How To Be A Better Cis Ally

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Now, I know a lot of you cis folks mean well, and the fact is, you’re very useful to the trans/enbee community. Cos for the time being at least, there’s more of you than there is of us, and we’re so busy trying to survive against the endless onslaught of oppression and erasure threatening us 24/7 that we do need you to fight for us.

Below is a video which makes a satisfactory effort to be inclusive. As you can hear, the creator has made absolutely no attempt to learn about the arguments put forward by TERFs or attempt to engage with or debunk their theories, she simply swears a lot and calls them bigots. That’s the kind of allyship we want to encourage:

But, I’m sorry to say that as a class, most of you cis fuckers still DO NOT GET IT! I know you think you’re performing allyship effectively, but there are times when you people are almost as bad as TERFs. For example see this screenshot from some cisgender breeder’s Facebook page:

motherwise
Sounds like performative allyship but okay?

Oh sure, she’s making a big show of defending trans people, but do you see what her page is called? Bio essentialist much? Not to mention making it all about her and violence against cisgender women, only at the very end does she make a passing acknowledgement of the harassment suffered by trans people.

So, below I’m providing another one of my handy lists in order to help you wannabe allies to stop being so annoyingly clueless:

1.  Do not engage with the TERFs, that is OUR job. It is not your place to try and explain the nature of transgenderism. When a TERF starts asking awkward questions, do not try to debate with them, do not read their comments, do not click on their links, just block them. If you absolutely have to say something, keep it to simple phrases like:

  • Why are you so hateful?
  • I feel so sorry for your children
  • I pity any poor trans person in your life
  • Stop co opting radical feminism you reactionary bigot!
  • Stop making feminism all about women!
  • LA! LA! LA! NOT LISTENING!!

Debating with bigots is the first step to becoming one.

2. Do not ask us questions. It is not our job to educate you, and your questions can be very triggering. Just accept that sex and gender are the same thing, that male and female brains are a scientific fact, that misgendering kills, that no trans person has ever harmed a cis person and that we are what we say we are. The only questions a cis ally should ever ask are:

  • Which pronouns should I use?
  • Is this self crit satisfactory, or should I abase myself for another ten paragraphs?
  • Should I remove myself from this group, I didn’t realize it was trans only?

3. Do not refer to trans people as trans. Yes, it’s confusing I know, but the reality is, transgender people are not transgender. They do not ‘identify’ as their gender, they ARE their gender, they have always been their gender. Regardless of whether they want surgery, or take hormones, or even dress in a fashion associated with their gender, they ARE what they say they are. Genitals have nothing to do with sex! If you want to avoid confusion refer to yourselves as cisgender, while referring to us as male, female or non binary. If you have to make a distinction say DFAB or DFAM, unless of course the person you are speaking to is offended by those terms, in which case you must refer to them by whatever term they specify, and then self crit.

4. Do not erase trans people by pretending ‘you don’t see gender’. Transgender and non binary people have been around since the beginning of time, and to gloss over that by ignoring a trans persons struggles is transphobic. While trans women are women, and you should point that out at every opportunity, do not forget that important prefix, to do so is to ignore your own privilege. Unless the trans person you are speaking to is offended by that term, in which case you’ll need to self crit.

5. Don’t listen to TERFs. Similar to my first point, do not allow TERFs any kind of platform or they will start spewing hate speech that will confuse and traumatize all who hear them. Remember, all TERFs believe the following:

  • That transgender people are all violent rapists.
  • That transgender people should not be permitted to use the bathroom, even in private homes.
  • That white people are The Master Race.
  • That all transgender children should be strangled.
  • That Caitlyn Jenner looks terrible.
  • The utterly ridiculous notion that trans women are pressuring cis lesbians to date them.
  • That Donald Trump will make a good President.
  • That sex workers shouldn’t be allowed to access books.

More information on how to spot TERFs before they get a chance to start upsetting people can be found in my previous helpful blogpost.

6. Remember that misgendering kills. People with gender dysphoria can have an extremely vulnerable mental state and are at perpetual risk of suicide. Any accidental misgendering, or simply disagreeing with them about any issue, or denying any of their demands can be a death sentence. Don’t do it. At the same time, don’t forget that it is very transphobic to suggest that transgender people are in any way suffering from mental illness. Transgenderism is perfectly normal and healthy and ought to be celebrated, though not in a condescending way.

