This paper employs a feminist model of scapegoating designed to capture the function that scapegoating plays in the justification and masking of oppression, and examines specific forms of legislation that target the rights of trans people to uncover their scapegoating patterns. Because scapegoating is experienced as a justified attribution of blame, it evades the understanding of those participating in its dynamics. My aim is to make apparent the transphobic rhetoric that convinces people of its necessity, such that we can determine (...) the best means to undermine its discriminatory consequences. I do this by examining the scapegoating logic behind bills that seek to impact various aspects of the lives of trans people, including education, sports, identification, and healthcare. (shrink)
Let the label binary category terms refer to natural language expressions like ‘woman’, ‘man’, ‘female’, and ‘male’. Focusing on ‘woman’ and ‘female’, I develop a novel, empirically supported theory of the meanings of English binary category terms. Given plausible assumptions about the metaphysics of sex and gender, this gender-first theory predicts that the sentence ‘Trans women are women’ expresses a truth in all contexts and the sentence ‘Women are adult human females’ expresses a truth in most ordinary contexts — thus (...) that these two sentences can and usually do express logically consistent contents. The key feature of the proposed theory is that it treats both ‘woman’ and ‘female’ as sensitive to an individual’s gender when that individual belongs to a gendered category and to an individual’s sex otherwise. The existence and plausibility of a gender-first theory of this kind opens up conceptual room for trans-inclusive positions in the philosophy of sex and gender which endorse the claim that women are adult human females, thereby both accounting for trans women’s experiences of their bodies as female and helping to disarm the sentence ‘Women are adult human females’ as a trans-exclusionary slogan. (shrink)
Members of marginalized communities are often accused of being "too sensitive" when subjected to supposedly harmless acts of microaggression. This paper explores a simulated society consisting of marginalized and non-marginalized agents who interact and may, based on their individually held convictions, commit acts of microaggressions. Agents witnessing a microaggression might condone, ignore or condemn such microaggressions, thus potentially influencing a perpetrator's conviction. A prototype model has been implemented in NetLogo, and possible applications are briefly discussed.
Die aktuelle Gesetzeslage in Deutschland sieht für amtliche Namens- und Personenstandsänderungen von trans Personen ein langwieriges, erniedrigendes und kostspieliges Gerichts- und Begutachtungsverfahren vor. Viele Hochschulen und Universitäten führen Studierende unter amtlichem Namen und Geschlechtseintrag, wodurch trans Studierende häufig erheblicher Diskriminierung ausgesetzt sind. Der vorliegende Critical Essay führt basierend auf einer Darstellung der aktuellen Situation Gründe an, warum Hochschulen trans Studierenden die Verwendung des selbst gewählten Vornamens und der zur geschlechtlichen Identität passenden Anrede bereits vor amtlicher Namens- und Personenstandsänderung ermöglichen sollten (...) und verweist auf bestehende Programme und Handlungsempfehlungen. (shrink)
Cis moves to innocence are rhetorical moves by which cisgender feminists falsely position their failure to engage with structures of transmisogyny as epistemically and morally virtuous. The notion derives from Tuck and Yang’s (2012) concept of settler moves to innocence and Mawhinney’s (1998) concept of white moves to innocence. This piece considers the case study of Manne’s (2017) work, in which she purports to offer a unified account of misogyny while explicitly refusing to consider transmisogyny. The justification she provides is (...) that she lacks the “requisite authority to do so.” I identify three functions of Manne’s cis move to innocence: i) to allow her to appear to be in solidarity with trans women and transfeminine people without taking on any of the obligations that requires, ii) to structurally reproduce the epistemic exploitation of trans women and transfeminine people, and iii) to reduce the obligations of allies to affect rather than action. (shrink)
Previously proposed strategies for tackling hermeneutical injustices take for granted the interests people have in certain things about them being intelligible to them and/or to others, and seek to enable them to satisfy these interests. Strategies of this sort I call interests-as-given strategies. I propose that some hermeneutical injustices can instead be tackled by doing away with certain of these interests, and so with the possibility of their unfair non-satisfaction. Strategies of this sort I call interests-in-question strategies. As a case (...) study in when such an interests-in-question strategy ought to be pursued, I look at how to tackle hermeneutical injustices arising in the context of gender-affirming healthcare as provided to adults by the National Health Service in the UK. I argue that considerations of trust, privacy, and respect all support pursuing such a strategy. One way to do so, I suggest, would be by replacing the existing gatekeeping model with an informed consent model for the provision of gender-affirming healthcare. Considerations of hermeneutical justice can hence be added to the already-impressive case for undertaking this shift. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that scholarship on the cultural impact of neoliberalism provides a vital framework with which to revisit early trans critiques of Butlerian queer feminism. Drawing on this scholarship, I reread the appeals to the real and realness in these critiques through the neoliberal transformation of social difference. I link the early argument that some trans figures were problematically used in queer feminism to represent the fluidity of identity with the more recent argument that the flexibility of (...) identity has become a core part of neoliberal cultures. This context challenges the current dominant view of early trans critiques of Butler as misreadings and instead casts them as resistant to a superficial encouragement of individual flexibility. As a result, revisiting this debate demonstrates the need to rework theoretical frameworks that may continue to inadvertently lead to selective trans inclusion in queer feminism and points the way to trans-queer-feminist theory that is more attuned to shifting models of power. (shrink)
