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Talk:Trans-exclusionary radical feminism

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this article doesn't even touch upon the central reason that TERFS even exist[edit]

they gender the way a third wave feminist would define "gender roles", so a social construct that oppresses people based on their biological sex. and they believe that the oppression of women or whatever comes from their biological sex and not gender identity, which is why you would still classify something like abortion rights, or FGM, or how they selectively aborted female fetuses in China that created an underground of sex slavery and shit as feminist issues. they aren't gender essentialsts and they think that transgender people are, because the criteria used for diagnosing gender dysphoria is based upon rejecting clothing or toys of you "gender" and since most children diagnosed in this way end up being gay or lesbian, plus shit like in Iran where they kill gay people who don't medically transition because their homosexuality is gender non-conforming but their heterosexuality after transitioning isn't. I don't agree with most of these things myself, but saying "transphobia" and leaving it at that does a disservice to the article. radical feminism is the norm outside of countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, so it just seems ridiculous to me that the analysis is so shallow. it feels like whoever wrote this hasn't read a book on the subject or even just argued with one of them on the internet. UNO (talk) 12:03, 6 March 2018 (UTC)

Uh? Sorry, but your word salad is deeply confusing. Maybe if you tidy it up a bit you'll get an answer? Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 10:05, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the point of UNO's comment is. There's certainly a confusion in Terfy/second wave radical feminism over the relationship between gender identity and patriarchal oppression, as well as some rather paranoid fears about men pretending to be transgender/transexual/whatever to rape women (which I've come across even in comparatively moderate leftist places). Early/traditional radical feminism didn't seriously consider these issues (sometimes working on the basis that oppression is obvious and so is fighting oppression), or else focused on particular paradigms (e.g. penetrative sex as a power relation) which become problematic when you move beyond the heteronormative and gender-binary.
This isn't to say that anti-TERF SJWs have everything 100% correct, but the guiding principle should be "don't be an asshole" or (if you prefer) respect people, particularly those having a hard time. TERFs seem to have a highly caricatured version of what trans people are, thinking they're all like drag queens (who are seldom actually trans) doing a parody of femininity, whereas more and more trans people are rejecting binary gender roles. You could argue definitions: is it transphobia, phallophobia, androphobia? But something is being feared and therefore excluded (female separatism/political lesbianism was a tendency in radical feminism particularly in the 1970s and 1980s without necessarily a theoretically vigorous sense of who was and wasn't to be excluded - e.g. gay men). You could point to problems that radical black movements pose for mixed-race people as a different example of how militancy can make it harder for non-binary people.
I don't know in what sense "radical feminism is the norm outside of countries like the United States and the United Kingdom": if anything it could be the opposite, with radical feminism that denies the existence of gender difference being more common in the US and UK, and some forms of gender essentialism more common in Continental philosophy (which via the existential tradition doesn't draw the same mind/body dualist divide; there's also the Freudian/Lacanian tradition; and more). And in most of the world, no form of feminism is the norm. --Gospatric (talk) 12:03, 24 April 2018 (UTC)


I hereby nominate this article for a bronze star. Overall, it's a fairly well-written and entertaining read. Donkey Teeth (talk) 14:50, 24 April 2018 (UTC)

It yesterday really really upset the TERFs at GenderCritical. So I'd say it's doing its job. IOW I agree. Dendlai (talk) 14:55, 24 April 2018 (UTC)
I just filled out most of the non-note references with the "cite" template, title, author, date etc. to give the article quality another boost.--Yisfidri (talk) 01:56, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

Completedly biased and one-sided article[edit]

Makes no attempt to properly explain the radical feminist ideas concerning sex and gender, the fundamental nature of the first and the destructive nature of the second. Dumbfounded to find this article on something calling itself a "rational" wiki.— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. "But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:40, 28 April 2018 (UTC)
The crackpot views of TERFs? That's in the TERF article.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 21:30, 28 April 2018 (UTC)

Absurd Nonsense[edit]

This article would fail any objective test of it being rational, objective and fair. It is straightforward dogma full of straw-men and unbalanced misrepresentations.

On twitter, after being told to 'be smarter' I posted a challenge to @RationalWiki to create a definition of "woman" that is consistent with the article.

Here is my challenge in full:

So, @RationalWiki. You want me to be "smarter". So help me over my stumbling block as this appears to boil down to a pretty simple problem. I can think of no good definition of the word 'woman' that allows your 'TERF' article to make any sense and not just be loaded rubbish. Can you define the word 'woman' that allows me to get over this stumbling block?

