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Trans-exclusionary radical feminism

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doing the patriarchy’s work and calling it feminism: the TERF
—erica, ascendant[1]

Trans-exclusionary radical feminism (TERF; also Trans women exclusionary feminism or TWEF[note 1]) is a subgroup of radical feminism characterized by transphobia, especially transmisogyny,[note 2] and hostility to the third wave of feminism. The more biologically essentialist currents assert that the only real women™ are those born with a vagina and XX chromosomes, and that anyone born with such an arrangement is always a woman.[note 3] Those currents which are more oriented towards theories of social development tend to couch their opposition to trans individuals in the notion that a lifetime lived as someone who socially codes as a women is intrinsic to the definition of 'womanhood,' and thus that male-to-female trans individuals are 'interlopers' who cannot know nor represent the feminine experience. At the same time, they deny the lived experiences of trans people.[2]

While the lifetime of experiences many woman have accumulated in being treated as women are undoubtedly important, how and why this should translate into opposition for trans rights is unclear at best, and quite often stoked by blatant appeals to transphobia and transmisogyny. Regardless of explanative framework, TERFs/TWEFs in general seek enforcement of a gender binary that is directly predicated on gender essentialism. The term was likely invented by Hoyden About Town writer Viv Smythe (aka TigTog) in 2008.[3][4]

The term "TERF" is not used by those in the group, who consider it a damnable slur and a term of abuse, and think of themselves as perfectly reasonable radical feminists[5] (and, indeed, the only thing that should be called "feminism"). They tend instead to use terms like "gender critical", which is for the same general public relations reason that white nationalists insistently present themselves as mere "race realists" and tankies try to rebrand Stalin apologetics as "anti-revisionism."

Even sub-branches of feminist thought known to house individual TERFs, including second wave feminists and political lesbians, have spoken out against this exact transphobia and transmisogyny within their own ranks, further demonstrating the distance between TERFs and mainstream feminism.[6][7]

TERFs (and SWERFs) are a tiny subset of feminism,[note 4] but an unduly influential one: legislators seeking feminist input will often get an academic TERF, who will then get transphobia into law.[note 5] Their doxxing,[8] trolling,[9] picketing,[note 6] and generally abusive behaviour has earned them the title of "Westboro Baptist Church of feminism"[10]; because they are to feminism what the WBC is to Christianity.[11] They are, in short, a hate group that by no means represents mainstream feminism.[12] By virtue of these facts, the TERF movement can actually be understood as being overtly anti-feminist.[note 7]

Against feminism[edit]

Broadly speaking, there are two major points on which TERFs and feminists vehemently disagree — on the question of gender, and on the nature of the third wave of feminism.

Towards binary gender[edit]

Transphobic radfems seem to almost universally reject the concept of cisgender privilege, and even the term "cisgender" itself, as somehow demeaning to "women born women" (another controversial term in LGBTQ+ circles that is usually understood as a transphobic shibboleth). In other words, TERFs go so far as to reject any terminology models (for words such as "woman" or "man") that are not based on biological organs, gametes, or chromosomes.[note 3] Thus (re)defining their own movement as that "of women to liberate women from oppression, and that female biological reality is a defining aspect of women's experience of oppression."[note 8]

Unlike run-of-the-mill conservative transphobes, TERFs generally accept a distinction between gender and sex, at least in theory. However, they believe that gender ought to become completely irrelevant and that sex is crucial when it comes to how we classify people. They defend the act of misgendering by claiming that they are simply referring to biological sex, and while they are theoretically opposed to gender roles, some TERF bloggers speak of the completely different concept of "sex roles." When they don't have any biological evidence for a particular point, they turn to socialization based on sex instead. The fact that GC holds sex as a be-all-and-end-all system just brings them right back to the gender binary and essentialism.

