Vox: The rise of anti-trans “radical” feminists, explained

Known as TERFs, trans-exclusionary radical feminist groups are working with conservatives to push their anti-trans agenda.

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“According to Heron Greenesmith, who studies the modern gender-critical movement as a senior research associate with the social justice think tank Political Research Associates, gender-critical feminism in the UK grew out of a toxic mix of historical imperialism and the influence of the broader UK skeptical movement in the early aughts — which was hyper-focused on debunking “junk science” and any idea that considered sociological and historical influence and not just biology. Those who rose to prominence in the movement did so through a lot of “non-tolerant calling-out and attacking people,” Greenesmith said, much like gender-critical feminism. “Anti-trans feminists think they have science on their side. It is bananas how ascientific their rhetoric is, and yet literally they say, ‘Biology isn’t bigotry.’ In fact, biology has been used as bigotry as long as biology has been a thing.” (See scientific racism, eugenics, and the justification for slavery that black people were intellectually inferior to white people.)”

“Nonbinary people, meanwhile, are often dismissed in discussions by gender critical feminists. “Nonbinary people muddle the scientism that anti-trans feminists rely on to justify their gender essentialism, so they choose not to acknowledge [nonbinary] existence or agency,” said Greenesmith. When not erasing them entirely, TERFs will often parrot right-wing rhetoric by mocking nonbinary people, suggesting they are attention seekers who don’t understand their birth sex.”