The Annals of the TERF-Wars

So, yesterday this turned up in my feed, which struck me as something of an, um, mispresentation… and somehow, I ended up writing my own version of how this whole thing went down…



Prologue: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Transsexual women: We just want some basic human rights.

Women: Okay.

Transsexual women: We have this condition called gender dysphoria and it’s really painful and we need to transition to live as the other sex because it’s the treatment for the dysphoria.

Women: Yeah, that sounds tough. Okay, if that’s what you need to do.

Transsexual women: We’d like you to treat us as women.

Most women: Um, okay. Sure, we can do that if that helps.


Prequel: A long time ago in a lesbian bar that no longer exists

Lesbians: We don’t have to treat you as women for sexual purposes, do we?

Many transsexual women: No, that’s cool

Nascent trans activists: Well, actually, if you don’t want to fuck us then it invalidates our womanhood and that is misgendering and it’s a human rights abuse and you should want to fuck us.

Lesbians: It’s a human rights abuse if we don’t want to fuck you? What the fuck?

Nascent trans activists: Yes, you should want to fuck us.

Lesbians: Even if you still have dicks?

Nascent trans activists: Even if we still have dicks.

Lesbians: Um yeah, sorry, we don’t do dicks. We’re LESBIANS.

Nascent trans activists: You are vagina fetishists with unconscious bias and are gatekeeping your vaginas. We are women and our dicks are women’s dicks. If you don’t want to fuck us, you’re bigots.

Lesbians: We’re not bigots, it’s just you’re male, and we fuck female people.


Lesbians: Um yeah, we’re not really feeling that right now to be honest.

Nascent trans activists: TERF TERF TERF TERF TERF.

Lesbians: HEY PEOPLE! These people are pressuring our sexual boundaries because they say they’re women but the way they’re pressuring us doesn’t make us feel like they’re women…in fact, it makes us feel like they’re men and we don’t fuck men. We’re lesbians, we don’t fuck men. That’s the reason we did all the marching, so that was okay right? RIGHT????

(Nascent trans activists: TERF TERF TERF TERF TERF)

Lesbians: HEY PEOPLE!!! Could we get some fucking help here?

Rest of the LGB community and world: Did someone say something?


Episode 1: The First War Begins. Scene 1: Cyberspace – probably around 2013

Trans activists: So hey, when we said we’d like you to treat us like women that wasn’t right, because actually, we ARE women and we demand that you treat us exactly like women because we are women and that you to stop violently excluding us from all your women things.

Women: Um, we thought you were male people who had to transition to help with your dysphoria?

Trans activists: No, that is out-dated and pathologizing. Women are women because they have a gender identity which makes them women.

Women: Um, we thought we were woman because we’re female?

Trans activists: No, you are women because you have magic womanish essence that makes you women. We have the same magic womanish essence as you, it’s just that ours got stuck in the wrong body.

Feminists: That sounds kind of sexist. Can you tell us what this woman-essence is, and how it gets stuck in the wrong body, because that sounds like a weird metaphys…..

Trans activists: It’s SCIENCE.

Feminists: Science says there’s ‘magic woman essence’??? Are you sure? Because feminism would…

Trans activists: Shut up bigots.

Feminists: Sorry? What?

Trans activists: You are our oppressors, you don’t get to speak. When you speak you oppress us, and it literally kills us.

Feminists: WHAT?

Trans activists: You are cis women, cis people are our oppressors.

Feminists: We’re what?

Trans activists: It’s your new name, it comes from Latin, and means you have a magic gender essence that matches your body, and because your magic gender essence matches your body you are privileged…

Feminists: Hang on a minute, women are oppressed because they are women, we’re not really sure that’s a privilege…

Trans activists: YOU ARE PRIVILEGED BECAUSE YOUR GENDER IDENTITY MATCHES YOUR BODY. Nobody knows the pain of being trapped in the wrong body. It is the greatest pain of all the pains that has ever happened to all of human kind, and everyone who does not know this pain is privileged and is therefore our oppressor.

Feminists: Um, were not really sure we’re oppressing you, we don’t have much social power to oppress you, we’d just like to ask you some questions about this gender identity thing….


Feminists: What? No, we just wanted to ask you…


Feminists: No no no hold on, we’re just trying to ask you a question…


Feminists: What??? We’re like genocidal what??? This is fucking crazy. Can we just try and calm down and talk about this?

Trans activists: NO. There is NO DEBATE. Debating is literal violence and makes us unsafe. Repeat after us – Trans women are women. Trans women are women because they have woman essence, just like cis women. You’re not women because of your bodies. Bodies have nothing to do with being a woman.

Feminists: Okay, this is sounding nuts now, because we really think our bodies have quite a lot to do with our being woman.

Trans activists: Bio-essentialism!

Feminists: What? Essentialism is bad we agree, but that means thinking people with certain kinds of bodies have to…

Trans activists: No, essentialism is thinking male and female people exist.

Feminists: But male and female people DO exist.

Trans activist: FUCK YOU TERF. DIE IN A FIRE.

Feminists: Woah.

Trans activists: How many fucking times do we need to tell you this cis-scum? Your body has nothing to do with your being a woman. There is no such thing as female biology.

Feminists: WHAT THE FUCK????

Trans activists: The gender binary was created by white heteropatriarchal colonialism.


American trans activists who don’t know the rest of the world exists: Colonialism colonialism duh.

Feminists: How the hell is the colonization of North America responsible for the creation of male and female people? And while we’re here that sounds kinda racist…

Trans activists: Two-spirit people burble burble sex is a spectrum burble clown fish burble burble intersex people burble burble some women don’t have ovaries burble social construct burble Judith Butler

(Academics with cool-girl syndrome and assorted edgelords and wokebros: JUDITH BUTLER!!!!)

Trans activists: ….burble burble, there is no such thing as female biology and women are women because they have magic gender essence and therefore some women have penises!

Feminists: Okay, this is batshit. We REALLY need to talk about this.



Episode 1: The First War Continues. Scene 2: Cyberspace – around 2013-14

*Enter Intersectional Feminists from top, bottom and side of screen….*


Feminists: Hang on, we thought you were feminists. We thought you cared about female people.

Intersectional feminists: Female people are so last century. Only White Feminists care about female people.

Feminists: White what?

