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  • Writer's pictureanonymous woman

I can no longer trust that a women's Facebook group, or a women's interests group, is all women, or that the topic won't get derailed by mods insisting on 'inclusion' of trans-identified men in the group or constantly referencing their issues. I didn't previously think trans-identified women caused problems in these spaces, as they tend to be lower profile (funny that), but increasingly there is insistence that we as women have to remember that 'not everyone who has a period/breastfeeds/has babies is a 'woman' and just one individual can suck up a lot of attention in the space, or just discussion of one individual, even. I've seen how men can respectfully enter women's spaces, and this isn't it. A man in a woman's dance class participates with everyone else to learn; a dad in a mums' group is generally trying to do the same things we are, work out parenting (and dads' groups aren't as much of a thing). But there are breastfeeding groups, mums' groups, even a witchery group that I no longer feel safe in. It sounds like a small thing - so what if your Facebook group 'includes' this focus, or there are a couple of extra men? But they're not respectful of the space, and I don't feel comfortable sharing or speaking in the group. And it matters, because I have chronic fatigue, I work fulltime and I have a toddler, so online socialising is important in my life. It's a way to get information, share information, and have a laugh. I'm pretty vocal and have been an activist for the better part of 20 years, so it's sad and disappointing that the places I go for support that were formerly women-focused and/or feminist, aren't there anymore. I can stay quiet and lurk, or I can speak up on behalf of women, for what I see as right, as I have always done, and be called a bigot. So inclusive - excluding women from their own spaces.


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