Academic radical feminism is premised upon the idea that gender, as the assignment of bundles of default personality stereotypes to genital shapes, is entirely a social construct that must be destroyed. Presumably, in this sort of post-gender world, everybody would be encouraged to identify nonbinary and present fluid, leaving genitals for the bedroom.[13] Some transgender people maintain, on the other hand, that gender is to some extent intrinsic: even though they were raised as one binary gender, they have always identified as the other,[note 9] and further, trans people often, but not always, want bodies to match. As frequently happens when ideology runs up against someone else's lived experiences, ideologues respond by trying to hammer the problem flat until it fits with what they already believe. As such, there has been,[14] and continues to be,[15][16] a rich current of anti-trans bigotry underlying much TERF ideology on the issue of gender and transgender people in general. The obvious conflict between the notion that "gender is entirely a social construct" and the slogan "women born women" seems to escape them, except perhaps in the context of gynecological health care.

While mainstream feminists would disagree, TERFs who critique — "I'm not transphobic, I'm trans critical!"[note 10] — transgender people's existence maintain (generally contrary to both what trans people themselves have said about their own identities, and the medical consensus on gender dysphoria) that trans women are nothing more than "effeminate men" who have been relegated by the patriarchal gender binary to the status of women (whereas trans men, when they bother to mention them at all, are just women trying to claim 'male privilege' for themselves). Thus they slam transgender people in general for "reifying the gender binary." Considering the transgender population is about 1 in 300,[17] accusing the transgender community of reifying nearly any oppressive construct is patently absurd and this is obvious to anyone with the most basic understanding of math and group dynamics. There is no out, however, for transgender people who do not embody the stereotypes of their adopted genders either; lesbian trans women, for example, are dismissed as men who only transitioned in order to infiltrate women's-only spaces.

Cathy Brennan, for example, literally believes not only that trans women are men, but that they are therefore de facto animals who cannot control themselves (all typos in original):[18]

transgender woman are in fact men using an artificialy constructed feminine apperance to exert patriarchy from the inside of feminism and believe it or not, to gain access to womans bathrooms in order to rape them.

Because no logical argument can be made that maintains their beliefs, they instead make memes.[note 11] All of this is highly ironic, since by doing all this they are objectifying women's bodies and saying men are not to blame for their actions because "instincts". Never mind the actual numbers, of course, which show that trans women are one of the groups most likely to be abused and raped.[19][20]

Against the Third Wave[edit]

TERFs loathe the third wave of feminism. For a number of reasons, partly their own authoritarianism, partly their own demographic myopia, and partly because they themselves represent a partial embodiment of every stereotype thrown at feminists over the last century and a half, this particular group of radfems have been roundly rejected by nearly every demographic they claim to represent, including, but not limited to, women of color, sex workers, kinksters, virtually all male allies (with the exception of a few masochists who spend their time shitting on their gender and downplaying genuine men's issues), and, at long last, most every feminist who has come after them. This is in part due to their inability or unwillingness to understand intersectionality.[21]

They also seem to deeply resent that the third-wavers have taken their best ideas — understanding and fighting patriarchal structures and rape culture, the fight for reproductive rights and women's health care — and carried them forward, while leaving the dogmatism and one-size-fits-all theorizing behind, rendering the majority of them irrelevant.

For sex workers, the reason for rejecting that form of feminism is, in large part, because although all sex workers around the world can be said to be exploited (especially in developing countries and anywhere with a strong culture of machismo) and some are indeed held in the industry forcibly against their will (as opposed to economically, in the same vein as minimum wage workers), they nevertheless find the conflation of sex work and slavery to be insulting both to themselves and historical victims of slavery, not to mention counterproductive for helping actual victims of sex slavery (who often, upon freeing themselves, resort to sex work in absence of other opportunities). Sex educators generally agree and in addition feel that such attitudes deny the agency of people to seek their own pleasure, hiding an underlying puritanism behind concepts like false consciousness.

Back in the 1980s, TERF ideas were at the absolute pinnacle of the tree of ideological soundness and political correctness (early enough that that term was only used approvingly by those supporting it). During this period, transgender people were only beginning to become the subjects of political awareness. They can't quite understand how the same ideas — let alone their actions — in the 2010s are considered odious bigotry.

TERFs and wingnuts[edit]

In the 1980s, TERFs successfully brought an end to trans health care access. One TERF operative wrote the government report which led the the revocation of trans medical care under government programs and soon thereafter, private insurers followed suit.