7.Do not assume that all trans people have gender dysphoria. Many transgender and non binary are very happy with the bodies they are born in and have no plans to change in order to fit in with the stereotypes associated with their gender. Some, very wicked, gatekeeping trans traitors have asserted that dysphoria is an essential component of being transgender, however these people are Truscum, and they are the only trans people that we insist you be mean to, rules about not triggering or attacking dysphoric or suicidal people do not apply to truscum.

8. Remember that detransitioners don’t exist. Some people are spreading lies that some transgender people regret having gender confirmation surgery. Do not believe these heinous falsehoods. To credit such tales undermines everything we are working to achieve. Do not click on links which peddle this false narrative, do not read their blogs, do not question why referrals for gender confirmation have risen by 400% in the last decade.

9. Always Be Capitulating. Cisgendered people can never truly understand transgenderism, so do not attempt to disagree with a transgender or non binary person, even about issues which may appear not to be related. If they tell you pink hats are transphobic, they’re transphobic. If they tell you talking about female genital mutilation is cissexist, it’s cissexist. The best way to avoid trampling over our sensibilities is to avoid any mention of issues which pertain specifically to cis women, some older feminists struggle with this, that’s why we call them TERFs.

10. Don’t deny your cis privilege. It is regrettable, but the reason I had to post the above point is because certain cis women are still trying to make out that being a cis woman comes with more disadvantages than privileges. And while it pains me to write it, it is women of colour who are some of the worst offenders, some of them have been known to actually argue with white trans women about who has suffered the most oppression over the centuries! Some others have dared to suggest that comparing the transatlantic slave trade and Jim Crow laws to our own struggle to use our preferred toilet is somehow racist! And that the using of terms like two spirit is culturally appropriative! All I can say to these cisters of colour is that they should look to inspirational women like Janet Mock and Cherno Biko to show them the way back to intersectionality.

11. Don’t be slow about mass reporting. This is where you cis scum allies are really needed. If we need a TERF page or tweet or blog taken down, it’s up to you folks to report it. We’ve learned that most platforms removal protocols are pretty useless, they never investigate anything, however if thousands of people report something it’ll get taken down regardless of what it says. Don’t even look at what we tell you to report, your job is not to judge what is acceptable, it is to obey us. The same applies to unfriending, blocking and banning anyone who has been deemed a TERF, if you’re going to create a truly inclusive and intersectional space you may have to kick a lot of people out first.

12. Mind your language! In recent months we’ve made great strides in eliminating trans exclusionary language from such institutions as the BMA, Planned Parenthood and in useful pamphets about sex education. However it is important to familiar yourself with some new terms geared towards describing reproductive biology while respecting the needs of trans people:

  • Breastfeeding → Chestfeeding
  • Motherhood → Parenthood
  • Vagina → Front Hole
  • Womb → Internal Hosting Pouch
  • Menstrual blood → Pomegranate Peepee
  • Mooncup → Pomegranate Peepee Catcher
  • Ovaries → Dooberrries
  • PCOS → Naughty Dooberries
  • Clitoris → Weeny Winkle

And just to recap, DO NOT LISTEN TO TERFs! Below is a handy slogan to chant whenever your beliefs are being challenged:

TERFs are EVIL!

TERFs are BAD!

Don’t listen to TERFs!

It’ll make you SAD!

Seven Sure-fire Ways To Demolish TERFs Online

Arguing with TERFs over the internet is a vital part of transactivism, almost as important as silencing TERFs in person, vandalizing and shutting down their unsafe spaces, and disrupting their meetings. However it can be exhausting, as TERF after TERF refuses to accept that she is nothing but a worthless bigot who needs recant her hateful crimethink, and sometimes it’s hard to keep on finding the spoons for it. So, listed below are some handy, fail safe, multi purpose argumentative approaches that should silence any TERF in her tracks:

1. You’re a white supremacist!

toilet-memeThis is a terrific comeback, and there are many benefits to it. Any silent lurkers will assume that the TERF said something racist elsewhere and will immediately hate her. By associating her transphobia with the systematic oppression and borderline genocide waged against indigenous people’s over millennia, it will make transphobia seem like an equally important issue, and everyone will be afraid to question you further. If the TERF tries to counter by saying how on Earth did you come to that conclusion, explain that if she believes one bad thing (that trans women aren’t women) then that means she must support all other bad things too. Also, white supremacist sounds a bit like white feminist, so it’s only a small step between accusing a feminist you don’t like of being the latter and denouncing her as being the former.

