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I don't want to be a TERF

(244 Posts)
PullUpTheTERF Thu 16-Nov-17 14:45:02

Please help.

I've NC'd for this because, well, obviously. I assure you I am a regular poster on many forums on MN, including Feminism.

Bit of back story; I am a loud and proud leftie feminist, massively pro gay rights, I am known in my circle of friends (I've been told) as being a champion for minorities, I've been to 12 gay prides and counting.

Being on this forum (since way back when it was FWR) has exposed me to gender criticism and TERF idealogies.

And I wish it hadn't.

I find myself agreeing with some (please note - not all) posters who have explained the, seemingly many, issues with the trans movement.

I'll nod along to certain comments and then hate myself for doing so.

I feel like I could never say any of this in public.

I really don't want to start a bun fight.

I'd really like to hear from some pro trans people specifically with some counter arguments.

I worry about going against gender stereotypes being labelled and parcelled as Trans.
My DS wanted a pink phone and my DMIL said he might want to transition when he's older. It infuriated me.
The thought of children having medical interventions really concerns me. I worry that someone can just say what they are and then they are that (but this doesn't extend to race, just sex)
I worry about female prisons and women only spaces being encroached. Can't believe I just said the word encroached.

But then I hear 'Being my true self' and 'Cis genders don't understand' and 'trapped in the wrong body's stuff and I feel awful.

I know if some of my friends knew about this they'd probably think I was a bigot.

I don't want to have these opinions anymore.
It puts me in the same camp as Trump FFS.

I hope this post is taken in the light it is intended.

FactsAreNotMean Thu 16-Nov-17 14:58:12

I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to persuade you otherwise but I just wanted to say I sympathise - I started off arguing with many of the posters when these threads first appeared. I thought they were mean, bigoted, etc.

I hope you manage to find away to be comfortable with your views - whether that's by changing the views or by reconciling yourself with them. I think a lot of us have felt this and understand.

Mrskeats Thu 16-Nov-17 15:03:25

the same camp a as Trump
Not based on what you’ve written by a long way.
You are allowed to be critical and your post reads to me like you are afraid to have an opinion.
I don’t think you can be ‘pro’ trans anyway
I also think that in the future we will look back on what’s happening now with horror.
The problem with the trans movement is that the endgame is to eradicate being gay and I can’t be ok with that.

SylviaPoe Thu 16-Nov-17 15:06:31

Anyone who is a champion of minority rights is eventually not going to acclaim and admiration for it, because it involves defending people (in this case women) when many people don’t want those rights to be defended.

To be a champion of rights comes at a personal cost. And that’s tough, which is why people keep quiet.

AshleySilver Thu 16-Nov-17 15:09:52

Part of the problem is thinking there are two 'camps' when there are a number of issues being lumped in together and people (even feminist people) have varying opinions on any or all of the issues. It's not an either/or question.

I am not in the same camp as Trump, my opinions on gender and the rights of trans people are very different from his.

SylviaPoe Thu 16-Nov-17 15:11:55

Yes, there are not two camps. There’s a society full of people working out how to live together.

PullUpTheTERF Thu 16-Nov-17 15:20:02

Oh wow, some.really kind and insightful replies, thank you.

Yes that's a good point about it being more complicated than just two camps.

Sylvia it has come at a personal cost to me at times, I've been shouted at at a No more page 3 signature gathering and I have a stonewall t-shirt which I wore on the tube and someone called me a f*****.

I cannot believe it's true that Trans people want to eradicate gay people.

morningrunner Thu 16-Nov-17 15:21:34

Well I am sorry for your conflict but I will never ever accept that it is ok to undermine women' s rights in order to accommodate a small minority of vocal TRAs. Neither should you and you don't need to feel bad about it.

For what its worth I support self ID and the widening of the Equality Act but only as long as it is accompanied by stronger protection for single sex services and women's sports. Some posters on here do not agree but we manage not to come to blows!

Its sad that you don't seem to have the courage of your convictions and I am sorry that there is no gentler way of putting that. I understand for what its worth but now its gotten to the point I really feel that I have to speak out publically despite the risks.

I fully support the rights of the trans community to self expression and legal protection and I do not doubt for one moment that their subjective experience is not valid or genuine. However I am a feminist first and foremost and if there is a clash between trans demands and the rights of women then I know where my loyalties lie. I find it hard to understand why the right of a small number of transwomen to express their gender identity at all times trumps the rights of women to be and feel safe

What drives me crazy is the refusal on the part of TRAs and their supported to even acknowledge the fact that male sexual aggression against women and girls is endemic in our society and that this is the main reason why certain services (hospital wards prisons changing rooms) are segregated by sex. also Our bodies are sexualized and taboo in a way that male bodies are not and this is why we are socialized from puberty to keep ourselves covered from any man' gaze , and its does not matter how nice and unthreatening said man may be

I wish it were not so! But it would be utterly unfair on women to pretend that the world is other than it is.

CoteDAzur Thu 16-Nov-17 15:22:28

“It puts me in the same camp as Trump FFS.”

Like vegetarians are in the same camp with Hitler?

Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 16-Nov-17 15:25:49

It is OK to think for yourself. It is OK to reject groupthink. People are individuals. That includes you. You are allowed to have varied and nuanced opinions. You don't have to believe everything your mates believe.

I feel like I could never say any of this in public.

I really don't want to start a bun fight.

