A Statement from Gender Identity Watch

In the last 20 years, we’ve seen a rapid expansion in rights extended to discrete groups. Marriage equality was unthinkable in 1993, and now the U.S. Supreme Court has paved the way for gay marriage. We applaud these advances, but, unfortunately, some bad has come with the good. Most notably, the expansion of rights for transgender people has intruded upon the rights of Women. GLBT organizations advance laws to ban discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations against transgender people, who identify with the sex opposite their birth sex. We admire this goal in most contexts; however, gender identity legislation codifies into law sex stereotypes that Women have struggled to shake for decades. Gender identity legislation also raises specific issues in the context of sex-segregated spaces such as locker rooms and domestic violence shelters because it allows anyone to gain entrance into a space reserved for the opposite sex by simply declaring they are a member of the opposite sex. Given that a high percentage of transwomen retain their male anatomy, this places Women in the impossible situation of sharing intimate space with a “Woman” whose only claim to “Womanhood” is their belief and self-identification. This is grossly unfair to Women.

Although we are sensitive to the concerns of transwomen who seek safe personal space, GLBT organizations have done nothing to address the safety concerns of Women, nor have they acknowledged that gender identity relies on sex stereotypes. Instead, these groups tell Women that our concerns are not valid and shame us when we resist.  Transwomen go as far as to target private, female-only events such as the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival for failing to allow transgender identity to trump Female biology. These campaigns against Women are reinforced by vocal transwomen activists who threaten rape and death against Women who dare to question.

It’s time for an honest conversation around transgender rights. No other oppressed minority has ever demanded rights at the expense of another oppressed minority – but this is precisely what has happened to Women in the transgender rights movement. Women’s concerns are simply hand-waved away.  In an era where Women still fight for the right to control our bodies, it’s ironic that “the new wave” of civil rights organizing has resulted in Women’s issues once again being placed on a shelf. Women need space free from male-bodied persons and, more importantly, Women do not need laws that enshrine sex stereotypes into law.

We can do better for Women, and we should demand no less.

– The Gender Identity Watch team

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13 thoughts on “A Statement from Gender Identity Watch

  1. Reblogged this on BigBooButch and commented:
    No matter if we are gay, straight, or bi, we women really need to start standing together and standing up for one another in this.

    So transgenders and transsexuals deserve to be protected under the law from discrimination and violence? Of course! But where a line needs to be drawn is: not at the expense of women. For people born male and socialized with male privilege to DEMAND entry into women’s private spaces, it is not just disrespectful, it is misogynistic.

    If you are male bodied and you truly want to call yourself a woman, then do what we women do for each other: respect women, put women first, listen to women’s lived experiences, support women.

    When you can do THAT, then we can talk.

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  2. hi! My mom is a lesbian in california who had incredible difficulty getting married (still does, unfortunately) due to Prop 8 and other anti-gay legislation! It’s great though that marriage equality has gone so far! But, I wanna know, why did Gender Identity Watch, in saying that Marriage Equality is good, side with a group who backed Prop 8 and said repealing DOMA would lead to incest and pedophilia? Why is Gender Identity Watch claiming they support lesbian rights but suporting a group that wants to deny lesbians basic human rights?

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  3. I remember PJi pulling all sorts of awful, awful stuff when I was growing up. I remember the anti-lesbian advocats saying that lesbian parents molest little girls. I had to hear them and people like them say that to me as I was growing up. Listen to them say this about my mother, a lesbian. And to see ANY group that says they support Lesbians work with a group that wants my mother dead, I am furious. I may be trans, but at least I don’t support a group that said that banning Lesbian Conversion Therapy would lead to Rape and Pedophilia. I’m not a lesbian, but I am an empathetic human being. And I’m sick of seeing people like the PJI defame gays and lesbians (and now trans people, apparently) to line their own pockets. And I’m Not Ok with seeing a group that supports women throwing all of them under the bus to race to support a group that wants them beaten until they claim they’re straight. I know this will never get approved and I’ll probably get doxxed and harassing phone calls from Cathy Brennan over this, but I want y’all to read this because I think it’s important to Not Side with people who Want You And All Gay People Dead or Straight.

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  4. You state that ‘Women should demand no less’. In this one statement you completely reject and dismiss that transwomen ARE women. Your statement shows clearly that you do not understand what being transgender is. You also diminish your own ‘womanhood; by doing exactly what the male gender has done for thousands of years.. you relegate your worth to nothing more then your physical body.
    As for your accusation of threats of rape and death.. I have never heard any reputable person make any such threat.. inspite of the fact that Trans people are, in fact, often beaten, raped and killed solely for the fact that they are trans.
    In addition, many of the most vocal advocates of Womens rights come from the Trans community. And not only Womens rights, but the civil rights of ALL beings.
    I am not defined by the physical body I was born with.. and neither are you.. please do not so lesson your worth as a Women.. and as a Human by defining yourself so.

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