“Sisterhood is powerful. It kills. Mostly sisters.” -Ti-Grace Atkinson
Sisterhood is an uncomfortable word for me. I don’t have any female siblings, so the first time I found myself calling anyone “sister” was when I became involved in online radical feminist spaces. Unfortunately, it was not long before those “sisters” turned on me for befriending the wrong sort of people: transwomen.
After over a year of being stalked, mocked and misrepresented for the crime of feeling affection and respect for and partnering with the formerly be-penised, I am now wary of using the term “sister” for political allies, and anyway I wouldn’t call the transwomen I write with sisters, because it is a sexed term, and clarity of language is too important, what with the words “woman” and “female” being forcibly emptied of all meaning these days.
That said, what I feel with my transsexual male colleagues is very much akin to what I imagine real sisterhood is like. We provide each other comfort, praise and encouragement, but we also disagree, productively – pushing each other to be better. We make fun of each other’s differences, quirks and faults even as we simultaneous accept those differences, quirks and faults. I trust each of our hearts are in the right place. I trust we will protect each other’s privacy. I trust we will have each other’s backs.
Furthermore, this bond is never used against women. None of the transwomen in our group would ever force themselves into women’s spaces or language. In fact, they spend their time tirelessly defending women’s spaces and language, often more fiercely than many female people would dare – leveraging their male privilege for good, even at great personal cost (exile from their communities, loss of employment, threats of doxxing.)
Surely this kind of close, warm, secure and happy feeling between males and females is something to be celebrated? Surely it speaks to the fact that human souls are not sexed? That males and females are not doomed to be pitted against each other in sexualized power plays? That real friendship and partnership between males and females is possible? That selfless kindness and genuine nurturance can exist inside male bodies?
I have always accepted and defended the right of women to exclude males from their lives, including their politics. This blogpost is not aimed at feminist separatists.
This blogpost is aimed at the men of the Left who think supporting transwomen means forcing women to tell lies, accept abuse and subjugate ourselves. There is simply nothing “transgender” about males demanding coercive, abusive relationships with females. That is gender in a nutshell.
Instead, look at these males who so sincerely and extremely reject masculinity that they not only voluntarily shed the phallus (unlike the ~80% of self-labeled transwomen who love their penises) but who also build real, equal relationships with women based on truth and openness. Males who do not use their sex dysmorphia as an excuse to hide away from injustice, or even more egregiously, leverage that injustice for their own personal benefit – but who instead analyze and fight it, shoulder to shoulder with women. If only more Leftist men could accept these wonderful people as their fellow males. If only more Leftist men had hearts like the hearts of my transwomen comrades.