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'How to Spot Terfs' Guide Released by Cambridge University Student Union

Guide named '"How To Spot Terf Ideology" was published by UK's Cambridge SU Women's Officer this Monday.

Genevieve Gluck
Genevieve Gluck

Cambridge University’s Student Union Women’s Officer Milo Eyre-Morgan, who uses they/them pronouns, published a guide on Monday titled How To Spot Terf Ideology.

“Trans liberation is part of feminism. Fighting for autonomy and freedom must be a fight for everyone, and there should be no room for transphobia or TERFs in feminist organising,” reads the guide. It continues:

“TERFs define misogyny as sex-based oppression, which results from being ‘biologically female’. Women are not a homogenous group, and some people who experience misogyny are not women.”

The guide continues on to state that “TERFs” “co-opt the language of sexual violence” and advises readers not to engage in debate with a person they believe to be a “TERF”:

“Arguing with TERFs online means that you’ll be bringing transphobia into the timeline of your trans friends and followers, who won’t want to see that.”
Screenshot of the Cambridge SU's Guide

A list of recommended books is provided, including the book Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano, in which Serano describes a graphic rape fantasy about being sex trafficked as a woman:

“While I never really believed the cliché about women being good for only one thing, that sentiment kept creeping into my fantasies. I would imagine myself being sold into sex slavery and having strange men take advantage of me. It’s called forced feminization, and it’s not really about sex. It is about turning the humiliation you feel into pleasure, transforming the loss of male privilege into the best f*ck ever.”

The guide has been published only days after a student group called Anti-Terf Sussex advocated for philosophy professor Kathleen Stock to have her employment terminated over her views that biological sex is immutable. Professor Stock was told that she may need to be accompanied by bodyguards while on Sussex University’s campus and has been advised to install CCTV outside her home.

Milo Eyre-Morgan ran for the role of Women’s Officer uncontested with the slogan, “Be poggers. Vote Milo.” A brief “manifesto” released by Eyre-Morgan states that they intend to, “keep the Women’s Campaign accessible, anti-racist, and trans and sex worker inclusive,” and on the Cambridge website, they are quoted as saying, “As SU Women’s Officer I represent students of marginalized genders.”

As part of their campaign, Eyre-Morgan released a vaporwave YouTube video where they advocate for support for “student sex workers” and suggests that students should be able to change their own names listed in video conference calls during online class sessions.

Eyre-Morgan (whose name is listed as Milo Layton on Facebook) currently runs a Facebook page called “Trans Students of Cambridge” which they used to promote their campaign.

Eyre-Morgan runs the page along with another student, Frankie Kendal, a university LGBT+ officer who was involved in a campaign to have a former councilor accused of “transphobia” sacked.

Kevin Price stepped down from Cambridge City Council on October 22, 2020, amid controversy over a motion that said trans men were men and trans women were women. Mr. Price claimed that although he did believe in human rights, the language of the motion conflicted with women’s rights.

Screenshot of Cambridge SU's Guide

In his resignation speech, Mr. Price said that the statement would “send a chill down the spines of many women who believe there is a conflict of rights and who want to be able to discuss those in a calm and evidence-based way.”

He added that he could not support the motion because some women felt that their rights were “under threat, [and] they are unable to raise legitimate questions and concerns without a hostile response.”

Mr. Price also works for Clare College, and students lobbied for his role there to be terminated as well. Cambridge feminists urged Clare College to “stand up against the absurd, bullying behavior.” Sophie Watson of the Cambridge Radical Feminist Network defended Kevin Price at the time, and discussed how she was blocked by the university from writing her dissertation on detransition.

Feminism is a movement for women which has long understood that women are subjugated on the basis of sex, and that the socially constructed stereotypes referred to as ”gender” limit both men and women, but are specifically designed to control women’s behavior and bodies.

Referring to women who are exploited by the sex industry as ”sex workers” erases the ability to recognize trafficking and objectification as violations of women’s rights. However, it is congruent with gender ideology, which claims that women are not an oppressed class — that the stereotype of femininity is oppressed, and that men who perform in objectifying ways are in fact more marginalized than women and girls. In this way, this belief system condones and facilitates further abuse of the female sex by promoting reductive, essentialist ideas and reducing women to disembodied, sexualized performances. Trans activists reveal themselves as anti-feminists when calling for the removal of women’s boundaries while slurring them as ”TERFs” and attempting to censor those who disagree.


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Genevieve Gluck

Creator of the podcast Women's Voices, featuring interviews, recordings of feminist texts, and news related to women's rights