Equality is not something that has a limited supply and we need to stop treating it like it is.

I already wrote a blog about my multiple issues with the attack on Lia Thomas, the first (known) transgender woman to win an NCAA Division One Championship. But, that was more focused on sports.

https://medium.com/illumination/you-dont-care-about-the-equality-of-women-s-sports-you-re-just-transphobic-55e0146ba25d

But, the more I read through Twitter feeds and angry messages from women, spouting transphobic language, misgendering Lia, and denying the rights, womanhood, and humanity of all transgender people, the more disgusted I became.

Unfortunately, feminists (white, middle-class, cisgender, and straight primarily) have fought for equality while simultaneously denying the right to the same for others. The argument that transgender women somehow infringe on what “womanhood” entails is not a new argument.

We have seen this in the past (and current) in regards to race and sexuality. We have seen (white) feminists argue against the right for Black women to have the right to vote, access to abortion, or equal pay (among so many other things). We have seen this as straight women argued that queer women of any manner were somehow infringing or derailing women’s equality by their right to marry or live free of fear of persecution or violence.

Now, we’re seeing it with transgender women, who are subsequently denied their womanhood as if it is in limited supply. First, transgender women are women. The argument that they are not heavily relies on the idea that transgender women do not face the biological implications of womanhood, such as menstrual cycles or pregnancy.

But, not all cis-gender women go through this either, are we denying their womanhood too?

Equality is not a limited supply. Equality is something that all deserve. If your push for equality relies on the oppression of others, then it is not equality. If my equality, as a white, cis-gender, middle-class woman comes at the hands of the oppressions of others, I don’t want it. I already have my privileges and refuse to gain more on the basis of others being denied.

I have more rights, more privileges, and more opportunities than so many other people. That’s my priority and responsibility to fight to change before I go searching for more of my own.

It is disheartening, and frankly, sickening to watch as so many “feminists” deny the rights of others in order to maintain their own. Feminism, as are all core social movements, are supposed to be based on the collective conscience of womanhood. But, who are we to define what that means to someone?

Who are we to define what “makes a woman.” Am I less than a woman because I have not, and will not, be having children? Am I less than a woman because I work? Am I less than a woman if I didn’t?

We must stop this continuous pattern of fighting for equality on the backs of the oppressed. Equality comes only when everyone can have it. When everyone can be treated fairly not based on the color of their skin, their sexuality, or their gender identity, that’s when the word equal will truly mean something. That should be the goal. That should be what we all are fighting for.