Media and Arts

Not one moment of my life has ever been “cis”

As a rape victim and domestic abuse survivor, I know too well the visceral reality of existing in a female body. Erasing womanhood as the unique experience, both painful and joyful, that it is only deepens misogyny and endangers our rights and safety. In the US, women still don’t have constitutional equality! Sex-based rights are specific, distinct and sacrosanct.

Men who grow up with male privilege will never know what it is to be a woman. They have their own struggles. We have ours. If you don’t think abusive men will take advantage of trans self ID laws, then you truly erase women’s lived experiences and oppression.

Even without the opportunists, women shouldn’t have to justify why we deserve our OWN rights and spaces. You would never demand a PoC justify their need for race based rights or race based organizations.

I have been vocal on social media and with friends. In public conversations I object to being called cis or being forced to declare my pronouns. Cis implies a privilege women cannot experience. Cis erases the struggle women face to rebel against and defy gender stereotypes, roles, and behavior. Not one moment of my life has ever been “cis.”

I have been harassed online, usually by liberal men. Most recently, a progressive male spent the night berating me online, mansplaining womanhood to me, calling me a bad feminist, and telling me that female oppression didn’t matter compared to trans males’ feelings.

More frighteningly though, I have had professional contacts in the political world sever ties and support for me over my objection to trans athletes in women’s sports. This not only bullied and silenced me amongst work colleagues, but it also means I lost out on work recommendations from them when I was looking for a job.

María, Indigenous American, asylum immigrant, mixed race female, rape victim, US