Trans* people are marginalized. Feminists are marginalized. You’d think that these two groups, both of which want gender equality, just in slightly different ways, would go perfectly together. But they don’t.
There exists a type of feminism that firmly believes all trans women are men and all trans men, women, and continues to treat them as such. Some groups also believe that trans people are eroding the equal rights of females. As if one group gets equality, then another group becomes unequal. Which, I think is what most Republicans believe.
I really don’t understand most of the arguments against trans people, but what it really comes down to, for me, is that we should all be inclusionary, not exclusionary. The only people who don’t belong with us are the people who don’t work with us towards a common goal and that would be the TERFs.
Trans men and women want equal rights and equal recognition under the law along with the freedom to live their lives without hurting anyone else. What TERFs seem to have against them is that they everyone to believe that gender is nurtured and not natural at all and trans people kick that theory in the face.
But instead of realizing that their ideas aren’t a one-size-fits-all masterpiece, they sweep away anything that doesn’t agree with them and work to exclude the very people that feminism should be helping. There’s a long, sordid past behind this debate and the heat doesn’t seem to be letting up with all kinds of TERF groups popping up and fighting against a people who are already marginalized and discriminated against in horrendous ways.
And feminists should be the first group of allies to step up to this fight. We specialize in gender. We look at how gender impacts life and culture and media. Transgender people’s issues are all about… gender! You’d think we’d be BFFs and paint each other’s toenails and have slumber parties.
For me, the decision to be a transgender ally wasn’t even something I had to think about. Trans women are women. Trans men are men. These people need protection under the law, period. Giving trans people protection isn’t going to take anything away from people that identify with the gender they were born into.
We’re all human beings here and if we want to make the future better for the world then we need to work together. My kind of feminism is about inclusion and equality. We need to keep it that way, not just for us, but for everyone who will come after us, so they can look back at when we were active and see what were the best feminists and human beings that we could be. No one is going to look back on TERFs and be glad that they kept believing their theory even after it had been proven wrong and vilified everyone who disproved it.