The label ‘TERF’, or ‘Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist’:

  1. Is not a meaningful description of any feminist politics.
    Radical feminism is an approach to analysing the oppression and exploitation of the class of female people by the class of male people. It seeks to uncover and challenge the root causes and origins of that system of oppression, which it labels patriarchy. Different radical feminist analyses will emphasise different elements – access to female reproductive labour, sexual access to women’s bodies, compulsory heterosexuality, male-dominated religion – as central to understanding the function and continued maintenance of patriarchy. So we should not assume that there is unity or homogeneity among those whose views can be called radical feminist. However, a key assumption underpinning radical feminist analyses is that the word “female” denotes a biological category, referring to the class of persons capable of menstruating, ovulating, gestating, and lactating. Radical feminist analysis starts from the assumption that living in a sexed body brings with it particular experiences that are of social and political significance, and that if we are to explain and dismantle patriarchy, we need to be able to describe and understand those experiences.

    For this reason, it makes little sense to describe, and still less to criticise, a radical feminist approach as “trans exclusionary”. Radical feminism seeks to make sense of the social and political reality of living in a particular type of body – a female body – and to eradicate the oppression and exploitation associated with the social relations between female-bodied people and male-bodied people. Therefore, its analysis of patriarchy as a system of sex-based oppression has little to say about the experiences of people who identify as women but do not inhabit female bodies. This is not an oversight or an illegitimate act of exclusion. It is simply not the aim or purpose of radical feminist theory to seek to analyse or explain the specific experiences of transwomen, which will, necessarily, be importantly different from those of female people. None of this is to deny that transwomen will experience marginalisation, discrimination and injustice. It is merely to note that these injustices are not rooted in biological sex, unlike the oppression of female people. Insofar as they are not, they are not intended to fall under the purview of radical feminist analysis. To criticise radical feminist analysis for being trans-exclusionary is to operate under the false assumption that the aim and purpose of radical feminism should be to explain and dismantle all forms of injustice and marginalisation, rather than to limit its focus to the sex-based oppression of female people. It is legitimate and reasonable for radical feminists to focus narrowly on analysing and dismantling sex-based oppression, and therefore criticism that their efforts do not also explain and challenge other unrelated social ills is misplaced.

  2. Is rarely, if ever, accurately applied, even if it were a meaningful label.
    Many of the people who are labelled TERFs do not meet the description of any of the words included in the phrase. The label TERF is often applied to men, to people who are not feminists of any kind, radical or otherwise, and even to anti-feminists. You can be called a TERF for believing that female and male are biological distinctions, rather than identities. Statements such as “only female people can get pregnant”, or “the penis is the male sex organ”, will frequently attract accusations that the speaker is a TERF. One need not subscribe to the analysis of sex-based oppression outlined in point 1 to be called a TERF. It is sufficient that one believes that female and male are real biological categories, and that there are genuine differences between the two that cannot be reduced to identity or feelings, to be labelled a TERF.

    Furthermore, the first half of the phrase is equally ill-defined, and inaccurately applied. It is not clear what, exactly, transwomen (or transpeople more generally) are being excluded from. Many people would argue, quite reasonably, that male-bodied people who identify as women should not have an absolute and unqualified right of access to all women’s spaces, where this includes women’s prisons, refuges, or changing facilities. It does not follow from this that those people think all transwomen should be excluded from all women’s spaces, or from all feminist projects and activism. Add to this the vagueness and lack of clarity about what the word “trans” actually means, and what criteria a person has to meet to be defined as “trans”, and it becomes even more apparent that the description “trans-exclusionary” is so vague and ill-defined as to be incapable of being applied meaningfully and accurately.

  3. Is inextricably associated with misogynistic, abusive, violent rhetoric. 
    The vast majority of people who use the word TERF intend it to be an insult, and apply it indiscriminately, frequently accompanied by threatening, aggressive and abusive language. Those who label women TERFs routinely threaten violence, employ misogynistic slurs and anti-lesbian rhetoric. There is no shortage of evidence of this; there is far, far more evidence of the word being used as an abusive slur, than there is of it being employed as a neutral description of a political position. Given that it is overwhelmingly used as a term of vitriol and abuse, and often accompanied by violent threats, it is not a term that anyone who wishes to be taken seriously as a credible political commentator should be using, or attempting to rehabilitate.

