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Quiz: Who said it, incel or TERF?

By David Futrelle

So yesterday, I was poking around in the Braincels subreddit, Reddit’s main hangout for incels, and was struck by how often the regulars there discuss trans women.

Some incels like to fantasize about solving their particular difficulty — their “involuntary” celibacy — by hooking up with “traps” (their favorite transphobic term for young trans hotties). But most of the time they’re as straightfowardly hateful towards trans women as any TERF (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist).

Indeed, I was struck by how remarkably similar incels and TERFs sound when they talk about trans women (both generally ignore trans men). So much so that I decided to make this quiz.

I don’t know about you, but I found these very hard to distinguish from one another, to the point that I had to check and doublecheck each quote to make sure which subreddit it came from, even though I was the one choosing the quotes.

So what does this mean? Partly, the quotes sound similar because, well, this is what transphobic hate sounds like. But in other cases it seems as though the incels have picked up certain TERF talking points from reading, or reading about, TERFs.

If you consider yourself a feminist, but your thoughts on trans women are virtually identical to the raging misogynists and ignorant anti-feminists who make up the incel movement, well, maybe you’re not as much of a feminist as you think.

Sources for quotes: Question 1: GenderCritical, Braincels. Question 2: GC, Braincels. Question 3: Braincels, GC. Question 4: Braincels, GC.

H/T — Reddit’s Advanced Search

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Malitia
Malitia
1 year ago

“2/4 Correct answers!”

I’m proud of myself. :3

Nina
Nina
1 year ago

0/4 correct answers… I don’t know if I should be pleased or disappointed with myself. But seriously, as far as I can tell, there’s absolutely no difference between these quotes.

Handsome :Punkle Stan: Jack

i got 4 right but only because i thought i was choosing the terf answers, not the braincel ones so

varalys the dark
1 year ago

According to a political magazine I read (Private Eye), “terf” has been designated a misogynist slur by twitter. Is that true? The writer didn’t seem to understand it’s an acronym nor what it stands for.

Allandrel
Allandrel
1 year ago

TERFs argue that “TERF” is a slur for the same reason racists argue that calling someone racist is worse than being racist: They want to silence people calling them on their shit.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
1 year ago

I scored the same as Nina. Now according to “Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse” the only way to get a 0 on a binary test is to actually know all the correct answers… I feel in this case I just couldn’t tell, though.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
1 year ago

I’ve heard cis people say that cis is a slur.

They can kiss my agender ass.

misophistry
misophistry
1 year ago

1 out of 4. And that “constant dilation” shit is so exaggerated. I get away with the occasional shag and its been nearly 20 years, no sign of it closing up. And for an “open wound” it looks an awful lot like a vagina to me and everyone else who’s seen it. Transphobia is gaslighting on such an epic scale. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

I ran into something the other day saying that hetero/heterosexual should be considered a slur.

Allandrel
Allandrel
1 year ago

Much of the “X is slur” talk seems to boil down to “I’m not hetero/cis/allistic, I’m NORMAL!”

They’re pissed at not being treated as the default that all others deviate from.

Except for the TERFs. Like I said above, that’s just bigots not wanting to be called out as bigots.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

It’s the same as the “pointing out racism is the real racism” talking point. It’s meant to shut trans people up by making the discussion about how mean they are for pushing back against anti-trans rhetoric and oppression.

Victorious Parasol
1 year ago

I also scored 2/4, and felt rather bewildered about every quote.

Mabret (née Laugher at Bigots)
Mabret (née Laugher at Bigots)
1 year ago

I’m ashamed to say that I got 3/4.

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

Oh yeah, and I got a 2/4.

Those quotes are basically indistinguishable.

I have had it with TERFs/SWERFs/BERFs. TSWBERFs? Reminds me of the Cream song SWLABR.

Gaebolga
Gaebolga
1 year ago

Woo! 5 right!

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

Cheater!

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

1/4. I’m not really surprised that the two groups are hard to distinguish, as haters tend to sound alike. Sort of like that Reddit vs Stormfront Quiz a while ago.
As well, has anyone else noticed TERFs becoming more prominent as of late? I seem to be hearing about and seeing them more often (the JK Rowling thing, Kamala Harris, etc) and it is a worrying trend to say the least.

