Most TERFs claim to be left-wing – but scratch the surface of their “reasonable and legitimate gender-critical concerns” and you’ll find that some of their beliefs more closely align with the far right.
This article has originally been published by Andie Pas de Deux on her blog.
I’ve always been a leftie. Like many people, I picked up my political beliefs from my parents. Until they retired, they were both working-class folk.
My interest in politics was piqued in the 1980s when my dad’s job with British Rail (and those of thousands of other railway workers) was threatened by the Thatcher government. He was eventually made redundant. The Tories were the bad guys, and later events like the Poll Tax riots and the miners’ strike did nothing to change my mind about them.
Labour was far more appealing to me. As well as fighting the corner of the working man and woman, I loved (and still do) how it fought for the marginalized people, the minorities. Labour stood up for the little guy, and its principles were sound and true.
By the time I was old enough to vote, the Lib Dems were becoming a force, so I gave them my cross in the box in 1992. In all the subsequent elections, I voted Labour. Except the last one, when the Greens got my vote.
All three of those parties have fairly sound LGBT+ policies today and release an LGBT+ manifesto each general election. So do the Tories, to be fair, these days. UKIP didn’t bother at the last election. Says it all.
Which brings me back to the TERFs, our reasonable, concerned feminist friends who aren’t at all transphobic (heaven forbid) but just “gender critical”. Yeah, right.
When I first became aware of these foul people, I was amazed to see a good many were Labour Party members. Not just voters but members! How the hell can you be a bigot and support a tolerant, inclusive left-wing party?
You might remember the news last year where a few dozen Labour members threatened to leave the party because it supported trans women being considered for all-women shortlists.
I’m no Jeremy Corbyn fan, but fair play to him for sticking to his guns. A few TERFs then quit the party (see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya!) while one or two were suspended for their transphobia – and then quit before they were kicked out.
#labourlosingwomen became a popular hashtag at the time on social media. Trans people responded with #labourlosingtransphobes.
And then the TERFs complained that they were “politically homeless” or “in the political wilderness”. They couldn’t support Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens or the Women’s Equality Party because none of them are transphobic – they all support trans people. I guess stopping being hateful bigots never crossed their minds.
Even the Tories are upping their LGBT+ game of late, with Conservative MP Maria Miller fighting for trans people as chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, and its inquiry into trans people’s rights, which began in 2016.
Only Tory MP David TC Davies seems to back the TERFs. It’s amazing how “gender critical” women, many of whom are lesbians, are quite willing to overlook his voting record on LGBT+ rights just so that he can give them a voice in Westminster. Oh well, TC, I suppose one MP out of 650 ain’t bad…
Which brings me to my point. If you’re a TERF, you’re a bigot. And if you’re a bigot, you’ve no place in left-wing politics.
Look more deeply into their “reasonable concerns” and you’ll see blatant transphobia. Scratch a little deeper still and you’ll find homophobia, Islamophobia and racism. Don’t take my word for it – a quick glance at Twitter will prove my point.
There have been suggestions that some TERF groups are being financed by super-rich evangelical groups in America, run by people who preach hatred against LGBT+ people in the name of God. How very Christian. First, they came for the trans people…
Our “gender critical” pals are well known on social media for their childish sticker campaigns. The stickers look like this…
Great, eh? The last one refers to trans children and was from Transgender Trend, whose founder suggested sticking them “on your pencil case”. And this is someone who claims she has the interests of trans children at heart. I don’t think so.
Today, I noticed another transphobic sticker campaign, again referring to families, which was re-posted on Twitter by @TerfBlocker. Here it is:
The National Front – says it all, doesn’t it? “Don’t be a gender offender… Support the traditional family.” The transgender symbol is crossed out while the male and female symbols have a great big tick next to them.
There’s also the National Front logo, NF contact details and, somewhat bizarrely, the picture of the family from the Cold War Protect and Survive campaign – a nod to the “nuclear family”, no doubt.
What’s a nuclear family?
- a couple and their dependent children, regarded as a basic social unit.
I had a look at the National Front blog referred to on the sticker. A search for “transgender” on there throws up only one post, entitled Straight Pride, having a pop at gay people who choose to give loving homes to children who’d otherwise be in care.
In this perversion of Britain, the homosexual lobby has become so powerful that homosexual “couples” are now permitted by Law to adopt children. It is an abomination that little boys and girls should be in the care of a “daddy” and a “mummy” who are in fact to two adult men.
No decent, caring society would tolerate such an abuse of children’s innocence and vulnerability. The homosexual lobby has come a long way from “consenting adults in private”.
Wow. I know all about the accusations of racism among National Front supporters, but that’s some pretty strong homophobic language there. How much longer before the transphobic sentiments on that sticker become policy?
Anyway, dear TERFs, you’re not lefties. While you’re stuck in the Dark Ages with your views on trans people, no better than some Trump-supporting skinhead on a National Front march, everyone else has become more enlightened – even the Tories!
And you’re not politically homeless. Your views and your campaign tactics when it comes to trans people are identical to those of the far right. May I respectfully suggest that you sod off there, where you and your vile ideologies belong? Though I’m not sure how well your feminism will go down.
Andie is a trans woman in her 40’s from the Midlands in the UK. She has been blogging about her journey since asking for a referral to the GIC Gender Identity Services. Her Blog also serves as a journal of her transition. Her blog can be found here. Andie is a guest writer at Susans and this article has been published with her permission.
Great article, that said believe it or not I understand the “political wilderness” some of these ex Labour members find themselves in. The shocking thing is that the wilderness is self-inflicted, I do not agree with all of Labour’s policies and not all the Jeremy Corbyn says or does (but I do respect him) but that does not mean I need to stop supporting the party. When you so radically disagree with some parts of the policy, which the TERF’s clearly do, then you are forcing yourself out of the party, not the other way round. The left side of politics is generally supportive of all in society (unless you go too extreme!) Those that have an adversity to minorities in society, in this case Trans*, really need to look in the mirror and open up a bit. There is no place in society for a bigoted view, hence no political party. Especially if you have suffered inequality shouldn’t the reaction be to try to stop inequality for everyone? Just like the t-shirt slogans, You can’t stop being Trans, but you can stop being transphobic!