2. You’re Ugly!

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TERFs circa 1912

This is a time honoured classic, that has been used to successfully shut down uppity women TERFs before people even knew what a central issue trans rights were to the cause of feminism. Admittedly, this argument is borrowing slightly from the manosphere play book, but the fact is if men have been debunking women’s arguments for years by pointing out that those women are unattractive, it must be because it’s a damned effective method, right? If you like you can put a trans friendly twist on it, by suggesting they’re just jealous because trans women have better legs, hair, make up etc,

 

 

 

3. Educate yourself!

This is an excellent way to shut down a TERF while making yourself look smart. Back it up by scornfully asking if they know how to use Google. Then the TERF has to go and research your argument for you, instead of making you expend the unnecessary energy of backing up your assertions with facts. If they persist in sealioning you, and push you to provide data for your statistics, always be sure to have some lengthy, borderline incomprehensible study to link to, that will leave the TERF so bemused that by the time she’s made sense of it, you’ll have had time to block her on social media and report her account for hate speech.

4. Call them a Fake Goth

onision-goth
Cathy Brennan

This is a fairly new one, but it’s gaining traction. Originally it applied to members of the goth community not considered authentic. However, since the recent invasion of Olympia, Washington by arch TERF Cathy Brennan captured on video here, the term now applies to TERFs. Its beauty is in its ambiguity. Are we criticizing their appearance (see 2.)? Their ideas? This comeback is guaranteed to leave even stubbornest TERF exclaiming “What?”

 

 

5. Make rape/death threats

Again, this is borrowing from the online misogynist’s playbook, but you have to remember that TERFs aren’t proper women (or people for that matter), so it’s fine to call them gendered slurs, threaten them with sexual violence, or send them memes like this one:

tref-graves
Remember, it’s only hate speech if they do it, when we do it it’s hilarious

 

6. Emotional blackmail

Make this all about you, and your own personal suffering, rather than let them derail the conversation by talking about the more general consequences of making sex and gender solely a matter of self identification. DO NOT let them start citing examples of incidents where (undoubtedly fake) trans women have behaved in a negative manner. If you don’t

blackmail
Resistance is murder

have any personal experience of assault, harassment or suicidal thoughts; or if you’re cisgendered, in which case you’ll be far too privileged to have ever suffered anything, bring up the plight of suicidal children with gender dysphoria. No one can disagree with gender dysphoric children being administered off label hormone blockers, followed by a life time of hormone injections; not unless they want all those children to commit SUICIDE! No one will admit to wanting to kill children, will they*? Also cite unverified statistics about trans women being murdered every 8 minutes. Admittedly this also sort of borrows from the manosphere playbook, effectively threatening suicide if they won’t capitulate and all; but hell, all’s fair in love and war, right?

 

7. Post memes

When all other avenues have been exhausted, when you’ve made the most emotive argument you can think of, when you’ve accused them of causing violence with their refusal not to condemn the wearing of pink hats, and you just can’t find any more spoons tucked behind the couch, you can always post a series of memes. If you don’t already have a ready supply of trans supportive memes, they are very simple to make:

First find a random image off the internet

cute-cat

Second, add some sassy truth bomb that no one can fault the logic of:

kitten-meme

and voila, the argument is won. It helps if you can post five or six of these in succession.

The above pat responses are sure to silence any TERF who dares to voice her opinion on a publicly accessible forum, and until such time as we can persuade all social media platforms to permaban anyone who utters transphobic hate speech, it is with arguments like these that we can maintain our positive bellyfeels.

 

*If anyone tries to assert that repeatedly talking about vulnerable young people being suicidal is actually harmful and may encourage children to self harm, just put your fingers in your ears and scream ‘LA LA LA!’ while closing your browser.

 

25 Ways To Spot a Secret TERF

witches_624Now, most of us know what a trans exclusionary radical feminist, aka TERF looks like. We’ve seen them celebrating the death of yet another trans teen, or preventing essential medical care for transpersons, or simply trying to stop them from going to the toilet. BUT, not every TERF is so open about their hateful murdering bigotry. There are those who fly under the radar, who hide in plain sight… who walk among us.

Are YOU harbouring a secret TERF? Perhaps you work with one. Perhaps one is your friend, or perhaps you even have one participating in your intersectional feminist discussion forum. It is essentially that these closet TERFs are rooted out. For until they are exposed and ostracised for their oppressive opinions, it will not be possible to educate them to the rightful path of intersectionality.

