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TERF glossary

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This TERF glossary documents the more common terms of art, dog whistles, neologisms, and memes used by TERFs. Some of these terms have also been picked up by the broader transphobic elements of society.

Like the lexicon of the alt-right, their frequent collaborators, the language of TERFs includes many seemingly innocuous terms used in a deliberately hateful manner. This is a deliberate strategy, in part inspired by the It's Okay to Be White and other campaigns by far-right trolls. Always listening to context, method of usage and especially intent is therefore important.



Actual woman[edit]

Self-description by TERFs, because they think they get to decide who's an actual woman and who isn't.[1] Classic example of the No true Scotsman fallacy.

Adult human female[edit]

White supremacist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull posing with the transphobic "adult human female" T-shirt she created

"Adult human female" is used as a form of hate speech, and has been the subject in a trolling campaign intended solely to attack trans people. It was created and popularized by far-right activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull ("Posie Parker"), who calls for violence against trans women and girls by "men with guns"[2] and who is so extreme that even Julie BindelWikipedia has called her "a thick feck who is a bigot and NOT a feminist."[3] A Twitter account operated by Keen-Minshull, dedicated to promoting the meme, was banned by Twitter.[4]

The meme is based on the argumentum ad dictionarium fallacy. Its use and intended hateful meaning is directly modeled after the "It's Okay to Be White" campaign started by white supremacists emanating from 4chan in 2017.[5] In the original campaign the idea was "to choose an ostensibly innocuous and inoffensive slogan, put that slogan on fliers bereft of any other words or imagery, then place the fliers in public locations" under the assumption that "liberals" would "react negatively to such fliers and condemn them or take them down, thus 'proving' that liberals did not even think it was 'okay' to be white."[6] In the same way, the "adult human female" meme is used to promote the conspiracy theory that women are being "erased" by "liberals," who don't even think it's "okay" to be an "adult human female." As such the aim of TERFs is to get people to remove their stickers and billboards so they can complain that liberals are protesting against "the dictionary definition" of women. The slogan also has the quality of a dog whistle, as those who aren't either TERFs or familiar with trans issues may not be aware of its hateful origins and intent. It is a form of hateful trolling of trans people and the LGBT community in the public space.

The slogan is usually presented as a pseudo-dictionary definition of "woman" e.g. on T-shirts and billboards, or it is used as a self-identification or self-description, often in biographies on social media.[7] Anyone who claims to be an "adult human female" is quite certainly a TERF. TERFs were enraged when UK police investigated stickers with the term as hate speech.[8]

Variants of the meme include other pseudo-dictionary definitions of words (e.g. "mother") where the sole intent is the same as described above, and also based on the 4chan trolling recipe.

In May 2021 Awesome Merchandise, the former manufacturer of Parker's transphobic T-shirts, banned her from using their services and condemned her transphobia, releasing a statement that they "wholeheartedly stand by the trans community."[9]

AFAB trans woman[edit]

Not to be confused with AFAB or trans woman.

A non-sequential set of labels used to misgender trans men as women and vice versa.

Agender (as in atheist)[edit]

A dog-whistle sometimes used between TERFs. Not to be confused with non-binary or non-malicious uses of agender.

🍒 (cherry emoji)[edit]

A dogwhistle used by Scottish TERFs on Twitter as a tribute to Joanna CherryWikipedia.[10] Cherry, an SNP MP for Edinburgh South West, is known for her anti-trans activism, most notably her opposition to Gender Recognition ActWikipedia reforms.[11] The emoji is also widely used outside Scottish TERF circles, such as by the "horny on main" Cherry Emoji Twitter subculture.[12]

🏁 (chequered flag emoji)[edit]

The chequered/racing flag emoji is a dog whistle often used by TERFs in their bios or names on Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media sites. It supposedly represents the idea that there are only two sexes, like a racing flag features only black and white checks. Emerged around the same time as "genderfree".



Clownfish are sequential hermaphrodites.Wikipedia This means that male-to-female sex changes are a natural part of their reproductive biology. Clownfish schools are lead by a female. When this female dies, the dominant male changes sex and takes her place, becoming a fertile (i.e. egg-producing) female. TERF references to clownfish are intended to mock and otherize trans women, suggesting that the idea humans can change sex is absurd because humans are not fish. This also meshes with the Clown World dogwhistle.

