsh Tory MP David T C Davies, are on it.
Videos and Articles
Finally, here are some videos on TERFs.
What is a “TERF”? PiaMacXX 03.11.18
The truth about TERFs | A Chat with Rya HeyThisIsRya 24.02.17
‘TERFS’ don’t hate trans people! A chat with Rya HeyThisIsRya 08.09.17
and one featuring Rya with Miranda Yardley:
Here are a couple by Magdalen Berns:
And here are some articles:
It isn’t TERFs who are bigoted – it’s their persecutors Brendan O’Neill 28.01.19
On Cis & TERF – a twitter thread by @adogcalledbambi 10.12.18
TERF a derogatory term to shut down debate Rachel Stewart 28.11.18
“TERF Is Hate Speech and It’s Time to Condemn It” Amy Dyess 25.10.18
A letter to the woman who called me a TERF CR on Fair Play for Women
Beginners Guide to Terfdom Angry Bird Roar
Derogatory Language in Philosophy Journal Risks Increased Hostility and Diminished Discussion Dr. Sophie Allen, et al 27.08.18
How ‘TERF’ works Sarah Ditum
How to spot a Secret TERF Devon Silence
Seven Sure-fire Ways To Demolish TERFs Online Devon Silence
Shut up, TERF Lily Maynard
The RPOJ – Feminism Does Not Have to Be Trans-Exclusionary – Actually, it does. Dead Wild Roses blog
The word ‘TERF’ Rebecca Reilly-Cooper
There’s a TERF war brewing Jonathon Kneeland
Toxic Trans: The Strange Case of Morgane Oger and the BC NDP Jonathon Kneeland
Watching the TERFs Angry Bird Roar
What makes a word a slur? DebUK
What is a TERF? Sarah Ditum
Why I no longer hate ‘TERFs’ Penny White
Why ‘TERF’ isn’t just a word, it’s hate speech Meghan Murphy
Young Women Attack Dykes their Grandma’s Age LavenderJoan
The rest of this cartoon story can be seen here.
Last updated 05.02.18