Intersectional feminists: All the feminists before us were white middle-class women and they only cared about what white middle-class women care about and they were only interested in getting good jobs for white middle-class women and they didn’t care about Black women and were dried up whorephobic prudes who didn’t realize sex work was liberating and mostly they just wanted to kill trans people.

Feminists: That sounds like some mad-ass caricature.

Intersectional feminists: You would say that, you oppressive old crones. You’re just saying that to maintain your power.

Feminists: No we’re not, we don’t have much power. We’re saying it because it sounds like bullshit. *Starts trying to explain all the things second wave feminism did to help women*

Intersectional feminists: We’re not listening to you, you oppressive bitches. We’ve hidden all your books in the library to protect young minds from them. You are whorephobes and transphobes and racists. We are intersectional. Only we have learned from the Tumblr-oracle how all the different oppressions have different points on a scale that add up to who is the most oppressed and you are white (so are we mostly but we’re pointing at you because somehow that means something, maybe because we have asymmetric hair-cuts and our profile pics give great side-eye) and you are women and that means that you are the least oppressed and that means that your feminism is shit and that means that you have to centre all these other people in your feminism and if you refuse it’s because you’re the oppressors and the most oppressed people are trans women and they must be the centre of feminism from now on.

Feminists: You want us to centre male born people in our feminism?

Intersectional feminists: THAT’S RIGHT BITCHES. And there is no such thing as ‘male-born people.’ That is cissexism and is literal violence. You need to educate yourselves. We don’t have the spoons.

Feminists: Um yeah, we know quite a lot about the history and practice of feminism and we’ve thought quite hard about it and I think we’re going to carry on centring female people if you don’t mind.

Intersectional feminists: OPPRESSORS

Feminists: Female people are oppressed and our political movement…


(Ps – Would you like to try this sourdough bread I made with yeast from my vagina?)

Feminists: Okay. This is getting REALLY fucked up now.

Intersectional feminists: Run away and cry your ‘White Feminism TM’ tears you dried up old witches. And don’t fucking kink-shame us or we’ll shank you.

Feminists: Um, this feminism seems not very…

Intersectional feminists with new blue hair: BIG DICK ENERGY.

*TERF-blocker descends*


Episode 1: The End of the First War. Scene 3: Cyberspace and public sphere, 2014-5

Feminists: *Educate themselves* *Become increasingly horrified* *Start writing articles nobody fucking reads*

HEY PEOPLE! This shit is mental. There are these people saying being female has nothing to do with being a woman, and that they’re women because they have magic gender essence, and this sounds pretty sexist, and they also say that sex doesn’t exist and given we’ve always thought that that’s the reason we’re oppressed we’re pretty worried this is a bad idea for women and feminism, and now these other people who say they’re feminists are telling us we have to centre people who are not female in our feminism or we’re the oppressors and are going on and on about how we shouldn’t say anything because we’re whorephobic bigots and it’s kind of nuts and people are bullying lesbians to have sex with people with penises and they’re encouraging young people to take hormones that we don’t seem to understand the effects of and we think this is all sketchy as fuck to be honest. What the hell is going on?

Trans activists and intersectional feminists: That woman talking over there is making people unsafe because she is an evil bigot and trans people are the most vulnerable people in the world and she is the oppressor and she is oppressing us by speaking and if she speaks then it is literal violence and it will make people hurt us and we will also hurt ourselves and so you have to stop her speaking and if you don’t stop her speaking then you are also an evil bigot and we are going to tell everyone what evil fucking bigots you are and you wouldn’t want that now so you better stop her speaking right fucking now.

Civic institution: Um, what now?

Trans activists: *Pickets* *Inundates with letters and emails and phone calls* *Goes on twitter and gets a massive pile of people to bombard institution*

Civic institution’s PR people: This makes us look bad.

Civic institution: Okay, we won’t let the bigot speak. I mean, she’s just a feminist, right?

Trans activists: Hurray we are safe! Ding dong the witch is dead!

Feminists: What the fuck? HEY PEOPLE! I was just trying to say something because I think there are some questions here and I think we should really talk about it. I’m not sure people are women just because they have magic woman essence and I think there might be some not good consequences of thinking this.

Trans activists and civic institutions: SHUT UP BIGOTS.

Misogynist child with column in major left-wing newspaper: SHUT UP BIGOTS. YOU’RE THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT GAY PEOPLE WERE ALL KIDDY FIDDLERS.

Feminists: Um, lots of us are lesbians actually and the rest of us were totally behind gay rights, like, we’ve always been allies, what the hell are you going on about?

Misogynist child with column in major left-wing newspaper: *Blocks all the women objecting* WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY BITCHES.

Woke bros and assorted leftie-misogynists: *Jumping up and down with excitement* WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY UPPITY BITCHES.

Trans activists and civic institutions and leftie newspapers:  REPEAT AFTER US – Trans women are women. Because trans women are women then trans women should be given all the social resources given to other women and if you don’t accept this then you are exclusionary bigots and we’re going to make damn sure everyone knows what terrible terrible people you are and how you shouldn’t be allowed to live or work or speak or write in public. Have you fucking got that???

Feminists: You’re intimidating and silencing us.

Trans activists and leftie newspapers:  No, we’re not. You trigger people by existing and asking questions and having the wrong opinions. You need to shut the fuck up so that everyone is safe. RIGHT NOW.


Episode 2: Between the Wars. Scene 1: Public sphere, 2015-2017

Feminists: We’re feeling pretty demoralized here…

Trans activists: EXCELLENT. You just sit over there and keep your little lady-mouths shut.

*Organise some more* *Take over Stonewall and all the LGBT+ organizations* *Start sending people into school and institutions to explain that people have magic gender essence which sometimes gets trapped in the wrong body* *Bully, harass and no platform any woman who speaks up*

Hey, government. We’ve got this great idea. You know how people think you’re a bunch of assholes who has been driving the economy into the ground and lining rich people’s pockets while you let vulnerable people starve, we’ve got just the ticket for you.

Government: *Ears prick up* Tell us more.

Trans activists: Yeah, all you have to do is change this piece of legislation so we can get our sex changed more easily. The current legislation is really burdensome, and we’re really vulnerable, and it would really help us out, and would totally make you look like you care about marginalized people while costing you fuck all.

