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The Friday Blog (04/03)

Monday is International Women’s Day and over the last year you can not have failed to see celebrities and press commentators all debating what defines a woman.

From the ability to menstruate and bear children to the singular definition of body parts, it’s interesting that the media never seems to want to define in the same way what makes a man. Manly attributes are often seen as laudable while female attributes are often used as insults, remember being called a sissy or being told to man up?

Often the same press are the ones telling you what to think and how to behave. The reality for women is that freedom from having to think other people’s thoughts or having to vote certain ways, or even voting itself, is relatively recent. And does the definition of a woman really seem so important alongside the freedom to just be?

Particularly in the next couple of years, many questions will come to the forefront of society around the definition of a woman and transwomen’s place within that definition. What is clear is that neither side is entirely right or wrong in this debate and that there is not a one size fits all answer across the debate. We must all learn respect for each other; however we choose to define each other.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “Choose to challenge”, where undoubtedly, we should be challenging gender stereotypes and bias and gendered actions and assumptions.

We should be challenging increased visibility and empowerment and the lack of inclusive workspaces. We should challenge the limiting of women’s choice to make their own health decisions in some countries and challenge the inequality for women in sport.

But also, we should make time to challenge the way we treat each other around the debate about transwomen, for the reality is being a transwoman is not up for debate.

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