I am not very good at articulating things but I am going to try. Bear with me, please forgive my lack of communication skills. I want to talk about the unspoken issue of racism and bigotry surrounding claims of "transphobia" when women need women's spaces. 1.
I speak from personal experience. I work with a huge number of women from Islamic backgrounds. Due to their cultural and religious beliefs, they cannot participate in activities with male bodied ppl. Recently one of them organized a group exercise session in order to encourage 2
young girls and teens to get out and participate in sport. It was hard for her to find a space to rent that met their needs and some places turned her away for being WOMEN ONLY. At first, people would be sympathetic. Islamic girls needing a space was ok. They could have their 3
activity + the centre would allow it. Until they specified the participants had to be biological women only. Then people would start to hum and hah and say oh but what about the male bodied people who are women? At this point she would explain about how the girls could not 4
take off their scarves if they had male bodied people in the room. I called one of the places up on her behalf to find out the real story. As we chatted the woman dismissively said "oh but their religion is homophobic and they only have to wear scarves because of religion" 5.
So I said "ok, well, what about women who have been raped, or experienced domestic violence at the hands of men? What about the Hindi women's group that also meets here to exercise and not allow men?" Oh well, she said, it's just religion and they should accept they live here 6
now. Underlying all the concern and the care for these women and girls - many of them refugees, many of them from lower socio-economic areas without access to nice sports and pools and activities, underlying all the concern is a steely thread of racism, dressed up as being 7
allies for TRA's.
If I had not heard the words out of the woman's mouth myself I almost would not have believed it - but the fact is many of the woke brigade who will don a scarf or say "I'll stand by you" to women on international Hijab day will ride ROUGHSHOD over their same 8
women's rights as soon as it in ANY way impedes on trans rights. We don't talk about it because most of the time these women + girls simply stay away when a male bodied person who says they are a woman appears in their sport or their club or their change room. 9
I probably have not voiced what I am trying to say well. I don't have the education or the skills. But what I see is the hushed up side of the TWAW arguments, like the issues in Australia with McIver's baths. theguardian.com/australia-news… 10
Everybody is so busy bending over backwards to accomodate and ensure male bodied ppl who say they are women are not left out. The SAME people who cry about racism, intersectional feminism, World Hijab Day.... can't see those same women are excluded and their rights destroyed 11
by this "TWAW" narrative.
I wish more women would speak out about this. My friend says it is because they are already under attack for being Islamic / any religion / different cultural background. They don't want to get shot down for asking for their own space. But the time 12
is coming when everyone will have to speak up. I for one am sick of seeing marginalized women attacked for just wanting a small space. Remember it is not just Islamic women who have this issue - but it's the blatant racism and intolerance - islamophobia in fact, that irks. FIN

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