What “all feminists must recognize”

This time we have to start with the title, whether a sub chose it or not.

Trans women are victims of misogyny, too – and all feminists must recognize this

No. There is no such “must.” Trans women are male people, and there is no “must” that commands feminists to extend their feminism to men. No. All trans activists must stop trying to bully feminist women into changing the subject to men. No.

The subtitle is also bad.

Some feminists claim misogyny targets only those who have female sex features (ovaries, vaginas and uteruses). We should be alarmed by this view.

No. We should be alarmed by the spectacle of people telling us men can be women, and the Guardian publishing them.

[S]ome feminists claim that misogyny targets only those who have female sex features ( such as ovaries, vaginas and uteruses). For these feminists – sometimes called “trans-exclusionary” feminists – trans women’s interests are none of their concern. Feminism, they say, is for people who are victims of misogyny, and anyone without female sex features cannot be a victim of misogyny.

We should be alarmed by these views. Feminism’s history displays a pattern of (mostly white, non-disabled and financially stable) women deploying claims about difference to justify ignoring the needs of women of color, disabled women and working-class women. The exclusion of trans women risks becoming the latest manifestation of this terrible pattern.

No it doesn’t. That’s a crude caricature. It’s fair to say that many feminists have focused on women like themselves and overlooked women less like themselves, and thus that feminists who had better access to the media thanks to their class and race didn’t always do a good job of remembering to use that access to include women of color, disabled women, working-class women, lesbians, immigrants, and so on. It’s not fair to say that those feminists systematically argued in favor of “ignoring the needs of women of color, disabled women and working-class women.”

It’s true that feminism now includes explicit arguments justifying claims that men are not women, but that’s radically different from mythical arguments justifying claims that working class women are not women or that women of color are not women. I don’t believe that anyone ever argued those last two items, while some insubordinate feminists do argue the first one. But what are we supposed to do? Working class women and women of color and immigrant women and lesbians are in fact women, but trans women are men who “identify as” women. There’s a great gulf between the two sets.

I do think it’s true that misogyny is part of why trans women are subject to high levels of violence (if not as high as the wilder claims suggest). I also think all this could have gone differently, but I differ from Robin Demroff in thinking that misogyny is a huge part of why it didn’t. To spell it out, I think way too many trans women are themselves intensely misogynist, and that’s why the whole “inclusion” thing hasn’t worked out.

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