One of the things that I find difficult to convey to cis people, even allies, is their sheer cruelty of the harassment trans people face. For example, if a trans person speaks of their experiences of sexual assault, TERFs will opine the victim got off on the validation from it.
And I really can't understate the enormity of cruelty there, because trans people, and trans women especially, suffer higher rates of sexual assault than our cis peers. So, to see our abuses and trauma scoffed at as being sexually gratifying? It cuts deep. Real deep.
I don't think people realize how sexualized the harassment is either. I'm sure everyone knows how they like to paint trans people as fetishists. But the personal, in your face accusatory comments we receive? Opining on how they think we "get off"? It's incredibly invasive.
They'll take trans people's pictures, repost them on their own accounts, making sexually derogatory comments, mocking our appearances, call us all kinds of slurs that I won't repeat. It's incredibly personal, and incredibly cruel.
And Twitter will do nothing about it.
Their harassment is organized. When they harass trans people, they'll tag each other in, retweet their own replies to their followers, and link tweets in groups, etc. They'll keep coming back with fresh sockpuppet accounts, and all you can do is block because Twitter won't act.
The scales are completely tipped in their favour. They'll cry crocodile tears over the term "TERF" and disingenuously claim it's a slur, while engaging in some of the most disgusting, invasive, and personal harassment.
But Twitter will suspend trans people if they snap back.
TERFs though? They can get right up in your mentions, call you a child abuser and sex predator, a fetishist, tell you they think you get off on peeing in women's bathrooms, or enjoy being assaulted, and none of that is actionable. I've tried reporting it, it doesn't do anything.
But a meme telling our abusers to shut the **** up?
Twitter representatives get dragged before parliament in the UK for that, and trans people get suspended en-masse for it. That's the imbalance of power we face here. But sure, TERF is a slur! 🙄
And by the way, none of this kind of cruelty is anything new...
They've been doxxing trans people as long as I've been openly trans online, and that's going back some years. Lemme tell you a little story about a now thankfully defunct TERF website that doxxed trans women.
A prolific transphobe (who I encourage you not to even name, if you do know who I'm talking about, they namesearch) set up a blog that posted the crimes of cis men who were violent sexual offenders, domestic abusers, and even murderers. You can probably guess where this is going.
They would post the information of trans women alongside these often violent criminals, including photos, and legal names or deadnames. The alleged crimes that would land them on this site? "Harassing women"; a euphemism for arguing with TERFs online.
So what would happen was, trans women would get baited into arguments with TERFs, then find themselves placed on what looked to the casual observer to be a registry of violent offenders. The intent, and ramifications of such an thing, should be pretty clear. Stochastic terrorism.
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