Wednesday 18 September 2013

Trans-Inclusive Feminism.

Or: “Yet More on Trans (vs.) Feminism” – except that there's no “vs.” to contend with this time...

We, the undersigned trans* and cis scholars, writers, artists, and educators, want to publicly and openly affirm our commitment to a trans*-inclusive feminism and womanism.

This heads a publicly declared statement of trans-inclusion, written in response to “a noticeable increase in transphobic feminist activity”. From 105 original signatories – some I knew; many I didn't – the list is now up to 400 and rising all the time.

The statement can be found at Its criticism of anti-trans feminists is stringent and incisive, as you can read for yourself. But what I like most are these two extracts:

We are committed to recognizing and respecting the complex construction of sexual/gender identity; to recognizing trans* women as women and including them in all women’s spaces; to recognizing trans* men as men and rejecting accounts of manhood that exclude them; to recognizing the existence of genderqueer, non-binary identifying people and accepting their humanity; to rigorous, thoughtful, nuanced research and analysis of gender, sex, and sexuality that accept trans* people as authorities on their own experiences and understands that the legitimacy of their lives is not up for debate; and to fighting the twin ideologies of transphobia and patriarchy in all their guises.

Most importantly, we recognize that theories are not more important than real people’s real lives; we reject any theory of gender, sex, or sexuality that calls on us to sacrifice the needs of any subjugated or marginalized group. People are more important than theory.

Or as Dorothy Allison wrote: “Simple answers, reductionist politics, are the most prone to compromise, to saying we're addressing the essential issue and all that other stuff can slide. It is, in reality, people who slide.”

Their statement is a commitment not to let people slide. As such, it's both impressive and heart-warming – and I'd just like to say:

Thank you :)