this thread is gonna be a huge bummer
Usually, I like to make my thread starting posts nice little introductory paragraphs on a topic, and open it up for a really broad range of discussion on topics. I’m probably not going to be able to do that here, though, because this is the kind of problem that doesn’t really… work that way, I guess.
There are times, usually late at night when I’m in a bad mood, that I end up falling down rabbit holes. These usually tend to be ideological: I’ll research different kinds of political philosophies, ones I find agreeable, and ones I don’t. But for some reason, frequently, I keep ending up reading TERF blogs… which is pretty unhealthy. I am pretty capable of listening to, analyzing, and trying to understand and argue against ideologies I find abhorrent or simply disagree with. I actually do hold some pride in being willing and able to address these ideologies. But this becomes increasingly difficult when these ideologies challenge my right to exist.
“TERF”, for those unaware, refers to “Transgender Exclusionary Radical Feminist”. The label is often considered pejorative, but it does refer to a concrete ideology: the belief that gender is a construct and therefore no one can actually be transgender.
The result of these beliefs (which shouldn’t be a necessary result) is usually a lot of transmisogyny and the erasure of many people’s queer identities. There’s a wide range of these feminists. There are the more centrist folk (the only one I can think of is Destiny Diamante, a blogger who does not, in fact, identify as a radfem), and then the truly virulent and cruel people (see: Janice Raymond.)
A lot of radical feminists have problematic viewpoints I also think are worth talking about here, though. SWERF (Sex Worker Exclusive), anti-kink and aphobia are also common and I find that pretty frustrating. I’m focusing on TERFs because that is something that both more directly affects me, and is something more on my mind.
I guess my main questions (since I still have a desire to write the original post as somewhat of a springboard) are as follows:
What arguments do you find effective when talking to a TERF?
Have you ever been able to change their mind?
How do you just ignore them?
I will probably get into more particular thoughts in the discussion, but hhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHH