TERFs and the Big Lie

If you can hold your breath long enough to read a few posts in a TERF forum, you find that a significant amount of energy is spent hand-wringing over every minute detail of trans women’s lives. They’ll frequently create threads obsessing over candid photographs, speculating wildly (using patriarchal psychosexual theories, in case you were under the illusion they’re interested in liberating women) about her sexual interests, over something as asinine as a trans woman leaning over a table to catch some dribble from the soup she’s eating.

Lately TERF twitter has been a-flutter over a video of a SUPER ULTRA VICIOUS ATTACK BY TRANSGENDERING MALES… in which Maria McLachlan, a British TERF, chokes out a trans teen for about a minute and a half before being punched. Rather remarkably, UK Media have been sharing McLachlan’s edit of the video (which, you know, also shows her choking this teen) and they’re citing it as evidence of… [CW: TERF bullshit] “trans male” violence…???

Apparently it’s impolite to not pass out when being choked in the United Kingdom.

It’s a page from the patriarchy playbook: Deny deny deny. Deny it to their face. Deny it without hesitation. Deny it repeatedly. The more ambitious the lie, the better. And I can’t think of a lie much more ambitious than saying being choked by someone constitutes an act of violence.

What I was a little bit unprepared for was how readily UK Media pushed the TERF narrative.

1) Transgender people defending themselves against violent attack by TERFs is now ‘condemned’ by Stonewall. Fuck. Cis. Gay. People. Fuck them. It is profoundly telling how easily trans people get thrown under the bus when the Gay Inc.’s respectability machine is threatened. Trans people must just take this shit now? No. Fuck you. You’re just as bad as the fucking TERFs and Nazis.

2) Transgender people defending themselves against physical attack is ‘retaliation’? This is a fantastic example of the intellectual dishonesty of cis white people. Defending ourselves shouldn’t be framed as some sort of point we’re making. We’re not ‘retaliating’, we’re not engaged in ‘revenge’, this isn’t some sort of philosophical exercise we’re contemplating, we’re trying to survive physical attacks by violent and hateful bigots.

3) As @nonbinarygxd on Twitter says: “Ummm…. this ahistorical liberal nonsense is treacherous. Newsflash, violence in the hands of the oppressed vs. oppressors is not the same.” [2]Of course forgetting history is the first thing that happens when a group started by trans women of colour is taken over by white cis men. It is a profound act of privilege and ignorance to pretend that Stonewall was born out of “pacifism” when queer people were literally beaten up, jailed, and killed so you can have your wedding cake. As @_hoemo on Twitter says: “…….so…what the hell do you think Stonewall was? A peaceful talk over tea and orgies?” [3]

etc. etc. Read more here.



  1. emergence says

    Wow… a trans woman was being strangled, she punched the woman doing it to make her stop, and the TERFs say she was the one being violent. Apparently TERFs are just as willing to misrepresent reality to make themselves look like victims as white supremacists are.

    Hey Siobhan, do you have a link to the unedited video? I tried looking for it, but I couldn’t find it.

  2. Siobhan says

    @2 Brian Pansky

    This looks like the physical violence began after she was using her camera, not choking.

    McLachlan’s camera was pushed by the person in the leather coat. McLachlan was specifically taking that footage to identify and dox the protesters. This is an incredibly vital piece of context. Pushing on McLachlan’s camera is an attempt to stop a cyber harassment campaign. And if you don’t believe me, go look at McLachlan’s Twitter, where she’s using the footage to–wait for it–dox the person who pushed her camera.


  3. Silentbob says

    So a cis woman using a camera as a threat was involved in a scuffle over the camera, from which she emerged unharmed, while on the way to an event to organize opposition to the Gender Recognition Act (the UK law that protects the rights of trans people). Outrage over violence ensues.

    Meanwhile, a trans girl is brutally tortured and murdered, stabbed in the genitals, eyes gouged out, body burned, bits found in plastic bags.

    I’m sure we’ll hear the outcry over violence against women in relation to the second incident any day now. (/snark)