Feminism should unite us, not divide us.
Today is International Women's Day - a day to celebrate the progress made in the fight for women’s rights and equality. But it is also a day to reflect on where progress still needs to be made, especially when it comes to the rights and acceptance of transgender women.
ON THIS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU WHY GENDER JUSTICE IS WORKING TO BUILD AN INCLUSIVE MOVEMENT FOR ALL WOMEN.
The feminist movement has made great strides for women, but exclusion has been baked into that history. When the Suffragettes fought for the right to vote, they fought only for the right for white women. Second-wave feminism built a movement implicitly – and sometimes explicitly – for straight women, not lesbians or queer women. Over the last few years, as a revitalized women’s movement has led to meaningful cultural and social progress through #MeToo and the Women’s March, some are working to limit progress only to cisgender women.
Over the past decade, with the increased visibility of trans people’s stories, there has been a concurrent rise of groups who claim to be feminist , but have strong ties to anti-LGBT and anti-reproductive rights activism. These groups are trying to achieve their agenda by pitting trans and cis women against one another. By wrongfully claiming that the rights of trans women come at the expense of cis women, by cruelly and inaccurately denying that trans women are women, and by putting forward laws designed to keep trans women marginalized, these groups cause harm to all women.
IT’S A TRAP. AND EVERYONE WHO CARES ABOUT WOMEN’S RIGHTS CAN’T ALLOW THEMSELVES TO FALL INTO IT. FEMINISM SHOULD UNITE US, NOT DIVIDE US.
At Gender Justice we believe that equality and inclusion are assets, not threats. We believe that the true goals of feminism include fighting against any efforts to police women’s bodies and tell us what we should look like or how we should act. We believe in supporting a woman’s bodily autonomy and assertion of her own identity. And we believe in removing barriers that stand in the way of a women’s safety, employment, health care, and community participation.
ANTI-TRANS IS ANTI-WOMAN. PERIOD.
Gender Justice fights for the rights of trans people to thrive. That’s why we are in court to protect the rights of ALL athletes to be allowed to participate in the sports they love, for ALL students to be allowed to use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity, and for ALL women to have access to safe, affordable, and affirming health care .
We believe in fighting for a movement that is expansive and inclusive of every woman. We know that conversations about who is a “real woman” are rooted in transphobia and misguided fear about where the real attacks on our rights come from: from groups that are openly hostile to women, to reproductive rights, to queer rights, to giving everyone the chance to thrive.
We need a feminist movement that lifts us all up together.
As a valued ally, accomplice, and supporter, you can help us build a more just world for everyone by donating $15, $40, or $75 today .
This International Women’s Day, thank you for being by our side as we build this movement – together.
Jess Braverman | Gender Justice Legal Director