Dinosaur emojis (🦖🦕)[edit]

Yet another dogwhistle introduced by UK TERFs on Twitter. They co-opted the emojis to proudly proclaim their bigotry after Labour MP David LammyWikipedia denounced transphobes as "dinosaurs" who want to "hoard" rights at a September 2021 party event.[13] The meme quickly spread off Twitter, with TERFs taking to the streets to sing about other people's genitals while wearing cheap, inflatable T-rex costumes.[14]


A movement where its proponents argue dropping the 'T' from LGBTQ. This movement is not exclusively adopted by TERFs since there are members of the LGB(TQ)+ community who hate Trans people and have made an entire movement called the LGB Alliance to reach that end result. However, much of the DropTheT movement is fueled instead by the far or the religious right.


Since the evil gays and bisexuals didn't want to throw trans people out, some lesbians have proposed going their own way separating themselves from the GBTQ community.[15] Increasingly echoed unironically by trans people and other members of said community in response to the hostility and protectionism sometimes found among (cis) lesbians.

This movement has formed into Get The L Out, an organisation that considers FtM transition a form of conversion therapy for lesbians, whilst considering MtF transition a method of preying on cis lesbians. They have conducted "research" into sexual pressure on cis lesbians by trans women, which was then published by the BBC[16]. This research is a textbook example of selection bias, where the only lesbians polled were already members of Get The L Out, and as such were already opposed to trans women.


See the main article on this topic: DropTheB

A (failed) attempt of the alt-right to promote intra-LGBT hatred by claiming that being bisexual is inherently transphobic.[17]

Erasing women[edit]

Fair Play for Women graphic suggesting that gender-inclusive language is equivalent to witch burnings and torture. Also note the trans man who is apparently multiple trans men in a single body.

A conspiracy theory, not that dissimilar to the White genocide conspiracy theory parroted by white supremacists, invented by TERFs. The idea, as expressed by Saint Rowling, is that the trans-rights movement is "seeking to erode 'woman' as a political and biological class."[18] What this means is that TERFs really don't like gender-inclusive language because it acknowledges the existence of trans and gender-diverse people. They insist that recognising trans women as women will render the word "woman" meaningless, allowing "men" (trans women) to force their way into women's sports, women's shelters, women's spots on public boards,[19] and women's award nominations,[20] thus effectively elbowing the "actual" ladies (cis women) out of the way as misogynists have done since time immemorial- albeit in exceedingly vague and unverifiable ways.

TERFs also object to language intended to be inclusive of trans men, on the rare occasion they even realize that they do exist. Phrases like "people who menstruate"[21] and "pregnant people"[22] acknowledge that trans men and AFAB enbies also experience menstruation and pregnancy, and that neither of those things are universal experiences even among cis women. Many cis women of child-bearing age don't have periods regularly or at all due to health conditions like polycystic ovary syndromeWikipedia and pretty much every cis women over the age of 50 no longer menstruates due to menopause. Defining womanhood by reproductive biology isn't helpful or all that feminist. As TERFs have it, however, inclusive language is a Very Bad Thing and an evil trans lobby plot. Fair Play for Women released a press statement ominously warning that the "very words we use to describe ourselves as a sex class are being erased."[23] According to the group, phrases like "menstruator," "uterus-haver," and "people with a vagina" are a "dehumanising" affront to (cis) women, not a concise and practical way for media reports and health campaign literature to include trans and non-binary people.[23] The alternative would be clunky wording like "cis women, trans men, and non-binary people with uteruses." Many of the phrases TERFs object to most vehemently aren't even used that much. No one refers to women as "cervix-owners" outside of narrow contexts like trying to educate people about the necessity of regular cervical cancer screenings. TERFs nonetheless screech that cis women are "losing the words we need to talk about our bodies, our needs and our rights."[23] Nevermind what words trans people (who aren't really people after all /s) and many cis people might prefer to use to discuss their bodies, their needs, and their rights.

Some of the more batshit, conspiracy-minded TERFs have even speculated that uterus transplants, artificial wombs, and other emerging reproductive technologies might allow "men" (a category which, in their closed, bigoted minds, includes trans women) to somehow "erase women from existence completely."[24]


Stands for "female-exclusive bisexual female." Or, in other words, a bisexual woman who only dates women. Plenty of bi women who fit this description are not TERFs. However, the term is used almost exclusively in TERF spaces. The double use of "female" is an attempt to de-legitimize the womanhood of trans women. The implication is that a cis woman dating a trans woman is not in a female-female relationship.


