A transphobe said #LetWomenSpeak at an event they hosted recently, so I did. I posted a Tweet asking for women to tell me what’s important to them. At time of writing its been around 24 hours and I’ve received over 200 responses.
Anti-trans activists have long positioned themselves as defenders of women and womanhood. One such anti trans activist who has been working this grift especially hard is creator of the “adult human female” t-shirt and billboard campaigns, Posie Parker (also known as Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull).
Rather notoriously, Kellie-Jay has called for the sterilisation of “women who call themselves men”, hoped for pregnancy to cause fatal complications in transgender women, suggested to “men who carry [guns]” in the US that they should police women’s bathrooms to protect from trans people and so many other genuinely terrible and awful things that it would take a whole article to fully dissect and discuss.
This isn’t that article, this article is the one where we take Kellie-Jay’s advice and we let women speak – but not just the women she personally approves of. I asked on Twitter – selection bias beware – for women to tell me what’s important to them. You can find the full thread here and below you can find the first 100 responses.
- Having to move away from the state where I’ve lived for 25 years because my state government has made it unsafe for my trans kid. The explosion of misogyny in the wake of the Depp/Heard case. My massive grocery bills. Getting quality time with my kids, who are at such a fun age.
- What’s important to me is reproductive justice, accountability for sexual predators, safe affordable housing, police abolition, meaningful pandemic response on all levels, unions, overhaul of the DEA’s policies on pain killer and stimulant manufacturing limits, I could go on…
- Equality, my future ability to access abortion, a bank account, my ability to live in a home with my unmarried partner, and as a queer person. Covid. Continuing work, tearing down the barriers between rich and poor. More public spaces, peaceful places to write and study.
- Decent wages. Good healthcare accessible to all. Better healthcare treatment/outcomes for women in particular. Better more accessible childcare. Better support for carers (mostly women). Lastly, more comfortable bras, or a culture that doesn’t make you wear one!
- The impact of the cost of living crisis on the poorest, Tory attacks on Tube workers, the fact the Tories are still in government, mine and my family’s health and well-being, climate change
- I’ll probably be alive in 50 years, and I wonder what life will be like then. What governments will fall, what nations will burn metaphorically, or like Australia did, literally. I wonder how many lives I can make better in my immediate social surroundings, in those 50 years.
- i don’t get heard by medical professionals. i’ve heard countless stories of women being forced to free bleed on hospital floors to be treated for ruptured ovarian cysts. i’m waiting for an ultrasound and i’m terrified 🙁
- More support for mothers with maternity leave and childcare. Childcare is so expensive that many women are forced to stay home for the first three to five years because of the associated cost. It’s holding women back massively.
- For me its working so I can keep a roof over my families head. Unfortunately hours had been cut 2 months ago and we very nearly lost everything.
- Trans rights, livable wages and possible universal income, universal healthcare, my cat Ellie, making little plushies, trying to find clothes that fit me, wanting to just exist as a fat woman…a lot is going on tbh.
- For me, a cisgender woman, the attacks on transgender individuals from all sides are my biggest concern about the moment. I believe that transgender rights are central to the fight against fascism. I’d need about 2000 words to develop that argument.
- Kicking our society’s addiction to the protection racket that is policing and finding methods of addressing human suffering and conflict that work better.
- Ensuring that diseases that predominantly affect women get proper research funding, as well as education for medical professionals on those diseases and how to diagnose/treat/support patients with them. Many diseases such as autoimmune diseases, ME/CFS, EDS, etc
- I want to find out for definite if I have stomach (or some other) cancer or not, as suspected, and, if so, I want the resources (including the emotional support of friends and loved ones) to fight it as hard as I can
- Focusing on trying to feeling like I don’t want to die, when the overwhelming impression is the healthcare system would be totally indifferent to this outcome.
- Right now: how difficult it is to get support for disabilities – fighting to get benefits, fighting to get school support etc. Universal basic income and scrap the education bill for a start. Caring roles not being valued or acknowledged. The increase in science denial.
- At the moment, I’m really just trying to continue surviving in a world that seems determined to stop me from doing that.
