Talk:Trans-exclusionary radical feminism/Archive1

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Wing/moon?[edit]

Would this fall under extreme moonbattery or extreme wingnuttery? Or just batshit crazy? |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Ate at a Chinese restaurant therefore is literally Hitler 21:49, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

It's a little bit of both... well... the very worst of both... --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 00:43, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Crank magnetism, maybe? I know I've seen some TERFs preach altie/New Age stuff. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Some men just want to watch RW burn 01:19, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
I haven't heard of that term before but it seems pretty fitting from our page on it. They are a bizarre cocktail of left and right wing values --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 01:28, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Crank magnetism |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg I'm a survivor, keep on survivin', I'm gonna survive this, I'm gonna make it 01:37, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

To-do list[edit]

  1. Add section on how they horseshoe back to the far right. DONE!!! Kinda.
  2. Add section about how they still preach outdated second wave thought such as political lesbianism, lesbian separatism and sepatist feminism.
  3. Add section on how they are about the only group you can unironically call misandrists - Cathy Brennan has used bullshit neurology and pseudopsychology to preach the above.
  4. Decide whether it's extreme wingnuttery or extreme moonabattery.
  5. Explain their influence on legal matters, e.g., wade through: http://genderterror.com/2014/02/12/splc-terfs/

Feel free to add to this list. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg RationalWiki, did you kill Rita? 19:26, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Point 3 is covered in references for neurosexism, if you need to work on that. I also added one point at the end as per David's advice. ·FemiliskSJ 13:52, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Problems with phrasing and sourcing[edit]

There are a few problems I noticed while trying to clean up the references:

  • "TERFs are a tiny sliver of feminism" seems to make a quantitative claim, but the given reference is actually a Venn diagram showing the overlaps between different groups and it's not intended to depict their actual proportions. When I read "see the graph", I expected to see something like the results of a survey.
  • The Paul Fromm quote in the footnotes needs a source link.
  • The current phrasing in the Paul Fromm sentence is clumsy and it's easy to read it as Godwinesque guilt-by-association. The use of "the practice of homosexuality" is not limited to neo-nazis or that quote.
  • The NARTH quote in the footnotes needs a source link.
  • "[NARTH is] an anti-LGBT hate group classified as such by the SPLC": this phrasing creates the impression that the SPLC have listed them officially as a hate group, but the linked source doesn't say so. Contrast with the Family Research Council, which is mentioned as a hate group in the same material and has a page under "Groups" in the "Intelligence Files" section.

There are also a few places where a clarifying/expanding footnotes looks like a source for a statement. I'm not sure what to do about that.--ZooGuard (talk) 16:05, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Oh, I missed one - "legislators seeking feminist input will often get an academic TERF, who will then get transphobia into law." It's unclear what exactly in the linked reference supports this claim. Something more specific?--ZooGuard (talk) 16:16, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

I will fix the first as it was my reference added onto David's sentence. The rest (I have no clue who Fromm is) so will require more work from me than I can cope with ATM. ·FemiliskSJ 16:20, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
I fixed the last one too, even though David's link (which I gave him) had stuff on it too, the new one is a lot more direct. ·FemiliskSJ 20:44, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Fromm is a notorious Canadian white supremacist/neo-Nazi. I added the sources for the quotes. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg He ceases to be a wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature of moral choice. 20:58, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Popularity[edit]

Now one thing that always eats at me is that if these are the staw-feminists that everyone identifies as awful people, and the common folk misidentify as mainline feminists... how can we tell that their positions are actually uncommon ones? I'm not asking I'm actually worried they are. I know more than enough feminists to intuit that it's bunk, but how does one demonstrate that to a person who could actually be convinced to drop the stereotype?

Any Ideas(and if so, I'd be happy to approach that research for incorporation into the article)? Ikanreed (talk) 19:45, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

By reading mainstream feminism online, by talking to all the trans women who are feminists on this wiki, etc. Also common sense, the reason we need "TERF" is to delimit the shit from the mainstream 2nd and 3rd wavers. If you need research you can randomly sample feminist scholars' work on Google Scholar or JREF and see how often a TERF comes up as opposed to a non-transphobe... ^__^ ·FemiliskSJ 22:46, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Although a surprising number of TERFs are fallen prominent second-wavers who failed to transition (heh) to the third wave. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Good job guys. You were so busy karate fighting that you let Jesus escape. 12:02, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
True although some have come out and apologised for their transgressions. (See I can do that too!) ·FemiliskSJ 12:19, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
You've gotta know how well "Just read some feminist lit" flies with the salvageable MRA sympathizer type.(not very) Ikanreed (talk) 18:47, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Asking people to read never works, some people will hold to their beliefs even more strongly. I thought you were asking for yourself, when I replied above. What do you think will convince the MRAs on the fence? ·FemiliskSJ 07:39, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Actual citable evidence with some kind of hard number. It's about impossible to find. It doesn't even have to directly prove the thesis that it's unpopular, just shade that idea with a hint of realism in the face of the media representative selection/tumblr quote cherrypicking. I have no idea how to find that class of evidence. Ikanreed (talk) 16:25, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Impossible to find indeed. I am one of those people who is on the fence about Tumblr. If I bother to look for it I can find both stupid people and reasonable people there, apparently. How do I know which one is more prevalent? My solution is to care less about it, since I can't verify either way without spending a great deal of time immersing myself in the platform. Nullahnung (talk) 16:48, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
They're really a very tiny group. Unfortunately, they have also been quite influential: legislative bodies who want a feminist viewpoint will often get a TERF and transphobia will end up in law - David Gerard (talk) 13:33, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Right, I think have made edits that I hope will make you happy with respect to Feminism vs TERFism and mild-pre-MRAcists. ·FemiliskSJ 11:46, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Also[edit]

God damn, I wish there were cheaper options for reading papers for us lay folks. I really don't want to shell out $20 to find out if an insufficiently specific abstract actually represents what I'm guessing it does. It's really frustrating. Ikanreed (talk) 16:37, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Anything you want, email me. ·FemiliskSJ 16:38, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I could just post the most likely candidate here. I don't have a shortage of money, if I actually wanted the article, so don't go buying this on my sake, if that's your plan. I'm just risk-averse. this looks promising. Ikanreed (talk) 16:46, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Some of us have free access to these articles, so there is no risk involved. Nullahnung (talk) 16:53, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
So the main question the abstract doesn't answer clearly is: does it clearly break down the popularity of various perspectives? Ikanreed (talk) 16:57, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I also have free access. That's what I was implying. ·FemiliskSJ 16:58, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
PS: what does "it" refer to in your question? ·FemiliskSJ 16:59, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
http://pwq.sagepub.com/content/22/3/317.short <- that, no wikilink so it stands out. Ikanreed (talk) 17:35, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Leaving this here[edit]

http://www.transadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/transphobia_mistake.jpg ·FemiliskSJ 12:19, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Horseshoe theory |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Some men just want to watch RW burn 12:28, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
There's something about the horseshoe theory (as stated) which I kind of disagree with. I'll elaborate later on though. In general, though, yes, I was aware of it, and yes, agreed. ·FemiliskSJ 12:44, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
"Horseshoe theory" always annoys the shit out of me; anything claimed as an example seems trivially fallacious and cherrypicked ("look, there's any similarity!") to me - David Gerard (talk) 13:34, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
+1 ·FemiliskSJ 13:44, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
Then I suggest removing the piped link to it from the article ("TERFs and wingnuts" section).--ZooGuard (talk) 16:06, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

I'll leave this too: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DV2eLPFDemY/UsoUWIInYkI/AAAAAAAACq4/TQU5GyL_M68/s1600/ninjacates_guide_to_white_feminism_FINAL_A-01.png ·FemiliskSJ 13:49, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Horseshoe theory isn't at all unreasonable, because extreme positions share the natural opposition to the status quo. The common elements of fringe theories tend to share the revolutionary elements. They don't actually draw closer to each other in any other way. But that one way is more than enough to appear starkly similar. Ikanreed (talk) 16:44, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

An argument I see often in TERF places[edit]

So I have done a little browse of the TERF clogs and seen the shit logic they post. The main crux they support is vagina/XX = woman, penis ≠ woman, which I think we debunk to a great extent in various places: transmisogyny, transphobia, gender binary, gender, etc. However, I keep noticing some TERFs have another slightly different, but equally hateful line of arguing:

"Trans theory is not radical or progressive. While there is no doubt that transgender people face hatred and discrimination, this hatred is rooted in homophobia and sexism, and trans theory is theoretically in line with the values of patriarchy. I suspect that there are few feminists who become accepting of transgenderism through feminism; rather, it is more likely that they were accepting of brain sex and innate gender long before they even knew what feminism was. Feminism has always struggled to develop without influence from patriarchy, but perhaps by virtue of the free-for-all nature of the internet and the more general social justice movement, third (fourth?) wave feminism is a more liberal, individualistic, choice-defined form of feminism only loosely based on its the-personal-is-political predecessor. Without a strong theoretical foundation, it’s been watered down enough to get the patriarchy stamp of approval." - http://womenofthepatriarchy.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/trans-criticism-is-not-transphobia/

It would be nice, although also not very pleasant, if somebody with more spoons than me took some time to rebuff more of this line of arguing. I will have a go too, but for now I cannot. ·FemiliskSJ 20:34, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

PS: This is already used as reference [12], which I just added. ·FemiliskSJ 20:36, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
The stuff that makes this woo is its denialism about "brain sex and innate gender"; they really believe in the blank slate, and think all of this is learned and can be changed by political argument. This is something that several of our articles seem to struggle with. The weird language, with its ultimate insistence that reality is socially constructed, needs to be pointed out somehow. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 16:07, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Are you perhaps slightly confounding gender (which is a social construct, but is nonetheless very real, think of it like the legal system) with biological things like chromosomes, private parts, hormones, etc.? ·FemiliskSJ 16:28, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Just one of SmoTlö's usual hobby horses. Have you read his Essay:The Scandal of the Activist Mind? --ZooGuard (talk) 16:49, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I do tend to split things differently; it seems clear that various social roles have large innate inputs from biology. Babies are born with large parts of their personalities preformed. To the extent that people are born with traits that draw them towards certain roles, which as a consequence tend to sort themselves by male and female, I'd say that's sex rather than gender.
Now, my understanding is that trans people are born aware that their mental sex differs from their physical sex. I don't see how that could be considered learned behavior, or socially constructed; nobody seems to have intended this, and I gather it is awkward for the 1 in 30,000 it happens to. In short, part of the problem is that the existence of trans people is evidence that much about human sexuality is innate and unlearned, which does in fact falsify the stronger forms of the "gender" ideology. (FWIW, the essay you want is Essay:Thoughts on human evolution, sex, and the inevitability of religion) - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 16:55, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I have to say I completely disagree. But I'm also not that interested in debating it, as I have had this debate too many times. ·FemiliskSJ 16:58, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

History of transphobia in the USA[edit]

"It was only after the NCHCT pushed Raymond’s bigotry in 1980 that the US government reversed course in 1981 and took up Raymond’s views and rhetoric. Raymond’s hate became the government’s stance. Raymond – a seminary-trained ethicist, not a clinician – was the architect of the anti-trans stance the US government adopted in the 1980s. This official anti-trans stance soon spread to private insurers and the American trans population soon found itself without access to medically necessary health care.

There’s a reason many trans people lay the death and suffering of untold numbers of trans people at the feet of Janice Raymond, PhD.

In a time when employment discrimination against trans people became legal, Raymond helped dismantle the trans community’s ability to access trans health care through public and private insurance. Raymond heralded in the era in which trans people (many to most of whom were unemployed, depending upon the study) had to pay out of pocket or go without. In essence, Raymond helped ensure the future of a medical system that was unresponsive to the needs of the trans community at every level." - http://theterfs.com/terfs-trans-healthcare/

This needs to be added. ·FemiliskSJ 20:54, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Spoiler alert much of the TERFs and wingnuts sections was shamelessly ripped off from the site because I am an asshole |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Flipping out the buttered fuck crumpets 22:23, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
We do need a section called "History of transphobia in the USA" or some such similar thing. ·FemiliskSJ 08:14, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
As in, transphobia in general or transphobia by TERFs? Because the former should be in the main transphobia article. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Bokura nazeka tashikameau / Sekai ja sore wo ai to yobun da ze 14:21, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
If you follow this link from above, you will see they are highly overlapping, and hence could be in the main transmisogyny and/or transphobia articles with a link back to here. ·FemiliskSJ 14:57, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Trans-exclusionary is a term devised by trans theory proponents - not radical feminists themselves[edit]

The fundamental issue is whether biological sex is mutable - or not. Gender critical feminists refer to themselves as gender critical - NOT "trans exclusionary." So the descriptor being used was devised by those who do not believe their THEORY should be criticized at all - unlike other scientific theories which do indeed undergo heavy scrutiny.

If a theory is held to be above criticism and debate - and must simply be accepted - then it becomes a faith-based system of belief. No proponent of trans theory has explained WHY their belief that biological sex is mutable is ABOVE criticism and debate.

The entire concept of "biological sex" is part of a larger intellectual construct - the theory of evolution. This theory has both reproducibility and predictive power on its side.

If indeed biological sex IS mutable in humans, via hormonal and/or surgical means - we should be able to generalize from that to other species, including butterflies, fish, other primates. Plants are a bit more complicated - if we carefully study the question of bio sex mutability - it may be determined that bio sex is mutable in some plants and some animals - but ultimately NOT in humans, and NOT via surgical and/or hormonal means.

It is poor science to extrapolate from the genuine suffering of some humans - "gender dysphoria" (although perhaps the proper term is "genital dysphoria?") to blanket claims about biological sex in general.

Gender critical feminists do not center their critique of trans THEORY on the complex social phenomenon of people claiming to be the opposite sex. Gender critical feminism's critique of trans THEORY is centered on the CLAIMS made by trans theory - and how those claims run counter to the reproducible, and powerfully predictive theory of evolution.

To create a page on RATIONAL WIKI about gender critical feminism that centers on the complex social phenomenon, rather than the underlying theoretical problems inherent to trans theory, does a disservice to both gender critical feminists AND those suffering from gender/genital dysphoria. This is especially true, now that MINORS, and even very young children, are being characterized as "trans," and caregivers and medical professionals are in a position to approve/administer hormonal and/or surgical treatment, when the individual in question is TOO YOUNG to fully grasp the lifelong implications of that treatment. Are these minors truly trans - or lesbian and gay? Data suggests that the majority of them are simply lesbian and gay, NOT trans. To put such a minor on the trans pathway is child abuse of the first order. — Unsigned, by: Lania Flint / talk / contribs 17:38, 13 July 2014‎ (UTC)

That's nice. Do you have anything to say about the continuing personal attacks and attempts to destroy the lives of trans people in public? Curious absence - David Gerard (talk) 10:23, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
"Trans-exclusionary is a term devised by trans theory proponents - not radical feminists themselves" Well no shit. What's next? "Racist is a term devised by race equality proponents - not racists themselves"? --Revolverman (talk) 12:05, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
Drink! |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg RationalWiki, did you kill Rita? 23:22, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
"Gender critical feminists refer to themselves as gender critical" 'I'm not racist I'm race critical". Rational story, tell it again. also #drink Sig can you say.png Sig gulag time.png 12:09, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
"Odious pseudointellectual racist fuckwits refer to themselves as human biodiversity realists" - David Gerard (talk) 14:00, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
"Actually we preferred the term 'vicious stalking scum', but the Vicious Stalking Scum Anti-Defamation League threatened to sue." - David Gerard (talk) 21:54, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
In some small sense, I agree with you. Around here that's never a good sign.

I tend to believe that sex is largely innate, and fixed at birth, and not subject to reform by political theories. But like anything else with chromosomes, there are a lot of moving parts and wobbly bits and chances to go wrong, and people who'd know have told me that it sometimes happens that the wiring doesn't match the plumbing. I dislike the whole rhetoric of 'gender', because to me it suggests that many things are socially controlled that are in fact biological: and therefore invites grief and fruitless argument by suggesting that they can be politicized. (And for me, one of the core meanings of 'authoritarian' is "expanding the role of politics".) When people who know tell me this, and scientists tell me it's possible, I'm inclined to listen to them when they tell me what they want, and trust their discretion to act prudently.

So no, I don't let any 'theory' get in the way of people telling me who they are and what they want. That's not how I prefer to treat my neighbors. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:14, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
We really need a page on nature vs. nurture... Nullahnung (talk) 10:53, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

And back in the real world, TERFs are malicious stalkers[edit]

[1][2] The second is great for material for this article, giving a history of gratuitous trans exclusion back to the 1970s (and showing comments like the above for the idiot lying bollocks they are) - David Gerard (talk) 23:01, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Good articles, terrifying but interesting to read --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 12:11, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

TERF edits highlight the need for more debunking[edit]

As those following this article or who have reviewed the fossil record (I'm in the latter category.) would know, a TERF calling themselves Lania Flint made massive edits to the article to reverse its stance without consulting the community. These edits were reversed in short order, but they raised specious points which, in my honest opinion, haven't been sufficiently refuted on this wiki. Femilisk expresses the opinion that the main crux of TERF arguments, that chromosomes and genitals are immutable and essentially destiny, is something "we debunk to a great extent in various places" on the wiki, but the articles she cites only seem to scratch the surface. For example, Lania Flint cites TERF arguments contesting the mutability of sex in this way or that. While these have been debunked elsewhere, I have yet to see a head-on refutation of these arguments anywhere on RationalWiki. We could start with the fact that, despite claims that transgender folk are denying biology, biologists recognize three definitions of biological sex: genetic sex, gonadal sex, and phenotypic sex. Two of these are demonstrably mutable with current or near-future tech (gonadal and phenotypic), and the one that isn't mutable with current tech (genetic) matters the least to biologists in determining the sex of a mammal. Additionally, if there has been any conclusive research demonstrating the mutability of sexual dimorphism in non-human animals (another favorite of TERFs who pretend to be bio-literate, including Lania Flint), let's find it and cite it. It shouldn't be hard to find data on the psychology of gender identity, either (though this is admittedly one area the existing articles cover better than others). It may seem unnecessary and redundant to some more seasoned users to explain the scientific consensus on trans* issues in depth, but it appears to be lost on many, and the uninitiated may find it useful. TERFs and other transphobes are as anti-science as any creationist or anti-vaxxer, but their arguments appear to make sense facially to more people due to already poor public bio-literacy. I'd like to see a more advanced, definitive takedown of ALL their bullshit, debunking the "TERF argument cluster" with a similar degree of thoroughness with which we debunk 9/11 conspiracy theories. I may contribute heavily to this in the future when I'm not on a phone, though I plan to gain more input from the folks who originally introduced me to this information. The One They Call Mars (talk) 01:20, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Obviously, you have significant knowledge, so in my mind, it's worth taking the lead on. Neither good/bad, right/wrong, most of us have little to no real knowledge or understanding of such complex issues. I could write something that might work for a freshman highschool course, but you are really sayign, "let's go deeper". and i don't think anyone disagrees with that, I just think we are largely wading in lakes where we cant see the bottom, where for those who more deeply understand this stuff it's just a little pond. Alternatively, if you have quality links, I personally would summarize them into this article... if that's an option for you.One tin soldier (talk) 14:49, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I suppose this is a call for me... I really have a lot of experience and study in the area of human sexual dimorphism, and biological development of sexual characteristics... what is known is that all laboratory test animals are sexual dimorphic in their brains, and as such can have differing development of their brain dimorphism from their body's dimorphism. So, I understand exactly how worthless "biological sex" is short of describing someone who generates eggs and sperm, which only ever matters for one and only one process: sexual reproduction, which is a distinct purpose apart from sexual intercourse. So, I'll read through the full comment here, and give this article some love, and scientific knowledge and details, and will basically explain the entirety of sexual and gender development.
As a final note, I must note that trans* does not necessarily mean "mutable sexual characteristics"... David Reimer kind of expresses the entire notion that gender identity association is more or less fixed by sexual dimorphism in the brain. But once you admit that something is sexually dimorphic, you have to accept that it can be "out of concert" with the rest of the body. Also, gender identity is more about "women and girls like this and so I want to like this." vs. "men and boys like this and so I want to like this." Seriously, that's most of what gender identity comes down to... --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 16:37, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I'll possibly indulge in my TERF obsession and do the article. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg It's dangerous to go alone! Take this. 18:14, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
@One tin soldier: Well, my knowledge on this matter is largely secondhand, so I don't want to take full credit for introducing it here. The reason I think we need to go deeper is that existing transphobic propaganda and talking points have already gone deeper than RationalWiki's debunking material currently addresses. I'm presently trying to contact the person from whom I learned the more "advanced" facts, so I'll have a better idea of how to proceed after (if) I hear back from her.
@Eira: You know, I didn't even take brain dimorphism into account, as I was focusing primarily on the physiological sort. You illustrated the point quite well, however, when you explained that "...once you admit that something is sexually dimorphic, you have to accept that it can be 'out of concert' with the rest of the body." As for gender identity, I'm more concerned with the intrinsic aspect than the constructed roles. The dimorphic aspect of gender identity is part of what made John Money's little experiment unethical (aside from the obvious fact that Reimer was reassigned without his consent). On another note, I'm not sure if we should place the bulk of debunking in this article or in the transphobia article (or also spread snippets of information throughout our trans* issues article cluster). The One They Call Mars (talk) 05:53, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Counterexample re genes determining sex : J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9
A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.
ZoeBrain (talk) 12:12, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
Counterexample re immutable genes : Bone marrow-derived cells from male donors can compose endometrial glands in female transplant recipients by Ikoma et al in Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Dec;201(6):608.e1-8 ZoeBrain (talk) 12:12, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

On the topic of medical research showing transgender individuals having differences within the brain, can someone explain to me how a brain state correlates to social constructions of "man" or "woman"? I don't understand how the statement that "transgender individuals have different brains structures" implies that they are neurologically men or women or shows how gender is intrinsic in any way. Wouldn't it make more sense to say that a persons biology may affect how closely they relate to artificially constructed conceptions of gender? Baba Yaga (talk) 00:43, 14 October 2014 (UTC) Baba Yaga

See Biased-Interaction Theory of Psychosexual Development: “How Does One Know if One is Male or Female?” M.Diamond Sex Roles (2006) 55:589–600
A theory of gender development is presented that incorporates early biological factors that organize predispositions in temperament and attitudes. With activation of these factors a person interacts in society and comes to identify as male or female. The predispositions establish preferences and aversions the growing child compares with those of others. All individuals compare themselves with others deciding who they are like (same) and with whom are they different. These experiences and interpretations can then be said to determine how one comes to identify as male or female, man or woman. In retrospect, one can say the person has a gendered brain since it is the brain that structures the individual’s basic personality; first with inherent tendencies then with interactions coming from experience.
ZoeBrain (talk) 12:12, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

TERFs and Wingnuts section[edit]

I hope I'm not going to get everyone drunk, but isn't this just a death by association argument? If so, I thought we were better than that. Also, and , I think, dearer to my heart, I would like to pedantically point out that the rhetoric isn't all that "exactly the same" as the passage in the footnote (31). We could probably get away with calling it similar. Furthermore, rhetoric is nothing more than a tool, or collection of tools. When I see that statement I see "terfs use the same kinds of hammers as Wingnuts" which doesn't mean a whole lot. We'd be a lot better off showing ideological similarities than rhetorical ones; though we could also try to show a connection between the rhetorics and ideologies of terfs and these other weirdos, I would guess that such a thing is beyond the scope of the article. I would edit it myself, but I cut my teeth on the 2nd wave and am not sure I'd match the tone and purpose of the article. Also, I know nothing about the terfs, aside from what I've read here, so sll I could do is subtract without adding, which I don't think would be useful.Dowdicus (talk) 12:15, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

