I suspect that some of my readers must be wondering by now why I haven’t responded with my thoughts on the recent outbreak in the transgender/TERF hostilities.
In case yoIu have been completely unaware of the issue, TERF stands for “trans exclusive radical feminists,” although I’ve always thought they were more reactionary than radical. I should note that they don’t like the term, viewing it as an insult, even though it was invented by other feminists…feminists who wanted to distance themselves from the TERFs.
Although the hostility has been simmering for quite awhile, the most recent outbreak can be traced to the publishing of an article in The New Yorker by Michelle Goldberg, entitled What is a Woman?, which presented a very one-sided treatment of the dispute.
To quote a TERF, from the beginning of the rift in 1973:
I will not call a male “she”; thirty-two years of suffering in this androcentric society, and of surviving, have earned me the title “woman”; one walk down the street by a male transvestite, five minutes of his being hassled (which he may enjoy), and then he dares, he dares to think he understands our pain? No, in our mothers’ names and in our own, we must not call him sister.