Transphobia specialist expertly explains why ‘UK has become TERF Island’
An academic on TikTok explained why transphobia is endemic in the UK and why the Nations Collection has come online known as the ‘TERF Island’. (TikTok / @ danieltalkstoomuch)
A scholar on TikTok explained why transphobia is rampant in the UK and why it is now called “TERF Island” online.
A TikTok user asked if anyone knew “why the UK came to be known as TERF Island”, which prompted Daniel – who is called danieltalkstoomuch on the video sharing app – to share his insightful answer on the subject.
TERF stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” and refers to people who describe themselves as feminists but who exclude the rights of transgender people.
Daniel opened the video by sharing their list of impressive references, including that they have completed a thesis project on transphobia, are starting postgraduate studies on ‘transphobic dehumanization’ and plan to continue their studies. with a “doctorate on TERFism”.
So he knows his stuff.
Daniel went on to talk about a 2020 essay they loved called “Empire and Eugenics: Trans Studies in the United Kingdom” by Ezra Horbury and Christine ‘Xine’ Yao. They said the study’s authors point out that trans studies are a “marginalized discipline” in the UK, somewhat more than in the US where it is “to some extent institutionalized.”
“What this means is that when we talk about trans issues in the UK, we don’t consult trans studies academics – we consult TERFs,” Daniel explained.
“And it’s very easy as a result of that for TERFs to say that researchers in trans studies have no evidence and when evidence does come out it’s also very easy for them to ignore it, to deny that it. exists or to claim that it is biased despite the lack of real evidence to support this claim.
Along with the discipline “which is just not taken seriously in the UK”, Daniel said the authors point out that there is a “huge problem of intersectionality” in the UK.
He explained that although the UK is the “cradle” of the British Empire and eugenics, many people “refuse to recognize it and refuse to recognize even to this day that there is racism and prejudices implicit in our society ”.
“And as a result of that we have a lot of upper to middle class white feminists in our public discourse in universities who a) have never spoken properly to a feminist of color and b) have never had to. looking at something through an intersectional or post-colonial lens, ”they added.
He continued, “And then when we have something like TERF-ism, which is a branch of white feminism that exploits narratives of the vulnerability of white women and has a bioessentialism that has been compared to eugenic racism, it gets by. very well in this country under these conditions. . “
At the end of this surprisingly thought-provoking video, Daniel also added his own “conspiracy theory” but warned that they had “no evidence to support it” and therefore said, “Please take it. – with a grain of salt ”.
He stressed that the British have “such a fix with politeness” culturally that it can be “really hard to call people out for their prejudices and transphobic prejudices”. And therefore it is difficult to get “anyone to learn” because it is “considered really rude to accuse someone of being transphobic,” he said.
“It’s also not very polite to be a fanatic, so people will find ways to express their biases so uninhibitedly and they’ll lie to each other about why they have those biases,” Daniel added. .
“And if you can justify your transphobic beliefs with feminism or concern for the safety of children, this is a great way to make yourself feel better about those biases and stop people from criticizing you.”
Daniel is not the only one to point out that this anti-trans bias exists in the UK.
If you search for “TERF Island” on Twitter, several people can be seen tweeting about rising anti-trans sentiment and hatred in the UK.
In addition, a damning Council of Europe report recently singled out the UK for its “groundless and worrying” anti-trans rhetoric. The UK is mentioned throughout the report and refers to the rise of anti-LGBT + hate speech on social media.
The detailed report – which also identified Russia, Poland and Hungary as areas of rising hatred against LGBT + people – also described a “marked increase” in anti-LGBT + hate speech and hate crimes.
The council, which is Europe’s leading human rights organization, vehemently condemned “large-scale and often virulent attacks” on LGBT + rights in the community.