The article does demonstrate ideological similarities. Indeed the phrase "trans-exclusionary" highlights the essential characteristic of their ideology, which is shared by the American right (do I need a citation for that?) 76.4.254.80 (talk) 09:48, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
First off, I think your second sentence might ought to be in the article somewhere, possibly--maybe as a quote, maybe in the intro or as a lead-in to an explanation of their "feminism," or in the section comparing them to the American right. On to my thing: Maybe I would feel better if we said something about how "their ideologies intersect at certain points (repressive sexual views, etc), as is evidenced by their rhetoric" rather than simply saying that they use the same rhetoric (same hammers)--but, then again, I don't know if that would fit the quoted passage. As an example of why I think that such a thing is problematic, MRAs try very hard to use the same rhetoric as feminists--they just don't understand it or its foundations--but surely this doesn't mean the MRAs are really the same as feminists. Likewise, TERFs really do use the exact same rhetoric as mainstream feminists (and, I assume, they understand it), but that doesn't further any arguments about where they stand in relation to mainstream feminists. Saying that two different speakers use the same rhetoric is just an empty rhetorical trick. If we do want to compare rhetoric, it might be a good idea to explain their dogwhistles and the problems with their ethos appeals (I think, without going back and looking, we mention appeals to discredited research, for instance--a rhetorical strategy used by each group), and compare those to the same on the right.
If we just throw out a quote and say the rhetoric is the same without explaining how or why or what the problem is with that then we're making the reader do all the work. For instance, the rhetoric of both passages refers to either "developing a critical awareness" or "coming to know God." In each instance, the writer is attempting to position his/her argument primarily as being concerned for the well-being of the subject, rather than defending against a perceived threat to his or her ideology (as well as appealing to different audiences, of course). This might be obvious to someone who spends a lot of time studying the TERFs, but a "layperson" might be tempted to take their concern at face-value, especially in the context of an article on Rationalwiki, which is fairly honest and upfront about its biases. I don't mind unpacking the rhetoric myself (though I'm not sure when), as it's probably a bit tedious, if we think such a thing would be beneficial to the article at all. I'll point out that we do take some time to unpack the first quote in this section, explaining the "transgender as choice" wording (do they ever use phrases like "transgender lifestyle?"). Dowdicus (talk) 11:58, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
"rhetoric is the same" is a less strong statement than "worked with them directly", which is a thing that happened. However, the latter strongly supports the former - David Gerard (talk) 12:12, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I suppose I'm just saying that I think it's better to focus on the thing itself (their arguments/ideology) rather than the way it's packaged (their rhetoric), but if we are interested in critiquing the packaging we should do so properly, rather than relying on the negative connotations people tend to associate with the word "rhetoric" to score points for us, which seems to be the purpose of the last sentence in the section. Certain Rhetorical similarities (similar dog whistles, symbolic language, etc.) are, indeed, good indications of ideological similarities, especially if one subscribes to Mikhail Bakhtin's views, but, as I said, if we're going to compare/critique their rhetoric, we should actually do so, rather than leaving it up to the reader. If we are concerned with the rhetorical similarities of the two passages we should take the trouble to unpack the rhetoric and actually make a comparison, like we do for the first quote.Dowdicus (talk) 20:41, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Get editing then ;-) I do concur it's not presently as strong a section as it should be. This article is becoming a go-to for people to explain TERFs to other people, so polishing and strengthening is worth the effort - David Gerard (talk) 00:08, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I think the problem is that the person who wrote that probably used "rhetoric" in a different way than the way you are reading it. And I'll limit my participation in the discussion to that.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:06, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
That's likely true--I'm a comp/rhetoric major, so I probably sound insane to people who are not. I will try and make the time to get on it, but the semester just started and I'm up to my ears in procrastination already. I will do some work here at the site once I get a handle on things.Dowdicus (talk) 21:54, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Useful for debunking practice[edit]

http://retzielcrimson.wordpress.com/ - David Gerard (talk) 09:28, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

What is meant by this, exactly? Retzielc (talk) 06:53, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
There you go, dear AFTAs: http://retzielcrimson.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/rational-wiki-on-radical-feminism/ My humble response to the nonsense you call a wiki article. Retzielc (talk) 09:26, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Wait, am I reading you incorrectly, or you just endorsed NARTH?--ZooGuard (talk) 15:29, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think so, Retzielc makes a pretty weak argument concerning the differences between Janice Raymond and NARTH, but only seems to endorse the former --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 16:15, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
No, Zooguard, and I honestly have no idea how you got that from the article. It either shows disturbing level of reading comprehension problems or you're deliberately misreading what I'm arguing. Retzielc (talk) 09:24, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The article reads:
Also? No conclusive evidence that homosexuality is innate. Like all human behaviour, sexuality is fluid, and can be changed, by will/choice. In fact NARTH and other SOCE practitioners believe homosexuality is a mental illness, and believe reparative therapy will allow these people to become ‘normal’ members of society. Homosexuality is not viewed by them as a choice, freely made, but a mental illness that can only be changed through exertion and external effort to ‘correct’ wrong behaviour induced by past events (absentee father/mother, childhood abuse, etc.)
In other words, Reparative Therapy. As opposed to
Raymond is advocating better treatment to people struggling with dysphoria, rather than presenting them with hoops/pushing them through path towards surgery. She’s advocating better psychological practices to enable men/women with dysphoria to look at the heart of why they feel psychological distress from otherwise healthy organs, rather than having one option, that of ‘transition’.
In other words, Reparative Therapy. One could just as well have written:
Transsexuality is not viewed by her as a choice, freely made, but a mental illness that can only be changed through exertion and external effort to ‘correct’ wrong behaviour induced by past events (absentee father/mother, childhood abuse, etc.)
and
They're advocating better psychological practices to enable men/women with same-sex attraction to look at the heart of why they feel attracted to the same sex, rather than having one option, that of ‘living a homosexual lifestyle'.
Still, what really matters is this - not who says it, but does it work? Reparative Therapy of either kind doesn't work, damages patients, and is no longer regarded as ethical.
Treatment aimed at trying to change a person’s gender identity and expression to become more congruent with sex assigned at birth has been attempted in the past without success (Gelder & Marks, 1969; Greenson, 1964), particularly in the long term (Cohen-Kettenis & Kuiper, 1984; Pauly, 1965). Such treatment is no longer considered ethical.
- Standards of Care v7 2011

The essentially religious (though non-Christian) basis of Raymond's belief, and consequent animus towards Trans people, is illustrated by her own words:

The transsexually constructed lesbian-feminist feeds off woman’s true energy source, i.e. her woman-identified self. It is he who recognises that if female spirit, mind, creativity and sexuality exist anywhere in a powerful way it is here, among lesbian-feminists
Source : The Transsexual Empire


203.129.56.166 (talk) 14:03, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
As an observation - One critique of Retziel is IMHO accurate. The tone of the article is that of a polemic, not a reasoned argument. More light, less heat would be better I feel. The natural distaste for TERF methods on the part of just about everyone else should not be an excuse, as polemic diminishes credibility. It's not as if there isn't a mountain of objective evidence proving they're full of it. Use facts, not rhetoric. 203.129.56.166 (talk) 14:15, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

TERF, puberty blockers, and fertility[edit]

Some TERFs will complain that putting children who are trans on puberty blockers will stop fertility. In addition to being bullshit (http://transhealth.ucsf.edu/trans?page=protocol-youth), it stresses the importance of fertility or having children (not unlike social conseratives do when arguing against marriage equality). Should be added to a list of debunking points because it's an insidious argument and very very terrible. Sig can you say.png Sig gulag time.png 11:08, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, we need a cited list of the PRATTs. Anyone got enough vodka to fortify the brain against such a list? - David Gerard (talk) 11:24, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Lists of shitty talking points for SBSing: Start! [3] - David Gerard (talk) 18:33, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Biased and incomplete polemic about "SWERFs"[edit]

The term SWERF is not properly defined in its section. Despite this lack of conceptual clarity, the section goes on to pour great negative judgment upon this fuzzily delineated group of designated enemies. The section is highly biased towards one particular point of view while representing the opposing arguments and positions in a comically absurd and misleading manner that goes far beyond satire straight into straw man territory. Since I do not want to initiate an edit war, I've come here to voice my frustration with this poorly thought out opinion piece which presents itself as the definitive voice of... something (supposedly feminism I guess). The section would benefit from balance and from acknowledging that opposition to prostitution has been and continues to be a major position of mainstream feminists and important feminist thinkers. Additionally, for the term itself to be anything but a laughably transparent thought-control slur, some sort of reasoned justification is needed - one that doesn't rely on neoliberal buzzwords and platitudes (voluntary, agency, choose, free etc.) TheBullet (talk) 18:31, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Please suggest alternating wording here, that we can discuss. SophieWilderModerator 18:39, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Bullet is right; that section is lousy. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:31, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
I disagree with the term to begin with so I'm not sure these conflicting positions can be merged into a coherent text. In my experience the term is used as a label for feminists who see prostitution/pornography critically, oppose its full legalization or want to minimize/abolish it. It appears to be inherently misleading since it talks about "exclusion of sex workers" where there is none. TERFs literally exclude trans women from the group of women conceptually, spatially and verbally. "SWERF" draws a parallel to that, but nobody is excluding sex workers from anything, and the term isn't being used in that manner either. So whoever wants to legitimize this dubious SWERF label and its associated section would have to establish who is actually excluding sex workers from what, or why it is justified to invoke a connection to TERFs when one can simply say "anti-prostitution" and address that topic on its own page. TheBullet (talk) 20:11, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree it needs its own page separate from this one. SophieWilderModerator 20:19, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The groups do cross over quite a bit. But yeah, separate page would be relevant. It's about people who claim it's opposition to prostitution, but consistently do things that target the sex workers themselves and make their lives worse - David Gerard (talk) 07:58, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
"SWERF is a SLUR! we prefer to be called sex critical social conservative reactionaries!" Sig can you say.png Sig gulag time.png 15:24, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Very poor article and source quality[edit]

I haven't gone through every link to check it's quality, but there are a number of "sources" that are merely assertions, with no backing.

Specific examples include:

35. TERF debaters yield to no one, not even FEMA conspiracy fans, in coming up with creative ways to rephrase "You'll be sorry!"

Note how this is just an assertion, without even the slightest bit of evidence. Not even anecdotal evidence, or made up random stuff.

20. Trans criticism is not transphobia... oh, wait, no! It bloody is!

The article it links to seems relatively reasonable as far as random blog posts go, and the "oh, wait, no!" is just tacked on after the link with no support.

15. You may call me a TERF but I am not transphobic... No, we will call you a TERF exactly because you are transphobic!

This article, again seems relatively reasonable, and yet just has an assertion of transphobia thrown in after the link with no actual evidence or explanation.

Ref 3 has a bunch of assertions, but the worst one is this:

The linked article doesn't actually say anything about forcing intersex folks to choose any gender identity at all.

The relevant quote from the article is:

If an intersex person decides to present as either biologically female or biologically male (even though they are really biologically intersex), they are still not “trans”. They are intersex. Ideally, the intersex person should be allowed to make that decision for themselves, not have it forced on them by their parents, their doctors or by a sexist society. If they want to live openly as an intersex person, that is their right and it should be respected by others.

Note the complete lack of forcing intersex people to do anything.

That ref also says

Approximately 0% of chromosome obsessives have actually had their own karyotype tested.

Even though the article only mentions chromosomes in passing, as an attempt to clarify that they are talking about biological sex (an imperfect measure, sure, but so is pretty much everything).

Many of the other "sources" are probably similar, but I didn't feel like checking every single one of them.

Another note, the article itself is kind of crap, with bits like:

This links to the "Conspiracy Theory" page; which is, as you probably guessed, not actually evidence that anyone believes what the sentence asserts.

