Feminism: My Feminism Will Be Trans-Inclusive

I have signed A Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism, along with nearly 200 other co-signers. The statement is open for signing by trans*, cis, binary-indentified, and/or genderqueer signatories, along with anyone else who identifies along other gender lines. The statement was developed in response to "a noticeable increase in transphobic feminist activity this summer".

We are committed to recognizing and respecting the complex construction of sexual/gender identity; to recognizing trans* women as women and including them in all women's spaces; to recognizing trans* men as men and rejecting accounts of manhood that exclude them; to recognizing the existence of genderqueer, non-binary identifying people and accepting their humanity; to rigorous, thoughtful, nuanced research and analysis of gender, sex, and sexuality that accept trans* people as authorities on their own experiences and understands that the legitimacy of their lives is not up for debate; and to fighting the twin ideologies of transphobia and patriarchy in all their guises.

Transphobic feminism ignores the identification of many trans* and genderqueer people as feminists or womanists and many cis feminists/womanists with their trans* sisters, brothers, friends, and lovers; it is feminism that has too often rejected them, and not the reverse. It ignores the historical pressures placed by the medical profession on trans* people to conform to rigid gender stereotypes in order to be "gifted" the medical aid to which they as human beings are entitled. By positing "woman" as a coherent, stable identity whose boundaries they are authorized to police, transphobic feminists reject the insights of intersectional analysis, subordinating all other identities to womanhood and all other oppressions to patriarchy. They are refusing to acknowledge their own power and privilege.

We recognize that transphobic feminists have used violence and threats of violence against trans* people and their partners and we condemn such behavior. We recognize that transphobic rhetoric has deeply harmful effects on trans* people's real lives; witness CeCe MacDonald's imprisonment in a facility for men. We further recognize the particular harm transphobia causes to trans* people of color when it combines with racism, and the violence it encourages.

When feminists exclude trans* women from women's shelters, trans* women are left vulnerable to the worst kinds of violent, abusive misogyny, whether in men's shelters, on the streets, or in abusive homes. When feminists demand that trans* women be excluded from women's bathrooms and that genderqueer people choose a binary-marked bathroom, they make participation in the public sphere near-impossible, collaborate with a rigidity of gender identities that feminism has historically fought against, and erect yet another barrier to employment. When feminists teach transphobia, they drive trans* students away from education and the opportunities it provides.

We also reject the notion that trans* activists' critiques of transphobic bigotry "silence" anybody. Criticism is not the same as silencing.

The full statement is here, as well as links (via email or comment form) for adding yourself as a signature, if you can safely do so. (And it makes it easier for everyone if you include HOW you wish to be signed. I'm signed as Ana Mardoll (blogger, Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.)

Much thanks to Melissa McEwan for making me aware of the statement.

"My feminism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit."—Flavia Dzodan.


Post a Comment