TERFs have been known to collaborate with the Religious Right. Notable instances include Cathy Brennan's collaboration with the right-wing Pacific Justice Institute in order to harass a trans woman via death threats, and generally acting as their mouthpiece,[23] and Sheila Jeffreys stating that she aligned with the "radical right" on the issue of transgender legislation:

Now one of the things I find puzzling about it is that, when I look at the House of Lords debate on this legislation, those I agree with most are the radical right. Particularly the person I find that I agree with most, in here, and I’m not sure he will be pleased to find this, is Norman Tebbit.[24][25]

Their particular transphobic rhetoric also owes a lot to wingnut homophobia in its structure, showcasing the same homosexuality-as-a-choice. When Jeffreys noticed RadFem2012 was cancelled and labelled a hate group, she said:

Criticism of the practice of transgenderism is being censored as a result of a campaign of vilification by transgender activists of anyone who does not accept the new orthodoxy on this issue.[26] (emphasis added)

The bolded part is eerily similar to what the radical right have said about homosexuality. Specifically, it resembles the following quote about such by neo-Nazi Paul Fromm in its framing of gender identity as choice instead of something a person is, as well as its massive persecution complex:

Despite being a Catholic, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty of Ontario forced even Catholic schools to promote the homosexual agenda in the schools and have Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs, even though the practice of homosexuality violates Catholic teaching. (So much for religious freedom!)[27] (emphasis added)

TERFs have advocated reparative therapy for transgender people. For example, Janice Raymond, in her paper Technology on the Social and Ethical Aspects of Transsexual Surgery, stated:

Nonsexist counseling is another direction for change that should be explored. The kind of counseling to “pass” successfully as masculine or feminine that now reigns in gender identity clinics only reinforces the problem of transsexualism. It does nothing to develop critical awareness, and makes transsexuals dependent upon medical-technical solutions. What I am advocating is a counseling that explores the social origins of the transsexual problem and the consequences of the medicaltechnical solution.[28]

This is exactly the same rhetoric used by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH),[note 12] an anti-LGBT group dedicated to lobbying reparative therapy.[29]

Sex worker-exclusionary radical feminism[edit]

Sex worker-exclusionary radical feminism (also known as SWERF) is yet another offshoot of feminism, one that opposes women's participation in pornography and prostitution. The term was coined to match that of TERF, as their memberships overlap.[30] Their ideology also overlaps as both subgroups follow a prescriptive, normative approach to feminism; i.e., telling women what to do — TERFs with their gender, and SWERFs with their sexuality.

SWERFs criticize the objectification and exploitation of women within pornography and the sex industry, as well as the violence and abuse that sex workers frequently suffer.[note 13] If this was all they did, that wouldn't be a problem.

In practice however, SWERFs typically go completely overboard and dump on sex-workers who chose their profession freely, even in places where it is completely legal and safe, claiming that the sex workers are nothing more than deluded victims (and co-perpetrators) of human trafficking. Much like white supremacists might insist that adoption agencies helping children from the third world find parents in the west are nothing more than deluded extinctionists. This dogmatic hostility to voluntary sex work is known as whorephobia.[10]

Most feminists lie somewhere in the middle - that the issue is not that there are no women who engage in sex work without compromising their personal autonomy, but that such people are not representative of sex workers in general[citation needed][note 14], and that such accounts can be misappropriated by others[Who?] who have an interest in the ongoing subjugation of women. For these feminists, the issue is not that women should not have the right to voluntarily engage in prostitution, but that more needs to be done to prevent women being forced, manipulated or otherwise obliged to engage in prostitution, e.g. to take just one instance, by providing government funding for medical procedures that are sometimes otherwise funded by sex work.

TERFs and misandry[edit]

There is a very strong undercurrent of man-hating to TERFism as a whole. Their criticisms of men go above and beyond what is necessary (or even acceptable).[citation needed] They regularly engage in hasty generalizations of male behavior that oftentimes eerily resemble the crass misogyny of the manosphere, albeit in reverse. For instance, after Tara Wolf's assault on Maria Maclachlan in Hyde Park, Maclachlan and her supporters repeatedly intentionally misgender Wolf to paint her as a stereotypical male thug and claim her actions as male violence.[31]

