UK Political TERFism in action.
I just came across this screen capture on Twitter. It’s from the UK’s newly formed “Feminist Party” (more background on the party’s politics on this post by Sam Ambreen). In the minds of these feminists, a descriptor like cis is on par with known slurs used to dehumanize trans women. I find their views not merely disgusting but equally confounding because of how they limit themselves on the availability of tools to critically address the world. Denying the use of a descriptor like cis is not only violent towards trans and/or genderqueer people but it is also extremely binding in the sense that you deny yourself a useful tool to explain the world (yours and those around you). Turns out that their their bigotry is also intellectually unsound.
I have said this before but I see a common “ideological genealogy” between TERFism and White Supremacy. Both are rooted in the same kind of supremacist thinking (not the mention the myriad ways in which trans Women of Color are affected by both) and they operate on a similar pattern of terror. And just like White Supremacists deny any issues within white culture, TERFs equally deny the need to use cis (and equate it to a slur, in exactly the same way white supremacists cry “reverse racism” any time they are challenged). Notice how the one but last comment exactly mimics the rhetoric of White Supremacists (i.e. “PoC are always offended by racism, hence, we should readily dismiss their complaints beforehand, lest minorities are the ones deciding what is and isn’t racist”). While TERFism and White Supremacy are certainly not one and the same, I believe it is important to address how TERFism has appropriated their rhetoric, terror tactics and political strategies. I also believe identifying these appropriations is important to better support trans Women of Color who are forced to resist on both fronts and whose humanity is called into question by virtue of their womanhood and racial identity.
Transphobia is not only prevalent but supported in the most mainstream media in the UK (known transphobes like Burchill, Bindell, etc have spaces in widely read newspapers where their opinions are left unchallenged; it is no surprise that violent transphobes like Cathy Brennan are regularly invited and given a platform to spread their violence over there). It seems that now they are seeking institutional validation through traditional politics.
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