Silencing transsexual women
UPDATE: It’s good to speak – following complaints changes have been made!
However, today, a statement has been released and an amendment to the FIL front page to make it clear that the event and the women only spaces are rightly open to all self defined women – see the F-Word
The trans exclusionary nature of the phrase “women only” and the dogma of biological determinism is discussed over at Bird of Paradox in reference to the “women only” Reclaim The Night and Feminism in London events organised by the London Feminist Network
The problem arises because the term is grounded in the use of the long-established trope which states that transsexual women are “not really women” — hence my assertion that the phrase women only is trans exclusionary. The definition is essentialist in meaning as it infers that one can only be “born a woman” (and never “become a woman”, to paraphrase de Beauvoir), and in so doing it denies not only the existence and agency of transsexual women and transsexual men, but also the potential for change itself. Thus women comes to mean cis women, just as surely as women only means cis women only.
BofP points out the contradiction in this logic which results in transsexual men (“really women”) being welcomed but transsexual women (“really men”) being unwelcome which in both cases renders transsexual as non-beings and frankly makes a mockery of feminism. Read the whole post here……… and Part 1 here…..