Genetic women only

Do I benefit now, in any sense, from male privilege? Here is a definition, and here is a list. Clearly I do not benefit from those which apply to adults now: I do not get paid more than other women, for example. Do I benefit from the background of male privilege as a child? Well, I did not get the message that it was unfeminine, and therefore wrong in me, to express anger- but I did not feel supported in expressing anger, and my sister expressed anger trenchantly and robustly in her teens. So, not necessarily. I did not get damaged by a female upbringing but got my fair share of crap. And the uncongruent upbringing was difficult for me.

Men often seem to dominate conversations, but I recall being talked at by two women, who would not give me a word in edgeways, for half an hour. They wanted me not only to accept that I could not attend their women only activities, but agree that they were right to exclude me. I wanted to say that I would not attend only because I did not want to become the focus of those activities, I did not want those activities to become a discussion of whether I should be there. I wanted to be part of the activity as any other woman would be.

I accept that women can feel safe in women’s space, and having a trans woman present may make a vulnerable woman feel more vulnerable, making her think of bad experiences with men. There are two ways to deal with this. Organisers can exclude me, saying that the hurt of the woman justifies that. Or they can introduce her to me, explain that I am not a man, and I can show my sympathy with her past hurt. If they accept that I am a woman, they will do the latter. If they do the former, they confirm by their actions that they do not accept that I am a woman.

I am not arguing that the other woman has cis privilege, and is therefore less oppressed than I am, so I should be preferred this time. It is difficult to decide which of two people is more oppressed, and also, her oppression matters to me. I am arguing that if you deny me my place in women’s space, you are denying that I am a woman. If you say that anyone’s hurt is more important than my hurt, you are saying I am less valuable than that person. If you say that my presence threatens her because she has been hurt by men, you call me a man. I am not a man.

In a particular pagan Dianic ritual, those attending had to have uteruses, and had to have experienced menstruation. At a taster workshop on sexual reiki, the felicitator was actually concerned that I might feel excluded by her references to the uterus. I said I do not have a uterus, but I do have a hara. The chakra for creativity, behind the navel, has meaning for me. So I wonder why there was any need for the experience of menstruation, and whether a woman who had needed a hysterectomy before puberty would have been allowed to attend. Given the group leader’s use of the word “transies“, which has me spitting blood, I fear she might, and that the emphasis on bleeding was a pretext.

6 thoughts on “Genetic women only

  1. Your body is not who you are. I think it is normal to imagine what it is like to be a different gender, and I will admit that, yes, I have had fantasies where I imagine what it feels like to be a man being intimate with a woman. Women are beautiful and lovely, in many ways, and you are also a beautiful and lovely woman. I am sorry that people have made you feel that you do not belong in some “group” because you were not born with a uterus. I have a useless uterus that refuses to become pregnant; do you want it?

    Also, I have never felt that I fit in with groups of women. I tried so hard. I was always a loner, an outcast. I preferred the companionship of animals. Women are not always accepting of people who are different, and I always felt different too. I am so happy that I am now finding friends who are willing to accept me for the person I am. I had to lose some very good friends first, and that makes me sad, but it is worth it to me and I am glad that I am also able to be the kind of friend that I always wanted to have, and to be able to admit it without feeling like I am being arrogant. I am a good friend, and I am honored to be your friend.


  2. We seem to be programmed to exclude. On our good side we seem to be programmed to seek inclusion. Seek unity and love and acceptance. And then often as the newest members of the group fight any other element that might seek in and screw it up.

    That’s not pretty. Programming isn’t pretty. It can be elegant and effective but it’s not pretty.


    • Actually, I think the programming is a bodge, which helps us live in larger and larger communities. After world wars showing that out-group thinking is harmful, we grow beyond it. That is why equal marriage is so important in the US: it shows the people who would exclude, and call their bigotry “religious principle”, that they are Wrong.


  3. Too many people think of gender as biological and binary. Gender is a spectrum, and people can identify themselves to be anywhere along that spectrum. You and I both identify as women, and we deserve to be treated as such. We both feel like women.

    Being born with female genitalia doesn’t make me more of a woman than you. I wish all people could understand that “masculine” and “feminine” are equally valid in any person, no matter what’s happening inside their pants.


    • Welcome.

      Thank you for the affirmation, I internalise the disaffirmations, so it is good to hear it. I thought I could bear being called a “man” if there were no demands or expectations of what a “man” is or does or how he responds- but while there are, in me and generally, I am not a “man”. And making that Not OK makes no sense and does no good.


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