Now, there did seem to be a few actual links to posts by "TERFs" that seemed to actually support the article's distaste, but this is the internet, we can't necessarily assume that everyone called a "TERF" shares those views, just as not all atheists agree on everything, or not all <insert religion here> people agree with each other. So, while discussion of the issue is good and all, the hatred heaped upon people the article disagrees with is massively excessive. — Unsigned, by: 167.219.0.140 / talk / contribs

Some of these are problems and some of this is totally reasonable snark. For example, to think that transwomen go through what they do just to get into women-only places is absolutely crazy, and ascribes to collective and organized malice, what can be explained a thousand other ways. That's quality is exactly what makes conspiracy theories conspiracy theories. I don't know if I can muster the organizational fortitude to deal with all of your complaints at once.
But I'd like to help. What do you think is the biggest problem, of those you listed? We can talk that out first. Ikanreed (talk) 16:28, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
It's not so much any one particular example that's the problem. It seems that most of the article is, at best, based on a misunderstanding the beliefs of "TERFs" (and ridiculing them based on that misunderstanding); or at worst, uncritically believing the things that some people say about "TERFs" without actually checking for themselves.
I suppose that if I had to start somewhere, I'd start with ref#3, which is blatantly false, when it's not being simply completely unsubstantiated. The ref says that "TERFs" want ("force" is the word the ref uses) intersexed folks to specifically pick to be male or female, but the article it links to *very specifically* says that intersexed people can present however they want.
I understand that anything related to trans* is going to be controversial, but I'm not quite sure how the generally expressed "TERF" belief of
Trans* is problematic because it generally relies on gender being some real thing that exists and isn't a social construct.
manages to get interpreted by so many people as
ZOMG! Trans* folks are all evil spawn of satan!
Granted, many of the things I've seen written by "TERFs" are, perhaps, more acerbic than is strictly necessary, but that's fairly understandable given how dismissive and angry many people get about anything they say. (And that, when framed certain ways, some trans* activists' statements *do* tend to resemble more of bio males forcing *their* definitions and language on bio females.)
Also, I apologize about the relatively poor wording of the last part there. It's almost time for me to leave, and I wanted to get this posted before I forget. Hopefully I was able to at least get enough of my point across to make sense. 167.219.0.140 (talk) 20:47, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Corporate censorship presently keeps me from checking the ref's content. Anyone else want to help here? Ikanreed (talk) 21:00, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
It's available on archive.org, if that's not blocked. I've also copied it to pastebin [here http://pastebin.com/znz9dEXX] if archive.org is blocked, or if you prefer text only. (I've put urls in parentheses next to the link text. Note, the "Reblogged from here" link is dead, but I've included for completeness. Note to visitors from the future: the paste expires after a month, because I don't really see a reason to make pastebin keep it forever.)
The reason people interpret these statements that way is that these statements are given by TERFs as their justifications for behaving that way. I find myself stupendously unconvinced by innocent interpretations of their words given their observed behaviours - David Gerard (talk) 10:21, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
And these behaviors are happening where? If "TERFs" as a group are behaving in transphobic ways, then the page should contain *that* information (with sources, of course), rather than being mostly full of unfounded assertions and blatant falsehoods. 167.219.0.140 (talk) 13:36, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Cathy Brennan herself actually tried to smear and 'out' a trans* friend of mine. The article might be light on examples, but it's wilful ignorance (or deliberate deceit) to claim that it's 'blatant falsehoods'. I don't even follow TERFs particularly but their own actions condemn them just as strongly as the tone of the article does. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:01, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, what part of "ref 3 claims the *exact opposite thing* the linked page does" means it's not a blatant falsehood?
Even if Brennan was the reincarnation of Hitler *and* Satan, that wouldn't excuse such massive misrepresentation of her posts. If she's that bad, the facts will speak for themselves. 167.219.0.140 (talk) 19:52, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
The linked post could well have been edited since the ref was inserted. The ref's a bit poor anyway, as what we really need is a reference for the first part of the footnote rather than the second, so that needs work. In any case, one dodgy ref does not an article full of blatant falsehoods make. The facts do speak for themselves, I just don't particularly want to dedicate the needed time to wade through the sewerage to document it. In the linked article she flat out calls transgenderism a sexual fetish, which is deep into Not even wrong territory. This link is probably one good place to start the trail if you want evidence of poor character: http://www.transadvocate.com/?s=brennan. Queexchthonic murmurings 13:19, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
It's not just "one dodgy ref", it's most of the refs being dodgy, and most of the article being dodgy. That one was just one example of absolute, undeniable, wrongness. Read my first post for more examples. I can go into even more depth on critiquing the article if anyone still thinks it's anywhere near decent quality.
Additionally, I skimmed the first few pages of "Brennan" articles on the site you linked, but most of them seemed to be just random hate spewing. I mean, one of them was just whining that Brennan asked an article to be edited so that it didn't insinuate that she was connected with groups she wasn't connected with. Okay, she used the word "lawyer" while sending the request, big deal. Another was just whining that Brennan didn't classify as a hate group. Seriously? Aren't we all supposed to be reasonable adults here? This is the best stuff that people can come up with against her?
From this and other reading I've done, people's main problem with her seems to be that she calls people "women" who were born with a vagina and raised female, and she calls people "men" who were born with a penis and raised male. These are hardly the hate crimes that people seem to be insisting. Okay, so she doesn't think that "feeling like a woman" means that someone actually has any of the experience and socially instilled behaviors that people raised female do, so what? We've got much bigger issues that need to be dealt with, this is ridiculous. 167.219.0.140 (talk) 14:57, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
My main problem is that she personally harasses trans* people. Are you okay with her doing that? Queexchthonic murmurings 12:42, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
That depends entirely on what the "harassment" actually is. But, assuming standard definitions, then no, I don't support that. Of course, that has nothing to do with the article quality, so I'm not sure why we're talking about it. 167.219.0.140 (talk) 13:26, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Your complaint is that it's inaccurate with respect to Cathy Brennan, and that she's not transphobic, and are 'problems' with her are petty and not proper objections. She is transphobic. Our 'problems' with her are legitimate. Whence your complaints, then? Queexchthonic murmurings 14:01, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
What? You did read my original post right? There are a ton of places where the article is either flat out wrong, or makes pretty bold claims that are not backed up by *any* sources. And that's not even getting into how the poor tone just exacerbates those issues, by making them look like hate induced ramblings instead of anything resembling rational objections.
As for the ref 3 example of an indisputably wrong claim made by the article, all I've gotten in reply is that either "well, her page might have been edited afterward" or "that's not really the real problem".
As for the dislike of Ms. Brennan specifically, all I've gotten in response there is some variations on "She harassed someone I know, and I will now proceed to give you absolutely no evidence what so ever that this happened". And, of course, a blog that mostly seemed to complain that Ms. Brennan didn't qualify as a hate group, and that she dared to ask someone to not insinuate she was connected to a group that she wasn't connected to (along with various things that seemed tangentially related, at best).
And somehow, despite all this, *I'm* the one who doesn't have any legitimate complaints? Are you kidding me?
What about literally everything else I mentioned in my first post? Do those problems not exist? Am I somehow viewing a different version of the article than everyone else? Is there a reality distortion field around Brennan that causes people to forget everything else after thinking about her? What's going on here? 167.219.0.140 (talk) 20:01, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I wanted to help, but I couldn't actually check ref 3, as it's inaccessible to me. Could you suggest a rewrite of particular sentences? That might help get the discussion back on track, at least. Ikanreed (talk) 20:06, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm not really sure that sentence rewrites would help much (as opposed to a complete rewrite of the entire article), but I suppose I'll start with a draft of a new first paragraph. Probably something like:
Trans-exclusionary radical feminism (or TERF) is a subgroup of radical feminism characterized by the rejection of gender roles, and also of gender in it's entirety. Thus, they also reject transgender as a concept. TERFs believe that the trans* movement negatively impacts feminism by obfuscating the meaning of "woman", and shifting the focus away from women's liberation; often derailing discussions into lots of (in their view) men continuing to dictate the behaviors of women (since trans* women are usually born and raised as males, TERFs tend to view their expressed gender identities as irrelevant).
It's not great, and I'm not a huge fan of the term "TERF" either, but I think it's a decent starting place. Note that I'm not sure if the "*" after "trans" is still considered standard/proper or not, so that can be taken of left as needed. Of course, sources should probably be added, and I could probably go find some over the weekend without too much difficulty. 167.219.0.140 (talk) 20:52, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I think "yeah, no". For people who claim gender doesn't exist they observably bang on about it considerably. So let's assume the article is about their observed odious behaviour and batshittery rather than the brochure version - David Gerard (talk) 00:04, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
What. You realize that's the exact same thing that a lot of people say about atheists right? When did that argument suddenly gain validity? 167.219.0.140 (talk) 13:21, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Ah, but the difference between God and gender is that gender only requires people to identify with it for it to 'exist'. Whether people who identify as different genders are truly different in essence is besides the case; essentialism is unfalsifiable either way. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 18:36, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Many people also say that belief in god makes him/her/it real. Additionally, like god, many people absolutely insist that everyone believe in gender and accept their particular definition of gender as the one true definition, and start witch hunts when someone disagrees with them.
We're starting to stretch the metaphor a bit now though. 167.219.0.140 (talk) 13:55, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
No, I'm pretty sure those are very different things. Believing in a set of behaviors and purposefully following them does indeed make those behaviors real. I don't think anyone would doubt that there's a concept of "sin" that shapes the behavior of human beings, e.g.. Ikanreed (talk) 14:30, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Do people really say that? Either way, the fact that people identify according to gender isn't in dispute. What's in dispute is what properties one requires to legitimately identify as a certain gender. According to the passage you wrote earlier, TERFs reject gender roles and the concept of gender altogether. But they don't reject people's sex as a property for categorizing people. In actuality, this means that they don't reject the concept of gender, but all concepts of gender that aren't synonymous with the concept of biological sex. Many transgender people would agree with TERFs about gender roles not being a legitimate factor for identifying people's gender. They take it one step further, in fact, and say that there are no legitimate external factors for identifying people's gender, which is why many trans people insist on the "assigned male/female at birth" terminology. What's left after you eliminate all external factors? The one internal factor; what gender people self-identify as. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 15:03, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I want to emphasize that none of this has much to do with facts, so much as an authoritarian "You must act this way because this is how I perceive things to be" attitude. That's never going to be compatible with a complicated world where things aren't always simple, and what the facts do establish, at the very least, is that these things aren't simple. Ikanreed (talk) 15:12, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @141.134... There is a big difference between accepting that people can be categorized by physical characteristics, and believing in a concept of "gender". If the categorization were based on hair colour, for example, no one would say that such a classification was equivalent to accepting gender as real.-

-The fact that so many people equate the two is, I think, more an issue of how ingrained the "sexes have certain innate behaviours" thing is in the general culture. The trans* movement seems to have mostly resulted in people discarding the physical characteristics part, and accepting the, now detached, sets of arbitrary behaviours that people try to fit themselves in (somewhat expanded behaviour sets, yes, but still arbitrary sets of behaviour). "TERFs" seem to be more interested in discarding the behaviours, and working on removing the prejudice against women (i.e. people born with vaginas) in most cultures.-

-One noteworthy example is, I believe, the issue of lesbians. From the trans* view, women who insist their partners should be only those born with a vagina are being discriminatory. From the radical feminist point of view, this generally manifests as people saying that women (lesbians, in this example) need to be willing to have sex with men (i.e. people born with penises). And, taking a step back, it is somewhat disturbing that many people are attempting to tell other people who they should or shouldn't have sex with at all. I don't believe that dictating the sexual behaviours of others is what those in the trans* movement are intending, but that is one of the the *results* of their actions in this case.-

-This seems to be a common thread in disagreements between the respective groups. With trans* activists advocating for less discrimination, and with radical feminists advocating for not pressuring/shaming women (i.e. those born with vaginas) into doing things they don't want to.-

-Also, my apologies about the crappiness of the paragraph breaks. Apparently wiki formatting doesn't expect talk pages to need paragraphs. 167.219.0.140 (talk) 18:07, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

You appear to be blatantly assuming your conclusion there - David Gerard (talk) 19:42, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, we have at least one thing in common then. Would you care to point out where any specific flaws are, and what those issues are exactly; or shall we just devolve further into ignoring opposing viewpoints instead of attempting to have an actual discussion? 167.219.0.140 (talk) 13:49, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