    Furthermore, commonly invoked attempts to present it as a neutral descriptive label fall flat when it is compared with other comparable slurs. It is often said that it cannot be abusive because it is merely an acronym; however, few would suggest that the word “tranny” is not a slur, because it is merely an abbreviation. Context, intent and actual usage matter hugely, as do the perceptions of the person to whom the label is directed. Most transpeople justifiably perceive the word “tranny” to be more than just an abbreviation. It is an offensive term of abuse intended to belittle, demean and dehumanise, and as such, it is perceived as a slur by those subjected to it. Those people may or may not choose to reclaim it and refer to themselves by that term, but those who are not subjected to it have no authority to tell transpeople that they ought not to find the word offensive, or ought not to feel threatened and dehumanised by those who use it. The same considerations apply to the word ‘TERF’. No feminist, radical or otherwise, adopts the label as a description of herself or her politics. Most if not all to whom it is applied perceive it as a slur, and given its connotations, will feel threatened or belittled by it.

    It is sometimes claimed that the word cannot be a slur because it was allegedly coined by self-described radical feminists who wanted to distance themselves from other radical feminists who they perceived to have the wrong politics. It’s not clear if this is true, since various trans activists have claimed that they are responsible for coining or popularising the term. But it makes little difference, since the history and etymology of the word does not determine its current usage. What matters is the context in which the word is now used and the connotations it currently has, and those are undoubtedly abusive and misogynistic.

    All those who perceive themselves to have progressive politics and to be allies to women should stop using the word TERF immediately.

47 thoughts on “The word ‘TERF’

  1. Unfortunately, words quickly fill vacuums, whether they make sense there or not, and the war between feminists who prioritize gender and those who prioritize sex needs labels. If you hope to remove “terf” from civil discussions, you have to propose the non-judgmental alternative. Those who reject terfs might be called gender feminists, but I suspect it would just confuse things to call the other side sex feminists, and “biology feminists” sounds like feminists who work in labs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nah. We don’t need another word to replace ‘TERF’, because 1) we don’t need a word to replace something that doesn’t meaningfully describe anything, and 2) we don’t need a word to replace something that functions primarily as a slur.

      Liked by 23 people

      1. Oh, I agree we wouldn’t want a word that suggests gender-prioritizers are right to demonize sex-prioritizers, but among the many divides in feminism, that may be the most prominent one currently. If your side doesn’t claim a name, you’ll be stuck with the one the haters give you. I noticed this when I was a teen studying Buddhism—some Mahayana Buddhists call Theravada Buddhists by the diminutive of “Hinayana”, but the polite ones do as most of us do and call everyone by the name they prefer.


        1. There is already a name for radical feminists and radical feminist analysis – Radical Feminist and Radical Feminist analysis/theory.

          I also use the terms, for myself, gender critical and gender abolitionist.

          You are I think slightly missing the point here that the slur terf is mostly misogynous, and used to try and limit where women can apply their critical thinking, in order to promote the insidious upgraded version of patriarchy: (neo) liberal feminism.

          Liked by 14 people

        2. Interesting how we have a special word for the women who disagree with trans, but there’s no special word for the men who kill trans.

          Liked by 4 people

    2. Why not “feminists” for activists who focus on female-specific issues and “trans rights activists” for people focused on trans-specific issues? Trans people face their own distinct set of challenges with their own distinct set of solutions. They need their own advocacy groups apart from female advocacy groups. The same is true in reverse.

      Activism that is not focused on issues that affect females is not “feminist” activism. An anti-racist activist (or trans rights activist) can *also* be a feminist, but feminism isn’t inherently about race or trans rights, it’s about females. There’s no reason trans folks shouldn’t have their own advocates but that doesn’t give them or their advocates the the right to

      A) appropriate feminism & direct it away from challenges facing females specifically or
      B) attempt to strip feminists of the name “feminist” & put a new, hateful, exclusively pejorative name on them.

      Liked by 14 people

      1. Every group that’s large enough to have subsets will have people who want to claim the overall name for their subset and say all the others should be called something else. It never works. Just as there’s bourgeois feminism and socialist feminism (the divide that most interests me), there’s gender feminism and, well, chromosome feminism. I completely agree that the experiences of ciswomen and transwomen are different, so it’s entirely appropriate to have groups that are exclusively ciswomen or exclusively transwomen, and that doesn’t make them any less potential allies than Protestants and Catholics.

