Storify: People Who Menstruate

Just a reminder to folks that JKR's "people who menstruate are WOMEN" tweet hurts trans men and many nonbinary folks by misgendering us into women just because we menstruate. Menstruation terfery of this sort is not about trans women, though the terfs often want it to be.

A lot of folks get confused and think the "people who menstruate" language was created to appease trans women who didn't want womanhood defined by menstruation. Wrong. The "people who menstruate" language was created to talk about menstruation without misgendering non-women. I'd like it if folks could stop erasing trans men and nonbinary folks from the damage terfs do. They come after ALL of us. There is no flavor of transness which terfs won't attack.

Some folks have asked for more clarity, so let me break down the two most common terfy rhetorics surrounding menstruation:

TERF Menstruation Myth #1: "People who menstruate are women." This misgenders people who aren't women, but menstruate. This includes many trans men and nonbinary people. It also assigns "womanhood" to young cis girls who menstruate early. That in itself has a bad history.

TERF Menstruation Myth #2: "Women menstruate. If you don't menstruate, you aren't a woman." This strips womanhood from every woman who doesn't menstruate. That includes *many* trans women, intersex women, menopausal women, infertile and/or disabled women, women w/hysterectomies.

TERFs use both these myths to attack trans people, and it's important to understand which is which. And, again: using the precise and inclusive "people who menstruate" language when talking about menstruation is a good thing for EVERYONE, not least because many of us had the traumatic experience of "womanhood" thrust upon us at a very early age when we began menstruation. Being told I was "a woman now" when I was (a) a trans boy and (b) only 12 years old was not good for me. (Your mileage may vary.) "You menstruate now" would've been far more useful and factual, and less fraught with expectations of gender and maturity.


Erin Fields said...

Thank you foor this

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