A term used by lesbian TERFs going their own way to disparage the mainstream LGBT(+) community. Closely related to DropTheL and similar terms.[25]

Gender abolitionist[edit]

See also abolition of gender. Not to be confused with non-binary.

Often used as a dog whistle for TERFs. The reasoning is that gender is "just" a set of stereotypes, and that it shouldn't matter. Only sex that is assigned at birth should matter, therefore, it's fine to discriminate and stereotype based on the latter. Note that the expression is however sometimes used by well-meaning individuals as well. The term originally referred to a type of feminism that opposes "gender" in the sense of gender roles and having gender determine everything about an individual's selfhood, and believe a society moving beyond that would be better for everyone including trans people (some of whom support the actual philosophy). Ironically, TERFs tend to believe in gender essentialism, and strictly tying someone's identity to their birth sex, no matter what they claim on paper.

Gender-critical feminism[edit]

A euphemistic slang term invented by TERFs to refer to their hateful mindset. In fact, many TERFs falsely claim the term "TERF" is a misogynistic slur. This is not new or unique behavior, many white supremacists will insist that "anti-racist is a code word for anti-white" and insist on being called "race realist".

Technically, "gender-critical" means "critical of gender ideology", but even then both terms still are dogwhistles.

Gender ideology[edit]

For more information, see: Gender ideology


A new euphemism(April 2019) that TERFs have started using to describe themselves, implying that gender is a set of stereotypes, should not matter, and the only thing that matters is sex assigned at birth.


A recent euphemism meaning a person who believes that gender is a spectrum and/or supportive of trans rights, though not always.


A reactionary term, which gained traction in mid-late 2020, that mocks the concept of gender as well as transgender people (who support gender)- but not trans-exclusionary pseudoscience and denial of scientific evidence that directly contradicts the classic transphobic narrative that, in the reactionaries' view, "transgenders just want to escape biological [sic] reality" (like brain similarities between trans women and cis women for example). Because apparently, promoting anti-scientific attitudes and conspiracy theories is only bad if trans people and their allies are (allegedly) doing it.

Goody [name][edit]

"Goody" was the short form of "Goodwife," an archaic honorific used to address women in England, Scotland, and the United States up until the 19th century. It was roughly equivalent to the modern "Ms." or "Mrs." since it was usually (but not always) applied to married women.[26]

TERFs often use it before their surnames or account names (e.g., "Goody Rowling[27]") as a reference to Goody Ann Glover,Wikipedia who, in 1688, was hanged as a witch in Boston, the last person to suffer such a fate in the city. The insinuation is that TERFs are also innocent women being persecuted by trans women in exceedingly vague and unverifiable ways.


TERFs have started calling Margaret Atwood a "handmaiden" for supporting trans rights.

A cisgender woman who supports transgender rights. Also used by SWERFs to describe women who support sex workers. Taken from the Margaret Atwood novel The Handmaid's Tale (1985), in which handmaids are fertile women forced to bear children for powerful men in the Republic of Gilead, a patriarchal, totalitarian Christian theocracy.

Ironically, Margaret Atwood is a "handmaid" in the eyes of TERFs (and has actually been called one[28]), given that she acknowledges that trans women are women, and believes they have a right to use women's restrooms.[29][30] She might also be labelled a "handmaid" by SWERFs for the apparent disdain for anti-porn feminists shown in the The Handmaid's Tale. In the novel, feminists campaign against porn because they view it as a threat to women, a thing that some feminists were actually doing in the 1980s. This unwittingly helps lay the groundwork for a cultural shift that allows religious extremists to overthrow the U. S. government and turn the country into a brutal theocracy.