People who accept transgender identity, which includes the current scientific consensus and the current feminism and general human rights movement consensus such as LGBT groups or the WHO, are NOT saying that being a lesbian means you have to identify yourself as someone who enjoys sex with people who have penises, The only people who say that are TERFS. What trans people are asking for is the right to self-identify as a lesbian. Just as lesbians are not obligated to have sex with anyone else who uses that label, we are not obligated to have sex with someone who uses that label who may have had a penis or ambiguous genitalia at birth. Many women who happen to be transgender or intersex identify as lesbians, and their partners also identify as lesbians, and a cisgender lesbian who prefers cis lesbians has no right to exclude trans or intersex women from self-applying that label. The fact is that some trans women (and some intersex women) have vaginas that, yes, were created using medical technology. They may also have been born with predominantly female hormones, chromosomes, and other secondary sex characteristics, and simply have had or appeared to have a penis or ambiguous genitalia at birth. If you are a cis lesbian, and a trans woman asks you out, all you have to do is say no thank you and move on with your day, she is not going to be a threat to you. Yes, it is fair to say that lesbian women who were born assigned unambiguously female and who grew up feeling comfortable In That role have reasons to be wary of people they perceive as men, people with penises, approaching them for sex. But trans women also tend to grow up being harassed and hassled by cis men for being too feminine, and for passing as girls and women, AND they get hassled by women for being trans on top of it. So a little compassion and understanding the other point of view instead of behaving like a hate group can solve this issue. — Unsigned, by: 24.13.147.235 / talk / contribs 02:26, 4 August 2015‎ (UTC)

No the scientific consensus certainly does not support trans identity. Cosmetic changes and living in the closet pretending to be the opposite sex is a form of psychiatric treatment aimed at treating depression and social anxiety in feminine men/masculine women who become self hating. Nobody in the scientific community believes such things actually make you a woman

Harassment[edit]

This article would be improved by including the fact that TERFS harass individual trans women (doxxing, trying to get women fired, trying to encourage suicide). — Unsigned, by: 24.13.147.235 / talk / contribs 02:14, 4 August 2015‎ (UTC) I agree as it seems to defy the purpose of equality and paints bigotry and hatred.

Gender Binary[edit]

You guys assert that "terfs" believe in the gender binary but that is in reverse. Trans people believe in the gender binary and therefore that being a feminine man or a masculine woman is something that needs to be fixed and brought in line with the binary — Unsigned, by: 24.207.135.183 / talk / contribs 05:55, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Actually, Trans is a spectrum covering numerous identities. Nonbinary Trans people are acknowledged within Trans circles. DraizeTrain (talk) 05:54, 9 December 2015 (UTC)
Intersex gets in there too - the main person in the (marvellously effective) Trans Media Watch UK is intersex - David Gerard (talk) 16:34, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

"Objectification"[edit]

Why does the article say that feminists rightfully reject "objectification" in sex work and pornography? Men -- gay and straight -- are generally visual in their sexuality and aroused by sex parts and nice bodies. (Women can be too, but we tend toward romance and relationship with our sex, as indicated by the $billion dollar bodice-ripper industry.) Gay male porn is utter objectification because that's what men per se find deeply arousing.

Porn is an objectification festival, of both sexes. What's wrong with that?---Mona- (talk) 22:56, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

"Men -- gay and straight -- are generally visual in their sexuality and aroused by sex parts and nice bodies." AFAIR, the scientific jury is still out on this. There's no a priori reason to think it might be the case. It's a chicken and egg situation as to whether it's true and culture picks up on that or the cultural expectation of that attitude induces people to conform to it. Queexchthonic murmurings 23:33, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

TWEF?[edit]

Now TWEF redirects to this page. What is it? Can we include that in the article? MarmotHead (talk) 17:56, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

Apparently, it stands for "trans woman exclusionary feminist(s)". 142.124.55.236 (talk) 18:04, 14 March 42016 AQD (UTC)
Yeah, it's a current acronym on Tumblr so I figured it would be useful. In the Tumblr SJ tradition of infinite gradations, this one came about because there appears to be a species of TERF who have decided trans men are okay despite their obvious false consciousness concerning their true gender (apparently). Though a cite as to this would be most useful too - David Gerard (talk) 19:40, 14 March 2016 (UTC)
I put out a more general call for assistance on Tumblr - David Gerard (talk) 20:08, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

RatLady likes RatWiki[edit]

http://anti-stupidity-pro-ratties.tumblr.com/post/142656589737/rationalwiki-on-terfs FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 19:22, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Shitty article is not rational[edit]

1. Males cannot become female.

2. Females cannot become male.

3. People cannot be born in the wrong body.

4. There is no female or male brain.

5. That there are chromosomal and other biological abnormalities that result in intersex conditions does not negate that humans, and all higher life forms on the planet are sexually dimorphic. Saying that there is a continuum between male and female sexual dimporphism is like saying there is a continuum between those with 46 chromosomes and those with 47(Down syndrome).

6. The suicide rate between pre and post op SRS remains the same.

7. Transwomen(male) have the same rate of violence against women as any other male.

8. Nobody 'feels' like a man or a woman. These are just facts of biology.

9. A penis is not a female body part.

10. Gender is almost completely a social construct although it is true that certain biological facts influence expression of sex characteristics. That is part of sexual dimorphism.

11. Females have a right to female only spaces (as do males).

12. The vast majority of men who present as women do it for a sexual thrill and these men are driving the agenda.

I will be back to sign proper and provide reliable sources for every point listed above, like an elementary school textbook. Delete if you must but this article is garbage and any biologist would tell you that.74.220.184.181 (talk) 05:37, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink!--JorisEnter (talk) 05:38, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
"The "why call it RATIONALWiki?" line is perhaps the laziest criticism possible -- at least, when it's not accompanied by an actual rebuttal." I'm not sure if you didn't read the person you're responding to, or you didn't read the article you're linking to. They made like 12 other points, which you've ignored completely without explaining why. Your argument is the lazy one here. If you don't want to engage, don't engage. Kneejerk dismissal isn't good on any side.— Unsigned, by: 69.172.156.69 / talk / contribs
Meh. Their points are all wrong, scientifically. The FCP Foundation (talk/stalk) 16:40, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
1. Yes they can.
2. Yes they can.
3. Yes they can.
4. Yes there is.
5. False equivalency--chromosomes /=/ sex.
6. No it isn't.
7. No they don't.
8. Not a fact of biology.
9. It can be.
10. Nope.
11. Trans women are women and those transitioning female.
12. No they don't and there is no agenda.
TERF rhetoric really is pathetically easy to dismantle. AshleyMorningstar (talk) 07:51, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
Sex is a physical body (man or woman) and gender is personality and a social construction of expectations of a genders. Transgender advocates argue that there's more ambiguity to gender that male and female being a man and woman respectively. Transgender individuals want to be treated a different gender because they prefer to be viewed by society in their identified gender. Transgender advocates are redefining the traditional gender paradigm. Also number 12 is about crossdressers, this is not the same as transgenders —CheeseburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 23:48, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Suggestions for improvement from somebody who was trying to use this article as a reference[edit]

I'd like to suggest that this article add some content giving refutations to common TERF arguments. For example, I'm currently engaged in an online argument with a TERF who is claiming that that they don't hate trans folks but that, rather, "men who become women" are culturally appropriating their experience with that of somebody who is biologically female. Such refutations to common TERF arguments, I think, would strengthen the shit out of this article. I'd work on it myself, but I actually came to this article in hopes of finding such a thing and being disappointed it wasn't here. Yellow (talk) 00:08, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

This article is way crappier than it needs to be, it's true - it's one of the most accessible web references, but note that it doesn't even make "bronze" on our quality scale ... if I was overwhelmed with copious free time, I'd be redigesting most of theterfs.com into a side-by-side refutation format - David Gerard (talk) 13:12, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ (talk/stalk) 15:38, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:47, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Template:Shitpost So, what is a valid and rational refutation of the critique? In virtually all scenarios, cultures, nations, parades, lineups at checkout stands, at the beach, on a plane, on a boat or a train the possessor of a female body will have suffered oppression, from birth, far greater than that of anyone possessing a male body. It should go without saying that virtually all of the aforementioned oppression is perpetrated by males or by a male controlled system. When a male attempts to make claim to the experience virtually all females have endured since birth, without actually having those experiences themselves, it's rather irksome and misogynistic even if unintentionally. Please, refute away.— Unsigned, by: 38.64.206.236 / talk / contribs
First of all there is - for good reason - no "shitpost" template. Second of all, do you really want to claim Trans people are not discriminated against? Or that "women" (an awfully overbroad group that includes women in cultures with Matrilineal and Matrilocal structures as well as Saudi Arabia) are discriminated against more than trans people? Do you have any evidence for that? Because all the things I ever heard and read about the experience of Trans people is that they have it harder (on average) than "women" (on average). And that includes stuff like sexualized violence, forced prostitution, unequal pay and employment and housing discrimination. another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 19:06, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

Fame![edit]

https://mobile.twitter.com/cher/status/772636076427005952 - David Gerard (talk) 07:06, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

"I got your back, babe" BicyclewheelToxic mowse.gif 08:35, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
"Do you believe in TERF after TERF?" Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:24, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Reading the @-mentions, why yes I'm afraid I do - David Gerard (talk) 13:05, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
As I said to Cher: "Gender-confused? Look between your legs. There, problem solved. You're welcome." --Let Them Eat Cake (talk) 14:18, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Troll The FCP Foundation (talk/stalk) 15:10, 5 September 2016 (UTC)
Oh, the irony. --91.7.7.226 (talk) 02:24, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Haha. Good find. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 09:27, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Regarding the general quality of Cher tweets. Which is to say, comedy gold. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:10, 5 September 2016 (UTC)

See also also[edit]

The TERF subreddit is mad. If you thought that there were reasonable objections to Cher, please see here. FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 00:00, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

There's only one question: do you believe in life after love? another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 19:01, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

"What Man Wrote this Error-Riddled Tripe?"[edit]

Because only men can hate TERFs. From /r/gendercritical; the comments are shit, as expected. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 23:31, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

Link to No True Scotsman fallacy is invalid[edit]

I'd like to start this by saying that I'm not a gender critical radical feminist, I am not a liberal feminist, and I am not a feminist of any kind. That being said, this entire article is incredibly biased and is loaded with ad hominem attacks[1] and other such crimes of unreasonable argumentation. Such an obviously charged article on such a controversial political topic has no place on RationalWiki.

That being said, until this article is rightfully deleted, I will nitpick on objective errors.

The sentence "[TERFs] believe that true women are born with a vagina and two-X chromosomes" had a link to the No True Scotsman fallacy, as well as a snarky "TM" after the 'true women'. This is a false application of the fallacy.

No True Scotsman is when a generally agreed upon definition for a group of people is arbitrarily RE-defined mid-argument to support a certain argument, causing circular logic (All people of this group are X because this group is defined by X).

For example, I hope we can agree that a generally unanimous definition for a Scotsman is : one who was born in, or has a biological ancestry of family born in, Scotland. Assume we had the following conversation :

S : "All Scotsmen are good people."

A : "But some Scotsmen steal."

S : "No TRUE Scotsman would steal!" <-- arbitrarily redefines Scotsman to mean : one who was born in, or has a biological ancestry of family born in, Scotland AND one who does not steal. Where did the second clause come from?

This fallacy does not apply here because gender critical radical feminists are not arbitrarily re-defining the definition of womanhood at all. For all intents and purposes, throughout history, medicine, and 7th grade biology classes, possessing two X-chromosomes is considered a necessary condition for womanhood, and possessing XY-chromosomes is considered an necessary condition for manhood. Transsexuality is a relatively recent endeavor; as such, it is transsexuals that, whether for ill or for good, are attempting to redefine the biological source and essentiality of sex. Asserting the historically unanimous definition of a group of people is not an arbitrary reassignment to support your view. The author thinks that any strict/exclusionary definition of a group of people can be attached to a fancy name-drop of a logical fallacy. This is simply not the case. Please actually defend your reasoning in the future.