Much of their aversion to transgender women and to the discussion of legitimate men's issues seems to stem from a seething distrust of men. TERFs spend 95+% of their time discussing their hatred of transgender people crapping on transgender women and refer to them by the derogatory slur "trans-identified male". Most of their opposition to trans women seems to originate from a belief that they're infiltrators and rapists that will jeopardize the movement, something that implicitly assumes all men are rapists. Trans men, on the other hand, have reported as a certain level of respect from TERFs.[citation needed]

They also seem to have a near-pathological aversion to discussing men's issues unless it can be used to clobber gay men, with TERF blog Feminist Current's founder and editor Meghan Murphy going as far as saying that men are only raped by other men and that rape by women is not a thing. During the #MeToo movement, the same blog went out of its way to publish a piece condemning any attempt to address male rape victims by suggesting that women shouldn't cavort with their oppressors.

When MRAs complain about discussion of men's issues being shut down, you can bet wads of cash that TERFs were behind it. In fact, most of their caricatures of feminism make heavy use of TERF material.

A lot of this stems from the oftentimes class-based nature of TERF analysis, which views patriarchy as something that all men knowingly participate in against all women rather than admit that men are affected by it as well. TERFs complete inability to think in terms of individuals drives much of their hatred towards sex workers, trans people and anybody that doesn't fit within their very restricted worldview.

TERFs and the far-right[edit]

Many prominent TERFs like Janice Raymond have collaborated with the American Religious Right (going as far as to work with Jesse Helms) to deny health coverage to trans people.[32] In Northern Ireland, TERFs collaborated with the Democratic Unionist Party (i.e the Ulster Taliban) in passing anti-sex-work legislation, the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act 2015 sponsored by DUP peer Lord (Maurice) Morrow.[citation needed]

Many anti-feminists, including Milo Yiannopoulos, have praised TERFs, with Milo going as far as calling Julie Bindel, who has called for putting men into reeducation camps, as being his favorite feminist alongside faux-feminist Christina Hoff Sommers.[33] Prominent TERF Posie Parker did an 80-minute video with French-Canadian white nationalist Jean-François Gariépy in 2019.[34]

TERF communities have also been accused of racism. TERFs will oftentimes repeat Islamophobic comments and oftentimes engage in racist behavior, frequently stereotyping certain ethnicities of men as more sexist than others.[35] TERFs are 'overwhelmingly white and economically privileged, evidenced by the fact the entire editorial staff at TERF-central Feminist Current is white with the exception of one Latina.[36] Many men, even male TERFs, have noted the movement's complete inability to address the very gendered aspects of racism that oftentimes disproportionately affect men and to which TERF rhetoric oftentimes implicitly contributes.[citation needed] Angela Davis and bell hooks [sic], two black third-wave feminists, famously called out Susan Brownmiller's treatment of Emmett Till's lynching in her book Against Our Will as bordering on tacit approval, as she suggested Till's wolf-whistling was tantamount to the greatest possible humiliation.[37] This was claimed to have been due to Brownmiller's subliminal racism.[38]

Finally, TERFs' incessant use of euphemisms to conceal their transphobia is comparable to the alt-right's heavy use of fascist dog whistles.[39]

TERF as a slur[edit]

"Terf is a slur" is just their version of "Anti-racist is code for anti-white".
—Elise Tay[40]

Many TERFs claim that "TERF" is a slur — indeed, the website is aimed at claiming solely that.[41] In Feminist Current, Meghan Murphy wrote that "'TERF' isn’t just a slur, it’s hate speech. The term 'TERF' is not just used to smear and deride, but to incite violence."[42] Similarly, in New Statesman, Sarah Ditum suggested that the TERF label encouraged pro-trans feminists to "think it is OK — more than OK, laudable — to hit a 60-year-old woman if she thinks the wrong thing, because thinking the wrong thing is understood to be an act of aggression in itself."[43] The 60-year-old woman in question was Maria Maclachlan. At Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, while she was waiting and filming to hear about the venue for a meeting to discuss proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act,[44][45] she was struck by a trans activist who tried knocking off her camera, and it eventually escalated to a fight involving three activists including Tara Wolf, where Maclachlan held Tara Wolf's girlfriend while being struck on the back and the shoulder and eventually hitting the ground.[46] Tara Wolf was convicted later in court and was ordered to pay a £150 fine, a £30 surcharge and £250 toward costs, though the court also refused to compensate for Maclachlan because according to the judge, Maclachlan was continuing filming despite being told to stop and that she inappropriately tweeted a close-up of Tara Wolf with the caption "Hiya, got any hair restorer while I'm in hiding? Love Tara."

