Am I a TERF?

4406 So by writing this blog today I am risking going against some things that my professional body may advise, but I’m a woman before I am a psychologist…So am I a TERF? Well it seems to be used as a derogatory word for some women today in much the same way that calling women witches has been in the past. But let’s unpick the acronym: TE stands for Trans-Exclusionary, which means excluding all trans people – do I do that? Well I have no problems with men dressing up or wearing make-up – hence my photo here of Julian Clary; and I have enjoyed going to cabaret shows where men dress as women (and wonder why it’s funny when men dress as women but not so the other way round?) and two of my favourite films are “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and “Kinky Boots”, but Julian and the characters in those films don’t’ try and pass themselves off as women in their everyday lives….The RF stands for Radical Feminist – well I would call myself a feminist in that I think that women deserve equal pay to men etc but I don’t always practise what I preach, as my husband and I often share some of the roles in our house in a traditional way….so I am not really radical.

However I very much agree with what Germaine Greer and JK Rowling say about the issue; e.g. men pretending to be women just suggests that women are an inferior sort of person to men – hence the humour? And yes there are probably now more girls wanting to be boys than the other way round, because we still live in a world where white men have better life opportunities…and I do think that in this day and age where we can pretty much wear what we want and apply for any job regardless of our gender, then why is there an issue? We all have a mixture of feminine and masculine within us and yes as we develop as children there will be some social construction going on, but why can’t we just embrace who we are as we are? That is after all part of my work as a therapist – to work with people who have any sort of dysphoria – but the answer isn’t give them what they ask for – otherwise we would be sending depressed people to dignitas!! And if we feel like we should be the opposite gender, then that is just a thought or a feeling and as a CBT therapist I teach people that decisions are not best made based on emotions alone…

So, yes I don’t think the NHS should be wasting it’s precious resources on gender reassignment surgery, I don’t think we should be stopping puberty in our adolescents, ladies toilets should just be for women only not trans, trans women should not be going to women’s’ prisons if they still  have a penis, trans women should not be competing against women in their sports, trans issues are not the same as sexuality issues (so why bolt them together?); and if you can’t menstruate, fall pregnant or breastfeed then you are not a woman – biology doesn’t lie – it is in our DNA (and I am not including here intersex which is a separate more complex issue). So yes many people would call me a TERF – but do I care? No.

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