It seems like there’s a new movement happening every day and if you’re someone who’s into humanitarian causes, it can get easily confusing. There’s a paradox of causes and fights to support and people tend to overlook the fact that not all of these are actually helpful in achieving the goal of achieving equality and fairness.
Today, we’re going to discuss the juxtaposition between a trans-exclusive radical feminist and a feminist. We’re also going to cover the area of trans women who are also fighting for women’s rights. Yes, trans feminists exist.
What are Feminists and what is Feminism?
In laymen’s terms, feminists are individuals who fight for women to have an equal footing with men when it comes to rights, opportunities, privileges, and more.
But to specifically define feminism, these involve socio-political movements with ideologies aiming to define and establish equality of all sexes in regards to:
sectors of life.
According to Britannica, feminism is
the belief in social, economic, and political equality of the sexes. Although largely originating in the West, feminism is manifested worldwide and is represented by various institutions committed to activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.
What are Trans Women?
Transgender women are born with genitals and s*x characteristics that are the opposite of what’s usually identified with their gender. Because most medical facilities still define gender based on the genital organ that a baby’s born with, a lot of transgender women have to go through transitioning either medically, physically, surgically, etc., to correct the misgendering that’s done early on in their lives.
According to Wikipedia, a trans woman is
a woman who was assigned male at birth. Trans women have a female gender identity, may experience gender dysphoria, and may transition; this process commonly includes hormone replacement therapy and sometimes gender reassignment surgery, which can bring relief and resolve feelings of gender dysphoria.
Are trans women women?
Womanhood isn’t defined like how it was in the dark ages anymore. Because people nowadays have access to knowledge about social issues and scientific information, being a woman has nothing to do with just having a women genital anymore.
It has become invalid because not only do trans women exist, but also trans men who are born with a women genital but identify as men.
An article by ACLUPA.org further cements this statement, citing,
The women’s movement failed to acknowledge the intersectionalities of so many women and to include many changemakers who were deemed unworthy in the eyes of white supremacy. As a new day emerges, it is imperative to avoid repeating past mistakes. Black and brown women were erased from mainstream recounts of the suffrage movement, and some women today attempt to do the same to trans women. But the way forward must include the experiences of ALL women — cisgender, transgender, and especially women of color.
There is a need within our work to be intentional about inclusion, to look at womanhood through an intersectional lens, and to recognize that trans women—especially Black and brown—have contributed to liberating marginalized people. Right here in Pennsylvania, trans women like Charlene Arcila and Jaci Adams fought for gender equity. And they did it all while being oppressed, excluded, unprotected, and left feeling unsupported as they laid their lives on the line for social change. Their stories and legacies should not be erased.
Challenges brought upon by TERFs
While feminism fights for the equal rights of women and men, one of its branches such as the TERFs (Trans-exclusive radical feminists), is curtailing the movement for equality by excluding trans women from the picture.
These are individuals who believe that transgender women are not women and should not be included in their fights. One of the most famous TERFs is J.K. Rowling, who’s also the author of the novel Harry Potter.
She’s quite vocal in expressing her disapproval of trans women on her social media platforms. Just recently, in 2022’s international women’s day, she tweeted
Multiple women’s groups have presented well-sourced evidence to @NicolaSturgeon’s government about the likely negative consequences of this legislation for women and girls, especially the most vulnerable. All has been ignored. If the legislation is passed ½
Her tweet gears towards putting trans women in a bad light to encourage people to believe that the rights of cisgender women are endangered because of trans women’s rights.
How to be a trans-inclusive feminist
First of all, you must know that both transgender women and cisgender women are fighting for the same goal, equality. However, even if the goal is the same, it’s not as seemingly easy to achieve as it is. There are many nuances and differences when it comes to the approach to achieving such a goal.
This is why, even if different countries advocate for peace and love, wars still happen. Going back to the main topic, yes, it’s possible to be a trans-inclusive feminist and it’s supposed to be the norm.
For you to be a trans-inclusive feminist, these are the most important things to remember:
- Transgender women are women.
- Women, from all walks of life, no matter the color of their skin, their past, socio-economic status, race, etc., should achieve the same amount of respect, rights, and more, as any human being
- A person’s gender and womanhood are only defined by that person alone.
- Crimes and criminals are everywhere. Transgender women should not be marginalized based on theories and unfound fear of trans-radical feminists.
- Cisgender women and transgender women share a lot of the same struggles. Both deserve the same amount of rights and respect.
How to be a trans feminist
Feminism in trans community is rampant. This is why it’s puzzling to see why influential cisgender women such as J.K. Rowling use her platform to plant hate and multiply the marginalization of trans people.
But to get a headstart with being a trans feminist, you first must know the trans feminist symbol.
The symbol that’s used by trans feminists is the same symbol for transgenderism. The only difference it has is that it has a fist in the middle.
According to Emi Koyama, a scholar and activist, trans feminism is
a movement by and for trans women who view their liberation to be intrinsically linked to the liberation of all women and beyond.
To be a trans feminist, you have to remember a few things:
- The struggles that women have been through and continue to go through.
- Contrary to what the patriarchal society says today, equality is still not omnipresent in the world.
- Women have the right to their own body.
- The road to equality is long and every effort helps.
Did you learn anything from this guide? If so, please join the conversation and don’t forget to share it with your friends.