Our newest signatories (Update # 7)

Welcome to our newest signatories.  The total number of signatories to the Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism is now 733 individuals and 52 organizations — a total of 785 to date!

We will continue to accept new signatories, and update the list, so long as new people and organizations continue to want to sign on.  The easiest way to do so continues to be to post your name in one of the comment sections (rather than sending us an email), together with your affiliation/occupation/blog, etc., if you want to sign on in a“professional” capacity and be included in the updates.  We are just as grateful, however, for all the people who continue to express their personal support, by comment and by email, for a trans-inclusive feminism and womanism.

Thank you all, so very much.

The latest individual signatories can be seen here, and organizations here.


Not up for debate, and putting solidarity in action

This post was supposed to go up ages ago—ages ago!  And yet.  There was illness.  There was child-care.  There were jobs.  There was the pressing need to sleep.  And more than anything, there were the hundreds and hundreds of wonderful comments, emails, and messages from people around the world supporting this statement.

The response to this statement has been amazing! Over 765 feminists and womanists, individuals and groups, have made it known that they will brook no transphobia in their feminism and womanism (though we want to note that womanism has not had such a disturbing history in that regard, as far as we know), and that contrary to claims that have been made repeatedly, transphobic feminists do not speak for more than a tiny minority of feminists.  The response has been such that transphobic feminists had to sit up and take notice, and take notice they did, with a screed penned by Elizabeth Hungerford critiquing the statement.  Since then, we have heard that there is curiosity about how we will respond to it.

The answer is that we’re not going to respond to it.

We’re not interested in a debate with transphobic feminists.  We’re not interested in opening up a dialogue with them.  Apart from the fact that it would be nothing more than a waste of our time and energy, this is neither the time nor the place for it.  And here’s why:

1)      As far as we, the originators of the statement and the moderators of this blog are concerned, nothing in that statement is up for debate.  There is no debate to be had.  We would no more debate somebody claiming that trans* people had no right to their identities or to have the legitimacy of those identities and their lives respected than we would debate somebody claiming that gay and lesbian sexual orientations are “unnatural.”

2)      Transphobic feminists have not demonstrated that they represent  (at least any longer) a sufficiently significant segment of feminism for debate with them to be necessary.  Their statement was signed by 37 feminist thinkers and writers, some of whom have led the movement.  But despite their attempt in “Forbidden Discourse” to arrogate to themselves political authenticity and the authority to speak for the movement by the invocation of their status as ‘60s and ‘70s activists, they do not have that authority.  We don’t see their statements as relevant.  They will, in the words of one signatory, eat the dust of history.

3)      Transphobic feminists have spoken so vilely of trans* people, particularly of trans women, and so condescendingly of the cis women who support them, that we have no intention of engaging with anybody representing those views unless that person publicly disavows that sort of rhetoric and the people who use it.  The one of us who is a cis woman will not engage with anybody who dismisses her as a “handmaiden of the patriarchy” or “suffering from Stockholm syndrome.”  And we won’t sully this blog by repeating what they have said about trans women.

4)      Finally, and most importantly: THIS STATEMENT IS NOT FOR THEM.  It is not directed at them.  We are not interested in their reactions to it.  This statement is for us.  It is for trans* people to assert their right to feminism and womanism, should they want to; it is for cis feminists to apologize for what feminists have done to trans* people in the name of the movement; it is for trans* and cis feminists to say that we disagree with transphobic feminists in the strongest possible terms, and that there is a welcome and a home for trans* people in this movement if they want it; it is for feminists who don’t wish to let the transphobes speak for us.  Judging from the response to this statement, it looks like we reached our desired readers.

We really couldn’t possibly care less what transphobic feminists have to say about this statement.

All of us, cis and trans*, who want feminism to be trans-supportive can work individually wherever we are to help that happen, whether that involves raising children with an inclusive understanding of gender/sex, or making classrooms/departments supportive of trans* people, or blogging about the ways feminism can support trans* rights activism, or…fill in whatever you can do in your life.

But at least one of us was raised to believe that systemic problems need collective solutions.   The question is, what’s next?  What aspect of systemic transphobia—whether within feminism or the larger world–should be our priority?  And for that, we want to hear from our desired readers.  Where do you think we, cis and trans*, can do the most good/be the most effective?  How can we take the fantastic solidarity this statement has evoked, and transmute it into a co-ordinated campaign?