-

1 : I never understood the liberal obsession with resorting to words like "transphobic", "sexist", "racist", etc. This is not conducive for a mature discussions, which this country very sorely needs in these dire hours. Furthermore, it doesn't really say anything about those attributed being inherently wrong. — Unsigned, by: 134.74.251.202 / talk / contribs 18:54, 2 February 2017

Hi there. It's always a pleasure when random anons come by to tell us what "has no place on RationalWiki". If you'd like to know more about the site's content, POV & editing guidelines, please refer to the welcome links I've posted on your user talk page, which also includes instructions on how to sign & date your talk page comments.
I think your contention that "the historically unanimous definition" of male & female is based on chromosomes is faulty, to put in generously, given that the science of chromosomes dates from no earlier than the late 19th & early 20th centuries. & The study of gender, as distinct from biological sex, largely postdates this. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:07, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

"Given that the science of chromosomes dates from no earlier than the late 19th & early 20th centuries." Alright, that's distinct from the idea that sex is binary/essentialist sex attitudes, which has been a fixture of society for much longer. When did gender fluidity and transsexuality become a conversation in American society? As far as I know, the modern wave began in the mid-20th century. — Unsigned, by: 134.74.251.202 / talk / contribs 19:44, 2 February 2017‎

I think it's clearly a No True Scotsman falacy.

S : "All Scotsmen are good people." You : "All Women have female sex organs and XX chromosomes."

A : "But some Scotsmen steal." RW : "These women don't."

S : "No TRUE Scotsman would steal!" You : "Those aren't Real Women(tm)!"

Hope that helps! Hipocrite (talk) 19:58, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
Sign your talk page comments, Anon. Like this: ~~~~
"When did gender fluidity and transsexuality become a conversation in American society? As far as I know, the modern wave began in the mid-20th century."
Yes, that's what I said: the study of gender, as distinct from biological sex, largely postdates the discovery of chromosomes. Both are examples of how understandings of sex & gender have changed during history, contrary to what you seem to be insisting. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:33, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

Not an accurate portrayal of radfem ideology[edit]

  • No 'terf' would 'wish to completely enforce the classic gender binary, supporting gender essentialism'. I know you hate terfs but this just isn't a valid point. The idea of gender criticism is to abolish the idea that we need to treat male and female people differently. With no socially constructed gender, there is no gender binary. You might be thinking of a sex binary (which we acknowledge because so does the majority of society, 99.95% of people stick to it, and we need terms to acknowledge male-pattern violence, biological sexuality and many other things), but your sentence is a lie and a half.
  • 'They believe that the only real women™ are those born with a vagina and XX chromosomes'. No we don't. We acknowledge intersex people/people with chromosome conditions. However, these conditions don't work in the manner you imply them to. Intersex is very rarely an exact middle area between male and female, or a third sex. It usually takes the form of variations from one of the two sexes; eg, female with a variation or male with a variation. Intersex people will also usually have sex modification surgery at birth and will then be socialised into the corresponding gender role - they're not genderless beings you can use as some kind of gotcha. A lot of women who do actually have a chromosome condition will only find out in their teens or later, as they will have the physical biology of a woman and will have undergone the corresponding gender socialisation. As they are socialised as women in the eyes of society and disadvantaged accordingly, we don't think of them as anything less. Please stop taking advantage of people with intersex conditions to back up your own ideology.
  • Our ideology actually doesn't 'run up against someone else's lived experiences'. We argue that the people who do 'live these experiences' are conflating gender and personality. By definition, gender is socially constructed, which means it's impossible that it could be inherent to anyone. People whose innate traits differ from the way they are socialised are not magically a different gender, although they can be seen as gender-non-conforming. Nobody is an exact mould of their gender socialisation anyway.
  • 'The obvious conflict between the notion that "gender is entirely a social construct" and the slogan "women born women" seems to escape them.' Actually, these two statements are both compatible with each other. 'Gender is a social construct' means that nobody can inherently be a certain gender, and we're all socialised into one of two roles society has made for us that corresponds with our biological sex. 'Women born women' means that somebody is biologically female and calls themselves a woman, that's it. It doesn't mean they necessarily fit into any of society's notions of what it means to be a woman. 'Woman' is not a gender. The second slogan differs biological women from biological men, who use gender stereotypes conflated with their innate personality to say that they are women. You can be a woman or a man without adhering to any of society's ideas of what it means to be either, and it's deeply harmful to state otherwise.
  • You can't call yourselves rational and cite nearly every source from theterfs and thetransadvocate, both websites with a clear bias and a penchant for exaggeration
  • Your inclusion of the conversation between a 'terf' and a liberal/3rd wave feminist has some MAJOR problems. First off, we are AGAINST gendered clothing, not for it. I cannot make this more clear. Why do you think so many 'terfs' are butch lesbians? Radfems have a history of being vocal about the ways the clothing and beauty industries are harmful to women. 'Segregated bathrooms' refer to sex, not gender segregation.
  • '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' That IS what we do. We attack both of these things by being against the whole concept of socialised gender in the first place. If there is no gender, there is no gender binary. And we have a history of rejecting the idea that gender is intrinsically linked to anything at all.
  • '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?' First off, you can't abolish the gender binary without abolishing gender as a whole. They work as a set. The point of gender is that it exists as a set of two specific roles which can be applied to men or women. Without the binary, it's just a random group of behaviours, clothing items, pasttimes, etc. Trans people would be better off if there was no concept of gender, no argument. The majority of trans people wouldn't even have to identify as trans, and trans people with medical dysphoria would not face as much pressure to socially OR medically transition. For 99.95% of people, there is a sex binary. You can't abolish a biological reality and you can't deny the effect it has on reality. I explained earlier the ways in which intersex conditions sometimes still adhere to a sex binary.
  • Your inclusion of the reparative therapy argument and the claim that it is the same as gay conversion therapy is actually very offensive to people who have undergone the latter. There is a clear difference between undoing the idea that gender stereotypes are important and inherent (not changing the person's state of being, just making them realise it doesn't make them the opposite sex), and using homophobic ideas to completely alter somebody's sexuality.
  • How can you act all superior about intersectionality and then support sex work, which only women with cultural, social and economic capital can safely participate in?— Unsigned, by: Spicy hot / talk / contribs 13:27, 25 February 2017
A lot of good points are put forward here, in the interests of everyone, and for the sake of rational empiricism, here are some sources that can back up what is stated here
  • "TERFS support the gender binary" - I think we all would rather remove the gender binary entirely. http://www.feministcurrent.com/2014/07/16/defending-the-terf-gender-as-political/
  • "What about intersex people" - Abolishing the gender binary would remove the need for choosing identity patterns that match a chosen identity, allowing intersex people the same freedom of choice everyone else enjoys regarding identity. Regarding genitals, surgery can change them to match their most prominent secondary sex characteristics. (Intersexuality: Deconstructing the Sex/Gender Binary, Celia Kitzinger)
  • "You want to force little girls to wear dresses and boys to wear pants!" - No, what is desired is that people to wear what they wish without caricaturising others, gendered clothing is ridiculous (don't even get me started on, for example, "man-buns", it's just a god damn regular bun). Men wearing high heels http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-21151350 - Men wearing skirts https://www.authenticireland.com/scottish-kilts/ - Women wearing pants [citation not needed]. Fashion is a weird way to dictate identity, and I get it, clothes are cool. Assigning genders to fabric is odd though (but at the same time, you'd probably think twice about wearing black face paint, for good reason).
  • "We support sex workers, you don't" - Being against sex work is not the same as being against sex workers, decriminalisation, not legalisation is what we need. This will allow sex workers to report crimes against them with no penalty, and continue their work, but does not allow the industry to grow to exploit them. http://www.guerrillafeminism.org/ten-things-i-wish-everyone-knew-about-sex-workers-phoenix-calida/
  • The Swedish model is a good example of this - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_Sweden 116.212.253.43 (talk) 06:45, 27 February 2017 (UTC)
I like trans folk. I have a lot of sympathy for them. (I would like to say "empathy", but I think that word presumes I know what they are going through, when I don't really.) I don't have any positive feelings for TERFs. Most people I know–both women and men–feel the same way. In fact, the only people I know personally who don't like trans folk are those conservative Christians I know who would dislike TERFs about as much as trans. Face it, TERFs have lost and become an irrelevant fringe group–actually, they never were relevant to mainstream society and they never will be. By contrast, in the West, at least among the younger generations, there is a lot of positive feeling about trans folk–there is of course still a very substantial segment of the population who are anti-trans, but the vast majority of them are coming from religious/social conservativism not TERF. TERFs are irrelevant to just about everyone. (Of course, they are far from irrelevant to a trans person on the receiving end of their hostility, but thankfully TERFs are rare enough I think most trans folk manage to escape that experience most of the time–I guess I should ask a trans person to confirm this, but I would presume that most of the actual hostility trans folk are forced to endure in their day-to-day lives comes from the religious/social conservatives not the TERFs, because TERFs are such a tiny irrelevant fringe group.) (((Zack Martin))) 05:21, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
At the end of the, all this talk about adout what gender you think/feel that you are has no bearing on my views on what you do in life. If what you say can't stand on it's own feet, then don't say it. If for some reason you think your gender will have some insight in the matter prove it. (tits or gtfo) I am a gamer. The only thing I care about is if you can kill the target before it kills you, if you can't do that then get off my team. 2d4chanfag (talk) 05:07, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Crack open the bottles and request some new livers because…[edit]

…'I thought rationalwiki was rational…'

https://np.reddit.com/r/GenderCritical/comments/60gjj2/i_thought_rationalwiki_was_rational_i_see_them/?st=j0i7i3hz&sh=135de7d1

Skol! – Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 14:33, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Poor TERFs. Why doesn't anyone like them and their wonderful ideas? Mʀ. Wʜɪsᴋᴇʀs, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 00:37, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Top comment: "Think of rationalwiki as wikipedia without reliable sources and edited almost entirely by MRAs and Trans Activists."
what. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 01:15, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Their list of "Right-Wing Sources" made me laugh. Many of the sites they list are undeniably, unabashedly, unashamedly right-wing – Brietbart, The Blaze, The Federalist, Daily Caller, The American Conservative, etc. But then they also list Autostraddle. Autostraddle! (((Zack Martin))) 01:35, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Bahaha. They should add RationalWiki next. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 01:46, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
You know you've hit the sweet spot when MRAs complain that you're radfems, and radfems complain that you're MRAs. I take that criticism of RW as really meaning: "Hey, they're escaping the confines of the horseshoe! Get'em!" Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:48, 21 March 2017 (UTC))
tl;dr /b/ was never good.
That reddit thread sounds alot like any thread on /b/ that is taking about it's self lol. But I guess thay are not wrong. This place is full of trolls trolling trolls. (At least thats why I'm here) 2d4chanfag (talk) 08:34, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
*to TERFs* Good, good... Let the self-importance flow through you... Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:08, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Everyday Feminism is apparently "right wing", because they have trans-positive contributions, and obviously transgender is an incredibly right-wing idea. (I didn't know that before! In fact, I still don't.) Same reason Autostraddle will be there then - David Gerard (talk) 16:16, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
"MRA" is a TERF term meaning "trans woman" - David Gerard (talk) 16:11, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

They got us good[edit]

Rationalwiki is up there in my targets for ridicule. A bunch of bros claiming objectivity while making sure there's still room for their magical pink-brains-mistakenly-plopping-into-the-wrong-body nonsense.
—"terfs-up (Better terf than serf)"

Con sarnit! If only we didn't claim objectivity! And if only our position on non-binary gender wasn't that "brains physically trade places, but with magic"! And if only we had a single female editor (and weren't just an inferior "bunch of bros")! ...Oh wait. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 02:11, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

