For those of you fortunate enough to not know what they are, TERFs are trans-exclusionary radical feminists. There are a wide variety of them (and some sound reasonable at first blush), but those few "man-hating feminists" who actually exist are all pretty much TERFs. And part of what their extremist response to men ends up as is a denial that transwomen are women. (Hence "trans-exclusionary.") Feminism isn't about equality for all people, to a TERF; it's about advancement for biological females. These are also the people behind "queer is a slur which can't be reclaimed!" Because queer is an umbrella category, see, which makes it a lot harder to police who is a "real" LGBT+ person than any other term. And if you can push some people--aces, genderqueer, transpeople, bi/pan people, and others out or at least to the fringes--you can much more easily separate out who the "real" women are, and who "deserves" support, from those who "don't".
Anyway, I was listening to the On Being
podcast today. (On Being, for those of you who don't know, is an EXCELLENT radio show/podcast which "opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?" It often addresses issues of religion and spirituality from a broad range of traditions.) This week's show is a conversation with Joy Ladin, an Orthodox Jewish transwoman who is a professor at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University. And I was excited. Queer representation! Religious queer representation! I'm not trans, and I'm not Jewish, but I am asexual and aromantic and there isn't much out there sympathetic to the intersection of queerness and religion, and most of what there is focuses on Evangelical/Fundamentalist/Conservative Christianity (which I am not) and homosexuality, no nuance or anything (and I'm also not homosexual).( cut for TERF bullshit )