Today I learned what a TERF is. I’ve heard the term before, but never looked into it and I wish I had sooner. TERF is a dangerous acronym used to hide bigotry behind the idea of an equal future where everyone is the same and no one else exisits.
TERF, or Trans-exclusionary Radical Feminists, is a self-proclaimed feminist group that excludes Trans People from the benefits of feminism, and from the benefits of living in society, all together. Labeled Terfism rather than feminism TERF’s believe in a different type of equality, one that doesn’t include…everyone.
The goal of TERF is to exclude Trans People from being productive members of society, to exclude them from any exceptions under the law and rather allow discrimination against them instead, and to exclude them from any benefits being a living breathing person gets you (or should get you if we treated people as people despite gender, color, and wage gap).
Here’s what TERF’s don’t understand. Feminism isn’t just about advancing the rights of woman (and only cisgendered women), it’s about showing a profound respect for humanity by including women and all members of society as equally different as we all are.
Feminism isn’t just about women in CEO positions, or better pay for women in lower paying jobs (but not Transgender woman), it’s about better pay for all.
Feminism isn’t just about women doing a “typical” man’s job and respecting her for it the way you would a man, but also men doing a “typical” woman’s job, and– even if women haven’t achieved that level of respect yet, but have been doing these jobs for many years– respecting him for taking on the some of hardest jobs in the world…
…as a Dad, loving and raising the next generation of human beings.
…as a nurse, caring for, healing, and comforting the sick and their families.
…as a teacher, raising the next generation’s knowledge seekers who will change the way we see the world.
Feminism is founded on the premise of advocating for women’s rights amongst a long ago man’s oppression that is still grasping onto discrimintory values in the back alleys and corners of the world. That doesn’t mean we advocate for the loss of rights or to keep rights away from other groups of people. That is not feminism that is stepping on the little guy to get what you want.
After everything women have fought for throughout history to be seen as an equal part of humanity, and with how very far we still have to go, to discriminate against another group of people is disheartening
Terfism is a means of seeking rights for only one specific group of people while petitioning against the rights of others. That is not feminism or fighting for equality. That is fighting for bigotry and disguising it with ugly smelling flowers.