The issue with “TERFS” (trans-exclusionary radical feminists)

Let me say it louder for the folks in the back: If your feminism isn’t intersectional, then it isn’t feminism.

As feminism grows into the new waves and creates sub-genres of itself, we continue to learn and grow with it while dealing with a changing yet stagnant society. We learn that there are different kinds of movements dedicated to certain parts of feminism, but understand that all interconnect to the same idea in the end.  What’s not great for the future of feminism is the subgenres within the movement that exist to exclude a party that is necessary for the growth of the new wave and the future. Open-mindedness is critical when it comes to the future. When we close off people from a label, we discredit their opinions and experiences and why they choose to associate with it. TERFS are trans exclusionary radical feminists. Meaning they’re feminists, but they’re either opposed to the equality or the inclusion of trans women.

Cis white women have excluded other women and have done this shit for years. They’ve called for equality while undermining African American and Asian women. They’ve stolen ideas and culturally appropriated from women of color. Let’s be honest, women have not been allowed to be sisters for a long time. The patriarchy hates when women team up, because they know there’s power in numbers and in sisterhood. So, why are there Terfs? Especially when we are just regaining our momentum into the destruction of the patriarchy and understanding the importance of powerful sisterhoods?

There have been trans people since the beginning of time. People believe that trans people are beginning to come out of nowhere. Which is an actively ignorant myth. It makes sense in some way – because they’re just starting to gain notice within modern society. But, they have been hiding in the shadows for decades due to the massive shame society has thrown on them before they’ve even had the chance to speak. This is because society wants things black and white: you’re a girl or a boy, you’re a wife or a husband, etc. There is no room for crossovers or challenging the norms.

Those who identify as Terfs are acting transphobic. I’m not saying they all are, I’m saying they’re acting like it. This is because there is still such little knowledge on the lives and times of trans people for a lot of women to truly understand the experience. But doesn’t that mean we need to include them even more? Terfs argue that trans women shouldn’t be allowed in safe spaces for cis women merely because they don’t understand the experience of being a “real” woman. Here is where it gets genuinely problematic. What the fuck is a real woman? Just because someone’s sex was not what they identified with at birth, it means their experience as a woman is invalid? And, why do trans women have to abide by an opinion of a Terf’s idea of what a real woman is? It’s hurtful, unproductive and outdated. Excluding trans people out of movements is backasswards. It only pushes them out of society once again.

Inclusivity is the future. Learning from each other is necessary to grow. Trans people have so much to give to the world, to each gender/ non-binary individuals. Feminism is already a taboo subject. Arguing within the movement about who can be a part of it and who can’t will take away from the entire point of the movement itself: equality. The point is equality, and trans women and men are entitled to everything we are, which including positivity and acceptance.

article written by megan gray

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