This is an International Effort

Deliberately so.   The Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism was written in New York City and London – by cis and trans women working together – and our intention from the beginning was for the support for the Statement to be as diverse as possible, geographically and otherwise.
Although the greatest number of signatories to date live in the United States and the United Kingdom, we do believe that we’ve been rather successful so far in working towards that goal of diversity.  As of the most recent update, our 764 signatories (including 716 individuals and 48 organizations) come from 38 39 different countries, located on six continents – all of them except Antarctica.  (Hey, you never know!)  For the majority of those countries, there are multiple signatories.  Here they are, in the order in which they appear on the original signatory list and the six updates so far:
United States
United Kingdom
The Netherlands
New Zealand
South Africa
Marshall Islands
The Philippines
Only about 155 countries to go!
Your Moderators

More signatories! (Update # 6)

Welcome to our newest signatories, covering the last two days (September 23 and 24, 2013).

We are pleased to add 52 individuals and 2 organizations/groups to the list.

Our current total is 716 individuals and 48 organizations, totaling 764 signatories in all!

Thank you so much, each and every one of you, as well as all the people who have expressed support in the comments.

New individual signatories are available here, and organizations here.

Your (almost) daily dose of signatories (Update # 5)

Please welcome our newest signatories: Individuals here, and organizations here.

Request for Translation Help

We have received an inquiry from an activist in France, asking if a French translation of the Statement is or will be available, so that the Statement can more easily be distributed there, and can have a greater impact.

We think it would be wonderful if that could be made to happen, and are asking for a volunteer.  If there is anyone among you who is fluent in both French and English and is willing to undertake such a translation, we will be extremely grateful.  If more than one person wants to get involved, perhaps you can share the task.  If you’re interested, please send us an email at feministsfightingtransphobia1@gmail.com to let us know.

Thank you!

Better Late Than Never — We’re at 650! (Update # 4)

We apologize sincerely for the delay in putting up the new signatories from the last two days, but there are only two moderators/administrators at present, and (although we are hardly complaining about the task; we’re delighted!), going through all the emails and comments that come in — the overwhelming majority of which, we’re happy to say, have been extremely supportive — can take some time.

But we are now very pleased to announce the addition of 113 new signatories to the Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism (101 individuals, and 12 additional organizations).  Our grand total is now precisely 650 signatories (611 individuals and 39 organizations, from around the world) — nearly 550 of them added in the four-day period since this past Monday afternoon.

Thank you so very much for your continued and enthusiastic support, and welcome to all of you!

New individual signatures are available here, and organizations here.

A slight break

Just a note to say that today was a slight break enforced by me not feeling very well–but signatures are continuing to come in and we must be well up over 600 by now!  I expect to be fine tomorrow, so look for another update on signatories then.  Sorry about today.  And some more substantial brainstorming is in the works as well!

Welcome to our our newest signatories! (Update # 3)

We are so pleased with the continuing outpouring of support for the collective Statement of Trans-Inclusive Feminism and Womanism.  We never dreamed that there would be this kind of response, and have been overwhelmed.  It’s wonderful!

This list covers new signatories for the period between about 10 pm EST on Tuesday, September 17, and 10 pm EST today, Wednesday, September 18.  There are about 126 additional individual signatories, and 11 additional organizations.  That brings our “grand total” to 537 — 510 individuals and 27 organizations (give or take a few — it’s hard to keep track of the exact numbers!) . Every one of them is so important, and we are so grateful.

And we are equally grateful for all the support from people who didn’t have an affiliation or other “professional” description they wanted to list, but have expressed their personal support in the comment sections.  Thank you so much, all of you.

New individual signatures are available here, and organizations here.

Six hours later…we have a new signatory list! (Update # 2)

We have been deluged with signatories, and we are so happy!  And that title is not an exaggeration, by the way…I just spent six hours putting this post together!  It’s amazing, the support we’re seeing.

And I want to say that we’ve received emails from more than one trans* person telling us how long they’ve waited for a statement like this to appear, for feminism to welcome them.  Your support matters–it is making a difference already.

So, without further ado, here is the newest list.  I have to admit that I have completely lost count of how many there are, but at a rough estimate, I’d say we got a couple hundred signatures today. [Actual total of new signatures today: 231 additional individuals, 9 additional organizations.  Grand total as of 10 pm EST today: 384 individuals, 17 organizations.  So:  401 signatories!  From 26 countries.]

Some people are famous (Tamora Pierce!  I grew up reading her books!  What a thrill to hear from her!); most of us are not.  Many are academics, many are bloggers, many are activists, some are teachers or librarians or performers.  We can all make the spheres we’re in more welcoming to and supportive of trans* people.  And again, we wish that we could make our parents proud and send each and every person a thank-you card.  But I think that might take at least another six hours, so please just be sure that we are grateful for everybody.  Every single person.

New individual signatures are available here, and organizations here.