On women & gender...
On this Trans Day of Visibility, 2018, I bring you a reminder of the possibilities of Gender. Originally “Facebook published” 3.12.2017.
Just as there are women who don't experience sexual assault.
Just as there are women who never have to fight to be paid equally (unicorns but they somewhere)
Just as there are women who don't have periods, regularly or at all
Just as there are women who can't birth children
Just as there are women who get haircuts that make the world think they're men
Just as there are women whose voices are deeper than your dads & brothers
Just as there are women who can run faster, jump farther, and lift more than you might have ever seen a woman do before
Just as there are women who lead organizations and never questioned their ability to do so
Just as there are women who don't experience gaslighting (👀 They're somewhere, I'm sure)
Just as there are women who aren't emotional
Just as there are women who can't braid, cook, refuse to clean or be house mamas
Just as there are women who don't experience rape
Just as there are women who dont have uteruses
There are women who have Adam's apple formations
There are women who have defined cheek bones
There are women who grow facial hair
There are women who have penises
There are women who do drag
There are women whose bodies produce more testosterone than other women
There are women who have to fight for their womanhood
There are women who've experienced the world treating them as men
There are women who shape their womanhood as they see fit.
There is no one way to be a woman and congratulations, to those who are seeing this weekend that more than ever before, the gender binary is and has always been a lie to keep our imaginations constrained & physical bodies in capitalist production check. How does it hurt you to consider womanhood as a more vast possibility than you ever imagined or personally experience? If you feel that something has been taken away from you, you were/are more interested in a world that values exclusion than inclusion, in supremacy than community, and in ordering/othering rather than welcoming.
When the 1920s suffragists first fought for voting rights, they had to make an argument as to why Black woman shouldn't be allowed to join in the struggle. In the 1960s civil rights struggle, there was a consensus that women can't be leaders and should be pushed to the back/not lifted up in front, despite (as they are now doing in the #BLM/M4BL struggle) doing most of the work. The Gay Rights movement centered itself on marriage, to the exclusion of struggle of homeless Black & Brown queer children and other struggles lifted up by people who are LGBT but don't care about marriage.
We have a history of exclusion when it comes to accessing rights, because for most of history, we haven't had to face the reality of who these new societal possibilities leave behind. And truly, policy wise you sometimes literally have to focus on just a few things at a time or you won't pass your bill. That's part of how changes sometimes happen. But in this day and age of social media, where almost everyone can speak for themselves, we need to redefine the exceptions we're willing to make to these new world rules.
Transwomen are being killed. This notion that they aren't women because they have penises or transition or lived before with privilege is reductive, dangerous and anyone who lives by that has blood on their hands. Open up the borders of these things folks. Yes it may feel new. Yes it may be difficult. But to do anything less is what kills people and I'm not willing to live in a world where I'm complicit in that. No matter how many binaries, borders and assumptions I have to break.
P.S. (Us) Non-binary people exist.
P.P.S. Your gender is what you say it is. Everyone should decide their pronouns actively all the time. Some peoples change daily. Live with it. They do, & it's much more difficult than you might think.
P.P.P. S. Look at this as a fun, empowering new possibility & way to actively take responsibility for who we say we are in this world because in case you forgot, LITERALLLY EVERYTHING EVER IS MADE UP. 👍🏾