OP is a TERF: Liberal Feminists and 1984

If you pay attention to mainstream feminist blogs on Tumblr – or mainstream feminism anywhere, really – you will likely know what a TERF is.

TERF is a term used to describe radical feminists. It stands for “trans exclusionary radical feminist” or “trans exterminatory radical feminist”. Neither of those are accurate descriptions of radical feminist theory or activism – we do not focus our activism on excluding trans people, who focus on making the world a better place for females, and we do not exclude trans people. The very definition of the word “female” includes trans men, who are biologically female and thus benefit from feminism.

This usage of the term TERF has a few goals in mind. The first is to make radical feminism this “other” thing. When a popular blogger says “OP is a TERF” it is followed by (whether vocalised or not) a declaration that anybody who is not a violent bigot needs to unfollow or block them immediately. This often results in threats of violence or death being sent to that radical feminist blogger (which is illegal, at least in Canada, and I will talk about that in another blog post). I have my ask box turned off on my tumblr blog for that specific reason.

Many radical feminists are familiar with the suppression of critical thinking in the liberal feminist community. Most of us used to be libfems ourselves; plenty of us have received anonymous asks from people who have rejected liberal feminist ideology but are too afraid to start reblogging stuff from our blogs or become an openly radical feminist blog in any other way.

This results in an Orwellian state of affairs in the liberal feminist community. Even aside from any possible allusions to Animal Farm – the liberal feminists (who may have originally intended to work for women) gradually became more and more like anti feminists until the two became one and the same – many, many comparisons can be made to 1984.

Liberal feminism has become like the Two Minutes Hate from 1984, where everybody screamed at a screen depicting enemies without knowing why. This results in libfem after libfem after libfem mindlessly chanting “OP is a TERF” without knowing who TERFs are (other than the fact that we’re apparently bad) or what we believe. The most vivid example of this is one anti-DDLG blog I saw on Tumblr who posted something along the lines of “if TERFs actually cared about children they would be against DDLG and CG/L”, obviously completely ignorant of the fact that we are all against that abomination.

Doublespeak in its entirety is used in liberal feminism. Doublespeak doesn’t merely involve believing wholeheartedly in things that are blatantly untrue. It involves changing the past to support that misguided belief. Anyone who is familiar with liberal feminism and trans politics will know exactly what I’m talking about here. We have liberal feminists saying “trans women are women” over and over again, like an obedient parrot. They have persuaded themselves that trans women are women, despite anything that scientists say about the matter. And they are trying to rewrite history as well. Look at how the Stonewall Riots are being portrayed. Cherno Biko, a well-known trans activist and rapist, tweeted on January 23 “40 years after Sylvia and Marsha fought the TERFS, Black trans women myself included are still being targeted and attacked” and “personally IDGAF and Marsha’s tactic of paying it no mind but I don’t want trans kids fighting TERFS 20 years from now”. First of all, us radical feminists are not targeting and attacking trans women. The people who are – men – don’t give a flying fuck about radical feminists beliefs; to them we are women who refuse to cater to them. Radical feminist beliefs about trans women are not causing men to attack and murder. Furthermore, trans women seem to be the ones being violent – do I need to go pull up that giant long Tumblr post listing cases where trans women have attacked, been violent, or behaved otherwise inappropriately towards women? What about the fact that Cherno Biko himself has been accused of rape? That’s conveniently ignored.

Newspeak in 1984 involves the gradual destruction of language in order to eliminate freedom of thought and the ability of people to revolt against oppression. In liberal feminism, the denotation of words doesn’t matter; words mean what a libfem wants them to mean. Vaginas refer to a trans woman’s genitals. Using biologically correct pronouns is violence. Homosexuality is bigoted bisexuality (this one especially pisses me off. Leave lesbian women and girls alone, for fuck’s sake).

In liberal feminist circles, two and two add to make five. Radical feminists are the only ones brave enough to insist that it actually adds to four.

Radical Feminism vs. Liberal Feminism: A Comparison

If you don’t live under a rock in the middle of the forest, you will know that feminism exists. You might also know of the vast bridges in belief of different groups of people who claim to be feminists. The two main groups are radical feminists (often derogatorily referred to as “TERFs” or “SWERFs”) and liberal feminists (mainstream contemporary feminists). These two groups, who frequently argue with each other, both claim to be working to advance women’s rights. You might be confused by this.

