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A love letter to all CAMAB women who were coerced into reading trans misogyny or simply doubted themselves when they woke up this morning:
Today is International Women’s Day 2012, and this is our day as CAMAB women as it is a day for all CAFAB women, too. We join and are joined together to face down oppression against our very many and varied existences.
As women, we know the same social, institutional, and legal harm. We know that men, misogyny, and kyriarchy place us where they want to, and sometimes that means violence against our community, our bodies, our hearts, our minds, and our spirits.
CAMAB women, you are powerful from within.
CAMAB women, you signify the vanguard in agency over one’s own body. What you affirm when you manage its morphology on your own terms works toward making all women have the same affirmation over their bodies without fear of it being pontificated, policed, or penalized by others — that the means to speak for what works best for your survival as a woman is not to be criminalized, sanctioned, or judged under any circumstance.
CAMAB women, you are fighting for equity in its most plain meaning because no one is going to give it to you (and certainly not at a love-disguised, trans execratory rally hidden up in the Midwest American woods).
CAMAB women, you are speaking to the autonomy over self, over being, and over personhood for all as a beautiful paean to social justice. Your resistance to control by others over you shines a beacon that not only are all people valid, but that all women are valid — that while feminism is the crazy notion that women are people, trans feminism is the crazy notion that women come in different containers.
CAMAB women, your tireless work of surviving, stabilizing, and trying to heal the hurt helps to improve the safety of all women — that those who will try to hurt us as women will begin to leave us be and respect the space we carve for ourselves as some women may indeed know skills, drilled into them under repression, which can defend every woman (and will make every man think twice before hurting another woman ever again).
CAMAB women, you are the kind face of dignity — before the face of misogyny generally and, because that isn’t enough, trans misogyny specifically (even sometimes from other CAFAB and CAMAB women). Because the root of all misogyny is a revulsion of the feminine on a body and in how one articulates that in this social world — both the masculine femininities as well as the feminine femininities (and all others throughout) on both the CAFAB bodies as well as the CAMAB ones, too.
CAMAB women, we are few and we have long been held away from one another by misogynist gatekeeping men and trans misogynist women alike. CAMAB women, we are few but we are surviving. CAMAB women, we may sometimes be shy but we are reaching out. CAMAB women, we may be abused, but we now strive to heal. CAMAB women, we are forcibly made to be alone, but we have the courage to begin to stand together. CAMAB women, we bring each other strength when we listen to and honour one another’s narratives. CAMAB women, we build respect for ourselves and for one another when we mobilize together.
CAMAB women, this trans revolution will not be streamed. CAMAB women, we are no less valid than anyone else. CAMAB women, we are trans enough and we are women enough.
This International Women’s Day, CAMAB women, is for you, because you are an unqualified woman, full-stop. No one will ever — ever — be able to rob that from you, try whatever abuses (even the sweet-laced ones in a purple drank) they may force onto you without your consent. The days of those abuses must now end. NOW. As women, let’s help make that happen.