        But humans like having names for themselves and those they see as different in some way. Maybe the polite way to discuss this divide is to talk about cis feminism and trans feminism. I’m really not arguing for a particular name. I’m just pointing out that if you object to “terf” (and you should!), you need an alternative that’s reasonably terse and self-explanatory.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Radical feminism is inherently based on biological sex. The idea that gender is a social construct and the core mechanism of the patriarchal oppression of women is the foundation of radical feminism. The purpose of “TERF” isn’t to fill a void where no word existed. The purpose of “TERF” is denigrate and bully women who dare to support things like sex-separated spaces, girls’ sports, lesbianism, etc.

          Most radical feminists do not agree with the reasoning behind the word “cis” and would not freely apply it to themselves any more than they would “TERF”. If you Google search the phrase “cis radfem”, ALL of the results are derogatory. Cis means “not trans”, and as the meaning of “trans” becomes broader and broader, “cis” becomes narrower and narrower, to the point where it’s no longer an accurate descriptor of the people the trans activists would like to label “cis”. Many radical feminists could easily fall into various trans/genderqueer categories based on our “gender expression”, but choose not to adopt those labels because we don’t subscribe to that ideology. This supposedly makes us “cis”, even though a “cis” person is supposedly someone comfortable with their assigned gender. Well, obviously radical feminists aren’t comfortable with our assigned gender! That’s why we’re here!

          Liked by 10 people

          1. I used cis and trans because they’re short. But they’re also examples of the way words will be used to fill voids. We currently effectively have four genders who somehow must coexist in a world designed for two. I use cis and trans neutrally, but if you hear them as derogatory, that’s all the more reason to come up with another distinction that most people can agree is only descriptive.


          2. Oh, I should add that I hope before I die, our society will abandon the concept of gender entirely and stick to sex. It’s been a useful analytical term, but the current brouhaha suggests it’s nearing the end of its run.

            Liked by 1 person

    3. TERF has never been a part of civil discussions, as a cursory Google search will show. If you believe this word to “fill a vacuum,” what exactly is it describing? Radical feminism is a form of analysis, and radical feminists certainly don’t exclude transgender individuals from that analysis. Those who use “TERF” don’t bother to determine whether the woman they so label is a radical feminist, or even whether she’s a feminist at all. Being a woman who questions any aspect of transgender ideology is enough to garner the label. “TERF” is just lesbian baiting, updated for modern times. It’s meant to convey that only old, ugly man-hating extremists — the popular stereotype of “radical feminists” — could possibly object to the demand that any man who says he is a woman must be socially and legally accepted as such.

      Liked by 14 people

    4. I think “radical feminist” is sufficient as a label for those feminists who prioritize sex / see gender as an oppressive social construct based on sex. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      If it’s too long, I think “radfem” is generally considered a neutral abbreviation. (For instance there’s the website which is a radical feminist literary archive.) See also libfem.

      Liked by 12 people

  2. If I might be permitted to comment, I have read radical feminist articles that speak of how men are inherently violent and dangerous, because they are men, and that therefore transwomen are equally dangerous, for their biology is inherently male, and therefore dangerous. The presumptive attitude is that a transwoman will inevitably seek to hurt women, for that is what is hard-wired into their DNA.

    I understand that the concept of gender is considered by radical feminists to be a construct of society – one that hurts women and men alike – but the idea that either men or women are biologically pre-determined to certain behaviour is to suggest we cannot change our behaviour. It’s also fuel to the fire for MRAs, MGTOWs etc that women should behave in accordance with biology.

    All I know is – if someone is trans, then they run the risk of being shunned by several elements of society. They are targets for MRAs, for conservative religious groups, and I as I said at the start, I have read radical feminist articles that are decidedly exclusionary of transwomen. Your article is very good, and presents a more moderate and considered response to this issue than most.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t really comment on that, because it’s not a view I hold. I do not think that men are inherently violent and dangerous (although I do think that their increased levels of testosterone are likely to make them more violent than women are; that doesn’t mean they are all violent, only relatively more likely to be so.) I do not think that either male or female biology makes either sex pre-determined or pre-destined to certain behaviour, and thus I cannot respond to the criticism. I’m not sure if other feminists think that, or if some self-described radical feminists think it. You’d have to take it up with them.

      I agree that trans people face stigma, discrimination, harassment and abuse. These things are unacceptable. However, it doesn’t generally speaking come from feminists. I haven’t seen feminists threatening to set trans women on fire on social media, but I have seen the reverse happen.

