Talk:Feminist views on transgender topics

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A frustrated beg for neutrality[edit]

If we were to very simplistically and broadly divide attitudes on this topic as "trans ideology supportive" and "trans ideology critical", it has become increasingly clear to me that supportive positions often get a pass within this and other trans-related articles even when they're uncited (sometimes plain wrong), rely on highly unreliable sources, etc., whereas critical positions are upheld to an almost impossibly high standard.

For instance, someone recently undid changes by me on the grounds that they supposedly go against WP:RS even though the sources used were all from major publications: The New Yorker, Times, Feminist Current, Bitch (Magazine), CounterPunch, The New Statesman, and Morning Star. As another example, previously an edit was undone claiming that Sarah Ditum is not "notable", after which I had to clarify that she's a journalist/columnist for The Guardian and New Statesman. People never seem to give me the benefit of doubt and check for themselves how notable something is, or inquire me to make sure; they just flat-out undo my changes.

On the other hand, I recently found an uncited claim on a trans-related article that Andrea Dworkin supposedly wrote in Woman Hating that transwomen are women. I was 99% sure that this is wrong (it's one of my favorite books, if not my favorite book; I'd know) so I put a citation needed on it, removing it after a few days where I found the time to scroll to the trans-related parts of Woman Hating and re-read them, as well as do a full-text search on "trans" to make sure I wasn't missing something. Then today I noticed the External Links section of this article linking to some random blogspot blog providing a subjective interpretation of Woman Hating... Come on. The book is available for download for no cost.

These are just anecdotes from the last week or so. When I tried to edit trans-related articles several months ago I had the same experience, but not enough time and energy to dwell on the phenomenon much.

So please, for the love of Wikipedia: try to be more neutral on this topic. I have strong opinions too, but you won't ever see me remove parts of articles because I deem The TransAdvocate to be an "unreliable source" just because it's not a super-famous publication like, I dunno, Slate or something. In terms of "notability" I would intuit that it's on the same level as Feminist Current (which is probably the least notable of the sources I tend to use); correct me if I'm wrong.

Let's not get into ideological edit wars or try to erase out notable positions because they make some people uncomfortable. If you really believe that it is true that certain positions on this topic are abhorrent, then a cold and scholarly representation of them will do just fine to reveal that. (I do not, of course, believe that this is the case, which is why I have zero problems with cold and scholarly representation of said positions, and in fact try to provide them.) TaylanUB (talk) 18:25, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

Hi, I took down some of the sources added in this article you mention. I'm not the only one who has taken down those sources for RS reasons in this and the transphobia page. I also took down a transadvocate citation for similar reasons around the same time. See WP:RS for clarity on identifying reliable sources. In particular we should be defaulting to more well-established news sources which are available for the Hyde Park Incident. Some of the articles you mention were from better established sources but were opinion pieces which RS states "are rarely reliable for statements of fact." They can be used for attributed statements but even then such statements are more likely to be notable if they are from recognized experts in the field. Andrea Dworkin would definitely qualify here, while Sarah Ditum would not. One way to measure this is Ditum is not talked about nearly as much (at all?) as Dworkin in reliable secondary sources. Good catch on the Dworkin citation, I agree that was misleading and you were definitely right to change it. Anyway also check WP:NPOV for more info on using opinion sources well.Rab V (talk) 23:26, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Hi, sorry about the late response. I was in Turkey on vacation and Wikipedia is entirely blocked there. To be clear, I didn't have anyone in particular in mind when I opened this section of the talk page; it's an overall attitude I've observed on trans-related pages and not any individual's behavior. WP:RS says explicitly that opinion pieces are highly valued sources to represent differing viewpoints on a topic, so long as they are otherwise notable sources. I don't use any opinions presented in said pieces as statements of fact, except for where the source provides objective evidence for a certain claim (in which case that claim alone becomes a fact; not the whole opinion piece of course). Feminist Current is perhaps the biggest Canadian feminist website. Meghan Murphy is most certainly an expert in the field; she took part in hearings on the Canadian Bill C-16 on gender identity, laying out the radical feminist position on the topic. I don't know of any radical feminsit challenging her authority on this topic. As for Sarah Ditum, if she is not considered "notable" enough then I suppose it should be fine, for instance, to also remove mentions of Zinnia Jones from trans related articles, as I don't see Jones being any more notable. Is that right? Thanks for your assistance. TaylanUB (talk) 18:48, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
Actually, after re-reading WP:RS, I don't see any reason a piece by Sarah Ditum should not be considered RS regarding the opinions of radical feminists. TaylanUB (talk) 18:54, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
My issue was not just with the authors but with Feminist Current since I don't believe FC meets RS requirements for being a well-established source. In particular, RS states questionable sources are ones that express views that are widely acknowledged as extremist or that rely heavily on rumors and personal opinions. FC seems to only publish opinion pieces and is known takes extreme views on trans people; in particular Murphy and FC stopped being associated with after not being able to reconcile when she insisted on refering to trans men in a way that went against editorial policy. A Murphy piece in FC also is self-published, and RS is clear such a source is not suitable for extraordinary claims, and TERF being hate speech would qualify since it is not in other reliable sources. I'm not familiar with Zinnia Jones so I can't compare. Also if you are trying to claim that someone committed assault, you should definitely not be using opinion pieces to do so; the one non-opinion news article you cite on the Hyde park incident does not make that claim for either side. Rab V (talk) 20:37, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
So most of this comes down to your negative personal opinions on FC and Murphy then, am I wrong? As mentioned, FC is one of Canada's biggest feminist websites if not the biggest, and Murphy took part in government hearings on the recent gender identity related bill. Murphy is a major authority figure regarding radical feminist ideology, so her position on this topic is very significant; I would say almost comparable to e.g. Greer, Jeffreys, and Raymond (though those have reached "historical figure" status at this point, whereas Murphy is contemporary). Most of the general population believes radical feminism to be "extremist" and mistakenly think that the analysis of "patriarchy" is akin to a conspiracy theory or based on wild rumors and personal opinions rather than facts. This generally results from lacking education on the topic and not paying attention to publications by radical feminists. I would urge you to take a serious look at FC, as I think you're making fundamentally the same mistake. Murphy quit on her own volition by the way, after experiencing unproffessional conduct on their side. I'm not sure if Murphy publishing on FC is "self-publishing" as FC is a journalistic organization publishing pieces by a wide variety of authors, Murphy happening to be the founder of the organization. Indeed, look at the beginning of the "Exceptions" section of WP:RS's part on self-publishing. Her opinions is also significant regardless, due to her expert position on radical feminist politics. And regarding the assault at Hyde Park: police are looking for the perpetrators now, and a new article on this just appeared on The Guardian, which is pretty clear on the incident being physical assault. I'll add this information and citation in a bit. TaylanUB (talk) 18:37, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
A site isn't RS because it labels itself the 'biggest website' in a certain topic. Once again, there are more trustworthy sources that could be used and claiming someone assaulted another should be definitively said in a non opinion RS to be written as fact. Rab V (talk) 22:31, 11 November 2017 (UTC)
It's not so because it calls itself so. You can check its Alexa ranking, positioning on Google results, follower count on various social media platforms, or whatever other metric you want. It's leading by a significant margin. And there are a bunch of different news reports of the physical assault. Please stop removing my edits when you don't have a proper reason. This is Wikipedia, not a transgender activism blog. TaylanUB (talk) 17:45, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

It's also not an anti trans blog Taylan. I also do not consider Meghan Murphy a reliable or useful source on trans politics. Factsnotfeelings 23:12, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

Robert Jensen?[edit]

I don't understand why he is listed considering, after reading the citation, he seems completely fringe and his opposition to transgender people is pretty much based on his own imagination. ShimonChai (talk) 18:28, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

You're doing better than me, I couldn't get through the article. I support removing his paragraph. Spacepine (talk) 23:27, 10 July 2018 (UTC)
Yes, this person is not a significant feminist, Foggymaize (talk) 07:47, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

Recent changes to the article[edit]

I undid a number of changes that were made to the "TERF" related content of the article, as these were quite clearly from a highly biased position. Here's a rundown of the issues:

  • The intro was changed to imply that there is no clear evidence that "TERF" is associated with violent speech or actions against women. There is very clearly documented evidence of this, found in the cited source. Most of the tweets in question are still online. Reference to the term "hate speech" was also removed, even though that's clearly the topic of the cited article.
  • The phrase "feminist journalist Sarah Ditum" was changed to "radical feminist journalist..." I left this in because intuitively speaking it seems easy to verify through a quick google search like "Sarah Ditum radical feminist" which reveals her own writings on the topic.
  • The physical assault was reframed as an "altercation" even though highly reliable sources like The Guardian have clearly noted that it was physical assault and that the assailants are being sought by the police. If there are opinion pieces from pro-trans sources that claim otherwise, the article should be edited to clearly reflect these different framings and all facts related to the issue. For now I just removed the new references that were added because I don't have time to not only revert destructive edits to content I add but *also* strain myself to merge valuable contributions people make in between as part of those destructive edits. Please add those sources back again in an actually neutral way, if you have the time. E.g. say that this and that source has claimed that it wasn't really violence, or whatever. P.S.: there is a very clear YouTube video in which the whole thing is on camera, and the TransPlanet article seems to quite intentionally cut to a very small part of the video and distract from the larger picture. That's quite literally Fake News(TM). Here's the full video for those interested: I just realized there is no blanket ban on YouTube links (I assumed there probably was) so I'll add this as an additional citation next.
  • Maria MacLachlan's name was removed in reference to WP:LEAD or something... even though that part of the article isn't in the lead? Tell me if I'm missing something.
  • MacLachlan is referred to as a radical feminist even though it's unknown whether she identifies as such / whether her political views can be clearly categorized as such.
  • Reference to Meghan Murphy's position was removed even though she's a highly prominent feminist figure who runs Canada's biggest feminist journalism site and has taken part in government hearings on gender identity legislation. Please people, I know you hate the site with a passion but Feminist Current and Meghan Murphy *are* notable sources / reliable sources on radical feminist positions.

It makes me really weary when people make such destructive edits for ideological reasons, but I'm afraid I'll keep reverting such destructive changes unless they're actually justified. Obviously I have my own political opinion on this topic, but the way I'm going forth is by adding clearly sourced material that represents a notable feminist point of view on the issue, whereas the way the other side goes about it is by constantly claiming that transgender ideology-critical feminist positions are somehow irrelevant, an "extreme fringe", that even the most notable radical feminist news sources are "unreliable", etc. TaylanUB (talk) 21:15, 30 November 2017 (UTC)

I made the changes in question, and they were neither destructive nor "biased" (they were a removal of a clear bias). Here is an explanation and defense of each change, and why they need to be unreverted:
  1. As multiple other users have said (you have reverted each edit by all of them), "noted" ought to be changed to "claimed" in the introduction: the characterization of the sole incident (at Speaker's Corner) which you claim shows that "TERF" is "associated with violent speech and actions against women" is very much under dispute. Even if your characterization of the incident as a one-sided "assault" were factual and correct (and I will elaborate later on why this is not the case), a single incident does not in any way establish an "association" nor pattern of usage of the acronym "TERF." Additionally, differing opinions about the term TERF do not need to be in the introduction (and certainly not just a single opinion that it is a "slur") - elaboration on the term is discussed later in the article. Note EvergreenFir's comments about undue weight.
  2. Since you did not revert this, I have nothing more to say on it.
  3. The incident at Speaker's Corner, from all of the available evidence (videos and screenshots from said videos, and the one neutral article (in New Statesman) cited), was a two-sided altercation, not a one-sided assault. The event in question seems to have unfolded as follows, after the crowd of assembled transphobic radical feminists had been goading the trans-friendly crowd:
    1. MacLachlan begins to film trans-supportive protesters from a few feet away, aiming her camera at their faces.
    2. One protester from the crowd tries and fails to grab Maclachlan's camera.
    3. MacLachlan then advances on the protesters and gets in their personal space, attempting to record whomever tried to grab her camera.
    4. The protesters push her back and one of them successfully grabs and takes her camera (likely to avoid attempted doxxing and harassment over the internet).
    5. MacLachlan puts (and keeps) one of the smallest protesters in a headlock.
    6. Brief scuffle between the opposing parties.
    7. One of the trans-supportive protesters (the one with the initial unsuccessful attempt to grab the camera) punches MacLachlan, while the latter is still forcibly grabbing and restraining the other protester.
While there is much dispute over who can be said to have instigated the altercation, it is clear that the incident was very much reciprocal: this was not a case of say, a transgender person (or trans-supportive cisgender person) yelling "TERF" and randomly punching MacLachlan as she was walking down the street.
Additionally, it is clear bias to remove the sources I cited (TransPlanet, TheQueerness) while retaining the comparable opinion sources from the opposing side (Izaakson, Gillespie). The latter are no more reliable than the former, and removing only the former goes against WP:NPOV. Either retain all four sources in question, or none of the four (the second option seems preferable in the interest of neutral, reliable sourcing) - but to only retain the opinion pieces with which you personally agree is not acceptable. Also, there are two separate videos of the altercation which were shot from different angles. The array of still images on PlanetTransgender are taken from one video - however, PT also included the other video (the one you linked to above).
Also, giving this single incident so much weight within the article (and I noticed a couple users here questioning whether it should be included at all) does not make sense.
4. I did not make the edit re: including her name, and I have no position on it.
5. No, as many other people here have pointed out, Feminist Current is in no way a reliable source - it mainly consists of extremist opinion pieces written and self-published by Meghan Murphy. As RabV previously noted: "In particular, RS states questionable sources are ones that express views that are widely acknowledged as extremist or that rely heavily on rumors and personal opinions. FC seems to only publish opinion pieces and is known takes extreme views on trans people". WP:RS also details the issues with citing self-published sources. Also, the way you describe these opinion pieces within the article (Murphy's articles, and the piece by Ditum) makes them out to be factual & neutral reporting, not biased opinion pieces. "Noted" is simply not an appropriate word to use to describe contested claims within an opinion piece. "Asserted," "claimed," "alleged," etc would all be far more neutral and accurate in the cases in question.
I would not have made the edits I made if there were not good reasons for them. Several other users have previously made very similar edits, and it has been only you that has, without fail, reverted all of them. The edits are constructive, not destructive, and work towards making the article more neutral and of better quality. And even with my previous edits, the article disproportionately represents the views transphobic radical feminists, without much mention of the trans-accepting views of most modern-day feminists and feminist theory. I'm unsure how you can accuse me and others of making these edits for "ideological reasons," when you have been pushing your own ideology throughout the article for months, and in light of some of your comments on this talk page (i.e. "Trans Activists are trying to manipulate Wikipedia" and comments below that make broad character judgments on transgender editors and so-called "trans activists" at large). (talk) 08:22, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

