There has been recent debates in many feminist circles about the participation of trans women in the spaces women frequent. Many women feel that trans women are trying to infringe on the rights of women and execute their own version of patriarchy while other women believe that trans women deserve access to women’s spaces. The culprit of these divisions and talking points comes from a stark disagreement between trans women and natal born women over their rights as women and asserting these rights as a way to progress themselves in society. Hence I believe that it is important to find ways to protect the livelihood of women while ensuring that trans women have access to upward mobility.
Natal born women such as myself are seen as the pinnacle and ideal of womanhood. Many women don’t see anything wrong with this. I don’t. Now, that the existence of trans women is becoming more prominent in society, trans women are also demanding that their existence be seen and acknowledged as women. Many natal born women don’t necessarily see trans women as one of them due to the fact that trans women used hormones and sex change surgery to transition from a man to a woman. On the other hand, trans women believe that they are women solely due to the fact that they seen and recognized themselves as women in society. Well, I believe that there is more to womanhood than genitals and biology but I also believe that trans women should be included into the spectrum of womanhood as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of women and children in the process.
Is it transphobia for women to be concerned about their safety and the safety of their children?
No, it isn’t. As much disdain that I have for transphobia, I believe that the welfare and safety of women and children are far more important. I prioritize women and children’s rights because they are the most vulnerable segments of society and make up the majority of those living in poverty in the world. And I happen to believe that women and children’s rights should be protected by the law. No, I don’t believe that all trans women pose a danger to women but the actions of some trans women have opened up a paradox box of whether or not they can pose a threat to the safety of women and children at large.
From what I noticed and observed, not many trans women defend the rights of natal born women. It is rare for me to a trans woman stand up against patriarchal forces that suppress women’s autonomy in society. I don’t see many trans woman advocate for the rights of women when it comes to breaking the glass ceiling, reproductive rights, wage inequality, street harassment, rape and misogyny in the work place and so on. Look at the time when trans woman, Laverne Cox refused to defend young actress, Amandla Stenberg on a talk show when Andy Cohen called her a ”jackhole” for speaking out against Kylie Jenner appropriating wearing cornrows. Look at the way many trans women frequent women’s spaces and call natal born women names once they find themselves in a disagreement with them. Isn’t it not misogynistic to call women names in an attempt to silence them? I think so. Unfortunately, I experienced this firsthand, when I frequented a feminist space that a friend of mine presides. The topic in the space pertained to trans women and I commented. Then this trans woman attacked me in the comment sections when I wrote something that she disagreed with. It was almost to the point that I had to block this person. It was a painful experience but I know that I am not the first woman to experience this and wouldn’t be the last one either.
If a natal born woman wants to discuss issues pertaining to her anatomy such as experiencing menstrual cycles and child birth, she is called names like birther and carriers of fetus. How aren’t women allowed to discuss changes to their anatomy in their own spaces? Of course, trans women are also entitled to discuss taking hormones or going through sex rearrangement surgery in spaces that provide them the clarity to do so. Yet many people believe that it is okay to silence women and their issues. Though I don’t necessarily believe that womanhood is confined to biology and anatomy, I believe that women shouldn’t be silenced in order to please the urges of trans women.
Many women worry about the presence of trans women in women’s public restrooms, locker rooms and women’s shelters because of fear that the trans woman might use their genitals to rape or harm them. Especially if the trans woman hasn’t had sex rearrangement surgery to remove their penis. However such thinking is somewhat absurd because there hasn’t been many incidents of trans women creating havoc in these spaces but I can’t be 100% sure if this is the case. Though I understand their concerns and fears about allowing trans women in these spaces are valid, there isn’t much evidence of the belief that trans women may or are a direct danger to the welfare of women in these spaces.
Personally, I believe the solution to such a disparity is have more information in public education classrooms about transsexualism and transgender ism. When more people are aware of gender, biology and how it plays a role in how trans women are treated and perceived in society, more women will understand ways to interact with and deal with trans women. But I so believe that women deserve their own spaces where their concern, needs and wants can be expressed without misogynistic language or threats geared toward them. Thus it is necessary for trans women to develop their own spaces apart from women while women maintain and preserve their own spaces to protect themselves in society.