TERF a label intended to describe someone as an anti-trans feminist (rather than a full reactionary). It is particularly ironic that TERFs — who dedicate their efforts to proving that trans women aren't women — react so harshly to being mis-labelled themselves. Moreover, some TERFs are seen labelling themselves as "AFAB transwomen", in an apparent attempt to create confusion.[47]

TERF lingo and culture[edit]

Trans women are males. They do not bear children, breastfeed, hail from a divine feminine, house a sacred passage, sacrifice blood, sync w phases, flow in flux w universe. They just want the superficial benefits of a social construct but don’t bear the stripes.
—A rather extreme example of Poe's law from Wahidizm[48]
[note 15]

TERFs have a number of...colorful...euphemisms for transgender people. For a while, they used "MTT" and "FTT" (Male/Female to Trans) as substitutes for "MTF" and "FTM" respectively. They have referred to trans women as "SCAMs" (surgically and chemically altered males) [49] and compared them to Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs. Nowadays, TERFs use "TIM" and "TIF" (Trans-identified male/female).[50] They claim to prefer the terms because they emphasize that being trans isn't real; some also like them because they sound like nicknames for Timothy and Tiffany.

Sometimes, TERFs refer to the catchphrase "adult human females" as the definition of a woman, to imply that transwomen are not women.[51][52] It's a curious choice of phrase, since a number of women object to being referred to as "females."[53]

On the surface, sentences like "Men shouldn't be in women-only spaces" and "Men shouldn't appropriate lesbianism" sound progressive and reasonable, but TERFs use "men" as a dog-whistle for trans women. When TERFs are upset at a trans women, they may accuse her of "hating women," as if TERFs speak for every cis woman in the observable universe. In short, TERFs tend to view trans women as invasive men and use feminism as an excuse to be transphobic. They even call trans activists "TRAs," a subtle comparison to MRAs.

Of course, some TERFs might "tone down" their transphobia with "compromises", which trans YouTuber Riley Dennis has referred to as "Terfism 2.0".[54] For example, instead of saying "trans women are men", they might say "trans women are trans women," "trans women are women, but they're male," or "trans women are men, but I'll respect your name and pronouns if I like you." The same goes for saying that someone is a "biological man" or "biological woman" as a workaround way to misgender someone.

Notable TERFs[edit]

Cathy Brennan[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Cathy Brennan

Julie Bindel[edit]

Bindel is a prominent feminist writer, including many years for The Guardian. However she has been attacked for her hostility to trans people, with CL Minou accusing her of "dangerous transphobia" that denies trans women their bodily autonomy and ignores misogyny against trans women.[55]

Magdalen Berns[edit]

Magdalen BernsWikipedia's W.svg (1983-2019) was a Scottish YouTuber whose videos include "There is no such thing as a lesbian with a penis", "Gender is NOT a social construct", and "Non binary bullsh*t".[56] She founded campaigning group ForWomen.Scot, which has been accused of an anti-trans sticker campaign.[57]

Posie Parker[edit]

Parker launched a sticker campaign claiming "trans women are men".[58] She was described by Sophie Lewis in the New York Times as at the forefront of British TERF campaigning.[59]

TERFs in the UK[edit]

TERFs are a minority tendency in the American feminist discourse, concentrated primarily among older second-wave feminists who came of age amidst the women's liberation movement of the 1970s and '80s. It is a very different story, however, in the United Kingdom. TERFs hold a mainstream position within the British feminist movement, and serve as the main face of British anti-trans activism as opposed to religious conservatives, to the point where there has been friction between American and British feminists over the issue. In 2018, Sam Levin, Mona Chalabi, and Sabrina Siddiqui, three American journalists writing for The Guardian, publicly disavowed an anti-trans editorial published in the paper[60], citing its similarity to the rhetoric of American religious conservatives and the Donald Trump administration. In the other direction, in 2019 Posie Parker and Julia Long, two anti-trans British feminists, traveled to Washington to ambush Sarah McBride, a trans woman and the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, live-streaming footage of themselves hurling anti-trans invective at McBride and saying that they came to Washington because they saw the United States as the global heartland for transgender rights activism and wanted to challenge it on its "home turf".[59]

