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Can someone explain what's radical about a 'terf'?

(32 Posts)
bathsh3ba Sun 14-Jun-20 22:55:35

I've been reading and trying to educate myself about what's going on in the current trans rights v women's rights debate and it strikes me that calling people who oppose self-ID 'trans-exclusionary RADICAL feminists' is somewhat odd. Surely wanting self-ID is the radical position and the opposite position is more conservative with a small 'c' than radical. Is this just a gaslighting tactic on their behalf or am I unaware of some definition of radical feminism? (This is entirely possible as I freely admit I've never read much about feminism until recently.)

OP’s posts: |
Doyoumind Sun 14-Jun-20 22:57:50

Radical feminism is a type of feminism. There are many branches of feminism. One of the experts will be along to explain far better than I could!

Thelnebriati Sun 14-Jun-20 23:06:07

There are 2 schools of feminism, radical and liberal. In this context 'radical' means 'root', as in 'lets get to the root of the problem'.

Liberal feminism is more about the choices made by the individual, and radical feminism says that women are discriminated against by the hierarchical system 'patriarchy'.

So as an example, a liberal feminist might say that 'sex work is work' and is empowering.
A radical feminist is more likely to say that sex work is a last resort kind of 'choice' made by women who lack other choices. If they had access to better resources such as a universal wage, childcare, or equal pay, women might choose other types of work.

Institutkarite Sun 14-Jun-20 23:06:15

Radical means to the root, Latin explanation for the actual word. The root of a feminism is to centre women in your discourse.
The acronym TERF, is a useful example of the hatred that men feel towards women that oppose them.
Those four letters T.. E ..R..F.. are now used as an derogatory insult towards women that centre Women and don't believe that human beings can change sex.
In this strange world it seems that if you believe in Women's rights you are anti trans. Odd

Thelnebriati Sun 14-Jun-20 23:06:44

Sorry, that should have been 2 main schools of feminism.

bishopgiggles Sun 14-Jun-20 23:07:45

Radical doesn't describe the person.
Radical means that the problem is in the structure of society. As opposed to liberal feminism which is an "individualistic form of feminist theory, which focuses on women's ability to maintain their equality through their own actions and choices."

Copied from Wikipedia cos I don't know much else.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_feminism

Radical feminism is a perspective within feminism that calls for a radical reordering of society in which male supremacy is eliminated in all social and economic contexts.

Radical feminists view society as fundamentally a patriarchy in which men dominate and oppress women. Radical feminists seek to abolish the patriarchy in order to "liberate everyone from an unjust society by challenging existing social norms and institutions."

OhHolyJesus Sun 14-Jun-20 23:08:48

There is nothing radical about centring women in feminism.

It's only Liberal Feminists - or LibFems - who think it is, as far as I can see and it all went wrong around 3rd wave feminism, not that I'm an expert as I'm behind on my reading.

Check out

https://4thwavenow.com/

OhHolyJesus Sun 14-Jun-20 23:10:07

I always used to think that radical feminist were the ones that thought marriage was a form of prostitution and sex within marriage was rape. I saw a woman on Wogan or Parkinson once talking about it, shows my age!

Thelnebriati Sun 14-Jun-20 23:12:19

And yes I agree that the idea of self ID is new, and extreme compared to how society has been ordered since history began.

One of the problems is that women are expected to conform to certain rules based on our sex. It can be dangerous to break them.
Now we have been ordered to forget them all and learn a new set of rules.

Women never get to make the rules, not even for ourselves.

TehBewilderness Sun 14-Jun-20 23:13:06

A bitch is a female dog but it is used to insult women.
TERF is also a pejorative invented to demonize Feminists and women who say no to men. Kkinda like last generations Feminazi and the generation before's bitch and your grandparents generation's man-hater.

It is inaccurate because Radical Feminists do not exclude females, aka transmen from their praxis.
But accuracy isn't the point. It's just another way to say shutupshutupshutup to women speaking truth to power.

DuDuDuLangaLangaBingBong Sun 14-Jun-20 23:16:37

Nothing ‘radical’ in making men the centre of your feminism wink

FloralBunting Sun 14-Jun-20 23:17:49

I tend to think defining 'woman' as someone who feels 'womanly' and likes 'womanly' things is fairly bloody conservative, tbh.

FantaOra Sun 14-Jun-20 23:24:23

I always used to think that radical feminist were the ones that thought marriage was a form of prostitution and sex within marriage was rape. I saw a woman on Wogan or Parkinson once talking about it, shows my age!

In the dark days of yore when Wogan was on the telly the feminists of the time did accurately describe marriage in that way as women could only access bank accounts and mortgages with the permission of their husband so most women were trapped financially with the man who had got his leg over at 17 and couldn't get out. I know it seems crazy now but I grew up in that Era. And of course men could rape their wives, it wasn't a crime.

Women did have to spell it all out pretty bluntly back then and of course Wogan and Parky just laughed at them and ogled their tits whilst back slapping pedophile rapist jimmy slavery as my dad called him.

I subscribed to Spare Rib at the time by purchasing a postal order with my paper round money from the post office, the only way women could use non cash money in those days without a man approving it.

I would read it with my eyes popping out and never looked back. I am a radical feminist.

