During International Women’s Day, I noticed a recurring theme that made me sick: ciswomen clamoring to shut down, marginalize, and otherize transgender women on what these ciswomen described it as “their day”.
But being trans in and of itself is the difference of experiences of womanhood. It’s not less than, it’s not removed from womanhood—it is purely a difference in experiences. This difference is relevant when we talk about oppression, but it’s not relevant when we talk about the validity of womanhood.
There is no privilege to be had for people who constantly have a gender identity forced upon them. For many, being able to claim one’s true identity can be a matter of life and death. It’s not about choosing, it’s about what somebody needs to survive and thrive.
What does it cost you, or any TERF, to acknowledge a femme perspective that is different than yours? What does that take away from you, personally? Your experiences as a woman are yours. Mine are mine. Theirs are theirs. Each of our perspectives as womxn can (and do) coexist and they only add to the rich spectrum of voices and narratives that make up womanhood.
Be reasonable and compassionate. If we all agree that womanhood is about much more than the shape of our genitals, let’s prove it by including and protecting all of us.
By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor