March 5, 2021

500 women and 80 feminist groups sign a manifesto in favor of gender self-determination and the rights of transgender people


Slightly more than 500 women and some 80 feminist groups have signed a manifesto that was published this Wednesday in which they position themselves in favor of the rights of trans people and the approval of a law that guarantees gender self-determination and “remedies the normative helplessness “in which the group finds itself. The signatories consider that feminism “cannot be used to question the rights of trans people “ and they defend that granting them “is not a gesture against women”, but rather “deepens and broadens democracy, improves our society and strengthens our fight against gender norms that limit us.”

The manifesto is made public amid a debate that has intensified in recent months and that divides the feminist movement in relation to for approval by the Ministry of Equality of the so-called ‘Trans Law’, with which Irene Montero has committed and whose draft is being finalized. The norm foresees including measures against transphobia in various areas and promoting the depathologization of transsexuality and gender self-determination, which implies eliminating the medical requirements that the State requires of these people to modify their sex in the Civil Registry. Against this a sector of feminism stands, which argues, among other things, that authorizing it implies the “loss of the protection of specific rights against oppression based on sex.”

On the contrary, women –and also some men–, and groups that subscribe to the text, which they have called ‘Feminists for the rights of trans people’, believe that “neither the existence nor the rights of trans companions put us in danger “and highlight” the stigma and discrimination “that” they face on a daily basis in many areas of their lives. ” Their presence, they continue, “does not make our spaces less safe, but rather makes us stronger and freer. We do not need anyone to come and watch what it is to be a woman. We want, on the contrary, to expand its meaning and the possibilities of living in different ways without fitting into the patterns pre-established by the patriarchy. ”

Among the 500 signatories are feminist activists, lawyers, researchers, writers and women from all walks of life who vindicate the role of “trans companions” in the feminist movement, which “has been enriched by their contributions for decades and could not be understood without your participation”. Among the groups that subscribe to it are organizations such as Ca la Dona, FeministAlde, the Madrid Feminist Assembly, Catholics for the Right to Decide, Jornaleras de Huelva en Lucha or the 8M Tenerife Platform. It is also supported by some LGTBI associations such as LGTBI + Teachers or Kifkif.

Against “the insulting tone” of the debate

The law that Equality is working on, for which trans people have historically fought, plans to modify the one currently in force, of 2007. This requires them to have a psychological report that diagnoses them “gender dysphoria” and to have been at least two years in hormonalization to change its registration mention. A process that many describe as “pathologizing” and a paradigm, that of considering transsexuality as a disease, that several international organizations have asked to overcome. Nine communities in Spain, in fact, have approved in recent years regulations that eliminate these requirements for the areas of their competence. In this sense, the manifesto is positioned against these demands and the fact that “a medical device that historically has served to label rebellious women as sick who went outside the norm, decides on the identity of trans people.” Feminism, they add, “has never allied itself with medical and social devices that violate our freedoms and it will not do so now.”

The text also denounces “the insulting tone and the contempt that is used, especially in social networks” against trans people. “We believe that the debate strengthens the feminist movement. But it is difficult to reflect on complex issues when we are forced to defend the most basic: the existence and dignity of the people.” They consider that the debate, sometimes very violent, “is not only theoretical or inoffensive, but that it contributes to increasing the levels of violence experienced by trans people, in particular trans women, and indirectly legitimizes this violence.”

The current rule that the Government plans to modify also excludes minors, something which the Constitutional Court has declared unconstitutional, and to foreigners without Spanish nationality. In this sense, the signatories add: “We want a society in which people do not feel the pressure to comply with gender rigidity, which admits the diverse and transforming variables of the feminine and masculine. However, we also need to equip ourselves adequate mechanisms to support the autonomy of children and their right to fully develop it. Feminism cannot turn its back on these realities or contribute to worsening the quality of life of children. ”

“We feminist women”, they conclude, “support the drafting and approval of a law that guarantees transgender people their right to gender self-determination, that remedies the normative neglect in which they find themselves and that eliminates the inequality to which they are face today. ” The rules “will not end discrimination overnight”, but they are “an essential first step to make it disappear.” Thus, they declare themselves defenders of “a diverse, inclusive, intersectional and overflowing feminism” that “travels this path hand in hand with our trans companions.”

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