‘real women’

I know I’m a long way behind the curve and I tend to stay out of the trans politics melee nowadays – especially when it comes to rabid feminazis and their policing of gender purity… but this article from 2013 by Brooke Magnanti has been attempting to make it to the surface of my strangely retentive brain and this morning it made it.

It is, shamefully, just as relevant today as it was 4 years ago…

Want to be a woman? You’re in

Here’s an idea, not mine, and not a new one. If you want to be a woman, you’re in. If you feel or know you are a woman even if the majority of the world claims you’re not, you’re in. Born with the reproductive organs of a woman? You’re a woman. Trans women, who struggle for the right to be recognised and fight against some of the highest instances of violence, depression and suicide in the world? Are women no less “real” than me. As John le CarrĂ© so astutely put it in Smiley’s People: “Society is an association of minorities.”

The concept of woman is not narrow and fragile, it is robust and will take all comers. Its borders do not need policing. It does not threaten me, lessen me, or lessen anyone’s womanhood, to acknowledge other women and to hear their lived experience. Let’s stop this “real women” rubbish before it lives to poison yet another generation of writers and journalists – because that way of thinking is very much last century.