The insult makes zero sense to anyone who has read the novel or even just a summary of it. Handmaids in the novel are the victims of patriarchy rather than its agents. They don't want to be broodmares for an oppressive state. It's a job they've been forcibly recruited into upon penalty of death. A more relevant insult would be "Aunt", after the women who volunteer to train and police handmaids in the novel, and in return are afforded a limited amount of power and freedom within Gilead. As Alex von Tunzelmann, a screenwriter and historian, quipped, "[Transphobic feminists] can't even get their literary references right."[31]

It's also particularly ridiculous given how gay men and lesbians are executed as "gender traitors" in Gilead. The novel doesn't reveal the fate of transgender people. However, in a Twitter discussion in which a TERF suggested that trans women could simply "choose to be men and run Gilead," Atwood personally responded to clarify that, yes, trans people would be branded "gender traitors" in Gilead and executed along with anyone who didn't fit into the "ordained boxes."[32] Atwood's choice of "gender traitor" rather than "sex traitor" has long been understood to be deliberate. The oppression faced by women in Gilead involves female sex characteristics, but its basis is that there are proper gender roles that must be adhered to, willingly or not. The kind of biological essentialism advocated by #SexNotGender TERFs has historically lead to policies that oppress women (notably abortion and contraception bans).


A dog whistle used by TERFs on Tumblr as a replacement for "cis", usually in coded phrases like "hygienic female," "extremely hygienic," etc.[33] The implication is that cis women are cleaner than trans women, playing on the stereotype that men have worse personal hygiene than women.[33] TERFs of course view trans women as men. It's also based on a pathologization of transfeminine bottom surgery. TERFs are morbidly fixated on a form of vaginoplasty sometimes used in gender-confirmation surgery. This procedure involves colon tissue grafts, as this allows the vagina to be self-lubricating.[34] TERFs are convinced that all trans women undergo this procedure, and thus that their vaginas must be smelly and gross.[35] It's also been noted that the term "hygienic" has an extremely problematic history.[36]

I Love J. K. Rowling[edit]

"I Love J. K. Rowling" was once a sentiment shared by millions of Harry Potter fans. However, Rowling dropped the mask and revealed herself to be a TERF in late 2019, confirming years of speculation based on dodgy Twitter likes and follows. The phrase has since become a coded way for transphobes to propagate their views while seemingly expressing simple fondness of a popular author. Billboards and signs featuring the phrase have been commissioned by transphobes such as Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull.[37][38] A cottage industry of stickers, shirts, and other junk featuring the phrase has sprung up. Now TERFS are more likely to enthusiastically proclaim their love of J. K. Rowling than Harry Potter fans. The variant "I Stand With Rowling" is also commonly used.

I Stand With Russia[edit]

Closely related to "I Love J. K. Rowling", the statement "I Stand With Russia" is a way for TERFs to signal their support for Vlad the Shirtless's manly stance on the whole LGBT thing, as well as his attacks on "gender ideology" and transphobic policies/rhetoric in particular. The expression is also popular among the far right.[citation needed]


A misspelling of queer used by TERFs and exclusionists to mock queer and non-binary people. A censored "q*eer" is also sometimes a signal that you're dealing with TERFs and exclusionists.

Lesbian erasure[edit]

A conspiracy theory invented by TERFs. It smears the trans-rights movement as a nefarious plot to systemically "erase" lesbians. Its proponents insist that granting legal recognition and protection to trans people will somehow force cis lesbians to date "men" (i.e., trans women) and thus nullify the existence of lesbians, or because lesbians are somehow being convinced to become trans men. This conspiracy has been propagated by mainstream newspapers in the UK.[39]


While discrimination and fear of lesbians do exist, this term is more often used by TERFs as a dog whistle against male-to-female transgender people, and it is also often used to gatekeep trans women from women's spaces. As with other terms here, it has, of course, made it harder for non-transphobic lesbians to talk about legitimate discrimination against lesbians, and to describe how it differs from homophobia against gay men. Among non-TERFs the more inclusive, gender-neutral term homophobia is preferred in most cases, whereas TERFs often use the term lesbophobia specifically to attack trans people and the broader LGBT community.


See also DropTheT

The term "LGB" is used by mostly lesbian TERFs to deliberately exclude trans people from the LGBT community. Any organization calling itself "LGB" nowadays, such as the LGB Alliance, is usually a TERF group exclusively focused on the struggle against trans people.

Male-Exclusionary Radical Feminist / MERF[edit]

A TERF way to describe themselves as radical feminists. This also goes under the TERF mindset that "trans women are men."

Male violence[edit]

A transphobic dog whistle that is used to include trans women as part of crimes that male criminals committed. Oddly, this excludes trans men, if they even remember that they exist.

MtT/FtT (Male to Transsexual, Female to Transsexual)[edit]

Terms used to deny that there's any real change at all, refusing to call trans women women and trans men men. These terms later evolved into TIM and TIF.

