So trans-women, are in the news again and as usual it's for all of the wrong reasons.
I try to stay away from the stories for reasons off self preservation more than anything else, but when I see the damage to my community it's causing, I have to become involved.
Since Jennie Murray of the BBC's Woman's Hour published an article that at best can be described as ill-judged and transphobic; I've seen a furore of outrage from the transgender community as well as our allies coming together to condemn this lady and her outdated opinions.
And rightly so.
You cannot hide behind the fact that you're a feminist as an excuse for prejudice against a group of women who need the support of their peers. You can't expect equality for women on one hand and then be prejudiced towards other women on the other.
Emma Watson said recently, " You can't use feminism as a stick to beat others with". She's absolutely right.
If you read a dictionary and look at the definitions of women, one of them reads: the nature, characteristics, or feelings often attributed to women; womanliness.
When I read this, I fail to see how a transgender women isn't considered as a woman by some women?
To any transgender woman, looking from the outside who doesn't have the mental resilience to put this to the back of their mind - who is considering transitioning and living her truth - who struggles with her dysphoria so much that she's afraid to leave the house? Stories like this are not only damaging, they lead to more anxiety, more stress/dysphoria and in some cases suicide.
It's abuse on a mass scale and it's akin to the misoygny that the early feminists fought against. They were told that they didn't matter; that their opinions counted for nothing; that they were lesser people due to their gender.
See the comparison?
One of the main anxieties I had and many transgender woman have in coming out, especially those transitioning later in life; is the fear of acceptance or lack of it. The fear of being prejudiced because all you're doing is living your truth.
If they really have that much of an issue with someone who identifies as a woman. With someone who is trying to be the best that they can be, to be at peace with who they are, then I fail to see how they can describe themselves as a feminist?
Feminism is about equality for all women. Not the ones the TERFS pick and choose are allowed to have equal rights, due to their birth sex.
For those who are not aware, the theme for International Woman's Day 2017 is Be Bold for a Change.
The dictionary for the definition of what being bold is: not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring.
The very fact that a transgender woman lives her truth in a society where some of her peers tell her she's not valid; where in there USA they're being told they can't pee in the toilet of their gender; where they're murdered for being a transgender woman worldwide. It's an act of courage that few will ever really understand.
So if you're reading this as a transgender woman and are afraid to start your path? Please start.
I'm going to quote the very eloquent Emma Watson again, " If not me then who - If not now, then when"?