They contradict their own rules.
Rule: "Posts and comments espousing racism, anti-semitism, Eurocentrism, ageism, ableism and generally denigrating the mentally ill, (in particular, throwing around the term "crazy", often used to dismissed women's legit concerns) and truly hateful, dehumanizing descriptions of people such as calling MTTs "frankenwomen", etc. will be removed."
Comment in that page then dehumanizes transgendered people by describing the experience as above ("magic pink brain-trading) and mock and denigrate transgendered women with a "It's my penis and I identify as female, therefore it's a female penis." comment.
Rule: "Low-effort posts that only insult or disparage people or groups of people will be removed. Posts containing slurs such as TERF, tranny, or referring to women as 'cis-gendered' will be deleted. Do not insult others for disagreeing with you."
Inclusion of "cis-gendered" as a "slur" is very, very curious.
A single, female editor eh? You mean me? Nah, they probably think I'm faker with a penis, a male who says he's a female to give RationalWiki the guise of balance. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 02:18, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Also, is "TERF" a slur to them? 'Cause the editor I quoted proudly has TERF both in her username (in the form of a decently witty pun, no less — "terf's up", obviously as in "surf's up") and her slogan ("better terf than serf"). Several other users also have "TERF" in their usernames. I suppose that makes sense somehow? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 02:35, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Maybe it's like how gays can call each other "fags" or blacks calling each other "nigger" but outsiders can't do it. Or maybe how "deplorable" became a self-endearing term by Trump supporters. Of course, I'm probably wrong since I rather avoid groups that mock, denigrate, trivialize, or antagonize transgendered people, which I have seen in that reddit group whenever they deny it through their rules, so I don't dig their lingo. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 06:04, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
@greeb mario Hey, you can't use the word fag. I work hard to get to be called a faggot. I will not let this stand. You have to earn it newfag...2d4chanfag (talk) 08:49, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
I don't give a heckin frig! Out of my way old man, I'll ride my heelies to escape my feelies Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:03, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

We just got fucking meme'd[edit]

https://www.reddit.com/r/TrollGC/comments/60rk6h/totally_excellent_radical_feminism_rational_wiki/ FuzzyCatPotato of the Opaque Godspeeds (talk/stalk) 17:37, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Marvellous! I love how they had to take a swipe at sex-positive feminism as well. Because sexual repression and self-loathing make for healthy modes of thought, and besides, who gives a fuck about the rights of thirsty whores? Right? Facepalm.png Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:14, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
@fuzzy cat
That is not a meme newfriend. 2d4chanfag (talk) 06:02, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Why can't they just outright say they hate transgendered people rather than take all that time to write an incoherent ramble with poor grammar a "parody"? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 06:30, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Article extremely biased[edit]

This article is extremely biased and it's quite clear that whoever wrote this hates TERFs. This is NOT a rational and unbiased description of "TERF". It's so bad it should be immediately removed and I say this as someone who do not stand with the "TERFs".— Unsigned, by: 83.250.46.151 / talk / contribs

Yes, whoever wrote this hates TERFs. You have correctly identified the editorial position this site has arrived at with respect to the TERF ideology. Neutrality is nice to have, but not a central goal here. I think you should make a stronger case than "It's biased" to remove this entry. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:33, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

This is just a propaganda piece. How can this sort of nonsense exist on a site dedicated to rational thinking? The uncritical endorsement of intersectionality and third wave feminism is mind boggling - both of these are highly contentious issues to rational thinkers. Accusing TERFs of being anti-feminism is implying ownership of the true meaning of 'feminism' which is plain dishonest. This article is ideologically based drivel, and should be archived in a special place reserved for bad examples. If a student handed in a paper of this quality in any university course - except for a gender studies course - they would have it covered in red pen as each logical error was highlighted, then their professor would screw up the paper and throw it at the student's head. (In a gender studies course, this article would be accepted as a PhD thesis and the student would be awarded a doctorate). Suggestion: this article needs to be rewritten, that much is obvious to anyone who cares about rational thinking or honesty. The original author/s need to be prohibited from participating in this rewrite, and perhaps banned from this wiki. The article needs to present facts (not opinion) in a neutral way, including common criticisms of TERF ideology (and potentially TERF responses to those criticisms). Then logical flaws in those arguments can be highlighted. Social Justice Warriors need to understand something: apply critical thinking BEFORE you associate yourself with any ideology, because your brain won't let you do it afterwards. Follow this advice and you won't end up writing articles like this. Although, if you are an SJW, then you are already past this point and there is no hope for you.

First, if you dislike it, then edit it. This is a wiki, after all.
Second, you're rather vague in your suggestions.
Third, there is no way in hell that the original editors will be banned for writing a non-troll article.
Fourth, congratulations. Your accusation of this article being ideological drivel broke my irony meter. *Slow clap*.
Sincerely, RoninMacbeth (talk) 23:02, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
"How can this sort of nonsense exist on a site dedicated to rational thinking?"
Drink! LEFTYGREENMARIO 03:21, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
But seriously, your criticism stinks. You accuse this of being "propaganda" and "nonsense" and an "uncritical endorsement". It is "ideologically based" and "if universities saw this, they would fail you and then spit on you and then wiggle their butts at you and then dance on your grandma's grave because this is so bad (except for gender studies courses) and did I mention how bad it is and how the author(s) should be ashamed of themselves?". And that's pretty much all what you have to say. You suggest a "rewrite that is obvious to anyone who cares about rational thinking or honesty" but since you don't bother to explain why you disagree with the article's content (saying that it's "obvious" is not a valid support for your stance and your need to assert that the claim is "obvious" for anyone hints that your argument is too weak to stand up on its own), your criticism is meaningless. So far, it's all buzzwords, ranting, rhetoric, and the unironic use of "SJW", which won't get you far into getting us to rewrite the article to suit your tastes. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 03:36, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

Citation needed for trans rate statistic[edit]

This statistic: "...the transgender population is about 1 in 30,000..." could really use a source. The first academic source I could find on this was here:

https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/census-lgbt-demographics-studies/how-many-people-are-lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender/

and estimates the rate to be 0.3%, which is 2 orders of magnitude different, so it would be nice to be able to compare sources.— Unsigned, by: 104.132.51.88 / talk / contribs

I think this question may be very difficult to really answer, because there is no fixed definition of who is "transgender". I mean, a person might have transgender feelings sometimes, they could vary in intensity through their life. Some people, the feelings become so intense, it often leads to them transitioning. Other people, for whom the feelings are not so intense, or aren't so constant, are less likely to transition. But, if a person has some transgender feelings, but they are never strong enough and lasting enough for them to seek transition, are they cis or trans? What will they see themselves as? What will they say if you ask them in a survey? How honest will their answer be? I think we need to adopt a model like the Kinsey scale, in which trans and cis are points on a continuum rather than distinct categories, and a person may move back and forward along this continuum over time. But once we adopt a model like that, how is the question "what percentage of people are trans?" even answerable? (((Zack Martin))) 09:50, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
The issue you've correctly identified here is what is known as the Sorites paradoxWikipedia's W.svg, which is the reason why any imposed system of classification that relies on more or less absolute categories (broadly speaking: Power plus prejudice, identity politics, racialism, etc) will typically never be able to mature into much of anything but an expression of the moralistic fallacy. I bolded "imposed" because you can (theoretically) establish categories when people self-identify into them — but even then, you may only sort those who do. You can still never truly impose categories in the same context, however. This particular logical limitation tends to greatly upset those whose thinking depends largely on forcibly labeling othersWikipedia's W.svg, by the way. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:52, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

That still leaves the original issue that the number '1 in 30,000' is unsourced. The associated issue about the definition 'transgender' or 'transexual' is covered to some extent in the article on Transgender and needn't in itself be repeated here. A way round the original issue would be to give several statistics (if the are available), stating clearly what they represent, giving readers an idea of the difficulties of definition and in finding reliable data. Zeno (talk) 23:39, 31 December 2017 (UTC) I've added a [citation needed] to the figure. I wonder if the actual proportion even needs to be in this article: would it not be better in the main transgender article (where different meanings/estimates could be more fully discussed)? I don't see that it has anything specifically to do with TERFs. Zeno (talk) 02:06, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Shockingly bad, factually inaccurate article[edit]

... and I say that as a man! A 'cis' man at that! There are plenty of things to critique about so-called TERFs, but this article is so dishonest that it can only have been written by a very militant trans-activist concerned only with demonising 'TERF's.

It's the worst article I've ever come across on Rational Wiki, which is usually fairly balanced and sane. This is just insane propaganda, the whole entry needs deleting.— Unsigned, by: 188.164.0.229 / talk

Is there anything specific wrong with the article? Christopher (talk) 16:11, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
Basically every sentence of the form "TERFS think ______" has, in the blank, a statement that GC feminists do not think— Unsigned, by: Some BoN, I'm too sick for this / talk / contribs
Literally zero sentences in this article match that form. So I guess by the logical definition of universal predicate, you technically said something true. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 18:41, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
Come up with one sentence in the article that is factually incorrect, one sentence. It shouldn't be hard. Christopher (talk) 20:59, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

One sentence you say? How about this particularly stupid claim from the first section: "the TERF movement can actually be understood as being overtly anti-feminist"

TERFs not only call THEMSELVES feminists, but you idiots already call them feminists as well, hence Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists.

Calling them 'overtly anti-feminist' is just childish trolling, but then the entire entry is just childish trolling that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would recognise as such immediately. — Unsigned, by: 188.164.0.229 / talk

Without even questioning your initial premise — that the article itself could stand to be improved (it's not even Bronze; it could) — here's why your most recent argument fails;
P1. Group X gives itself title P.
P2. Title P alludes to feminism.
C1. Group X defines title P.
P3. Site Y charitably refers to group X by title P.
P4. Site Y recognizes that while title P does indeed allude to feminism, group X still acts contrary to it.
C2. Title P does not (recursively) define group X.
...And speaking of the obvious; the first step towards cultivating a coherent overview of contemporary feminist movements is realizing that all feminisms cannot compatibly endorse all other feminisms as genuinely feminist (without explodingWikipedia's W.svg the very term 'feminism' itself to kingdom come).
By logical necessity — as in politics and religion (arenas of comparable ideological breadthWikipedia's W.svg) — the unavoidable clashes of differing values serve proverbially to establish 'mutually ex-communicating papacies'. This is not a flaw, but a feature (one resulting from diversity, no less — a concept foreign to TERFs, I'm sure).
While the wider TERF position itself is no stronger than the gender essentialist bigotry it ultimately builds on (something involving self-imposed eunuchs in ill-fitted wigs gatecrashing the REAL biological determinist feminist struggle), the fact remains that nobody is arguing against the logic of TERFs seeing themselves as feminist and seeing trans-inclusivity as antifeminist. The fatal flaw we see in such reasoning is one of ethics, not of logic (per se).
As such, you paint yourself into a corner by calling us childish for simply maintaining the deductive truth that groups who actively impede the goals of inclusivity and equality inherent to feminism are in fact groups who actively impede the goals of inclusivity and equality inherent to feminism.
You being caught off-guard even by tautology is certainly a conundrum — what matters, however, is your acute failure to meet Christopher's challenge. And I'm sure you can meet his challenge — the article isn't even rated Bronze, and thus, far from perfect. The question remains if you will meet it. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:11, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
It wasn't a challenge as such, I was genuinely hoping he'd find an inaccuracy. There are probably quite a few given the fact it's not even bronze. Christopher (talk) 14:17, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Sex worker exclusionary radical feminism[edit]

What is this section doing in the article??? I know the followers overlap but the subject matter seems to be entirely different. Why can't this be its own page? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 20:58, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

Because they're very often the same people, speaking of both in closely related breaths. But if you think there's material for a separate article .. - David Gerard (talk) 09:45, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

coinage of TERF[edit]

[4] - David Gerard (talk) 09:42, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

Done. Zero (talk - contributions) 17:53, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

Missing word/s[edit]

In the TERF as a slur section, the second paragraph starts, "While TERFs can extremist examples of promoting violence". Is this supposed to be "While TERFs can cite/provide extremist examples of promoting violence" or something else? Zeno (talk) 17:44, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

I noticed that too. The sentence is very confusing as written as I'm not quite sure what was intended to be stated, and removing it doesn't harm the section it's in. Regards, Cosmikdebris (talk) 13:43, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
@FuzzyCatPotato added it and might be able to clarify. CowHouse (talk) 13:55, 23 January 2018 (UTC)
there was this one example of a trans activist hitting a TERF a while ago that they were all tweeting about at the time. remove the clause, nothing of importance is lost FuzzyCatPotato of the Hardcore Pea soups (talk/stalk) 20:29, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

Shoe0nhead[edit]

I think that using a video from Shoe0nhead is a poor idea, since it only gives terfs an excuse to say 'SEEWE TOLD YOU RATIONALWIKI WAS ANTI-FEMINIST'. Besides, I just don't like the idea of giving her views. I think that Contra's video would be better. --31.49.114.175 (talk) 08:06, 23 February 2018 (UTC)-

Without having seen (nor knowing anything about) the video to which you refer, I personally would have no objections. —Kazitor, pending 11:41, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
Here is a link to the video. --171.33.193.136 (talk) 12:16, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
@FuzzyCatPotato, since you added the Shoe0nHead video, what are your thoughts? CowHouse (talk) 08:57, 25 February 2018 (UTC)
@CowHouse We shouldn't give a shit what TERFs think. This page both castigates Lapine for being anti-feminist and lauds her for being pro-trans. Anyone reasonable should see that. If it's not clear, I suggest editing the tone. Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. (talk/stalk) 19:42, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
I personally love the Shoe0nhead video as a "nutshell" summary - it's pretty concise and says everything that needs to be said.--Yisfidri (talk) 02:23, 25 April 2018 (UTC)

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)

Bronze[edit]

I hereby nominate this article for a bronze star. Overall, it's a fairly well-written and entertaining read. Torque [construction noise] Lewith (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: 109.181.3.19 / 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.—CheeseburgerPlate 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. https://twitter.com/RationalWiki/status/991261572025724928 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: https://www.nature.com/news/sex-redefined-1.16943.

