Into a broader fight

The ACLU has a page for Women in Prison.

I wonder if they really mean women in prison, in the sense of women in prison. The first link we see suggests they don’t.

How Women’s Rights Paved the Way for Gender Justice at the ACLU

Many recent legal battles for the rights of trans and non-binary people are rooted in the same cases that pioneered women’s rights decades ago.

So much for women in prison, and women in general.

When Ruth Bader Ginsburg co-founded the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project in 1972, she recognized that laws that stereotype by gender hurt everyone — no matter your gender.

Then why did she call it the Women’s Rights Project? Why doesn’t the ACLU have a page for All Lives Matter? Why is it only women who get shoved into the All category by the ACLU?

That’s why some of WRP’s early cases involved men who had been discriminated against — and it’s why many of our recent legal battles for the rights of trans and non-binary people are rooted in the same cases that pioneered women’s rights decades ago.

Oh piss off. Women still need to work for our own rights just as other subordinated groups do. We still get to talk about our rights without being told to talk about those other people’s rights too and instead and at the same time.

Today, WRP is headed by Director Ria Tabacco Mar. Below, she explains more about why women’s rights are inextricably linked to the broader fight for gender justice.

How has the ACLU’s women’s rights work evolved into a broader fight for gender justice?

So they admit it. I don’t think I’ve seen them spell it out that explicitly before. They no longer fight for women’s rights, they fight more “broadly” for gender justice. All genders matter.

So many of the cases that we are litigating in the LGBTQ space were built on early victories in women’s rights. Those were cases that were initially fought by cisgender women who were considered to be the wrong kind of women, either because they were mothers of young children or because they were, “too macho” and didn’t wear jewelry. Being fired because you’re a transgender woman is just another variation of the same problem.

No it isn’t; not unless you oversimplify the “problem” drastically. Transgender “women” can’t be mothers of young children, for example, because they’re men. A lot of the restrictions and injustices imposed on women were indeed related to their reproductive role, as the subordination of women always has been. Being fired because you’re a man who calls himself a woman is not a variation of that problem.

Gender justice is really about ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to structure their lives and thrive, regardless of gender, unlimited by gender stereotypes.

Which is why it’s no use to women, in exactly the way All Lives Matter is not a useful slogan for anti-racism activists. It’s not only “gender stereotypes” that interfere with women’s ability to structure our lives. It’s not a “gender stereotype” that women need abortion rights in a way that men don’t, however desirable men may find abortion rights. It’s anatomical. The woman makes the baby inside her body; the man does not.

The ACLU has completely lost the plot.

3 Responses to “Into a broader fight”