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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Now the term FGM is cissexist? WTAF?

232 replies

NormaStanleyFletcher · 28/10/2014 21:30

By the very brilliant Louise Pennington.

How can they try to erase the lived experience of violence against women by banning a discriptive term for what is actually happening?

"It is not “cissexist” to talk about the biological reality of women’s bodies and the damage done to them within a capitalist-patriarchy. Frankly, even the suggestion that it is “cissexist” demonstrates a fundamental inability to actually understand the reality of lives of women and girls in our world."

OP posts:
ElephantsNeverForgive · 29/10/2014 12:37

This is exactly the problem. It's impossible to engage a wider audience in these debates if that wider audience keeps having to break off and google yet another term.

TunipTheUnconquerable · 29/10/2014 12:40

Norma, the Blockbot is something you can sign up to on Twitter which automatically blocks tweets from accounts which the Blockbot owners have designated block-worthy.
It was touted as a way to protect yourself from hate speech when the Caroline Criado-Perez abuse first hit the headlines, but it wasn't terribly effective because abusers just make new accounts faster than the blockbot owners can notice and add them. Ultimately, though, it just ends up representing the views/prejudices/personal enmities of the people who run it.

ElephantsNeverForgive · 29/10/2014 12:40

Right got it, TERF is an insult used to stifle debate and can safely be ignored!

TheWanderingUterus · 29/10/2014 12:41

Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist

TunipTheUnconquerable · 29/10/2014 12:41

x-post Puffins, sorry!

ZombiePuffinsAreREAL · 29/10/2014 12:53

Ok, to make things easier...

TA = Trans* Activist
TW = Trans* Woman
TM= Trans* Man
TERF = Trans* exclusionary Rad fem
Truscum = any Trans* person who disagrees with TAs
SWERF = Sex Worker exclusionary rad fem

any more?

ZombiePuffinsAreREAL · 29/10/2014 12:54

Oh yeah, as I discovered when I was told to do it.

GDIAF = Go die in a fire. TAs preferred way to rid the world of people they perceive to be TERFS.

WhatWouldFreddieDo · 29/10/2014 12:55

So if I went on twitter and said 'penises are male, vaginas are female' I'd be labelled by some as a bigot, TERF, scum ...

FloraFox · 29/10/2014 13:03

spirited I agree with what you've written and with others that have said that would be enough to make you a TERF even on feminist websites.

One of the most notorious "TERFs" who was banned from twitter after a campaign by TAs is Cathy Brennan. She's a US lawyer who did a lot of actual, real life, effective activism for LGB and T issues including successfully lobbying for legislation prohibiting discrimination against trans people in housing and the workplace. She co-wrote a letter to the UN suggesting that in cases of sex-segregated spaces, males could not claim to be women based on "gender identity" if they had no prior history of transgenderism. At that time, she used female pronouns for trans women and stated she accepted them "as women". She was immediately and viciously attacked for her "transphobia" including rape threats, threats against her children and publishing her home address etc. Rather than capitulating and meekly accepting her admonishment like a woman should, she initially tried to explain why she was not transphobic but then basically said "fuck you" and said she had only been using female pronouns / accepting TW "as women" out of respect which she no longer felt. She still supports anti-discrimination legislation for trans other than in sex segregated spaces.

Now she's banned from twitter, there is less chatter about her but many TAs and mainstream feminists consider her "literally" (sic) the worst person in the world.

FloraFox · 29/10/2014 13:06

(F)AMAB = (Forcibly) Assigned Male at Birth

AFAB = Assigned Female at Birth = the highest level of privilege in the universe, known or unknown

Upandatem · 29/10/2014 13:14

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TunipTheUnconquerable · 29/10/2014 13:14

WWFD, depending on who sees your tweets, you might, or you might just get some very earnest and well-meaning young people tweeting at you to try and educate you Grin

JeanneDeMontbaston · 29/10/2014 13:27


I never get earnest, well-meaning young people.

FloraFox · 29/10/2014 13:28

LRD is on that thread I thought she had gone.

fluffling · 29/10/2014 13:29

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheWanderingUterus · 29/10/2014 13:32

WWFD, or you would get a torrent of abuse, including threats to reveal your identity, hurt your family/you or rape you. If you attempt to argue back you will be accused of trying to drive a TW to suicide and/or triggering a panic attack or similar. Denying their feelings and identity,

Even using the wrong pronoun by accident, easy to do on twitter, is violence towards the TA.

TunipTheUnconquerable · 29/10/2014 13:42

Yep, misgendering counts as violence when feminists do it.
Never noticed any men being called out on it though Hmm

noblegiraffe · 29/10/2014 14:33

Do they petition men's rights activists to support their causes in the same way? Do they complain about men-only spaces discriminating against women who identify as men? Prostate exams and testicular cancer campaigns?

Or is it just attacking women?

ZombiePuffinsAreREAL · 29/10/2014 14:36

Option B Noble.

noblegiraffe · 29/10/2014 14:36

I'm struck by the similarity to the tactics used by 'gamergate' supporters. Releasing personal details, rape threats, threats on women's families. Do these things happen to men?

ZombiePuffinsAreREAL · 29/10/2014 14:51


And interestingly, there has been some talk about how much more awful it would be for men to be threatened with rape online. Presumably because women have had it so long now they should just accept it? Or are immune to it or something.

FloraFox · 29/10/2014 14:53

noble there are very very few pitchforks raised against men who say transphobic things on social media or in the press.

heartisaspade · 29/10/2014 14:53

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FloraFox · 29/10/2014 14:56

ITA heart

I also hate it when someone who thinks they are a trans ally says something they think is supportive but that indicates in some way that transwomen have not always been completely female in every way. They get jumped on from a great height by people they are trying to be friends with or give support to. It's sad, especially when they try to apologise / capitulate and are ostracised and piled on.

ZombiePuffinsAreREAL · 29/10/2014 14:59

If I have the time and haven't been BBd I might do an experiment, copying a random selection of tweets from TAs, their allies and those accused of being TERFs. I think the language used by the different groups might be telling, but I'm not 100% sure.

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