While I wholeheartedly agree and support as a transwoman equality for women, I also noted the gulf between the predominately white feminist movement and women of color. I noted how they loudly and zealously rallied to the defense of Hillary Clinton for perceived sexist comments during last year's primary, but were deafeningly silent when Michelle Obama was attacked.
I also remembered the radical feminist anti-transgender BS from their patron saints Janice Raymond and Germaine Greer and follow on books by transphobe feminists Mary Daly, Catherine MacKinnon, Robin Morgan and Sheila Jeffreys.
Raymond once stated that 'transsexuality must be morally mandated out of existence' and it didn't get much better in her 1979 book The Transsexual Empire-The Making of The She-Male.
"All transsexuals rape women's bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves .... Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive." (Raymond, 1979)
In fact, Janice Raymond for transwomen that transitioned during the 70s and 80's along with the ones who grew up in my era was the most hated person in the transgender community until HRC's Elizabeth Birch took away her title in the late 90's with her anti-transgender inclusion rhetoric.
Germaine Greer isn't liked by some transwomen either, and cosigned with Raymond when she made this comment comparing transwomen to the character Norman Bates in the movie Psycho:
The transsexual is identified as such solely on his/her own script, which can be as learned as any sex-typed behaviour and as editorialized as autobiographies usually are. The lack of insight that MTF transsexuals usually show about the extent of their acceptance as females should be an indication that their behaviour is less rational than it seems. There is a witness to the transsexual’s script, a witness who is never consulted. She is the person who built the transsexual’s body of her own flesh and brought it up as her son or daughter, the transsexual’s worst enemy, his/her mother.
Whatever else it is gender reassignment is an exorcism of the mother. When a man decides to spend his life impersonating his mother (like Norman Bates in Psycho) it is as if he murders her and gets away with it, proving at a stroke that there was nothing to her. His intentions are no more honourable than any female impersonator’s; his achievement is to gag all those who would call his bluff. When he forces his way into the few private spaces women may enjoy and shouts down their objections, and bombards the women who will not accept him with threats and hate mail, he does as rapists have always done.”
The injection of transphobic hatred and the logic defying justifications of it across the first and second waves of feminist thought was passed on to the new school of feminists who continue to eagerly drink the 'hate on transwomen' Kool Aid.
While we transwomen have had a contentious thirty-six years of drama with the feminist community, it pales in comparison with the ongoing parallel struggle that women of color have with them. They have fought the ongoing silencing of their voices in the feminist movement, got tired of being dissed, ignored and being accused of or being labeled as 'crazy' or 'racist' anytime they critiqued their treatment.
Black women finally said to hell with them and began calling themselves womanists, a term which was coined by author Alice Walker and comes from her 1983 book In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose. Womanists focus on issues that are broader based that what feminism focuses on, and include issues of race and class that feminism shies away from.
Over the last few years I've gotten to know a few womanists, become friends with them and discovered to my great pleasure that they are light years more enlightened on transgender issues and are serious about supporting their transsisters.
So if you wonder why myself and some transwomen aren't feeling feminism or have a detached ambivalence to it, now you know.