The diversity of women’s experiences

GLAAD presents an open letter supporting “trans women and girls” – i.e. men and boys who claim to be women and girls.

In observance of Women’s History Month and Transgender Day of Visibility, we write this letter as feminist leaders in advocacy, business, entertainment, media, politics, and social justice who stand as, with, and for transgender and nonbinary people.

What does Women’s History Month have to do with trans anything? Women’s History Month is about women, not trans people. Women are allowed to have things that are for women, and we’re not required to add a shout-out to trans women to all the things that are for women. I for one am deeply fed up with having the subject changed every time a feminist woman mentions a feminist issue. Trans activism is not feminism, and in many ways it is in intense opposition to feminism. All this rushing to interrupt women talking about women to shout “trans women!!” is one of those ways.

We acknowledge with clarity and strength that transgender women are women and that transgender girls are girls.

You can’t “acknowledge” it, because it isn’t true. You might as well say that you acknowledge with clarity and strength that transspecies tigers are house cats. (The strength might come in handy if a transspecies tiger decides to eat you, but it probably wouldn’t.)

And we believe that honoring the diversity of women’s experiences is a strength, not a detriment to the feminist cause. All of us deserve the same access, freedoms, and opportunities. We deserve equal access to education, employment, healthcare, housing, recreation, and public accommodations.

Being a man isn’t part of the diversity of women’s experiences. There’s diversity and then there’s just plain not the same. We do deserve equal access to all those things, but in some cases that requires separation of the sexes and sometimes it requires designating the things as specifically for women, aka affirmative action. Campaigns to improve women’s access to education, employment, healthcare, housing, recreation, and public accommodations are not helped by including some men as women; on the contrary, they are hindered.

And we must respect each person’s right to bodily autonomy and self-determination.

No we mustn’t, not always. There is no imperative to “respect” young children’s “right” to mutilate themselves. There is no imperative to “respect” anyone’s absolute right to self-determination, because there is a great long list of items people can’t just declare themselves and then act accordingly. My right to self-determination doesn’t stretch to my declaring myself the owner of your house. With that as an example, it’s trivially easy to think of others.

It is time for the long history of assaults (legislative, physical, social, and verbal) against trans women and girls to end. For far too long, lawmakers have worked to strip trans women of their civil liberties—in 2021, once again, we’ve seen a wave of bigoted governmental policies and legislation. Many of these laws target the rights of girls to play school sports or criminalize doctors for treating trans youth and their families.

Now they’re just lying. None of these laws target the rights of girls to play school sports; the issue is boys who want to play on the girls’ teams or to compete against girls, thus gaining an unfair advantage over the girls.

The rest of it is too damn stupid to bother with.

2 Responses to “The diversity of women’s experiences”