BY EMILY EAGLIN
DISCLAIMER: A lot of positive, productive, fun things happened at yesterday's demonstrations worldwide! :) This is not an article about those things. Y'all know me better.
This is a message from me to my fellow cis-sisters in response to the Women's March yesterday. Please put your freshly knit pink pussy hats down and take a seat, we need to talk.
Y'all know better.
Y'all know better than to equate vagina having people to women. Y'all know better than to refuse to take intersectional approaches to this movement. I don't know if you were too busy catching up on the latest Season of HBO's Girls to realize this, but 2nd wave feminism has come, its time has gone. I'd like to think that we are on the 3rd wave, and hell, some of us are certainly on the 4th.
Now obviously when I say "y'all" I do not mean "all of y'all", but y'all know who y'all are.
BUT! ME!? I'M A "GOOD" CIS ALLY, MY BEST FRIENDS ARE NON-BINARY :'(
It's so difficult for ciswomen to see through our bubbles of privilege I don't even know how we can call ourselves allies, especially when we make a women's march about a vag-of-honor & hold up the signs that we did at yesterday's march. There's no way we could ever act like we understand the constant threats of violence & ignorance waged against trans/non-binary people everyday, so much so that there's likely no such thing as a good cis ally. Fellow cisters, if yesterday was any indicator, we all have hella work to do, on various fronts.
After the "successes" of yesterday's march in the eyes of the media (and the fascist in chief himself?) I found myself asking if women as a whole would have to sacrifice POC intersectionality and trans-inclusionism for this movement to "make it" somewhere or to be "accepted". Why would women of color and/or non-cis women ever agree to this deal? We're asked to move to the back of the parade time and time again.
And so much of it really is in the language you guys stay using. Maybe you were too busy watching re-runs of Inside Amy Schumer to brush up on inclusive language, but not only is trans-exclusionary language objectively incorrect, it's dangerous. We live in a world where transwomen of color face statistically probable violence/discrimination, a world where even Black Rights Activists wont include them in a greater narrative.
VIOLENCE AGAINST BLACK WOMEN? VIOLENCE AGAINST TRANSWOMEN? THE PROTEST WAS PEACEFUL!
Okay, and if you think for one second the police would have responded peacefully if the crowd had looked any other way y'all got me effed up.
NOW IF WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A WOMEN'S MARCH, WHY ARE YOU BRINGING UP OTHER PARTS OF IDENTITY?
Racism cannot be ended until sexism is, for more on this topic please see Bell Hooks' Killing Rage (maybe when you finish up that Taylor Swift album you could think about purchasing this book? Probably not). Going along the same line of thinking I highly doubt that the fight against Donald Trump's brand of Pussy-Grabbing Misogyny™ will be won by trans-exclusive ciswomen who don't understand that not every woman has a pussy to grab (and not everyone that does have one is a woman). Hence, y'all's gender essentialism is really ruining it for the rest of us.
This is truly it! (Check out Jamie's Blog: https://medium.com/@jamiegalexander)
I GET IT I'M PROBLEMATIC AF, BUT WHAT CAN I DO TO DRAW ATTENTION TO WOMEN'S ISSUES?
Step up your definition of what being a woman is. Here are some helpful, simple steps for ciswomen (especially white women) out there who genuinely want to do better (but will you?):
When it comes down to it, a lot of y'all are simply not saying what you mean & not realizing that this conflating of rhetoric is putting others directly in harm's way. One thing, before you put that pink pussy hat back on, if y'all are patting yourselves on the back for a day of "non-violent protests" after using the same demonstration strategies as BLM activists but without similar police involvement, give that pat & that hat back to white supremacy. Y'all got more to work on than I can even begin to articulate.
Source: (@AmirTalai) https://twitter.com/AmirTalai