To help us in our efforts, here is a list of telltale signs to look out for when seeking a secret TERF:

  1. Does she like to make distinctions between sex and gender, suggesting one is biological while the other is a social construct? Does she talk about chromosomes or biology like they’re important?

  2. Is she still referring to transwomen as transwomen instead of just ‘women’, or referring to ciswomen simply as ‘women’ or even more suspiciously, ‘womyn’?

  3. Does she go a bit quiet when Fallon Fox comes up in conversation?

  4. Does she opine that intersectionality has more to do with race and class than gender identity?

  1. Does she hesitate to applaud the stylishness and glamour of Caitlyn Jenner’s latest outfit?

  1. Does she ask for citations over statistics regarding the violence and suicide involving transpeople, or suggest that intersectional factors like race, class or sexuality might be relevant?

  1. Does she ask for citations?

  1. Does she read material written by second wave feminists? Did she decline to burn her copy of The Female Eunuch when requested?

  1. Does she associate with known TERFs who have been already been sniffed out and ejected from your social circles? Has she refrained from blocking them immediately on social media or joining in letter writing campaigns to get them fired or expelled?

  1. Has she hesitated to agree that a child under eighteen should be given gender confirmation surgery?

  1. Has she ever suggested that a child below the age of ten should not be given gender confirmation surgery?

  1. Does she have a large pentacle incorporating a picture of Janice Raymond upon any of the walls in her home?

  2. Does she or does she not follow Danielle Muscato on Twitter? Has she ever neglected to retweet her?

  1. Does she regard the porn industry and prostitution fundamentally exploitive and fostering the objectification of women? SWERFs tend to have TERFish sympathies. Drop the words ‘Nordic Model’ into conversation and see where she goes with it.

  2. Has she ever begun a statement with the words ‘Of course transpeople should be protected from violence and discrimination with regards to employment, healthcare and housing, but…’

  1. Has being in her presence caused any nursing men to experience difficulties with chestfeeding?

  1. Have any of the pre operative, male presenting, non dysphoric women in your social circle experienced erectile dysfunction after speaking with the potential TERF?

  1. Does she appear uncomfortable about changing clothes alongside a transperson? If so, next time look carefully to see if she has any large moles about her body, these may in fact be ‘teats’, from which TERFs are known to suckle one another as they reinforce their cisprivilege.

  2. Has she yet to vocally affirm that there can be no greater oppression than that suffered by a closeted trans lesbian, trapped in the body of a wealthy, white male industrialist?

  1. How many pets does she have? If she has cats, are they black, does she talk to them? If she has more exotic pets, like a goat or a bat or a squirrel then there’s a good chance she’s a TERF, especially if they appear to converse with her. Be especially vigilant for her pets suckling at her TERF teat, that’s a total giveaway.

  1. Look in her fridge, have either the milk, cheese or butter spoiled before their expiration date? Has she visited your home only for you to discover the milk had spoiled afterwards? (This test doesn’t work so well with vegan TERFs).

  1. Does she live in a house made of gingerbread? This might not be apparent, it may be necessary to gnaw at one of the door frames.

  1. Place a box of organic eggs next to her and see if any of them hatch.

  1. Listen carefully to her speech patterns and her voice, does she emit a low buzzing noise similar to a bee or a wasp?

  1. Hide some coins in a flower pot and hide it in her front garden, check back in thirteen days to see if the coins have turned into pebbles, or seashells.

Once certain, don’t be afraid to accuse her publicly. If she doesn’t recant, and refuses to accept leniency in exchange for informing on her fellow terfbians, paint the words ‘DIE CIS SCUM’ upon her front door in red paint, then form a group to follow her everywhere she goes chanting TERF! TERF! TERF!, ideally large bells should be rung as you do so, especially at her place of employment or education.

These individuals must be stopped, because their poisonous thoughts are what lead directly to the murders of transpeople. That’s right, if left unchecked, their wicked exclusionary thoughts will cause cis men (though not all men) to attack transgender individuals.

They stand in the way of life saving boob jobs, they misgender unborn children, and perpetuate harmful myths about transpeople not being the most oppressed minority throughout the history of humanity.

Worst of all, they prioritize the needs of ciswomen, thereby distorting the true meaning of feminism. Do not suffer a TERF to live.

Or tweet.