Confrontation between feminists of different views. / SHAY CONAGHAN

Stitching feminism back together again

The feminist cause will either sew up its wounds quickly or risk being finished off completely

Ivan Gelibter

The worst and best omens for 8 March Women’s Day have ended up coming true, yet we live in such volatile times that seeing a prediction come true feels pretty much like a flight of fancy.

Although for a flight of fancy, look how hard the feminism cause will have to struggle now to sew up wounds that either heal over quickly or will finish off a movement which in 2018 reached giddy heights of consensus as yet unseen in our democracy.

I suppose that no one has a magic wand and that the positions are far apart, but it would be good to start by lowering the tone of the insults, aggression and terminology with which the two sides (those who defend and those who reject the ‘Trans law’) refer to each other.

It seems incredible that, at this stage of the game, there are those who still consider a transsexual woman not to be a woman, even trotting out in some cases the word ‘fiction’ to define a reality that is there, whether one wants to accept it or not. Hurting those who have had a lifetime of suffering in this way has no justification whatsoever, no matter how people put it.

But in the same vain, we have to do likewise with those who consider that anyone is transphobic who dares to question some of the aspects of this legislation, which - on the other hand - seems to make little legal sense and is already being questioned in other countries where it has been in force for some years with mixed results, especially in the way if affects minors and sports.

Hearing how a young girl shouts out ‘terfa’ (trans exclusionary radical feminist) to another woman who has been fighting for years at the forefront of the movement - when it was not even so popular - makes me feel the same sense of revulsion as those who humiliate a transsexual woman by addressing her in the masculine.

Now that everything that had to be said has been said, it is time to rescue those shared agendas missed so much by those of us who think they should at least all sit down and talk.