The last thing we need is ‘transgender days’ for primary pupils

Originally published by Jemima Lewis at The Telegraph

Have you had The Conversation with your children yet? Not the one about the birds and the bees, but the one about how some bees feel they are actually a bird trapped in a bee’s body, or a bee trapped in a bird’s body, or neither bee nor bird but somewhere in the middle of the bee-bird spectrum?

I have. It didn’t go that well, to be honest. “But you can’t just change like that!” protested my six-year-old son, thereby marking himself out as the worst kind of TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist). “I’d hate to be a girl anyway,” mused my eight-year-old son. “They can’t fight and their toys are rubbish.”

“Well I’m a princess and you’re a bum-bum,” retorted his four-year old sister. So much for liberal parenting.

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Women Saying ‘No’

Originally posted at Gender Apostates

Women have always been called names for saying no. Frigid, bitch, prude. These words are meant to shame us into saying yes.

Women are supposed to be available, welcoming, obedient, and it has been the aim of the women’s movement since its inception to challenge these preconceptions, to say no to men’s definition of us.

It is thanks to feminism that since 1991 wives can say no to their husbands and have that ‘no’ backed up by law. It is thanks to feminism that women no longer have to accept dismissal if they marry or become pregnant. It is thanks to feminism that women in the West are beginning to feel confident in saying no to men in myriad different situations.

Prude, bitch, frigid don’t sting like they used to. Misogynists in the west are losing society’s assumption that women should say yes. Increasingly, it is they who are shamed for insisting. As feminists we applaud this.

However, when it comes to transgender males, men who wish to call themselves women – or more to the point want us to call them women – the story is very different. If we say no to the appropriation of our name, our bodies, our struggle, it is we women who are shamed. We’re being re-named: TERF, cis, transphobe. We’re being re-named by men who wish to try on the costume ‘woman’; they think it doesn’t fit us any more, us no-sayers are not the pliable girls of their dreams, and we must share.

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Fighting these battles for decades

Originally posted at Butterflies and Wheels

How DARE you! How VERY dare you, you entitled little shits‽

Your grandmothers, mothers, sisters, ftm cousins, and older transwomen, have been fighting these battles for decades before most of you decided that you’d like to wear dresses and make-up. Did you have no idea, when you discovered your feminine internal person, that by joining the underclass you would automatically lose all the privileges that being born with a penis gave you, whether you asked for or expected such or not? And that by privileging those women born with a penis over all the billions of women who weren’t, you are perpetuating the patriarchal constructs that gave all queer people, including trans people like us, such a fucking hard time until feminists fought for us to have rights?

And then you have the sheer unmitigated gall to accuse people who say “Stop trampling over women” of being TERFs or ‘transmisogynistic’?

And to think I mulled over this for two days, because I was worried that my following initial response was too strong to post. And instead, I decided that it wasn’t strong enough.

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Analyzing the terms TERF and SWERF

Originally posted at The Fifth Column

Let’s unpack these terms, shall we? Because I see them everywhere now, and mostly in the context of attempting to shut down a conversation and label someone as anti-feminist. But what do they mean? Well, the literal definition of the acronyms is:

  • TERF: Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminism/Feminist
  • SWERF: Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminism/Feminist

It’s first important to note that the women who are being called this do not want to be.

That’s an important distinction, not only because these terms have been used as slurs, but because the people using them insist that they be able to self identify gender and/or sex: male/female/nonbinary/etc. Radical feminists have been pointing out this hypocrisy to the liberal feminist community with no avail. The irony has reached a comical level.

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The psychological underpinnings of liberal support for transgender identity politics

Originally posted at Secretly Radical

It really is this simple:

  • If you aren’t disgusted by transwomen, you won’t have to lie to yourself about them.
  • If you don’t hate women, you won’t erase femaleness or feminism.
  • And if you aren’t terrified of men, you’ll hold them responsible for the violence they commit.

Disgust, hatred and fear. Every emotion you project onto TERFs.

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What is a TERF? Or Sex Segregated Spaces: Where and Why

Originally posted at Sex Not Gender

I originally made this chart as a means of parsing what the ‘E’ in TERF actually means. So I have changed the title to include the term TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist). The central question is: what exactly are transwomen being excluded from (where)? And what is the purpose of that exclusion (why)? The following post is a basic analysis of various spaces from which females might reasonably desire the complete exclusion of male bodied and male socialized people. Alternatively, we might enforce conditions on the inclusion of male bodied or male socialized people. Bathrooms and locker rooms are examples of spaces where conditional inclusion is possible, such as for for fully transitioned transwomen. On the other hand, a private gathering might not make any exceptions for transwomen. It depends! There are many factors to consider. #nuance]

Women’s-only spaces serve a multitude of purposes depending on the context.

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Non-binary people: A helpful guide for TERFs and non-TERFs alike

Originally posted at Feminists Unknowns

  1. How do I know if an individual is non-binary?

A common mistake is to think it’s okay simply to ask. Please don’t do this; it’s rude and individuals could find it triggering. Fortunately there are easy ways to tell. Is this individual a human being? If the answer is yes, then this person is inherently non-binary (NB one can be human regardless of whether one is male or female).

Gender is, after all, a hierarchical system of oppression arising from sex difference. People express and identify themselves in ways which overlap with presumed manifestations of sex-based oppression and/or dominance. Why they do so depends on many factors: social conditioning, class, fear of violence, caring responsibilities, economic advantage, innate personality traits. They ought to have every right to do so, but no one can claim to be more “non-binary” than the next.  No one naturally identifies with being oppressed and no one is simply born to be considered inferior.

  1. Hang on, I thought only me, my mates and a few famous arty types, most of whom are male, were allowed to be non-binary?

Then I am guessing you are young-ish, quite possibly a student or a writer, certainly not a post-menopausal woman (urgh! cis!), and your beliefs are based partly on a very sensible critique of gender and partly on a fuckload of privilege.

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