As regular readers will know, I have no patience with TERFs – Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists. I had my very own “situation” a few weeks ago – and then had my say on Dame Jenni Murray’s despicable comments about trans people in a national newspaper. I decided to investigate these TERFs further. And guess what – they’re massive on Mumsnet.
A few weeks ago, I told a friend about my trans thing – and it all went horribly wrong. I won’t go into detail but it involved her telling me her strong views on transwomen in “women-only spaces” and how transwomen couldn’t be “real” women because they hadn’t menstruated. Huh.
After writing a blog piece on the meeting – and my views on TERFs – my visitor stats went mental as hundreds of people flooded in over that weekend, seemingly referred by Facebook.
I have very strong suspicions that they were referred from a Mumsnet group – the person I told is a big fan.
And let me be clear, I have no gripe with Mumsnet. Loads of my friends use it, and they say it’s a godsend when it comes to parenting advice. If you want to know why little Jimmy won’t eat his peas, ask for tips on how to get him to sleep at night or just get some moral support from other mums and dads making up parenting as they go along, it’s brilliant.
What I object to is the Feminist forum. And again, don’t get me wrong – there’s a wealth of brilliant information in there. Recent posts in the Feminist Activism and Feminist Theory sub-forums include these:
- Feminists, what are your views on porn?
- Scrap the Rape Clause petition
- Men in Feminism (and their lack thereof)
- Would women be any better in charge?
Great debates. Brilliant. Bravo Mumsnet! But then you look at the Feminist Chat sub-forum and things take a turn for the worst. This is crawling with TERFs. On the first page alone, there are threads with titles such as:
- Why I became an evil TERF
- Gender Critical Reference Thread
- I’m Jenni Murray
- Tori Amos, confirmed TERF
- Being called a bigot and transphobe – my response
- Misgendered trans people doth protest too much
And there are many, many more.
I don’t want to dwell on the vile, hate-filled content of the transphobic TERF threads, but several dwell on reported crimes committed by trans people. Yes, some trans people are criminals – so are some cis people. Get real, ladies! You can’t label all trans people sex offenders or whatever just because a tiny minority of them have committed a crime. You might as well label all cis men rapists. Mind you…
Then there’s stuff like this…
I agree that those in possession of a penis shouldn’t be allowed access to female spaces….in the meantime, whilst those who are transitioning but still are pre op, should be offered a different space…another toilet, another changing room.
Why?! They just want to have a bloody wee! Behind a locked cubicle door!
But they self identify, so we all have to walk on eggshells around them.
No you don’t – just don’t be nasty to them. They just want the same rights as you. I assume you self-identify as a woman, too?
If a man is dressing as a woman but has no plans to have a sex change then he is not a transwoman but a crossdresser surely. Or even a drag queen.
No, loads of transwomen don’t want surgery “down there” and are perfectly happy with the effects of HRT alone. What’s between their legs is none of your business.
And so on, and on, and on, and on. It’s like turning the clock back 30 years when gay, lesbian and bisexual were fair game for being called freaks. Well, we’re LGBT, and we’re not going to stand for it.
Mumsnet seems to be full of TERFs talking about the “trans agenda”, but the only agenda trans people really have is that they want to be treated like any other human being – with the same rights, and without getting their head kicked in or verbal abuse every time they walk down the street just for being different.
Reading between the lines, it seems many of these TERFs have serious anger issues, and that some of these stem from bad experiences with men – cisgender MEN.
Now don’t get me wrong – men can be absolute twats. Compared to women, they drive like twats, they have bigger egos, they can treat women like dirt, they’re harder to talk to, they’re more socially inept, they smell, yadda, yadda, yadda, we know. As a non-binary person, I identify far more closely with women than men.
But TERFs have got to stop putting transwomen in the same bracket as cis men – because they ain’t the same thing. Transwomen are women – just like you. It’s just that you were lucky enough to be born with the right body, whereas they have to fight tooth and nail to change theirs – that’s if they come through all the bullying and suicide attempts.
The vast majority of transwomen on the web – especially Twitter – are staunch feminists. They post messages of feminist support all the time, they go on marches, they do whatever they can to help women.
But unlike the TERF brigade, they don’t hit out at one small sector of the sisterhood just because they’re different.
Women-only spaces? OK, this guy was assigned female at birth. He had a vagina, a womb, ovaries, the lot. To be honest, I’ve no idea what’s down below now. I don’t care.
Do you really want him in the ladies’? Because that’s what Donald Trump and his crony lawmakers in the States want. So what’s the difference between what they want and what you want? If I’ve got that wrong, comment box is below!
TERFs need to realise that transgender people aren’t going to go away. We’ve been around as long as humanity – and we’re just beginning to get braver and stronger. That’s why referrals to gender clinics have mushroomed in the last couple of years. You can hate us all you want – though we’d rather you didn’t – but we’ll just shout even louder.
So instead of transferring your hatred of cis men on to transwomen, why not educate yourselves, and you’ll see that trans people are some of the warmest, kindest, sweetest people you could ever meet. They don’t want to attack you – they just want to be accepted. Have you ever met a trans person, ever spoken to one? No?
Maybe you should. Then you’d see that they’re not two-headed monsters. They just prefer to express themselves in a more feminine way, er, because they’re women. And we see bollocks-for-brains men in just the same light that you do. Oh, and when we take estrogen, it kills our sex drive… so go figure.
I’ve spent the past year coming out to my friends – two or three male but maybe a couple of dozen female. Apart from one, this couldn’t have gone better. I’ve been accepted unconditionally by my girl friends. They’ve wanted to know the whole back story, which pronouns to use, everything. We’ve even done stuff like clothes shopping and makeup parties. It’s been beautiful.
Some of those women are staunch feminists – some less so. But they’re all feminists to one degree or another. But not one of them is a TERF. I know that, when in my finery, I could walk into the ladies’ room with any one of them on my arm, and be proud to walk by their side.
I also know that some of them have had their eyes opened about trans issues – some still have loads to learn. But that doesn’t mean they’ve become mean, nasty, vindictive TERFs just because they’re not as informed as other people. They’ve just asked lots of questions and opened books.
Jenni Murray claimed transwomen could never be “real women” a couple of weeks ago in the Sunday Telegraph. It’s old news now – you all know her unreasonable reasoning.
To me, being “a real woman” has nothing to do with genitalia or whether or not you’ve had a period or a child. You know you’re a woman – or transfeminine non-binary, like me – because you feel it in your heart.
“We have more in common than that which divides us.” Quote of the decade. Real women have hearts which are pure and full of love for other people. Their hearts and their minds are open – not closed to minorities just because they’re different, because they don’t want them to join their special club.
And that’s why the Mumsnet TERFs aren’t real women – just angry, bitter and twisted trolls who should address their own anger and issues instead of slagging off other people like teenage keyboard warriors.