At its best, feminism is about women empowering women through their own intrinsic talents, abilities and goodness. And when women still make a fraction of what men make for the same work, and male politicians try to outlaw abortion because they don’t think you can get pregnant from rape, feminism is still sorely needed.
That being said, there’s unfortunately a very vocal and very acerbic minority of feminists who are, for lack of a better term, screamingly transphobic. Recently, feminist columnist Suzanne Moore was criticized for using transphobic imagery to make a point that, honestly, didn’t really need to be made. Instead of apologizing for the remark and moving on, Moore went on a transphobic Twitter tirade before temporarily deleting her account.
With Moore on the ropes, her friend and fellow feminist columnist Julie Burchill jumped to Moore’s defence and cleared everything up by delving even further into transphobic imagery in an article called “Transsexuals should cut it out” (and yes, that is a double entendre, keepin’ it classy, this one). Burchill’s article was so bad, it ended up being pulled from The Observer, where it was originally published, and the paper’s editor publicly apologized for running it in the first place.
Thankfully, Lindy West — one of Jezebel’s featured writers and a national treasure — stepped in to remind everyone that you don’t help women by denigrating trans women, because that would just be fucking stupid, right? Right.
The idea of a feminist writer using the old “I’m sorry you’re offended"/"Quit being so oversensitive, fatty” gambit against a fellow feminist (especially about something as basic as transphobia) is such a turncoat move that it makes me want to benedict this chick right in the arnolds. The fact that you don’t personally relate to someone’s point of view does not render their point of view invalid. In fact, it probably means that you have some thinking to do. We are flawed. This is how we evolve, and we should approach our evolution with grace rather than defensiveness. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to try.
[…] It’s bare-faced hate speech, ladies—the kind of language that misogynist trolls use against us, to trivialize and derail and silence feminist discourse, every day—and the call is coming from inside the house. Inclusiveness (or intersectionality, if you’re not turned off by big, intellectual words like Suzanne Moore is) is the future, not prissy divisiveness. But if that’s how you old bats want to play this, then you’re shitty feminists and shitty people and we don’t want you anyway. Catch up or go home.
I encourage you to read the full article, because it’s absolutely brilliant and hilarious, but the point of all this is that, regardless of what group you belong to, you probably shouldn’t try to advance your own cause by taking a big, steaming shit on someone else’s.