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Old 05-10-2019, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by clairobscur View Post
They're a very vocal, very visible, long standing and pretty influential group. When they aren't attacking trans people (and, to a lesser extent voice their sex-negativity , but this bothers few people), their stances receive uncritical support by leftist activists.
Terfs have certainly been around for a while - they're pretty strongly associated with second wave feminism - but visible or influential? I can't speak for what its like in France, but Terfs find it very hard to find a platform in leftist circles in the US, and are almost totally excluded from queer circles. One of the shitbags mentioned in the OP's link says this expressly: they "

They're *definitely* not people who pretend to be feminist just to bash trans. They're feminists at the core, and have a long history as feminists, and are only incidentally and secondarily anti-trans.
Feminists don't oppress other women. These people are not feminists.

And you are wildly underestimating how strongly these women are motivated by bigotry against trans people.

Originally Posted by one of the founders of WoLF
“I really believe that if we lose this fight as women, we’ve lost everything,” said WoLF founder and midwife Mary Lou Singleton. Miriam Ben-Shalom of Hands Across the Aisle, a lesbian who was discharged from the military because of her sexuality and afterward protested the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, bluntly stated that she wants the T in LGBT “to go away.”
WoLF is a hate group. They exist specifically to advocate for discrimination against transwomen. And they're almost entirely funded by the Heritage Foundation. This isn't a genuine feminist movement. It's astroturf.

Their rejection of transsexuals being based primarily on their basic philosophy according to which there's no mental difference altogether between men and women, all observed and/or supposed differences being social constructs and/or the result of women oppression and/or of the pressures of the patriarchal culture, a position that obviously clashes with the stance of transsexuals (being a woman in a male body, etc... which assumes a difference between male and female brain). And also based on the idea that nobody who isn't born a woman can really be a woman, because he won't share the experience of being raised a girl and experiencing male oppression and cultural pressures girls are subjected to since birth.

And also, even though many social activists deny that such a thing exists, due to the presence in their midst of many men haters, who can only see transsexuals as sexually perverted males trying to steal from women the only thing they have ever been allowed to have : being a woman. When they aren't just simply pretending for sexual gratification. They don't hate trans per se, they hate the men they see pretending to be women, infiltrating women movements, stealing women achievements and entering women locker rooms. They don't see trans-women, they see men. Most would deny that transsexualism is even a thing. They're more lenient with trans-men, but they don't really spare them, either. Basically, these are traitors, "passing" as men.
I trying to figure out what part of this is A) something you think I don't already know, and B) is remotely exculpatory? Yes, they're bigots. You have accurately explained the nature of their bigotry. And?

They definitely aren't pretending. They have been and still are at the vanguard of all feminist movements, throwing their support at every feminist cause you are yourself supporting (and probably some you aren't). You want to believe that because it would fit nicely in your worldview where feminist activists are nice oppressed people who always fight the good fight against the oppressive male patriarchy, and trans activists nice oppressed people who always fight the good fight against the oppressive cis male culture. And where everybody disputing either group's claims is a hater. So, you'd rather invoke the "no true Scotsman" fallacy and assume that a feminist objecting to some or all of trans people claims isn't a true feminist (or is as rare an an unicorn) than face the reality of the presence in both group of people who have no interest whatsoever in the plight of the other group. Trans people who don't give a shit about the situation of non trans women and about the consequences policies they advocate for would have for them and feminists who don't give a shit about people who aren't born women and/or aren't physically women and about the consequences the policies they advocate for would have for them.
This is like saying, "A racist is someone who treats people like shit because of their race," and having someone well-actually with, "Racists don't think blacks are people at all, so your description of them is incorrect."

Feminists support women's rights. Transwomen are women. Terfs actively work to undercut transwomen's rights. They slander and libel them. They sometime physically attack them. They're bigots, full stop.

It's easy to accuse cis straight white males of being haters when they argue against trans-women in women locker rooms, because your world view definitely allows for them to be haters. But it doesn't allow for feminist women to be haters or to be deluded by extremist/fundamentalist beliefs that allow no nuance. So it becomes a problem when those feminists are arguing against the exact same thing, on the basis of longstanding views that you're otherwise supportive of, which can only be solved by denying that such sincerely feminist women exist, or at least are in any way representative or significant. I'm sure you'd have no problem agreeing with such a feminist stating "Given how much women are victimized, it's perfectly normal for a woman to be wary of all men and about their true intents, and to not assume honest intents on their part". But since you also throw your support to the trans cause, and to their claim that their gender identification shouldn't be disputed in any circumstance, you somehow have a problem when a feminist tells you "why should I assume honest intent on the part of a naked dick-waving person in my locker room just because he says "I feel I'm a woman", exactly?" "Why should I have to face such a situation that I find threatening and abusive and can't have a place where I feel safe, not even a place where I go to undress?"
Bigotry is often couched in terms of personal safety. I don't cut an excuse to white feminists who use personal safety as an excuse to discriminate against blacks. Why should I cut cis feminists an excuse when they discriminate against trans people for the same bullshit reason?

Being a feminist doesn't mean that one follows every single one of your progressive (or not progressive for that matter) ideas. Feminists won't necessarily stop arguing for the protection of women interests just because you feel they should in such or such circumstances for the benefit of groups they don't belong to. They won't necessarily feel that a situation isn't threatening just because you say that they shouldn't feel this way. They won't necessarily share any of your views that isn't directly related with feminism, and in particular your definition of "woman". Their feminist views (that, once again, you probably wouldn't dispute if they didn't impact a group that you favor) might very well bring them to absolutely oppose your values. They can very well, and very logically, note that their own interests as non trans women are at odds with the interests of trans women.
Treatment of transwomen is, in fact, directly related to the treatment of women. You can dismiss this as a "article of faith" if you want, but then, "women should be treated the same as men," is also an article of faith. And let's be clear, because you muddy the waters on this quite a bit: feminism, radical feminism, and trans-exclusionary radical feminism are not the same thing. I know lots of radical feminists. Several of them are transwomen. None of them are bigots. Radical feminist != Terf. The latter is a small subset of the former, which is itself a small subset of feminism in general.

These radical feminists aren't really rare among vocal activists (they're quite rare in the general population, but then again, casual feminists in the general population aren't necessarily very supportive of trans rights, either). It's just that you probably don't question their equally radical statements when they don't impact trans people. Think about it for a minute : why would you assume that one couldn't at the same time be a sincere feminist (like denouncing sexual abuses, or income differences) and being anti-trans? Is there any obvious reason you can see why being supportive of one issue would make you necessarily supportive of the other? And as I already pointed out, there are on top of this reasons why radical feminist ideology will not be accepting of the concepts generally advanced in support of transsexuals.
Where did I say they were insincere about other feminist-related issues? I'm sure they're honest when they complain about the gender pay gap. I'm sure they're honest when they worry about rates of sexual assault. But I know they're not being honest when they slander transwomen, impute sinister motives to them, attack them in public, and ally with the absolute worst elements in society - elements that are adamantly opposed to literally every other part of their agenda - because their hate isn't getting any traction in mainstream liberal circles.

Last edited by Miller; 05-10-2019 at 12:39 PM.