Non-affirming therapist[edit]

A code name for a conversion therapy practitioner, who reject the scientific consensus on gender-affirming therapy and make it seem bad. Often, they are "digging" for underlying issues, despite absolutely no evidence that there are issues underlying gender dysphoria.

Peak trans[edit]

The equivalent of the red pill for TERFs and other transphobes. It is the moment that TERFs claim they "woke up" to the purported menace of trans-rights activism and adopted their anti-trans views.[40] An attempt was made by trans people to repurpose/steal the hashtag, but it did not gain significant traction in the long term.

🟪⬜🟩 (purple, white, green square emojis)[edit]

The genderqueer flag (left) and the terfragette flag (right). TERFs have started appropriating the former in order to confuse and muddy the waters, in a similar way to what they've done with non-binary vs "genderfree"

Another emoji-based dog whistle used by TERFS in their bios and names on social media sites. Used primarily by UK-based TERFs, it seems to have emerged in the first half of 2021, and has largely replaced the chequered flag and red square. The colour scheme is based on the historical tri-color used by the Women's Social and Political UnionWikipedia (WSPU), an organization that campaigned for women's suffrage in the United Kingdom from 1903 to 1918.[41] This is yet another example of TERFs trying to cast themselves as the political successors of suffragettes.

It also co-opts the colour scheme used in the genderqueer pride flag designed by Marilyn Roxie in 2010.[42][43] Roxie has been accused of appropriating the WSPU's tri-color since 2013.[43] They explained that, as an American, they were unaware of the color scheme's historical use by UK suffragists until 2012.[43] They also explained that their symbolism differs from that of the WSPU tri-color: lavender was chosen for "its association as a queer color", dark green as lavender's "inverse", and white to "represent agender or neutral gender."[43] This contrasts to the symbolism of the WSPU tri-color as described by Emmeline Pethick-LawrenceWikipedia: "Purple, as everyone knows is the royal colour, it stands for the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette, the instinct of freedom and dignity… white stands for purity in private and public life… green is the colour of hope and the emblem of spring."[41]

A variation using three heart emojis (💜🤍💚) is also sometimes used, as well as variations without the white (e.g. 🟪🟩🟪🟩); that is despite these hearts' appropriated meaning being as far from love and inclusion as humanly possible.

Rapid onset gender dysphoria (ROGD)[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Littman 2018 ROGD Study

Rapid onset gender dysphoria is, essentially, the idea that Tumblr, Reddit and similar sites are turning teens (especially girls) trans, teens who had not previously displayed any signs of being transgender. Naturally, this became a favourite among TERFs and other transphobes, who saw it as "proof" that the Trans Agenda™ is turning kids trans. All academic evidence for the existence of ROGD is one hilariously bad study which, among other things, didn't include the kids it was studying.

🟥 (red square emoji)[edit]

Another dog whistle used by TERFs in their bios and names on Twitter. It indicates that the user opposes letting trans women use women's washrooms and shelters, co-opting the "no means no" slogan used for decades by anti-rape campaigners.[44]


In the United Kingdom and Ireland, "safeguardingWikipedia" refers to measures designed to protect children, youth, and vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect. TERFs in the UK have co-opted the term as a euphemism for their crusade against young people's access to transition care. In December 2020, they succeeded in effectively banning transition care for people under 16 in the country, and immediately switched to calling for limiting adults' access.[45][46]

Save women's sports[edit]

"Save women's sports" – including its variants, "save girls' sports", "protect women's sports", etc. – is a transphobic trope often promoted by TERFs. Similar to the "bathroom scare", the intent of the trope is to baselessly portray trans women as a grave threat to cis women and to whip up a moral panic around the trope to harm trans women and their well-being. The trope is primarily used to ridicule all trans people, and hysterical articles about "save women's sports" are frequently illustrated with carefully selected, non-flattering pictures of masculine-looking trans women who are not very representative of trans women. Very few trans women are in fact taking any part in competitive women's sports at all, and many trans women are afraid of coming into contact with that kind of arenas. Yet this spurious trope of very limited relevance gets disproportionate attention in transphobic discourse even in mainstream media outlets. The trope conveniently ignores that many cis men and women have significant biological and other advantages compared to other people of the same cis gender. True to the TERF ideology's simplistic worldview, it also ignores the more nuanced philosophical discussion of what is "fair."

