In the post announcing #TERFweek, we specified goals for the week. These goals were: Raise awareness about this movement of hate and the groups it forms. Educate people about its tactics. Collectively speak out against its bigotry. Encourage the Feminist, Radical Feminist and Lesbian communities to speak up about the aggressive colonization their communities have faced at the hands of this movement. #TERFweek has accomplished this and so much more. Actual Radical Feminists stepped forward to share their painful… Read more.
Be a Trans Advocate
In the middle of a cool August night in 1991, Nancy Burkholder was thrown out of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (MWMF) because she’s a trans woman. Burkholder was Janis Walworth’s friend and she was outraged that MWMF’s would engage in anti-trans discrimination. Walworth, a cisgender radical lesbian feminist, immediately began to educate MWMF attendees about trans people. After coping with threats of violence and dealing with having her consciousness-raising… Read more.
August 17, 2014 · Cristan Williams
What follows is a continuation of my interview with Radical Feminist lesbian icon, Robin Tyler. In the previous piece, Tyler talked about being beaten by TERFs for trying to protect a trans woman from their assault. In this portion of the interview, Tyler describes how a TERF's fist at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (MWMF) led her to conclude that it was time for her to start her own women's music festival.… Read more.
I remember the first time I encountered Transgender Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) transmisogyny face to face. It was years ago in 2011 when I attended the 33rd Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (MWMF or MichFest) in stealth. If you're not on the up and up on what the MWMF is, this page will briefly catch you up to speed. At the time, I was a little naive as many of you reading this may be. Back then, I was unaware… Read more.
August 17, 2014 · Cristan Williams
Robin Tyler is an iconic Radical Feminist lesbian who talked with me about the ways she confronted TERF violence and oppression against trans women. We discussed Tyler’s involvement with the 1973 West Coast Lesbian Feminist Conference. For some context on why this particular conference was so important, Susan Stryker sums it up well: Elliott also served on the organizing committee of the West Coast Lesbian Feminist Conference, planned for April of 1973 in Los Angeles, and she had… Read more.
August 16, 2014 · Cristan Williams
The obsessive nature of TERFs who police the trans communities’ selfhoods through cruelty can be viewed as an obsessive sadistic fetish. The TERF movement – in breathtaking acts of Lateral Violence – repeatedly conflate cruelty with empowerment. When harm is inflicted, they conflate the pain they inspire with a strike against the oppression they face. While this anti-trans behavior has yielded no measurable result in deconstructing the patriarchy, gender policing provides an immediate payout for the TERF. For as long… Read more.
Sandy Stone was a problem that Janice Raymond, author of The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male, decided to take care of. Raymond felt that Stone -- an out trans woman who was part of the radical feminist lesbian separatist music collective, Olivia Records -- didn’t belong. Raymond engineered a smear campaign that nearly destroyed the Collective and put Stone’s life in jeopardy, culminating in armed TERFs asserting their intention to murder Stone. Olivia Records was a successful… Read more.
August 15, 2014 · Cristan Williams
Many of the TERFs I’ve had the displeasure of meeting move through life belligerently sexing physical phenomena and behavior (especially rape) while simultaneously (and ironically) proclaiming themselves to be critical of gender. For TERFs, there is no difference between mentally contextualizing a body as a sex attribute and the body itself. TERFs have such a long history of, with all the asperity of a hellfire creationist, asserting that sexing everyone is better/different/more natural than gendering everyone that I hold no hope they will see past their own… Read more.
By Natacha Kennedy Michelle Goldberg’s awful article in The New Yorker will be considered by many to be just another example of the sort of biased rubbish trans people have come to get used to from the media. This kind of article is the sort of thing that (dis)graces plenty of TERF (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) sites and marginal online publications that try to be ‘edgy’or ‘iconoclastic in the knowledge that having a go at trans people is the last… Read more.
August 14, 2014 · autumnsandeen
This is a long-form article on MichFest's co-founder and current producer Lisa Vogel. The article contains extensive text of what Vogel has stated regarding trans people over several decades, as well as analysis and commentary on her carefully evolved language, but unevolved perspective, that trans women are males. Lisa Vogel, a co-founder and the producer of the Michigan Women's Music Festival (known more commonly as MichFest and by the acronym MWMF), has consistently defined trans women as both… Read more.