@Yutolia
What is a BERF?

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

@Naglfar:

Bisexual exclusionary radical feminist. I just learned about it yesterday. I mean, it totally makes sense that they would also support bi and pan erasure. I wasn’t at all surprised.

I am bi myself. I have also been a sex worker. These people are nightmares.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Yutolia
I hadn’t heard about bi exclusionary radical feminists before, but now that you mention them I’m not surprised they exist either.

I’m guessing a lot of the various kinds of ERFs consist of the same people. All of the TERFs I’ve had the misfortune to meet were also SWERFs, and vice versa.
IIRC, David coined a term for these kinds of people. I think it was phlegmanist, but I might be remembering wrong.

kupo
kupo
1 year ago
Ariblester
Ariblester
1 year ago

2/4. Yay me?

@Malitia

If you’re still using my WHTM Quote Helper, I’ve since updated it to add a function that speeds up searching for a user’s posts on the site (basically it searches using Google for occurrences of the username on this site; useful for “bringing the receipts” on suspected trolls, I’ve found).

Also Greasyfork has stopped allowing my userscript to be accessed unless you create an account there (due to “adult content” on this site, which, fair enough). So there’s that.

Link to userscript:
https://greasyfork.org/scripts/377808-whtm-quote-helper/code/WHTM%20Quote%20Helper.user.js

Link to bookmarklet: https://pastebin.com/raw/UKfSjDSf

Snowberry
Snowberry
1 year ago

I got 3/4. The only one I missed was the last one, and that’s the only one which I wasn’t sure of. Instead of focusing on what they were saying, I looked at subtle word usage and phrasing differences. Apparently I’m familiar enough with both incel writings and TERF writings to easily make that distinction in the first three… which might not be the best thing for my mental health.

Never heard of BERFs either, but it does make a twisted sort of sense. Some “political lesbians”, regardless of their actual orientation, don’t like it when women who are into women are also willingly involved with men, so erasing them or hating on them might be a very common reaction.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

Didn’t take the quiz… they’re all fucking trumplings, nowadays, anyway.

Got a new fone, as my old one went completely unhinged… Verizon techie couldn’t figure it out, tech supervisor couldn’t figure it out, so (insurance) gave me a brand new fone to replace my 4-year old one. Gotta tell ya I felt guilty till they told me to get over it!

I think I hold the world’s record for breaking electronics so NOBODY can figure out what’s wrong!

re: Twitter n TERF… the media moguls wanna make it about descriptive terminology and not about attacks or oppression

Ariblester
Ariblester
1 year ago

Naglfar wrote on
July 20, 2019 at 8:09 pm:

@Yutolia

I hadn’t heard about bi exclusionary radical feminists before, but now that you mention them I’m not surprised they exist either.

I’m guessing a lot of the various kinds of ERFs consist of the same people. All of the TERFs I’ve had the misfortune to meet were also SWERFs, and vice versa.

IIRC, David coined a term for these kinds of people. I think it was phlegmanist, but I might be remembering wrong.

It was mooted, but only for TERFs.

I’ve seen “Feminism-Appropriating Reactionary Transphobes” (i.e. FARTs) elsewhere, but no similar umbrella term for all bigots appropriating the discourse of feminism in bad faith. (Is there an acronym somewhere in there? BADFIB, maybe?)

MICHAEL LONG
MICHAEL LONG
1 year ago

I’m an Incel Whisperer? Oh Noes!!!

Squash
Squash
1 year ago

I had a suite mate in college who was transitioning from female to male. We did not know this at the time. He was outed during winter break and it was handled very poorly. He left that semester and I never saw him again. This was mid 70’s and at a somewhat liberal university.

Bina
1 year ago

Cis woman here, popping up her cis head to say that cis is not a slur. It’s just the opposite of trans. Which these FARTy fools might realize if they’d ever taken Latin at any level.

And on that note, maybe it’s time to make school Latin mandatory again.

Also, @Ariblester: Maybe “fauxminists”? That’s what I’d call ’em.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
1 year ago

4 correct: You’re like a freaking incel/TERF differentiation genius. Which is sort of sad.

