Monday, October 7, 2013

Gloria Steinem and trans-exclusionary feminism

Hi everyone,

I saw over the weekend that Gloria Steinem released a statement in the Advocate apologizing to the trans* community for the hurtful and exclusive positions towards trans women and others that she put forth in her past work. Specifically, she opposed sex reassignment surgery, calling it "mutilation" in an attempt to adhere to oppressive gender roles. In response to Steinem's apology, I've seen a lot of responses from trans women that do a good job of explaining some of the history behind this and explaining why many still think Steinem's statement was insufficient because her past words have already done so much damage. Here are two articles in particular to check out:

I think a really interesting topic that comes up in both of these articles is how inclusive the feminist movement has or hasn't been in the past and the consequences that come from separating the causes of related marginalized groups. These posts talk specifically about straight, cis women's attitudes towards the LGBT communities during the 2nd wave (and 3rd, especially talking about ENDA), but there are also a lot of parallels to the debate over the 15th amendment and later about white women's inclusion/exclusion of women of color in their suffrage efforts and other efforts for women's rights.

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