      Liked by 11 people

    2. Do you have any links to those articles, where radical feminists allegedly claim male violence is hard-wired into male DNA? I’m not sure if I ever heard any radical feminist make such a claim. Maybe it was meant in the sense that all men *under patriarchy* are conditioned to abuse women, which is not a claim of biological determinism but may have sounded like one because the result is the same so long as we still live under patriarchy: every male-born person is socialized into masculinity so the fact that they are biologically male is concrete grounds for excluding them from female spaces as a safety measure. It’s easy to confuse this with a claim of biological determinism.

      Half anecdote half statistic: In a small poll that was held in radical feminist circles on Twitter, asking what radfems think is the source of male violence, the results showed “pure biology” to be an extremely rarely held position (one or two votes I think, may have as well been trolls), “pure socialization” also quite rare if I remember correctly, and by far the most voted answer was “mix of biology and socialization.” All in all, while I can’t speak for them, I always had the impression that there’s consensus among radical feminists that sex segregation is kind of an emergency response, whereas fixing boys’ socialization is the long-term solution to male violence. I.e. they may be more prone to become violent due to their hormones, but it’s not so that proper socialization can’t teach them to just keep that under control.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. You’ ve never heard it because radical feminists, as a category, don’ t believe in it. It would be like believing in female brain, which is something they would never be on board with. What radical feminism says is that it’ s socialization that needs to be held responsible.

        Liked by 9 people

      2. Greetings,

        I did attempt to post this earlier, but it seems to have gotten swallowed by the net. Such is the wonder of modern technology!

        The first such article that makes the implication male behaviour is rooted in biology and that men are inevitably inclined toward violence is here:

        I’m certainly not saying this is indicative of all radical feminists, and I don’t know what circumstances have led the authors to their conclusions, but the implication of these posts is clear – men are inevitably dangerous, and will inevitably hurt women, and this has nothing to do with social conditioning – it is biological.

        As a father to a little girl, it would not surprise you to learn I take offence to this idea. I would sooner die than harm my wife or daughter.


    3. It doesn’t matter whether male violence is inborn or socially produced; either way, transwomen are male and as such they belong to the same biological sex and therefore receive the same social conditioning as all males do. Even male-bodied people who transition early on don’t receive the same socialization or have the same embodied experience as females. Feminists seek the liberation of females. It’s not our responsibility to save males who experience their own challenges (violence from other males, mostly) or to downplay the fact that transwomen commit crimes at the same rates as other males. Trans people aren’t inherently predatory. It’s just that males, for whatever reason, are responsible for most of the violence in this world and no amount of negative feelings or oppressive experiences negate that truth. The truth hurts, and mostly it hurts women and girls. We do not have to acknowledge the problems experienced by trans people each and every time we talk about our the oppression of females. The guilt trip and gaslighting is plain old male domination and it needs to stop.

      Liked by 22 people

    4. ” The presumptive attitude is that a transwoman will inevitably seek to hurt women, for that is what is hard-wired into their DNA.” “…the idea that either men or women are biologically pre-determined to certain behaviour is to suggest we cannot change our behaviour.”

      Here are some more fallacies of yours to be corrected. Let me attempt it. A predisposition to do something does NOT indicate that people can not change their behavior. Males may be more biologically hard-wired for violence, but it is also indisputable that they are socialized to be more violent. Radfems are not saying that it is 100% nature. “Transwoman” commit violence against women for the same exact reasons other men do: because they can get away with it, it is socially sanctioned, transwomen have male upbringings and socialization, we live in a male-supremacist patriarchy, and because they are also men biologically and thus predisposed to violence. (Again, “predisposed” does NOT mean that violence is inevitable, or change is impossible.)

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Yeah, if someone believes that male violence is inevitable then there’s literally no point to radical feminism. Why bother destroying patriarchy if men will still be just as violent in the end? How can you even meaningfully destroy patriarchy if there’s no way to change male violence, given that patriarchy is a violent system? The two concepts are totally at odds.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. We need to remember sex roles did not invent themselves. Sex roles are just a tool males invented to make male domination seem less imposed on females. I think before males socialised girls from a young age to be submissive, there would have been more obvious force used against us. Most non human primate societies are male dominated. The ones that are not form female coalitions against males, such as bonobos. (Incidentally in these societies they is more same sex contacts between both sexes.)