All I ask is that your definition is:

a) Rational (of course) b) Non-circular c) Objective d) Useful e) Complete

What do I mean by this?

a) Rational - well being RationalWiki, obviously we do not want to include pseudoscientific concepts, superstitious or irrational elements. Do we? We want our definition based on sound, rational and well established principles. b) Non-circular - many who have tried use the word 'woman' in their defitnion. "Brexit is Brexit' - we learn nothing when your definition depends on the word you want to define. Also, shifting ambiguity to related words also does not help - so define related words too. c) Objective - the definition should not be open to subjective interpretation. The demarcation strength of the word should not depend on who is using it - we should all be able to come up with the same answer in principle, independently and without prompting. d) Useful - the word should be usable in practical applications, such as when an e.g. 1) archeologist, 2) doctor, 3) biologist uses the word, it will have scientific and practical rigour resulting in differential outcomes in these disciplines. e) Complete - The definition should have enough strength to be able to cover as many cases as possible and have no counterexamples. I get that a few individuals are intersex meaning their sex status is ambiguous and maybe impossible to classify. If this can be minimised then great.

If you think any of the criteria above are too stringent then please justify why we should weaken our definition by not insisting on rationality, unambiguousness, objectivity, usefulness and completeness. I believe I can create such a definition that fulfils these criteria. If you cannot define 'woman' with this rigour then perhaps you should explain why we should abandon having this word with a clear, objective meaning and then please describe what function this word now has in language if it has no shared, objective meaning? Lecanardnoir (talk) 13:17, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

@Lecanardnoir What the fuck are you talking about? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:25, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
For those struggling, I will boil it down to a few words: how do you define the term 'woman'? Lecanardnoir (talk) 13:32, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
I understood the part about not knowing what a woman is, what I didn;t understand is the whole "challenge via twitter" bit. I mean you do realize that not all of us use twitter right? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:36, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
Then this may not be for you but for whoever operates @RationalWiki who appears to have some issues. In general though, this article is appalling nonsense. It is not consistent with any rational definition of the word 'woman'. If I am wrong, then please feel free to contribute. Lecanardnoir (talk) 13:39, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
First off if you could link the tweets at the heart of this matter, yours and RW(twitter)'s, then perhaps I might be able share some insight on the matter, or at least gather more context. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:48, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
Having been engaged with discussions about gender on twitter, the @RationalWiki account told me to be 'smarter' and directed me to the page on TERFS on the RationalWiki website. The page shames rational and fair discourse. A far more balanced and fair approach would be to say that TERF is a term used by some to harass and silence women who are critical about various ideas around gender and identity. In particular, they point out that biological sex in humans is not mutable and that gender identity is not innate or forming some 'essence' in people. As such, women are "adult human females" and that gender dysphoric males who claim to be real women are mistaken, and instead are merely adopting cultural and stereotypical 'gender' roles and forms. The term TERF is usually accompanied by threats to assault the women who hold such views and should not form part of rational discourse. My challenge above is for @RationalWiki to come up with an alternative definition of the word 'woman' where this current article can withstand scrutiny.Lecanardnoir (talk) 14:03, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
Oh fuck off. Dendlai (talk) 20:23, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
So, a quick refusal and one down. Next? Lecanardnoir (talk) 20:29, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
You aren't the first TERF to come here demanding radical changes. You may find that me and others who suffer from gender dysphoria don't quite agree with your unscientific views. "TERF is a slur!!!" is something only, well, TERFS ever say. Dendlai (talk) 20:42, 1 May 2018 (UTC)
It is a simple request. And one common in rational scepticism: to ask you to define your central terms. So far, you have behaved like the best homeopath: bluster, indigence and refusal. Keep talking... [S95.147.39.33 (talk) 21:40, 1 May 2018 (UTC) (Should have logged in... Lecanardnoir (talk) 21:42, 1 May 2018 (UTC))

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Lecanardnoirtalk The problem with what your asking is that it’s an impossible demand. We are going delve into the philosophy of language a bit specifically into Wittgenstein and his idea of family resemblance concepts. You may be familiar with this line of reasoning by some feminist philosopher’s rejection of gender essentialism such as by Cressida Heyes and Natalie Parrot.

What Wittgenstein argued in his posthumously published book “The Philosophical Investigations” is that the meaning of language is determined by use. One of the ways he illustrates this is with the concept of family resemblance in language. Wittgenstein uses “game” as an example arguing that there is no singular essential property that exists within all the things we call games that makes a game, a game. You may be tempted to say games are played but so are instruments and we wouldn’t necessarily call playing an instrument as identical to playing a game. You also may “play” music on a stereo system, or “play” a movie. “Play” in of itself is a word with ambiguous meaning that is context dependent. You may want to say that games are enjoyable, but that is not necessarily true, and what’s enjoyable or fun is also subjective. I for one don’t find board games particularly enjoyable but I wouldn’t exclude them as games. I find sex enjoyable but I wouldn’t necessarily call sex a game. You may say games have rules but so do classrooms and workspaces. You may say that games have more then one player, but what about solitaire? Or single-player video games? The truth is that you cannot give a perfect definition to the word "game". Your definition is either gonna be too broad and include things we wouldn’t refer to as games, or it will be to narrow and exclude things we would refer to as games. The same can be said for the concept of “woman” or “female”. You can’t assign a essential quality or a series of essential properties that would create a perfect definition that would define what it means to be female or a woman. This is due to Individual variation in neurology, women with swyer syndrome, AIS, women who have had hysterectomies, women with disorders that prevent the development of female secondary sex characteristics, etc.

