Log in

No account? Create an account
Mary Xmas: Бо я давно не вірю в силу слова
свобода, равенство, сестринство
як підтримати жінок на роботі 
10th-May-2018 12:59 pm

Dear Pink News.

You published this article today


And I appreciate that trans people need support. But, so do women. I thought, given that you are worried about supporting people at work, this might help. Enjoy.

How to support a woman in the world.

When someone comes to you and is a woman, what is the best thing to say and how can you support that woman?

After all, the last thing you want to do is cause any offence or upset her in any way. There are four things that you might say that can potentially cause offence.


Never refer to being a woman as ‘a choice.’ Being a woman is not a choice. You wouldn’t choose to live your life in a way that risked you facing daily abuse, discrimination and prejudice.

You wouldn’t choose to undergo all the things being a woman entails including menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, caring for babies, children and elderly relatives, menopause and waiting years for surgery for things like sterilisation, being denied abortion rights and all the distress that arises from these things which women do. Being a woman everyday is not a choice.

Most women know that they are women because they have XX chromosomes, a vagina, uterus, breasts and ovaries. They are not assigned at birth - their sex is observed. If you are not sure about what a woman is, ask your Mum.

Think of it like having a brain in a female body that does brain things like motor control, thinking about stuff and getting things done. Women have progressed through their life with people around them expecting them to be women and do ‘womanly’ things when inside they really would rather run the world, not have to fight the patriarchy and wear what the hell they want.

Women learn very early on to hide the true person they really are so they can fit in and be accepted.

Women’s issues can cause extreme distress. Women are murdered, raped, attacked and objectified. Baby girls are dumped on rubbish heaps. I can produce a fuck tonne of statistics to show that women are badly treated, that crime is committed against women - not by women. That women are killed by men. More than 4 in 5 women have been harmed by men.

Being a woman is most definitely not a choice.


Don’t use incorrect prefixes. Rather than worry about saying the wrong thing or avoiding the woman to be sure you don’t ‘get it wrong’ - assume that no woman ever wants to be called cis.

Don’t share your pronouns. She doesn’t care. She is too busy trying to be a woman in this fucked up world. And “Gina” doesn’t work in finance any longer. She had a First Class Honours degree in Maths but her job became untenable when she used her female body to produce the next generation and the company shafted her (metaphorically) , just after her ex-husband had shafted her (literally) before discovering he wanted to be Gina too and demanding she use the correct pronouns.

In the early days, you may make an occasionally mistake. Correct yourself and move on. Don’t make a big deal out of it - you will just make it worse.

Don’t ask insensitive questions and say something you know will upset the woman.

Questions about genitals (“Are you pregnant?” “Did it hurt?” Oh, are you on your period?”) lower surgery (“Did you tear?”) and sexual preferences (“Do you want a shag, you know you do) are definitely no-go conversations in the office, maybe ever. Respect that.


Don’t ask their previous name. They may or may not have changed their name as many women choose to do. Get over it. They don’t identify as any gender and won’t appreciate being reminded of the patriarchy and the ownership of women implicit in the marriage ceremony.

Now, imagine this. You have a colleague at work that asks to speak with you. They have something they want to tell you. Something that you need to know about them. Alone together, they tell you they are a woman and to stop telling them what a woman is and appropriating their sex.

How do you respond?

Firstly, consider all those years they have been dealing with bleeding, sexual harassment, lower wages, poor promotion prospects, caring for the elderly, cleaning, having to prove themselves in spite of being women - just so the world can pretend we have equality.

Next, Bear in mind that being a woman is not a thing to be taken lightly. Being a woman is sacred.

This is not a phase she is going through. This is the result of many sleepless nights (Usually, it was her mother who was sleepless when she was a baby. Very occasionally, it may have been a grandmother.) She is not confused. She does not need you to explain what a woman is to her. She lives it. Every day.

That moment with you is the culmination of many hours of deliberating the exact words to use, the appropriate timing and potential reactions.

When someone ‘officially’ reminds you that they are a woman, they are not saying those words for the first time. They have lived those words every single day. For months, years, worried about how you might try to take that away from them.

And, finally, they have a million and one thoughts and fears running through their head right now. And they are really fucking angry that they have to deal with this shit when the world is throwing babies on rubbish tips and they have to put a washing on.
This page was loaded May 25th 2019, 1:31 pm GMT.