October 5, 2020

Women’s Prize For Fiction Says Trans Women Are Eligible For Female-Only Award

By Paul Bois
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Ali Smith (L) wins the 2015 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction for her novel How To Be Both (Hamish Hamilton) next to the Chair of judges Shami Chakrabarti (R) at the Royal Festival Hall, London on Wednesday 3 June 2015 in London, England.
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for DIAGEO

In the age of transgender ideology, people who once identified as men have been awarded Woman of the Year, have beaten women in sporting competitions, and can now win the much-coveted Women’s Prize for Fiction.

In an announcement over the weekend, the Women’s Prize for Fiction said that anyone who legally identifies as a woman can win the prestigious award.

“The Women’s Prize for fiction was founded 25 years ago to honor, celebrate and champion women’s voices, and to shine a spotlight on phenomenal fiction written by women,” said Joanna Prior, Chair of Trustees. “Over the past quarter of a century, the prize has publicly championed and amplified a diverse breadth of women’s voices, and holds the principle of freedom of expression among its core values.”

“As a Prize which celebrates the voices of women and the experience of being a woman in all it’s a varied forms, we are proud to include as eligible for submission full-length novels written in English by all women,” the statement continued. “In terms and conditions, the word woman equates to a cis woman, a transgender woman, or anyone who is legally defined as a woman or of the female sex.”

“The trustees of the Women’s Prize Trust would like to reassert that we are firmly opposed to any form of discrimination or prejudice on the basis of race, sexuality, or gender identity,” it concluded.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the decision comes Akwaeke Emezi became the first transgender to be nominated for the prize in 2019, though judges last year said they were unaware of Emezi’s gender status and hailed it as a “historic moment.”

“But today, Emezi said their publisher, Faber, had asked them if they wanted their second novel, ‘The Death of Vivek Oji,’ to be submitted for the prize this year. Emezi said that when Faber got in touch with the Women’s Prize about submitting ‘The Death of Vivek Oji,’ they were allegedly informed: ‘The information we would require from you regards Akwaeke Emezi’s sex as defined by law,'” reported the Daily Mail.

People on social media celebrated the decision as a progressive step forward.

“Honestly horrified by the bile this has received. A welcome and overdue clarification that goes a small way to addressing some of the transphobia in this industry,” said one user.

“Trans women are women. This is a huge step forward. The Women’s Prize is so incredibly important and should be celebrated as such,” said another.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is just the latest organization to change its rules and language to accommodate transgenders. In September, TedX London said that it would be using the word “Womxn” instead of “Women” to be more inclusive.

“HELLO YOU! TEDxLondonWomxn is coming back (virtually)! And we’d love you to share your ideas to help us to build our programme of events for this Autumn…” it tweeted.

“Why we’re using ‘womxn’ No, that’s not a typo: ‘womxn’ is a spelling of ‘women’ that’s more inclusive and progressive. The term sheds light on the prejudice, discrimination, and institutional barriers womxn have faced, and explicitly includes non-cisgender women,” it later added.

RELATED: TEDxLondon Says ‘Womxn’ Instead Of Women: ‘Explicitly Includes Non-Cisgender Women’

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