I would like to second calls to have Meghan Murphy's opinions removed, or at least explained. Opinion pieces by hate groups are surely not reliable Wikipedia sources? 23:10, 22 September 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Factsnotfeelings (talkcontribs)

YouTube video of the assault[edit]

In the talk page of the article "Transphobia" it was claimed that the YouTube video of the Speaker's Corner assault goes against some Wikipedia rules, but no rules were clearly named or linked. I looked around for a second time today and still couldn't tell what rules said video would break, so I'm adding it back for now. Please tell me / link clearly which exact rules it breaks before removing it again. And please be careful not to fall to personal bias in your interpretation of the rules; I had to observe this at least 2-3 times recently in relation to edits made to the page about the assault. Thank you. TaylanUB (talk) 12:44, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

Hi Taylan, Generally speaking, it's rules about what constitutes a reliable source, which user-uploaded videos rarely are. More specifically, the policy on Verifiability says that all quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be attributed to a reliable, published source using an inline citation; material not meeting this standard may be removed. Regarding videos, WP:VIDEOLINK says, "you must establish that the uploader and the video meet the standards for a reliable source." If the uploader were BBC news, you'd have little problem with that. Since the material has already been challenged and removed once or more than once, and the uploader is Miranda Yardley, the burden is now on you to come up with a rationale about her reliability, and secondly about the reliability of the video. Also have a look at WP:Identifying reliable sources, WP:Verifiability#Self-published sources, WP:IRS#User-generated content, and WP:CITEVIDEO#YouTube videos as references. Cordially, Mathglot (talk) 11:57, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
Hi Mathglot, thanks for elaborating. Help me understand this better: when the video is provided as-is without drawing any conclusions from it (as my addition to the article was doing), and if it's clear that the video simply contains uncommented and unedited footage of the event in question, does it in that case still need to be from a Reliable Source like a news outlet? I find it rather bizarre that a straightforward footage of a crime (uncommented and unedited) should be removed just because the person who uploaded it is not a well known publisher. Well, on that topic, Miranda Yardley isn't exactly a nobody either. Apart from editing and publishing Terrorizer (unrelated to politics), she wrote for the Morning Star and The Sun on transgender politics, appeared in a Feminist Current podcast, was interviewed by The Times on the topic, and provided evidence to the UK Transgender Equality Inquiry. I think the balance between how much scrutiny the video deserves, and how "reliable" Yardley is, checks out. What do you think? TaylanUB (talk) 19:36, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
Hi Taylan, the technicalities of evaluating a particular YT video for reliability is getting a little beyond my expertise, but I'll offer an opinion, and then solicit some others from people who know better.
To your first question (as-is, w/o conclusions, unedited footage, etc: does it still need to be from a RS?) I would say, per the Verifiability policy, not just YT but all sources have to be reliable sources. (What constitutes a RS in different contexts may differ; for example, articles on medical topics have a guideline of their own: WP:MEDRS.) To your second statement, the video was removed not because Yardley is not a well-known publisher, but because the video must meet two criteria, as quoted above from WP:VIDEOLINK, and I judged that it didn't. You brought up some good points which may tend to her reliability as a source, that would be for the community to decide. And then there is the second criterion, whether the video content is reliable. I see that section #References has a lot of material which in my interpretation would discount the video as RS; for example, the video constitutes a primary source, and secondary sources are preferred; e.g., Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. This prevents editors from engaging in original research. OTOH, this seems to be more about talking heads, than live footage of an event, which doesn't appear to be covered in the guideline supplement, so I'm not entirely sure.
In order to get a feel for how the RS gnomes talk about and analyze these things, you might want to browse the Noticeboard for the topic, at WP:RSN. If you search the RSN Archives for YouTube, you'll get a list of previously held discussions in the archives that you can read up on, regarding YouTube videos in the context of conversations about Reliable Sources.
Finally, to solicit expert opinions, normally I'd look first for a WikiProject devoted to the subject (like WP:WPREDIR for Redirects, or WP:WPDAB for Disambig pages) but Reliable Sources doesn't seem to have its own project, so I'm thinking the Talk page at RSN is the place to go for that. Accordingly, I've left a request for opinions there, linking back to this discussion, and hopefully we'll get some more expert opinion about your question. A good way to do this, if you are able to, is to formulate your question as a Yes/No question (or other question with a small number of alternatives); so let me take a crack at it:   (Mathglot ( talk) 09:12, 5 December 2017 (UTC) )

YouTube video of the assault RS question[edit]

If you're arriving here from WT:RSN, please scroll up for context.
Let's see if this helps resolve your question. Cordially, Mathglot (talk) 09:12, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No per WP:SPS There are no way to verify that this video of an assault is the assault in question, YouTube has no editorial control nor fact checking in place. Darkness Shines (talk) 10:28, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No Not only do we not know if this is a video of the assault we cannot know if any editing has occurred. Not even sure why this incident is in the article.Slatersteven (talk) 15:14, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No per WP:SPS EvergreenFir (talk) 19:19, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No Despite the author's title, this is not clear to me what happened. WP:SPS Fred (talk) 20:53, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
  • No. I know the woman who was attacked, her husband is a friend. It is much more complicated than this. Guy (Help!) 01:07, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

(continuation of parent section)[edit]

(I wasn't sure where else to respond to Mathglot after the addition of the above subsection. I hope I'm not messing up the page structure.)

Hi Mathglot, thank you so much for going through the trouble to resolve this question with the experts. While it's a bit mind-boggling at first to hear that "there is no way to verify that this video is really of the assault in question" (because that's just obvious to people who know about the incident), I think I understand that this is just one of those strange things about Wikipedia's method of operating. No matter how "obvious" something is, it can still be ruled out as "original research" or something like that... On the meanwhile, I've found out that there is a Feminist Current article on the incident itself (not the subsequent article on "TERF" being hate speech), and that article contains the video in question. I'll see whether I find a suitable way to link to this article instead of directly to the YT video. Maybe just as an additional citation at the end of an existing sentence... TaylanUB (talk) 18:42, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

Trans activists are trying to manipulate Wikipedia (probably this article)[edit]

See image:

This is just plain depressing and I barely have the energy to get angry at this point so I'll just keep going on with my zombie tone. These screenshots (that I merged together and censored for now) apparently popped up a few days ago. Person 1 says "TERFs are just a hate group so we should remove them from the page." Person 2 and 3 are clearly discussing manipulation strategies on how to gradually achieve this. Person 4 says something that I suppose is acceptable (implies but doesn't explicitly suggest giving undue weight to one position). Person 5 says they are a very longstanding Wikipedia author and is unfazed by these people; instead they give the others advice on what sort of manipulation is and isn't realistically possible on Wikipedia.

It's unclear where the screenshots originate from. It seems that the original uploader shut down their Twitter account, which might be to escape the wrath of the depicted people assuming they were part of a private circle.

I'm guessing that people will scrutinize the reality of these screenshots. I don't know how we might go forth to weight their reality, but I'll tell you one thing: this sort of behavior is 100% compatible with how I've come to know SOME (only SOME, but some) trans activists over the years. Also part of the reason I'm not particularly shocked to be honest. I have little doubt that these screenshots are genuine.

For now, I have no concrete suggestion as to which editors these people may be. I also don't know how to deal with the bureaucratic aspects of this situation. I wish these people would just stop. TaylanUB (talk) 19:31, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

Green tickY Unverified screenshot?
Green tickY Accusations against trans editors?
I don't even know how to respond to this. If you think there's an issue, go to WP:ANI or something. Frankly, I think your badgering and behavior on this page will lead you there regardless. EvergreenFir (talk) 19:45, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry you have to deal with this issue @TaylanUB:. I feel this article might be improved if we flipped the sections. 1. Transfeminism 2. Fem support, 3 fem criticism, and 4. Terf. I don't think using the term "radical feminism" is a good fit in this article. There has been some talk about gender-critical feminists (ie. in Susan Stryker has used that term).[1]. I'm not sure if this counts as the manipulation you suggest, but i don't see why the article doesn't start with the main topic and then move into the backlash. Fred (talk) 03:01, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
It has already been brought up at ANI. The target article appears to be List of feminists. AIRcorn (talk) 11:09, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Taylan, we have no idea of the provenance of this image purporting to represent an off-wiki conversation about articles on wikipedia, and I urge you to disregard it, take a deep breath, and soldier on. More thoughts about that at your Talk page.
The proper subject of this article Talk page is to raise ideas and discuss how to improve the article, such as Frederika has done above. What do you think of her specific suggestions? Or would you like to propose some changed to the article yourself? Cordially, Mathglot (talk) 08:46, 8 December 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ Stryker, Susan (2017). Transgender History, second edition: The Roots of Today's Revolution. Da Capo Press. ISBN 9781580056908.

Re-write, or at least re-ordering, of article?[edit]

I agree that this needs to be watched and handled carefully and thoughtfully. One problem I see with the current structure is that it starts with the section on opposition, broken down by person. "Prominent feminist A said X in 1970-something. Then decades later she revised her opinion, saying Y." X and Y do not both fit under "opposition", and it flows badly. I'm not sure of the best way forward. Is there a way to structure the article to be less about individual activists and theorists, and more about ideas and policy proposals? Sort of an intellectual history of how movements within feminism have developed over time? An area that is lacking is that of feminist analysis of trans men: a summary of what has been written about this would be a useful addition to the article. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 15:08, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

Agree with you, CC. The part about Steinem at the top of the #Feminist criticism section was my recent addition. I had nothing to do with the structure of that section (or the article), and although I didn't and don't like the structure, I wanted to add Steinem for two reasons:
  1. she is an icon of second-wave feminism, and what she has to say about the topic, especially that far back, is illuminating, and
  2. she went through a change of heart wrt to her opinions about trans people, and afaik that's fairly uncommon.
For those reasons, I thought it was highly relevant for her to be heard. The position at the top of the section, is solely due to chronology; if any of the other people spoke earlier, then the section should be moved down.
Having said all that, I totally support a restructuring of this section. I'm not sure how, either, though. Perhaps at Level 3 (H3 heading, === Section foo ===) a couple of headings, like, "Support", and "Criticism" or "Opposition", and under that, either just a chronological narrative of how the criticism developed (or the support, or changes of mind) without a Level 4 for each person? Or possibly, by theme of support or opposition? I feel that somehow the article is crying out for a brief resumé of the essentialist versus social constructionist views of gender, the latter of which sprang out of second-wave feminism and whose implications are the locus of support for both oppositional radical feminist theory, as well as supportive feminist arguments, including radical feminists as well.
I haven't thought about how to translate any of that into a new structure for the section, but you're right, it definitely needs something. I'd certainly endorse your boldly taking a crack at it, and see what happens. If it gets reverted, we just end up here again, which is fine. (OTOH, if you're talking about restructuring the whole article and not just the first two sections, I can definitely see an argument for that, too; but yeah, maybe that should be discussed first.) Mathglot (talk) 05:22, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, be bold Carbon Caryatid WP:BOLD! I really liked how Awkward-Rich called it "TERF War" in the essay in Signs (Spring 2017)! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Frederika Eilers (talkcontribs) 18:46, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks - I'm not feeling BOLD enough to re-organise this article, not "live" anyway. But I'll certainly contribute if anyone wants to sketch out a proposal on this talk page. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 09:39, 19 December 2017 (UTC)

TERF section again[edit]

Trying to cast this as (1) opposition by trans people, (2) the acts of "transgender activists", or (3) a list for conflicts is disruptive and pov-pushing, TaylanUB. You know by now CounterPunch is not a reliable source. Your insistence on trying to making these articles about trans women attacking rad fems is disruptive to say the least. Please stop. I cannot tell if you simply don't understand how Wikipedia works or if you're trying to push your POV/WP: RIGHTGREATWRONGS. EvergreenFir (talk) 17:13, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

