Advanced search

A letter to the TERFs

(571 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Helen1111 Wed 13-Dec-17 18:36:31

To the women shrieking transphobic abuse on Mumsnet, in the name of women's rights,

Ten, fifteen years from now, when the world you wish for has come to pass, I ask you to remember me.

Remember me when you have your first baby and the trans woman by the bed next to you, who was with her wife every step of the way is consistently humiliated, dehumanised and denied her true value as a mother, because the best people can manage is to call her a facsimile of a woman, a pseudo-father, and she wishes that just for once, at this most transformative of moments, they would call her a woman, a mother, because that's what she is. But they can’t or they won’t, because they think that denying her the right to be a mother somehow gives them more rights or keeps them safe.

Remember me when your trans neighbour, who is waiting to have children before he starts hormone therapy, gives birth, and feels vulnerable and exposed, because the one person who would truly have been able to understand how he feels (and the best midwife on the ward) has been drummed out by transphobic haters who call her "a man in a dress.". Remember me when the doctors refuse to let your trans cousin see a female doctor, because they won’t record her sex as ‘female.’ Remember me when they laugh at her genitalia, when strangers ask to see what’s under her dress, when they force her to show them, even though her body is screaming no.

Remember me when your elderly mother, who is still reeling from you declaring her “lost to dementia” despite being every bit a feeling, thinking human being, goes into a care home and, despite having lived as a woman all her adult life, is called Sam, and cared for with the men. And even in her addled state of mind, she knows that she is Susan, and you know she is your mother, but you cannot object, and can only sit by while her confusion is compounded with depression, anxiety and grief.

Remember me when your daughter comes home from school crying, the daughter who has spent the last five years training to be the best athlete in her class, her school, her district, she's crying because transphobic mothers won’t allow her to run in the girls' race, but she can't go into the boys' changing rooms for fear of being beaten, and she knows it doesn't matter how hard she trains, she will never be allowed to compete, or even if she does, people would never accept her victories.

Remember me when you go into a toilet late at night, perhaps in a bar, and there's no one else around, and a guy walks in, he has a beard and is wearing jeans and a t shirt, and the way he looks at you seems off, and you feel afraid and unsettled and worried he might hurt you. But you can't challenge him, because the law says he is a woman, because he wasn’t born with a penis.

Remember me when your niece goes for a promotion, for a board position at work that's designated for a woman. She’s put in the hours, she’s worked so hard, she knows she deserves it. And the position goes to Lola, who has spent the last year subjecting her to transphobic bullying her at every opportunity, and making her life so miserable that she’s considered suicide more than once. Lola will never do anything inconvenient like needing time off to have surgery, or to recover from the latest transphobic beating she received when walking home, (though either of them could get breast cancer because it doesn’t just affect people who were born female).

Remember me when you read on the news that crime statistics for trans men and women being raped, murdered, beaten and driven to suicide are on the increase, and that, not only did you do anything to challenge or prevent this, but you spurred it on, in the name of women’s rights. Remember me too, when vulnerable trans women, who look for all the world like you and me, are locked up in male prisons and cannot escape, even though they are imprisoned with the very people who abused them and drove them to the edge.

Remember me when your son comes home from school and says that he's learned at school that you can change sex and that some girls have penises and some boys have vaginas, and he tells you that this was the first time he ever felt like there was a truly place for him in the world. But then his teacher told him it is wrong and immoral to be like this. And you realise that all this time, when you preached transphobia, you were teaching others that your son was wrong, was a misogynist in women’s clothing. And you realise that your son, your wonderful, unique, son, will only be happy when you accept him as your daughter. Remember me when a few months down the line the teacher calls you in and says she's concerned that your son is depressed, that he is being bullied by people who were once his friends, but she doesn't want to have to involve their parents in this, because it’s really just a lifestyle choice and people should be free to tell him what they think of him, after all it’s really just protecting the rights of the girls in the class. But you are afraid – of yourself, your son, your friends, and you don’t know what to do.

In this brave new world that you helped to create, look around for your transphobic friends, the ones who called trans women “six foot men with stubble in a dress” and yet still claimed these ‘men’ were “benefitting from the patriarchy.” Look around and maybe you will finally see that this has cost trans women everything, it has made the world a harder, crueller place for them, and yet they still did this. Despite the odds, the pain, the abuse, despite never being considered to be one thing or another, they still chose to live as women.

And me? I'll be where I've always been. Fighting for all our rights. Fighting to tell you that you do not do this in my name. Fighting to undo the damage.

Watch your own backs, we’ve got ours.

WTAFisthisshit Wed 13-Dec-17 18:38:34


UrsulaPandress Wed 13-Dec-17 18:40:42

Damn. Beaten to it.


