As with so many others, I am somewhat conflicted about recent discussions about the use of the word "vagina" in regards to being trans-exclusionary in the context of the Night of a Thousand Vaginas event and subsequent Twitter debates (only recently brought to my attention - I'm a bad twitterer). I'm a cis, hetero woman with no trans friends, only online acquaintances, so really I have nowhere to discuss, process, learn or unpack except online.
I've started to type responses here and there, then deleted, because putting my finger on where I stand is incredibly difficult, as eloquently stated in this post by JLff3.
But I think I have another question entirely. One of those online acquaintances I mentioned is a woman. Not "transwoman," just "woman." Her. I don't have a process where I envision her parts (because that would be weird) as I read her posts or comments, and if I did as I'm doing now, (and this may also be weird?) no matter where she's at in any transitioning she wants to do, her parts ARE "lady parts." Because she's nothing if not a lady.
So, stepping aside from her, I began to wonder if, along with the million things I get wrong with intersectionality, I'm doin' it wrong. Should I have a mental place-marker in front of those who have let me/us know they're trans? Should I be thinking of them as "trans-poster-so-and-so" or just "him" or "her" when I feel the need to use gendered pronouns?
So at some point, doesn't it follow that you're one of us, period? Don't you know that we don't grab a speculum before we discuss feminist issues or support feminist causes? I don't need to be reminded to be inclusive, because you're already there.
So I guess part of why I'm conflicted over the "vagina war" is that it feels reductive and unfair to any of us to stress that a vagina has anything to do with whether someone is female or not.