The rise of trans-exclusionary radical feminism in the UK is for a variety of historical reasons. To start, while both the US and the UK saw the emergence of the cultural feminist tendencies that bred transphobia, in the UK they attained a far more commanding position, with lesbian separatists getting heavily involved in the anti-nuclear movement in the '80s. Furthermore, without an organized Religious Right in Britain hostile to both feminism and transgender rights, the intersectional alliances between activists in both movements and others never emerged the way they did in the US. As such, post-Thatcher Britain saw relatively few of the broad, popular left-wing social movements that characterized the American left during that time; the movements against racism, police brutality, environmental degradation, and sexual harassment and assault were largely American-led affairs within the Anglosphere, a fact that also led some Brits to see such movements as fundamentally rooted in American concerns that were of less relevance beyond American shores. The blind spots of the British skeptical movement in the '90s and 2000s, and the positions many figures from such would later attain in British media, also played an unfortunate role. Pushback against postmodernism and alternative medicine often took the form of a fetishization of the "hard" sciences to the point of biological determinism, and a dismissal of the humanities and social sciences as corrupted by nonsense pushed by people with an ax to grind and rooted more in ideology than science. This made queer theory into a target of ridicule, seen as postmodern junk undermining a "biological" understanding of gender. Finally, the parenting forum Mumsnet played a major role during the '00s and '10s. Mumsnet is a major online social space for young mothers in the UK, a demographic that is often quite feminist-leaning but also receptive to "think of the children" arguments, and they proved to be an easy market for rhetoric couched in feminist language calling trans people and rights a threat to their kids.[59][61]

The bottom line[edit]

The fatal problem either lies in the method of propagation of the TERF message, or in the message itself. Given that TERFs often fall into very familiar scripts reminiscent of denialism and other dead-end positions,[note 16] and that people (especially academically oriented third-wavers) are very much familiar with the TERF argument cluster and reject it anyway, it's probably the message that is the problem here, not its method of propagation.

Inversed stopped clocks[edit]

Despite being utterly horrible to trans people, many TERFs are remarkably level-headed when it comes to other issues.

Much of their work, when it doesn't have to do with transgender people, is actually quite good. Kajsa Ekis Ekman is known for her on-point criticisms of capitalism, prostitution and surrogacy. Julie Bindel was one of the first domestic violence and sexual assault campaigners in the UK. Meghan Murphy was also a major figure on the Canadian left, opposing anything from pipeline projects to free-trade agreements.

Tumblr user Crossedmouths neatly summed up the inherent ridiculousless of TERF arguments in a since-deleted post:[62]

TERF: we are here to abolish the genders

Feminist: oh, so we won't use gendered pronouns anymore?

TERF: no keep those

Feminist: gendered clothing?

TERF: no that[']s ok

Feminist: segregated bathrooms?

TERF: no those are important

Feminist: so we're going to do something about the gender binary, yeah?
We're going to attack the idea that gender is intrinsically linked to one's anatomy,
and we're going to boost the visibility of trans and intersex people,
who face the most violent consequences of the sex and gender binaries - yes?

TERF: no

Feminist: then what are you going to do, exactly? What is your plan? How are you going to accomplish this?

TERF: abolish gender

Feminist: How?

