“Welcome to Womanhood”

Dear Cis Women,

When a trans woman is complaining about men, sexual harassment, misogyny, and/or sexism, NEVER reply with, “Welcome to Womanhood”.

First of all, we don’t need welcoming. We’ve always been here, and your entitlement to believe you have the authority to welcome us to womanhood in the first place is a sign that your cissexism is showing.

Secondly, do you honestly believe we haven’t been putting up with sexism our entire lives? Do you believe our lives were all sunshine and rainbows until we threw on a skirt? Because I think just about all of us have childhood stories that could destroy that belief if you really want to listen. Sexism isn’t new for trans women, but acknowledging and talking about the sexism we experience might be.

And finally, what kind of fucked up message are you trying to convey here? That our “choice” to be women means we implicitly consent to putting up with everything patriarchy throws at us? That we should be grateful for being mistreated because it means we “pass”? That our outrage at injustice is somehow cute or amusing to you because you’re so advanced in feminism discussions compared to us?

Cis girls grow up being able to talk about sexism with the other girls and women in their lives. Trans girls can’t do that without inadvertently outing ourselves growing up, so many of us learned to be silent our whole lives about the trauma we’ve faced. Not only that, but thanks to a lifetime of internalized transmisogyny (which you’ve never experienced) we already feel as though our oppression as women is somehow less “authentic” than yours.

So the worst possible thing you could do when she’s mustered up the trust and courage to share her struggles with you is to be flippant about it. If you wouldn’t say it to a cis-ter, why would you say it to us?

Published by

Dori Mooneyham

Dori Mooneyham is a psychology student at Texas Woman's University specializing in queer youth and their families. As a feminist, trans woman, and lesbian, she offers many unique insights and perspectives not often seen in the academic world.

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