You're assuming bad faith. (1) What's the problem with calling the section "transgender opposition" when the opposition comes from a point of transgender politics? We could just rename the section back to "opposition" like it used to be titled (before I changed it because it used to focus entirely on "TERF"), but the two citations in the lead of the section are from (a) Tina Vasquez, who is featured on TransAdvocate and wrote several pro-transgender political pieces, and (b) Cristan Williams. (2) Apart from that, there is a single part in the whole section in which "transgender activists" and that's regarding the Speaker's Corner incident, in which there's no question about the crowd being a trans activist crowd. The incident re. Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen talked about "queer activists" which is what Keith & Jensen called them.
Regarding CP as a source: I'll change the wording to clarify that Keith and Jensen make this claim themselves, i.e. they wrote the cited article. It is most definitely an incident relevant to transgender opposition to perceived transphobia in radical feminism, as Keith and Jensen are notable figures and Deep Green Resistance has been criticized very extensively for alleged transphobia.
Before I started making changes to these pages, they were written from a highly biased perspective. (In part they still are, my work is far from done, especially on other pages than this one.) I'm not trying to push my POV, I'm trying to prevent them from pushing a trans activist POV, which evidently people are trying to prevent, given that it took months for me to establish for instance that Feminist Current is a reliable source when people have been citing pieces by Cristan Williams from TransAdvocate forever. We see it again here in which you simply claim that CounterPunch is not reliable, when what we have at hand is a piece published by Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen. TaylanUB (talk) 18:18, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
FWIW I don't think we should ideally be titling a section with what we later describe as a slur. I would support simply opposition and expanding it to more than the term. Starting the section with "Many argue ...." and then "Many who do so..." is definitely POV though. Why not "It is argued" or something similar. I do agree with the removal of the counterpoint source though. If this is a notable incident there should be a better source. The main problem though is the structure of the article, which has been pointed out a few time above. AIRcorn (talk) 20:55, 16 December 2017 (UTC)
We need a section about the term TERF somewhere and, as mentioned, this is the result. Please see the discussion at Talk:TERF. Removing the focus of this section effectively removes our entry on the term itself, which is not okay.
I'm assuming some something, since you've been pushing for this on about a half dozen pages for the past few weeks. I'll reserve judgement regarding good/bad faith.
While I'm sure the incident is related to TERFism, perceived transphobia, etc., it's utterly UNDUE to highlight an event with so little mainstream coverage. It's also SYNTH to, as with the other articles, try to link the term TERF with violent events. As I said in another edit, it would be fill the page with violet rhetoric from radical feminist as well such as Cathy Brennan. We don't we don't do this because we need to follow what reliable sources, unlike counterpunch, say about the phenomena or issue at hand. Otherwise, individual editors' biases will be reflected within the article by focusing on certain topics.
If you have questions about the reliability of a particular source, ask at the notice board for reliable sources. Counterpunch has been raised as a source there before and generally is found not to be reliable source because it is is serious of opinion pieces. They're only reliable for the author's own opinions or information about themselves per WP:SPS. EvergreenFir (talk) 04:42, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
I had already changed the wording to make it clear that Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen are making said claims, as the piece on CounterPunch is written by them. Are they now not considered notable people? I'm pretty sure Lierre Keith is a notable radical feminist and Derrick Jensen a notable leftist/anprim. If you have any pieces from RS or written by notable people regarding "violent rhetoric" by Cathy Brennan or other radical feminists, feel free to add them. (So far my impression was that Brennan suffers from the same typical misogynist/lesbophobic backlash all outspoken women/lesbians face when they aren't being "nice" enough, so I would also personally find it interesting if you have any sources to the contrary.)
Before my weeks (if not months) of struggling, people didn't even want to accept Sarah Ditum and Feminist Current as notable/reliable. And didn't want to accept the Speaker's Corner incident as notable despite large-scale coverage... Are you sure this isn't a continuation of that bias?
By the way, I think it was me who renamed this section from "Opposition" to 'The term "TERF"' some months ago. Where did "TERF" redirect to before that? Is there a problem with redirecting to the parent section ("Feminist exclusion of trans women") or the same section but still renaming it "Opposition" or "Transgender opposition" since it talks about "TERF" either way? Does the term absolutely need a section dedicated entirely to itself? This reminds me a bit of the time where people got angry about "Cultural Marxism" redirecting to the section "Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory"... TaylanUB (talk) 20:25, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
The issue where was the label "conspiracy theory". The issue here is that we had a page for TERF and it got downsized to a redirect. IMHO, we need a clear space somewhere to address the acronym. If it was you who changed it to that title, I thank you.
Again, the issue with highlighting instances of conflict around the term remains that we would be giving UNDUE weight to individual instances. We should not indiscriminately list all possibly related instances. Rather, we need to rely on RS (preferably not ones like TransAdvocate or Feminist Current) to tell us which instances are notable and related. EvergreenFir (talk) 22:03, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
I still don't see:
1. why the section needs to be 100% focused on the term, when it could be more generally about the backlash against feminist exclusion of trans women and mention the term "TERF" in its lead, and
2. why Keith and Jensen's retelling of an attack by queer activists against them over alleged transphobia should not be mentioned, when Keith is quite a notable radical feminist. This does not amount to "indiscriminately [listing] all possibly related instances."
Can you elaborate on these two issues?
Otherwise, if we were to purely rely on pieces that are written for high-profile publishers and that don't take a side, the section would be awfully small. I can think of: 1. the Goldberg piece "What is a woman?" for The New Yorker, and 2. the New Statesman piece about the Speaker's Corner incident. (I think those two tried hard not to pick a side; correct me if I'm wrong.) Am I missing any? I think it would be unhelpful to reduce the section to these. Taylan (talk) 22:33, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
Not sure how else to say WP:SYNTH regarding the violence. The section, imo, needs focus. Not a collection of trans rights backlash by feminists or backlash against trans exclusionary radical feminism. EvergreenFir (talk) 05:54, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
I don't understand the SYNTH claim, as the New Statesman source alone clearly states the woman was punched. We can change "was physically assaulted" to "was punched" if you want?.. (I'm seriously unsure myself whether I should consider my own question rhetorical/ironic or not. The whole treatment of the Speaker's Corner incident by people on the "pro-trans" side of the debate seems very Orwellian to me.) Or did you mean something else entirely with the SYNTH?
Otherwise, I'm afraid you haven't answered to either of my two questions. I still don't understand why the section shouldn't be more general, and why prominent instances / instances involving prominent people, with regard to the clash between radical feminists and those considering them transphobic, should not be mentioned under the (ideally generalized) section. Taylan (talk) 20:28, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
I still object to renaming the section and including any/all events of violence (WP:UNDUE). Start an RFC if you need to. EvergreenFir (talk) 20:40, 8 January 2018 (UTC)


The problem with the TERF section, is that it doesn't adhere to the topic of this article, which is, lest we forget, "Feminist views on transgender and transsexual people." Per WP:AT, the discussion in this section (as in every section) should be couched in terms of the article topic. So, we should lead off with the feminist views first, if necessary placing it in context of some event where the term was used, or providing that info via a link if possible, or a ref. It's also rather lengthy, and that can be improved somewhat, by moving some quotations into the refs. I'd suggest something more along these lines (Note: footnote links work only when collapsed refs section is expanded.):

The term "TERF", short for trans exclusionary radical feminist, is considered a slur by those at whom it is directed.[1][2][3] Radical feminist journalist Sarah Ditum, who writes for The Guardian and the New Statesman, said that the term is used to silence feminists through guilt by association.[4] Julie Bindel, writing for The Guardian, opined that her exclusion from university platforms for alleged transphobia, even when it was planned for her to talk on unrelated issues such as male violence, was indicative of an anti-feminist crusade and linked the term "TERF" to this.[5]

In February 2017, Meghan Murphy, founder of Canadian website Feminist Current, said after an assault on a participant at a feminist gathering in London by transgender activists[6] that "TERF" is not only a slur but a form of hate speech, pointing at the number of transgender activists and sympathizers who were defending or even celebrating the physical assault against attendee Maria MacLachlan on the grounds that she was allegedly a "TERF".[7]

Sarah Ditum, writing for the New Statesman, noted how "TERF" became a mainstream slur after initially starting out as what was mostly an Internet buzzword.[8]

Claire Heuchan, criticizing the deplatforming of Linda Bellos from Cambridge University on grounds of her perceived transphobia, said that "TERF" is often used alongside violent rhetoric, and used to dehumanize women who are critical of gender. She also added that the term obscures the fact that it is men who are responsible for violence against transgender people.[9]
Show references


  1. ^ Goldberg, Michelle (August 4, 2014). "What Is a Woman?". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 20, 2015. TERF stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.” The term can be useful for making a distinction with radical feminists who do not share the same position, but those at whom it is directed consider it a slur.
  2. ^ Vasquez, Tina (February 17, 2014). "It's Time to End the Long History of Feminism Failing Transgender Women". Bitch Media. Retrieved April 18, 2014. Drawing from that history, Brennan, fellow attorney Elizabeth Hungerford, and other modern-day feminists continue to actively question the inclusion of trans people in women’s spaces. These feminists refer to themselves as “radical feminists” or “gender critical feminists.” In 2008, trans women and trans advocates started referring to this group as “trans-exclusionary radical feminists” or TERFs, a term Brennan considers a slur.
  3. ^ Hungerford, Elizabeth (2–4 August 2013). "Sex is Not Gender". CounterPunch. Retrieved 10 August 2014. Make no mistake, this is a slur. TERF is not meant to be explanatory, but insulting. These characterizations are hyperbolic, misleading, and ultimately defamatory. They do nothing but escalate the vitriol and fail to advance the conversation in any way.
  4. ^ Sarah Ditum (July 29, 2014). "How 'TERF' works". Feminist Current. Am I a TERF? West didn't have the time to check: avoiding any association with a tainted form of feminism took precedence over sharing a message about domestic violence. And she acted perfectly rationally in this: to associate herself with me, even by merely RTing a statement she agreed with, could be enough to make her a "known TERF" in turn and lead to her being similarly denounced in public. But note the end result of this: a feminist has withdrawn support for another feminist speaking against male violence, because a man told her to.
  5. ^ Julie Bindel (October 9, 2015). "No platform: my exclusion proves this is an anti-feminist crusade". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Anoosh Chakelian (September 14, 2017). "Trans rights, TERFs, and a bruised 60-year-old: what happened at Speakers' Corner?". New Statesman.

    James Gillespie (September 24, 2017). "Trans group ATH 'condones punching feminists'". The Sunday Times.

    Jen Izakson (September 18, 2017). "Misogynist violence at Speakers' Corner". Morning Star.

    Meghan Murphy (September 15, 2017). "Historic Speaker's Corner becomes site of anti-feminist silencing and violence". Feminist Current.

  7. ^ Meghan E. Murphy (September 21, 2017). "'TERF' isn't just a slur, it's hate speech". Feminist Current. If “TERF” were a term that conveyed something purposeful, accurate, or useful, beyond simply smearing, silencing, insulting, discriminating against, or inciting violence, it could perhaps be considered neutral or harmless. But because the term itself is politically dishonest and misrepresentative, and because its intent is to vilify, disparage, and intimidate, as well as to incite and justify violence against women, it is dangerous and indeed qualifies as a form of hate speech. While women have tried to point out that this would be the end result of “TERF” before, they were, as usual, dismissed. We now have undeniable proof that painting women with this brush leads to real, physical violence. If you didn’t believe us before, you now have no excuse.
  8. ^ Sarah Ditum (September 29, 2017). "What is a Terf? How an internet buzzword became a mainstream slur". New Statesman.
  9. ^ Claire Heuchan (October 6, 2017). "If feminist Linda Bellos is seen as a risk, progressive politics has lost its way". The Guardian. Terf stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Online, it often it appears alongside violent rhetoric: punch a Terf, stab a Terf, kill a Terf. This language is used to dehumanise women who are critical of gender as part of a political system. ... The term 'Terf' and the violent rhetoric that often accompanies it only serve to obscure the reality: women and trans people alike are targets of male violence. To make radical feminists the villains is to blame men’s violence on women’s thoughts.' 

I'm not addressing any other issues that might relate to improving the section text above, other than keeping the focus on the topic of the article, and leading with feminist views; there might be other changes needed once that is settled. For example, since the topic is "feminist views," it's not clear to me whether we need to present information that might contrast with those views, such as, for example, the fact that the term was created by radical feminists. Since that's not part of a "feminist view of transgender people," does it need to be stated here? Not sure. Mathglot (talk) 10:59, 18 January 2018 (UTC)

Your proposed changes are fine to me; they seem rather minor anyway. I assume the first paragraph of the section will remain to provide context though; otherwise this context should be provided some other way. Taylan (talk) 09:10, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

Suggest the whole TERF section belongs in an article about slurs, not about feminists. What does name calling have to do with these issues? Foggymaize (talk) 23:46, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

We get you have your pov, like the rest of us have our own, but it's rather tendentious to pretend it is the only view and make comments like these. Clearly, in the text of the article, it's more than just a perceived slur. EvergreenFir (talk) 02:30, 31 January 2018 (UTC)


Foggymaize please stop edit warring and study'sdiscuss your changes. I'll find a citation if you like. EvergreenFir (talk) 05:49, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

Just to keep everything transparent please note my relation to Foggymaize. I have explained about edit warring so that should stop now. I have to say she has a point though. The WP:lead should summarise the article, and here we have an article which for the majority is a critical view, yet the opening sentence had with the position of acceptance having become more common through the years. This is not supported in the article and if anything the opposite is presented. Given this Foggymaizes change was pretty mild. Information should be presented in the article before it is even thought about being discussed in the lead. Saying "acceptance having become more common through the years" in Wikipedias voice definitely requires some pretty strong sources and per WP:Burden there should be no issues removing it if there are no sources. AIRcorn (talk) 09:01, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Aircorn. I glanced over that sentence many times asking myself whether it should be removed, but was shy of doing so because it *seemed* accurate from what I know about developments within feminism over the years. Then again, 1. this is not a shift within "the one feminist movement" (which does not exist) but rather related to the popularization of liberal and queer feminism and de-popularization of radical feminism, and 2. some of the most recent developments make me question the premise altogether, as the so-called "TERF" movement gets bigger and more prominent, with groups like Women's Place UK forming, AfterEllen taking in radfem Claire Heuchan as an author, radical feminists openly opposing gender identity laws in government hearings, etc. Of course I could be mistaken; in any case the article needs highly reliable sources to make such a concrete and general statement within the lead. Taylan (talk) 19:54, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
I re-read the article and the comments above. I agree it does not properly reflect the article and should be removed per WP:LEAD. I think a previous version had better supported it, but it no longer does. EvergreenFir (talk) 20:02, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

The word People in header[edit]

I suggest this page be titled 'feminist views on aspects of transgender and transsexual politics' instead of people. This is more accurate.

The disagreement is ideological. Feminists argue that gendered dress and behaviour is not innate, trans activists believe it is. Feminists believe that gender is an unnecessary social construct, and that people should dress/present however they like. This is different to having a unified view about individual transgender people, who may well themselves disagree with trans activists. Many feminists strongly support trans people such as Miranda Yardley who have questioned a number of transactivist positions. As Claire Heuchan argues re: the innateness of gender in the Guardian,

"The tension between radical feminists and queer activists stems from two contradictory ways of defining gender. Queer politics positions gender as an innately held identity. The radical feminist understanding is that gender exists as a political system, not an identity. Recognising gender as innately held, a factor that should be enshrined as a protected characteristic, totally contradicts radical feminist principles. The politics of gender is deeply personal, but that isn’t a reason to shy away from exploring it – quite the opposite."

