On the way to celebrate Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house on Thursday, my mom told me that she and my dad had had a conversation recently about me. She told me that she told him that I would be happier and easier to get along with if I was on mood stabilizers. I was horrified.

My first response was, “what?” That was followed by my pointing out that I had tried every mood stabilizer and that I had adverse reactions to a large chunk of them (lithium, antipsychotics, and several anticonvulsants) and a zombie on most of them. My mom told me that I hadn’t. (I have taken all but two FDA-approved and off-label mood stabilizers.)

I’m actually much happier and feel relatively stable off of them. Being happier is why I’m not at home as much. In fact, the goal of my mental health care over the last decade or so has been to increase my ability to leave the house with the hope that one day I could actually live separately from my parents. And my treatment plans have had to accommodate my inability to use mood stabilizers.

When I told him what she’d said, Chris said it sounded like she wanted me to be compliant and stay home all the time. Unfortunately that was what I thought too. I haven’t told him all of the times she has said she wants to be my representative payee or have me placed in a program through Social Security that would eliminate my access to a bank account & remove my ability to run my shop. It would keep me without true resources.

It makes all of her talk through the years about my lack of control & my inability to live without continued assistance of my parents seem all the more sinister. Not to mention how it colors my view on her wanting access to my accident settlement (she wants it in her bank account) and how she wants to raid my cash box for the festivals I’ve sold art & jewelry at. I’m fairly certain she’s been repaid most of the change she thinks I owe her on that. Then again, this is a woman who has threatened to sell or throw out my belongings before, so who knows what she thinks about that money?

It makes me want to make sure I definitely get a studio out of this house so that I can definitely gain independence. It also makes me want to stay out of my house all the time. I don’t feel like she views me as a person.

Last night, I accidentally stumbled upon a thread of trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) making assumptions about the cause of asexuality. In their opinions, it was a result of the puberty blockers given to trans and non-binary kids, of teenage girls and women in their early twenties deciding to avoid men because of things the men have learned from porn, and because people take antidepressants because they’re sad. And all of this was prefaced by an argument that accepting asexuality is some kind of conspiracy by the transgender community.

Oh. My. God.

No!

First of all, asexuality is not a result of those puberty blockers. If it was, then there would be no asexuals over the age of 18 and trans and non-binary kids would mostly be asexuals. Most aces that I know are well past 18, cisgender, and have never used puberty blockers. Most trans and non-binary folks I know aren’t asexual.

Secondly, what is the logic in saying girls are choosing asexuality because of porn & not wanting to date? That makes no sense to me. And why only girls? The first asexual person to come out to me was a man.

Their third and final “point” was just flat out mental health stigma and ableism. It’s not surprising to see a TERF say something ableist or that stigmatizes mentally ill people. In fact, it’s pretty normal for them to be bigoted on multiple fronts.

Exclusionary feminism relies on hate and misunderstanding of marginalized groups. It isn’t uncommon for a TERF or a SWERF, the sex work equivalent, to be racist, ableist, homophobic, biphobic, classist, xenophobic, fatphobic, intolerant of various religions, or sexist. Yes, they are often sexist, and they seek to uphold patriarchal values or side with groups that seek to keep cisgender women and those assigned female at birth (AFAB) stuck in gender roles that they claim to abhor. These groups even try to limit access to basic human rights for cis women and AFAB people.

TERFs will proclaim that men cannot speak for or over women and do not belong in women’s spaces, but they will encourage pile-ons and harassment campaigns by so-called radical feminists who happen to be men. These men will harass, demean, defame, and talk over cis women and trans & non-binary folks. The hypocrisy, like everything else, is based in hatred.

These individuals say that bisexual women who have dated men are heterosexual and have been tainted. It’s the same kind of bullshit that incels say about women who have had sex. The sex work exclusionary feminists push for legislation and policies that limit the ability for people who have been or currently are sex workers to have PayPal, Venmo, or bank accounts. They claim that those who seek out sex work and pornography are exploiting women and girls, but fail to understand their actions are a form of exploitation. Their outright hatred of sex positivity is yet another way that they uphold the patriarchy.

I used to say that there was nothing radical about this type of feminism, but the reality is that it’s extremely radical; what it isn’t is feminism. Exclusionary feminists are not feminists. That’s not me gate-keeping; they just aren’t feminists. They stand for absolutely nothing but hate. They do not seek liberation. They do not seek empowerment. They do not seek a better world. They only seek a more fearful world for those who they do not like. They are no different from any group that seeks to limit the rights and safety of any marginalized group.