International Women’s Day, March 8, has been celebrated for over one hundred years to take the time to appreciate and empower women all over the world. There are marches, festivals, thousands of social media posts (some one which made by celebrities), and many other events that emphasize the success and excellence of women everywhere. However, there is a group that is often excluded from this historic day: trans women.
“This p*ssy grabs back,” “Viva la Vulva,” pink p*ssy hats, and other genital-based protest statements have been very popular since the 2016 presidential election. Although they were all created with good intent, they insinuate the idea that being a woman means having a vagina. This is an issue because it creates a blockade for trans women, as they are not included in those statements. There are also many minority women that should be included in women’s marches and other events, but the focus is often on white cis women. (Cis refers to a person who identifies as the gender that matches their birth sex.) This upcoming International Women’s Day, I ask that you be mindful of the slogans you use, the posts you share, and the environments you create.
Women are everywhere. Whether it be the black, the trans and the queer, the disabled, the old and the poor, the mothers, the sex workers, the immigrants, and the non-binaries—all of us matter and deserve recognition. International Women’s Day honors all of us. Stand for every woman or don’t stand at all.