Heuchan goes on to say that the feminist movement strongly supports human rights for trans people. They just disagree with the ideology that gender is innate and that any person who "identifies" as female be granted access to female safe spaces such as hospital wards and prisons. "There are women within the movement who have seriously overstepped the mark by directing cruelty towards trans people, which I condemn without hesitation. But, like every other radical feminist I know, I want trans people to live lives that are free from abuse, discrimination, and persecution. Irrespective of the difference in how we conceptualise gender, radical feminists want all trans people to be safe from male violence." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Foggymaize (talkcontribs) 04:50, 20 December 2017 (UTC)

I don't think a renaming would be helpful. Transgender politics is not a well-defined topic, nor a term most RS use. 'Views on transgender people' is a term that's broad enough to cover to kind of opinions that you discuss as well. Rab V (talk) 08:35, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
"[T]rans activists believe it is" and "ideology that gender is innate"... what nonsense is this now? Rab V is correct that there is no unified "transgender politics". Further discussion (and TERFism) has largely been around trans people themselves, their very being, not their ideologies. EvergreenFir (talk) 19:26, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
Maybe in the 70s and 80s (not even sure about that), but definitely not today. The current women's backlash against contemporary mainstream transgender politics (and I'm not even saying "feminist backlash" let alone "radical feminist backlash" because I keep seeing very diverse women join this "side" of the debate) is based on a diverse set of issues such as "transgender children", lesbophobia (i.e. "transwomen are women therefore part of the lesbian dating pool by definition no matter what kind of anatomy they have, and if you refute this then you're a transphobic vagina-fetishist"), elimination of female-only spaces (not only bathrooms but communal dressing rooms and showers, hospital wards, prisons, dormitories, and so on), and the overall misogyny many trans activists display in their style of interaction with women who don't fully agree with their politics. The vast majority of the women in question are quick to point out that they have no issue with adult people deciding to become transsexual so long as they don't encroach on women's rights or claim that an imitation of the stereotypes associated with the opposite sex literally makes them that sex. Indeed Yardley is a good example, who I think I have never once heard of being criticized by so-called "TERFs" for her/his decision to live as a transsexual.
Of course, everything I just said can only be added to the article if it's sourced well. I've thought before about mentioning for instance some articles by Janice Turner who publishes for The Times (I think it was her who published that long piece interviewing FtM YouTuber Alex as well as detransitioned lesbian Gil...) but I haven't come around to do this yet. In part because... is she provably (by Wiki standards) a feminist? Are her positions considered "TERF" by her critiques? If there's no source for either, it wouldn't be considered relevant here. (The reason I personally consider it relevant is that I know that her pieces are considered representative of their position by so-called "TERFs" themselves from direct correspondence with them, but that's obviously WP:OR.) Taylan (talk) 20:13, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
Agree with you Taylan. Evergreen Fir do you have any credible supporting evidence for your proposition that the title be left to mistakenly imply that it describes feminists' views on indidividual transgender people? Of course different feminists do have such views, agreeing with the actions and behaviour of some trans people and not others, but this is not what the article is about. The article is about political concepts: what feminists have said about the concept of gender and how that's different to what trans activists argue about gender.
If you don't have such evidence (evidence that the article itself is about feminist judgements on individual trans people) , we need to change the title to better reflect reality. Eg, as evidenced by the Guardian article,that feminists disagree with a range of political positions held by transactivists. It's only logical that if the article is about political positions not individuals the title should be 'feminist views on transgender and transsexual politics.'
Actually this also leaves the article open to discussing the political areas in which feminists agree with trans politics, eg most feminists would agree that trans individuals be safe from violence. If the article was about feminist views on actual transgender people then it would have to be a very detailed article on which trans people feminists generally agree with (eg Miranda Yardley) and those individual trans people feminists find unhelpful (eg the male-bodied individual recently elected UK Labour women's officer).
Also, Evergreen Fir, your use of the phrase 'what nonsense is this now' is patronising and unhelpful. It is also very reminiscent of the way sexist males speak down to women who disagree with them.Foggymaize (talk) 21:30, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
I disagree with TaylanUB's understanding as it does not comport with my understanding or readings on the matter. But, Foggymaize, the burden is on you to provide the evidence for your proposed change. The page was moved back and forth back in 2014/2015 (see Talk:Feminist_views_on_transgender_and_transsexual_people/Archive_1#WP:OR_of_new_name??_Requesting_change_back). The problem is, in part, that it's not just politics, but "transgenderism" and the very existence of trans people. Regardless, you'll need to read WP:RM if you want to propose a page move.
If I sound patronizing, I apologize, but I don't take terribly kindly to people saying I believe certain things which I don't. It is also unhelpful to paint trans people and trans allies with nonsensical broad brush strokes saying we are essentialists or something. We trans folks and 3rd wave feminists don't think "gendered dress and behaviour is innate" any more than other feminists. Keep your stereotyping and generalizations to yourself. EvergreenFir (talk) 22:37, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
Please explain why the article is about "people" and not political positions. I'm aware there is a complex range of trans activist arguments, but what does that point have to do with the content of this article and whether the section header reflects it?Foggymaize (talk) 22:53, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
Raymond and Jeffreys and Greer's sections all explicitly talk about opposition to transgender people, their existence, their health, etc. Bindel critiques trans health care, not politics or ideology. The TERF content is about exclusion of trans people primarily, not ideological views of gender. EvergreenFir (talk) 22:57, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Trying to follow the history here. It was moved to the current name by GorillaWarfare in 2015.[1] I haven't been able to find any discussion or reasoning for that move. There was some minor move warring a year earlier between Feminist views on transgenderism and transsexualism and Feminist views on transgender people, which I am assuming the archived discussion was about. It has been stable at this title for long enough to justify a silent consensus, but there is probably a case for starting a requested move and the best alternative title would probably be the original one. AIRcorn (talk) 20:03, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

Another perspective on title and lead[edit]

The following two articles aren't perfect, but they have settled into relatively stable forms.

Feminist views on pornography begins:

Feminist views on pornography range from condemnation of all of it as a form of violence against women, to an embracing of some forms as a medium of feminist expression. This debate reflects larger concerns surrounding feminist views on sexuality, and is closely related to those on prostitution, on BDSM, and other issues. Pornography has been one of the most divisive issues in feminism...

Feminist views on prostitution begins:

As with many issues within the feminist movement, there exists a diversity of views on prostitution. Many of these positions can be loosely arranged into an overarching standpoint that is generally either critical or supportive of prostitution and sex work.<ref>{{cite book |last=O’Neill |first=Maggie |year=2001 |title=Prostitution and Feminism |publisher=Polity Press |location=Cambridge |pages=14–16 |isbn=0-7456-1204-0 }}</ref>

I think this article could learn from them. In particular, neither lead focuses on named individuals, but on a summary of positions. The lead is, after all, supposed to summarise the body. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 16:08, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

I agree. It's also interesting to look at other pages which deal with ideological conflicts where it could be said that people of a certain ideology are hostile towards members of a group which has its own ideology yet is not necessarily defined by it, such as: Christianity and homosexuality, LGBT in Islam, or homosexuality and religion. Surely, Christian and Islamic views on homosexuality have been predominantly extremely hostile throughout history, many times and to this day to the point of killing, imprisoning, or trying to "cure" homosexuals, and still the pages aren't titled "Christian views on homosexual people" or "Islamic views on LGBT people". This page, in contrast, has a rather accusative tone towards feminists starting in its titling and continuing in its overall structure and content. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but the way the very first section contains subsections named after individual feminists almost makes it look like some sort of blacklist. Why not focus on the various views expressed by feminists, using individuals only for citing and example purposes? Anyway, I'm going on tangents. It might be a good first step to rename the page to e.g. "Feminism and transgenderism". Taylan (talk) 19:36, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
The original name was "Feminist views on transgenderism and transsexualism"[2] and I don't see any reason why it was moved. In keeping with WP:CRITERIA (in particular consistancy ) and WP:NPOVTITLE I would suggest we move it back to that or even simpler (conciseness) "Feminist views on transgenderism". @EvergreenFir and Rab V: to see if we can get a local consensus. AIRcorn (talk) 07:26, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
I'd oppose such a move as explained in the section above. The opposition is largely about people. Moreover, it's unclear what "transgenderism" even is. The ism suggests a philosophical position, but much of the article is about an identity, a state of being like other identities (race, sexual orientation, gender, etc. ). The term is passe set best, and considered offensive (see wikt:transgenderism and GLAAD). EvergreenFir (talk) 07:58, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
It is not really about feminists view on transgendered people, but more about their view on transgender rights as they relate to womens rights in general. There are various levels involved and focusing just on people unnecessarily individualises and personalises the issues. There must be something that we can agree on. What about Feminist views on transgender or the less clunky Feminist views on transgender rights? AIRcorn (talk) 20:13, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
It seems to me that most of the article is about feminists' comments about trans people, not transness itself. Steinem talks about Richards, Raymond talks about Stone, Greer talks about Padman, etc. EvergreenFir (talk) 23:36, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
But not all of it is. The new title will still cover those views (although there are deeper issues with style and format that will probably need sorting out). 06:20, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
One would think transgenderism is to being transgender what lesbianism is to being lesbian, gayness is to being gay, or homosexuality is to being homosexual. There is no grammatical alternative to "transgenderism" when talking about the condition of being transgender. The word is used neutrally a few times in the bodies of pages like Transgender, Trans women, and Transphobia. Would you reconsider its usage? I find all alternatives rather clunky. If you insist on avoiding "transgenderism", I think the best alternative is "Feminism and transgender". I disagree both on the page being about transgender people, and on it being about transgender rights. Steinem (whose section I will revise soon) clarified in 2013 that her criticism was based on the notion that transsexuality is a result of societal homophobia. Raymond criticized transgenderism as a concept invented allegedly by the medical-psychiatric complex. Jeffreys, Greer, and Bindel were also clearly motivated by political aspects of transgenderism, in various ways. I don't follow the characterization that this was ever about individual people rather than transgenderism as a phenomenon with an associated set of philosophies, political ideologies, practices, etc. I also think it's better to steer away from "feminist views on" and towards "feminism and", as it's shorter and as it may be useful to gradually balance the page to speak more generally about interactions between the two groups rather than the views of one on the other. Transgender people have their own views on feminism, their own versions of feminism (transfeminism, already mentioned in the page), and so on. I think we would be needlessly limiting the page's scope by making it solely about feminist views on transgenderism. Taylan (talk) 21:24, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Transgenderness and transness are a grammatical alternative. Also, it is quite odd to talk about transness, gayness, etc. as a "condition". The discussion of the "political aspects of trangenderism" sounds a lot like the "homosexual agenda" language. As I linked above, the term "transgenderism" is generally considered offensive just as "homosexual agenda" is. If we're talking about the political side, we talk about "gay rights" instead of "homosexual agenda" and we talk about "transgender rights" instead of "transgenderism".
I think one issue in this discussion that should be at least mentioned is that trans people are not monolithic and not unified by some underlying ideology. You mention that transgender people have their own views on feminism, which is true, but as individuals. They do not ave views as a philosophical orientation like Catholicism or postmodernism might. And, though it might be semantic, transfeminism isn't "their own version of feminism" but rather a feminist branch which centers and focuses its analyses on trans/cis-ness. It's still a feminism, but has a different focal point just as Marxist feminist focuses on class exploitation of women, Black feminism focuses on women of color and Black women, etc. EvergreenFir (talk) 23:36, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
"Transgenderness" and "transness" seem fairly obscure. A condition in the general (not medical) sense is any state of being, without value judgment. Hence for instance "lesbianism" (see also page title History of lesbianism). The analogue to "political aspects of transgenderism" would not be "homosexual agenda", it would be "political aspects of homosexuality." Homosexuality has political aspects, not because it's a political ideology or because all homosexuals adhere to a political ideology, but because society politicizes homosexuality, and homosexual individuals and communities react by forming their own political groups and ideologies in response. You could say it's ostensibly similar with transgenderism. For instance, significant groups of politically interested transgender people have developed shared views on feminism, though indeed there's no clear label they could be grouped under, like the way different viewpoints of different women's groups can be grouped under "feminism" due to an underlying thread for instance. The closest thing to an umbrella term for such ideologies that I know of is "queer ideology" but it doesn't seem widely accepted, and besides "queer" is supposed to be an identity/condition as well. Other than that people speak of "transgender ideology" though that's also wrong as it conflates a state of being with an ideology... By the way, radical feminism, Marxist feminism, or transfeminism are all "versions" of feminism; no need to dig into my use of the phrase "their own version of." (Transfeminism was obviously conceived by transgender scholars.) Now that Aircorn mentions the dominance of titles beginning with "Feminist views on...", I would also support the proposal to use that format in combination with the word "transgenderism" for lack of a better alternative. Taylan (talk) 19:51, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
I would rather not have a title deemed offensive if there are other alternatives. I know we don't have to do that and I am aware of the irony given the TERF section, but if we can find an acceptable compromise then we should go with it. Sometimes the best compromise is one that no one likes. Reading the above maybe Feminist views on transness would work. However I do like the suggestion below from Woodsy. AIRcorn (talk) 03:00, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Taylan, I am personally not a fan of WP:AND in titles as it often leads to WP:Synth (i.e. sources that support one of the parts are used to give the impression they are related to both.) I know it is used in other articles, but given the predominance of "Feminist views on ..." and only Men and feminism (that I have found) containing the "and". I think it is alright to include transgender views on feminist views on transgender in such an article, which is what the TERF section is about. AIRcorn (talk) 06:20, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
This reference guide from GLAAD may give a sense of why certain terms like transgenderism may have unintended connotations. Rab V (talk) 20:31, 9 January 2018 (UTC)


───────────────────────── I think it'd make sense for the title to be "Feminist views on gender," for reasons To Foggymaize: stated in the last discussion. Transgenderism may be problematic, and transgender and transsexual people is an WP:AND so I understand why they're being contested. Changing the name to "on gender" would allow editors to flesh out the actual differing views, instead of just listing feminists who have publicly opposed certain trans individuals, or feminists who have generally supported trans individuals. Claire Heuchan's article, as quoted in the discussion before this one, makes the distinction clear on the ideological differences between how feminists view gender. Woodsy lesfem (talk) 17:18, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

While I think it's a good idea on a higher level, I'm afraid such a change would require significant changes to the article's body as well, as currently it's explicitly focused on transgender topics. Taylan (talk) 19:51, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
I like it and would support such a change. The article needs work anyway so I wouldn't worry about that. AIRcorn (talk) 03:00, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Carbon Caryatid's proposal that the lead focus on views, not named individuals. Conceivably, an exception could be made for Raymond, who I believe has had a disproportionate influence; however I wouldn't oppose not naming anybody, since Raymond could (and should) be given her due in the main body. (Where she should get ten times the exposure of Steinem, for example, whose entry should be briefest of all, as it's essentially based on a single, brief essay of hers, and later reaction to it.)
Also agree with Taylan's comment about concentrating on not titling sections after the view-holders, although I don't really see anything like a blacklist or anything negative about the names in the sections, if anything, it's the opposite, as their names show up in the ToC in a way that seems to be creating a (possibly undeserved) pantheon of "top opinion leaders among feminists" which is not Wikipedia's place to do. For certain ideas that are so inextricably linked with one thinker that the theory and the person are one—General Relativity and Einstein, say—sure, title the section after the person's name; but I think Taylan is right here in that the names should not be the section titles. Once again, I would not object to Raymond being the sole exception. OTOH, it would be odd to have just one section named after a person and all the other ones named after something else. I still think she could have her own section, just not titled after her. One of Raymond's core views could perhaps be the source of a section title, namely her idea that the entire constellation of treatment surrounding transition, from psychological to pharmacological to medical to surgical was a kind of business empire that people had vested interests in, that could give rise to a section that didn't name her but obviously imply mostly her as the main proponent of it, if one could find the right title that wasn't identical to the book title. Mathglot (talk) 02:59, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Meta-discussion: This section is getting pretty long, and could use some subsections as breaks. Perhaps, "Names vs views in the lead", "Body subsections named after individuals", "Proposed move" (or, "Change of title", etc.). If no objection, I may do so. Mathglot (talk) 03:07, 13 January 2018 (UTC)


