Pink “Pussy Caps,” art installations of glitter writing on pads, anthropomorphized uterus puppets, drawings of vagina dentata—These are some of the things I have seen around the Women’s Marches of the past year. The problem with this sort of extensive rhetoric around genitalia, childbearing etc. is how it excludes transgender women, non-binary, and intersex people while overlooking shared political concerns with transgender men.
Simply put, not all women have vaginas, not all people with vaginas are women. The experience of being a woman cannot be characterized or reduced to one’s genitals, and by ignoring this, privileged white feminists exclude the transgender people who are hurt the most by the current administration.
Reproductive health is a very serious issue threatened by our capitalist healthcare system, it’s not just a women’s issue. Transmen and masculine non-binary people menstruate, see specialists for uterine health, and experience a great deal of sexual harassment and assault.
While I do not believe there is any kind essential feature that makes one a woman outside of holding womanhood as your gender identity, I do think there is a near-universal experience transwomen, ciswomen, and non-binary femmes: how our bodies are political. Whether it is the experience of being shamed for your form, being unable to access menstraul products, having your life-giving medication excluded by your health insurance, or having genitals that exclude you from women’s spaces, our oppression and our trauma is inseparable from our bodies.
Let us march for a place our bodies can belong.