Feminism has failed transgender women, both white trans women and trans women of color (and others from what I have been told).
All too often modern feminism has used the talents momentum and energy of both white trans women and trans women of color (and other marginalized women) among them to further the causes of cis feminists and cis women. They ask that we join them under their banner using pithy slogans like “if you believe in equality you are a feminist” and things like that. Making it appear as if anyone who has any objections with feminism simply just doesn’t believe in equality enough.
No cis feminism, we believe that freedom from oppression and a life of peace is the right of all sentient beings.
What we don’t believe in is putting (usually) white cis feminists who meet cisnormative appearance standards ahead of everyone else (and that’s what feminism actually does in reality)
What we don’t believe in is using the word “solidarity” as a code for “please put up with this subgroup within feminism that wants you dead because we arent comfortable confronting them for your sake”
See we see you buddying up with TERFs and refusing to call them out with anything stronger than “that’s not my activism” hand waiving away the feminists in your circles that use the label of feminism to attack entire classes of women.
We saw your open letter stating that you were against transphobia (hell I even signed it too), and it was a great gesture, but you didn’t do the deed.
You didn’t confront TERFs, you didn’t confront the people who want us dead, you didn’t challenge them *at all*
Your token effort is simply not good enough.
The elephant in the room is that when most cis feminists say in public that trans women are women, but if you dig down to how you *act* it becomes clear you are just giving lip service in order to win us over to your side, all while you *completely ignore* transgender issues, transgender suffering and transgender death.
For fuck sake cis feminism a lot of us don’t even have the right to use public restrooms and all the lot of you can do is “socially acceptable” activities that don’t rock too many boats.
Like putting a woman on the face of a banknote.
Sure its a nice gesture but honestly its such a minor progress compared to the real deadly problems entire classes of women suffer from as to render it almost completely useless in the day to day suffering of other human beings.
It would have even been fine if that had just been one of many many activism actions that included solving real world suffering issues of marginalized women.
But if you really take a look at modern feminism a large portion of it is the pumpkin spice lattee sipping white cis feminism. If you all really grasped basic human decency you would put the most marginalized women *first* in your activism and you *don’t*. You don’t actually care about the rights of all women, you care about getting yours and fuck everyone else.
You care about making a splash and getting a popular blog and a book deal.
You also don’t give a shit about sex workers either.
Oh some of you say you do, but then you try to “rescue us” from our own lives, instead of trying to make sex work safer (and that’s what we really want).
Oh and you don’t really care about women of color as well. Hell women of color had to come up with their own terms to describe similar concepts within feminism because they wanted to *separate themselves from white feminism and its flaws*.
You have tried to put every women under the same umbrella and in doing so you continue to make the white cis woman the default, the one up first, whose problems get looked at first. Because its easy.
Yeah, you do it because its easy. You tell yourselves that its got nothing to do with any *ism* and how its just tactics, well let me tell you that kind of thinking is in itself problematic.
You start with the hardest things first because those take the most work and the most energy.
You do the deed and you don’t worry about personal branding, or branding in general.
Oh and before you start crying about how im being divisive or not showing solidarity, see my previous point about “solidarity” no i will not sit down and be quiet while you ignore our oppression in favor of cis problems.
You are the ones who need to have a seat.
But honestly these problems with feminism have been around since the temperance movement (and look how well that worked out).
All too often activism has tried to force specific narratives or memes to present to the world, instead of allowing a diverse ecosystem of narratives, instead of making room for everyones life experiences.
All too often feminism has ignored the problems of women who are marginalized the most in favor of the women who have the most privilege.
In the end its your actions that define you, not your labels or your theories.
In the end feminism has failed the transgender community.
But in the end one can claim it was designed to fail us from the ground up.
I propose a new radical activism based on simple principles and based on *action* and not labels. The label will come later, and isn’t as important as the idea.
Freedom from oppression is the right of all sentient beings. We live in a system built on oppression on many many levels, one piled on top of another. Most people accept this casually, we do not. An injury to one is an injury to all. If even one being lives under oppression then we are all oppressed.
Empathy for sentient beings outside of your comfort zone.
This is pretty simple, most people fail at empathy for anyone outside of their small circles of life. Friends and family get empathy while everyone else isn’t really a person worth considering for most people, and we identify and acknowledge that this is the cause of a lot of major problems with the world and a contributing factor to kyriarchy. We must actively engage empathy for people outside of our comfort zones.
Applied to activism issues. (the most marginalized people have the loudest voices and get their issues addressed first, IE trans sex workers, trans women of color, trans prisoners ect..) This means white cis problems go to the bottom of the list, we still care about those issues but honestly they cant be priority one. This is a triage of issues, placing the most important immediate issues first.
These principles are not brought down on high from anything and time changes everything eventually. These principles are not meant to be shackles , but tools to achieve real change. If any of these tools become too worn or too old to be useful then they should be discarded and replaced. All too often radical ideas that are wonderful for their time become the new status quo in the next generation, one that binds and oppresses, repeating the same sins of the previous generations in new ways.
However this does not mean we will compromise with oppressors or make “deals with the devil” .
Ensuring history does not repeat itself.
Similar to principle 4 , all too often activism groups will repeat the mistakes and evil of the oppressors in an attempt to fight that oppression. This ends here.
No longer will we ignore the most marginalized among us in favor of those with the most privileges, this is going to take active work and a lot of deconstruction within ourselves.Also this means we will ensure we are knowledgeable about history , we have to educate ourselves on the failures of past activism if we ever hope to not repeat their mistakes.
Anyone wanting to call themselves an ally to our causes must be willing to face the same oppression we do. If you arent willing to bleed like we do you are not a real ally. Allies should not be trying to make their voices louder than the oppressed, and should instead listen to what we want and help us get it the way we want it. I’m sure all you allies have tons of “great ideas” frankly we don’t want to hear them so please listen to us do what we ask you to do.
Your resources and money while nice to have are not a reason for us to coddle you. Either give us what we need without strings because you want to see the right thing done or don’t try giving us anything.
If we coddle you for your resources you will just use them to reinforce your own privilege anyways so you arent actually doing us any good by us coddling you. We recognize this and refuse to fall into that trap. Either help us on our terms or leave us alone.
The right for a sentient being to alter their body as they see fit should be afforded to all. Nobody should have a right to tell someone that they cant alter their body, it is also wrong to shame people with body modifications of any kind.
As sentient beings and adults we should be able to make informed consensual decisions about our bodies.