- Investment/more research into gyane issues – endo, PCOS etc. Education about medical misogyny, educating young girls to advocate for themselves with doctors and other medical professionals.
- The US supreme court being horrifically conservative and removing abortion rights The rise of reactionary politics Just the economy in general and how we (US) still haven’t nationalized our oil so we can drive prices down Climate change Social inequity/inequality in general
- I would like to be listened to by doctors etc rather than being dismissed because it’s probably in my head.
- Affordable, reliable, abundant public transport for all. More funding for public services especially health and social care. Better environmental rejuvenation and caretaking. An eco-relevant schools curriculum. Some Daphne laureola for the garden. A new rucksack. Chocolate.
- Holistic health support for numerous mental and neurological problems.
- I want more voices on gender affirming care. The care is not just for trans people, it is also for others who struggle with hormone imbalances. Banning gender affirming care affects everyone.
- What is important to me as a woman is the still obvious bias in hiring for supervisory and management roles within the uk job market. Affecting both cis and trans women
- is survival a valid answer
- The price of childcare. Me at home is eclipsing everything else I my life right now. I’ve 3 kids, two in school and one at home. My mental health is really affected by not interacting with adults. Im a SN teacher, I help so many. My job at home is worthy but I’m financially smash
- shifting our economic system to one that delivers social justice on a healthy planet (a wellbeing economy)
- More *actual* help for abuse survivors. Instead of questioning whether our allegations of things done behind closed doors are true… offering services. PTSD treatments and accommodations on par with what is offered to veterans. More accessible restraining orders. Legal advocacy.
- Better disabled access everywhere. More funding for the NHS. Less men telling me what I can and can’t do with my own body. A roof over my head, rather than the council putting me in a different hotel every week
- A government that isn’t corrupt
- I would really like to have universal sizing for clothes because how am I an 8 in some places and 12 in others. Just make it all S/M/L etc and let us stop wasting our times returning idiotly-sized clothes and having nothing to wear. I also need them to stop cropping all the tops.
- What’s important to me at the mo is staying positive and happy in this dark transphobic episode of this country’s life, keep strong, love and laughter will help get us through 😉
- An understanding of how the female body works. Sex ed that helps those with a vagina know what’s going on without shame for having one and for those without one, to know how it works cause they vote on it too. The work I put into balancing PH lvls to be told what to do with it
- Clean Transport infrastructure and how to improve air quality. Stopping airport expansion, climate change. I am aware this might not be typical ‘women’s problems’.
- If I had to guess, climate change probably impacts women disproportionately, probably even more so in the global south. All oppression is connected.
- Having a good enough work/study/life balance to achieve my goals without burnout or making my mental health worse & paying enough attention to my relationships
- The summer heat is far too much for me. Its 22°c and I’m practically melting. Like first snowmelt except I’ve been deprived of good snow for years.
- Sexual assault, abortion, erasure of nonbinary/trans people in topics such as healthcare & reproductive rights. Being listened to with mental/physical health needs instead of labelled as hysterical w/o any investigation.
- Back to trying to open my bakery and working again, and NOT back into the abusive food service industry that I was already leaving pre-pandemic. But I don’t know how to even participate in capitalism after the shit I’ve seen the last few years. I know now it’s stacked against me.
- I just wanna be left alone, and want people to stop talking about how much I and my sisters deserve to either die, or just not exist in society
- Opportunities for my son in a post-Brexit world and economy, rollback of human rights, cost of living and threat of recession. In that order. All underpinned by existential climate doom but that’s not a right now thing. It’s all pervasive.
- LGBT rights seem to be under threat again here in the UK, the US and elsewhere, so I’m concerned about that. Animal rights are also important to me
- Better mental health services, I’ve been waiting 2 years for a therapist, and appointments are 6 months apart. Inclusive sport, I’m in a mixed gender disability team, which is fun, but I would like to see more women’s disability sport groups. The funding isn’t there.
- Equality and human rights A properly funded NHS Tackling profiteering Climate change
- Adequate funding and resources for youth in rural Ireland. And my kid getting through senior cycle of school.
- The recent anti-LGBT+ pushback terrifies me. The ignorance, misinformation, and callousness towards Covid absolutely breaks my heart. Most of all though: The fact democracy is being killed in so many ways. Gerrymandering, corruption, etc, all taking our power away.
