Arguing with TERFs is pointless

5 min readNov 14
Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

There is always another Tweet to respond to, another thread to get deeply engaged with that your whole evening slips by. It is always so tempting to have the last last say in a comment, to the point that the other side mutes you to stop the noise. This is the how the exclusionary feminist and trans conversations usually go for me, fighting a good fight that is in effect pointless because the other side will invariably bring out the big gender critical belief guns and insult you regardless of what you say. In many respects it is utterly pointless to even wade into the shallows, a matter of mental self-flagellation to swim in TERF infested waters. Why I do it says as much about me as it does about why I care so passionately about trans rights.

There is no worse a thing than taking a stand on a hill and dying for an ignoble cause, one which claims every ounce of your being and results in Herman Melville posthumously writing a book on you slaying your great white whale. Not that I would ever deign to call exclusionary feminists white whales, but you get my drift. Dying for a hopeless cause has a romantic whiff about it, but in reality often you are dying for someone else’s lost cause you simply latched onto. This is what it feels like when I discuss any gender related issue with exclusionary feminists, that their sex-based notions of the world are utterly reductive, all their talking points fostered by men and women who seek to use everyone else in their own power games.

This concept of power, the desire to control not just bodies but how bodies are defined, is thrown back at trans activists, stating that gender ideology is the thing that is corrupting and manipulative. When you debate this point exclusionary feminists always retort that there are only two sexes and a woman was created at the moment of conception, not assigned at birth. They love semantics when it suits them, just not when you point out that biology is not destiny and every first wave feminist would be rolling over in their graves to the point of becoming sustainable energy in consternation at the thought. It is rendered pointless because gender critical beliefs refuse to see gender as a thing, let alone gender identity and gender expression. It is all about the Ur body, the magical mixing of genes that somehow defaults a person to power or bio-prison.


Writer, researcher, and generally curious