Some questions for TERFs

During and after writing my last post, I spent a little time browsing the blog it came from and reading the Manifesto of the Gender Rebels posted there. It left me with some questions, and the blogger herself, purplesagefem, has kindly invited me to ask them. Other TERFs, please feel free to respond as well!

And right on the tails of that, a caveat: I do ask you to be considerate when using gendered language in your responses. Please be as precise and neutral as possible – what I’ve read so far was often hard to parse in terms of clarity and caused a lot of discomfort. If you do not wish to use trans people’s preferred pronouns and gendered terms, please default to gender-neutral expressions. I have tried to do the same in my questions. (I might have messed up some because I don’t have a good sense of TERF-approved vocabulary, though.)

Soo, questions! I didn’t bother with using the list function because it seems like that tends to get lost in copying the whole thing anyway, but I hope they’re readable. I might think of more over the next few days (or right after posting this) and add them later, and I very probably will have follow-up questions to their answers. (Which I will pose in a new post, unless you’re uncomfortable with me reposting/linking to your answers, in which case please tell me so up front.)

1. What is a “man”, what is a “woman”? If there are people who are neither: what are they?

2. A person is born with a vulva. The people around them refer to them as a woman, use “she” pronouns, and tell them they must not use the word “man” or “he” to refer to themselves. One could argue that these are unnecessary rules and limitations placed on them based on their anatomy just as much as the expectation that they wear dresses, play with pink dolls, wear make-up, etc. Do you disagree? If so, why? What difference do you see between the various limitations?

3. Similar to (2), but it might elicit different answers, so I’m putting it in as a separate question anyway: what does it mean to you to abolish gender? Would this include abolishing gendered words (like pronouns, “man”, “woman”, etc.)? Would it include abolishing gendered bathrooms, locker rooms, prisons, etc.? Why/why not?

4. Do you support elective body modifications like piercings (ears or elsewhere), tattoos, braces, implants (e.g. magnetic implants, birth control implants, breast implants, cosmetic implants like artificial horns or artificial cheekbones), breast reductions, mastectomies, hysterectomies, sterilisation, hormones (e.g. as form of contraception, to reduce post-menopausal problems, or as part of transition), laser treatment for hair removal or to correct eyesight?
a) If you support some, but not all of these modifications, which ones and why?
b) If you support certain modifications in some instances, but not others, which ones and why?

5. From what I have read, you seem to believe the following about gender dysphoria:

I) Gender dysphoria is caused by internalized gender stereotypes and norms, often combined with homophobia.

a) Is this an accurate representation of your beliefs?
b) If so, do you believe it applies in all cases? Why (not)?
c) What do you think about trans people who do not conform to gender stereotypes about the gender they wish to transition to or have transitioned to?

II) Gender dysphoria can be cured by working on finding, dismantling and unlearning these internalized beliefs.

a) Is this an accurate representation of your beliefs?
b) If so, do you believe it applies in all cases? Why (not)?

III) This (II) is preferable to transitioning.

a) Is this an accurate representation of your beliefs?
b) If so, do you believe this is a matter of personal preference (that is, for some people transitioning might be preferable and for some not) or equally true for everybody?
c) If you believe it is true for everybody, why do you think people transition?
d) Do you believe that that transitioning and dismantling internalized gender stereotypes/homophobia are mutually exclusive, or that transitioning is detrimental to the latter?
e) Some (or even many) trans people express high satisfaction with their decision to transition. What do you think about that?

IV) Gender non-conforming people are pushed into transitioning.

a) Is this an accurate representation of your beliefs?
b) Some (or even many) trans people claim that this was not the case for them, and often even that – in contrast – their environment strongly pushed them to remain in their assigned gender. What do you think about that?


4 thoughts on “Some questions for TERFs”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s