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TERFs Vandalize Breast Screening Poster By Covering Essential Medical Information

Three white brassieres with fruits inside, over colored background. Apple, grapefruit and watermelon are as small, medium and large breasts. How to orient in choosing of bra size.

When paper-artist Florence Waller posted an image of an NHS (National Health Service) breast cancer PSA with the text “North Shields Library!” (the adverts locations), those just scrolling past the tweet might have seen it as a positive message sharing the information. After all, preventative health screenings are an important aspect of getting ahead of deadly diseases. Unfortunately, upon closer inspection, it appears that Waller was more excited that portal to book breast cancer screening was covered with another QR code. This newer one placed on top would send the person seeking this vital information instead to a transphobic online celebrity.

Sometimes going by her unoriginal, dog whistle moniker “adult human female”, the QR code sent people to professional TERF Kellie-Jay Keen. As a full-time transphobe, Keen appears to be organizing against human rights via her online show and merch. Merch that includes a roll of this very sticker used to vandalize the public health poster.

It’s unclear if Waller (who deleted the tweet), Keen, or some other person thinks obsessing over chromosomes (no doubt with the incorrect belief that biology proves a binary) is more important than access to breast health screenings. However, this stunt says otherwise. This looks to be another example of TERFs using a faux shield of caring about women’s issues to spread fear about trans women and other exploratory forms of gender.

Please note that though breast cancer mostly affects cis women, people of all genders are diagnosed with this type of cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates over 43,700 women and 500 men will die from this form of cancer in 2023. For those in northeast England looking wondering where the original QR code went, it probably went here.

“Gender Criticals” and women’s health

In a Twitter thread three days after Waller’s post, North Tyneside Libraries replied they “will look into this matter.” Hopefully, the sticker wasn’t covering this info for long. Not only was this disgusting to cover this important medical information, but this also indicates a common trend among transphobes. That is, hurt all women in the name of defending so-called “real women.”

Trans people are the main victims of transphobia as the policies pushed put them in immediate and long-term danger for simply existing. FULL STOP. What TERFs in the “defending biological women” crowd fail to realize is that the strict policing of gender harms all women. This includes cis women and especially women of color. Most professional women athletes “accused” of being transgender are Black women like track star Caster Semenya. Black and brown women have historically (and contemporarily) been stripped of our association with femininity to serve a slave economy.

Many of TERFs’ talking points include the very language feminists have fought against. This includes reducing us to our sex organs and reproductive capacity. Additionally, transphobes engage with pseudoscience like phrenology looking for “signs” to police gender expression. There’s something about vandalizing a cancer screening poster that is so on the nose considering people fighting this disease often “lose” the cultural signifiers of woman-ness like long hair and breasts. The kind of things that if you are missing transphobes will accuse you of being transgender (as if that’s an insult.)

(featured image: Vaselena/ Getty Images)

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(she/her) Award-winning artist and blogger with experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time watching movies, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Balder's Gate 3, Apex Legends, and CS:GO.