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The Acronym “TERF” is a Propaganda Tool for Mindless Obedience

Slogans and Slurs Distill Complex and Thorny Issues Down to Witless Us-Good/Them-Evil Inanity

The acronym “TERF” stands for Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminist. Originally it meant “radical feminist who excludes the T (for transgender) from the LGB umbrella.”

Today, however, “TERF” is the gender industry’s mindless, ad hominem attack on anyone who questions or criticizes anything about the gender industry. Like all slurs, it's used to dehumanize its target. Furthermore, propaganda slogans like “TERF” distill complex and thorny issues down to witless Us-Good/Them-Evil inanity.

Case in point, a Facebook conversation I had earlier today, during which a person I don’t even know tried to shame me for posting the image above (i.e., for not being ashamed of my TERF-hood).

Sadly, the Facebook conversation continued fruitlessly, as these usually do, with the trans-rights advocate repeatedly calling me hateful while repeatedly ignoring my request that she provide evidence of said hate.

Same Absurdity, Different Day.

But as we sparred, hopefully the onlookers recognized that there’s much more to the issue of transgender ideology than the gender industry wants us to see.

A dumbed-down disinformation campaign characterized by yelling “TERF!” does not allow complex thought or nuanced discussion. And that’s exactly the point. The gender industry doesn’t want anyone thinking, discussing, or parsing out anything about its demands.

If you’ve called someone a “TERF,” I challenge you to take stock of why, what that acronym really means, and what you might have had to think about had such a handily dismissive smear not been available to you.

If you’ve been called a “TERF,” you’re in good company. That intended insult has likely been slapped on every single person who’s ever said, “Hey, wait a minute—” about something related to gender ideology.

When trans-rights advocates’ best and most frequent response is character assassination, that means we TERFs are on the right track. The Machiavellis behind the curtain don’t like us pulling it back.

No, they don’t like it one bit.

Maria Keffler is a partner at Partners for Ethical Care. Contact Ms Keffler via

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