Five social battles that both cis and trans women are fighting

Cis and trans women have a lot in common, even where we differ there are threads of commonality that bind us together.

In the wake of the second Women’s March, I think it’s always a good time to remind ourselves of the unity we share. Especially when the strategy of our opponents is to divide and conquer. Here is a list of five areas where cis and trans women can find common ground despite different specifics.

This is hardly a comprehensive list and one that tries to draw the broadest of strokes possible. When you factor in the intersectionality of things like race, income, religious background, ability, or a number of other things the list grows.

The list is also not listed in any kind of priority it’s just that the internet loves lists.

5. Medical agency over our bodies

What cis women are fighting for

Reproductive rights are one of the biggest medical battles cis women are fighting. It includes access to a whole suite of care options from birth control to abortion. Depending on where you live the specifics may be different but in broad strokes fall into similar categories. Largely it boils down to access and agency. Cis women want to be in charge of their bodies and they want access to the healthcare they need.

What trans women are fighting for

Access to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), trans sensitive Doctors, and access to Gender Confirmation Surgery (GCS) are just some medical specific battles trans women are fighting. Depending on where you live the specifics may be different but in broad strokes, they fall into similar categories. Largely it boils down to access and agency. Trans women want to be in charge of their bodies and they want access to the healthcare they need.

Where we are the same

We’re both seeking agency over our own bodies from a medical standpoint and we both want access to healthcare. Depending on where you live and along with a number of other intersectional vectors, such as but not limited to, race, age, or income, the specifics may vary. On a general level though we’re both seeking agency and access.

Here’s another way to explain it: Just because I was born without a uterus doesn’t mean that I won’t fight tooth and nail for you to have agency over yours. In exchange, you can show up to fight for our access to HRT or GCS.

4. Sexual Assault

What cis women are fighting for

Not to be sexually assaulted. Based on a Statistics Canada survey in 2014 there were 553,000 self-reported sexual assaults in Canada in 2014. (source link)

What trans women are fighting for

Not to be sexually assaulted. Depends on which study you look at but somewhere between 45 percent and 60 percent of trans women have been sexually assaulted. (source link)

Where we are the same

No one should be sexually assaulted ever. Cis and trans men can also be victims of sexual assault, however, because the number of survivors is so much more proportionally high amongst women the issue has particular significance.

Simply put our interests are the same here.

3. Political Representation

What cis women are fighting for

With only 88 out of 338 seats in Canada’s House of Commons, Canada’s women are not represented proportionally.

What trans women are fighting for

With no trans or non-binary MPs, all trans and non-binary people are not represented proportionally (about one or two percent of the total population is trans or non-binary).

Where we are the same

That’s not acceptable and it’s something many women, cis and trans alike are working to change. The 88 women in office now are the highest percentage ever. Next time it will be more.

2. Gender Equality

What cis women are fighting for

Equal opportunity for participation in society.

What trans women are fighting for

Equal opportunity for participation in society.

Where we are the same

Gender is a spectrum between the poles of male and female. While equality under the law exists pretty consistently, equality in practice doesn’t. That means everything from pay, work opportunities, influence on community affairs etc., is not equal in opportunity or compensation.

1. Poverty

What cis women are fighting for

Women tend to make up the majority of service work and low-paid work positions. Typically in single family households, they are also primary, or the only caregiver to one or more children, and increasingly elderly parents. The majority of people living in poverty in Canada are women.

What trans women are fighting for

Due to a plethora of intersectional issues, many trans people live in poverty.

Where we are the same

Again poverty is one of those things that no one should have to suffer. However, it exists and it disproportionately impacts women, trans and cis.


There are always those that will try to divide but I’d like to think there is more we have in common.

Support the sisterhood not the cisterhood.