If you are, this post is for you; I’ve written a comparison of radical feminism vs. liberal feminism (mainstream feminism) here for you to familiarise yourself with the differences between the two groups, using examples. This will also help you can figure out for yourself which group is actually working to advance women’s rights.

BDSM: Radical feminists think BDSM is fucked up and irredeemable. We think that it is a way for men to be in complete control of women and abuse them without women being able to do anything about it. We note the numerous violations of consent that occur, things like “consensual non-consent” (which in Canadian law isn’t legally valid), sub drop, and aftercare. We believe that healthy sex should not incorporate anything of these things. We note how female subs are expected and encourage to push their body to the limits to please their male dom. We take note of how the BDSM community seems incapable of keeping it in the bedroom (if they did how the fuck would we know so much about it?) and of all the fucked up things that are posted to fetlife. We especially criticize DDLG/CGL (stands for daddy dom/little girl or caregiver/little), which is the fetishization of pedophilia. It is where a man pretends that his girlfriend or wife is a child while he has sex with her.

Liberal feminists see BDSM as “kinky” and ignore harms that come from it. They think that things like Fifty Shades of Grey are awesome (I’ve already written a blog post on what I think about that awful book – it is here if you want to read it – Fifty Shades of Grey and BDSM Culture). They accuse people pointing out the harms of BDSM of “kinkshaming” (which is basically pointing out that something is bad. Apparently pointing out bad things is bad now). Fortunately, they do seem to be against DDLG.

Gender Identity: Radical feminists believe that the concept of gender identity is dumb. We think that it is based on stereotypes about what men and women should be and should act like. We think that a woman deciding she’s not a woman because she doesn’t like makeup or pink is absolutely ridiculous and only serves to reinforce those stereotypes.

Liberal feminists see gender as an integral part of a person’s sense of self. They think gender is a fun thing to play around with, like a toy in a sandbox. They think that the stereotypes are what actually make somebody male or female, not biology. According to them, anyone who doesn’t conform to the stereotypes of gender is not female or male – they could actually be genderfluid, genderqueer, or trans.

Pornography: Radical feminists believe that pornography is degrading and dehumanizing, and that it is systematic violence against women. We look at the violence in porn and how most of it is directed against women. We notice the use of misogynistic slurs in pornography as a way to degrade women. We pay attention and support the voices of women who speak out about the ways they were abused on the pornography set and how harmful the lifestyle was. We look at different types of pornography and point out that they are all intended to enable men to reach orgasm by watching women in pain. We point out how porn involving people of colour incorporates harmful stereotypes about that group of people into the pornography. We notice how, despite the fact that many women in porn are screaming “no” and “stop” during filming, the man continues to rape her (because she has withdrawn her consent by screaming no and stop; it is rape at that point). We note the connections between pornography use and perpetuating violence against women and being willing to rape women.

Liberal feminists think pornography is a perfectly fine expression of sexuality. They don’t care about any of the above-mentioned issues at all. They even think porn can be feminist; “feminist porn” is now a category. It involves less dehumanization and less degradation, which apparently makes it feminist. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.)

Prostitution: Radical feminists believe that prostitution is harmful to women. We point out that many women are only in prostitution because they have been trafficked or because they have no alternative way to earn money and survive. We also think that prostitution only exists because men think they have an inherent right to sex (if they didn’t, they wouldn’t buy the sexual consent of women). Prostituted women have much higher rates of PTSD and are much likelier to be the victim of male violence against women, and this is something we point out. Radical feminists support the Nordic model of regulating prostitution; buying sex is a crime but selling sex is not.

Liberal feminists see prostitution as empowering and as a valid exercise of agency. They label anybody who says otherwise a “SWERF” (which stands for sex work exclusionary radical feminist). By absolutely everybody, I mean absolutely everybody – former prostitutes who speak out about the things that happened to them while they were in the industry are silenced. To them, prostitution is just like any other job and should be completely legalized so… (from a radical feminist point of view, nothing good will come from legalizing prostitution. Human trafficking will shoot through the roof and johns will become even more violent) Most liberal feminists who are prostitutes themselves do not face the violence that most prostitutes face.

