I’ve been thinking about one of the arguments that radfems make about trans women not being real women. This being the argument where they say “Well, you weren’t born a woman, so you don’t have the same experiences as ‘real’ women.” Because, as we all know, biological cis women all have uniform life experiences. From the rural girl in an Egyptian town, to the girl in an affluent family in Sao Paulo. All the same, down to the minutiae.
But here’s the thing that I want to point out. As many of you know, I’ve been out as a trans person in every aspect besides work for months. And it’s gone well. Well now, as of two weeks ago, I’ve gotten a new job. And obviously, I’m a woman and I’m seen as a woman at work as well. And I’m seen as a cis woman, so far as I know.
And I have experienced plenty of things that, according to radfems, are reserved for biological cis women. Now I’m not speaking of experiences that you have to have a working female reproductive system to experience. But anyone will tell you, those aren’t what make a woman. Women that can’t have children are still women.
What I’ve experienced are the negative aspects of being a woman in the workplace. Especially a male dominated field.
I work in tech support. I am the only girl in my hiring group of 17 people. I make a whole dollar less than everyone else. I have gotten reactions from surprise to disdain for even working in this field. I have gotten the reaction of ‘Oh my god, this woman actually knows stuff.’ I have had the wonderful privilege of sitting around seventeen men, including our trainer, talking about how good they need to treat women to get laid. Listening to them make jokes about how ‘it’s not rape if you yell surprise’ or ‘you can’t rape the willing’, as I sat there and tried not to cry. And I have been unable to say anything about any of these issues, from the pay to the grossly inappropriate ‘jokes’, because I’m afraid I will lose my job. I’m afraid of being that overreacting girl. Of ‘taking things too seriously’. Because as a girl, I’m over-emotional and my feelings mean less and should be taken less seriously.
Two weeks I’ve been here.
I wasn’t born with a vagina. I wasn’t born with XX chromosomes. But I was born as a girl. My gender identity, the core of who I am and what my gender is, is female. And I experience the same things as some other females. I experience things that other females will not. But you can not say that any of my experiences equate to me being less of a woman.