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, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 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. 45.36.236.209 (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 - https://www.iep.utm.edu/sqr-opp/. 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: https://old.reddit.com/r/GenderCynical/gilded/ LuodiWang (talk) 16:58, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

TheTerfs.com has a page dedicated to deconstructing TERF tropes: http://theterfs.com/resources/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)

Speakers Corner assault[edit]

I have reverted GrammarCommie's revert of my correction. Maria MacLachlan was the one who was assaulted at Speakers' Corner: she was assaulted by three individuals in their twenties, one of whom now has a criminal record of assault by beating for that assault on her. In court, Wolf admitted striking her. She did not 'choke a teen', was not arrested, questioned, charged and did not stand trial for any assault: she was the victim of the assault, and there was absolutely no suggestion that she choked anyone. The judge said "I reject the defence of the defendant that [Wolf] was acting in self-defence or defence of another, or for the prevention of crime." The assertion that Maria choked anyone is a lie that cannot be substantiated and is libelous. Zeno (talk) 11:30, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

David Gerard If you want to try to maintian that she choked a teen, provide the evidence. Reverted.

Someone get a source. First person to put in evidence wins. RoninMacbeth (talk) 15:35, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Best and fullest video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx9pyvI-V7M

I remember when this site used to be good, rather than a woke POMO circle-jerk.

Good for you. If you wished to "improve" the site, you could always, y'know, join. RoninMacbeth (talk) 16:16, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

I'm not the right type. This used to be a website written largely by scientists and other academics to refute many of the madder arguments coming out from the religious right. I'm neither an academic, nor woke enough to be of value to this community. When this "Rational" website starts claiming men are women and women are men - with no dissent allowed - that's when it completely lost its way. Good luck to you. Please don't allow them to smear Maria Mclachlan again. — Unsigned, by: 83.217.101.3 / talk / contribs

I'll let TeamFourStar see this PRATT out. RoninMacbeth (talk) 18:52, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Maria MacLachlan did indeed put Tara Wolf's girlfriend in a headlock. https://twitter.com/joss_prior/status/908287043809284096 LuodiWang (talk) 18:37, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Nope. Try again, thinking critically and rationally this time. Try watching the videos that were all shown in court in full - all three of them (including the one from the trans activists side) - from the start and read the various news reports of the trial rather than believing what you're told a cherry-picked still shows. Think for yourself. And remember what the Judge said: "I reject the defence of the defendant that [Wolf] was acting in self-defence or defence of another, or for the prevention of crime." And remember who it was who was arrested, charged, tried and found guilty and who now has a criminal record of assault by beating. Reverted. Zeno (talk) 19:02, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

This was a court case, right? Someone can get records from the proceedings and analyze them then, right? Or is it different in Britain?
Also, Maclachlan did admit to kicking Wolf's partner, as pointed out in that Express article you cited. Can we please just get court records for this? RoninMacbeth (talk) 19:08, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
The site is written by Maria MacLachlan's perspective. Of course she's going to try to describe her event with her self-righteous lens.

But when such people lack the empathy to understand why a woman who’s been abused by a man doesn’t want to share a room in woman’s shelter or shower communally in a prison with somebody who has a penis, when they express classic sadistic male sexual fantasies to try to belittle and humiliate women, when they resort to bullying and violence to try to intimidate women who disagree with them – as they did with me at Speakers Corner – that’s when I start fighting back and this website I am creating is part of my personal fightback as well as a way of channeling my anger over what happened to me.

For those who don’t understand the name of this website, ‘peak trans’ – a term originally coined by a radical feminist named Jane Crafts – is the moment when you realise that much of your sympathy and support for transgenderism has evaporated.

Bleh. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:12, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
True, but the Express article isn't, and Maclachlan's views have nothing to do with the issue. RoninMacbeth (talk) 19:14, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
The Express article is far more informative than posts by MacLachlan (who also repeatedly refers to Wolf as a man). Now I can say that the assault was bad but it's not like Maclachlan was acting in good faith. I still agree with the court here, as physical harm is never justified and Wolf has said stupid things, but I do understand trans people feeling threatened. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:19, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Agreed, though I still believe this means Zeno's version is correct, regardless of views on trans rights. RoninMacbeth (talk) 19:21, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, she was assaulted. I amended that part, but Zeno cannot leave out why she was assaulted and what kind of assault it was, so I specified that she was stricken on the back and shoulder and the perpetrator was convicted for assault. We have to mention that Maclachlan wasn't let off the hook easily during court proceedings though. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:28, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Being struck by the three assailants was just part of their assault on her as the videos clearly show. There was nothing to let Maria off the hook for: she was not on trial and all three attempts at a defence by Wolf were rejected by the Judge as that article quotes. Zeno (talk) 19:38, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Yes, which is how Wolf was convicted, because her defense was rejected. I feel all the necessary information is here, including the "assault" language you want to add, so I don't see what's the problem any more. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:42, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Aw... bless. Have I been blocked from editing and correcting the page now? It is still facutally inaccurate and libellous. Zeno (talk) 19:45, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

No, it has been locked because you were edit warring by repeatedly reverting edits with at least 3 users. Edit warring is not how you improve articles. Also, asserting your views as "facts" and "rationality" is not suddenly going to make them facts or rational. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:48, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

You improve articles by providing evidence for assertions made and not doubling down when challenged. Zeno (talk) 19:53, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

The evidence I accepted was the Express article and I made the edits accordingly. I rejected the posts made by Maclachlan (and the video you deemed best that tries to defend the TERF movement by complaining that "TERF" is a slur employed by "misogynists") because there is no way of garnering a more neutral point of view. The video tries to appeal to the victim by calling her a "grandma" and left out the part where she wanted to film trans people (and TERFs are known by trans activists to post faces to sites to incite harassment) despite being told to stop. She doesn't like transgender people; she's not going to make a fair appraisal of events that happened to her. She can talk about how she's assaulted and all, which is fair, but what's not fair is calling Wolf a "he" and not apologizing for her own inappropriate behavior like disrespecting privacy. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 20:07, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Why don't you look at the three videos that were admissible in court! These are the videos on which the judge made his decision. One of them shows clearly that Tara Wolf struck me on the back while his partner and one other where trying to wrest my camera from me - not "firmly gripping Tara Wolf's girlfriend". This is another fabrication in place of the ones edited by Zeno earlier. There is, of course, no evidence "that Maclachlan was continuing filming despite being told to stop" either, even though the judge chose to believe Tara mates on this one.

It is simply not true to allege that I don't like transgender people, nor am I a radical feminist. I have never claimed to be one, I have never posted any footage or photos of trans people anywhere and at the time of the assault I wasn't in any way trans exclusionary and you have no evidence to contradict any of this. I did not 'admit' to kicking my assailant - I volunteered the information that my assailant had kicked me and I had kicked him back. Finally, I have nothing to apologise for. Tara Wolf is a male. He doesn't have a GRC and he does have a penis. Expecting me to refer to him as anything other than 'he', is both irrational and misogynistic. Why is this site called 'Rational' wiki?MariaMacLachlan (talk) 21:26, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Insisting that Tara Wolf is male only because she has a penis does mean you don't respect her trans identity, and it's an attack that transphobes resort to (hence my statement that you don't like transgender people; this statement can be generalized as if the person wasn't trans, you wouldn't go that direction), so if you're willing to not be labeled as one, then don't deny her identity, no matter how she has hurt you. You can call Wolf an assaulter or a thug or a bully, which is all right but it is not good form to attack her personal traits, even if she hurts you, especially to try to paint her as a male aggressor (all according to negative male stereotype); it opens up for actual transphobic attacks on her. I'm also not denying the judge's decision. I agree that Wolf assaulted you and what she and the other trans activists did was wrong (and was completely counterproductive to their goals), and it was personally hard for me to watch you getting beaten like this, and it is also difficult to watch as in a scuffle has happened, but it's a tussle of bodies so hard to pinpoint stuff. But after that point, I'm simply repeating what the Express article reported, especially regarding the judge's decision to refuse compensation and the judge's reasons for you, which you can agree has happened. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 22:07, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't respect his trans identity and I am not prepared to pander to transgender ideology any more than I am prepared to pander to any other irrational belief system. He is a male aggressor and a misogynist. That may not be 'good form' according to your ideological beliefs but your insistence that this person is a woman in any sense of the word is bad form according to my own world view, which is one based on science, skepticism and rationalism. I'm sure you must know that some trans people also reject the ideology you promote; they - like me - are rationalists and I link to many of their articles on my site.
It's really not that difficult to see from the first video - taken by one of Wolf's friends - that I was filming from several metres away, when Wolf ran at me and swatted my camera. It's also not difficult to see his friends attack me as I'm retreating and Wolf come up and strike me on the back. Face it, you are unable to be objective and unbiased on this and I am a soft target.MariaMacLachlan (talk) 22:35, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
Then I don't understand why you deny disliking transgender people, whose identity is built around this "ideology" you deem an "irrational belief system". It's similar to people saying they don't like the homosexual lifestyle, the very component of homosexual people, but they also don't have a problem with homosexual people, which is self-contradicting. Our article, transgender discusses about the reality of transgender people, which shows evidence of brain matter between trans woman and a cis woman. Nevertheless, you have no grounds whatsoever to pronounce attacks on Wolf like this. Attack her for her aggression, not her gender identity and physical appearance.
I've never denied assault on you, and I've seen the video. I've rewritten an article to update what I've seen (including that those people hit first), but I've kept the reporting by Express intact (which includes the part where they said you admitted to kicking and your own lack of denial of your kicking), including the judge's refusal to compensate you. It doesn't get more "objective" than trying to summarize what I've seen on the video and reporting from other sites including this one and the aforementioned Express article. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 22:48, 14 August 2018 (UTC)

Just a thought from someone who used to be really active here and is a mod on RWFB and happens to be trans and therefore knows a bit more than you do about the subject Maria: coming onto RW and being TERFy is not and has never been acceptable, because, get this, the science supports trans people's view of how their brains work. If you're going to call being trans or supporting trans rights an "irrational belief system", yer gonna have a bad time around here. EVDebs (talk) 00:06, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Trans people are becoming more accepted in society in general and thus the position of a TERF is becoming more unpalatable, if it isn't unsavory already. It's not just RationalWiki. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 00:42, 15 August 2018 (UTC)