Fundamentalist feminists: anti-sex workers and anti-trans women.
Anyone on the left in 2016 has probably heard the terms SWERF – Sex Work Exclusionary Radical Feminist, and TERF – Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. But who are these fundamantalist feminists, and why do they exist in leftist spaces considering their extreme conservative rightwing views?
This article aims to shed a little light on fundamentalist feminists by looking through a lens of structural power, or what some would call intersectional feminism or anarcha-feminism.
Who are they against and why?
Fundamentalist feminists tend to be both anti-trans as well as anti-sex worker.
Fundamentalist feminism is deeply rooted in Christian based morality, western nuclear family values, primitivism or ”back to nature” aspirations coupled with romanticised notions of indigenous peoples, and a strong anti-science position that refuses evidence in favor of beliefs.
Fundamentalist feminism always positions the true feminist as one who is in a position of power over others: a position to define, to gain a platform, to speak on behalf of, to rescue.
Fundamentalist feminism also positions the true feminist as one who is simultaneously equally oppressed by every issue: ”poverty affects all women, racism affects all women, prostitution affects all women, access to education affects all women”. This cry is heard from the fundamentalist feminists in the university halls.
Fundamentalist feminist ideology proposes that minority group women are oppressed and unable to make their own decisions about their sexual lives because of the lack of options available to them, and concurrently that minority group women who are vocal about their right to choose are simply trying to oppress other minority group women by wielding some kind of ill-gained power.
This is not only because a number of trans women are sex workers, but also because fundamentalist feminists hold the inherent belief that women can’t make choices about their own bodies, especially in relation to sex.
Fundamentalist feminists believe that all women are equally affected by every oppression, and therefore hold the opinion that it is their right and duty to intervene into the lives of minority women, for their own good. A perfect example is the White Savior complex.
There is a big commonality in the tactics they use to harass and encourage the public to hate, and in the ways they use the state to intervene on the autonomy of both sex workers and transgender women. in this country. However – we need to keep on top of this and not get complacent.
SWERFs and TERFS have changed policies and laws in many countries across the world, harming trans women and sex workers and literally causing suffering and death on a large scale. We can’t let this get a foothold here, we have to fight it fiercely.
One of the few vocal anti-sex work activists locally, Renee Girlich, has also publicly come on on Twitter as anti-trans women too.
This shot shows her page on Twitter, where she has shared someone saying that trans women are really just men pretending to be women in an attempt to degrade and dehumanise ”real” woman (which is what Blackface is originally about).
Besides being racist, that logic, and yes petitions from TERFs, is the reason why transgender surgeries were taken off the public funding schedule in the USA, which was the beginning of private health insurance companies refusing to cover transition related care.
The rest of the world followed suit.
The actual literal reason why we can’t get healthcare is because of TERFs.
Anti-trans feminists are the cause of thousands of trans people suffering and attempting suicide. The actions of TERFS have consequences.
Anti sex work feminists are a major part of the reason why sex workers are illegalised in many countries – why sex workers experience violence, rape, murder, and incarceration at such high rates in those countries.
There is simply no neutral position to take on this – feminists who are anti-trans women and anti- sex workers are advocating against our human rights.
We are so lucky to be in a country where sex workers and trans women aren’t being killed every week. I urge you all to not be complacent – do not let this shit slide.
Stand up against people who want trans women and sex workers to stop existing
Don’t let them get credibility – don’t let them change policies and laws here, don’t let them kill us.