Thursday, May 29, 2014

Is TERF a slur?

If you are not familiar with the term TERF, it stands for Trans* Exclusionary Rad Fem. If you are not familiar with the term Rad Fem, then you need to do some catching up and you should likely spend some time with a search engine of your choice. Go ahead, I'll be here when you get back.

Caught up now? Spiffy.

So there are members of the Rad Fems who are not very friendly to trans* women and some of them are not too easy on trans* men either. As a result of this treatment, a number of trans* folks have taken some exception to the way we are spoken of by these folks. As a way to make it easy to distinguish between the Rad Fems who accept trans* women in their midst and those who do not, the term TERF was coined. It is simply an anagram for trans* exclusionary Rad Fem. So it is a spot on designator. Now that the term TERF has made it into the vernacular of the queer populace, some of those who would be obvious candidates to be referred to as TERF have taken the public stance that it is a slur and not polite.

Well with my current stance on the RuPaul verses Carmen fiasco and general stance on slurs for trans* women perhaps I should stop using TERF. If I want currency in this conversation I must walk the talk eh? Well as these thoughts crossed my mind I was also almost listening to the TV that was droning on in the back ground on a news channel. I don’t know what story came up as I was deep in my thoughts but the word “terrorist” came through floating on the air at just the right moment. I do not think many terrorists would like being called that term, but it is what it is. Sometimes a term is spot on and ugly. Like TERF.

OMG!!! Did you just conflate TERF with terrorist? Probably a little. There are people in our society that hold ugly beliefs and cause hatred to increase and thus the chance at increased violence. >Racist, Bigot, Misogynist, Terrorist, Murder, Thief all these words are designator words that are useful in our vocabulary to denote an evil person in simple to use language we all understand.

It is my position that TERF is in this pile of words that we use to designate an evil person who holds dangerous, outdated and vicious views that stigmatize and threaten others.  Add this to the fact that it was coined as an anagram to designate Trans* Exclusionary Rad Fems it does not come to the level of slur. Now maybe if TERFs start being killed and beaten with TERF chanted at them as it is happening we can call it a slur. 

As it stands attempts to get this spot on word designated a slur is just an attempt to take currency in the conversation away from TS women. Which is just pathetic.


Anonymous said...

A man pretending to be a woman deciding what terms to use for women.