An extract from This Is Why I Resist by Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu


Published in January, This Is Why I Resist is an urgent and timely anti-racist call to action by activist, lawyer, political commentator and Women in Leadership publication founder, Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu. 

Described as a “response to ongoing conversations which deny and enable racism”, in This Is Why I resist, Shola seeks to revolutionise the narrative around Black identity, tackling issues including perfomative allyship, identity politics, and the exclusion of Black trans women from the feminist movement.  

Here is an extract, taken from chapter six, titled Does My Afro-Visible Feminism Threaten you? 


“The exclusion of Trans women by some in the feminist movement is deeply disturbing. I don’t pretend to be well versed in the nuances of the layered debates between Trans women fighting for their right to be recognised as women and biologically born women who feel threatened that the rights of Trans women may erase their biological rights as women. But I find it very disturbing at how un-feminist and non-intersectional this is. 

I think any decent human being would agree that exclusion, rejection and ostracising is unacceptable. These behaviours replicate the experiences women have had with the patriarchy and so it genuinely beggars belief that we would replicate these behaviours within a movement that should be inclusive and intersectional. Even more so for Black Trans women, who are dealing with multiple intersecting inequalities, which puts them at a significant risk of discrimination and violence. We cannot, as women and feminists, contribute to or have a vested interest in the exploitation and dehumanisation of other women. 

I will tell you why this is my business. I think it is my business to support my fellow women who are Trans women to ensure their equal rights and freedom because their liberation is linked to mine. I don’t think it is my business to determine their informed and considered choices.There is undoubtedly a need for a calm exchange of information to address the concerns and fears between the dissenting and concurring voices in order to reach a place of understanding and common purpose. 

In my opinion, Sex is real and Trans is real. ‘Woman’ is enough to include all women (Biological and Trans) without erasing either of our realities. The intersectionality of Trans women is largely ignored or denied by feminists whose fear of Trans women is rooted in an erasure of the biologically born female identity. I do not agree with this. Trans women are no threat to me as a biologically born woman or threat to my rights as a woman. Our human and women’s rights are interlinked and the same in many respects. By acting on their fear against Trans women, these feminists are manifesting and amplifying existing inequalities on an already marginalised group. I am speaking specifically about feminists whose abuse of Trans women is to segregate them from the sisterhood of women. 

Feminism is about integration not segregation. A Black Trans woman can experience multiple intersecting discriminations and prejudices in a non-intersectional feminist movement. Trans women being treated unequally is the antithesis of the equality the women’s rights and feminist movement fight for. Intersectionality of Black Trans women also appears to trigger the White supremacy of some White feminists.” 

This Is Why I Resist by Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (Headline, £20) is out now

Only reading DIVA online? You’re missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It’s pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves. //

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