What are TERFs?

[Originally posted on Twitter, 18 June 2018 – slightly edited]

I’m still waiting for someone, anyone, to offer a justification for ‘punching terfs’.

I still think there is no justification.

Is there really nobody out there who dares to correct this bigoted, cis-sexist opinion?

I do not *want* to be a ‘bigot’ – please help.

All I’m hearing is crickets.

And the wind outside blowing through the potato plants.

Occasionally, I hear goldfinches squabble as they queue at the bird feeder for sunflower seeds.

All is peaceful here.

It was about a week ago, I think that I first found out that some of my friends – the trans ones – were seriously advocating violence against some people who they called ‘terfs’.

These ‘terfs’ are almost always female women. They tend to be a little older and / or lesbians.

I’d kind of heard of ‘terfs’ before, and I’d heard they hated trans people. I disapproved of that.

But I’m against violence in general. I’d thought my trans friends were against it too. 

So I was very surprised to hear them advocating for it so stridently.

So I decided to find out more about ‘terfs’. Perhaps they were such truly awful people they could only be opposed by violence?

Perhaps terfs were an evil terrorist group – a sort of feminist ISIS?

I didn’t know much about trans people, either. So I began to educate myself.

Shortly before this, I had spend a week cat-sitting. During that time, I tried to educate myself about the manosphere, particularly the incel subculture.

That was a deeply unpleasant experience. But it was also quite fascinating.

I may return to that subject  later.

Back to terfs – one of my trans friends, a female non-binary person and writer of great talent, told me that ‘terf rhetoric’ was so toxic and damaging to trans people, and caused them such distress, that it often drove them to self-hatred, self-harm, and suicide.

Therefore, she explained, ‘terf rhetoric’ constituted violence against trans people. For this reason, it was morally correct to advocate actual physical violence against ’terfs’.

This justification did not convince me, and i said so.

This made her very angry.

She informed me I was ignorant, and advised me to educate myself on the subject.

I asked if she could point me in the right direction, so I could begin this necessary process of education.

She mumbled about unspecified ‘scientific journals’ and suggested I search the internet.

So I searched the internet.

I found out that ‘terf rhetoric’ amounts to no more than an insistence that there are deep biological differences between ‘men’ and ‘women’.

Many trans folk believe this view is outdated and transphobic. It upsets them, and they refuse to accept it.

I’ve looked into this quite carefully now, and this business of ‘biological reality’ seems to be the sticking point.

Trans folks (or I should say, ’trans activists’ as there is a difference) have come up with a long list of reasons why biology can never determine whether a person is a ‘man’, a ‘woman’ or something else.

Every single one of these explanations strikes me as utterly ridiculous.

These ‘explanations’ tend to be complicated irrelevancies about brain activity, hormones, the complex relationship between genotype and phenotype, clothes, makeup, and a bizarre redefinition of the word ‘vagina’.

None of these explanations can withstand any serious scrutiny.

In short, these people are talking shit, and it does not take a genius to figure that out.

But by calling out this bullshit, I have hurt the feelings of trans people. I have been labelled a ‘bigot’ and a ‘transphobe’. 

This hurts my feelings too.

But somehow, I will survive.

Since it’s so obvious that these trans activists are talking shit, I find it strange that so many apparently sane, rational people are unable to notice this fact.

Many sane, rational people are very vocal in their support for this bullshit.

I think this support is misguided.

The ‘debate’ revolves around trans women, who are male.

There’s less discussion of trans men, who are female.

I’m not female, so I can’t talk about women or trans-men.

I am not trans either. But I am male, so I might have some insight into that.

If you are a male person – which includes trans women – you may be triggered by some of what follows (tho I haven’t planned it out).

Please proceed with caution.

This is a trans woman with >500k subscribers on YouTube. She is nice for me to look at, and could probably pass as a woman. She does not seem particularly odious to me:

Men Who Date Trans Women… | Stef Sanjati


What strikes me very strongly here is the obsessive focus on the question of whether or not people are gay.

For example, she is not gay, and neither is her boyfriend, who is a trans man. Also, heterosexual men who date trans women are not gay.

She’s keen to convince me it’s okay for me to date a trans woman as it would not make me gay if I did.

The vid is >13 mins long.

To me she seems *desperate* for a proper shafting. She likes penises, and her boyfriend’s penis is just not hitting the spot.

Quite a predicament.

I would suggest that her boyfriend’s penis is failing to satisfy her for the simple reason that it is not a penis.

Her boyfriend has no penis, because he is female.

But I think she’d reject this wild theory of mine; she’d call me a bigot and a transphobe.

I’d suggest that this person (who I find physically attractive) is in fact a homosexual male.

