Dear Feminists of the Tax Justice Network

27Mar19

In response to joint statement on trans-solidarity on behalf of feminists for fiscal justice, tax and economic policies.

Dear Kate, Chiara, David, Liz, Fariya, Caroline, Neelanaja, Yamini, Ana, and Roosje

We all agree that no one should have their right to liberty, security or life violated by violence. People should not face discrimination in access to healthcare, work or housing because of the way they dress, because they have a health condition, because they may have had plastic surgery or take medication or because they believe, or disbelieve, in the idea of innate gender identity. 

But I disagree with your statement that the class of people with the type of body that has the capacity* to produce ova and to gestate a foetus does not need a name, nor any analysis or political movement, or specific protection for their rights. 

I still find it flabbergasting that this is promoted and accepted (by some) as a feminist idea.

I am talking about the half of the population who will menstruate, and therefore need access to privacy and sanitation in order to complete school and to travel beyond their homes, who need access to contraception and abortion, healthcare in pregnancy and birth, support and accommodation for breastfeeding.  This is the class of people who are most often victims of sexual assault, which is carried out in the vast majority of cases by people with the other type of body (and which brings with it risk of pregnancy). 

People with this type of body are on average, and at the extremes, less strong, less fast and smaller than the other type of human and thus face specific risks, have different capacities in relation to sport and need (but often do not get) specific consideration in design of safety equipment and medicine.

In lower income countries children with this type of body are less likely to complete primary or secondary education, and with each year of education missed they are more likely to give birth while still children themselves. Early childbearing, higher total fertility and lower educational attainment reduce their earning power, and this in turn affects their power and voice within households.

Around the world this class of people undertake the majority work in raising children. Their working lives outside the home and their financial welfare are disproportionately impacted by parenthood and care. Historically they have been considered second class citizens; wards of their father and then of their husband, not fully legally or financially autonomous.  If they do not or cannot fulfil this social role they face censure that is specific to people with this body type.  In some countries they are still legally excluded from passing citizenship on to their children, from driving, from inheriting property. They are restricted by religious codes and by laws. Here is a map of when they got the right to vote.

Suffrage

As feminists you say that this class of people no longer needs a  name?

You say that we should ignore the ““biological” sex binary” because it “bears no relation to gendered patterns of economic, social and political exclusion”.

You say that there is no need for an analysis which focuses on the specific risks and issues that affect the half the world that has this type of body, (and their relation with the other half) because you say any such analysis “bears no relation to modern scientific understandings of the expression of sexual differentiation”.

I find these statements impossible to agree with (and I find it hard to believe that you really believe in them).

Why are you discarding the evidence of the masses of studies (including by your own organisations) which look at binary, sex differentiated data and find that people with the ova-producing type of body are disadvantaged in society, and have different outcomes from those with the sperm producing type of body – in education, employment, crime, health, access to finance, economic welfare? Why are you discarding analysis which considers the power structures that have developed to secure paternity by controlling the lives of people with the ova-producing types of body? Why is it not important to notice that people with the sperm producing type of bodies remain disproportionately represented in the upper echelons of politics, business, government, religion and every institution of power, and people with the ova-producing type of bodies are disproportionately represented in the low-paid jobs of cleaning, catering and care?

Without words or analysis how can we talk about this?  How is it feminist not to talk about this? I think you have given away too much in the name of solidarity.

[* If all things are working  -none of this excludes from this sex category people with this body type who have disorders of sexual development, or who are infertile, or have had organs removed, or who are pre-pubescent or post-menopausal]



One Response to “Dear Feminists of the Tax Justice Network”


  1. 1 Dear Feminists of the Tax Justice Network – Radfem Research Archives: "TERF" Edition

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