Government: Well, that does sound like a boon. Is there a catch?

Trans activists: No, not one. It’s just streamlining an administrative process really.

Government: Okay, come and tell us all about it. Is there anyone else we need to talk to?

Trans activists: No. It doesn’t have any effect on anyone, it’s just paperwork really. JUST MAKE SURE YOU DON’T TALK TO THOSE UPPITY WOMEN OVER THER THEY’RE ALL EVIL BIGOTS WHO WANT TO KILL US.

Government: Oh yes, they do sound like terrible people, how awful for you.

Trans activists: Yes, they’re really horrific. And while we’re at it, you might want to think about removing their rights to single-sex spaces from the Equalities Act because it discriminates against us.

Government: Interesting. Okay, when can you come in?


Episode 2: Between the Wars. Scene 2: The Take Over Continues, Labour Party, 2016-17

The left of the left: Austerity sucks! Neoliberalism sucks! WE. WANT. SOCIAL. DEMOCRACY. NOW.

Some of the feminists: Yeah, we want that too.

Other of the feminists: We think these people might be wankers.

Some of the feminists: Noted. Let’s see what they say….


The new leader of the Labour Party: WE. WANT. SOCIAL. DEMOCRACY. NOW.

Some of the feminists: Okay, great….


Some of the feminists: Well, we get what you’re saying, but….


Some of the feminists: This seems strangely fam….


The new leader of the Labour Party: TRANS WOMEN *ARE* WOMEN.


Some of the feminists: Ohhhhhhhhh FUCK…..

Other of the feminists: We told you they were wankers.

Misogynist child with column in major left-wing newspaper: Trans women are women and the only people who disagree with me are those centrist collaborating shills over there…

Some of the feminists: Well THAT’S bullshit.

Momentum, Labour leadership, misogynist child and chorus of brocialists: TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN. TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN. CAPITALIST BIGOT SHILLS BIGOT SHILLS BURN THEM BURN THEM…

Bastardi: Fully automated luxury……

Some of the feminists: Yup. Wankers.

Other of the feminists: Told you.

Labour Party women: So, about this trans women are women thing, we just have a few….

Momentum, misogynist child and chorus of brocialists: SHUT UP YOU FUCKING TERF BIGOTS.

Labour Party women: TERF-what?

Momentum, misogynist child and chorus of brocialists: You are ‘Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists.’ That means you’re evil and witches and that people can punch you and it’s not violence against women because you’re witches.

Labour Party women: Um, we’re not sure we’re radical feminists, or that we’re excluding anyone, but we definitely don’t think anyone should be punching women and we just wanted to….

Momentum, misogynist child and chorus of brocialists: ZIP IT.

Labour Party women: *in a huddle in the wings, whispering quietly* What the fuck????

HEY PEOPLE! We’re Labour members and this a democratic political party and we think we should….

Momentum, misogynist child and chorus of brocialists: WE TOLD YOU TO ZIP IT.

Labour Party women: But…

Momentum, misogynist child and chorus of brocialists: TSZUP!!!!! *makes zipping motion*

Labour Party women: Well, we think we want to talk about this so we’re going to go over here and….

Momentum, misogynist child and chorus of brocialists: GREAT. FUCK OFF. WE DON’T NEED SHILLS LIKE YOU IN THE REVOLUTION ANYWAY…

Feminists: This is a fucking clusterfuck.

Momentum: We have this awesome young trans woman who we think would make an awesome Women’s Officer because she’s awesome and trans women are awesome and trans women are women and there is no difference in any of their life experience which means they might not understand women’s political interests and anyone who suggests that is a fucking bigot.

General public: Huh?

Young trans women’s officer with variable coloured hair: Hi, I’m Petal, and I’m very petally, and that means I know all about women and their petals and I can represent all the political interests of petals and when I get a womb-transplant I will be even more petally, and if you don’t like my petals…

Labour Party women: No no, your petals are fine, it’s just that you’re very young, and for most of the time you were alive you were….

Petal: I WAS WHAT? I have *always* been a woman…

Labour Party women: Yeah, we’re just not quite sure about that bit….


Labour Party women: Um, we thought you were supposed to be representing us, and actually, it doesn’t seem like you’re really doing very much….


General public: What the hell is going on…?

Feminists: Yeah, we kind of…..

Momentum, trans activists, misogynist child and chorus of brocialists: WE THOUGHT WE TOLD YOU WITCHES TO BE QUIET ALREADY.


Episode 3: The Second War Begins. Scene 1 – Somewhere in Whitehall, 2018

Government: We think we’re going to change the law. Just a little administrative clear up to make life less burdensome for the trans population who, as we know, are terribly vulnerable.

Feminists: You’re going to do what??? Why didn’t you ask us about this?

Government: Yes well, the trans people said it didn’t affect you.

Feminists: THEY SAID WHAT??? Hang on a motherfucking minute.


Episode 3:  The Witches Strike Back. Scene 2: Cyberspace and public sphere, 2018

Trans activists: REPEAT AFTER US: Trans women are women. Trans women should not be excluded from any spaces women have access to. Anyone who questions that is an exclusionary genocidal racist who is in league with the far right. And by the way, you’re not women anymore, you’re cis women, and we want you to stop talking about your bodies, and we’re going to change all the words in all the literature that has anything to do with you so that everyone understands that being female is not necessary to being a woman, and from now on you are ‘mentruators’ and ‘cervix havers’ and ‘pregnant people.’ Got that?

Women: WOAH. You fucking what? We’re cis-what? And we’re not women anymore, we’re menstruators. We don’t think we like this.

Trans activists: It’s inclusive.

Women: Well, it sounds dehumanising as all hell to us.

Trans activists: Shut up cis people, you are the oppressors. These are the new words for you.

Women: Don’t we get to decide which words we use for ourselves?

Trans activists: No, you are the oppressors, if you do not accept these new words you are oppressing us.

Women: We’re oppressing you by wanting to be called women??? What the hell is….

Trans activists: BIGOTS! These are your new words. You are cis women, and we are trans women. We are both just different types of women, except we’re more oppressed than you so you have to do what we say. Look, there’s nothing you can do about it, the government already agrees with us, see?

Women: The government already agrees with you? What?