Regarding some of the proposed title changes, I'd object to transgenderism for reasons already stated above (could go into it more, if desired). Transgenderness and transness seem out of the question; not our place to promote neologisms. While I don't have any objection per se to some of the other formulations (e.g., political aspects of...) it's important to keep WP:TITLE in mind, and also WP:PRECISION. In particular, The title indicates what the article is about and distinguishes it from other articles. Given that, I'd be very wary of calling it Feminist views on gender, because it seems to me that the "what the article is about" would change quite a bit, meaning much material not currently in scope would suddenly become so. While I'm not unalterably opposed to that idea, I don't think that is really what you are proposing.
Or, is it? To me, transgender is a (small) subset of the larger topic of gender, so that "Feminist views on gender" would be an article with a much bigger scope. Putting it another way: you could start a new, summary-style article, "Feminist views on gender," which might have one, small-ish subsection "Feminist views on transgender and transsexual people", topped by a {{Main}} link back to this article, for further details. That article could/would also have plenty of other summary-style sections, of course, besides that one, pointing to other child articles with fuller treatments, just like this article would remain the child article with fuller treatment of views on tg topics by feminists which that one merely summarizes. I wouldn't be opposed to that, in fact, I'd support it. But, renaming this article to that title, seems like it's opening a big can of worms. Mathglot (talk) 08:33, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
If the parent title is "feminist views on gender" then the child title should be "feminist views on transgender". The more I think about this the more sense that title makes. It meets the WP:Criteria "precision", "recognisability", "conciseness" and "consistency". I even think it fulfills the "naturalness" criteria and most of those issues can be fixed with redirects if need be. AIRcorn (talk) 21:00, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
I could live with that title. EvergreenFir (talk) 21:19, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
If others are motivated to gradually make the related changes in content, then I think it's a good idea and support this. Taylan (talk) 14:55, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
I think we're close, but I have a problem with "feminist views on transgender" on purely grammatical grounds, because it's an adjective. My objection to it, is identical to what my objection would be to a proposed article, Feminist views on homosexual—namely, it feels like there's something missing there, and there is: a noun. Mathglot (talk) 09:07, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
@Mathglot: There doesn't seem to be an acceptable umbrella term that equates to homosexuality for transgender. I feel "Feminist views on transgender" is the best option at that moment. The main article is Transgender, not transgender people so I feel it can work as this title. The major objections to using Transgender as a noun seems to be in referring to people (i.e Bob is a transgender), which is the opposite with what we are going for here. The first sentence of the lead can spell out exactly what is being referred to. It can be changed later if a better term becomes into common usage but we shouldn't let perfect be the enemy of good. You also highlight the problem with the current title. It is currently the equivalent of Feminist views on homosexual people, which is not a good title. AIRcorn (talk) 19:34, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
@Aircorn: You're right, there isn't currently an acceptable noun that is analogous to homosexuality in that way. That is, the analogy Homosexual : homosexuality :: Transgender: _____ has a blank that is hard to fill with a single word, since "transgenderality" doesn't exist, and "transgenderism" is objected to. Fir proposed wikt:transgenderness or wikt:transness, both of which are nouns; the latter has a few attestations, the former has none; I'd think of both of them as neologisms at this point so like TaylanUB I'm somewhat uncomfortable with those two terms, but if consensus coalesced around transness I wouldn't strongly object, although I don't really think we should be using that term in Wikpedia's voice. (Fir also said they "could live with Feminist views on transgender, analogous to "Feminist views on gender", but that doesn't work, because gender is a noun.
'Feminist views on transgender' is a grammatical impossibility for a title, because you cannot have an adjective as the object of a preposition. (With regard to the Transgender article, "Transgender" by itself as a title is awkward and perhaps should be changed, but there's no specific guideline against it, because although the guideline recommends the use of nouns for article titles, they are "preferred," and not required. But whether or not the Transgender article should undergo a title change, just because other stuff exists, doesn't mean that we can use that as a point of support here.) The title Feminist views on X is a descriptive title, and it should not be at the expense of mangling the grammar by using something other than a noun phrase in place of 'X'. You can have, "Feminist views on government" or "Feminist views on sisterhood," or, echoing CC at the top of this thread: Feminist views on pornography; but not Feminist views on governmental, or Feminist views on sisterly, or Feminist views on pornographic. Ditto for "Feminist views on transgender." But there's a simple solution here, just add a noun: "Feminist views on transgender topics", "Feminist views on transgender politics", "Feminist views on transgender people", or whatever you want the article to be about. While conciseness is definitely a goal for article titles, it can't come at the expense of proper English in a descriptive title, and there's nothing wrong with a five-word title; in fact, in this case, it's required by WP:PRECISION in order to identify what the article is about, otherwise different people might assume different things, leading to confusion, or an unfocused article.
Which leads to the question, what do you see this article as being about? As EvergreenFir said above, It seems to me that most of the article is about feminists' comments about trans people, not transness itself, and I would agree with them. The article is currently 46kb, meaning plenty of room for expansion before a size fork would be needed. If you can get consensus for a change of focus of this article from transgender people to everything having to do with transgender topics, then I'd support a change of title to Feminist views on transgender topics, of which the current article would be a big part, but not the only part. Failing that, if the topic remains focused on "Feminist views on transgender people," then I'd be opposed to a name change. Mathglot (talk) 22:12, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I don't see the article being focused on criticism of transgender individuals at all. I think Feminist views on transgender topics is a good idea and could be applied right now. Taylan (talk) 09:37, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

Feminist views on transgender topics seems good (or issues instead of topics?). If there is consensus (wait for others to chime in), I think we could make the page move, but if someone objects we might need a formal WP:RM. EvergreenFir (talk) 19:13, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I like issues better than topics as well. Not sure if we need a formal WP:RM, either, but wondering if we need more eyeballs, or not. What do people think: assuming we can come to a consensus among our cozy little knitting circle here for a new title (with possibly new/expanded focus), should we just go with it, or should we open it up via invites at various Project TP's to uninvolved editors? Mathglot (talk) 08:17, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

I support Feminist views on transgender topics, or Feminist views on transgender issues. This article is about politics, not individuals. Foggymaize (talk) 23:36, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

It looks like we have consensus. Just a quick check if @Rab V, Carbon Caryatid, and Woodsy lesfem: object to Feminist views on transgender issues as the new article title? AIRcorn (talk) 07:44, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, Aircorn, for that due diligence.
Anticipating agreement, although it's a wee bit premature, since we don't quite have it yet, nevertheless, just a reminder that once the title changes, so does the scope of the article. That doesn't mean that everything has to be updated immediately, and in particular, let's remember that the lead summarizes the body, so body changes should be made first to bring it into line with the new title, and it's okay to wait for a while with old content in the lead. That said, in order not to confuse casual readers too much, the first sentence should be updated soon after any page move per WP:BOLDTITLE; but the rest of the lead can wait, until the body has stabilized a bit. Cheers, Mathglot (talk) 08:24, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support change to Feminist views on transgender topics. Did we decide to go with a summary-style article of Feminist views on gender too or no? Woodsy lesfem (talk) 13:22, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Support change to Feminist views on transgender topics (I prefer the final noun over the proposed alternative - let's just say that I have issues with "issues"). Thanks for pinging me. I realise I started this section without the energy to follow through, so I appreciate the thought-through discussion above. I also concur with Mathglot that the article needs to change gradually, and the lead only once the main text has stabilised. Separately, if there is to be a summary-style Feminist views on gender, the scope is potentially huge. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 15:09, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Just noting for the record that Aircorn has made the title change per above consensus in this edit (including concomitant bolding change subsequently); that effectively concludes the title-change portion of this discussion. That leaves one other topic originally raised by C.C. which is still t.b.d., after the break. Mathglot (talk) 10:52, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

Focus the lead on views, vs. named individuals[edit]

Now that the title change has been decided and done, I propose that we shift back to CC's original proposal. At the top of this section, Carbon Caryatid proposed that the lead be refocused "on a summary of positions" rather than on "named individuals". (C.C., please correct me if I've misrepresented you.) Let's continue that discussion now. Mathglot (talk) 11:04, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

My understanding was that we have a rough consensus to make the whole article be a summary of positions (the title change being the first step in this process). Maybe it would be better to work through the body first and then use that as the basis of the lead. To that end would it be useful to get a list of possible sub headers that we can use instead of the individuals names first? Ideally it should probably be done in a couple of days instead of piecemeally so the article is not too much of a mess during the transition. Could potentially create a new draft and then copy it over, but that has problems (attribution and transparency being the main ones). Maybe we should start a new talk page section on this as this is getting quite long now? In about three weeks I should have the time to tackle this myself, but if anyone wants to be bold and make a start that would be great. AIRcorn (talk) 21:17, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Mathglot makes a fair representation of what I said, but perhaps I should clarify what I meant. I think there is no disagreement that the lead must summarise the article. But I agree with Aircorn that the article needs to focus on, and be structured around, (political -philosophical) positions rather than named individuals. First improve the article, then the lead. And yes by all means start a new talkpage section if you wish. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 22:45, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

Laundry List Issues[edit]

While adding content is great, this article is getting lopsided in my opinion. TaylanUB is doing a good job of adding content in a neutral way, but I'm concerned some entries are UNDUE in the overall scope of the article. EvergreenFir (talk) 23:33, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Something that's bothered me while making changes to the "Support" section re. Dworkin is that it can be difficult to clearly categorize a position as "criticism" or "support", and that such a categorization might lead to misconceptions. (E.g. support of sex change procedures does not imply support of transwomen in female-only spaces.) In light of that, I thought it might be better to remove the "criticism" and "support" titles (including the titles named after individuals), create a set of more precise titles named after certain positions/topics, and redistribute the content under them. Example topics: whether transwomen are women, whether transwomen should be included in female-only spaces (would reuse existing section about exclusion), the place of sex-change procedures in society, and so on. Then the viewpoints of various feminists could be cited as part of these sections, and we wouldn't have one section for every feminist who ever expressed a critical (or supportive) view of some aspect of transgender politics/medical procedures/etc. Do you think this would address your concern as well? It's non-trivial work but I think it would be a major improvement. Taylan (talk) 20:30, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Oh and this would be nicely in line with the proposal to rename the whole page to "Feminist views on gender". Taylan (talk) 20:31, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
It would work much better without the support and criticism sections and following themes. It will create a better narrative and the prose can then be trimmed and tidied up. AIRcorn (talk) 21:56, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
I'd agree with making it more nuanced like TaylanUB described. Admittedly in concerned the focus will be on criticisms; I'll look for materials in the coming week. EvergreenFir (talk) 22:27, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

Focus in the lead on feminist views[edit]

The following sentence appears in the first paragraph of the Lead:

The neologism "TERF" (an acronym for "Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists")[1] is used against, but not by, certain feminists.

Is this term really important enough to appear in the lead? Even if so, per WP:LEAD and WP:AT the Lead should be summarizing the article, and talking about "feminist views," and how does pointing out how feminists are being name-called by some other group have anything to do with "feminist views"? Also, it seems to me to be undue weight this high up. But if we do keep something about it in the lead, then the focus should be about "feminist views" about something, and not about what some other group does to feminists. Also, "used against, but not by,..." is very clunky. Mathglot (talk) 11:30, 18 January 2018 (UTC)

Have removed the "use against, but not by.." formulation, and shortened the rest a bit without taking out anything substantive, but left everything else since there has been no discussion on the whether to keep anything about this in the Lead at all. What do people think? Mathglot (talk) 00:27, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

It ought to go. No one would consider it appropriate to say 'the term boy is used against, but not by, certain people of African background?' in an article about the range of views expressed by African writers about colonialism, for example. TERF is a slur. It has nothing to do with what feminists have stated about transgender ideology. (Foggymaize) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Foggymaize (talkcontribs) 23:31, January 30, 2018 (UTC)

This is disingenuous and the parallel to slavery and colonialism is offensive. It's clearly related and used by many feminists to describe other feminists. EvergreenFir (talk) 02:34, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
In addition, the term was created by radfems to describe some other radfems, which is another reason I objected to the "...but not by..." formulation. Mathglot (talk) 08:20, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
In that the lead should reflect the text, the term needs its own section (i.e. to be findable via the table of contents), but that doesn't mean that the lead needs to include it. By the way, the OED did a silent redirect when I searched for "terf", taking me to "turf". In addition to grass and horse-racing, there was one surprise: "The road or street as the milieu of prostitutes, tramps, etc.; esp. on the turf, engaged in prostitution. slang." I presume the lexicographers are collecting examples of "terf" and will release the neologism in good time. This month they've only just got around to releasing "me time" and "ransomware" - the update article [3] begins with "mansplain". Carbon Caryatid (talk) 15:24, 2 February 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Terry MacDonald (16 February 2015). "Are you now or have you ever been a TERF?".

Recent additions and reverts[edit]

I temporarily rolled back a series of six edits by Ehipassiko2 while a discussion into a possible malware link is underway at ANI. My assumption is that the user is editing in good faith, and that this will blow over. The edits will likely be restored once the ANI investigation has run its course. Mathglot (talk) 06:56, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

It's been several months, Mathglot. Where are things at with regard to these edits?

