Recently, Trans Woman and activist Dylan Mulvaney formed a partnership with Nike adverting sports bras.
This lead to a huge amount of backlash from Gender Critical Feminists, resulting in a viral video of a Trans Woman phoning up the popular radio station LBC where the presenter Andrew Castle tries to argue that “Trans Women are not born with breasts.“ To which she responds “NO Woman is born with breasts.” The presenter was completely floored by this response and even had to admit that it was a real “Gotcha” moment.
Now as utterly hilarious and accurate as this video was, it doesn’t actually address the crux of the issue. This whole attack against Dylan is actually the very DEFINITION of Transphobia.
Gender Critical Feminists refer to the Gender War as the “War on Women”, crying “Female Erasure”. They claim we are invading their spaces, from toilets, to changing rooms, to refugee centres, prisons and more. They claim that Trans Women are stealing their jobs, and awards, are “dominating” Womens sports, wearing “Woman Face” and even changing the very definition of what it means to be a woman. Now whilst all of those claims are of course WILDLY inaccurate, and are in fact a ploy from far right religious extremists to further oppress Trans people, Dylan merely having breasts and wearing a sports bra doesn’t come under any of those categories. Quite simply the backlash she has faced for this advertising campaign, is attacking her for simply being trans. Her ad campaign says nothing about her having breasts “making her a Woman” but simply shows a different type of representation to go alongside the COUNTLESS ad campaigns from Nike, featuring Cis Women wearing sports bras.
Now the “Trans” part in the word “Transgender” comes from the Latin prefix meaning “Across or Beyond” So we therefore Transition “Across” to match our gender identities. Transition for a Trans person can come in multiple different forms, and one of the most common and basic ones is medical transition using HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). With this, a Trans Women or Trans Man will take Hormones of the opposite sex, in order to feel more at one with their own bodies and usually (not always) to alleviate the globally recognised medical condition of Gender Dysphoria. When a Trans Woman takes Oestrogen, this will usually result in her developing breasts. Now with that in mind, to attack a Trans Woman for transitioning, is discriminating against her for simply being Trans and is therefore the very definition of Transphobia.
If we go back to the LBC presenter saying that “Trans Women aren’t born with breasts.” He’s essentially saying “You weren’t biologically born with them, and so therefore it is completely wrong for you to transition to develop them.”
So where does that even lead? You can be Trans but you can’t transition? How does that even work? Because surely if being a Trans Woman is now simply reduced to having a “Female” name and wearing “Womens” clothes then all we are doing is cementing the continuation of gender stereotypes rather than eradicating something that is harmful to not only Cis people but ALSO Trans and Non-binary people. This would be INCREDIBLY ironic as well considering that Gender Critical Feminists CONSTANTLY claim that Trans people are the ones “Reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes.”
So in the end, if Trans People can no longer merely Transition anymore, then you have to ask yourself; who is REALLY being “Erased” in this so called “War on Women”?