- NHS funding, cost of living crisis, people trying to tell me what I can and can’t do with my own body
- LA County lost over 9,000 of its women employees during pandemic while the number of men stayed the same. I am concerned about the regressive gender roles that contributed to this devastating erosion.
- My cat
- Lotsa people already said some stuff I’m thinking, so I’ll give this: Better access to mental healthcare. I’m lucky to be leaving the state I’m in. Just a couple months. Because I literally ran out of options I can afford because nobody wants to deal with someone with DID. It’s not that I’m a bad client to work with. I’ve been praised in the past for being a great client who cares about improving. At home I research stuff my therapists say. Now that it’s clear I have DID? Therapists are afraid to say anything. It’s just me venting now. No feedback.
- I want more funding for women’s shelters and services, and more funding for the NHS
- finding work is top of the list right now, as well as maybe working on not telling myself im not a real enough woman to have anything to say when these kinds of things come up
- Climate change. All of the other things I’m worried about are going to be swept away by climate change unless we act fast.
- Living wage and fighting back against right wing restrictions on what I can do with my own body.
- The cost of living crisis. Corporate profits are bigger than ever and people are struggling to put food on the table. I’m concerned about the kids I work with whose families live in poverty.
- I know you’re from the UK, but I’m from the US and I’m really frustrated with the fact that the Supreme Court doesnt seem to care about the law as much as they care about their own beliefs. We’re gonna lose our right to bodily autonomy and privacy.
- I’d like to go for a walk anytime of day with headphones in without being afraid of men attacking me for being a gay woman.
- Action on the climate crisis. Tackling poverty and inequality. Access to justice. Fighting divisive “us” vs “them” rhetoric.
- Being able to compete in sports categories that align with my gender. It’s like the UCI pulled the rug out from under myself and others in similar situations.
- How the cost of living crisis is making life harder for women, particularly women of colour, sick, disabled etc.
- Homelessness was proven over the last few years to be completely political (not that it wasn’t clear before), and society made an active choice to return those people to the streets. I am desperate for people to notice how easy to fix so many of our problems are. The cost of living crisis is pushing more and more people to breaking point and the pressures on marginalised communities is swelling with it. Its crushing peoples mental and physical health and actively killing people. Its a choice the government are making.
- Totally doing away with the Work Capacity Assessment for disability benefits because it’s a disableist abusive nightmare. Also Zagreus in the next Smash Bros.
- I’m scared I won’t be taken seriously because I’m so hot.
- Honestly the state of things in America is really bad, and I wish more people in power were taking it seriously. I keep myself informed, I inform the people around me. But I am just one person, there’s only so much I can do.
- Funding for shelters, rape crisis centres etc. Equality and diversity training in every workplace (especially in medical settings for women/LGBT+)
- the three issues that are constantly on my mind: car dependency, housing quality and cost, and bullshit jobs
- Less stressful education would be cool
- That women have fair access to menopause treatments and that these aren’t subjected to gatekeeping by improperly trained doctors
- I just want three things: 1. To feel safe 2. Good transition healthcare 3. Have financial stability
- More mental health resources for everyone, more and more equitable healthcare for everyone, proper attention to the climate crisis and ACTION on all of these. And maybe a big wealth tax and abolishment of Westminster and the police.
- My rights are being systematically stripped by my government and I keep hearing from centrists that it’s my fault for wanting healthcare and free college
- Also for my daughter to not think she may be a boy cos she doesn’t want to act thick and have long hair
- having to look after my parents whilst their health is failing due to old age cost of everyday living increasing where more and more of my income is being devoted purely to being able to stay alive
- Good quality and fast hospital and hospice care for all who need it.