Transgender People: Radical feminists support people with sex dysphoria. Many radical feminists have sex dysphoria, and many transitioned or were on the path to transition before realizing that it wasn’t for them. We think that transition is not the only option (ie that people with dysphoria can find other ways of coping with dysphoria instead of surgically altering their bodies). We are extremely critical of people who transition because they “feel” like they are female, because we recognize that being a woman is not a feeling. We are offended by the fact that these people, who seem to have a feminine fetish more than anything, then tell us that they are more of a woman than we are because they wear makeup and dresses. We believe that attraction is based on biological sex, not gender identity, and hate people who are trying to force lesbian women to date trans women by telling them that if they don’t they’re horrible bigots and are transphobic. We do not want trans women in our female-only spaces; we believe that if trans women want a space for themselves they are welcome to create one; they should not be trying to force their way into our spaces so they can tell us how oppressive the mere mention of menstrual cramps is.

Liberal feminists unconditionally support trans people. They insist that feminism needs to include everybody and that feminism that does not include trans women is not actually feminism. They dub radical feminists “TERFs” (trans exclusionary radical feminists) and harass us, both on the internet and in real life. Radical feminist tumblr blogs who do not turn off asks get countless threats, many of them of sexual violence. Meanwhile, they claim that we are the mean and violent ones, and that we harass and cause the murder of trans women. They never go into detail about how we supposedly do this, and they never will, as it is merely a manipulative silencing tactic.

In Conclusion: Radical feminists critique an issue by looking at how it affects women. Liberal feminists critique issues by… never mind; they don’t actually critique things, they just accept them as “empowering uwu” and move on.

University of Toronto and Dr Jordan Peterson

Anyone who goes to, or is familiar with, the University of Toronto, will likely have heard of the controversy surrounding Dr. Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology.

This fall, Peterson released a series of YouTube videos where he announced his decision to use pronouns based on biological sex, not gender identity. After their release, the university has done its best to censor him. They have sent him letters of reprimand, among other things.

Late last year the University of Toronto held a “debate” – if you could call it that – where Peterson faced off against two other professors. They vastly exaggerated their claims, comparing him to a man who had announced racist beliefs regarding white people and black people. As I am white, it

In doing all this, the University of Toronto seems to be forgetting its purpose. Universities are places of critical thinking and of higher learning. They are not safe spaces where people can propagate ridiculous ideas about gender without being challenged on those ideas. By coddling students, the university is also doing a piss-poor job of preparing students for the real world, where someone’s announcement that they are genderqueer will be met with muttered statements of “what the fuck does that mean”. The Ontario government has assisted and legitimized this gender madness by adding gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

In Canada the main document guaranteeing human rights is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. While there are debates about whether or not this applies to universities, the general principles contained in the Charter should be applied throughout the country. Freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression (commonly referred to as freedom of speech) is one of those human rights. The ensuing debate surrounding Peterson has the intended goal of stifling his speech – a common liberal feminist tactic of preventing any realization that their ideas are ridiculous and inane.

In Canada, the sections of the Criminal Code that regulate speech are 319(1) and 319(2) – Public incitement of hatred and willful promotion of hatred. Peterson is doing neither of these – he has merely stated his intention to refuse to refer to people as “zirself”. Anyone who thinks that this is inciting hatred has a very confused idea about what constitutes hatred. “I refuse to validate your bullshit” is not hatred. He is not advocating for the murder of anyone who identifies as “genderqueer”, to provide an example of actual hatred. Besides, as a professor, he would be calling students by their name, not “Robert, who identifies as male and uses he/him pronouns”.

Most of the people Dr. Peterson is offending identify as non-binary because they don’t follow stereotypes about what it means to be male or female. Instead of thinking critically and recognizing that they are just stereotypes that don’t depict reality, they are choosing to stick their heads in the sand and let stereotypes rule their lives. They are also ignoring the existence of people who, while they are gender non-conforming, are proud of being female (or male). Genderists like the ones at the University of Toronto could learn a thing or two from them.

