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American academic Susan Stryker wrote in 2007 that first-wave feminism had commonalities with the transgender rights movement "[t]o the extent that breaking out of the conventional constrictions of womenhood is both a feminist and transgender practice".She added that transgender issues had prompted feminist scholars to question notions of biological sex, and that transgender theorising was associated with the rise of postmodern epistemology in third-wave feminist thought.These philosophers argued for greater inclusion of other fields (such as critical race theory and queer theory) within feminism.Butler in particular argued that women's liberation required a questioning of gender itself, and that accepting gay and trans people would promote that sort of questioning.Hines concluded with a call for explicit recognition of anti-transgender feminism as a violation of equality and dignity, and "a doctrine that runs counter to the ability to fulfill a liveable life or, often, a life at all." Feminist theorist, writer and Yale professor Roxane Gay has said that issues facing non-white and marginalized women such as sexual harassment and misconduct extend to trans women as well, and that TERFs have "woefully failed" to consider trans women's experience.Gay finds transphobia appalling, with the maltreatment and agony trans people suffer, such as the high suicide rates and murder rates of black trans women, not their fault.In 2012 Jeffreys wrote in The Guardian that she and other critics of "transgenderism" had been subject to intimidation campaigns on the internet, the extent of which suggested that trans rights advocates fear the "practice of transgenderism" becoming the subject of criticism.In Living a Feminist Life (2017), Sara Ahmed imagines lesbian feminism as a fundamental and necessary alliance with trans feminism.
Researcher Cole Parke at Political Research Associates (PRA), an American liberal think tank, wrote in 2016 that fringe TERF scholarship has built a cultural and intellectual foundation upon which the right wing could, by "selectively highlighting and leveraging", construct anti-trans narratives that appeal to both conservatives and a certain sect of leftists.
Sally Hines, University of Leeds professor of sociology and gender identities, wrote in The Economist in 2018 that feminism and trans rights have been falsely portrayed as being in conflict by a minority of anti-transgender feminists, who often "reinforce the extremely offensive trope of the trans woman as a man in drag who is a danger to women".
Hines criticized these feminists for fueling "rhetoric of paranoia and hyperbole" against trans people, saying that while spreading anti-trans narratives, anti-trans feminists abandon principles of feminism, such as bodily autonomy and self-determination of gender, and employ "reductive models of biology and restrictive understandings of the distinction between sex and gender" in defense of such narratives.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, corresponding roughly to the second wave of feminism, feminists (especially early radical feminists) were often in conflict with trans women.
In 1978 a trans woman asked to join the Lesbian Organization of Toronto (LOOT).