It’s transphobic because cis people aren’t oppressed for being cis.
Samantha Peterson

First, thank you for responding.

You bring up being born with a uterus that doesn’t work. Then is that group going to include trans men with non-functioning uteri?

Does said transman see his uterus as a uterus and doesn’t cause him dysphoria? Does he desire it to be functioning?

If the answer is “yes,” then he would fit in with the group in question. My understanding is that the vast majority of transmen would just as soon have their uterus removed (or at least take hormones that keep it from doing the rest of its job) than desire it to work, because its functioning causes them dysphoria.

You’re right that there are exceptions to everything, though, and such a transman would be the exception to the generality that a present but non-functioning uterus (with the desire for it to be functioning) is unique to ciswomen. Generalities are not and never will be exact, and when talking in generalities, one can only work with the way the majority go. Generally speaking, with the exceptions being a subset of a subset of a subset, a present but non-functioning uterus with a desire for it to be functioning is an experience unique to ciswomen.

There are also cis women born completely without uteri as opposed to having one that doesn’t function. Shouldn’t that group include trans women?

If “that group” is/includes “women born without a uterus,” then yes. There are differences between “non-functioning” and “non-existent,” regardless of gender identification.

That’s precisely why I chose the wording that I did. A transman who had a miscarriage should be welcomed in a miscarriage support group, because the group is about the experience of carrying a pregnancy and losing it.

Women who are born with a present but non-functioning uterus need different support than women (yes, including trans women) born without a uterus at all. And that is not to say that there can’t be groups that encompass both situations, just that a group shouldn’t be forced to do so.

Trans women experience many of the same things as cis women, and suffer many of the same societal ills.

And in the groups where those experiences are shared, they should be inclusive of one another. To not be so would be transphobic, because the exclusion is solely because of one’s gender identification (as opposed to one’s ability to experience). For example, a women’s rape or assault survivors group should include both cis and trans women (likewise, a men’s rape/assault survivors group should include cis and trans men; and a more general rape/assault survivors group should be inclusive regardless of gender identification).

There are no struggles unique to white people. The whole world is literally our safe space. It’s the same for cis people.

I disagree. Their needs are different, but when it comes to hard topics, the “unoppressed” are largely denied conscious safe spaces, for exactly the reason you state here.

Feminism frequently says that sexism hurts men, too (which, to me, means that in a twisted way, the “unoppressed” (men in this case) do experience oppression; it’s by no means the same level as what’s experienced by other groups, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and doesn’t need addressed, and to claim that such doesn’t exist because it’s not as bad as what others suffer is fallacious). For example, sexism is the reason people (speaking in generalities again) think men can’t be raped (in fact, it was only recently that US rape laws even allowed for male rape victims). As a result, men who have been raped are frequently left without a support group, because most rape survivor groups don’t want them, and the vast majority of male rape victims don’t report it for numerous reasons.

Regarding white people and safe spaces, I’m actually in favor of what are known as “racial caucuses” or “affinity groups”, which are safe spaces for discussing racial issues and processing various events in a moderated setting. Yes, these groups are for white people as well as people of color, and in both cases, they are separated for the sake of both groups.

“The whole world” is only a cisperson’s or white person’s “safe space” in the sense that they can be ignorant of how their actions affect other people and that ignorance doesn’t really actively harm them (or any backlash that comes as a result is mitigated by the sheer number of other opportunities). That’s not what I’m talking about, though.

I’m talking about groups that are specifically designed for the support of the experiences related to one or more particular demographic configurations. In the case of groups for the non-oppressed demographic, it may be more for them to process things without exposing the relevant oppressed group to the harm of dealing with that processing, and frees the non-oppressed to speak without the fear of accidentally saying something that harms or offends a member of the oppressed group. (ie — I don’t want to harm the people of a given oppressed demographic, but in order to process and learn, I may need to ask questions that may upset members of said demographic, out of unknowing; therefore, while I could go through that process out in the open thanks to being a member of a non-oppressed demographic, doing so would upset said members, so I’d rather do it in a more controlled environment, where the people teaching/moderating have volunteered to do so and know what they’re getting into; however, I’m forced to do so in the open, because my options are: in the open where I’ll likely upset a great many people, or at home or similar private settings that are unmoderated and may or may not contain people willing or equipped to moderate or teach, because society at large has said “that demographic point that you possess is not considered oppressed, therefore you don’t need a safe space on that front.”)

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Shauna Gordon’s story.