What is TERF?

Posted on 17 November 2017

Here at Neon Moon we are a feminist lingerie brand that talks all things feminism and body-positivity, including our amazing lingerie! So on that note, we address the topic of TERF and feminism.

What is TERF? 

TERF is an acronym for radical trans-exclusionary feminism. It is a subgroup of radical feminists known to show hostility towards transgender people; many who oppose the exclusion of Trans women from the feminist movement or the definition of "woman" refer to what they do as radical feminists of exclusion, or "TERF". 

What brought about TERF? 

The conflict began more than forty years ago, at the height of the second wave feminist movement. They have this position that transgender people do not have the right to fight for a feminist. Indeed, they consider that it is not valid for transgender women to be recognized as women since they are not born biologically as women. TERF reinforces its position with the gender binary that states that every individual is born into any gender group; Male or Female Transgender women like Sandy Stone challenged the feminist view of "biological women" in the 1980s. 

They argue for the denial of the transgender benefits that women have in society, such as medical care, women's toilets, women's groups; all spaces are women-related. This could be seen in the 1980s as written by Raymond Janice, author of The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male. Raymond was the author of an article in which Health and Human Services denied transgender women access to related medical care. Some TERFs completely deny Trans women and describe trans women as "homosexuals who hate each other". 

Earlier this year, Tina Vasquez wrote an article on Bitch magazine, which describes dozens of examples of harassment by radical feminists against Trans and Trans activists, including herself. 

TERF was originally conceived by the radical feminism of the second wave in the 1960s. This wave of radical feminism was a source in the system of patriarchal oppression of society, and the overall goal of this branch of feminism was to challenge this system that has kept the traditional ideals of women's roles in society. 

However, as mentioned above, the TERF was formed from this second wave of radical feminism. Those who tried to exclude transgender women from the feminist movement insisted not only that transgender women never know the difficulties of being a woman, but also that transgender people reinforce the binary between men and women because transgender women should not be identified as such if it was not binary in the first place. 

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