Enforcement of Gender Roles in Iran

Early today I was reading a paper called “Transsexuality in Contemporary Iran: Legal and Social Misrecognition” (the link is at the bottom of the blog post). The paper is from a journal called Feminist Legal Studies so I assumed that it was feminist of some sort. In hindsight, I should probably have known that “feminist” meant “liberal anti-feminist”.

This paper talks about trans people in Iran and argues that they voluntarily choose to undergo sex reassignment surgery and transition to the opposite sex, regardless of whatever proof is brought forward to the contrary.

In the background section of the article they argue that a trans person is “someone who is discontented with their gender and does not abide by the gender roles assigned to them according to their biological sex”. The problem with this assertion is that there are countless people in the world who are happily gender non-conforming. By assigning this definition to transsexuality, the argument is being made that all gender non-conforming people are trans. However, this seems more like a definition of gender non-conforming people than of trans people (or at least of radical feminist GNC people, anyways).

This ties in with the standard “gender identity” arguments that always seem to get bandied about. Choosing to emulate the gender roles of the other sex doesn’t mean you ARE the other sex. It means that you prefer to conform to a different set of oppressive stereotypes. If I, a woman, decide to cut my hair so that it’s short and wear men’s clothes, it doesn’t mean that I am a man. It means that I think long hair is a pain in the ass and like having pockets.

The paragraph after the above quote contains important information that seems to have been completely ignored. In an overview of the procedure followed by Iranian psychiatrists and doctors, the article noted that “if TIP’s [Tehran Institute of Psychiatry] psychiatrists diagnose the applicant as a homosexual, the person will be considered mentally ill and referred to a different section for more psychotherapy treatment”. They also insist that “those who have received the diagnosis and the certificate for sex change surgery can live as a trans person without undergoing the surgery as long as they do not fall into sinful acts”.

If anybody every argues that Iran is a trans paradise, they need to be pointed to this quote. Iran might be a paradise if you are trans, but it is a hell for gay men and lesbian women. Homosexuality is not a mental illness and it does not require treatment. Iranian society needs treatment to be able to recognize that, to quote former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, “the state’s responsibility should be to legislate rules for a well-ordered society. It has no right or duty to creep into the bedrooms of the nation.”

In interviews the author conducted with Iranian trans people, they show standard belief in gender identity. One defined transsexuality as “a state of being, which shows a person’s soul, thoughts, logic, reasoning, mood, and interests are different from his/her jinsiyat [the Iranian term for biological sex]”. The author agreed and decided that trans people “change their sex (the material body) not their gender (the immaterial body)”. Someone’s “soul, thoughts, logic, reasoning, mood, and interests” are completely independent from their biological sex. I am female; I can like whatever the fuck I want and that doesn’t need to be based on my biological sex.

Later, it is acknowledged that “several recently produced documentaries have depicted Iranian trans people, as being either… oppressed entities and mostly homosexuals being forced to undergo sex change surgery, or as the exotic objects of investigation for the media.” However, this is completely overshadowed by the assertion that these documentaries ignore “the issue of transsexual people’s agency, as people who embody their desired gender within a social and legal system that denies recognition of their status”. This focus on transsexual people’s agency is ignoring the very real suffering of gay and lesbian people who are forced to undergo sex change surgery.

The article then quotes a doctor who carries out sex reassignment surgeries. She insists that “The need to change one’s body is symptomatic of transsexuality. By contrast, a homosexual accepts his/her body but seeks same-sex relations. If she/he demands surgery, then she/he is not a homosexual anymore.” There is one very good reason that I can think of why homosexual people would get surgery, and that is because they are faced with the fact that homosexuality is a crime, with a sentence of either imprisonment, corporal punishment, or death and want to be able to love freely without having a fiercely homophobic legal system hanging over their heads.

It is only towards the end of the article that the author looks at homosexual people. She blames “distinctions” created “between homosexuality and transsexuality” as a “result of structural homophobic law and a society that relegates homosexuality to pathology and relates transsexuality to a new model of masculinity at the individual level”.

