Today is the first time I’ve actually been embarrassed to wear the feminist label. For the first time. And it royally sucks.
There seems to be this tribe of feminists floating around out there that is spouting all sorts of nasty, hate-filled drivel. The kind of crap that second-wave man-hating feminists became known for. But this time? This time it’s aimed at our sisters.
I’m sorry, but the day that third-wave feminism (which is all about supporting women in all their choices, believing in freedom, and the right to independence and freedom from persecution) turns into some crazy-assed fourth-wave anti-trans movement is the day I’m out.
No, I won’t link to the article that brought this whole movement to my attention… but after finding it (through a link someone shared on facebook, a link someone actually recommended) I just kept finding more of it. And it brought so much pain to my heart. Seriously. How can these women be so completely off the mark and not see it?
Feminism is about loving your fellow womyn. Supporting them. Caring for them. Encouraging them. Empowering them. Knowing that together we can (and have) changed the world. And regardless of what sex organs a person was born with, a woman is a woman is a woman. It’s not about what parts you have or don’t have. It’s about WHO YOU ARE. My Trans-Sisters are my sisters, they are not brothers in drag, and they deserve every bit of respect, support, love, care, encouragement, and empowerment that every other woman does.
A few weeks ago I gave a talk at one of our local high schools. I asked the students what the word gender actually meant. Most didn’t have a clue, but one young person said “It’s about how you see the world”. And that makes a whole lot of sense to me. Gender really is about your point of view. How you see yourself, and how you fit into society. That is what makes a person a woman. It’s not her breasts, her vulva or vagina, it’s not whether she has a womb or not, and it’s not her chromosomes either. It’s about how she fits in her own skin. How she sees herself. How she views herself. How she fits into her world. And that, my friends, is why I see no reason to include the prefix “trans”. It’s not that it’s a dirty word, it’s just that it’s unnecessary.
Women deserve your respect. ALL women. And if there are some who, behind the guise of a new feminist movement, don’t get that? Well, they can go… Okay, editing myself here… They can just take a freakin’ jump off one of the many bridges here in Saskatoon.
Today has been super busy. Spent the morning with my wee girlie. The early afternoon answering emails and phone calls. A photo shoot in the late afternoon. Supper with my husband and girlie, followed by another shoot. Read a few chapters to the girl, put her to bed… and am now here – with you. Because today was so busy, there are lots of things I could blog about… but more important than anything I did, is something YOU can do.
With the looming general election, there’s a chance that Bill C-389 may end up being scrapped. If it’s not passed soon, it’s done… and all the work that has been done already will be for nothing. Everything will have to start from scratch.
To it’s discredit, Bill C-389 has become known as the “bathroom bill”. But it really has very little to do with public washroom facilities (gendered washrooms vs ungendered ones) and everything to do with human rights. Some folks, particularly the “Christian Right” have been using fear-mongering tactics… claiming it would mean the end of “family values”. And honestly? What a load of bunk.
This bill is about human rights on a VERY basic level. Equality for all people. It simply asks for the words “gender identity, gender expression” to be added to both the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. This would give protection to transgendered people, who currently face an appalling amount of discrimination, recrimination, and fear every day… for nothing more than BEING.
You can read the text of the bill itself at: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Parl=40&Ses=3&Mode=1&Pub=Bill&Doc=C-389_1&File=27#1
In an effort to promote fear, prejudice, and incite hatred some are attempting to thwart this bill saying that it would mean that we would need to start teaching trans 101 in pre-school. Quite honestly, these folks are completely out of touch with reality… but, seriously, this is the “worst case scenario” they came up with. The worst possible thing to come out of this legislation would be to teach equality to children? Wow. How is it we haven’t passed this bill already???
We teach equality regardless of sex, equality regardless of race, equality regardless of religion, equality regardless of wealth, equality regardless of creed… why are we not teaching our young children equality regardless of gender?
Bill C-389 is about safety, security, and the right to personhood. Transgendered individuals deserve the same protection under the law that every other person is already guaranteed. It is disgusting that we haven’t already ensured legislation like this is in place.
So, what can you do?
There is a draft letter available at: http://egale.ca/index.asp?lang=&menu=1&item=1451 So if you aren’t confident drafting your own, please feel free to copy and paste the one available there. That is, after all, the whole reason it is there.
If you are in Saskatchewan here are the email addresses for your Senators:
Share this Blog Post!
Share this link on facebook, twitter, or any of the dozens of social networking sites out there. Make people aware of this important bill. Do NOT let it die.
Talk to the Local Media!
Got a favourite news team or news show? Find their website. Chances are they will have contact information listed. Email them, phone them! Make them aware of what is going on. Get them talking!
Tell Your Friends!
Seriously, talk to your friends and family. I bet most of the people you know don’t even know about this bill. Did you?
It is an atrocity that in this day and age there are still people in Canada without basic human rights. Without the right to be free from discrimination, without the right to be free from fear. Bathroom legislation? What a slap in the face. This isn’t about public washrooms. This is about being HUMAN.
Speak up! Get heard! Make change!
I am often astonished by ignorance. I shouldn’t be. You’d think, at some point, I’d get used to it… but I don’t. Ignorance always astounds me.
One of my friends recently posted a picture on her profile, she looked absolutely smashing! Yet one of the first comments posted insisted that she was “not a girl” and went on to list all the reasons why she’d never “pass” as female. This particular friend, despite the ignorance displayed by this commenter, held her head high, and exhibited more poise than I’d have mustered. She knows this individual may not ever truly accept her for who she is, yet she still shows nothing but kindness and love towards them… and THAT, above all else, screams of Womanly grace.
Why must we hold Women, and girls, to such high standards? Are we not all people? Do we not all have faults? Why must we be bombarded by the tabloid version of feminine beauty? And why, oh why, must there be jerks out there who feel that is the way it SHOULD be???
What makes a person a Woman? Is it her uterus? Is it her breasts? Is it her soft facial features? Or is it her strength?
Women are powerful, women are beautiful. Women are amazing. And there is no definition of “Woman” that you can give that would be acceptable to me.
I am a proud third-wave feminist. And I believe that Women cannot be boxed up, put on a shelf, and slapped with a definitive label… And anyone who tries to do just that does a greater harm to themselves than they could ever do to us.
Gabrielle? This post is for you. You are beautiful, you are strong… And he’s right, you’re not a girl… you are a WOMAN!
BTW, when my daughter saw this picture she said “Wow! She looks like a girl from the movies!” 🙂