Inclusion rhetoric often ends up re-inscribing the norm, rather than challenging it. For example: When we say gender non-conforming & non-binary people need to be “included” in feminism what ends up happening is that the core paradigms which created the exclusion in the first place are left un-checked and the same paradigm is just expanded to incorporate a few different bodies. It’s not enough to include us, you have to shift your analysis to challenge the gender & sex binary. So often non-binary and GNC people are accused of being “politically correct” when we ask for recognition, but actually we are just being correct (period.) The reality is that people who are not women get abortions. People who are not women experience gender based violence. This is our lived experience, not some postmodern conspiracy. We are not asking for language that respects this as a matter of principle, but as a matter of profound truth. When you just speak about gender justice as just “women’s rights” you are not addressing all the people going through the very issues you profess to care about. Calling for language that reflects reality isn’t about erasing women — it’s about making the work more precise & effective for everyone. Feminism benefits from a recognition that the non-consensual gendering of everything — including pregnancy — is a root cause of so many feminist issues. Fighting patriarchy with the gender binary is like fighting fire with fire. It doesn’t work and it just makes the problem even more dire. Listen to intersex, non-binary, and gender non-conforming perspectives not just to learn about “our” issues, but your own! All people deserve bodily autonomy, including the right to name their own identities, bodies, and experiences. There is a double standard operating that needs to be named: when people with power call for recognition it’s not seen as political correctness, it’s seen as a logical demand. When those of us without power call for it, it’s seen as us being overly-sensitive & distracting from the greater cause. This is misogyny.
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