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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire UCL AL #303 - Transidentity and feminism: who divides ? (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 26 Mar 2020 09:28:09 +0200


First published by the Huffington Post, then republished by Marianne, a forum sparked an important controversy in the feminist milieu. What if the question was not which woman to fight with but how to fight together ? ---- On February 13, the Huffington Post website published a column entitled "Trans: is it enough to proclaim yourself a woman to be able to demand to be considered as such ?" Arousing lively controversy, it will be unpublished in stride [1]. The Marianne newspaper will republish it a few days later on its site, considering that " the debate is essential " [2]. ---- Following feminist collages referring to the sentence at the stake of the TERFs (trans exclusive radical feminist), this tribune was signed by nearly 140 personalities, including renowned feminists like Christine Delphy, materialist sociologist, or Marguerite Stern, initiator collages against feminicides.

What debate is this, exactly ? For the signatories of this text, the "trans question" would divide the feminist struggle by re-examining what makes a woman a woman. In reading them, trans women are only women because they "self-proclaim" themselves. However, we cannot reduce the "trans question" to a purely declarative value.

Being a trans woman also means being subjected to exploitation, domestic and public violence, as we are women. To deny this reality is "at best" not to know the subject, at worst to show bad faith.

No, materialist feminism in no way asserts that women " are first of all female human beings[with]a double X chromosome ". It is distressing to see women like Christine Delphy sign a text which says the exact opposite that what materialist feminists have always always defended.

We are not born a woman
From the point of view of materialist feminism, gender is a sociological characteristic, if we attribute "natural femininity" to the double X chromosome, it is only by virtue of defined and contingent social beliefs. Trans women are women, and it is sad to see such a platform accusing us of dividing a struggle in which, in fact, we are only participating in the same way as any feminist woman.

Theoretical inconsistencies and the inequality of the practices of struggles cannot be our responsibility. As a trans woman, we are indignant at "TERFs" [3]only because they deny our existence with the same violence that is usually attributed to the treatment of lesbians by cisgender men.

There is no debate to be had on "the trans question". As a feminist, it is our struggle practices that should be re-examined. But, together, with all women, whoever they are.

Marlène (UCL Lyon)

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[1] "Why we unpublished the forum" Trans question: splicers against feminicides are dividing and all women are threatened "" , The Huffington Post, February 12, 2020.

[2] Marianne, "Trans: is it enough to proclaim yourself a woman to be able to be considered as such ?", February 17, 2020.

[3] Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist: Name given to feminists who do not recognize trans people as being able to recognize themselves (mainly women).

https://www.unioncommunistelibertaire.org/?Transidentite-et-feminisme-qui-divise
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