Feminist movements have always been about breaking harmful gender norms. Sex discrimination cases around the world have been fought and won over the right to express gender in any way a person chooses – such as the right of women to wear pants at work. Fundamentally, these cases expand the notion of femininity and masculinity – and thereby challenge the idea that there are only two sexes.
Women are greatly affected by these harmful gender norms – but so are people who do not conform to them. Those who do not easily get ‘read’ as either masculine or feminine experience violence in great numbers – certainly greater than men or women who do – regardless of how they identify.
Sisterhood has been a powerful unifier for many founding mothers of women’s funds. The feeling of kinship is a powerful one and provides the safety net necessary for daring activism. But what if kinship were defined more narrowly than just a sex assigned at birth, which is shared with half the population? Certainly it takes more than that to be a feminist!
The core idea of women-led funding is that those affected most by a threat should be the ones leading the fight and directing the battle – that is the feminist transformation that has been translated to funding for LGBTIQ issues and Indigenous people’s rights. Now it is time to come full circle and give a place at the table to those who are breaking gender norms by simply refusing them, next to their sisters and siblings.