My biology textbook for example defines female as being the organism that produces the larger gamete, but obviously we know of individuals who for whatever reason don’t produce gametes at all, and obviously some biologists may not use that definition in the context of their research. Other scientific fields also use subtly different definitions and terminology, so such concepts as male, female, man, woman, sex and gender are context dependent in meaning depending on what perspective you are studying it from. That doesn’t necessarily invalidate the concepts either. If you ask a sociologist who applies feminist theory to their research what it means to be a man, you will get a totally different response then if you were to ask a evolutionary psychologist, for example. Even in biology what it means to be male or female is now being questioned a bit; here's a good article on the subject:

When you start asking questions like "what does it mean to be a human being?", "What is time?", or "What does it mean to be a woman?" You are moving away from concrete empiricism and directly into the world of abstract concepts, and it’s imperative to differentiate between the two. You defined woman as an "adult human female", and sure why not? But why would say a trans-woman necessarily be excluded from an being adult human female? Many trans-woman especially post transition have relevant biological differences to myself as a cis male. They can have female secondary sex characteristics, have their sexual hormonal make up be primarily estrogen or estradiol dominant, if the hormone hypothesis regarding neurological sex differences is correct, then HRT would necessarily change the anatomy of their brain and result in changes in cognition, though it’s likely some of these neural differences exist prior to transitioning at least according to some research. There often times are or can be relevant biological differences between trans women and cis men so why can they not be considered female?

I mean even your definition of women still comes with it philosophical problems. You defined woman as an adult human female, well what does it mean to be an adult? Female? Human?. Wittgenstein would argue that these are not philosophical problems as again he believed meaning was determined by use, as he famously said there are no philosophical problems just linguistic confusions. Words like female, human, and adult may just be family resemblance concepts rather than essentialist categories. Regardless though if you can’t provide a perfect working definition of the word game, you still know what a game is right? So when you come here asking for a perfect rational definition of what a woman is, you might as well be demanding for indefinite proof of the existence of unicorns. Shit doesn’t exist. --Only Sort of Dumb 09:29, 29 May 2018 (UTC)

Goodpost.gif--Yisfidri (talk) 05:08, 29 May 2018 (UTC)

jesus tap-dancing christ. БaбyЛuigiOнФire(T|C) 21:05, 18 May 2018 (UTC)

I support trans women to the fullest, but I am not reading any of that. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 21:07, 18 May 2018 (UTC)
The above is essentially one of those arguments that eventually ends in "nothing is real", and can be safely ignored. We actually do have very real definitions of "human" and "female" that people use all the time, and we even have a real definition of "adult" that everyone hates and never wants to use.
That aside, the real problem is that people don't want to agree on what words mean, they want their group's particular jargon at the expense of everyone else. If there's an issue with the article—and there is an issue with the article, as it paints a broad stroke representing a minority of a particular group—this is at the heart of it. I suppose even daring to say that makes me a TERF somehow, and that fundamentally disagreeing with Lecanardnoir isn't good enough.
The only other thing I can really say on this is that I don't understand why people are making a big deal out of exceptions. A lot of the honest arguments supporting the whole "there are more than two sexes" thing boil down to worshipping exceptions. Come to think of it, judging by basically every case I've heard of a genuine intersex person, they typically align way more closely with either male or female than they end up "somewhere in between". We have very real definitions of "male" and "female" that are incredibly useful, and a bunch of exceptions (some of which are being misinterpreted) are still exceptions. (talk) 13:05, 23 May 2018 (UTC)
It doesn't boil down to nothing is real at all that's a non-sequitur. The exceptions are important and if you have ever taken a logical reasoning course you may understand why. If you make a universal statement that all things that have the property of being human have the property of being either male or female ∀x[Hx --> (Mx v Fx)], that is a logical contradiction to the existential statement that claims that there exists something that has the property of being human that is neither male nor female ∃x[Hx & ~(Mx v Fx)]. Here is a reference if your not familiar with predicate logic - In order for the existentialist statement to be true there only needs to exist one example of someone who is human and neither male nor female. So there is a significance to these exceptions as they work as a logical refutation that there is only two genders (or alternatively two sexes). Any assertion otherwise literally flies in the face of logic. You can also do this predicate logic exercise for other claims regarding gender essentialism and those pesky exceptions. All Women have a uterus? Not as long as there exists Women who don't. --Only Sort of Dumb 09:29, 29 May 2018 (UTC)

Claims and rebuttals[edit]

We should make a section about arguments that TERFs use and and RationalWiki's rebuttals to these arguments. We can use this page for reference: LuodiWang (talk) 16:58, 15 June 2018 (UTC) has a page dedicated to deconstructing TERF tropes: --Yisfidri (talk) 03:55, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Looks good! I’ll try to add it later. LuodiWang (talk) 13:05, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

Need some sources[edit]

You can look up my claims in TERFs and misandry and TERFs and the far-right using Google as most of them are justified. I don't have time to add sources now.

Hawaiianred (talk)