Trigger warning: r*pe, sexual assault, sexual violence
Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism / Feminists (or TERF) is the type of feminism we all like to pretend isn’t there, and for good reason. Any conversation with a TERF will tell you that there isn’t really any logic or facts to it: they just want to oppress trans people (specifically trans women), under the guise of protecting “real women.” To them, trans women are invading what it really means to be a woman, which apparently means they have a vagina and were assigned female at birth. The funny thing is, this archaic and one-dimensional view of women as being walking vaginas is the same rhetoric misogynists have been using for centuries. I digress.
Recently, many TERFs have been posting online about how much they wouldn’t want to sleep with trans people. Laci Green, the “sex positive” feminist YouTuber turned ableist white supremacist TERF, has spent the last few weeks on Twitter, vocalizing how disgusted she is at trans people who are forcing themselves onto cisgender people. Apparently, there’s a plethora of us doing just that: raping cisgender people. This certainly is news to me.
erm..rubbing genitals on someone’s face w/o consent is not OK. doesnt matter if you’re dating or not. odd that feminists are defending this.
— Laci Green (@gogreen18) July 20, 2017
As a non-binary person, my existence is inherently political. Everyone has an opinion on my gender, something that honestly doesn’t play that large a role in my day to day life. However, this notion of “trans = rapist” is not a misconception I’m unfamiliar with. It’s the same reasoning used to deny us access to public restrooms, and is brought up by any white male conservative politician who just wants to protect his daughter from those darn “mentally ill transgender rapists”. You know, despite the fact they voted in Donald Trump, a man who has clearly and loudly boasted about sexually assaulting women.
This misconception that trans people are inherently deceptive sexual predators, out to trick innocent cisgender people, is one that is heavily perpetrated in the media. This is evident in television shows such as Family Guy, and movies like the Hangover 2, where trans characters are presented in this way. Not only is this neither funny nor entertaining, but it has real world repercussions. 15 trans people have been murdered this year alone, and we’re barely halfway through the year. This notion that trans people are sexual predators isn’t just a harmless joke; it gets us killed.
TERFs like Laci Green deliberately further this oppressive narrative in order to deny us access to basic human rights. The underlying message is that, well, why should we be given rights and be allowed to exist if we’re raping women?
Well, the answer is simple: we’re not.
We want nothing more than just to exist and go about our everyday life, yet TERFs continue to paint themselves as the victims of crimes we’ve never committed. The moment we enter the room, they scream “RAPE!” and pretend as if they’re somehow doing it to protect women, despite not understanding that their false accusations of rape perpetuate rape culture. Not to mention the fact that 50% of trans people are survivors of sexual violence, but when confronted with actual evidence, TERFs remain quiet.
The problem is, TERFs like Laci Green have influence. Ignorant cisgender people flock around them like sheep, spreading misinformation about trans people to fuel their own entertainment. It’s no wonder there’s so many misconceptions about trans people when so much of trans discourse is from a cisgender person’s perspective.
It’s time we start holding TERFs accountable for their vile excuse for “feminism”, and it’s time we start trusting trans people. Many trans activists such as Riley J. Dennis, Zinnia Jones and Kat Blaque have publicly called out Laci Green for her blatant transphobia, but nothing is being done. Trans people, myself included, are already putting in the work to make information accessible for cisgender people to educate themselves with. Use it. You really can’t claim ignorance when, by this point, we’re spoon-feeding you education.
Oh, and the next time you think about proclaiming that you’d never sleep with a trans person, consider this: nobody actually cares.