Trans activists: Yes. REPEAT AFTER US: Trans women are women. The government believes this and is going to change the law so that we can be legally recognised as female if we sign a piece of paper that says we have magic woman essence…

Women: What??? This can’t be right. Surely someone would have said something about this? Where are the feminists? Feminists, is this right?

Feminists: U-huh. We were trying to….

Women: What are the implications of this???

Feminists: *montage of charts and essays* *three weeks later*

Women: Fuck this shit. We need to do something.

Feminists: YES. WE. DO.

Feminists and radicalized women and intersex people and transsexuals and concerned parents and gay men who are realizing something’s up and some straight male allies: EVERYONE HOLD HANDS AND PUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLL.

The press: The women seem to be making a shit-ton of noise about something? Why are there stickers of cocks everywhere??? What on earth is going on?

Trans activists and the left-wing press: NOTHING, THEY’RE BIGOTS.

Most of the press: Oh, okay.

A few journalists: *Digging around* What the actual fuck??????



Feminists: Ha, yeah, we’re not so scared of you and your words now are we? There’s a ton of us here. And people are starting to listen. EVERYONE. C’MON. PUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.


Women and allies: PUUUUULLLLLLLLL.

Feminists watching from around the world: Hell yes! PUUUUULLLLLLLLL.



Government: Lah-lah-lah.

A few journalists: Um actually, we had a little look at this thing, and we think the women might have a point.


A few journalists: Now, come on, there is a proposed change to law, and this is a democracy, and they have some arguments that seem quite compelling, and there have been some things that have happened recently that seem to suggest that maybe there’s some substance to their concerns, and it seems like we should think this through.


A few journalists: We’re not sure that’s really helping your case. We think we’re going to start covering this in more depth.



Feminists watching from around the world: PUUUUULLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!

Major left-wing newspaper that has been steadfastly quiet: *ostentatiously clears throat* Um, actually we think the women might have a point.

Women and allies: *BACKFILPS*

Trans activists and allies at home and abroad: OMFG why is the British media so full of evil bigots??????

Women and allies: *Lying in a bundle panting* Whatfuckingever asshats.



  1. Episode x – the far fetched near future

    Dr Woke Bro: excited to announce that research provides possibility of pregnancy without a womb

    Feminists: oh fuck off

    TransActivists: that’s you lot done with, such my dick, I’m having a baby as soon as I can remove my ied coil thingy

    Feminists: women have babies

    Dr Woke Bro: trans women can have babies too

    Feminists: were not going to let you do away with women

    Trans Activist: We’re women too. We know what men want. We’re going to give it to them. We won’t need you lot.

    Government: we’ve decided to erase all vagina owners. The end.

  2. This is pure gold. You have summed up virtually an entire herstory of transmisogyny (trans hatred of women) in engaging, readable form, with hilarious accuracy.

    My litmus test of great feminist theory is that it’s so accurate, it’s funny, and you nailed it.

    I agree with the other commenters that we no longer have to explain the herstory and underlying misogyny of transgenderism’s proponents. (That includes the internalized misogyny of FtTs and handmaidens.)

    We can now hand people this article.

    And here’s the real power of this article, if we each choose to use it: we can give it to politicians and other thought leaders, decision-makers, and activists, to soon #peak trans them.

    Some of them will say, “Thank you, this affirms what I was sensing!”

    Others will say, “Huh? I don’t understand any of this.”

    Still others will at first say, “This is transphobic bigotry!”

    But within 6 months, many in the latter two groups, when they get served their next slice of trans-crazy pie, will, having read this article, suddenly see the whole pie, and wham!: #Peak Trans.

    So here is a proposal to peak trans as many politicians and influential people as possible: each of us print out 25 copies of this. Don’t send a link if it might get overlooked by someone busy, which it probably will.

    Snail mail those 25 copies to your elected officials and other influencers. It’s harder to ignore a hard copy letter taking up space on one’s desk.

    The more of us who do this, the faster society will change, and that couldn’t happen fast enough.

    If all 67 of us commenters, so far, did this, we could blanket a significant chunk of the English-speaking world.

    Then, we each print another 25 copies, and carry them with us, to show or give to others we know offline: doctors, librarians, teachers, clergy, writers, political party activists, friends, etc. to peak trans our personal offline community, not just our feminist networks online.

    I will print out and snail mail my first 25 copies tomorrow.

    Thank you, Jane Clare Jones! Brilliant writing and political work.


    1. Divide and conquer, pit women and trans people against one another and who wins? Neither women nor trans people. It is a play and comedy, satire, but do any of the comments reflect actual knowledge of any actual trans people today? Perhaps we should stop and think before trying to turn this bit of satire into a political tool.

      1. I agree neither women or trans people win, but these are the political tactics of the trans rights movement in its present form. The comments are a response to people’s experience with people advocating the ideology of the movement – some of them are ‘actual’ trans people, some of them are not, some of them are people caught up in it, many ‘actual’ trans people don’t support the movement. As we keep saying, the movement is not the same as ‘actual trans people’ – and it’s not something we’ve made up as a caricature of ‘actual trans people’… we have many ‘actual trans people’ as allies who are also opposing the movement… so your point actually makes no sense as anything other than a belief that this is a projection of our own issues which would be dispelled the moment we realise that most ‘actual trans people’ are normal decent human beings trying to get on with their lives – we already know that, and that has nothing to do with the political ideology and tactics of the trans rights movement.

      2. The problem is ignoring the issues will put women’s rights right back at the 1960s. No women’s spaces, no safe spaces, no areans for fair competition (current u.s female wrestling champion is a trans women). Even some of the words and concepts trans using are creepy and right wing ‘lady brains’ ‘feminine’ behavior’.

  3. *However, I will be blacking out the swear words with a felt pen on the first copy, then photocopying the rest of the copies, sensitivity and propriety with electeds and others. 🙂

    1. I’m not sure it will make sense without the swear words, they’re doing quite a lot of work 😉

      1. I went through and blacked out all the swear words. It was completely comprehensible, and much more powerful. Swear words take the power out of one’s writing and speaking. Speech carries much more power without them, I find. Go through the article again, and try it, by mentally blacking out the swear words, and see what you think. At least try the first few paragraphs, and let me know your thoughts.

