Radical Feminism is Afoot at an Elite University, but You Can Catch a TERFer by the Toe – Opinion

Halloween’s the perfect time for a witch hunt, and the good people at the University of Cambridge have the holiday spirit — allegedly.

The elite UK school’s student union has released a handy handbook, The Best Way to Find TERF Ideology.

If you’re unaware, the acronym stands for “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.”

Accordingly, these fake-grass-sounding zealots can’t believe that a man with testicles isn’t a tot.

Such a thing is unwelcome amid regular feminism; it’s solely for the fanatical fringe.

This is the official document for students.

Transliberation is part and parcel of feminist thought.

Irrational fear can also take a steep climb:

Fight for freedom and autonomy must be for all, so there shouldn’t be any room for transphobia in feminist organizing.

The student union’s not only standing against strident scrotum discrimination; it’s offering instruction on how to detect said insanity and crush it:

Trans inclusive feminism is what we are committed to. This guide helps people understand what TERFs are and what makes “TERF-ism” a distinct subcategory of transphobia, how to spot TERF ideology, how to deal with it, and how to make spaces trans inclusive.

This is the meaning of the wording:

How can students break down the suppression of chivalrous feminists?

It is important to first understand the cause of the disease.

TERF ideology, a form of transphobia, is a special type. The primary TERF assertion is that trans women are not women, and accordingly have no place in women’s spaces. TERFs define misogyny as sex-based oppression, which results from being “biologically female” (a term they define flexibly, but can often be taken to mean people who are assigned female at birth).

The student union labels such a “narrow” view as “reductive.”

And if you — like Dave Chappelle — are “Team TERF,” you’re also a colonialist.

[TERFS]Do not forget that gender, sex, and other power systems interact with each other, like racism, ableism, colonialism, and slavery.

But if you’re enlightened, here’s how you spot said racist enablers:

  • TERFs often self-refer as “gender critical” or “adult human female”
  • They refer to believing in “sex-based rights”, “LGB rights”, and “protecting women and girls”
  • They refer to trans people as “TRAs” (Trans Rights Activists), “the trans lobby”, “the trans debate”, and to trans women as “TIMs” (Trans Identified Males)
They typically dislike the term cis(gender), and may say “I don’t have a gender identity” or “I don’t have pronouns”
  • TERFs will refer to issue of trans people in bathrooms or changing rooms as being about “predators” and co-opt the language of sexual violence to refer to trans people existing in public spaces
  • Their narratives represent transmasculine people as confused, redeemable, and often as children and teenagers “corrupted” by the “trans lobby”, and transfeminine people as predatory, aggressive, and the ones doing the corrupting.
  • This manual warns against arguing online with TERFs. You can message the person privately if you know them.

For dealing in person with TERFs, be careful of seduction

[T]The unique problem with TERF rhetoric? It is sung to sound like feminism.

First step to convincing them of their fluke

[T]Find out what they did with ry [the idea]From. They heard it from someone they know, or saw a news story about it. If they’ve read something. and it’s the first thing they’ve heard about trans people or the first time they’ve taken an interest, it may be relatively easy to inform them about where they’re going wrong, and why what they’re backing is harmful.

But what if, in just committing themselves to whatever wayward things they hear, they’ve caught wind of such notion from a person they “trust and care about”?

The Cambridge crew suggests you “talk through what the endpoint of their ideology is.”

An excellent way to awaken-shake is this:

[I]t may…be worth bringing up that TERFs (particularly the famous ones who figurehead the movement) spend a lot of time working with the far-right.

The document ends with a repeated warning: Don’t let yourself be tricked into conversion:

The language used in TERF ideology changes constantly, with an aim to sound reasonable. If your approach to spotting and fighting TERFs is purely based on words and optics, then you’re vulnerable to being taken onboard by a new dog-whistle or talking point. … The only way to prevent yourself falling prey to TERF talking points is to develop a critical understanding of concepts like sex and gender and the systems of power and oppression that underly them. The TERF ideology misunderstands and obscures these relationships. It is better to understand them.

“Trans liberation,” the instruction insists, “is feminism we should all be doing. More than inclusion, we should be aiming for liberation.”

Given such, your responsibilities include ensuring “trans people lead discussion and action on issues that affect them” and “engage in the struggles of all marginalized people.”

After all

Feminist spaces that don’t support transgender people can also be racist or ableist. The feminist work must be accessible and anti-racist.

There you have it, time for the hard work.

TERFism is going ’round; Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s seen herself singed by suggesting females have fallopian tubes (see the saga here, here, here, here, and here).

And The Handmaid’s Tale creator Margaret Atwood was recently reamed.

But Cambridge is on top of it — and a plethora of other social ills.

On the same page as the guide is a link to the student union’s Statement on Anti-Asian Hate and Violence.

CliffsNotes version: They’re against it.

And the front page of the University’s site offers an article about climate change: As it turns out, “Europeans want climate action but show little appetite for (a) radical lifestyle change.”

Some forms of extremism can be exemplary, while some are just plain crazy.

A unicycle is the best way to be radical.

But don’t fancy yourself a fundamentalist — the Cambridge kids implore — in a way that’s prejudice against prostates.

Save the world, and by all means, go green — but not in a TERF sort of way.

As noted by The Telegraph, Philosophy of Religion Professor James Orr is less than impressed with the student union’s guide. He’s condemned it as “a witch-finder’s charter.”

Using that analogy, understand what’s at stake.

Let’s face it, we all know what happens to TERF. People get burnt.



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