Norway's main sports organization, the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of SportsWikipedia, has robustly rejected this transphobic trope, and said that "the real problem concerning trans women and sports is that trans people participate far less in sports than cis women and cis men. We want to make it easier for trans people to participate in sports."[47]


Slur used against trans women and that stands for "Surgically and Chemically Altered Male".

Sex-based rights[edit]

TERFs and other transphobes often insist that they are fighting for women's sex-based rights (alternatively shortened to sex-based rights) as a framing tactic. And yet, when pressed, they struggle to name any rights actually granted on the basis of sex. For example, the legal right to access to contraception and abortion isn't founded on the idea that having a uterus should confer certain rights, but on the idea that people who can get pregnant (most of whom are women) should have the same right to privacy and bodily autonomy as those who cannot. TERFs wouldn't want to live in the kind of society most likely to emerge from the philosophy that sex should determine rights and opportunities.

It is also worth noting that there are no documented references to "sex-based rights" on Twitter before 2015 despite TERFs' insistence they are a foundational feminist concept.[48] This means that this term has been clearly invented by TERFs, for TERFs.

The concept of "sex-based rights" is also a dog whistle, since it can easily be passed off as "women's rights" when it in fact refers to something completely different.

Sex is real[edit]

A strawman of transgender opposition, as TERFs equate "you can transition from a man to a woman" as "sex isn't real". If you see someone using "sex is real" as a talking point, they are almost certainly a TERF. ([ Example)


A hashtag that is an exclusionary dog whistle that they reject gender science in favor of sex.

🕸️ (spiderweb emoji)[edit]

Another dog whistle used by TERFs in their bios or names on Twitter, Tumblr, and other social media sites. It specifically indicates that the user is a member of, a "women-first social network" better understood as the TERF version of Gab.

The spider emoji (🕷️) is not a TERF dog whistle. It is used as a tribute to UK judge Brenda Hale,Wikipedia who once famously wore a very large spider brooch. However, since transphobia is extremely pervasive in the UK, there is significant overlap between those who use the two emojis.

Super (prefix)[edit]

“”I'm a #superbi #superfeminist and I'm here for all my #superstraight and #Superlesbian sisters!
—Self-described TERF[49]

In TERF circles combinations including the word "super" such as "super straight", "super woman", "super lesbian" and "super feminist", with the standalone word "super" as shorthand, all refer to the Super Straight meme that was popularised by neo-Nazi agitators on 4chan to invalidate and mock trans people's gender identities and justify blatant transphobia.[50] In light of both its origin and use among transphobic people it is an extremely transphobic term.

The Staniland Question[edit]

A loaded question posed by Helen Staniland in early 2021 shortly before her Twitter suspension: "Do you believe that male-bodied people with a penis should have the right to undress in front of women and young girls?"[51]

No one in the trans-rights movement has actually advocated exposing kids to naked adults. But TERFs have started routinely demanding that they answer the "Staniland Question". The question is a blatant example of the age-old demonization of LGBT people as dangerous predators. It also assumes that trans-rights supporters might not object to communal changing spaces for different reasons (e.g. privacy and body shaming).

TERF is a slur[edit]

For more information, see: TERF as a slur

"TERF is a slur" is a spurious claim made by TERFs and usually their standard reply when they are criticized for their hateful ideology. Anyone claiming "TERF is a slur" is quite certainly a TERF.


An attempt to reclaim the term TERF while pretending they're equivalent to the suffragettes who campaigned for votes for women. Used as self-identification by TERFs.[1]


A new hashtag that spawned sometime in 2019 as a way for TERFs to fight back after being called out for being transphobic.

TIM/TIF (Trans Identified Male/Female)[edit]

Terms used to misgender trans women (TIM) and men (TIF), while at the same time also denying that they are trans (which is not a real thing, according to TERFs), through the now turned-into-dogwhistle "identify as" expression. They are also used because they don't contain the letters of the elective gender (unlike mtF, ftM), and because they are typically masculine (Tim/Timothy) or feminine (Tiffany) names.

Tiny minority of men[edit]

A way TERFs describe trans women, in order to claim that they are being silenced by a "fraction of the patriarchy".

Trans cult[edit]

A conspiracy theory that accuses transgender communities of being a cult. After looking at warning signs of a potentially destructive cult, in fact, the opposite is true. In fact, it's TERFs themselves who are the cult.

