Feminism at its core values is about women’s equality and making sure women have an equal opportunity in today’s society. Feminism helps everyone; it’s our best hope to stop the spread of rape culture that is so heavily pushed in our modern world. Women should not have to fear for their safety when they are walking alone at night. We should not have that constant anxiety in the back of our minds that makes us walk faster through a parking lot because we are scared some guy might jump out and assault us. It involves equal pay and not being slut-shamed for wearing a short skirt. Feminism involves everyone; including cisgender & transgender men and women. Feminism cannot survive on hatred and exclusion, it is more complex than that, and definitely needed in the world today.
Why exactly does feminism need transgender women? One could argue on the basis that all transgender women are women. That in itself is 100% true, but what about all the experiences transgender women have? What about the transgender women that transition later in life? Transgender women who transition later in life have unique perspectives on being a woman. This is overlooked so often by the TERF’s “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist” over some misguided sense of privilege, when in reality, it could actually strengthen and help proliferate our common goals and ideas. There is something very unique about trans women that transition later in life. We have lived in two gender roles, some of us might have even had male privilege before transition and then seen it taken away after. This is exactly why feminism needs transgender women. Therein lies a powerful perspective that cisgender women cannot bring to the table when debating women’s rights.
However, TERF’s can and do outright argue against those reasons. Frequently they will argue against any point that is made in support of trans feminists. This is seen quite a bit in politics, whenever trans civil rights make a step for equality and protection the TERF’s fight back. Using fear mongering tactics like “I am a rape victim and I do not want to see a penis in the restroom or locker room.” Another common argument is that some of them believe in the idea of “Born a man always a man.” Others have even said it outright, “You were not socialized as women, so you do not know what its like to be one of us!”
Have any of these people stopped and thought about what they are saying. Do they understand the statistics behind it? Do they understand just how many trans women are assaulted for using the bathroom that they identify with? Do they realize how much worse this would get if trans women were forced into the men’s restrooms? Or how many transgender women cisgender men have raped? Have they forgotten trans men exist? That by forcing trans women into the men’s room they would also be forcing trans men to use the women’s restroom? You can have faith that transgender people do not want to show off their genitalia in a bathroom or locker room. They simply need to use these places for their intended purpose while feeling safe from persecution themselves.
The point to take away from this is transgender women are indeed women. Just because our sexual organs are not always in line with the status quo of the gender binary, this does not mean we are lesser women. We are all in this together and fighting for the same things. We want equality and we want to feel safe, not outcast and excluded because of semantics and “popular opinion”. It does not mean creating segregated bathrooms that say “other” on them. By doing that we are demonstrating that we have we not learned much from history. It is just another form of segregation that would set us apart from society and emphasize our differences instead of uniting us under our similarities. The United States prides itself on “United We Stand” and yet entertains the notion of “Divided We Fall” by even allowing segregation in any form. It is not right, it’s morally wrong, and it has already been proven by history to be downright inhuman. So please, take a note from history, and lets progress forward and not repeat the sins of our forefathers.Tweet #TransHopeUnited