If I ripped apart and shredded the entire article this blog post would be well over two thousand words long. Suffice it to say that the author here places the happiness of trans people who didn’t even need to transition in the first place (the characteristics of your soul are not dependent on whether you’ve got a penis or a vagina) above the misery of homosexual people. The complete lack of focus and care about gay and lesbian issues and struggles in Iran is astounding.

Resources

Saeidzadeh, Zara. “Transsexuality in Contemporary Iran: Legal and Social Misrecognition.” Feminist Legal Studies 24 (2016): 249-272. Link

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. “LGBT Rights in Iran.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Iran

A Resource Masterpost: Videos

These are all YouTube videos that I have watched about radical feminism; they are resources to use or for you to view if you are simply interested. This will be periodically updated.

Femininity

Sheila Jeffreys: Beauty Practices and Misogyny (w/zesty radfem memes)

Gender Identity

Deconstructing Gender Identity Under Male Supremacy (w/Q&A)

How the Gender Identity Movement is Hijacking the Right For Reproductive Sovereignty

Misgendering is Violence? Nah, Mate!

Two Genders? Roles, Identities, and Disorders: What DSM-5 Says

Law

Women and Wrongful Convictions: Learning From “Difference”

Liberal Feminism

1 Reason Everyday Feminism is Bad For Women

Julie Bindel – No Platforming, Misogyny and the Silencing of Radical Feminism. (Julia Long Mirror)

LibFems & Pseudo Feminism – SIN BIG (critique of 3rd wave feminism/transgenderism)

Pornography

How Porn Creates the John: Porn, Trafficking and the Social Construction of Masculinity

Sheila Jeffreys – Transgender Porn: The Bimboification of Women. (Julia Long Mirror)

We Are Disturbing the War Against Women: A History of the Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement

Why I stopped watching porn | Ran Gavrieli | TedxJaffa

Prostitution/Human Sex Trafficking

DEMAND (short version)

Radical Feminism

Radical Feminism in a Nutshell

Transgenderism

LibFems & Pseudo Feminism – SIN BIG (critique of 3rd wave feminism/transgenderism)

Misgendering is Violence? Nah, Mate!

Sheila Jeffreys – Transgender Porn: The Bimboification of Women. (Julia Long Mirror)

The “Transgendering” of Children – Stephanie Davies Arai (Julia Long Mirror)

Fifty Shades of Grey and BDSM Culture

In 2011 the British author E.L. James published her book Fifty Shades of Grey, an erotica novel focusing on a BDSM relationship between the two main characters, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. The book has (rightly) attracted a lot of criticism. Critics have lambasted the prose, pointing out that the writing was terrible.

The writing isn’t the only thing that was terrible. The plot itself is awful, both from the point of view of a writer and from the point of view of a feminist.

Anastasia Steele is, from the start of the novel, openly intimidated by and afraid of Christian Grey. Nevertheless, she starts a sexual relationship with him, one where he is in complete control of everything. On more than one occasion he spanks her for talking back to him.

If you were to read the book you would find it fairly obvious that their relationship is very abusive. E.L. James’s depiction of this relationship has been heavily criticize, and rightly so. In a story this popular, the opportunity should have been used to depict a healthy, caring relationship as an example for young girls and women who might be needing it.

It wasn’t just the mainstream media who was criticizing E.L. James’ depiction of the relationship, however. The relationship between Steele and Grey was so abusive even the BDSM community, who were being represented in the book, criticized it. They said that the relationship wasn’t representative of actual BDSM relationships. While this sounds credible on the surface, it immediately falls apart once you actual look at what a BDSM relationship is and what it involves.

BDSM is an acronym. the letters mean multiple things, although the most common is “Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism, Masochism”. The motto of the community is “safe, sane, consensual”.

“Unsafe, insane, non-consensual” would be more accurate. There have been many, many instances of consent being violated (aka rape) and of safe words being completely ignored altogether. The fact that a “safe word” even needs to exist in the first place is a testament to how fucked up the BDSM community is. Your safe words should be “no” and “stop”, not “pancake” or some other shit like that. When the BDSM community says “we don’t have consent violations like 50 Shades”, they are lying.