Trans agenda/Trans agenda/Gender ideology[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Gender ideology
For more information, see: Homosexual agenda

According to TERFs and alt-righters, trans people have an agenda and/or ideology to:

  • Confuse, trick, and make cis people uncomfortable
  • Invade cis people's bathrooms
  • Feminize men
  • Erase the meaning of "woman" by letting trans women use the term "woman"
  • Turn cis lesbians into straight women and then replace lesbians with "fake" trans lesbians
  • Destroy lesbianism by pushing young AFAB individuals into calling themselves "non-binary", "trans men", "queer", "pansexual" instead of the classical "lesbian"
  • Cause a genocide of homosexual people, by pressuring them to transition, such as in Iran[52]

It's as full of shit as it sounds. Meanwhile, trans people's real agenda is to lower the suicide rate for trans people, and reduce gatekeeping.

Trans industry[edit]

See Trans lobby, below.

Trans lobby[edit]

TERFs often refer to the "trans lobby", a conspiracy theory with far-right origins that is closely related to the "gay lobby" conspiracy theory. In practice the "trans lobby" refers to everyone who espouses progressive and LGBT-tolerant views; for instance Norwegian TERFs consider Norway's conservative health minister Bent Høie, who has no personal involvement with trans issues, to be part of the "trans lobby" due to his reasonably progressive policies as health minister.

Trans rights are men's rights[edit]

This term is used to smear transgender women and activists as men's rights activists. It also serves to smear trans women as "men". It is a play on the term "trans rights are human rights." In reality, men's rights activists tend to share the transphobia of TERFs, and there are many examples of TERF-leaning transphobes and MRAs making common cause.

Trans-rights activist (TRA)[edit]

A person who supports the transgender rights movement. TERFs pretty much use this term indiscriminately. In TERF logic, one is a "TRA" whether one occasionally expresses support for trans rights or whether one has devoted one's life and/or social media presence to the cause. The acronym was deliberately chosen to sound like "MRA" in an attempt to draw a false equivalence between trans-rights activism and the genuinely misogynistic and anti-feminist men's rights movement.


A slur which is an amalgamation of "trans" and "goon". Because "goon" means "hitman"[53][54] or "idiot"[53], the term is used to frame all trans women as inherently dangerous, despite them being the ones at highest risk of being put in danger. Sometimes, goon can be substituted for loon, implying that all transgender people are mentally ill. "Troon" can have legitimate use as a place name in Scotland (it's a town on the Ayrshire coast), but be wary of Scottish TERFs (like the Women Won't Wheesht crowd) using it for unfunny puns to dogwhistle with.


"Uterus-haver" is a term used by TERFs on social media to suggest that trans women are not women because they don't have a uterus.[55] Bafflingly, this term also suggests that cis women who have had a hysterectomy are not women either. Variants of the term such as "vagina haver" and "front holer" also exist.


A hashtag that first emerged among Scottish TERFs before spreading throughout the UK and beyond. "Wheest" is Scottish slang meaning "shush" or "be quiet."[56] The hashtag was started after a Scottish TERF was charged with malicious communications for tweeting about about how she'd left a suffragette ribbon (interpreted by many as a noose due to the poor quality of the photo) near a Glasgow television studio where an actor known to support trans rights works.[57] In one particularly hilarious example, TERF author Jessica TaylorWikipedia tweeted pictures of how she allegedly "found" this hashtag scrawled in the sand on a beach during a morning walk with a stick in her hand.[58]


Alternative spellings of "woman"/"women" used to avoid ending the word with "-man". Historically, these terms have been used in wider feminist discourse. However, they are now used mostly by TERFs (since the 2010s). The term "wombyn" deliberately puts more emphasis on the uterus (primarily organ involved in pregnancy); it is purposefully trans-exclusionary and used by TERFs since trans women are unable to become pregnant even post-transition. To avoid this association, the term womxnWikipedia was created.


Represents the female chromosomes. TERFs will put the female chromosomes (XX) in their social media profiles to denote that they exclude trans and nonbinary people who identify as female or femme. Ironically, this term also excludes certain cis women who may happen to have XY chromosomesWikipedia.

