SDL’s Anti-TERF Stance
Trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) ideology threatens our feminism, puts trans and non-binary people in danger, and makes our collective liberation impossible. As a Black, Indigenous, and womxn of color collective, Sister Diaspora for Liberation publicly denounces trans-exclusionary movements and people who support them.
For SDL, exclusive and radical cancel each other out. There is nothing radical about exclusion. Movements can’t call themselves feminists and be anti-trans because they’re holding up patriarchal definitions of gender and sex.
Patriarchal systems are upheld by a gender binary. They are upheld by reducing womxn to the use of their reproductive organs and the control of their bodies. Is being a womxn about what we wear? Is it about whether or not we can produce children? Is it about the roles we are supposed to play or who we have sex with? Most feminists in TERF groups would disagree with these statements. If we went by the constructs exclusionists have we would only be playing into misogyny and the limitations these systems have tried to push onto us for hundreds of years. The very notion of trans-exclusion reinforces systems of patriarchy and oppression of womxn as it focuses on policing gender and sex.
TERF ideology is transmisogyny as it mostly targets trans womxn and transfeminine people. TERF ideology believes trans womxn should be excluded from womxn-only spaces because they aren’t “biologically female” and therefore don’t experience “sex-based” oppression. This idea that those assigned female at birth all experience gendered oppression does not take into account different experiences in gender such as race, class, sexuality, disability, and more. Womxn’s oppression can’t be reduced to only specific anatomical elements.
Trans women and transfeminine people face higher rates of violence, homelessness, poverty, sexual assault, and healthcare discrimination.TERF ideology contributes to this by pushing for “sex-segregated” spaces. SDL does not sex-segregate. All of our Black, Indigenous, and Womxn of color spaces are open to trans womxn, transfeminine people, and non-binary people. SDL believes groups and places that require invasive policing of womxn’s bodies, both to cisgender and trans people, are anti-feminist and violent.
Similarly to how white supremacy needs to be dismantled by white people, transphobia needs to be dismantled by cisgender folks. Dismantling systems of oppression should be the work of those who have benefited from it. To create room for the healing of those that have been harmed by them.
SDL is a trans inclusive collective who commits to the following:
- Centering the voices of trans womxn and transfeminine people
- Taking on the labor on trans womxn’s issues
- Collectively educating one another and unlearning gendered biases
- Acknowledging that not all womxn share any given biological/anatomical trait or experience and understanding that the “sex binary” is a product of colonialism created to oppress trans, queer, gender-non-conforming people, people of color, and womxn.
- Actively rejecting TERF ideology.
As a collective comprised of womxn from all different identities and backgrounds, we know deeply that we all have different experiences of womxnhood- there is no singular definition of what it means to be a womxn and we are all the more stronger when we acknowledge these differences, when we embrace them, and use them to build power to liberate us all and leave no one behind. The liberation of our trans sisters means liberation for us all- there is nothing more feminist than rejecting the notion that the bodies we were born into dictate who we have to be.