There is no specific trans perspective on romantic love. Trans people love and do not love, fall in love and fall out of love, just like everyone else. Trans people inhabit different sexual identities, different relationship types, and different kinds of loving. When it comes to falling in love as or with a trans person, however, things can get more complicated, as questions of gender and sexual identity emerge. In a study by Blair & Hoskin from 2018, 87.5% of the (...) interviewed participants said they would not consider dating a trans person (Blair & Hoskin, 2018). Among those who were open to dating trans people, a pattern emerged: the subjects were disproportionately willing to date trans men but not trans women, even if this preference did not match their own sexual identity; for example, a woman who identifies as a lesbian may be open to dating a trans man but not a trans woman. This seems like a clash of sexual and gender identities: why are women who identify as lesbians willing to date men? This chapter aims to analyze this phenomenon: love between clashing sexual and gender identities – e.g., the love between a man, who identifies as being romantically interested in men, and a trans woman, – and thereby evaluates the limits of romantic love for trans people. Limits of love, in this chapter, are conceived of as normative restrictions on whom and how we love. By exploring cases of clashing sexual and gender identities in romantic love, this chapter analyzes how trans people’s opportunities for love are often limited. (shrink)
World Rugby (WR) announced in 2020 that transwomen should not be competing at the elite level because of safety and fairness concerns. WR and Jon Pike, a philosopher of sport advising them, adopted a lexical approach to get a grip on the three values in play: safety, fairness, and inclusion. Previously, governing bodies tried to balance these competing values. Michael Burke recently published a paper taking aim at Pike’s lexical approach. This is a reply to Burke.
This essay discusses short-circuited trans care by focusing on failures of t4t as an ethos both interpersonally and within particular trans scenes. The author begins by recounting an experience working at a bar/restaurant that appealed to its identity as a caring trans community space as part of its exploitation of trans workers. This dynamic inspires the main argument, that t4t can become an ethos of scenes and institutions beyond the interpersonal while short-circuiting practices of trans care. Short-circuited trans care is (...) then traced to t4t by drawing from Hil Malatino's work on trans care and t4t, Kai Cheng Thom's work on community dynamics, and trans literature to argue that practices of t4t often include abuse, expulsion, and assumptive care. This short-circuited trans care is linked to trans scenes by discussing the ethos of t4t in the history of Topside Press and trans cultural production. The author does not condemn t4t and to this effect offers a critique of tethering trans cultural production to prestige instead of care. Rather, the goal of this essay is to openly discuss aspects of t4t and trans care that are often obscured through the projection of a highly questionable “we” or universalized “trans community.”. (shrink)
Gender-affirming healthcare interventions are medical or surgical interventions that aim to allow trans and non-binary people to better affirm their gender identity. It has been argued that rights to GAH must be grounded in either a right to be cured of or mitigate an illness—gender dysphoria—or in harm prevention, given the high rates of depression and suicide among trans and non-binary people. However, these grounds of a right to GAH conflict with the prevalent view among theorists, institutions and activists that (...) trans and non-binary people do not have a mental illness and that one can be trans and entitled to GAH without being depressed or suicidal. This paper challenges the orthodoxy that a right to GAH must be grounded in either of these ways and instead argues for a right to GAH grounded in a right to live and act with integrity. The standard view, which this paper explains, is that our rights to live and act with integrity ground a right to religious accommodation in many cases such as a right to not be denied social security due to one’s refusal to work a job on a holy day. This paper argues that if our rights to live and act with integrity can ground prima facie rights to religious accommodation, our rights to live and act with integrity ground prima facie rights to GAH. There are no data in this work. (shrink)
Alex Byrne’s article, “Are Women Adult Human Females?”, asks a question that Byrne treats as nearly rhetorical. Byrne’s answer is, ‘clearly, yes’. Moreover, Byrne claims, 'woman' is a biological category that does not admit of any interpretation as (also) a social category. It is important to respond to Byrne’s argument, but mostly because it is paradigmatic of a wider phenomenon. The slogan “women are adult human females” is a political slogan championed by anti-trans activists, appearing on billboards, pamphlets, and anti-trans (...) online forums. In this paper, I respond to Byrne’s argument, revealing significant problems with its background assumptions, content, and methodology. (shrink)
Contents: 1. Testosterone is not the only Game in Town: The Transgender Woman Athlete 2. Queer Language Lessons: The Confusion over ‘My Pronouns’ 3. Legal Fictions: Changing Sex by Changing Gender 4. More than a Feeling: Rock Stars, Heroines and Transwomen 5. To Compete, or not to Compete, that is the Question: Which is Nobler for Transwomen Athletes? 6. The Power of Words 7. Feminism, Conceptual Engineering, and Trans Identit.
