I keep seeing posts like “if you think terfism is only about transmisogyny you’re going to miss a lot of red flags” and that’s true but they don’t actually explain what those indicators are, which is kind of important when people are earnestly saying things like “disliking the word queer is terf rhetoric” and “being an exclusionist is terf rhetoric” while ignoring actual terf talking points
Like people are always arguing what is and isn’t TERFism because they’re not considering the obvious fact that TERFism is radical feminism, so if you wanna develop a sense for cryptos the way to do that is to learn what radical feminist ideology is and how that ideology developed. The q slur debate and exclusionism (whatever that refers to in the context) isn’t meaningful when you can hold those positions for a variety of reasons.
What is meaningful is biological and gender essentialism, not just outwardly saying “woman equals adult human female” but also stuff like “all women are trauma bonded to their mothers” “the afab experience of being taught you’re not as smart as men” and “the trauma of knowing you’ll never be seen as human like men are”. Of course we all know that radfems routinely align themselves with men, so men aren’t their real targets (even though they also erase the experiences of marginalised men with these statements); their goal here is to exclude trans women from the category of women by creating a narrative of shared experiences based on assigned sex and a notional female essence. Some even swap male/female/man/woman with afab/amab wholesale. It can’t be transphobia if it’s using trans inclusive terms like this right?
What’s actually meaningful is statements like “BDSM is how men groom women into enjoying abuse”, “hookup culture is men using women/emotionally damaging/inherently objectifying” and “women only pretend to enjoy anal sex/giving blowjobs/watching porn because men expect it”. These statements tell us about the underlying beliefs of the people saying them; that sex is how men oppress women, that women have no agency because they’re brainwashed into “false consciousness”, and that sex is inherently painful/degrading/harmful.
They do the same thing when they say “every time I criticize porn a bunch of randoms on anon call me a swerf boo hoo”; they’re just calling sex workers randoms instead of liberal feminists like radfems do. Sometimes they’ll claim to be communists or Marxist feminists and frame this in anti-capitalist language while still denying sex workers autonomy and basic need for safety at work, because they believe sex is harmful and that women who make choices they don’t like are
As a general rule, reactionary politics are themselves a huge indicator because so much of radical feminism is opposing social progress and is extremely reactionary, and these politics are usually wrapped in faux progressive language. “People are obsessed with sex these days, it’s disgusting” (a short stop from calling people cumbrains), “you can’t say anything without getting cancelled these days” (what exactly are you saying that would get you cancelled?), “Cultural relativism is brainrot” (routinely used to claim Black and Native cultures are inferior or backward while condemning postmodernism, which reactionaries think is a synonym for Marxism).
“Queer is a slur” doesn’t tell us anything though. Maybe they are against a term that unites LGBT people, or maybe they live in a country town where people will lean out from their car windows and scream it at any woman with short hair or man with long hair, or maybe they just don’t identify with it.
An indicator is useful when you can break down the implicit beliefs that it relies on and see if they originate in radical feminist ideology. It’s not useful when you follow the logic of “a lot of terfs say this therefore this is a radical feminist idea” when heaps of people who aren’t radfems also say that same thing and it has nothing to do with radical feminist ideology anyway
Shout to the people who ignored everything I said and hyperfocused on the word queer, thereby demonstrating that they care more about their pet ~discourse than real life issues
I understand this is coming from people who think LGBT history is something that exclusively happens on social media because they’ve never seen grass irl, but please try to understand that radical feminists are successfully lobbying to
- force trans people out of public life via anti-trans bathroom bills
- deny trans people essential gender affirming medical care
- introduce mandatory reporting to out trans kids to their parents
- criminalise sex workers via Nordic model legislation
- force indie porn performers out of their jobs via restricting their access to digital payments and criminalising their content
- and to restrict the free movement of migrants under the guise of preventing sex trafficking
I really don’t know how to explain that the problem with radical feminists isn’t that they’re a pain in your notes or even that they’re a vicious online mob, it’s that they are an organised political movement doing real life harm. The online component is part of how they recruit and organise, which is why it matters, but this is not just ~discourse
As hilarious as it is seeing people earnestly claim that queer has never been a slur and radfems just made that up, this argument is literally the least important thing mentioned here, and telling everyone that you care more about a word than you do about sex workers being arrested and trans kids being outed to their parents is ugly