  4. All admirations, JCJ. Brilliant! Tumblr, I tell you what, Tumblr broke meaning and thoughtful discourse into wee bitty pieces. Thank you for this work, because it was work!!! xoxo

    1. And thank you for walking along side me my dearest, and never doubting the contents of my heart xx

  5. This is brilliant and you deserve every ounce of the congratulations and thanks you’re getting.

    But I do also have to say that I’ve been dreading that all the brilliant words, activism, and hard work that predated – by at least 10 years – your “The First War Begins” 2013 start date would one day be erased. I’m sure unintentionally in your case. The fact is there were blogs all the way back to the early 2000s and forward written by radical feminists making many of the points in this post. And they were also virulently attacked, to the point that many of those blogs disappeared without any of us being able to record them for posterity. Some of the women who blogged and agitated on social media for years over this issue well before 2013 – and who were attacked by transactivists just the same as now – are still around reading, commenting, and sadly noting their disappearance from gender critical women’s history.

    I’m one of those women. Sincerely,

    1. Yeah, we are aware that it had been going on for a good while before we ran into it… but most of what we have found recoverable is only what is in the published work – and there are some theoretical disagreements with respect to that. I guess I don’t quite understand how it is that women who are still working feel they are disappearing, insofar as we’re all on twitter, and new women are turning up all the time, and writing new things…I think we’d all appreciate the contributions from women involved prior to 2013….maybe you can point us to it?

      1. As I recall, we talked about it all a lot, from at least a couple of decades ago, and there were issues with discos, magazines etc but apart from Sheila Jeffreys, I can’t remember anyone writing about it all or having the direct arguments in public written spaces.

      2. Thanks for asking. Here are just some examples. (Note that the ones where I used the Internet Archive don’t include the years before they were crawled for the first time – that’s a known failing of that site.)

        The “Feminist Reprise” archive goes back to 2006 and it was around at least 2 years before that.*/

        Miss Andrea’s blog started in Feb. 2008 (and check out her blog roll of others blogging)

        The archive of the blog “The Dirt from Dirt” starts in 2008 and she started blogging before that*/

        The archive of the blog “Femonade” (Factcheckme/FCM) goes back to 2009*/

        Radfem Hub started in May 2011 and many of the bloggers (see blogger list in 2nd link) had had blogs for years before that

        If you scroll down to the bottom of this list of blogs, you’ll see the names of some of the earliest ones, including those that are defunct (only the names are there, no links)

        There were many others. Including those that go back further. There was a full website with multiple pages and articles that beautifully outlined the case against recognizing transwomen as women up and running in 2003. An in-person campaign against the three women who created it succeeded in scaring them into taking it down. They’ve since asked everyone who knew them to let their experience remain only in our memories. The intimidation was THAT bad.

        If you know how to search the Usenet archives (discussion groups in the 90s, basically), you’ll find lots of women discussing this stuff.

        Finally, as always I like to give a shout out to the woman who originated the concept of “Peak Trans” with a fantastic explication in about 2012 – thank you, wherever you are, Radfemcrafts.

        Maybe some of the other women who led the way will chime in here as well.

      3. Thank you. I will check all this out. And please, do tell them women you are in touch with to come and find us on twitter if they’d be interested….

      4. Seconding all of NoAnodyne’s recommendations and wanting to mention the discussion boards of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival have discussions of this issue with tons of passion on all sides, going back probably before 2000. I know I participated in them in the early 2000s before I started my site but don’t know if they are archived or available anywhere.

        Also please note the link to the revamped Feminist Reprise archive and blog which contains a lot of republished original material from the early 2000s including some of the pieces from the original Questioning Transgender site which I believe was referred to by another commenter. The loss of lesbian spaces and “community” in the US over this issue goes back to the late 1990s at least and would make a great prequel if anyone had the heart to write it.

      5. Thanks for this. In my somewhat defence I guess I’d just like to say that that is what I am gesturing at in the prequel already… that this conflict had been rumbling on within lesbian communities for a long time before it kind of exploded all over twitter and the public sphere more widely, and that that almost nobody was there to offer support….largely because a lot of us didn’t know it was happening at the time, rather like women who have joined this conflict later didn’t know what we were encountering in the early years of this decade. We are all sorry about that, and wish we’d known more and had been there. I didn’t write it in a great deal of detail, because I wasn’t there, and so my knowledge of it is limited, especially as the online traces of it are not so readily available. But I am really grateful for these sources, and if we end up expanding this into an illustrated ebook as may happen, I will definitely try and give more attention to it, and to fill it out using them, and am very happy to hear from women who had more direct experience, and would be happy to consult with them to see of what I come up with captures their experience of it – especially the events around Mitchfest and the camp around it….

      6. [There’s one more comment of mine stuck in moderation or in spam with two more excellent links.]

        And so awesome Feminist Reprise is here!! Plus, thank you for the reminder of the name of that site: Questioning Transgender. It was amazing to run across when I had hit my peak trans already in the late 90s, but had no one to talk to about it.

    2. Yeah, my stance on trans got me kicked out of Twisty’s FB group. And then I went and wrote a gender identity dystopia novel. (Gender Fraud: a fiction — review copies available for the asking — contact me through

    1. Yeah I’m a member and supporter of both, and whilst I widely think momentum has it right on women we got it very very wrong.

  6. Bravo and standing ovation! For the US opening we will have to write a couple of new scenes, where the hatred and lack of support of the male left drives some women to collaborate with right-wing groups thereby making a self-fulfilling prophecy of the otherwise unfounded accusation that feminists are in bed with conservatives; and where a select few AGP billionaires fund some otherwise useless academics and LGBT organizations left idle by the success of gay marriage legislation, to promote the cause.

    1. These are both very good ideas. I think Rothblatt et al really need to put in an appearance somewhere… ‘Chorus of transhumanist trans tech-bros’ 🙂

  7. There are no words to describe how amazing this article is and how beautifully it encapsulates the entire debacle that has been unfolding. My workplace is very “inclusive,” and I have to be so careful of what I say online for fear of being sacked. This was a great read and made me smile about this clusterfuck we call peak trans. Thanks so much!

