SWERF, or the Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminist group, is a faction of feminists that vehemently oppose all forms of sex work. While most modern-day feminists advocate for women’s autonomy over their bodies and support voluntary sex work, “SWERFs” believe in an unequal system where no form of prostitution should be allowed.
Their reasoning stems from the belief that any kind of sexual labor perpetuates oppression due to its foundation on patriarchal societal norms. However, some argue that this argument may just be hiding behind puritanical values rather than true feminist principles.
In a bid to align with the Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERF‘s), the “SWERF” acronym was created.
This move, however, didn’t sit well with intersectional feminists who advocate for every woman regardless of their choices concerning gender identity and bodily autonomy.
Consequently, both factions have faced significant criticism from this larger group that champions inclusivity above all else.
The acronym started taking on in the late 2000s, gaining a larger focus in the 2010s.
Those who subscribe to “SWERF” ideology typically refrain from adopting the acronym, as it is frequently employed pejoratively by fellow feminists who do not share their discriminatory views.
The ongoing conflict between intersectional feminists and “SWERFs” undermines the overarching goal of feminist activism, which is to achieve true equality for all individuals regardless of gender or occupation.