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Old 05-10-2019, 03:45 PM
clairobscur is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Paris
Posts: 17,885
Originally Posted by Miller View Post
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 don't necessarily spend a lot of their time arguing about transgendered people. They don't necessarily write their stance wrt this issue on the front page of their websites. They don't necessarily start a conversation by exposing these views. Their perception of transwomen ins't necessarily a central issue for them. What I'm saying is that many are visible and influential as feminists and women right activists, not as TE, and while their views with regard to women issues and gender relationships is based on the exact same prejudices, falsehoods and dogmas as their views wrt trans people but they are only ever called to task for the latter, while being listened to for the former.

Feminists don't oppress other women. These people are not feminists.
This is entirely a true Scotsman fallacy. Someone agitating for women rights doesn't have to share all of your views about those rights or anything else for that matter.

On top of which, feminists who feel that they're entitled to decide what other women should do aren't by far limited to TERF or even RadFem in general. Feminists who think that they know better than sex workers or BDSM practitioners what sex workers and BDSM practitioners should do with their life or in their bedroom are commonplace. If you were to deny to all of them the name "femisnist", then you'd reduce a lot the number of feminists, including some whose actions have undeniably improved the situation of women in general.

And you are wildly underestimating how strongly these women are motivated by bigotry against trans people.
No, I don't think so. The bigotry is evident, but I think it's for a large part the result and the consequence of their bigotry and hatred towards men, whose existence in the feminist movement is actively denied by many on the left arguing that there can't be such a thing as reverse sexism. Transwomen are only the fifth column of their real enemy, and they aren't treated any worse or with anymore prejudice than men are. I'm yet to see (in real life mostly long ago or on the web nowadays) any TE feminist who isn't filled with prejudice against men too, and in fact primarily.

When for instance they make their best to demonstrate that there's no such thing as men victims of domestic abuse and it's just a big conspiracy by the MRA, they use the same arguments, the same types of falsehoods and rely on the same dogmas they use to demonstrate that there's no such thing as transwomen and it's also just a big conspiracy by men, but their motivations and methods in the first case aren't questioned or even are uncritically accepted by the same people who immediately perceive the prejudice in the second case.

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.
I know nothing about this specific group.

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?
If it was you I was responding to originally, then yes I assumed you didn't know these things, not, on the other hand, that they were exculpatory.

I assumed it because I didn't think that someone familiar with radical feminism and TERFs would believe or state that they aren't genuine feminists with a genuine concern for women rights. A bit like, say, I would have assumed that someone stating that communists don't belong to the left and aren't genuinely concerned with the well being of the workers, but just pretend to be in order to impose a dictatorship doesn't know anything about communists. And I still think that your view about TERFs not being feminists is a Scotsman fallacy.

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."
Which still would be true and important to know.

Which makes me think that I forgot to mention earlier wrt your comment about me underestimating their bigotry that I think you might be underestimating the importance of theoretical constructs and political dogma in the views they develop. I couldn't tell with certainty whether the prejudice precedes the dogma or the other way around, but IME Radfem are extraordinarily heavy on theoretical concepts, at the expense of pragmatism. They tend to be convinced that they own the truth about life, the universe and all the rest, and, like most political extremists, that anything contradicting their dogma isn't just wrong but presumably an attack of the forces of evil on all that is good and sacred.

As such, I think that an assumption that bigotry in the abstract can alone explain their stance is mistaken. They don't have an issue with transwomen solely (maybe not even primarily) because they randomly dislike transwomen but also because they dare to contradict the dogma, according to which they shouldn't exist. And they give them the only place that the dogma allows : male infiltrators.

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.
Once again : Scotsman's fallacy. There's nothing saying that you can't be a feminist and a bigot.

And same response as usual with regard to "transwomen are women". You don't get to decide that the only valid definition of "woman" is "gender self-identification".

As I wrote above in response to another post, this is no different from saying that race is solely determined by self-identification and that anybody identifying as black should be welcomed in the the black community regardless of both physical appearance and life experience. It might be very inclusive of you to think so, but some people are going to disagree with this view, and not just out of hatred.

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?
The question would be : can women legitimately exclude people in general from places, activities, etc...on the basis of their personal safety? If so, what is the legitimate reason that allows them to refuse the presence of men, *exactly* ?
Because whether or not transwomen can be excluded depends on the responses to these questions.

For instance is there's a legitimate and serious concern that allowing a man in is dangerous, then it is legitimate to want to exclude someone who cannot be distinguished from a man. On the other hand, if the danger presented by men isn't a legitimate concern, then there simply shouldn't be women-only rooms. And besides, the idea that, assuming that men are inherently dangerous and women inherently not dangerous (so making excluding men a legitimate concern), transwomen would be not dangerous because they're women rests on the idea that the mental makeup of a transwoman is exactly identical to the mental makeup of a cis woman, an idea that, despite being promoted, is unproven. If only because nobody knows what is the difference, mentally, and if any, between a man and a woman.

So, no, I have difficulties envisioning a situation where there would be a legitimate safety concern justifying the exclusion of men that wouldn't also make the inclusion of transwomen at least open to debate. Same, basically with sports. I can't see a reason for the existence of separate women sports that wouldn't also make the inclusion of transwomen at least open to debate.

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.
True, not all RadFem are TERFs. But TERFs base their views on the same assumptions RadFems use. And in my view they're a bit like believers having two different interpretations of the scriptures. One group pushes the interpretation a bit further and as a result makes pronouncements the other group isn't comfortable with. But in the end they both believe in the same revealed truth, which is sufficiently flawed that it's no surprise that it leads the first group to these interpretations. Basically, I think that non TERF RadFems claims and reasonings generally aren't any more valid than, and exactly as faulty as, TERF claims and reasonings even if they disagree on the specific issue of transpeople.

In other words, I see TERFs as the natural children of radical feminism, and, to paraphrase the famous Game of Thrones sentence : "If you're surprised that TERF would be born from radical feminism, you haven't been paying attention".

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.
Well, even though I don't remember the exact wording of your post, you implied that they weren't feminists, which in mind meant that you thought they didn't really care about women issues, and were only using them as an excuse for trans-bashing.
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