Activism and Politics > Activism

The F in TERF

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SadieBlake:
How about we make this about the ideas, not the people expressing the ideas?

I'm sorry but the fact is some feminists both older and contemporary do not recognize trans women as women. That's a fact and e.g. calling Germaine Greer "angry spiteful hate filled" or claiming that she or people who might identify as TERF aren't feminist is simply not accurate.

Germaine Greer is absolutely a feminist and rather than angry I'd call her contrarian. Feminism is at once a school of thought and an element of a political movement. She also identifies as a 'liberation' feminist as opposed to 'equality' feminist.

I happen to sit closer to 'liberation' feminism, it speaks to me more philosophically. That doesn't mean my views are TERF, far from it and I have no intent of acknowledging that trans exclusion is a good thing. However respectful discourse doesn't begin with trying to invalidate other people's identities.

Pride marches in both London and San Francisco last year saw some prominent anti-trans protests. This isn't accidental, because we have become far more visible as transition has become possible for many more of us than it was a scant 10 years ago. It makes sense that the places with the largest queer populations are going to have critical mass of people who may not be happy about us.

That doesn't change the fact that they're still a distinct minority.

I am accepted as a woman, lesbian and feminist in my community. I work toward making that true for everyone however it's not something that happens overnight.

KennedDoll:
I hope that transgender people being attacked focus on ideas, rather than the people expressing the ideas. I hope we will not make public statements that the echo chamber will present as feminism vs. transgender people.

emma-f:

--- Quote from: KennedDoll on April 14, 2019, 02:57:32 pm ---I hope that transgender people being attacked focus on ideas, rather than the people expressing the ideas. I hope we will not make public statements that the echo chamber will present as feminism vs. transgender people.

--- End quote ---

The problem is that as Sadie said above, (much better, might I add, than I tried to say), the people on the other side of the debate consider themselves feminists (and on any view are feminists) and therefore the TERF echo chamber will present the entire argument as transgender people v feminism. Their brand of feminism might be one which I personally disagree with, but any comments at all about our existence as women will, by some, be taken as an affront to their school of feminism.

KennedDoll:
So, let's not help them by referring to them as feminists. I'm not going to be able to get my point across, I guess. But, the problem with calling individuals "a feminist" is exactly this situation where anti-feminist ideas and actions are called feminist because someone has been declared "a feminist". Ideas and actions. Not individuals and privilege.

SadieBlake:

--- Quote from: KennedDoll on April 14, 2019, 08:29:38 pm ---So, let's not help them by referring to them as feminists. I'm not going to be able to get my point across, I guess. But, the problem with calling individuals "a feminist" is exactly this situation where anti-feminist ideas and actions are called feminist because someone has been declared "a feminist". Ideas and actions. Not individuals and privilege.

--- End quote ---

Your point is quite clear, you want to change the language in a way that's going to shut off conversation and yet you don't want to be seen as making it an ad-hominem.

You / we don't get to frame the terms of debate and it's unlikely you could get anyone but the tiny fraction of the women's movement represented by trans women to agree to your terminology

I think the point I'm trying to make is we've already won this argument with mainstream feminism. People have realized that anti-trans positions were inconsistent with the things that feminism should stand for, exclusion of trans women used to be mainstream, now it's a fringe idea.

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