Friday, June 29, 2007

Trans-Feminism (Transgender Feminism)

Transfeminism is primarily a movement by and for transwomen who view their liberation to be essentially linked to the liberation of all women. Transfeminists believe that it's imperative that more transwomen start participating in the feminist movement along with other people,who are sympathetic toward the needs of transwomen, for their own liberation.Transfeminists also believe that each person has the right to define her or his own identity and they expect society to respect them, which includes the right to express their gender without fear of discriminition or violence; in addition, the sole right to make decisions regarding their own bodies, and no political, medical or religious authority should violate the integrity of their bodies against their will nor hinder their decisions regarding what they do. However, many traditional feminists believe that trans issues do not belong in feminism. They believe that the feminist movement should not concern itself with the needs of transwomen. Their opinion is based on the idea that only "women born women" can fully identify with the experience of being a woman. On the other hand, transfeminists argue that even "women born women" are different from one another as well, and that excluding transwomen from the feminist movement denies them their right to self-identification. One story of transfeminist controversy has been the Kimberly Nixon case in Canada. Kimberly Nixon is a transsexual woman who wanted to train to be a volunteer rape crisis counselor at Vancouver Rape Relief in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1995. When Nixon's transsexual status was determined, she was forced to leave the training program. The staff felt that Nixon's status made it impossible for her to understand the experiences of biological females, insludung sexual assault and domestic violence. Nixon sued for discrimination and the case was caught in a lawsuit for many years, with Vancouver Rape Relief finally winning the case in 2007 when the Canadian Supeme Court refused to hear Nixon'e appeal. I do believe that each individual has the right to define his or her own identity and should be given their respect. Therefore, I feel that transgender people should not be dicriminated against for any reason whatsoever. People do not have to agree with their lifestyle, but they still should respect them as people. I, myself, am one who does not agree with their lifestyle, but I still show respect and love towards them. With that being said, I really am unsure if I would call myself a "transfeminist."
-Angelica Blue
Resources: 1) "The Fight For Reproductive Freedom"
2) "Menacing Feminism, Educating Sisters" by Robert J. Hill

1 comment:

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