Cocolepew Wed 13-Dec-17 18:40:54

"Shrieking"? Want to throw hysterical in there while you're at it?

F4ttyBumBum Wed 13-Dec-17 18:41:20

None of that makes sense to me :S

FloweringDeranger Wed 13-Dec-17 18:41:49

Don't need to.

I remember being myself as a female in a male world. I will see it again tomorrow. I can watch my daughter in the same situation. And no I will not surrender the rights so many women have fought for.

BelligerentGardenPixies Wed 13-Dec-17 18:42:14


LostMyLunchMoney Wed 13-Dec-17 18:42:56


cafeaulaitpourvous Wed 13-Dec-17 18:43:12

*Watch your own backs, we’ve got ours.*

A threat?

It's also a load of bollocks too ....

KatherinaMinola Wed 13-Dec-17 18:43:36

The trouble is, most of this is bullshit.

I mean, come on:

Remember me when the doctors refuse to let your trans cousin see a female doctor, because they won’t record her sex as ‘female.’ Remember me when they laugh at her genitalia, when strangers ask to see what’s under her dress, when they force her to show them, even though her body is screaming no.

Xenophile Wed 13-Dec-17 18:44:45

Oh bless your heart.

Look at you bastardising women's work to make a non-existent point , no wonder you support men bastardising what woman is.

AdalindSchade Wed 13-Dec-17 18:45:29


Battleax Wed 13-Dec-17 18:46:01

That makes very little sense. On all sorts of levels.

For a start, maybe write something original of your own, instead of bowdlerising someone else's (considered,thoughtful) piece?

terryleather Wed 13-Dec-17 18:46:10


PricklyBall Wed 13-Dec-17 18:46:15

Funny how the original ended on a note of solidarity - solidarity directed towards the woman who had screamed in her face: "I'll have your back, as I always have done."

Whereas this one ends with a not-so veiled threat: "Watch your own backs, we’ve got ours."

But just a note - what feminists are trying to do is defend women's rights to make choices about their own bodies - the right to ask for a female midwife, the right to have spaces where they can congregate with other natal women. They are not, and have never, said to transwomen that they can't have their own spaces, or access to shared spaces.

Take the example of the transwoman midwife. No-one is saying that midwife shouldn't practice (in fact, IIRC, at least one woman has said her midwife was actually trans). What we want is for the woman who is having the baby to have the choice - maybe she will be happy with a trans midwife, maybe she won't - but it is her body so it should be her choice.

Lostmyemailaddress Wed 13-Dec-17 18:46:37

And what about a victim of male sexual abuse has to change next to someone who declares their penis is a female penis because they say so. Do you not think her body screams no?

MaidOfStars Wed 13-Dec-17 18:46:48

even though they are imprisoned with the very people who abused them and drove them to the edge
He he, the irony is not strong with this one.

NotTerfNorCis Wed 13-Dec-17 18:46:52

Seriously, you put the wish of a boy to compete against girls above the girls' right to fair competition?

SilverdaleGlen Wed 13-Dec-17 18:46:52

Why would there even be a man with a beard that's a woman without a penis?

At least let your rebuttal make sense!

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 13-Dec-17 18:46:58

We should watch our backs? How ridiculous to threaten women-just as men have been doing for, oh, centuries.....

Most people are not denying the right of transmen or transwomen to go about their lives, but they should not be termed as men or women. Because they're not.

A transman or woman has medical and psychological NEEDS that are different from their biological peers. To deny them this is to do them a disservice.

We should be recognising and humanising the differences rather than trying to strongarm terminologies that benefit neither side.

As a human, I want everyone to be healthy and happy in themselves. In order for that to be possible, we have to recognise who we are and who we are not.

Trans is trans. Being trans is not shameful. Accept it.

nauticant Wed 13-Dec-17 18:47:18

What you might want to do Helen1111 is save a copy of this and look at it in 10 years' time. You will cringe like you wouldn't believe.

WillowWept Wed 13-Dec-17 18:47:21

You’re not much of a writer are you OP?

I can see why you mainly stick with accusations of shrieking and the implied irrationality that brings.

Nothing you say stands up to scrutiny. Plus ça change.

CosmicCanary Wed 13-Dec-17 18:47:25

TRAs...... is there nothing they wont steal?

Trying to steal womenhood, childrens childhoods, womens jobs/spaces and womens sports.

Now they steal a wonderfully written original post by a woman and turn it in to a cheaper not nearly as eloquent knock off.

Bluebellforest1 Wed 13-Dec-17 18:47:32


guardianfree Wed 13-Dec-17 18:47:34

Always the threats:
"Watch your own backs"


Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: