According to a post in the social-justice blog Everyday Feminism, some aspects of modern veganism are “oppressive” and even “super trans-exclusionary.”
In a piece titled “4 Ways Mainstream Animal Rights Movements Are Oppressive,” Mahealani Joy explains how problematic it is that “when mainstream vegan feminists talk about animal rights,” they are “super trans-exclusionary.”
(Yes, not just regular trans-exclusionary, but “super trans-exclusionary.”)
“I’ve seen a lot of adverts and signs over the years declaring that being vegan is feminist, and that the animal industry is built on the exploitation of the ‘female reproductive system’ — thereby making it an issue that all women should resonate with,” Joy explains. “The problem is that defining what it means to be female as having a uterus, ovaries, vagina, and mammary glands completely erases trans women, trans men, non-binary folks, and anyone whose body doesn’t conform to that super essentialized (and incorrect) definition.”
“By rooting their analysis of animal rights in this archaic definition of gender, mainstream vegan feminists ignore and exclude the lives of trans folks,” she continues.
The female reproductive system, biologically speaking, is a unique and beautiful thing. Is Joy saying here that it’s never okay to talk about it, or is she just saying that it needs to be discussed apart from feminist terms? First of all, let me say that I completely understand that there are people out there who are biologically male but identify as being female. And that’s fine. People can identify however they want. But there are also many, many people who are biologically female who identify as being females. What’s more, there are many people who do associate their biological sex with their gender — it’s just a different point of view, and that one should be allowed, too. To say that a woman’s referencing her biological body parts “completely erases” — completely erases — trans people is pretty clearly a little extreme.
Joy’s article originally was posted on March 21, but then was re-featured on the website’s home page this weekend.