Maybe all that campaigning experience could go into standing up for people, saying they should be allowed to state their considered opinions without being insulted and shut down.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 16-Nov-17 15:27:00

I'm kind of insulted that you have essentially said most people on these boards are the same as Trump. Did you mean to be so rude wink

Trailedanderror Thu 16-Nov-17 15:27:04

Its because it's all about appearances and alliances, (marches, tshirts) rather than the truth. The truth doesn't fit into the narrative you have of yourself as a 'right thinking person'

SuburbanRhonda Thu 16-Nov-17 15:29:41

My DS wanted a pink phone and my DMIL said he might want to transition when he's older. It infuriated me.

Did that really happen, OP? Honestly?

DJBaggySmalls Thu 16-Nov-17 15:32:48

I cannot believe it's true that Trans people want to eradicate gay people.
I havent seen that claim made.

However, right wing Christians in the USA and Iran both use transitioning to deal with their feelings towards gay people. In Iran, gays and lesbians are told to transition or face the death penalty.
I cant support that, or sterilising gay kids. I also can't support the rights of one group removing the rights of other oppressed groups.

These are not unreasonable beliefs.

TossDaily Thu 16-Nov-17 15:35:16

I'm in the same boat as you, OP.

It doesn't help having a right-on teenager yelling 'Breitbart!' at me every time I voice my concerns.

Sigh.

doctorcuntybollocks Thu 16-Nov-17 15:36:31

I'm not convinced that the OP is posting from a position of goodwill.

AshleySilver Thu 16-Nov-17 15:37:18

t doesn't help having a right-on teenager yelling 'Breitbart!' at me every time I voice my concerns.

Mine gives me the hmm face

I don't feel all trans people want to systematically kill all lesbians but there are a disturbing amount of comments online by trans people about wanting lesbians to be raped and murdered.

It's the ideaology too though. If I, as a female, wear short hair, trousers, flannel shirts, I'm told I'm a transman or agender.
If I say the only things I believe make me female are xx chromosomes, primary and secondary female sexual characteristics and menstruation/pregnancy I'm told I'm wrong, and that I must 'just know' I'm a woman, which I don't.
I find it quite unsettling.

All the role models I had as a child - viking sheildmaidens, joan of arc etc - I'm told they were men. This isn't randoms online - this is professional training on 'lgbt' issues.

I think it's quite hard to buy into all beliefs promoted in these kinds of trainings.

Mrskeats Thu 16-Nov-17 15:39:11

No you may be right doctor
I meant that a girl who may well actually be a lesbian will be encouraged to transition these days.

FattyCat Thu 16-Nov-17 15:40:04

Are you a TERF? Or even a radical feminist?
I'm neither but have been called a TERF on many an occasion, mostly on lesbian dating sites, for refusing to date a lady with a penis. Also been told I need a good F*cking with a lady dick.
TERF is a made up slur that certain factions of the trans lobby throw out to gay women who won't have sex with biological males.
Going to the pride march is a red herring, the LGBTQIA alphabet soup is made up of many different factions. What I can tell you is that there are certain trans activists who either can't or wont believe that it isn't trans-phobic to only be attracted to certain genitalia, which is, when you look at it, a denial that being gay, or having any kind of sexuality, exists.

jellyfrizz Thu 16-Nov-17 15:41:49

I get where you are coming from PullUp.

I thought at first the transgender movement would be about breaking down gender binaries, that it would lead to more people being whatever gender they like, presenting how they liked and not be defined by the gender stereotypes associated with their sex - which would be a win win for everyone surely? Somehow that has all gone arse ways.

The use of the terms gender and sex have become more and more conflated and confused.

TossDaily Thu 16-Nov-17 15:42:00

Ashley I feel it's divine retribution for all the hard times I put my dad through when I was a teenage vegetarian.

Mrskeats Thu 16-Nov-17 15:43:01

TERF is the new witch as far as I can see
Lady dick=oxymoron

GuardianLions Thu 16-Nov-17 15:52:35

I am probably one of those fearful 'terfs' - I started out believing in inclusion and everything, but started getting annoyed with the number of TWs who seemed to be quite voyeuristic about women only spaces and would, in a round-about way, admit the motivation was to know how to 'pass' better, rather than through actual empathy or solidarity with women. I found this absolutely outrageous - using women's support services and discussion groups as a way to learn how to more convincingly 'act like a woman' it is a complete abuse of women's good will and kindness. It just threw into sharp relief how different trans struggles are from women. Trans want to know how to 'act' and they want to 'pass. Women want to 'stop acting' and women want 'liberation'.

I have been pretty vocal in challenging trans ideology, but at the same time, my sympathy is growing again for the transpeople who just want to get on with life and know the difference between sex and gender. But I will always have a keen ear for any offensive stereotypes they have about my sex.

As for the op I think it is okay to agree about some things and not agree with others. I detest tribalist fury whether I am on the right or wrong side of it- so having a different opinion even if it pisses people off, is a sign that at least I am not just getting caught up in tribalism and abdicating personal responsibility as part of a group. You are entitled to look at the facts, you are entitled to educate yourself about them and you are entitled to have an opinion. If you don't toe all the lines that are drawn for you in order to be 'allowed' into the group - well then good for you - and congratulations for actually thinking for yourself!

jellyfrizz Thu 16-Nov-17 15:53:26

But then I hear 'Being my true self' and 'Cis genders don't understand' and 'trapped in the wrong body's stuff and I feel awful.

An aside but, I heard a programme about ageing where older ladies were talking about having botox and plastic surgery because their 'true authentic self' looked 20 years younger. They were severely traumatised about how their looks had faded with age.

I've never been able to hear that phrase since without mentally referring to those ladies.

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