      Liked by 3 people

  3. The problem is that women confronted with a man whether or not that man identities as not a man cannot be expected to work out whether they will be violent or not. The only safe option is that women have safe and separate spaces at this time in history. When one day no men are violent it might be different.

    Liked by 16 people

  4. “Radical feminism seeks to make sense of the social and political reality of living in a particular type of body – a female body… Therefore, its analysis of patriarchy as a system of sex-based oppression has little to say about the experiences of people who identify as women but do not inhabit female bodies. This is not an oversight or an illegitimate act of exclusion. It is simply not the aim or purpose of radical feminist theory”

    I love this succinct explanation so much. Filing away for future use.

    Liked by 13 people

  5. Women don’t have the class power to exclude male bodies from anywhere, so to be called a Trans Exclusionary woman is wildly inaccurate.

    Liked by 9 people

  6. Maybe you should do a follow up on the legions of so-called TERFs who call trans people ‘pigs’, ‘roaches’, ‘fetishists’, ‘autogynephiles’, ‘rapists’, ‘perverts’ etc. The hypocritical bigots who do everything they can to denigrate and dehumanise trans people but then whine about how ‘TERF is a slur’. But I appreciate it if you don’t want to upset your little twitter fanbase. God knows self-awareness isn’t their strong suite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a bit bemused as to why you have left this comment on my blog, since if you have read anything I have ever written you will know that I don’t do any of those things. I haven’t ever called anyone pigs or roaches, and I don’t denigrate or dehumanise anybody. All I ever do is make careful, reasoned arguments against a particular conception of innate gender identity that I think is incoherent and harmful. In response, I get called a TERF, a bitch, a cunt. I get threats of violence. I get people threatening to come to my place of work to harass me.

      If you see people calling trans people abusive names, I suggest you take it up with them, instead of inexplicably holding me responsible for the abusive behaviour of others.

      Liked by 17 people

      1. You are something of an opinion-leader amongst people who use that kind of language* all the time and yet you and the other “respectable” anti-trans feminists never say anything about it. What you do – intentionally or not – is provide a veneer of “reason” and respectability for those people to hide behind. If that’s something you’re comfortable with, then good for you. But perhaps you should consider why that kind of bigotry is so commonplace amongst “gender critical” feminists.

        *That’s why many people don’t care if those particular people find “TERF” offensive, by the way. If they want to be bigots then I have about as much sympathy for them as people who think “homophobe” or “racist” are slur words.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Late “transing” males do have autogynephilia, this has been written about many times, even by some AGP themselves. It is even included in the DSM as a cause of gender dysphoria. Being sexually aroused by the thought of being a woman, because one gets off on the idea of being a member of the supposed submissive sex class, IS a fetish. There is no point trying to claim these men do not exist because they do. As I said some even admit to it, a quick google search will soon reveal that it is true. Many women do not like the idea of males getting off on the idea that women are inherently sexually submissive. Women do not have to passively accept every male sexual desire, without criticism. Feminists will not stop criticising males sexual objectification of us, in whatever form that takes.

      Liked by 9 people

  7. If radical feminism “has little to say about the experiences of people who identify as women but do not inhabit female bodies”, why is it that a) radical feminists frequently do say to things about trans-women b) those things are invariably perceived as hostile by trans-women. Surely it’s no accident that the label TERF exists (whether it’s a slur or not) but e.g. TEA (“trans-exclusionary accountant”) doesn’t.

    I get the impression that by their very existence, trans-women undermine radical feminist dogma (i.e. an analysis based on the idea of class-oppression based on biological sex, that rejects gender as a valid or useful concept), and rather than update or reject their theories, radical feminists choose to either dismiss trans-women as confused or deluded, or attack them as agents of the “patriarchy”.


    1. Saying that the “existence” of transwomen undermines radical feminism is like saying that the existence of Christians undermines atheism. I don’t believe in Jesus, but I know Christians exist. And I fully believe there exists a small population of males who want to live socially as women. The existence of their desires and the fact that the patriarchy does not approve of their desires and unsurprisingly discriminates them for it does not undermine radical feminism in the least.

