Feminism at odds with anti-trans activism

GMA National Coordinator talks feminism, the Green party magazine, and anti-trans activism with 95bFM [listen here, 5 mins].

Main points transcribed, or summarised by the speaker:

1. ”it’s not Green policy that’s anti trans, it was one member out of thousands whose writing was unfortunately published without being snapped as anti trans. It’s important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

2. ”throughout history, lots of different groups of women have been treated as though they are a threat – we shouldn’t include them, we shouldn’t give them rights, whether that’s been racial… or disabled women… lots of minority women have been excluded from human rights, and really harmed as a direct result. Far from accidental,  anti-trans activists are spreading a targeted campaign of misinformation against trans women, which has really harmful effects on the lives of all trans people.

3. ”Quite often, anti-trans activists try to talk about ”biological sex” as though it has more scientific truth to it than gender has. But that’s sort of the opposite of what feminism says, which is that if sex [or gender] is a class, that’s about the way you’re treated, its about the way society perceives you.  So when feminists says ”gender is a construct” or it’s socially constructed, they’re saying it’s something that’s created, based on how people perceive your gender and they therefore treat you – like a traffic light, it’s not a fake traffic light, they’re not pretend and make-believe, they’re constructed by humans, they have specific constructed meanings attached to a red light or a green light. [The constructed meanings are very real]. So when people see you as a trans woman, they’re not likely to treat you better than they would treat you if they just saw you as a woman and didn’t know you were trans. But they are likely to treat you with misogyny, if that is how they treat women. There is no scientific fact to sex that is different to or beyond the science of  how gender works.

Note; the research quoted at the beginning of the interview doesn’t cover trans statistics as victims or survivors of sexual violence, but NZ research In Our Own Words shows that trans women experience sexual violence at a rate of 1 in every 2.