The term TERF in the lead, redux[edit]

Reading the lead, the sentence "Some feminists object to the acronym 'TERF' (short for trans-exclusionary radical feminist)" is a bit of a stumbling block; it's awkward to say "some people dislike X" without having mentioned X before, or how X is relevant to the topic. Readers are left to infer from what it's said to be short for that it is probably used to describe feminists who hold trans-excluding views. It would flow better to introduce the existence of the term before the dislike of it; something like "Feminists holding trans-exclusionary views are sometimes referred to as 'TERFs' [...], an acronym which some feminists object to [...]" or "[...] sometimes refer to trans-exclusionary feminists as 'TERFs' [...], which some object to [...]". Even just spelling out the use of the term within the parentheses could be an improvement, like "Some feminists object to the acronym 'TERF' (which is sometimes used to describe trans-exclusionary radical feminists) [...]". Tenemoc (talk) 21:43, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for starting a new section. Wasn't the consensus to rewrite the main text first, and then deal with the lead, to summarise the new and better version of the article? Carbon Caryatid (talk) 13:32, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Article restructure[edit]

I have moved the content into headings as the first step in restructuring the article. The content was not changed significantly with this edit, just rearranged. I will wait a day or two for feedback on this restructuring, before I start getting into editing the content itself. AIRcorn (talk) 21:09, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

Dworkin's position should be moved somewhere else, don't know where[edit]

Currently, Dworkin's ideas are mentioned simply below a title that reads "feminist support," which paints kind of a black and white picture where some feminists "support" transgender ideals and some feminists "oppose" them. The situation is a lot more complicated, in particular when talking about Dworkin's passages from Woman Hating, as she stated that transsexuality might be a function of coercive gender roles, and disappear as a phenomenon in a post-patriarchal society where people are freed from the gender boxes. I'm not sure if I can find any citation for this right now, but I know from personal correspondence that this goes contrary to the positions of many transgender thinkers, who instead argue that transgender identity is natural and not the result of socialization, and would continue to exist no matter the surrounding culture.

The main paragraph talking about her positions could, I suppose, be moved under the section "sex reassignment surgery," but the part about Stoltenberg, Jensen, and Craft would not fit well there. And then the paragraph about Butler would be the only thing under the section "feminist support," which might look weird. (More content re. feminist support would certainly help there.)

Anyone have ideas on how to better integrate the current content of "feminist support" into the rest of the article? Taylan (talk) 20:06, 9 May 2018 (UTC)

Individual Criticism[edit]

Is this talking about the individual trans people being criticised or the writer making the criticisms? I can't tell. If there are no objections I will rewrite it to focus on the writer Spacepine (talk) 00:01, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

changed. moved viewpoints to other sections. minor restructure to clarify Spacepine (talk) 10:21, 10 July 2018 (UTC)

Undue prominence given to criticism?[edit]

It seems astonishing that so much on this page seems to be about feminist opposition to trans rights, and very little on feminist support or neutral views. I know there has been a lot of controversy on this issue, but I hardly feel that the weight given to criticism here is fair and a little undue. Confrontation between these two communities may sell papers but Wikipedia is not a newspaper; it is an encyclopedia. --Bangalamania (talk) 23:18, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

@Bangalamania: So, fix it. Mathglot (talk) 14:59, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
  • It's been a few months, but this section seems the best place to put this. Right now, the page consists of about 90% articulation if trans-exclusionary feminist perspectives and perhaps 10% support. As most mainstream and many non-mainstream feminist organisations in OECD countries are now trans-inflationary, this presentation seems rather tendentious. Partly it results from the overwhelming preponderance of Trans-exclusionary perspectives prior to 1990, but as the page is organized thematically rather than historically, this overall historical sweep is obscured.
Personally, I think a massive pruning accompanied by restructuring of the remaining text would be the best approach, but I know this page is frequented by strongly invested editors. Therefore, this Talk page proposal. ;) Newimpartial (talk) 13:11, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I think New Impartial has a point. Despite the extensive suggestions in the Talk page that trans activists are having undue influence, in reality the reverse seems to be true. I also object to the word 'feminist' being used throughout without qualification to explain that a particular subset of feminism is being referred to. The majority of feminists are supportive of, or indifferent to trans issues, and don't want to be lumped in with a vocal minority. The implication that this minority speaks for feminism is inaccurate. Factsnotfeelings (talk) 23:20, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I suspect this may be similar to the 'Rape in Germany' article (which formerly had content on Soviet and immigrant rapists and not any others, resulting in an unbalanced/POV article), in that the solution that would be easiest to implement / find consensus for would probably be to expand the article with information on trans and trans-positive feminists and their views, rather trying to cut any overly large amount of what's currently there (although some pruning is certainly in order, in places where the article gives undue weight/space to minor points). It is, basically, a 'so fix it' issue that none of us have had the time to fix. (Of course, there are other articles where editors have cut out information until more other information can be added, and I don't think that would be a bad approach, I just suspect it'd be harder to get consensus for.) -sche (talk) 02:29, 23 September 2018 (UTC)

UK groups[edit]

Is it worth adding any articles on the groups 'we need to talk' and 'a woman's place' since they identify as feminist but have often been described as 'terfs' and have attracted controversy and media coverage etc. Fourdots2 (talk) 19:50, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

If they have sufficient coverage in reliable sources, sure. The first two result pages when googling for "A Woman's Place UK" revealed me the following pieces, which certainly seems sufficient. Googling for "We Need to Talk UK" doesn't reveal as much; AFAIK it's not as notable a movement. Is it a movement at all? I thought it was just an event that was held somewhere to be honest. And I remember it being led by a conservative male MP or something like that, rather than feminists.
That should be enough material to cover WPUK and the various views and positions people in or outside of it take for or against it. Please try to be neutral and impartial in the content you add to the page if you intend to add content. For instance, Pink News hosts opinion pieces that take a very strong side, rather than committing to neutral journalism, so their claims cannot be taken as fact (e.g. calling WPUK an "anti-trans" organization). Taylan (talk) 10:38, 7 July 2018 (UTC)
Is the suggestion to create a new article, A Woman's Place (UK)? If Fourdots2 wishes to do so, I suggest trying it out in a sandbox. I for one would be happy to wikignome it. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 20:13, 9 July 2018 (UTC)


I have a concern regarding the subcategory "TERF", I hope I'm in the right place. I came to ask a second opinion about adding it to the 'Category:Radical feminist organizations'. But to do that, I don't know if I should go about making a wikipedia page especially for the TERF, since the category doesn't apply to anything else said in the article. And also, I say second opinion because I'm not even sure if it's correct to add this cathegory to the term. Though I could mention TERFs having a "radical" viewpoint, it's not an organization but a category itself of feminism, I believe? If the latter is right, then disregard this. --Featheredhat (talk) 07:47, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

There is no organization identifying itself as "TERF" or any well-defined group of feminists who identify themselves as "TERF". It's a term that is almost always applied to someone by others. It also isn't well-defined and usually applied in a very ad-hoc way. I know many women who didn't even know about radical feminism until someone called them a "TERF" for some opinion they expressed. I also know many women who don't identify as radical feminists although they know about radical feminism, and nevertheless they get called "TERF". Many women labelled as "TERF" are also explicitly inclusive of transmen in feminism (since they see them as female), which makes "trans-exclusionary" a misnomer. (For this reason, some of them jokingly call themselves "PERF" for "Penis-Exclusionary Radical Feminist" or "MERF" for "Male-Exclusionary Radical Feminist".) It's also unclear what the word "exclusion" refers to. The website The TERFs, authored by Cristan Williams who runs The TransAdvocate, claims that so-called TERFs "[exclude] trans people from housing, employment, education, and accomodation equality as well as local, state, national and United Nations protections." (As if there's any group of feminists in the whole world, let alone radical feminists, who have the political power to do that, even if they wanted to... I basically see it as a conspiracy theory based on the misogynist notion of powerful evil witches doing evil things because they're evil women.) Others mean excluding transwomen from female-only spaces like dressing rooms, dorms, women's sports, or women's prisons. Others yet (probably the most common kind) mean "excluding transwomen from womanhood" i.e. a woman/feminist/supporter-of-feminism who doesn't see transwomen as literally real women.
All of the above are my experiences and viewpoints as a person who also gets labeled "TERF" for associating with women who get labeled "TERF". I can only urge you to try to have down to earth conversations with people from both sides and make up your own mind regarding the details. But in any case the word "TERF" does not describe any organization or well-defined branch of feminism. Some might argue that the ideas that get one called "TERF" are actually core ideals of radical feminism itself, which would make "TERF" merely a derogatory synonym for "radical feminist." Taylan (talk) 16:33, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

Edit warring[edit]

Currently being edit warred over again. Discuss here. EvergreenFir (talk) 20:32, 8 September 2018 (UTC)

Apologies if it appears that I have sparked an "edit war". It has been a while since I last edited Wikipedia. However, I am concerned that this page (at least, this section) is possibly policed by editors advancing a specific ideological perspective - which presents an NPOV issue. The evidence for this is a) the continued reversion to a pejorative description of the term "TERF" that privileges the trans activist POV b) the use of a citation that points to a low quality trans activist publication. I am writing specifically about the first paragraph on the section about TERFs. The original version described TERFs as "transphobic". At the time of writing, the current version says TERFs "oppose inclusion or equality for trans people". Neither of these descriptions is neutral and the source cited is not neutral. I have attempted to correct this non-neutral language, only to have it reverted. There are sources at The New Statesman and The Spectator, (one left-leaning, the other right-leaning). Both publications that are well-established news magazines with readerships far in excess of "The TransAdvocate" which, according to Alexa, only has a global rank of 483,548. The New Statesman (Alexa rank 24,216 - much higher) concurs with sociolinguist Deborah Cameron's description of a TERF as a feminist who does not accept that a trans-woman is a woman. The Spectator (Alexa rank 15,308 - higher still) describes the term TERF as "a label given by their enemies to feminists who reject alliances in their struggle with people who used to be men" - though not ideal, this is a more neutral description because it is an observer's description - a third party description - rather than one culled from either a trans activist or a radical feminist. I cite these and their ranking in particular as a previous, arguably more accurate citation to the blog of prominent sociolinguist Deborah Cameron was rejected because it was to a "Wordpress" (sic). Although it was a link to a blog, Cameron is a prominent linguist currently tenured at the University of Oxford who has published widely on gendered language, including several books (the latest is Gender, Power and Political Speech (Macmillan, 2016)) and had many papers published in three-star journals. She has her own extensive entry on Wikipedia. One of the fundamental principles of Wikipedia is assuming good faith, and I am trying to do so in this case. However, when editors revert to descriptions without an NPOV and dismiss strong citations - rather than trying to fix them - one has to wonder whether there may be an underlying ideological motivation. SoapOnARope (talk) 23:47, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
At this point, I want to make two observations:
1. being a "prominent linguist" does not make anyone an expert in trans issues or in any aspects of feminism beyond linguistics;
2. in at least one version, the controversial new edits to the section in question introduced the term "biologically male" which was not, in fact, used in the sources cited, which makes the proposed formulation OR.
That is all. Newimpartial (talk) 23:55, 8 September 2018 (UTC)
1. Deborah Cameron is prominent in the linguistics of gender.
2. Formulations similar are used in The Spectator and New Statesman sources (cited further up the page), or a form of them are. Now that I have tracked them down, I would edit them in - but I've been warned off editing for now so... Curious that the validity of the NS article has been discussed before - you know, a proper article from an old-fashioned print source when non-neutral sources are being employed so freely in this article. SoapOnARope (talk) 00:30, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
In case my first point was insufficiently clear, it is that being an expert in "the linguistics of gender" does not make one an expert in the intersection of feminism and gender identity. This matters, because material self-published by "experts" only meets the RS standard when it is within the acknowledged expertise of the author. Which this offering, prima faciae, is not. Newimpartial (talk) 00:35, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
"an expert in the intersection of feminism and gender identity" that is literally a description of Deborah Cameron. Her Wikipedia entry and pages are linked in my initial reply. Go look. She has conducted extensive research into gendered language and transgenderism and is a feminist. Not really sure what else I can say, except copy and paste large tranches of her (academically published) books and papers.SoapOnARope (talk) 00:43, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
I see no Spectator citation, and neither New Statesman article includes the term "biologically male". I'll also mention that the term "biologically male" is not neutral. It relies on the assumption that people have an immutable innate sex, as opposed to sex being an array of traits (some of which can be changed via medical and surgical means) - a faulty assumption that TERFs make. --ChiveFungi (talk) 01:04, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
1. There's no Spectator citation because I have been temporarily warned not to edit. But I have it.
2. "It relies on the assumption that people have an immutable innate sex, as opposed to sex being an array of traits (some of which can be changed via medical and surgical means) - a faulty assumption that TERFs make." <-- describing this assumption as "faulty" is not neutral - because it is a description of what trans exclusionary feminists believe. It doesn't matter whether you, as a trans activist or trans activist ally think it is "faulty". Saying that trans exclusionary feminists believe trans-women are biologically male is citable, true and neutral. This article is called "Feminists views on transgender topics' not 'Trans activist views on feminist views on transgender topics'. That is also why an uncritical referral to TERFs as "transphobic" is not NPOV and nor is the current formulation which suggests that TERFs are against trans equality, with the only citations being allowed coming from a trans-activist website. It is a pity because the rest of this article has been edited very well. The parent section "Feminist exclusion of trans women" actually has a better, more neutral description of TERFs as "feminists (who) see trans women as biologically male and seek to exclude them from women-only spaces" with citations from The New Yorker and Forbes. It seems that the turf war here, pun intended, is over two ideologically loaded sentences. They are: "Feminists holding views that oppose inclusion or equality for trans people are called trans-exclusionary radical feminists, or "TERFs," by opponents." and "Cristan Williams from The Transadvocate has listed criteria pertaining to what she considers "TERF ideology"." I suggest editing the first to "Feminists holding views that oppose inclusion of trans people in women-only spaces are called trans-exclusionary radical feminists, or "TERFs,". The second sentence, pointing to a biased article on The Transadvocate, should just be removed. SoapOnARope (talk) 09:11, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
If the "biologically male" thing is citable, why don't you provide the citations instead of repeatedly claiming you have citations? And if you're going to call me a "trans activist", does that mean I should start calling you a TERF? --ChiveFungi (talk) 13:54, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
The reverse is also true, where there are some groups that believe that sex has no biological aspect. This is too simplistic from both sides and it does Wikipedia no benefit to not attempt t explain it better. AIRcorn (talk) 09:20, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Writing on "gender and language" is not at all the same thing as writing on "gender identity and language", and from a first pass I don't see anything in her work that would count as "extensive research into gendered language and transgenderism". I do see a bit of self-published linguistic anthropology on the terminology related to trans people, and while that might possibly be RS in relation to something, that isn't what this article is about. Newimpartial (talk) 02:34, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
I think you are using Wikipedia rules to lawyer the issue from an ideological perspective. It is clear from Cameron's background, her citations on Google Scholar, Researchgate and in many texts on gender identity and language that she is RS in this case - and certainly more RS than The TransAdvocate, a widely used source on Wikipedia whose polemical stance is clear from its masthead onwards.SoapOnARope (talk) 09:11, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Soap, your most recent post here is inaccurate and does not assume good faith. I do not see anything in her blog or in the recent publications such samples that would suggest that Cameron has any expertise on the intersection of gender identity and feminism, which is the topic of this article. If you believe the contrary, please offer citations rather than accusations.
Also, re the TransAdvocate, both feminism and trans identity politics are advocacy movements and inherently political; if you are trying to articulate the argument that the (editorially-responsible) TransAdvocate "political" and Cameron is not, or that they are equally "political" and deserve equal weight, then you have to actually make that argument using, you know, evidence. Newimpartial (talk) 11:47, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
I have to agree with SoapOnARope here. (Unsurprising, I know.) Cameron is also referenced by Sarah Ditum in her New Statesman article talking about the term "TERF." It seems like a good idea to also reference Cameron directly. She's most certainly at least as RS as Cristan Williams. This behavior of trying to cast sources that conflict with transgender activists' views as "unreliable" is all too familiar to me, which I had to combat against for literal months until people would accept Sarah Ditum and Meghan Murphy/Feminist Current as RS; see my user page: Taylan (talk) 12:53, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
1. I assume good faith until it is clear that the edits are not being made in good faith. I have presented more than enough evidence to suggest that Cameron is a reliable source and an academic source (and therefore, to all intents and purposes, evidence-based rather than polemic) - and that articles citing her in publications that are much more widely read and mainstream are more relevant than an advocacy publication. Are you really going to lawyer me into justifying that position?
2. Yes, "both feminism and trans identity politics are advocacy movements and inherently political" - which means we have a duty not to represent one faction's views as though it is neutral or fact. That means, we should not be using The Transadvocate for a neutral definition of the term "TERF".You are making my argument for me... SoapOnARope (talk) 13:12, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