      Additionally, radical feminism doesn’t reject gender as a concept, we believe gender itself is a system of sex based behavioral roles and expectations used to enforce a hierarchy of males over females. Gender itself is a symptom of oppression. Class oppression is a different kind of oppression not based on sex. If this makes no sense to you it’s because we have very different definitions of what “gender” is. As far as I’m concerned, transwomen have no coherent definition of gender or woman outside of vague assertions of “essence” and “feelings”.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. Help me understand the problem here please. If throughout the course of my life I am the subject of many, perhaps small (perhaps not), disadvantages *because* I am perceived by others to belong to a certain group (biological females); and if this is a situation is experienced ubiquitously by biological females, wouldn’t it be interesting/useful/important for people to take an interest in this dynamic and its roots, and perhaps study it? Are you suggesting it isn’t legitimate for the study of such experiences to exist? And why would it be important for people working in this field to also study the lives of trans-women, a different group (i.e. not biological females)?

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I wonder how you or other radical feminists feel about those born intersexed. Where do you draw the line between male sexed and female sexed people? If you’re an intersexed child raised and socialized to be a woman, are you a biological woman? What if you’re born with the internal genitalia associated with female sexed people, but at least the appearance of external genitalia associated with male sexed people, such as fused labia and an enlarged clitoris? Are these people not still biological women? Does it then just become a question of how you’re socialized? Is this a separate category all together that radical feminism also doesn’t focus on? I guess my main question is what defines biological sex for you? What if you can’t lactate, but can do everything else you list? Maybe I’m missing some very obvious information here, sorry.

    I’m not trying to suggest that your way of thinking is wrong or flawed, just curious as to how radical feminism handles situations where biological sex is not so cut and dried. But perhaps intersexed people then become another group ‘excluded’ by radical feminist theory, in that they are not the group of people the theory is focusing on. I apologize if these questions come off as insulting in any way, as this is not my intent. If you or others have written about this before and you prefer not to reiterate, I would really appreciate a link to some material if you’re willing to provide it.



    1. Ah, yes, the intersex canard! It always surfaces! You did not disappoint. Trans aren’t intersex. Intersex people are not mythical creatures halfway between men and women either, btw. They are usually pretty clearly male or female, albeit with some birth defects. A Y chromosome = male. Doesn’t matter if it is normal XY, or XXY, or some more exotic variety. Chromosomes determine sex. Period!

      Liked by 5 people

  9. Have you considered that most people concerned with trans-rights probably regard the views of radical feminists towards trans-people as a form of bigotry, and therefore consider it an appropriate response to talk about radical feminists in a derogatory fashion – why should they extend toleration to the intolerant?


    1. Because good people extend toleration to everyone. I’ve been quoting this a lot lately:

      “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.” – Malcolm X

      Have “terfs” laid a hand on anyone?

      Liked by 4 people

    2. In what way is highlighting sex-based oppression, and therefore the need to maintain sex as a meaningful category, bigotry? Female biology is the starting point of the violent discrimination women face at the hands of men, and pointing this out is not bigotry. Trying to silence us by smearing and insulting us is misogyny, pure and simple.

      Liked by 9 people

    3. For the same reason Christians refer to atheists who criticize their beliefs as “bigoted” and “intolerant.” It is a meaningless way to disengage with the actual substance of the argument and instead make it a battle of personalities.

      The radical feminist position is that “gender” is not an innate property of the human psyche, but is, in fact, a belief system. As with any belief system, there are going to be non-believers who criticize and cross examine not only the claims of that belief but the harm the belief does to people as well. Gender, as a belief system, has been extraordinarily harmful to women for pretty much the duration of human civilization, and radical feminism aims precisely to dismantle and abolish this belief system for that reason.

      I don’t doubt there are people for whom gender is an integral part of their “identity” any more than I doubt there are Christians who sincerely believe they have a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” But you can not disallow criticism of the belief just because it “means something” to the person who holds it.

      From my perspective, trans-rights activists simply can not handle criticism of their belief in gender because it threatens their worldview and sense of self. This just further signifies the inherent harm of the belief as a prison of the mind. It can not be taken out on radical feminists, nor should it fall on feminists to dismiss the very real and urgent aims of anti-patriarchal activism just for the sake of upholding the beliefs of others, especially those whose aims are often at odds with their own.

      tl:dr, it is not “bigotry” or “intolerance” to criticize a belief, no matter how much that belief is tied up with a person’s “identity.”

      Liked by 9 people

  10. I was recently pulling together an article quite a bit like this, but you covered all bases perfectly with this one so now I don’t have to. I like it so much I’ve added it to the navigation on my site as a reference.

    Liked by 3 people

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