The BDSM community has a forum/website where people can discuss different aspects of BDSM. I haven’t been on the website myself, but I have seen screenshots of stuff that has been posted on it. It is easily the most vile and repugnant things I have ever seen in my entire life. It made me want to stick my head in a bucket of bleach. Stuff like the “kinky parents” thread (feel free to go barf – it doesn’t involve two people who happen to have kids being adventurous in the bedroom with each other) to numerous other threads that relate more directly to 50 Shades. Various people – overwhelmingly women – have posted threads asking for advice about how to deal with their abusive partner. People respond to these pleas for help by encouraging them to conform to their partner’s needs and to stay in the relationship.

If you look at sex in BDSM, there are several aspects where you can see that the 50 Shades protest in unrealistic. There are widely documented instances of “sub drop”, where after having sex/being abused by the dom (in BDSM they are typically the same thing) the submissive in the pair experiences depression and is extremely sad and let-down. This is so well-known that people in BDSM have suggested aftercare as a way to avoid the drop. First of all, “aftercare” is a thinly veiled way of saying trauma bonding, which is distinctly not healthy. Second of all, if your sexual partner needs aftercare after sex, you’re an abusive piece of shit who needs to stay away from other people.

All this sounds surprisingly similar to 50 Shades of Grey. If the BDSM community wants to protest the novel, fine, but they should get off their high horse to do so. The elephant in the room should be recognized and led out.

Pornography: An Overview

Imagine this.

Imagine that there are women who get sexual pleasure from the rape and abuse of men. Imagine that this abuse is filmed and placed on websites where women all around the world can view it. Imagine that these women argue that the men involved choose to do it, of their own free will, ignoring the numerous men who left and stepped forward to talk about their horrific experiences. Imagine that those men were systematically silenced and derided as being “anti-sex” for trying to bring attention to these issues. Imagine that it is widely known by these women that parts of the sex they are having with men are excruciating and agonizing for those men. Imagine that those women do not care and that, in fact, they find the man’s pain hot. Imagine that these women have watched these videos so much that it affects their mind; it affects how they treat men in real life; their husband, brothers, men they hook up with… Imagine that they want these men to re-enact scenes from these videos for them during sex, completely ignoring any pain or discomfort this may cause.

This sounds horrifying, doesn’t it? It sounds like an undeclared war on men.

What is it? It is a reversal. All I did in this scenario was flip the two sexes while talking about pornography. The situations are the same: abuse and degradation of women everywhere for men’s sexual pleasure. But it is women, so nobody gives a fuck.

Exited porn stars everywhere have talked about the dangers of the porn industry. Sasha Grey and Jenna Jameson are only two among many. They have talked about being deceived; their agent would promise them that they would be doing one thing (vaginal intercourse, for example), and they would arrive on set only to find out that they were doing something more extreme. If they refused to do it they would not be paid and they would be “blacklisted”, meaning they would never be able to get any more work.

Pornography is a significant contributor to male violence against women and male disrespect of women. Women in porn movies are raped by men and respond positively, begging for more. Men call women every misogynistic slur in the books: bitch, cunt, slut, whore. They add in some more – because calling a woman “cunt” instead of her name isn’t degrading enough – cum dumpster, for example. The women in porn have no problem with this, so men think that it is acceptable to call women these slurs. Men who watch porn think women who are raped by men are asking for it. They think those women enjoy rape. They are also more likely to give rapists harsh prison sentences when serving on juries.

Andrea Dworkin, the feminist anti-pornography activist, said, “Pornography is the orchestrated destruction of women’s bodies and souls; rape, battery, incest, and prostitution animate it; dehumanization and sadism characterize it; it is war on women, serial assaults on dignity, identity, and human worth; it is tyranny. Each women who has survived knows from the experience of her own life that pornography is captivity – the women trapped in the picture used on the women trapped wherever he’s got her.” In this quote, Dworkin shows all that is wrong with pornography. It is, as we know, extremely degrading to women. Men who watch pornography often insist that their wives or girlfriends act out and recreate this degradation in their sex lives.

In conclusion, pornography is irredeemable. Any man who watches porn should be viewed with deep mistrust and wariness by women everywhere. Their porn use has changed how they think, and that change has a strong tilt towards degradation and objectification of women.