I came here to have a good time and I’m feeling so attacked right now :<

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

Brace yourselves. The National Weather service is predicting massive flooding along all major rivers due to a sudden influx of right-wing tears at this announcement:

http://collider.com/thor-4-natalie-portman/

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
1 year ago

@Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
I love this http://cdn.collider.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/thor-4-love-and-thunder-slice.jpg

The title looks straight out of a hair metal album.

MrsObedMarsh
MrsObedMarsh
1 year ago

The Captain and I each got 2/4. This quiz is really hard!

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@Bina:

Cis woman here, popping up her cis head to say that cis is not a slur. It’s just the opposite of trans. Which these FARTy fools might realize if they’d ever taken Latin at any level.

It would also require them to realize that “trans” isn’t a slur, so I don’t think knowing Latin’s going to help.

zaunfink
zaunfink
1 year ago

Ugh. Got 4/4.
I mainly decided by typos and weird punctuation….

That being said, to chime in on the cis-as-a-slur-thing… I can understand a little bit where that comes from, because I ran across “all cis-people are fucking scum” yesterday once again.
There’s a subset of trans people and their allies that go banding around comments like that at the slightest perceived sleight (in this case, the bwa-sub not agreeing that a trans woman(!) explaining what being mtf means with “born male and then realizing you’re female” instead of saying amab is bad women’s anatomy and then not agreeing that being trans magically changes your biological makeup. Oh, and they had that discussion and cursed at… An agender person.) and sometimes that feels like cis is almost a slur.

That being said – just because a tiny group of people acts like something is a slur does not define it as such. Some people use trans or gay like it is a slur and well, they’re not. And cis isn’t a slur because a group of idiots doesn’t get to decide what a slur is. Society would have to use it that way for a while with majorly negative connotation and society just…. Doesn’t.

It’s a descriptor. Just like trans is. And both shouldn’t hold any information about a person’s worth.

Feminism-supporting Skeptic
Feminism-supporting Skeptic
1 year ago

3/4.
The first question was easy, the incel was doing his typical incelery (is that a word?) writing a fanfiction that they were imagining in their head.

The second question has the incel describing a complex situation into a simplified, strawman worldview.
The third question is the same as the second.

The fourth actually trips me up.

Overall a funny little joke test.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 year ago

4/4 good answers.

My working hypothesis is that TERFs are very invested in looking traditionally feminine, and picked the answer that would have been uttered by a female villain in a movie.

I guess it’s a bit sad that it work.

moregeekthan
moregeekthan
1 year ago

Can we just admit that Twitter is run by bad people.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

@ Bina;

Maybe “fauxminists”? That’s what I’d call ’em

I love it!

Speaking of “love” (and thunder)… I gotta qualify this, as I don’t wanna end up on a Marvel Fan Mob’s pitchfork….

I have some vision deterioration (macular “hole”, to be specific) in one eye, n the other has been damaged since forever, so my vision is blurry…. When I saw the splash of the Thor: Love and Thunder movie, well, between my bad vision and the colors of the graphic, I saw Thor: Love Thunder… AND THOUGHT IT WAS A PORN PARODY….

Dormousing_it
Dormousing_it
1 year ago

@Weird Eddie:

RE: Electronics. No, you don’t. My sister-in-law holds that record. I don’t know how she does it. I believe she emits a force field that causes electronics to go haywire.

My spouse then winds up trying to fix them for her.

Viscaria
Viscaria
1 year ago

Absolutely identical. I could swear the same person wrote all of the quotes. But TERFs are “””feminists.”””

Some incels like to fantasize about solving their particular difficulty — their “involuntary” celibacy — by hooking up with “traps” (their favorite transphobic term for young trans hotties).

Why would trans women want to get with their misogynistic asses any more than cis women do?

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

@ Dormouse:

It’s eerie when the single most common response from tech support is, “I’ve never seen that happen before…!”

Lainy
Lainy
1 year ago

I got 0, but I also didn’t know which one I was guessing for.

Lainy
Lainy
1 year ago

Anyone ever notice that when TERFs do talk about trans men it’s always “their teenage girls who hate being a girl so much because of Misogyny that they want to become boys” Like the only Trans men in their minds are 15 year olds. They never can even think of trans men being adults for some reason.

