I am a FAAB, femme-presenting genderqueer person. This means that I rarely, if ever, pass as anything other than female. And since I am almost always read as female by strangers, they treat me as if I were a woman.
This means that I, too, get catcalls and wolf whistles.
I, too, cannot walk down the street by myself without someone beeping their horn or yelling out their window at me.
I, too, have to be ever aware of my surroundings.
I, too, have to walk to my car with my keys in my hand.
I, too, cannot go out alone at night.
I, too, am affected by misogyny, patriarchy, and rape culture. I, too, see my body distorted, objectified, and idealized in the media. I, too, am constantly made to feel ashamed of my body. I, too, have to fight the notion that my body is inherently sexual and not my property. I, too, have to hear almost daily about how my body or genitalia is bad, weak, wrong, undesirable, or disgusting. I, too, have my opinion belittled or dismissed. I, too, am made to feel ashamed for my intelligence.
I’m tired of trying to make myself fit in the feminist movement. I love feminism, I love the movement, and I think it has a lot of important criticisms of our society. For so long, I have been trying to find my place in feminism. I am not a woman, and yet feminism speaks for issues that I have battled my entire life. I do not benefit from male privilege, but I am not a woman either. I want what feminism has to offer. I want the strength, the empowerment, the support. Feminism stands up for me in so many ways that the LGBT movement does not, and I want to feel like I actually am a part of it. I want to be recognized. I want feminists to acknowledge that patriarchy, misogyny, and rape culture affect other people the exact same way they affect women.
So I am writing this letter to all feminists, of all gender identities, to begin reconsidering how they talk about feminist issues. To realize that not only women are affected in the way that they are by misogyny. I want the feminist movement to be a place where I feel safe, represented, and visible. I want to have a voice to fight the oppression I face, the same oppression that women face.
Please help me by reblogging this so we can begin a discussion about this. I am but one voice and I cannot speak for anyone’s experiences but my own. Spread the word, share your story, show this to your genderqueer friends - let’s start a discussion.