Students’ Union Says ‘TERF’ Feminists Work With ‘Far-Right’ Against ‘Trans-Liberation’

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Trans Rights activists hold a counter demonstration next to a woman’s rights demo organised by Women Wont Wheesht on September 02, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Recent guidelines issued by the National Records of Scotland say that people indicate male or female in Scotland's 2022 census …
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The Students’ Union at Cambridge University has accused feminists of colluding with the “far-right” on matters concerning transgenderism in a lengthy guide that claims that being a woman is not merely determined by biology.

In the ominously titled ‘How To Spot TERF Ideology’, the Cambridge Students’ Union (Cambridge SU) said that feminists who claim that only biological women are women, or so-called Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs), are pushing a “transphobic” and narrow-minded ideology.

The guide said that the main argument from TERFs is that transgender women are not women and therefore should not have the same access to female-only spaces.

This idea was deemed as “reductive” and “narrow” by the SU, which said that it fails to understand the “way that gender and sex are both systems of power that interact with other systems of power and oppression, such as racism, ableism, and colonialism.”

“Trans liberation is part of feminism”, the student union argued, and therefore there should be “no room for transphobia or TERFs in feminist organising,” claiming that “TERF-ism”  is a distinct “subcategory of transphobia”.

“TERFs (particularly the famous ones who figurehead the movement) spend a lot of time working with the far-right,” the guide went on to claim.

Cambridge SU said that as with many “reactionary” ideologies, it is most likely pointless to have conversations with TERFs, whether online or in person.

“It won’t be helpful to unpick the false assumptions if someone is committed to the underlying ideology itself. In this situation, if you still want to have the discussion, it’s best to talk through what the endpoint of their ideology is – either they will commit to it, in which case there’s not much to be done besides reducing the harm they can do to others,” the guide stated.

The attacks on supposedly “transphobic” feminists in Britain has been a longstanding movement within student bodies in Britain. In 2015, for example, the National Union of Students (NUS) voted to “no-platform” prominent feminist thinkers including Germaine Greer, Julie Bindel, and Julie Burchill, demanding that they be barred from speaking at all universities in the country.

The paper was written by the Cambridge Students’ Union’s recently installed women’s officer Milo Eyre-Morgan, whose pronouns include: “they/them” or “he/him”.

In running to become the women’s officer, Milo said that his top priority would be to call for “anti-racism and diversity training” for all staff at Cambridge, as well as better training for councillors to help ethnic minorities and LGBT students.

He also called for students to be able to change their names online in light of the pandemic, which he claimed was most important for trans students. The women’s officer also said that “period products” should be supplied, for free, to all students regardless of which “bathroom they use”.

The stifling effect of the radical transgender movement reared its head once again this week, as a professor at Sussex University was effectively forced into hiding amid backlash for her claiming that people cannot change their biological sex.

Professor Kathleen Stock of Sussex University was told by the local police that she should limit herself to teaching online in light of the controversy.

Rather than defending one of its members the Sussex branch of the University College Union (UCU) wrote in a statement “in support of trans and nonbinary communities”, which Prof Stock claimed had effectively “ended her career“.

“We extend our solidarity to all trans and nonbinary members of our community who, now more than ever, should receive the unequivocal support of the University and its management,” the union wrote.

“As a union, we strongly condemn all forms of transphobia, and call the University of Sussex leadership to heed its institution’s values and commitments as set out in its Trans Equality Statement and its Dignity and Respect policy.

“We urge our management to take a clear and strong stance against transphobia at Sussex.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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