(Insert arrow) As has been argued extensively above by TaylanUB, TERF is not a neutral term but rather a label applied, broadly speaking, by Trans-positive to Trans-exclusionary feminists. The WP article must therefore define the term according to the ways it is actually used and defined by sources, not devise some OR "objective" definition. For you to suggest that because Cameron is an academic, she is therefore a RS outside of her field of specialty is simply contrary to policy. For you to argue successfully that her comments on Trans-inclusion and -exclusion are within her specialty, you would have to produce actual citations demonstrating peer-reviewed work in this area, which you have not done. And for you to assume that I am making this argument for any reason other than that I am heretofore unconvinced of her credentials in this area - that my argument is not made in good faith and according to policy - is a clear violation of WP:CIVIL and generally a bad idea. Finally, if you want to demonstrate that Cameron's work on this topic is "more evidence-based than polemic" all you have to do is produce, on Talk, citations demonstrating this. I would be happy to read them, but nothing I have seen on the blog you cited, or in her recent papers, suggests that her comments on this subject are either DUE for this article or, indeed, that they are in any sense "non-polemical". They read as one woman's observation and opinion. Newimpartial (talk) 13:56, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

> Are you really going to WP:LAWYER me into justifying that position?
Yup, it really seems like you are. SoapOnARope (talk) 16:22, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
1. Maybe I'm missing it, but I don't actually see where Cameron offers a concise definition of TERF. She quotes someone else who says that TERF refers to radical feminists who do not believe that trans women are women, but she also mentions that it is used as a general-purpose synonym for trans-phobic.
2. As Newimpartial notes, the word is primarily considered a slur used by trans-positive feminists to describe feminists who have a negative view of trans people - so it's sort of unsurprising that the definition itself would be negative. It might help to lessen neutrality concerns if we rephrased the opening sentence a little and said: "TERF is a term used by some trans advocates to describe feminists who they say are opposed to equality or inclusion for trans people." in the opening sentence. Nblund talk 14:39, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
I would be happy with that SoapOnARope (talk) 16:18, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
3 SoapOnARope, it looks like the Spectator source you're mentioning is this editorial titled "Terf wars and the ludicrous lexicon of feminist theory" - I'm not sure why you think adding something like this would be a viable solution to a supposed neutrality problem. Nblund talk 14:44, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
The Spectator article is, in some ways, antagonistic to both feminism and trans advocacy - it is an external observation SoapOnARope (talk) 16:20, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Pretty sure that Newimpartial(sic) and Chivefungi are tag teaming to prevent edits that they deem ideologically undesirable. Well played, I guess. You're more obsessed than I am. I'm out. SoapOnARope (talk) 21:37, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
That's probably for the best if you're unable to WP:AGF. We both suggested bringing the changes to the talk page and finding consensus per WP:BRD, and I think I explained in sufficient detail why I reverted you. I'm not really sure why you're resorting to accusations. --ChiveFungi (talk) 22:22, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
For my part, I would say that my edits aren't about ideology, but about sourcing. Essentially the same edit was proposed the last time as the time before, with the only real change being the addition of the Firestone citation: using her "sex class" language in conjunction with contemporary TERF politics is SYNTH and OR by the most charitable of all possible interpretations. Newimpartial (talk) 23:49, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Replying to both of you, I am not "resorting to accusations" - your "detail" has no weight or substance. Again, this is an article about "Feminist views on transgender topics" not "Transactivist interpretations of feminist views on transgender topics" - but you keep reverting neutral descriptions in order to shoehorn in trans activist explanations - and getting all WP:Wikilawyer about any attempt to edit back to true NPOV. How is a quote from a foundation text in Feminism not RS, when you deem a SINGLE article from the New Yorker is relevant in its stead? Oh, because you say so? Right... I could come up with a dozen references to radical feminism's characterisation of gender as a sex class system and one of you would still revert it, probably adding a sentence about how much worse things are for trans women from whatever biased source you'd just Googled in the process. Most of all what place does editorializing have on Wikipedia? Since when is it NPOV to shove in an addendum like "(TERFs say trans women benefit) from male privilege even after transitioning despite the lack of legal protections for trans people and studies showing overwhelming levels of anti-trans violence and persecution" Huh? The asserted "lack of legal protections for trans people" does not contradict the radical feminist position that trans-women have benefited from male privilege. It doesn't even make structural sense in that context. It's like saying "Ice-cream is chilled to a temperature of -18° C, but ten children every year are killed by ice-cream trucks". This is not in the spirit of all the rules you keep quoting at all. SoapOnARope (talk) 19:01, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
On the so-called "addendum", SoapOnARope appears to be arguing with the source, not with the WP article; their proposed edit on this added language about being "born into privilege" that the cited source did not include at all. The point here is to have sourced content, not to raise OR "structural" objections.
As far as "sex class" is concerned, I will go over the issue again, slowly. To be relevant to this article, a source would have to invoke sex class theory as a basis for a specific treatment of Trans people. So far, no such source has been provided. Without a source, the claim is OR, as previously noted. Newimpartial (talk) 20:28, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

" Some might argue that the ideas that get one called "TERF" are actually core ideals of radical feminism itself, which would make "TERF" merely a derogatory synonym for "radical feminist." - um, except for the bit where a Radical Feminist who was trans-inclusive coined the term to differentiate herself and her cohort from trans exclusionary feminists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:00, 22 September 2018 (UTC)

With due respect, she's a barely known blogger. (As far as I know, coining this term is the only thing she's somewhat known for.) I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to count the number of well-known radical feminists who count as "TERF" vs. those who would count as, uh, TIRF. Taylan (talk) 07:55, 30 September 2018 (UTC)

Biological Differences Section[edit]

Propose section after (or before) Socialisation Differences called Biological Differences. This section will discuss feminist propositions around whether transmen and transwomen change sex in any meaningful scientific sense. For example, radical feminists argue that transwomen are not literally women because they are biologically male.

This article explains feminist viewpoints, and yet this key perspective does not have a subheading. Whether or not editors personally agree with the statement that transwomen are biologically male (and vice versa), it is a central part of what feminists say in this debate. The article is not short: there is already an extensive section discussing a particular slur, so there is room for this.

One pertinent link: Germaine Greer has stated on an interview with the BBC that sex reassignment surgeries do not change transwomen into biological women. [4]Foggymaize — Preceding unsigned comment added by Foggymaize (talkcontribs)

This was added to the article itself, but clearly intended for the talk page, so I have moved it. -sche (talk) 06:08, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
While a discussion of this topic could certainly be added, if sourced, it seems to be very closely related to the Trans-exclusionary/TERF position already discussed in the article. Also note that #notallradicalfeminists adopt Trans-exclusionary or biological essentialist positions; for example, there has been a strong cultutsl-essentialist current for as long as there has been radical feminism.
Additionally, any new additions to this area need to be appropriately sourced, as they are bound to be controversial. Newimpartial (talk) 15:12, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
There's a real debate around essentialism vs. constructivism which might be worth discussing further, but I'm not aware of anyone who argues that people can literally alter their chromosomes. That's really a straw man argument, and it would not be neutral to adopt that framework for the article. Nblund talk 17:05, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
That is certainly true, but it is also true that there are significant differences of opinion, inside and outside of feminism, about the relevant salience of chromosomes, anatomy, and hormones in defining "biological" male- and female-ness, in addition to the debates contrasting biology with socialization and with gender identity. Newimpartial (talk) 17:16, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Contributors, TERF is a slur. It is unconstructive and combatitive to use it without inverted commas in this discussion about feminist viewpoints.

Now, back to work on the proposed added section on the page: Here is an article from the Spectator stating that a feminist group in the UK has gone public with stickers stating that women do not have penises. [1] . The feminist group is clearly invoking biology when they suggest that people with penises are not women. They argue that women are adult human females, not adult human males, i.e. people with penises. They are not invoking socialisation, they are invoking biology.

A more general point. A previous contributor has suggested not including a biology section because it reflects an argument used by "TERFS". This is a page covering feminist views on transgender topics: it profiles feminist attitudes. It is not an article about trans activist views on feminist topics. Perhaps there ought to be one. Whether or not one agrees, a number of feminists argue (invoking biology and science) that people with penises are not women, as in Germaine Greer's interview and as reported in the Spectator above. Foggymaize (talk) 21:36, 14 Septembthesebthinfsbeegenmaize

Foggymaize, let us be careful to cite people as saying what they are actually saying. So the "women don't have penises" argument is an appeal to anatomy (which can be modified by surgery), rather than an appeal to chromosomes or, say, hormones (the latter at times being used to classify gender in sports, for example). We can only conflate these things when our sources actually do the same.
I don't recall anyone suggesting that biology should not be mentioned because it was a "TERF argument". What I said, at least, was that we already have a section dealing with Trans-exclusionary positions, so if there are such positions that explain themselves in terms of aspects of "biology", then that might be the right place to provide a (well-sourced) discussion of these positions. Newimpartial (talk) 22:54, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
@Newimpartial Totally agree - just using chromosomes as an example - my point is that I don't see anyone actually asserting that it is possible or desirable for a gender affirming surgery to completely change ones "biological sex".
@Foggymaize it might make sense to say that people like Greer tend to adopt a biologically essentialist viewpoint although I think the article already discusses that fact. However, we should not pretend that Greer's position is fundamentally rooted in her understanding of human biology. Nblund talk 17:16, 16 September 2018 (UTC)
Obligatory complaint about misuse of "biological essentialism": the term biological essentialism refers to beliefs about certain personality traits of people being bound to their inborn nature. E.g. the idea that people born into the female sex have a natural inclination towards stereotypical femininity. A semantic argument such as "women by definition do not have penises, since they are of the female sex" is not an example of biological essentialism. The popularization of this misuse of the term is probably a result of psychological projection on behalf of transgender activists, who have long been accused of gender essentialism by feminists. Taylan (talk) 08:05, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
Well, the definition doesn't actually say that, but since we're being pedantic: you're not at all obligated to offer opinions on trans activists that do nothing to advance the discussion. If anything, it is obligatory that you avoid these kinds of digressions from the topic on article talk pages. Nblund talk 13:37, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
It's not a digression, since you've attributed "biological essentialism" to Germaine Greer and other feminists in relation to their views on transgender topics, and I was explaining why that's wrong. The Oxford definition I linked very much talks about personality being attributed to people's nature, and explicitly mentions gender essentialism as a prime example. The line "women don't have penises" is just a nod to the literal definition of woman (adult human female). It has nothing to do with biological essentialism, which is a completely different concept. Taylan (talk) 16:33, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
"personality, or some specific quality". In this case Greer is insisting that a specific quality (womanhood or female-ness) is essentially bound to a biological characteristic (external genitalia). This idea has been discussed in relation to trans identity in peer-reviewed literature going back at least a decade, and it's clear you understood what I meant. So, it seems less like you were making a relevant clarification about article content, and more like you were using the talk page to air a personal grievance about a widely-used term. That may be therapeutic, but its disruptive for everyone else. Nblund talk 17:42, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
You can put down the abrasive tone. The full quote is: "or some specific quality (such as intelligence, creativity, homosexuality, masculinity, femininity, or a male propensity to aggression)". All examples relate to personality. To test your hypothesis that the definition is meant to include your definition, let's try plugging "having a penis" into the sentence: "The belief that [having a penis] is an innate and natural ‘essence’ (rather than a product of circumstances, upbringing, and culture)." That makes no sense, as humans don't grow penises as the result of social circumstances. To reiterate: you're abusing the term "biological essentialism" and misattributing it to Greer & co. This is relevant because the article we're talking about is about feminist views on transgender topics; I'd like to deal with this abuse of the term before it makes it into the article. I'd also like to avoid other editors being confused with this abuse of the term, since it will affect how they think about and edit the article. By the way, the link you provided only brings me to a log-in page, but if transgender scholars were abusing the term ten years ago, that just means they've been abusing it for a long time. That's not surprising, given that tensions between feminists and transgender activists date back at least to the 80s. Please let me know if you have a reliable source that explicitly provides a different definition of the term. Taylan (talk) 19:09, 2 October 2018 (UTC)
The language would be: "the belief that [being a woman] is an innate and natural essence rather than a product of social circumstances" - in other words: nature and biology constitute the essence of womanhood. This version may be un-gated for you, but the author is a law professor, not a trans activist, and this framing shows up consistently in peer reviewed academic literature in medicine, psychology, and political science. The term is also used - and probably originates in - biology, where it refers to the notion that "[t]here are a limited number of fixed, unchangeable "ideas" underlying the observed variability [in nature]" - as opposed to the idea that biological taxa are mostly constructed for the benefit of biologists. For whatever it's worth, I don't think we need to use that precise term in the entry, or even mention Greer at all, but there is a word for people who believe that biology is the essence of womanhood. Nblund talk 19:10, 4 October 2018 (UTC)

"Feminist support" isn't well-defined[edit]

Also see:

In line with the concern I raised in the talk page of the Radical feminism article: it's entirely unclear what "support" means here. I think it was a very good change to split the old "Feminist criticism" section into many sections that elaborate on particular topics (socialization differences, SRS, exclusion from definition of "woman", etc.), and the same should be done with "Feminist support". Otherwise, the reader is misled into sort of a black-and-white perspective where someone has to be either in support of everything transgender activists say, or in opposition to it all. The problem with this is seen clearly in e.g. the case of Andrea Dworkin, who transgender activists in my experience often try to claim as a token "pro-trans" radical feminist, and this article arguably does the same right now. In fact, Dworkin never once stated that she sees transwomen as women (she only talked about "transsexuals"), and neither did she voice an opinion on whether they should be allowed entry to female-only spaces. Sex reassignment is the only matter she once wrote on (in her first book only, but nonetheless). This is, by the way, why I insist on keeping the mention of the debacle about whether she "wasn't transphobic"; it serves to give readers more context and perspective. If the mention of Dworkin's passage on SRS were to be moved into the section we have about SRS, then the mention of that debacle would be redundant too IMO. The addition of Margaret Atwood to the section is a little similar. Apparently, in an interview, she verbally distanced herself from some kinds of feminists (the baddies, presumably), which makes her a "pro-trans" feminist (one of the goodies). We don't see any elaboration on her positions, just which camp she puts herself in. The article should not play along this simplistic "pro/anti" grouping, and actually tell us about feminist views on transgender topics. I'm not sure if I would suggest removing her mention, but maybe it should be moved to the "feminist exclusion of trans women" section instead. That leaves us with the paragraph about Judith Butler, and I'm still not sure where that best fits. Taylan (talk) 20:01, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

I agree that the "feminist support" title is trite and vaguely absurd, and that further specification is needed. However, what this draws attention to is the fact that we currently have an article that is manifestly UNDUE, in that it overrepresents radical feminist opinions against other currents of feminism while simultaneously emphasizing trans-exclusionary over trans-inclusionary perspectives. In a context where, for the last decade or two, most feminist organizations and most feminist academics take trans-inclusionary positions, the article would lead the casual reader to the opposite conclusion, perhaps due to some especially "dedicated" editorial work. Newimpartial (talk) 21:15, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

"Criticism of feminist viewpoints" section[edit]

I tentatively renamed this section "Criticism of trans-exclusionary viewpoints", because it seems to only be about criticism of trans-exclusionary views. (I didn't name it "...trans-exclusionary feminist viewpoints" because per MOS:HEAD "feminist" is already covered by the article title.) However, I'd like to pose a deeper question:
Instead of taking all instances of people making trans-exclusionary statements or arguments and getting pushback, and putting them into one section, would it make more sense to move each instance to sections for the arguments the people were making, and/or sections where the people are already mentioned? Think about if e.g. trans-exclusionary people's criticism of Atwood for her trans-inclusive comments were to get enough traction in reliable sources to be deemed appropriate to include: would it make more sense to put the criticism next to her comments, or in a separate section? Such a restructuring would also highlight cases where people haven't made particular thought-arguments at all but have just made generally disparaging comments about not accepting trans people, and gotten pushback, which the current article structure is not very well-suited to handle even though it seems (from the number of examples of it we cite) to be a recurring 'viewpoint'. -sche (talk) 22:05, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

I don't know if you have scanned the above talk, but there was a large discussion on the previous name and at the conclusion of that it was changed to its current name. Previously the article was structured like you suggest with headings for individual feminists. I rearranged it when the name was changed. It was a bit clunky as I didn't want to remove or add information when doing so and it was difficult to fit some information into headings. I was going to do some further editing if the restructuring stuck, but never go around to it. This is what the previous version looked like. I prefer to keep the article based on themes as opposed to individual feminist viewpoints as it is cleaner, makes for a better narrative, discourages the addition of excess bloat and is easier to assign weight to views. It definatley needs some streamlining though. AIRcorn (talk) 06:44, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm sorry if it came across as if I was suggesting sections (headers) for individual feminists again; I'm not. I'm suggesting that the pushback against individuals for making particular arguments might be better placed in the sections where we cover those arguments and/or already mention those individuals — understanding that (based on the referenced contents of the section in question) this would require us to acknowledge in the entry's structure that one "feminist viewpoint" is "general dislike/rejection of trans people".
I've read recent threads and scanned the rest. Ctrl+F-ing "criticism of", I don't spot any prior discussion of this section's name. (Are you possibly thinking I was referring to the old "Feminist criticism" section? I'm referring to the former "Criticism of feminist viewpoints" section.) That previous name was inaccurate and misleading, potentially even POV, since by covering only [criticism of] trans-exclusionary viewpoints but calling that [criticism of] feminist viewpoints, it conveyed incorrectly that all feminist viewpoints were pro-exclusion.
-sche (talk) 07:25, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
One of the 'incidents' I was thinking of when I said that "restructuring would also highlight cases where people haven't made particular thought-arguments at all" (of the sort we have subsections on) but have just faced general pushback for general anti-trans attitude/actions, was this one, which another editor has now removed as part of a different kind of overhaul (thanks!). The incident just doesn't really seem noteworthy... -sche (talk) 20:58, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
I totally agree that the article contains far too many anecdotes. Protests and intra-movement conflicts are important, but the article is supposed to be about feminist views - and so feminist philosophers should take center stage here.
The current structure places anti-trans viewpoints front and center, but these don't seem to be representative of contemporary feminism. Even trans-skeptical thinkers like Adichie don't appear to endorse the sorts of arguments that show up in The Transsexual Empire and other works from the 1970s.
For my part: I think something more chronological might be preferable. This article from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy seems like a useful model for a chronological approach. It discusses people like Janice Raymond in detail, but it also discusses contemporary trans-inclusive views that are more relevant today. Nblund talk 01:11, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

"Unbalanced section heading"[edit]

"Feminist exclusion of trans women" is overly emotive and presents only one side of the debate- the idea that trans women are excluded from spaces they supposedly have a right to enter. This is an argument, and it is contested by radical feminists although not liberal feminists. This heading also does not describe the content. While liberal feminists seem in the main happy with this development in society, radical feminists have raised concerns about male bodied people entering spaces formerly reserved for women on the basis that they feel themselves to be women. Both of these are perspectives, calling the radical perspective exclusion is already making a morally loaded statement not suited to what needs to be a balanced encyclopedia.Foggymaize (talk) 07:09, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

What do the sources say though? Exclusion seems to be the common term. EvergreenFir (talk) 07:37, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

Trans activist sources no doubt refer to the exclusion of males who seek to enter women's spaces. I have no doubt about that. Meanwhile feminists (the erstwhile subject of this article) prefer to use other terms such as safeguarding. A catch-all term is that both of these arguments can be described as perspectives. Foggymaize (talk) 04:23, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

Foggymaize, please stop employing a false dichotomy that opposes feminists to trans activists many feminists of unquestionable credentials advocate the inclusion of trans women. Newimpartial (talk) 04:35, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

New Impartial (sic) you are conflating the views of liberal and radical feminists. Yes liberal feminists support trans activists. Radical feminists do not. This article should explain this via the description of their different perspectives. Now, do you in fact have an argument for using the loaded word exclusion rather than the neutral word perspective? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Foggymaize (talkcontribs) 05:14, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

Foggymaize, as far as I am aware, there are far more than two flavours of feminism (e.g. all the left feminisms and cultural feminism, for starters); in addition to that, any one of them - including liberal or radical feminism - may be Trans-inclusionary or -exclusionary.
As far as the section heading goes, I agree that "feminist exclusion" is an unfortunate turn of phrase, but your proposed turn of phrase "feminist perspectives" would be worse since it would imply that all feminist perspectives are exclusionary. Prior to a more thorough restructuring of the article, "Exclusionary feminist perspectives towards trans women" would get the point across more precisely, I think. Newimpartial (talk) 13:36, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
By all means include other feminist perspectives such as left feminism. That is all that should be in this article - an exploration of the main feminist takes on transgender topics. You are totally incorrect in your take on inclusion as a concept. It is incorrct in particular to suggest that radical feminists would ever include biolgoical males - the people you are calling transwomen, in women's spaces. Radical feminism does not consider transwomen to be women. If a person believes this, they are not a radical feminist. Radical feminists such as Linda Bellos support human rights for all people. They also include transmen in women's spaces since they accept them as biological females.Foggymaize (talk) 22:09, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Please don't overstate your position, Foggymaize, beyond what the evidence supports, and don't use NOTRUESCOTSMAN argumentation. In reality, the interpretation of transwomen as "biological males" is not universal among radical feminists[5] [6] - let's stick to what the sources actually say. Newimpartial (talk) 23:56, 14 October 2018 (UTC)

San Francisco Library exhibit and section on TERF terminology[edit]

I think an edit summary got lost in the shuffle, so I wanted to explain why I removed this anecdote about an art exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library. The Feminist Current may be notable enough to warrant citations for opinions (although it seems overdone in this section), but it isn't reliable for claims of fact. The art exhibit was not widely covered elsewhere, but other (also not reliable) sources argue that key context is missing for things like bats and barbed wire. Covering this in full seems WP:UNDUE, and covering it by relying solely on an online magazine with an obvious editorial slant doesn't seem WP:NPOV.

More broadly, the section seems to cite a bunch of random instances where the term was used, and it relies entirely too heavily on columnists who are critical of trans inclusion. I tried not to be too heavy handed here, but I'm not sure why a story about protesters at a Vancouver library is useful for the section. Nblund talk 18:19, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Tara Wolf[edit]

Elaborating on this edit: the source doesn't mention Wolf at all and doesn't use the word "punch". MacLachlan and Wolf both fall under WP:BLP, so we should be careful about sourcing - especially because neither of these individuals are notable in their own right.

More importantly: ChiveFungi made this section a lot more neutral, but the more I read it the more I'm convinced that it's irrelevant to the section and probably irrelevant to the article as a whole. The section is supposedly about the use of the term TERF, but it seems like this incident (and several others mentioned in that portion of the article) are simply recounting specific incidents of conflict between activists. I'm not sure they're as important as they appear here.

I these incidents should either be removed or else moved to a separate section dedicated to conflicts between trans activists and a subset of radical feminist activists. I lean toward removal but I realize that might be contentious. Nblund talk 00:35, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

Whatever the merit of this section, I think the recent edit to it is unworthy of Wikipedia. McLachlan did not merely allege that Wolf assaulted her. On 13 April 2018 Wolf was found guilty in a UK court of "assault by beating" and given the highest fine possible for a first time offender because of the seriousness of the assault. Wolf is now banned for life from working with vulnerable groups, cannot enter the US and is subject to immediate interview on arrival in many other countries because this is not a misdemeanour but a conviction for violence. And the relevance to TERF lies in the fact that this word was used by the defence barrister to describe the victim of the assault, by several witnesses on the stand to describe their "enemies", and of course formed a central part of the prosecution case regarding intent. If this section remains, it should be amended to accurately present the facts, not personal opinions. Small candles (talk) 22:06, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
Never mind, the page has changed. Again.Small candles (talk) 23:43, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
You'll need reliable sources for those claims. None of those claims about the severity of the assault appear to be supported by the sources cited in that section. The last sentence is the only mention of the term "TERF" in relation to this case as it is currently written. It seems like the primary focus is the fracas itself. Nblund talk 23:57, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. Haven't looked at the cited sources. I've got the sentencing guidelines which show what fine Wolf could have received and what fine was issued (highest possible in the circumstances). As for being banned from working with vulnerable groups that's due to how the CRB checks work with convictions for violence. They always show up even when spent, but have just doublechecked the guidelines and Wolf's age and mental health at time of offence may mitigate this effect in the future. As for the word TERF being central to the case, is the court transcript an admissable source? Or the judge's sentencing remarks?
Anyway, is it even worth adding all of this if someone else will just come along and edit it out again? Tbh I simply don't understand why this case is contentious. Are you all saying/thinking that mentioning this trans person assaulting a gendercritical person is somehow a claim that this is representative of trans people's attitude towards gendercritical people in general? That seems a bit far fetched. This was one incident that merely proves tensions do run high in this debate, but it doesn't prove or even suggest all trans people are prone to violence towards all gendercritical people (which to be clear is of course not the case. Trans people are no different from other people in this respect. Neither are gendercritical people). I would appreciate a quick explanation if you have the time. Small candles (talk) 01:44, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
To give my view on your last paragraph questions, I don't think it is worthwhile for you to add this based on the sources you have, and the reason I'm saying that is because you are suggesting adding WP:PRIMARY sources in a way that amounts to original research. Wikipedia articles are to be based on reliable, secondary sources and must also be DUE; as this article is supposed to be about feminist perspectives on transgender issues, I don't see how street fights at demonstrations are actually relevant to the topic at hand. Newimpartial (talk) 02:47, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Yah. WP:BLPPRIMARY is pretty clear that things like trial transcripts are not acceptable sources in this case. @Small candles: agree that this is not representative of the attitudes of either trans or gender critical activists. That's precisely the problem: the article needs to offer a bird-eye overview of these topics, and this whole section spends far too much time in the weeds. I understand this incident was symbolically very important to people who are passionate about this issue, but a dispassionate reader is not going to get anything meaningful out of that section. Nblund talk 03:35, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree that this incident is probably not necessary to understanding the term "TERF". It seems a bit WP:COATRACKy especially since TERFs love to bring up this one instance of a trans woman punching a cis woman as some indictment against trans women as a whole, while ignoring the harm done to trans women by TERFs such as Maclachlan herself who admitted a bad faith motivation for filming that day, and TERF groups such as Fair Play for Women who publish false studies attempting to portray us as more likely to be sex offenders[7] and put ads in newspapers calling for our rights to be restricted.[8] --ChiveFungi (talk) 12:50, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
I went ahead and boldly moved this out of the"TERF" section and reduced it to a very brief summary. It might make sense to cover this and other conflicts over the Gender Recognition Act in a paragraph. I think Small Candles's argument - that this proves how high tensions are - is a valid reason to include some mention of this incident, but we don't need to name the people involved or discuss the case in detail in order to communicate that element of the story. Nblund talk 15:18, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Without commenting much on how much detail is appropriate (I think there is an argument for retaining a bit more detail about the filming, trial misgendering, and 'side' of the person convicted), I want to say I agree it didn't belong in the section on the term 'TERF', to which it seems to have been only tenuously connected after the fact by one(?) (notably biased!) writer trying to politicize/frame it in that way; putting it in the 'TERF' section was basically accepting that framing, which was not NPOV. -sche (talk) 18:44, 14 October 2018 (UTC)