- Not been able to get hrt anymore been given a cheaper alternative that dose not work at all and you know it done just to cut costs … (I’m willing to pay but as of yet you can’t buy with out prescription by doctor / over counter) So been left with terrible symptoms struggling
- i want to be able to not fear losing everything for being one
- We have more important battles to fight than “is some1 the wrong shape for this bog” – Reproductive rights erosion – Parents in the cost of living crisis – Decline in queer acceptance across the board – Rising ACTUAL FASCISM Basically I’d like people to get a grip & work together
- Passing my exams, having a job, not getting harassed or killed because I’m not the kind of woman a stranger would prefer
- That trans women, non-binary women are heard and listened to
- Rise of fascism, and capitulation to it. Equal access to sport, and addressing actual problems in women’s sport, like pay and opportunities. Unfettered, rising cost of living. Climate change, and the lack of significant steps to curb it, like nuclear power and public transit.
- Getting the relevant appt for my increasingly noisy and painful hip and knee. Hopefully before I have to stop working because of it.
- Making rent.
- I’d like to work less hrs to give me the time and energy to run my home properly, cook healthy meals, sort out the garden, learn how to repair things, have a hobby. The stuff my mum got to do.
- Better education for women so that they can understand that being trans is not an attack on womanhood
- My hrt injections/pills
- The fact my kids can’t get an Education Healthcare plan so they can get the right support in school despite the fact they can’t get in due to anxiety.
- I’ve been waiting for an appointment for an ultrasound to see if I’ve got a uterine tumour since January.
- Action on climate change: e.g. on a big scale, reducing the influence of fossil fuel companies, and on a day-to-day local level, better cycling infrastructure. Everyone having access to accurate, science-based info about covid risks & precautions.
- I want women to be left in peace to get on with our lives. I want to hear much less from men (and some very privileged women, but mostly men) about what we aren’t allowed to do, and where we aren’t allowed to go, and what we aren’t allowed to call ourselves. Women are people too….and more generally (having read some of the other replies) a much healthier work/life balance, less globalisation, the return of free education and apprenticeships, and Radio 1 as it was in the early ’80s.
- Having access to information is not the same as good teachers. Just copied this out of my drafts. Seems pertinent. There’s probably more to this thought, but I’m stoned and tired.
- Homelessness, poverty, nhs waiting lists, obstetric violence, abortion control, lack of Sen support in schools
- Men, especially male people of power need to realize when we’re on out period we can’t “hold it in” So many times teachers have said I can’t go and to hold it in. Yes I’m transmasc, but this is something that still applies to me
- Having to wait 10 weeks for a routine injection at the doctor’s. The NHS is being made worse and access to basic services is becoming difficult if not impossible.
- It’s hard to pick just one thing but the slide towards Fascism probably encompasses most of the things I worry about. I worry about the lack of funding for mental health services, especially for disabled people.
- Healthcare. Housing. Climate change.
- Since it isn’t spoken about nearly enough: We need more sustainable farming practices. Topsoil erosion is scary! Also, can we stop growing so much fucking corn?
- How hard its become to try and be a functioning adult when your health (mental and physical) has taken a nosedive and the whole world is a trash fire
- How to circumvent my executive dysfunction enough to get treated for my executive dysfunction. But, you see my problem: what if writing about hot elves instead
- Cost of living, rising poverty, state of the NHS, VAWG, moral panics.
- For the world’s people to learn about the lives of others with respect, without judgment and with empathy. And for my trans daughter to grow up in that world.
Putting aside the selection bias of those likely to have seen this thread in the last day being people who follow me (or follow people who follow me), I think there’s a lot to be learned from these responses.
First and foremost I think the most important thing troubling women right now is access to all sorts of various kinds of healthcare, with key areas being mental health issues. There was a troubling number of women reporting difficulty getting ultrasounds for things like potential tumours.
A lot of women also seem very concerned about disability access and support which is very not good in the UK.
Women were also not very happy with the lack of funding for women’s services, the lack of support for women survivors and the fact that violence against women is a thing no one seems to want to do anything about.
Wider still, women expressed concerns about various governments and their corruption.
Women are concerned about rising prices, low wages, and climate change.
Women are concerned about the world their families, friends and children are living and growing up in.
So there we go, we’ve #LetWomenSpeak and in my opinon they all had a lot to say! Unsurprisingly very little of it was about trans people, but of course that was going to be the case.
Trans people are a teeny tiny minority of people, even amongst those who genuinely look for and then find reasons to hate us they have to admit that there are much bigger obstacles facing the women they support.