Women only spaces – Give and take

This post has now moved to here.

I’ve been a little reluctant to post this as it’s an argument I can actually see both sides of, and both sides seem quite vehemently opposed.

On the one side you have the trans activists who, quite rightly and deservedly, are fighting for equality in a world that still treats them like something out of a circus freakshow. I can’t even begin to imagine what life must be like for them, and wouldn’t even begin to try, that would be patronising and unnecessary.

On the other you have the feminists who, quite rightly and deservedly, are fighting for equality in a world where women are still disproportionately at risk of violence. Here I can imagine, because I’ve lived that life for my whole life. Like every woman I know that I have to take all kinds of precautions that men will never have to take in order to try and protect myself, and I also know that those precautions will never remove risk entirely.

I hope I don’t need to say this, but anyway, in the blog post that follows please be aware that when I say “feminists” or “trans activists” I am not referring to absolutely all people within these categories, I am speaking about some of them.

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4 thoughts on “Women only spaces – Give and take

  1. Charles Copley says:

    What I don’t get are “trans men” (female-to-male trans) who insist that they are still entitled to women-only spaces, especially if they have been part of their local lesbian community for a long time before coming out as trans. I am using the quotes to describe such people because they want it both ways — they want the perceived social advantages of being a guy, but still want the social protections and access to these spaces. What gives? Are you a guy, or not? You can’t have it both ways; it sets the trans community back!

    • MurderOfGoths says:

      I can’t speak for them, but I imagine, as with trans women, it’s a complex situation. Probably the reason they want access to women only spaces is because they are still at greater risk of violence from men than women. Especially if they have been part of the lesbian community there will no doubt be a fear of corrective rape too.

  2. Clare Flourish says:

    It is all personal, though. However much anyone pushes the theory, excluding trans women from women only spaces means excluding me. To those who want to exclude me, I say meet me, perhaps in the company of the majority of women who don’t mind me being there.

    As for offence, whom do you most care about offending? “Cis” is merely descriptive. I know some say it is a slur, but it is a term from chemistry among other things, crossing or not crossing, this side or that side. Any other word for “women” which excludes trans women involves a judgment that we are not women- real women, whatever. Most of the time “women” is the word, but where there is need to distinguish, “cis women” is the only term which does not judge trans women.

  3. luvtheheaven says:

    I’ve never heard of cis being offensive. Like the previous commenter said, contrasting trans women with “women” is what is offensive… :P I’m cis, myself, and I can’t imagine being offended by the term. So who would be?

    Do you have any statistics on the number of people who either are or who pretend to be “Trans women” who use their penis to rape other women? I would have thought the number was so low as to be insignificant.

    Cis-women can be perpetrators of all sorts of violence too, even without a penis – and even children can be murderers, at times… so I wouldn’t assume women-only spaces were 100% safe anyway.

    What kinds of spaces are you referring to? “changing rooms, bathrooms, [and] hostels” like you mentioned in the text above? The potential for danger caused by allowing trans women in seems too minimal for me to understand the arguments against allowing them in the spaces. If you had legitimate statistics to back up your claims, I’d be more inclined to understand.

    Honestly, though, I’m all for gender-neutral spaces of all kinds. I don’t think bathrooms, locker rooms, etc need to be gendered at all. I don’t know.

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