Trans-Exclusionary Feminism is Right Wing

S Aufrecht

We note … the leveraging of the fear that an inclusive and compassionate system will merely be exploited by those who are not the intended beneficiaries, whether ‘benefits scroungers’, ‘bogus asylum seekers’, or ‘fake’ trans women. We note the resonances of another argument that is sometimes made against inclusivity with regard to trans women: namely the argument that inclusion entails further reducing the already-limited resources and positions available for women, such as spaces in women’s refuges (compare: ‘putting a strain on our NHS’) or places on all-women shortlists for desired roles (compare: ‘taking our jobs’). We note the tendency, in both cases, to portray what are in fact profoundly disempowered groups as threatening to subjugate and overrun us, and to suggest that the ‘real’ victims – whether cis women or the ‘white working class’ – are being overlooked and not listened to while others monopolise the mantle of the ‘oppressed’.

To those who say that linking feminist concerns to wider political struggles is over-ambitious or naïve, and that we should content themselves with fighting for a greater share of the scraps for women – or for ‘females’ – we would reply … that the current political moment – a moment in which neoliberalism is widely agreed to be in crisis and new movements have emerged across Europe in opposition to austerity – is not a moment for feminists to narrow the scope of their ambitions or to make enemies of fellow sufferers.

—Lorna Finlayson et al, Verso1


  1. Finlayson, Lorna, Jenkins, Katharine, and Worsdale, Rosie. (2018-Oct-17). “I’m not transphobic, but…”: A feminist case against the feminist case against trans inclusivity. Verso. Retrieved from https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/4090-i-m-not-transphobic-but-a-feminist-case-against-the-feminist-case-against-trans-inclusivity