Trans-Inclusive Feminism

Recently, a collection of cis and trans; feminist and womanist; activists, thinkers, bloggers, educators etc.. put together a statement of trans-inclusive feminism and womanism.

You can read the entire text here:

A Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism | feministsfightingtransphobia.

This is an important step in feminism and I am happy to sign my name to something that I believe is paving the way towards a better, more inclusive discourse. Personally, I am deeply committed to an interesectional model of feminism. Trans* people, particularly trans people of colour are some of the most marginalised people in society and a feminism that focuses on policing the boundaries of womanhood is not my feminism. As a woman of colour I am well aware that there is no one universal way of experiencing womanhood or girlhood and I find the exclusion of trans* women from women only spaces on this basis to be deeply offensive. Further, it is important to acknowledge how the policing of the boundaries of womanhood has allowed for the perpetuation of violence against trans* women. Lack of access to services such as shelters and domestic violence services  aimed at women leaves trans* women deeply vulnerable. In this way feminism has enabled the perpetuation of violence against trans* women. This state of affairs is unacceptable and it must be rectified.

Patriarchal social structures are enforced in key ways through the policing of gender. Ensuring that men and women remain in rigid boxes allegedly assigned to them from birth is a core way in how patriarchal structures maintain their dominance. Gender and sex are policed in ways that are deeply and damaging and often violent to both women and men. I believe that complicating notions of sex and gender beyond the birth-binary model is an important  and as feminists our activism can only be made richer, stronger and more robust by accepting the lived experience of trans* people and ensuring that we are good allies. The patriarchy can only be supported by the existence of transphobia and transmisogyny. Accepting the lived experience of trans* people explodes the birth-binary model and while this may be challenging for some, I believe that it is an important step on the way to dismantling the patriarchy. I believe that sex and gender are complicated constructs and we all do not fit neatly into boxes based on our genitalia.  Obviously it is important that genderqueer people are not left out of the conversation either, and the acceptance of sex and gender as interrelated complex constructs goes along way to ensuring that all people of all genders are included in our movement.

I believe that feminism exists for the benefit of all people, and a feminism that excludes and in fact actively marginalises some of our most vulnerable people is not a feminism that I want to be a part of. Nor is it a feminism that I believe will be successful.  In the words of Flavia Dzodan, “My feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit”

 

 

 

 

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