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EDUCATE & ACTIVATE: TERF Part II: Genital Checks and Transphobia Masked as Feminism


Background

Currently, there is a strong conservative push against transgender rights. Republicans want to conduct genital checks on kids in sports in order to “ban transgender student athletes from joining teams that match their gender identity.” For a community that already experiences high levels of violence and discrimination, this will only further harm and marginalize transgender youth. 

Recently, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Rowling, I mean Greene, further established herself as a TERF (trans exclusionalary radical feminist). A TERF is someone who does not consider “trans women to be ‘real women’ or trans men to be ‘real men’ or non-binary people to exist at all.” Greene has openly condemned the Equality Act, legislation that seeks to protect folks from discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. She tried to base her argument in ‘feminism’ for that one, saying “I rise today, in defense of women, girls, and children… the Equality Act will put trans rights above women’s rights… It is too much.” She has actively made verbal attacks on trans identities, even going so far as to make it personal by directing a sign declaring her beliefs outside her office. She also dedicated a hateful tweet to Illinois Rep. Marie Newman, whose daughter is transgender. 

What You Need to Know

In general, TERFs (and many conservatives) rely on wishy-washy science supported by transphobic scientists/doctors, faulty logic, fear, and plain ignorance.  Here are some examples of their reasoning, followed by facts that disprove them:

Example 1: “tHeRe aRe tWo gEnDeRs: mAlE aNd fEmAlE”

Actually, there is research that supports gender as a social construct. We are socialized into gender roles at a very young age that we then perpetuate. 

Example 2: “tRuSt tHe sCiEnCE”

Yes, trust the science, because science supports gender fluidity. There are biological, cultural, and historical facts that show how gender exists on a spectrum. 

Ultimately, it is up to all of us to protect and support trans folks, especially trans youth, by staying informed, speaking up, and helping when we can. Please check out the resources below to donate, learn more, and stay on top of legislation-in-progress. 

Solutions Not Punishment Coalition aka SNaP Co. 

National Center for Transgender Equality 

The Transgender District

Transgender Law Center

Trans Justice Funding Project

Resources to learn more:

Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon

Educate & Activate: TERF

Stop Using Phony Science to Justify Transphobia

Legislative Tracker  for all legislation related to LGBTQ+ discrimination (credit to Kat for sharing this on their Instagram page)

Nina Garcia is a reader, reviewer, and devoted coffee drinker from Texas. When she’s not reading or watching Netflix, she is working on writing projects, including a middle grade novel. Favorite genres: anti-racist and intersectional feminist non-fiction, science fiction, horror, and contemporary with elements of fantasy.

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