In preparation for their annual Women’s Conference March 24 through 26, the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) Women’s Campaign has published a document of proposed motions and amendments to their policy for the upcoming year. Included in this document is Motion 405: Trans Inclusion in the Women’s Campaign: Siblings, Not Cisters. The motion specifies the definition of women as “all who self-define as women” and encourages the Women’s Campaign to avoid terms such as “sisters” and use of any terms that refer to “a binary or two gender system.” The motion also asserts, “Misgendering someone is an act of violence.” The full text of Motion 405 reads as follows:
- The student women’s movement must strive to be a trans inclusive environment.
- The definition of Women for the NUS Women’s Campaign is “all who self-define as women, including (if they wish) those with complex gender identities which include ‘woman’, and those who experience oppression as women.” This contains people whose preferred pronouns are not “She” or “her” (e.g “they”) and that they do not identify with the term “sister”.
- The use of the term “sisters” is exclusionary of some women.
- There are more than two genders and we should always recognise this.
- Misgendering someone is an act of violence.
- When women know each other within in a personal capacity or within certain cultures and religions, the term “sister” can be appropriate.
- NUS Women’s campaign should be monitoring the number of trans students who attend events.
- The use of the current monitoring system does not acknowledge the existence of people who identify as trans and LGB.
- Monitoring tools are an important way to show engagement problems, but are not the only methods that should be used.
- To refrain from the use of “sisters” and any other binary terms throughout the campaign.
- To refrain from the use of “both genders” and any other terms that refers to a binary or two gender system.
- Update all monitoring forms used by the campaign to separate “LGBT” to “LGB” and “T”.