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Calling TERF and cisgender slurs


Dana Michelle

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I've seen a lot of people say that TERF and cisgender are slurs. I haven't seen them used that way, but I have seen a lot of words weaponized, so it wouldn't surprise me if someone weaponized those terms as well. In particular, I've seen the words "privilege" and "appropriation" get weaponized, including against transgender people. However, I have not seen other terms get called slurs except TERF and cisgender. Has anyone else seen non-trans terms get called slurs in ways similar to the way TERF and cisgender get called slurs?

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Well, I've seen the words "woke," "politically correct," "liberal, "conservative," "transgender agenda," and a few others words "weaponized."  Whether or not any or all are slurs largely depends on who is hurling them, and who is on the receiving end.  Isn't that always the way it is, though?

 

Carolyn Marie

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TERF is KIND of a slur. I mean it's basically calling the person transphobic. I don't think I'd use it unless the person involved is acting as a trans-exclusive radical feminist though. Basically using her feminism as a way to discriminate. It would probably slide off my back, but I'd get downright nasty if she was going after one of my sisters. Much the same way I'd call a cop who pulled over one of my darker friends for "driving while black" a racist. I mean neither are nice words.

 

Cisgender is just a medical term though, so I don't know what's up with that. It would be like calling me out on having asthma. I've heard people react to it like it was a slur (cisgender, not asthmatic), but I'm mostly baffled when they do.

 

Like @Carolyn Marie says though, when some groups get ahold of certain terms, they use them like a slur. Even if it's silly.

 

Hugs!

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Hi Dana, Terf is an acronym I had to look up a year or so ago, but is rarely used as one.

Really it has grown beyond it's T.E.R.F (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) descriptor origins the same way Ned has through popular use in the UK. (N.E.D = Non Educated Deliquent).

Any word can become a slur purely through intent and context, but pretending to advocate for womens rights while deliberately actively campaigning to negate the rights of a subsection of women who are statistically in just as much need of those rights is exclusionary at best, and a definite "ism". 

It is known as "othering" and is a cheap but destructive trick to create a false bond by giving both parties common ground in the form of another enemy. ?

I also dislike the way the word radical is often used these days, but like Carolyn has already stated many words are weaponised on both sides when they are used with the intent to hurt rather than educate. An obvious example would be that politicians do it all the time through repetition of certain words and slogans in their speeches.

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I had to Google "TERF" ... now I know ☺️

Since TERF is an acronym I think if it is just being used to describe somebody's behavior it wouldn't necessarily be a slur, but it is a bit of a harsh accusation. 

I think if it is directed as a label at somebody personally, then Yes, definitely a slur. 

 

As Trans-people I think we need to be very careful in our choice of words and labels.  Since we are often the target, we have to set a good example to those looking for any reason they can find to condemn us or worse.

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8 hours ago, KayC said:

I had to Google "TERF" ... now I know ☺️

Since TERF is an acronym I think if it is just being used to describe somebody's behavior it wouldn't necessarily be a slur, but it is a bit of a harsh accusation. 

I think if it is directed as a label at somebody personally, then Yes, definitely a slur. 

 

As Trans-people I think we need to be very careful in our choice of words and labels.  Since we are often the target, we have to set a good example to those looking for any reason they can find to condemn us or worse.

I agree that TERF can be a harsh accusation but I think other accusations like bigot, sexist, racist, homophobe, ableist, xenophobe, etc. can be just as harsh, but I have not seen these terms get called slurs. I've seen a lot of people throw these terms around and justify it by saying "The lives of marginalized people are more important than peoples' feelings" (as though false accusations of bigotry are going to save someone's life).

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  • 8 months later...

If TERF can be considered a slur, then would words referring to other forms of bigotry also be slurs? Are the words bigot, sexist, misogynist, male chauvinist, pervert, racist, homophobe, ableist, xenophobe also slurs? I think there is something wrong with the way people call TERF a slur without also calling other strong accusations slurs.


What about accusations that are about things other than bigotry? Are those words also slurs? For example: liar, cheater, thief, butt kisser, brown-noser, suck-up, narc, tattle-tale, party pooper, credit grabber, snob, troublemaker, traitor, slacker, poser, bully, science denier, loud mouth, potty mouth, slob, user, abuser, copycat, moocher, fraudster, blackmailer, manipulator, home wrecker.


I've seem people say that cisgender is a slur because it means that cisgender women are a subcategory of women and cisgender men are a subcategory of men, and people find that demeaning. They think transwomen are transwomen and transmen are transmen, but ciswomen are just women, and cismen are just men. I think it seems transphobic to say that sub-categorizing cisgender people is demeaning but to insist on sub-categorizing transgender people. When used in this way, I think the statement "cisgender is a slur" is a slur against transgender people.

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1 hour ago, Dana Michelle said:

They think transwomen are transwomen and transmen are transmen, but ciswomen are just women, and cismen are just men.

That is one reason why I never write "transwomen" (or "ciswomen" for that matter) as one word.  I always write it as "trans women" to emphasize that we are a type of women, not a totally separate category.

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1 hour ago, Dana Michelle said:

What about accusations that are about things other than bigotry? Are those words also slurs? For example: liar, cheater, thief, butt kisser, brown-noser, suck-up, narc, tattle-tale, party pooper, credit grabber, snob, troublemaker, traitor, slacker, poser, bully, science denier, loud mouth, potty mouth, slob, user, abuser, copycat, moocher, fraudster, blackmailer, manipulator, home wrecker.

 

 

One dictionary definition I've read says this about the word "slur:"

 

an insinuation or allegation about someone that is likely to insult them or damage their reputation.

 

So, many of the words you mention could probably be considered slurs if they were aimed at someone with that intent.  I had to laugh at "party pooper," though.  I haven't heard that phrase in a long time.  It wouldn't amount to much of a slur, IMO.  🤣

 

Carolyn Marie

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1 hour ago, Dana Michelle said:

They think transwomen are transwomen and transmen are transmen, but ciswomen are just women, and cismen are just men.

Hi everyone, my own two cents on this... I do not deny that I am a transgender woman, but I also do not feel a need to qualify my womanhood that way nor is my womanhood determined by any anatomy I may or may not have now or in the future. Rather it is my sense of self as a person with a gender and how I choose to express my gender. ❤️

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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