Transphobic TERF wars of words

It really isn’t clear to me what this is all about, but a tweet from Labour MP Kiri Allan (recently suggested as a candidate for promotion to Minister) has some people reacting.



TERF is an acronym for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. Sometimes, “exclusionary” is expanded as “eliminationist” or “exterminationist” instead to more accurately convey the degree to which TERFs advocate for harm towards trans people, specifically trans people who were coercively assigned male at birth.

Some TERFs call themselves “gender-critical feminists”, a term which is synonymous with “TERF”.

Unsurprisingly, many TERFs complain that “TERF” should be regarded as a slur.


Transphobia is a range of negative attitudes, feelings or actions toward transgender or transsexual people, or toward transsexuality. Transphobia can be emotional disgust, fear, violence, anger, or discomfort felt or expressed towards people who do not conform to society’s gender expectation.[1][2] It is often expressed alongside homophobic views and hence is often considered an aspect of homophobia.[3][4] Transphobia is a type of prejudice and discrimination similar to racism and sexism,[5] and transgender people of color are often subjected to all three forms of discrimination at once.

Other than that I’m really not getting what the aim of all this is.

I’m generally for leaving people to be how they want to be. Labelling seems to be causing some strife.

I still don’t really get it.

Ah, this might have something to do with it.

Stuff:  Battle lines drawn between feminists and trans activists over sex self identification

Hostilities between feminists and transgender activists are coming to a head as the sex self identification debate heats up.

The two parties are arguing over a biological woman’s right to be labelled a woman.

Trans Dignity Collective is lobbying on proposed changes to patient identification data – arguing the “concept of ‘biological sex’ is inherently derogatory towards trans people.”

The collective “categorically opposes” the inclusion of a ‘biological sex recorded at birth’ field, which would “constitute a willful refusal to treat trans people with dignity and respect.”

Dunedin feminist Charlie Montague says the debate over people being able to self-identify as women has become aggressive.

A public meeting hosted by campaign group Speak Up for Women, will be held on Thursday in Wellington to “peacefully” discuss conflicts between women’s rights and proposed changes around self identification.

The collective’s argument comes as a process is underway to make legal changes to sex on birth certificates easier.

Montague and other lesbians and radical feminists argue that gender identity trumping biological sex will have far reaching implications for the rights women have fought for, including women’s only spaces like changing rooms, prisons and women’s refuges being infringed upon by men claiming to be women.

“Why are we replacing biology with ideology?” Montague said.


Earlier this month Wellington feminist Renee Gerlich’s posters celebrating 125 years of women’s suffrage were pulled by Phantom Billstickers over rainbow youth group’s concerns they were transphobic.

“This whole idea of sex self-identification, that government now wants enable as a one-step process, means we lose any robust, shared definition of sex. That in turn undermines all sex-based protections, which are especially important for women,” Gerlich said.

The implementation of sex self-identification with a single administrative declaration would allow convicted male sex offenders who identify as women – men like Rory FrancisAlex Seu and Malcolm Platt – to gain automatic access to women’s prisons upon sentencing.

“In short, these government proposals represent an unprecedented roll back of gains that women have fought hard for, and women need not only to be allowed to voice concerns about them – if this is a democracy, lawmakers should be actively seeking to hear women’s concerns and objections, and should be setting up opportunities for those to be aired freely,” Gerlich said.

Both Corrections and Department of Internal Affairs said they had provided advice on the Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration Bill currently before Parliament, and would see what happened.

Ah, there’s a bill before parliament causing some angst and arguments.

Self identification of one’s gender at one’s convenience could potentially have some unintended consequences.