TERFs aren’t wrong to say that sex is material and that womanhood is a political class. Where the TERF analysis goes wrong is in where it locates the boundaries of that class. There is no singular, universal experience of what it means to be a woman – for any biological criterion TERFs put forth, there will be some cis women who don’t meet it. For every social experience of marginalization that has a gendered component to it, there are some cis women who do not experience it. The common thread in defining woman-as-a-class is not any essential quality – it’s the inherently social and political act of identifying with that class, and therefore being seen (at least intermittently) as part of that class.
This is what Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism looks like (as opposed to Feminist-Appropriating Radical Transphobes): It uses all the Right language. It’s academic. It’s self-consciously feminist; you might even call it radically so. And, it excludes trans women. Yes – referring to women as she/her puts emphasis on our gender identities. It makes gender salient in everyday interactions. For people who know we could use “they” and choose to use “she/her” anyway, that is the whole point. We need to be scouring our own beliefs to ensure that we know why TERF ideology is wrong, and how what we believe is meaningfully different.
Trans women are women
Trans lesbians are lesbians
Trans isn’t a gender and transphobia isn’t a sexual orientation.
If you’d date a cis woman but wouldn’t ever date a trans woman, that’s not because you’re a lesbian that’s because you’re transphobic.
If you date cis women and trans women, those are the same gender so that doesn’t make you bi.
Lesbianism will not be obsolete as long as there are trans lesbians.