If Trans Women Aren't Real Women Then Nobody Is
In an age of advancing trans visibility, Many cis women are finding it harder & harder to organize around womanhood. I’m gonna say something that might blow your mind — This is a good thing. Thinking critically about how we, as individuals, define womanhood is not a bad thing! & if you are bothered by all of a sudden having to think critically about why you hold this identity you are not alone! All Trans women have thought about this. So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: how do we define what it means to be a woman?
the page says “this woman is not real” among other things, My primary response to people who don’t consider me to be a woman, is to ask them some questions to see what they think a woman is & why they think I’m not that. Most people (especially cis men) start by commenting on my genitalia, & then I remind them that trans women can have vaginas too. Are those people women? Cis women usually retort with something about menstruating; & so i remind them that trans women can have periods (yes that’s real) & that a lot of cis women don’t menstruate! — We don’t devalue their womanhood, though. Finally, they might say that trans women don’t have uteruses & can’t get pregnant. Except plenty of cis women can’t get pregnant or don’t want to! We don’t value people based on their child rearing potential anymore because it’s not the middle ages. Trans women can adopt, or even have their own biological children, just in different ways. By this point they’ve realized biology isn’t going to win them the argument. Many people cough cough believe that trans women have male privilege because they grew up as men, & in some cases I agree with them. But I remind them that many trans women never asked for that privilege, & that more frequently than it helps them, trans women’s masculinity leaves them a target. — Oh yeah, & there are many trans people like Jazz Jennings, who have been socialized as feminine from a very young age. By now they are usually stumped; the beliefs they once held firm, seem to crumble before their eyes. I remind them that,if you asked a cis woman all these questions they could have all the same answers as a trans woman — so how do we decide who is a woman? The simple answer is you don’t. & you can’t. & you never could. Both gender & sex (yep, that’s right. both.) are constructs. Constructs that were made up & overprioritized in order to keep social hierarchies in place. One of the first steps in oppressing a group of people is to distinctify them as an ‘other’. Trans people muddle this ‘other’, but perhaps, rather than villainizing us for that you should be thanking us. When you stop attempting the impossible task of defining clear & rigid boundaries for gender it becomes clear that there is no inherent logic behind sexism. There is no logical base behind the argument of womens supposed inferiority & trans women are living breathing proof of that fact. Women don’t experience discrimination because of what genitals they have (those are usually covered by clothing). WE experience discrimination because we are women — trans women, cis women, black women, hijabi women, yadda yadda yadda. So can we move on? I’m tired of explaining this.