  8. GAAAAHHHHH Sorry to just dump this out of sequence because I know others have weighed in earlier, but effing WP has just taken me through two password resets, losing both this page and my “reply” both times, and the AGAIN …onvrmnd

    I was startled at the 2013 date since as an attendee at Michfest beginning in 1989, I watched it become GroundZero of American Transevangelism.
    The voices so quickly lost ANY relection of feminism, especially the radical feminist principles that drove and shaped Michfest over the years.

    If Gender Supremacy had a leg to stand on, it would not have rooted its approach to the largest gathering of women on the planet in ad hominem attacks and lies at the owner, it would not have extorted compliant statements and purging of staff from organizations and boards, it would not have called for a boycott aimed at destroying the livelihood of lesbian artists, musicians, and performers…

    The boycott set the savage McCarthyist standard that now manifests as unplatforming gender critical and bridge-building voices, confrontational hate speech on the street, at venues, and marches, and most most of all in the nearly competitive festival of hate speech aimed at radfems & other gender critical voices on line.

    This piece of writing is such a wonderful expose – I hope there is some way to add an acknowledgement of the developmental years in the same non-specific style.

    1. Yes, this is an important point that everyone should pay attention to. All of the no-platforming, threats etc. that have become standard transactivist methods were first practiced against and perfected on small populations of women no one cared about, and who no one helped – lesbians and radical feminists.

      I’m inclined to think that if large numbers of women and other self-professed leftists had done a better job of standing up for lesbians and radical feminists back then, this would not have progressed to the point where it’s gotten to.

      But instead the transactivists learned that it was a method that worked, so of course they went on to do it to more and more women, and now even they’re starting to do it to some men too.

  9. Intersex transsexual here saying THANK YOU. Trust me, there are more and more transsexuals, both MtF and FtM, who are terrified of these giant violent dudes and their love for their peens, and trying to shove them where they are not wanted (just like straight men..hmmm…). And their tactics are so obvious. This “vagina toter” shit is not only woman-hating, but it’s not even “trans friendly”, as actual transsexual men feel dysphoric and miserable every time we hear it. It almost seems like these trans whacktivists want to declare all female-assigned and/or female-born people (including trans men) as well as surgically and hormonally transitioned born-males to be “inferior women”, while the non-dysphoric, non-transitioned male whacktivists are “special ladystick and bearded oppressed women”, aligned with the other class of specials–men-identifying males.

    I warn you though to not claim gay males as your allies. Their alignment with female bodied people afraid of rape from “penis-toting, testosterone-led” trans males (see what I did there?) is pretty much non-existent. Their political stance begins and ends with “trannies and females are icky.” Were you around pre-AIDS when gay males kept lesbians out of bars, clubs, apartments, jobs, and political organizations because of ” the ick factor”? (Ie lesbians smell and have disgusting looking bodies, bring down the property value and cool factor, and are annoying useless bitches, particularly the butch dykes). Today, the societal gap in acceptance/money/power/social cache/freedom from violence for gay/trans male-borns vs for lesbian women/trans female-borns/transsexual women/women in general is even more stacked in favor of the former.

    1. Thanks for your comment, and I agree, the current form of transactivism is not at all friendly to many of the people with dysphoria, either MtF or FtM. I’m doing a piece of work on this and am looking to solicit a range of opinions on it, and I’d welcome your voice, if you’d be interested, drop me an email via the About page.

      Re: gay men, I hear you, but I think it’s only part of the story. In my experience there are two very different types of gay men, the type you describe, and the one’s who are actually very woman-identified. I’ve received a lot of emails from gay men expressing their support and concern, and we have some wonderful gay male allies, like Johnny Best, who are doing great work. I guess I’m also very biased in this, I basically grew up with gay men – what’s a GNC girl with a big gob to do for friends in the sticks? – and gay men still feature prominently among my closet friends. So yes, you’re right, there is the legion of little Owen Jones’ and Dr Haddock’s and Patrick Strudwick’s who drip misogyny and are basically relishing what is happening to us and, even more so, lesbians, but there are some real allies in there as well.

    2. Thank you for posting this. I’ve been looking for voices among the trans you mention who are NOT on the bandwagon.

      (And yeah … I deejayed for a LGB party waaaay back and experienced the gay male attitude you mention. Oddly enough, I also experienced a MtF interaction that was very helpful and respectful.)

  10. Thank you Dr. Jones.After having a horrible week,suspended from twtter for merely saying that ‘men can’t get pregnant’, and this week for saying that ‘there is no such thing as a transbian’ on FB,and receiving on PN,the most disgusting vile names that I have ever heard (which,after reporting them, FB deemed to be acceptable to community standards)this has lifted my spirits.You have summed up the trans lunacy perfectly.Each day I hope that this will be the day that everyone recognizes the misogyny and homophobia behind their agenda.I am still hopeful.

  11. Thank goodness I found this website. I’m still clapping at this post. May go on for a bit longer.

    Some of this stuff is batshit over here; (currently in a US uni).

  12. I needed this. I feel trampled by trans community’s loud cry-bullying to the point I now have isolated myself away from the entire LGBT scene for fear of conflict as I do not align with the current trans activist Philosophies regarding the demand for language change and disavowal of science based differences between bio women and trans women.
    I’m just so sick of all the competition for most oppressed along with all the thinking that tantrums could ever trump science. It’s repulsive literally.

  13. What an absolutely awesome piece of work – totally sums up what has and what is happening. Let us hope that we can stop and overturn this movement.

  14. I really appreciate this post and agree with all of the points made by the “feminists” in this exchange. However, though I’m not sure if my voice is welcome or needed here, I’d just like to propose a potentially controversial idea about the tone and tactics adopted by “trans activists” in this exchange. When feminist thought really started to gain visibility on college campuses in the 90s, very similar exchanges were had between radical feminists and their opponents, and the rhetorical tactics deployed by radical feminists were often eerily similar to those you’ve cataloged here. For example, I remember a public talk, hosted by the Womyn’s Center at my university, where the speaker accused questioners of “erasing” women by refusing to spell the word with a “Y” (that wasn’t all she accused people of, but I’ll leave it at that). As lots of folks recognized at the time, this was a small but very vocal and occasionally quite powerful minority.

    The larger point here is that we might start to reflect on the history of these extremist, rhetorical tactics; they didn’t come from nowhere. We might possibly acknowledge that they are internal to certain movements (on both the left and the right), handed down from generation to generation, and that most of us don’t really oppose it all unless it is directed at us. Perhaps the reason so many “cis” (ha ha) straight white dudes like me are suddenly allies with radical feminists like yourself in 2019 is because we sympathize, deeply, with being the target of these tactics, and with watching as our more sane allies on the left are cowed into silence by extremist nonsense. Sorry if this comes off as confrontational, it isn’t meant to be.

    1. to be fair..radical feminists had been almost fully purged from universities and women’s studies fully subordinate to gender studies by the 1990’s. I have no doubt that these people might have self-identified as “feminist”, but in that period of time in universities feminist they were likely not.

  15. I appreciate this post and am glad to see the tide maybe turning a bit in the way TERFs are reported.

    I don’t check off all the TERF boxes, but those boxes may frame a caricature. I consider myself Inclusive in a lot of ways, so I may be wrong for this forum, but FWIW, and at the risk of being duly chastised, but here’s my own take.

    Pronouns: Use whichever set works for you

    Sexual Reassignment Surgery: Do it or don’t do it, whatever works for you

    SRS as Self-Mutilation:
    Not anymore. Current surgical outcomes are beyond just functional let alone merely passable. (Note: early 70’s outcomes WERE mutilation, so I carried on as a butch bif and I’ve been comfortable with that, but I would do it today if I were younger.)

    Lived gender experience:
    Does affect your psyche/expectations/emotions/behaviors – which makes me very much in favor of puberty blockers and SRS as EARLY as possible. If a cis-male deeply feels he is in the wrong body (or vice versa), they can get it right early enough to live the full experience. (In the same vein, it’s too late to be logical for me, in spite of improved outcomes.)

    Bathroom Access: Whatever works for you*
    I don’t buy stories about trans women raping cis women in bathrooms – those perps are just male rapists in dresses, not trans anything

    Access to other spaces:
    Wherever works for you*

    I acknowledge that not all sex workers are trafficked, addicted and/or under-privileged. Please don’t you protest outreach/legislation efforts meant to help those who are.

    Access to cis-Lesbian bedrooms:
    No. Just. No. Eff no. What kind of fuckery is this?
    Wasn’t sexual agency one of the main points of feminism? Humanism even?
    It’s like a punchline from a 70’s sex comedy. Or an MRA in heels. I don’t believe that any truly woman identifying trans person would actually demand this from another woman. I think this sub-group are complete impostors. Go home, bros

    * With the proviso that, whoever you are, however you identify, you can be evicted from any space for behavior including, but not limited to: talking over, shouting, threatening, raping and committing other assaults.

  16. writing sarcastically is great but it doesn’t serve you well when the specific things you choose to joke about show fundamental misunderstandings of an entire generation of people. stuff like making a sarcastic jab at “spoons” terminology as if it’s meaningless when it’s not even an lgbt thing at all, it’s for people with chronic or terminal illnesses that cause fatigue. you don’t understand what a lot of these words mean and you end up coming off like you’re making fun of people with MS or cancer. google words before you make fun of them

    1. I know exactly what it means. I’m not making fun of people with chronic illnesses, I’m simply writing down something that a generation of people took to saying, and in that, perhaps, making fun of what looks to me like an appropriation of a piece of terminology from chronic illness, and perhaps also in that, raising a question about the extent to which there has been a tendency to turn chronic and mental health conditions into identities among a certain section of our young people, and perhaps also, to instrumentalise them and the vulnerabilities of those populations in a way that might not be exactly helpful to the respect and understanding of those conditions. It’s the same thing as ‘triggered.’ If you appropriate a word and use it incessantly in inappropriate and often manipulative ways, it devalues it. And that’s a problem, because people need that concept.

      Also, don’t tell people what they do a do not understand and what they should and should not google when your ability to interpret the nuance and purpose of a piece of satire is evidently somewhat lacking. The level of baseless arrogated authority people show to strangers on the internet never ceases to amaze.

      1. I have one of the chronic medical conditions for which the spoons metaphor was originally devised, and I’m fed up to my back teeth with able-bodied complainers appropriating “spoons” to legitimate their unwillingness to engage in good faith. Many of us used to hope that we’d see some sort of curb-cut effect with the expansion of the spoons concept, but that is very much not the case.

        It’s gotten to the point at which I can fairly well predict that if I’m talking to someone who likes the “spoons” metaphor, my own medical fatigue is going to take on an awkward air of being vaguely counterrevolutionary. Merely by being Spoons-Classic, I become socially dangerous in my ability to speak from the center of that concept and say, “No, that’s really not the same thing at all,” and so I get to enjoy the occasional preemptive social strike from self-righteously fragile people with asymmetric haircuts and novelty gender identities.

        The appropriation of “spoons” has been disastrous for those of us with actual medical fatigue conditions, as the Woke Brigade has overwritten our need for physical accommodation with their desire for emotional caretaking.

        I absolutely cheered for the sarcasm here.

  17. Thank you for this. This BS has been troubling me all ay to the point of depression, then I read this. Spot ON!!!! Now I have a wee smile. Well done.

  18. 10 out of 10 Brilliantly hilarious this transmaddness was really depressing me today and you have both cheered me up and given me hope So thanks JaneClare

  19. This is one of the best things I have ever read in my life, and that is no exaggeration. A masterpiece of humour and truth.

  20. “The women seem to be making a shit-ton of noise about something? Why are there stickers of cocks everywhere???” I literally spat my weak lemon drink over my keyboard at this bit…bravo!

  21. While I admire your intelligence, courage and sense of humor – thank you for all that you’ve done – please stop dissuading US feminists from working with the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), the Kelsey Coalition and other American gender critical organizations. Full disclosure: I am not a member of any organization, but I admire the incredibly hard work the US GC orgs. are doing. The situation in the US is vastly different from that in the UK: “Progressives,” including “liberal” politicians and “independent” media, have completely silenced US gender critical voices. You, and other UK feminists, are actively hurting the US fight with your criticisms of gender critical feminists forming nonpartisan coalitions across the political spectrum . I personally find the alliance of many UK gender critical feminists with Zionism very offensive, but yet I support these same activists’ efforts regarding women’s rights and children’s health. Please try to do the same. Or just don’t say anything. Our battle here in the US is immensely more difficult than the GC fight in th

    1. And the alliance of gender critical feminists with the US right is, I believe, actively hurting the movement here. I recognise that your situation is different from the situation here, but here we also have to deal with the fact that alliances with the right serve to reinforce many of the tropes that are being used to discredit us and prevent our claims being listened to. And I reserve the right to distance myself from them. Basically you are saying ‘our situation is worse than yours so you have to prioritise us and shut up about what you believe.’ Um, no. Sorry, I won’t. And I don’t appreciate anyone coming along and telling me what I should and should not say. I speak what I consider to be the truth. I’m not about to start changing that.

