Pakhi, you're proving my point for me.

You don't need to preach to me about the oppression of women. I am deeply aware of it. (And trans women are among the most oppressed of all women.) I am steeped in feminist culture, and I'm raising a 13-yo-girl. I wholeheartedly agree with you that the things patriarchy has done to women — and continues doing around the world — is unconscionable.

Before you yell (and you are yelling) at me about women's education, go ask the average Mumbai Hijra about access to education. About employment opportunities. About objectification and exploitation.

Safeguarding women is what needs to happen. And including trans women in this category is what needs to happen. Creating a tiny subcategory for women like me - less than 2% of the population - can only lead to segregation, marginalization and sorrow. “Separate but equal” doesn’t work. We see this in Gaza. We saw this in America's racial segregation. One side always ends up with privilege, the other with 'othering' and discrimination.

I find it heartbreaking the way you speak about what you "used to think" and what you think - not realizing that you're speaking about your own misunderstandings, your own narrow-mindedness, your own lack of contact. But you yell it at me, as though it was my blame that you have such thoughts, and that it was my job to fix them. It is NOT my job to fix your thoughts.

Whenever someone uses "you people," you can see the cloud of bigotry that encircles that phrase. Nothing you're saying is new. Nothing I haven't heard from other people spouting bigotry at me.

The binary isn't real. Gender is a spectrum. Quite aside from women like you, or women like me, there are non-binary people who deserve respect and recognition. Countries like Argentina have recognized non-binary people as a third sex option.

There are 7.6 billion people on this planet. When you talk about 1% of the population, you're talking about 76 MILLION PEOPLE - that's more than the entire population of Italy. Should we saw that Italians don't count? That they're not real? After all, they're only 1%. So their happiness doesn't matter?

The tragedy is that you don't realize we're on the same side. I want women's rights. I marched, on March 8, for #NiUnaMenos. I fight for equity and women's agency in the world. I want to protect reproductive rights, equal salaries, and a girl’s right to education. I don't want to take anything away from you.

Just like the spurious argument against marriage equality sat on the false notion that gay people marrying would somehow take something away from heterosexuals, your argument seems fueled by the belief that accepting trans women as one other type of woman would take something away from you. It doesn't.

We can dismantle the patriarchy together. We can be sisters. If only you would stop hating us so.

Activist. Public speaker. Writer. Community Organizer. Mom. Creator & Host, Empowered Trans Woman Summit. Managing Editor, EmpoweredTransWoman.com

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