Nina
Nina
1 year ago

@Lainy

I think that’s a common problem for many trans men. Somehow people staunchly refuse to see them as adults. Even “allies” often end up infantilizing them. It’s pretty infuriating.

Allandrel
Allandrel
1 year ago

@Lainy

One consistency in TERFS/SWERFS/BERFS/etc. that I’ve noticed is that they resist knowledge in favor of theory.

They work out the theoretical nature of something (trans* people, porn, etc.) and latch onto that as The True Nature of Things, avoiding any exposure to facts because those might conflict with Theory.

One memorable example of this was a SWERF who explained who she had worked out how All Porn Is Rape, based on a completely imaginary idea of how the porn industry worked that did not resemble reality in the slightest. But it worked for the needs of her Theory, therefore it was correct and she did not need to do any of that pointless research.

Hey, ignoring facts in favor of an imaginary Way Things Are that supports their bigotries… no wonder it’s so hard to tell TERFS and incels apart.

Bina
1 year ago

@Lainy:

Anyone ever notice that when TERFs do talk about trans men it’s always “their teenage girls who hate being a girl so much because of Misogyny that they want to become boys” Like the only Trans men in their minds are 15 year olds. They never can even think of trans men being adults for some reason.

Yup. To FARTs, the only mature individual is one who is willing to hammer themselves down to fit the procrustean bed of cis-ness. If a young person comes out as trans, that person must thus be immature and/or “heteronormative” and/or a “gender trender”. A young trans guy, then, would be a self-hating childish lesbian trying to be cool, not a teenager with a thoughtful and realistic assessment of himself as male-assigned-female-at-birth.

On the other hand, FARTs think a trans woman is either a self-hating effeminate gay male, or else a straight man trying to insert his perverse, unwanted penis-energy into female-only spaces. They don’t understand, or don’t WANT to understand, that trans lesbians (and asexuals, etc.) actually exist, and are not a sexual threat to anyone. The few actual trans women they’re willing to accept (grudgingly, kinda-sorta) are those who’ve already gone the full surgical route. But they still won’t accept them as real, actual, no-questions-asked WOMEN. Apparently a transsexual who’s had all her genitalia remodeled is somewhat (with a whole slew of conditions and asterisks attached) legit, but a transgender person who has, for whatever reason, not had all the surgeries, isn’t

…buuuut they’re not willing to concede that gender-confirming medical treatment is an effective treatment to gender dysphoria, either. THAT problem is just all in the poor deluded “trans-identified” dears’ heads, and if they really wanted to deal with it correctly, they should just accept themselves as persons of their immutable, birth-assigned sex, and stop seeking confirmation…

And they think we’re weirdos for simply accepting trans people for whoever they tell us they are?

And they call themselves “radical”?

ribblefizz
ribblefizz
1 year ago

I don’t understand how we’re supposed to take the quiz. We’re supposed to be guessing whether an incel or a TERF said it, but each question is just choosing between two different quotes?

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

@ribblefizz: the directions aren’t very clear. I think the ones that just say question in the headline are the ones aimed at terfs.

epitome of incomprehensibility

@Lainy, Bina – well said. Plus, trans men can be gay, bi, or ace, etc., like anyone else, so it doesn’t make sense that they’d all be “self-hating lesbians” or whatever the TERFS think.

@ribblefizz – I did this yesterday and I also missed what the question was! I looked and it DOES say “For each question, pick which of the two answers came from the Braincels subreddit” but maybe I just didn’t notice it before.

Alexis Filth
1 year ago

I got all 4 right because I have to put up with TERFs a lot on Twitter and because I research incels for fun guessing games on my podcast, The Violet Wanderers (all trans hosted comedy podcast).

Beyond Ocean
Beyond Ocean
1 year ago

1/4. Welp.

I guess I gave FARTs too much credit and attributed the more obviously crass and blatant statements to incels.

The first one would trip me up anytime, though. The fuck are incels suddenly concerned about women’s spaces now?

And I hope this is a more appropriate thread for this…

@Rhuu, can I again ask about the purported effort of TERFs to de-legitimize ace people in the LGBT+ community?

I’m not asking this out of pure curiosity. I’m asexual myself, and I’m yet to see anything like this in the wild, so I would like to know what to watch out for.

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