    2. I echo the concern, but think ongoing critique is important. While it’s true the right is almost the only platform available to natal women opposed to trafficking and sexual harassment, with them come constant difficulties in understanding. however, as Dworkin observed long ago, we have a good chance of bringing right wing women over farther left, and definitely working together on shared issues.The left is losing its worker base, which is good.That’s what happened when WL started in ’68. Except for actual marxists, and not all of those, there are no organized lefties doing work I care to back. The left are really Biden democrats with a vandalism kink.

  22. Ha pages of waffling nonsense because Owl hit the nail right on the head and as too close to the truth for you. Especially with king Terf himself appearing on newsnight and getting rightly brought up on his vicious transphobia.

  23. I think something needs to be added near the end along the lines of regular women (non-feminists) going wait what the hell is going on? Feminists I thought you were keeping us protected? Feminists: Yeah we tried.

  24. I found this post really useful. I was involved heavily in student politics in Leeds in the early-1980’s, and whilst I’m no paragon I thought I’d absorbed a reasonably progressive sexual politics from friends and comrades – lesbians, gay men, feminists, socialist feminists – and understand things like the need for women-only spaces. I also absorbed (imperfectly) lessons from feminists about how to conduct oneself, about listening to others, and about finding ways for the people who hadn’t spoken yet to feel comfortable about speaking. What people on the right who like othering stuff describe as ‘political correctness’ – and what my late mother would have described as good manners.

    Over thirty years on I’m still a Labour Party activist, and at the last General Election the party nationally imposed a short-list of candidates on us in our constituency, Rother Valley. We ended up selecting a woman from Sheffield whose politics I didn’t share. After the meeting, those of us who’d wanted someone else were a bit shocked and non-plussed. I fell into converstion with a Councillor I know who’s been hugely instrumental in sorting out Rotherham Council’s Children’s Services for reasons which most people will know.

    “This is going to be a problem,” he said, “she’s only gone and slagged off Sammie Woodhouse on Twitter.”

    Sammie lives locally. I don’t know her personally, although we follow each other on Twitter. From her early teenage years until her mid-twenties she was sexually abused, raped, trafficked and forced into sex work. Her abuser, currently in jail, wants access to the children he had with her. She now campaigns against sexual abuse and supports others who have experienced the same problems. She knows the sex trade isn’t a Richard Gere/Julia Roberts fantasy. With women in Sheffield, she’d objected to the renewal of the Spearmint Rhino’s licence in Sheffield, after undercover work had gathered evidence that they were in serious breach of their licence.

    I don’t have any problem with that. Back in the 1980’s the licensed sex shop on Chapeltown Road was more heavily fortified than the Police barracks in Crossmaglen. I understood why. It got torched in ever more imaginative ways on a monthly basis, and I’m pretty certain I might have known some of the angry women who did it. Perhaps the approach of a Situationist friend was more subtle. He went in and asked to buy a pound of sex… The thing was the whole milieu I was in seemed to understand the underlying critique of male violence and patriarchy. I took it for granted that any thinking leftie – and even a centrist melt class-traitor like me – understood this.

    Yet here is this woman, who wants to be our Labour candidate, who wants to be our MP, supporting Spearmint Rhino, abusing the objectors as ugly old TERF’s. And here is this woman, knowing everything that Sammie has gone through, calling her a trashy SWERF. Sweet Jesus. I couldn’t understand it, and I also couldn’t understand the wider hatred, the exclusion, the spite.

    This piece has really helped. Ta. And, although I hope I’m not lapsing into being an agent of phallocentric bourgeois literary criticism here, it’s delightfully Swiftian. There’s really a touch of the Modest Proposals about it. Ireland’s greatest manic-depressive curmudgeon would approve, wherever he is…

    And our Labour candidate lost, by the way.

    1. Thanks, John – I was around student politics 10+ years earlier than you, but recognise what you’re saying. Being a lesbian, my focus was the Gay Liberation Movement, feminism etc. And yes, what happened with that candidate you got landed with and her criticism of Sammy Woodhouse was horrendous. That must have been really hard.

      Jane Clare Jones has the most glorious way of writing – I like your Swiftian comparison!!

    2. Thank you so much for this. I follow Sammie too, and I watched that whole thing play out on twitter and was horrified, so it’s good to hear your take from the front row. If you’d give me your permission I’d like to put this comment on twitter – I can remove your name – I think it speaks very powerfully to the mess the left has got itself in…

  25. Thanks Jane. Almost died laughing at this one. So funny it could only be true. I tried going down the ‘Terf wars’ rabbit hole online and on twitter but had to come back when a trans woman on twitter was complaining about ‘her periods’ and the ‘terrible moods’ she had to endure (‘cos ‘Trans women get cycles too TERFS!!!!) . I could take no more and came back up to the surface 🙂 Keep up the great thinking. The world needs it.

  26. Hi Jane,
    Thanks for your support in these dark, dystopian times. I’m not on any social media shiz (because I’m lazy and probably too angry). But I’ve been reading yours & Dr Emma Hilton’s tweets and just wanted to say that you’re all fabulous & fierce. The hundreds of messages and tweets supporting JKR that I’ve read this week has lifted my spirits and makes me feel that not everyone is fucking insane. I hope this latest shitstorm is a wake up call/turning point for many women to add their voices – we make up 52% of the worlds population FFS!
    Thank you also for addressing the shameful, vile tweets from Owen Jones, (a Guardian writer, no less). I’ve lost a lot of respect for that paper. Take care xx

  27. Any chance of an update/addendum for this brilliant work? This is my first time reading it and it’s so interesting to see the perspective shown here, which is similar to mine but with much more insight. Thanks for putting it out, though; I laughed and cried as the saying goes!

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