TERF Battles

From Out Smart:  http://outsmartmagazine.com/2013/12/terf-battles/

Uncovering the hate group hiding in our own community.

by Cristan Williams
December 1, 2013

Transsexual surgery “could be likened to political psychiatry in the Soviet Union. I suggest that transsexualism should best be seen in this light, as directly political, medical abuse of human rights. The mutilation of healthy bodies and the subjection of such bodies to dangerous and life-threatening continuing treatment violates such people’s rights to live with dignity in the body into which they were born.”

This quote was written by an influential member of a group that has targeted transgender people for the last forty years. This group has done more to oppress trans people than any other hate group in existence. They have affected the lives of each and every trans person in America, and are the originators of many of the anti-trans memes we’ve all heard the radical Right use. However, far from being a creation of right-wing fundamentalist extremism, this is our own homegrown hate group: the Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, or TERFs, a term popularized by non-transgender feminists in 2008.

What’s both interesting and insidious about this group is that they’ve historically enjoyed acceptance within academia, progressive circles, feminism, and the gay and lesbian community. In the same way that other anti-LGBT fundamentalist groups wrap their hate in religion in order to make their views a part of religious discourse, TERFs wrap their anti-trans hate in the language of feminism, womanism, and/or lesbian culture.

The quote at the beginning of this article comes from Sheila Jeffreys, a TERF author, lecturer, and academic. Her quote appeared in a peer-reviewed paper published by the Journal of Lesbian Studies in 1997. The paper is titled “Transgender Activism: A Lesbian Feminist Perspective,” and it is being promoted on the website of a women’s rape shelter, which is where I found it.

Continue reading at:  http://outsmartmagazine.com/2013/12/terf-battles/

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