TERF: abolish it

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. TERF has a more general anti-trans connotation, while TWEF implies a specific anti-MTF (male-to-female) connotation. In reality, the two are indistinguishable.
  2. TERFs specifically act against trans women, women assigned male at birth, by, e.g., targeting their employers and doctors. Check out: A Review of Transmisogyny Embodied: Cathy Brennan
  3. 3.0 3.1 They notably completely fail to acknowledge XY women with androgen insensitivity syndrome,Wikipedia's W.svg people who are born intersex, genderqueer people, or people with various non-XX, non-XY chromosomes (e.g., X0,Wikipedia's W.svg XYY,Wikipedia's W.svg XXY,Wikipedia's W.svg etc.). When pressed on the point, they will deny intersex is an issue, forcing them to choose a gender from the binary. Approximately 0% of chromosome obsessives have actually had their own karyotype tested.
  4. See graph here for an idea.
  5. Williams, Cristan (October, 2013). "TERFs & Trans Healthcare". Retrieved April 25, 2018.  gives an account of the legal and medical barriers enacted to stop trans people receiving appropriate care in the USA.
  6. For example, in 2014, TERFs picketed the appointment of transgender activist keynote speaker in London and abusively referred to her as a "man".
  7. See our article on antifeminism.
  8. You may call me a TERF but I am not transphobic... No, we will call you a TERF exactly because you are transphobic!
  9. This, of course, excludes people who identify as being outside the gender binary, e.g., genderqueer, but includes people who identify as being transsexual.
  10. Trans criticism is not transphobia... oh, wait, no! It bloody is!
  11. Examples: Memes that imply a trans woman is dangerous to cis women, that trans women are lying to the world or to themselves.
  12. "Unfortunately, the promotion of “sex change” operations has decreased investigation into prevention and therapy for those suffering from gender dysphoria. For example, in one case a Catholic, married man who had several children wanted to become female. In his therapeutic treatment, he came to understand the origins of his inability identify with his masculinity. In working with a spiritual director, he slowly came to experience God as loving father who could protect him, and to develop a relationship with St. Joseph as a role model of male love." - Richard P. Fitzgibbons, NARTH
  13. Warning: SWERF and TERF BS
  14. The argument about "representative" sex workers is problematic AF.
  15. The YouTuber Natalie Wynn has since mocked the expression "sacred passage" in a few episodes on her channel ContraPoints.
  16. TERF debaters yield to no one, not even FEMA conspiracy fans, in coming up with creative ways to rephrase "You'll be sorry!"


  1. erica, ascendant (September 9, 2012). "doing the patriarchy’s work and calling it feminism: the TERF". Wordpress. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  2. Viewpoint: Understanding Anti-Transgender Feminism, Discover Society, April 03, 2018
  3. Williams, Cristan (March 15, 2014). "TERF: what it means and where it came from". The Transadvocate. Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  4. Tigtog (August 17, 2008). "Carnivalia, transgenderism and the gender binary". Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  5. Williams, Cristan (October 11, 2013). "TERF: Where the term comes from". The TERFS. Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  6. Williams, Cristan (January 20, 2013). "RadFem Speak Out Against TERFs!". The Transadvocate. Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  7. Allen, Emma (August 9, 2013). "Unpacking Transphobia in Feminism". The Transadvocate. Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  8. Norman, Julian (April 28, 2014). "#GenderWeek: “TERF-war”, online bullying & the dark art of doxing". Retrieved April 25, 2018.  (archive)
  9. Stuart, Tessa (June 24, 2014). "TERF Battle: A New Book Reignites the War Between Radical Lesbian Feminists and Trans Women". The Village Voice. Retrieved April 25, 2018.  (archive)
  10. 10.0 10.1 whorephobia (August 3, 2013). "SWerfs/Terfs, the Westboro Baptist Church of feminism.". Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  11. Venus Envy (July 23, 2013). "TERFs attempt to sabotage the long standing Glasgow Feminist Network". 
  12. Allen, Samantha (July 11, 2013). "The hate group masquerading as feminists". Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  13. "3. Imagining a world without gender". The New Backlash. Accessed 2019-04-04.
  14. Raymond, Janice (1979). The Transsexual Empire: the Making of the She-Male. ISBN 0807762725. 
  15. Kulwicki, Cara (August 22, 2009). "Germaine Greer Paints a Portrait of Transphobic Feminism". Feministe. Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  16. Bindel, Julie (January 30, 2004). "Gender benders, beware". The Guardian. Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  17. Hoffman, Jan (June 30, 2016). "Estimate of U.S. Transgender Population Doubles to 1.4 Million Adults". New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  18. kellibusey (February 15, 2014). "Cathy Brennan defends herself as 7K call her out for hate speech". Daily Kos. Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
  19. Grant, Jaime M.; Mottet, Lisa A.; Tanis, Justin (2011). "Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey". The National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Retrieved April 25, 2018. 
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