August 14, 2014 · Cristan Williams
Note: If you've not done so, please read Part III: Debunking TERF Essentialism, as this piece draws upon the debunked TERF ad naturam essentialism concepts - the "essence" of what makes one male or female - commonly found within TERF rhetoric. Chivalry culture is the flip-side of chauvinism and together they are part of the same rape culture coin. Promoting the idea that some people are inherently submissive because female-essence – and therefore need some form… Read more.
August 13, 2014 · Cristan Williams
Part III of the 'Sexing the Body is Gender' Series: Debunking TERF Essentialism In Part II, what gender is and is not was discussed and the ways in which we contextualize our bodies were reviewed. In this section, essentialism arguments regularly asserted as being self-evidently true are reviewed and deconstructed. When appealing to a substance – say, genetics, chromosomes, etc. – as being a sexed essence which defines how we collectively regard the… Read more.
By Debi Jackson Although I have been part of the LGBT community for the last three years since my daughter transitioned from male to female, I still seem to learn something new every day. Take, for example, my recent discovery of a group that some call TERFs, or Trans-Excluding Radical Feminists. Within the last few weeks, I’ve become a target of hate from some who watched a video of me giving a speech about my daughter’s transition. Most of that… Read more.
TERFs tend to behave much like a fundamentalist echo chamber so that once a new malicious anti-trans trope is created, it is quickly disseminated and replicated until the trans community and/or allied communities must waste their time addressing the fallacies. Therefore, the TransAdvocate has put together this list of debunked anti-trans TERF tropes for your reference. The Cotton Ceiling: TERFs assert that Planned Parenthood conspired to helped teach trans people how to force lesbians to have sex with them and this amounts to corrective… Read more.
By Lisa Kalayji Do you remember the 1990s MTV cartoon Daria? If you're old enough and young enough, you probably do. For those who missed it or are enjoying the memory slippages which apparently start at a lot earlier age than our parents told us they would, Daria was a cartoon series about a highly intelligent, cynical, and socially outcast teenaged girl, and she has something to teach us about the logic which gives rise to trans-exclusive radical feminism. In… Read more.
August 12, 2014 · Cristan Williams
Part II of the 'Sexing the Body is Gender' Series: Contextualizing the Body If one is talking about something that has chemistry and mass, one is not talking about the thoughts in one’s head. In this series, I will make this simple distinction knowing that there is robust and nuanced discussion around whether there is a biological predisposition that causes trans people to experience our bodies in the way we do. For the purpose of this post, I will make a distinction between that which we take to be… Read more.
Before you read further, I need to state a strong Trigger Warning: The following post recounts the circumstances surrounding the suicide of a trans women. Filisa Vistima was a 22-year-old transsexual woman from Seattle who had not been able to access the type of trans medical care she needed. She volunteered at the Lesbian Resource Center (LRC) and on March 6, 1993, Filisa took her own life after handling feedback from TERFs demanding that people like her be banned from the Center.… Read more.
The following article was published in 1974. Note the way the overall public held anti-trans views in contempt. Note the dismissive way the author of this article reported on TERF bigotry. I think this article serves as an important cautionary tale because I can't help but note that today, like in this 1974 article, some feminists and trans folk seem to think TERF anti-trans dogma is irrelevant. Please never forget the damage they've caused. They are as hubris as they are cruel; TERFs have repeatedly shown that they… Read more.
I have seen various version of this phrase. "Quit attacking your allies!" - many, many times. I've only been involved heavily in trans activism for about two years. How and why I've become as invested as I am is a long story; but at the end of the day, I am a woman who was assigned female at birth. I am cis. So, it's odd that this statement has been directed at me, but it often has. It's also something… Read more.
About a decade ago, the feminist community came up with the term Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) as a way to halt the default colonization of Radical Feminism and feminism itself by TERFs (and this move by feminists is, of course, claimed to be incredibly insulting). Now, under a wave of new awareness of the hate group hiding among them, feminism is becoming more vocal about its recrimination of TERFs. Old TERFs and TERF allies like Sue Hyde and Gloria Steinem have openly recanted their TERF rhetoric and… Read more.
What it is #TERFweek is a week of education, raising awareness and openly talking about the abuse our communities have endured at the hands of the Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist movement. From Monday, August 11 to the 17, we invite everyone to share their experience with the TERF movement using the #TERFweek tag. We hope that all our diverse communities will take this opportunity to speak with one voice, united in standing in opposition to the hate and very real harm this group has caused. Why… Read more.