Call out, call in. Just don’t call women’s lives and deaths important.

Sisters uncut were called out by a white trans feminine Oxford student (pronouns they/she) for using the word women when talking about the tampon tax. They immediately came out thanking them for the call out and acknowledging that not all women menstruate and not all people who menstruate are women.

For days I have been explaining why it matters that we honour all 6 of the women who have died in prison this year, including the latest woman whose preventable death has added to that shameful toll. The latest woman is a trans woman, Vikki Thompson, who died while being housed in a male prison. 2 of the of the other 5 I have found named in media, they died in the summer. The other 3 women have not been named in any media that I can find. At all.

Anna Craven it appears is the actual name of the woman who died at Foston Hall this August. Her daughter is furious that in death even her name is wrong. It has been reported as Anna Graven. Her life mattered.

Magdelena Luczak also died at Foston Hall this year. In July. Presumably because of the nature of her crime, her death was more widely reported. Though to be clear even women convicted of murder shouldn’t be left unsupported and vulnerable to the extent that they are left to die alone in a cell. Her life mattered.

I saw sisters uncut at the united friends and family campaign’s 17th march/vigil for justice. This was a month ago before Vikki Thompson’s preventable and tragic death. I know they care, at least some of them. I know they want to do right by all women failed by the state and to do right by the families of victims failed to such an extent that they’ve lost their loved one.

But I am just speaking into a void and used as a poster girl for transphobia because of course caring about dead women means I don’t care about dead trans women. Speaking out against erasure means I want trans erasure instead of no erasure.

It is times like this that my lack of a university education really shows. I’m not too thick to hold my own in a conversation. But clearly I’ve missed out on a key part of my intersectional feminist journey. I have not been a member of a student union with a visible trans presence encouraging me to sit down and shut up whenever I foolishly think about raising women in any sentence other than trans women are women. I obviously need this in my life.


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