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Some People Have Found a Much More Fun Acronym To Replace ‘TERF’

Two people hold hands raised in the air while waving a blue, pink, and white trans flag above them

TERFS smell like FARTS.

They’re stinky and loud in the case of J.K. Rowling, or they’re silent but deadly like the obscure state legislators voting to ban gender-affirming healthcare. Either way, they’re both nasty, and someone needs to crack a window and air out their stink for good.

For the uninitiated, “TERF” stands for “Trans Inclusionary Radical Feminist” which is an oxymoron in itself because you cannot be feminist and exclude trans women. If you do, for the love of god light a match because you smell like a FART to me.

But what is a FART?

In response to a Tiktoker’s transphobic hot take, another user made a charming response video qualifying the former as a Feminist Appropriating Radical Transphobe: FART. As far as we can tell, the term originated in a Star Wars subreddit accompanied by a picture of a sassy Han Solo. It’s a zinger for sure, but I think we could improve the acronym a little more.


Girl, close your mouth. It’s starting to smell

♬ original sound – Sarah Hester Ross

Why keep “feminist” at all?

TERFS are often defined as “bigoted feminists,” but I would argue that TERFs are not feminists at all. To exclude certain women (in this case trans women) from obtaining equal rights is not “bad feminism” it’s anti-feminism. Because TERFs seek to oppress certain groups of women, they are acting within the interests of patriarchy itself. A TERF will tell you otherwise because by their backwards-ass logic, trans women represent a sort of patriarchal “final solution” where “real” women have been so oppressed that “men” have “stolen” their very gender from them and therefore threaten to eradicate their existence. And yet categorization attempts of what makes a “real woman” always fail, and fail hard. Some women don’t menstruate. Some women don’t have breasts. Some women can’t bear children. Women across the world do not have the same lived experience.

As writer Aditi Murti from The Swaddle puts it, the only thing that unifies women is that they “believe they are women and want to live their lives as women.” That’s it. Any attempt to delegitimize the experiences of one woman over another is to entrench “precisely those forces of socialization of which feminists claim to be critical” writes Carol Hay for the New York Times (in a rare show of empathy for trans women, considering the Timesother posts).

So to eliminate “feminist” from the acronym, I’d like to propose that we call anyone who identifies as a TERF a BITCH: Bigot Inciting Transphobic Cultural Hate. Or a TWAT: Terrible Woman Appropriating Transphobia. What about a DIPSHIT? Deplorably Ignorant Person Harboring Intolerable Transphobia. A C*NT: Completely Unnecessary Nonessential Transphobe. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. But at least FART is an acronym that can be said in polite company; the same cannot be said about farting itself. Or spreading transphobic ideas. They’re basically the same thing. Anyone who does either needs to leave the room.

(featured image: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

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