I’m afraid I’m a bit confused here. I’ve NEVER heard a trans person say that biology and physiology do not play a huge part in the oppression of women.

I agree that biology is the original basis for sexism and patriarchy: women’s self worth is judged far too often by their reproductive capacity. The worst slurs a woman can be called in the English language refer either to a part of her genitals or her reproductive capacity (comparing her to female dogs generally designated for breeding purposes).

But is biology the only basis for sexism? Are women treated as second-class citizens in most of the world due to their physiology only? You tell me: would catcalls or groping only be hurtful and offensive if the woman it is done to has a vulva and a uterus? I doubt it. Is there more vitriol and violence aimed at trans men than trans women because trans men often have uteri? We all know that’s not true.

While I’ve never heard a trans person saying that biology doesn’t matter, I have heard cis women say they aren’t cis because there is only one kind of woman: those born with a female reproductive system. Those are the same people who say we trans women are trying to “ignore biology.” They are the ones who call us “blackface actors” (while studiously ignoring Black Lives Matter), the ones who think we are delusional, perverts, “men colonizing women’s spaces,” or all of the above. In other words, they seek to use biology to exclude us and then claim that we are ignoring biology and “sex.”

So, unless you think that trans women aren’t really women because they don’t have wombs, or that we don’t all experience sexism, misogyny, and the evil hand of the patriarchy, I’m not sure where you got the idea that we don’t understand and acknowledge the role biology and physiology play.

I’m not saying that trans women are perfect allies to cis women, but most of us try to be. I’ve never, ever, heard a trans woman say that they understood what cis people go through. In fact, trans people and our allies are the first to say that all of us have different experiences, and those varied backgrounds don’t make us any more or less than anyone else.

In fact, the only ones saying anything different are these people who think trans women are not women, that — because we may not have been born with wombs — we should not be called women. Those people are generally referred to as trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERF), a term first used by a cis radical feminist woman who didn’t want people to confuse her with Rad Fems who were also transphobes. These people are usually called that because they mostly identify as feminists and are transphobic. The main word that doesn’t always fit is radical, since many of them are not actually rad fems. I agree the word is overused — many people called TERFs are just garden variety transphobes. You seem to express some issue with the term. If it is anything other than the overuse and inaccuracy of using it to label people who aren’t actually rad fems, I would be interested in hearing what issue you have.

Educator, writer, LGBTQ+ advocate, avid reader. Novelist in progress. Website: http://janelleswritemind.com/ Empowering the LGBTQ+ community one word at a time.

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