SomeDyke Sun 14-Jun-20 23:25:28

Radical feminism says that the roots of female oppression are based on our sex, our ability to give birth and the fact that females tend to be physically weaker than males. As Ti-Grace Atkinson said:

"The first dichotomous division of this mass [mankind] is said to have been on the grounds of sex: male and female ... it was because half the human race bears the burden of the reproductive process and because man, the ‘rational’ animal, had the wit to take advantage of that, that the childbearers, or the 'beasts of burden,' were corralled into a political class: equivocating the biologically contingent burden into a political (or necessary) penalty, thereby modifying these individuals’ definition from the human to the functional, or animal."

WHY this has been used is because writing the above, I was talking about biology and sex, not social roles or gender or any other stuff. Hence it was radical feminists who tended to think it mattered that women were female, and not male, and that persons who were male could not and can never appreciate the position of female people.

So, anyone who opposes trans-ideology gets called a TERF, even those most of those haven't got a clue what radical feminism actually is. And radical comes from the latin meaning root, and radical feminists believe the root of our oppression comes from our sex, and is rooted in history, and at whatever point inhuman history males realised this. At which point I cannot forget the infamous, reasonably recent illustration from New Scientist (popular science magazine), illustrating an article on pre-history, where the only visibly female figure seemed to be stood there flicking her hair, whilst all the other figures doing stuff appeared to be male.................

worstwitch18 Sun 14-Jun-20 23:25:35

Radical has two meanings that are being confused here:

1) relating to the root/affecting the fundamental nature of something
2) extreme or fringe edge of a set of ideas

"Radical feminism" is one of the main branches of feminism, and the radical in its namer refers to the first meaning. It addresses the root causes of women's oppression.

"TERF" is a term used initially by trans people and stands for trans exclusionary radical feminists. This is not a term radical feminists would have come up with by themselves because radical feminism includes trans men (people born female) and excludes anyone who is biologically male whether they are trans or not.

FantaOra Sun 14-Jun-20 23:28:29

We still have to spell it out pretty bluntly now. Especially to all the feminist men demanding we agree that men are women. It's got worse frankly.

driverkatie552 Sun 14-Jun-20 23:38:24

The first time I heard about a terf was during a heated discussion at a session of lgbt plus awareness training when someone said that a terf is someone who classes them self as a feminist and is against trans rights I'm
Not at all convinced that is the case if it not just a way of insulting those who have different opinions and shutting down conversation

Gncq Sun 14-Jun-20 23:40:16

I agree with you, OP, The idea that it's somehow radical to want to preserve same sex spaces is gaslightly.

There's a whole problem surrounding the term "terf" as well.

"Terf" was invented by gender ideologists to slur women who think same sex spaces are important.

Virtually none of the people who get called "terf" are actually "radical feminists" or "exclude transpeople" at all.

It's a typecast.

If you're called a "terf" then apparently you
1) Want to deny the existence of transpeople.
2) Want to harm transpeople
3) Think transpeople shouldn't exist
4) hate transpeople
5) think all transpeople are rapists
6/7/8/9/10) more bullshit.

No one thinks any of the above apart from maybe a few terribly homophobic men, but women get typecasted in this way for basically saying "women's spaces are for women".

It's not a "radical" position and it shouldn't be.

Have read replies above saying "radical means root" and it's fine if you want to identify as a radical feminist yourself, but it's usually an accusation put on you for uttering the most ordinary "conservative" small c, opinion.

driverkatie552 Sun 14-Jun-20 23:50:37

@gncq see I don't have a problem with with self identification for individuals I don't understand it but then I don't understand why people vote Tory however I can see why the eradication of all same sex spaces is an issue a very good friend of mine was a refuge a few years back and the thought of a man being able to just access that space would fill her with dread it wouldn't personally bother me but then I've never been in a position that I would fear men and those that do should be protected surely that's just common sense

littlbrowndog Sun 14-Jun-20 23:55:08

Terf. It’s what men who know they can’t say women are bitches cunts hags use

Kinda makes them feel ok

If they said women you are bitches cunts and hags then they might get called out on it

So die cunt bitch terf it’s all good

DidoLamenting Mon 15-Jun-20 00:05:43

I subscribed to Spare Rib at the time by purchasing a postal order with my paper round money from the post office, the only way women could use non cash money in those days without a man approving it

In the 70s? That really isn't the case.

Melia100 Mon 15-Jun-20 00:08:48

Radical = root.

Please don't use the t word here.

FantaOra Mon 15-Jun-20 00:20:02

www.theguardian.com/money/us-money-blog/2014/aug/11/women-rights-money-timeline-history

TehBewilderness Mon 15-Jun-20 00:23:16

FantaOra

*I always used to think that radical feminist were the ones that thought marriage was a form of prostitution and sex within marriage was rape. I saw a woman on Wogan or Parkinson once talking about it, shows my age!*

In the dark days of yore when Wogan was on the telly the feminists of the time did accurately describe marriage in that way as women could only access bank accounts and mortgages with the permission of their husband so most women were trapped financially with the man who had got his leg over at 17 and couldn't get out. I know it seems crazy now but I grew up in that Era. And of course men could rape their wives, it wasn't a crime.

Women did have to spell it all out pretty bluntly back then and of course Wogan and Parky just laughed at them and ogled their tits whilst back slapping pedophile rapist jimmy slavery as my dad called him.

I subscribed to Spare Rib at the time by purchasing a postal order with my paper round money from the post office, the only way women could use non cash money in those days without a man approving it.

I would read it with my eyes popping out and never looked back. I am a radical feminist.

My life experience too.
Cosigned.

TehBewilderness Mon 15-Jun-20 00:27:48

I got paid less than the men because they had a family to support and my children were chopped liver long after the laws said businesses couldn't discriminate in that fashion. They knew we couldn't afford to file a complaint.

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