See also[edit]


  1. ↑ 1.0 1.1 TERF Warning Signs to Look Out For, Michea B,, Aug 10, 2018
  2. ↑ ‘Gender critical feminist’ Posie Parker wants men with guns to start using women’s toilets
  3. ↑ The “gender-critical feminist” movement appears to be falling apart at the seams. Here’s why
  4. ↑ Posie Parker interviewed on Sky News
  5. ↑ Tweet
  6. ↑ Hate symbols
  7. ↑ Woman billboard removed after transphobia row, BBC, 26 September 2018
  8. ↑ Police response to 'transphobic' stickers branded 'extraordinary'
  9. ↑ Awesome Merch Statement
  10. ↑
  11. ↑ Several women 'close to quitting SNP over gender recognition plans', The Guardian, 14 October 2019
  12. ↑ A Deep Dive Into 'Cherry Emoji Twitter', Vice, 3 July 2019
  13. ↑ Lammy on trans rights: "There are some dinosaurs on the right" and "in our own party"
  14. ↑
  15. ↑ #DropTheL petition
  16. ↑ 'We're being pressured into sex by some trans women', BBC, 26 October 2021.
  17. ↑ #DropTheB on KnowYourMeme
  18. ↑ "J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues" ( link)
  19. ↑ Lily Wakefield, "Judge throws out Scottish anti-trans group's bid to block to trans inclusion", PinkNews
  20. ↑ Sian Cain, "Women's prize condemns online attack on trans nominee Torrey Peters", The Guardian ( link)
  21. ↑ Doha Madani, "J.K. Rowling accused of transphobia after mocking 'people who menstruate' headline", NBC News
  22. ↑ Stephen Adams, "Don't call pregnant patients 'mothers': Doctors are banned from using the word over fears it will upset those who are transgender", Daily Mail ( link)
  23. ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 "Language", Fair Play for Women ( link)
  24. ↑ "What do you think of Artificial Wombs and Uterus Transplants?" from o/GenderCritical on Ovarit ( link)
  25. ↑ Tweet by TERF Tonje Gjevjon about lesbians being "targeted by the GBTQI+"
  26. ↑ "goody, n.1" and "goodwife, n." In: Oxford English Dictionary.
  27. ↑
  28. ↑ Screenshot of a tweet that has seemingly since been deleted.
  29. ↑ "Margaret Atwood: ‘When did it become the norm to expect a porn star on the first date?’", Irish Times
  30. ↑ "Margaret Atwood: 'I am not a prophet. Science fiction is really about now'", The Guardian
  31. ↑ Tweet by @alexvtunzelmann on Twitter
  32. ↑ Tweet from @MargaretAtwood on Twitter
  33. ↑ 33.0 33.1 "TERFs have begun using 'hygienic' to mean cis because they're fucking weirdos who think trans people don't take baths" (includes screenshots)
  34. ↑ Sasha Clary, "Bottom Surgery: What You Need to Know", Healthline
  35. ↑ Tweet by @cervix_envy (transphobia warning)
  36. ↑ Tumblr thread
  37. ↑ "I love JK Rowling’ poster taken down at Edinburgh railway station due to ‘political nature’", The Independent
  38. ↑ "I Love J.K. Rowling sign makes brief, controversial appearance in Vancouver", CBC News
  39. ↑ "Lesbians facing 'extinction' as transgenderism becomes pervasive, campaigners warn", The Telegraph
  40. ↑
  41. ↑ 41.0 41.1 "The Colors of Women's Suffrage"
  42. ↑ "Purple, white and green"
  43. ↑ 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 "On the Genderqueer and Non-Binary Flag and Suffragette Colours in the UK"
  44. ↑
  45. ↑
  46. ↑
  47. ↑ Tweet
  48. ↑
  49. ↑ Tweet by TERF
  50. ↑ Reddit finally clamps down on transphobic ‘super straight’ trend after neo-Nazi links emerge
  51. ↑ Rebecca Gellman, "Answering The Staniland Question",
  52. ↑ See the Wikipedia article on LGBT rights in Iran.
  53. ↑ 53.0 53.1
  54. ↑
  55. ↑ [Comment by user iknklast on Ophelia Benson, "Ownership," Butterflies and Wheels, Aug. 26, 2021, as saved Sep. 28, 2021.]
  56. ↑ The Online Scots Dictionary
  57. ↑ Activist Marion Millar charged with sending homophobic and transphobic tweets, The Times, 4 June 2021
  58. ↑ Found this on the beach in Portugal. You bloody radfems get everywhere. by Dr. Jessica Taylor (2:02 PM - 6 Jun 2021) Twitter (archived from August 24, 2021).