If so, this is a video of a gay man who likes penises, but is sexually frustrated due to the fact she is ‘dating’ a woman, who doesn’t have one.

Is it me that’s confused? Or her?

And if I find her attractive, this homosexual male trans woman, does that make me gay?

I don’t think so, personally. But if it did, so what?

Why make such a big fuss about whether or not people are gay? 

This level of homophobia is truly astonishing.

This obsessive focus on the politics and pragmatics of attraction and sexuality seems rife among trans-activists, and no just on YouTube.

At the beginning of the video Stef (the attractive trans woman) briefly discusses ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’.

She says there’s a stigma against straight men dating trans women. She thinks this is due to ‘masculinity’ – which is upheld (by society) as an important thing you must try to obtain; while ‘femininity’ is frivolous and stupid.

She objects to this view.

So do I.

She says that men who date trans women are often called ‘gay’ by their friends. She objects to this.

So do I.

She asks why trans women are considered a threat to masculinity, but ‘masculine’ women are not. Why are ‘super-feminine’ trans women considered a problem?

This is a good question. But I think it’s something she needs to ask more seriously of *herself*.

Why can’t she just be a ‘super-feminine’ homosexual man who likes penises?

Why is it so important for her to be a ‘woman’ instead, for whom liking penises is not gay at all?

I think the answer is obvious – this person is so deeply homophobic she would rather make a massive effort to convince people she is a heterosexual woman, rather than simply accept herself as a ‘super-feminine’ homosexual man.

She *really* hates the idea of being gay.

I want to move on from Stef now. She seems like a nice person overall, apart from the amazing homophobia, which is so virulent I almost find it comical.

I want to consider male heterosexual trans women, who are not gay, but call themselves lesbians.

From what I can tell, these are the main ones the ‘terfs’ are worried about.

There seem to be a lot of them; at any rate, they’re the ones shouting the loudest. They anger easily.

This is where it gets difficult.

If you are of a nervous disposition, you may want to turn away now.

You may not like what you see.

I don’t like it either.

I don’t want to deal wth it.

But I think I have to.

Our next video comes from a trans women with 53K subscribers on YouTube. She describes herself as an ‘intersectional feminist’. 

I believe she is associated with Everyday Feminism. Here’s their website:


This video is part of a series called ‘Feminism with Riley’. 

This video requires a trigger warning, because it is rapey.

Are genital preferences transphobic? | Riley J. Dennis


In this vid, she informs us that it’s okay to be a lesbian, but the fact is that some lesbians have penises. 

If a lesbian won’t ‘date’ another lesbian with a penis it’s probably  cos they are transphobic, and they should try to overcome their cis-sexist bigotry.

Presumably a similar argument would apply to heterosexual men.

Clearly this makes me a bigot too, as I’d be very hesitant to date anyone with a penis.

Am I homophobic? 

Or am I heterosexual?

Neither, apparently.

Those concepts no longer exist.

We’re all transphobes now.


Quite honestly, this is one of the most repugnant things I’ve ever seen.

And as I mentioned earlier, not long ago I explored the manosphere, including the incel phenomenon.

Just let that sink in for a minute.

I assure you, this person is not an outlier – I have seen similar views expressed elsewhere, by transactivists and their allies – the supposed ‘woke’ folk.

This view appears particularly common among heterosexual male trans women.

Many of these heterosexual male trans women consider themselves ‘feminists’. As do many of their allies among the ‘woke’ folk.

Is this what feminism is, now?

This is rape culture.

This is homophobia.

This is deep, deep misogyny.

And you call it ‘feminism’?

Fuck you.

This is an enormous threat to gay rights. And gay men need to wake up to that fact *right now*.

Heterosexual men? Like me?

Ah, well.

It’s not a threat to us, is it?

Male trans women would *never* try this shit on a bunch of heterosexual guys. I would advise against that.

I have more to say about heterosexual men – especially male ones, like me, who are not trans. It may make you uncomfortable.

But here’s the thing:

Trans women can be beautiful. Yes. As nice to look at as a beautiful woman. Beauty is subjective, and tastes vary.

But it’s true.

Trans women can be very ‘feminine’ and ‘beautiful’, and that’s great. 

Male people should feel comfortable with their femininity, and be able to express it openly. In this, maybe trans women can lead the way. 

But I think something else is happening too.

As a heterosexual male, I’m likely to enjoy looking at trans women. From what I can tell, I am even allowed to do this. Maybe I can even perv on them openly without being a sexist.

But would that make me gay?

Maybe a bit, yeah.

But not if they’re women.

How ‘woke’ is that?

Well, that’s ‘intersectional feminism’ for you. That’s where we’re headed.

And it makes me feel sick.