Desde un enfoque multidisciplinar y plural, "Feminismo e identidades de género en Japón" reúne una colección de ensayos que permiten conocer los debates intelectuales del feminismo japonés contemporáneo, así como las vigentes discusiones sobre las identidades de género y las orientaciones sexuales en aquel país. Los temas tratados desvelan, por un lado, la riqueza de la historia y del presente del feminismo en Japón, tanto en la voz de pensadoras y activistas pioneras, como a través del giro colectivo y radical (...) que a mitad del siglo pasado percutió críticamente los roles de género en una sociedad atravesada, como tantas otras, por el patriarcado. Asimismo, en el istmo que conecta, pero también desplaza, la situación del siglo XX y el momento actual, el volumen pone el foco en asuntos controversiales como la lucha por la igualdad de trato y derechos en el colectivo homosexual, las tensiones legales y médicas en torno a las identidades de género, y la negociación y renegociación constantes de las subjetividades femeninas en la literatura y las producciones audiovisuales. Editado por Montserrat Crespín Perales (UB), el libro dibuja un tapiz con múltiples hilos que se ofrecen para pensar con y a través de las reflexiones y las tensiones que el feminismo y los estudios de género en Japón subrayan en una contemporaneidad volátil y desencajada, esperando enriquecer con ello las discusiones globales actuales. (shrink)
Among various views concerning the nature of womanhood, one kind of divergence between the materialist and the pluralist account centres on whether a woman should be defined or identified based on her typical female biological features. The former treats “woman” as the social meaning of the biological female, while the latter insists that one can be a woman in virtue of their internal identity without also having the normatively associated biological features. In this paper, I argue against the latter view (...) that the inclusion or demarginalization of transwomen requires more than self-identification and that it demands the recognition of the role of “misogyny”. (shrink)
Chinese translation by Zhuanxu Xu. Analytic philosophy has transgender trouble. In this paper, I explore potential explanations for this trouble, focusing on the notion of 'cisgender commonsense' and its place in philosophical methodology.
We want to know what gender is. But metaphysical approaches to this question solely have focused on the binary gender kinds men and women. By overlooking those who identify outside of the binary–the group I call ‘genderqueer’–we are left without tools for understanding these new and quickly growing gender identifications. This metaphysical gap in turn creates a conceptual lacuna that contributes to systematic misunderstanding of genderqueer persons. In this paper, I argue that to better understand genderqueer identities, we must recognize (...) a new type of gender kind: critical gender kinds, or kinds whose members collectively destabilize one or more pieces of dominant gender ideology. After developing a model of critical gender kinds, I suggest that genderqueer is best modeled as a critical gender kind that destabilizes the ‘binary axis’, or the piece of dominant gender ideology that says that the only possible genders are the binary, discrete, exclusive, and exhaustive kinds men and women. (shrink)
Chinese translation courtesy of Zhuanxu Xu. We want to know what gender is. But metaphysical approaches to this question solely have focused on the binary gender kinds men and women. By overlooking those who identify outside of the binary–the group I call ‘genderqueer’–we are left without tools for understanding these new and quickly growing gender identifications. This metaphysical gap in turn creates a conceptual lacuna that contributes to systematic misunderstanding of genderqueer persons. In this paper, I argue that to better (...) understand genderqueer identities, we must recognize a new type of gender kind: critical gender kinds, or kinds whose members collectively resist dominant gender ideology. After developing a model of critical gender kinds, I suggest that genderqueer is best modeled as a critical gender kind that stands in opposition to `the binary assumption', or the prevalent assumption that the only possible genders are the binary, discrete, exclusive, and exhaustive kinds men and women. (shrink)
Unlike gender inequality, racial inequality primarily accumulates across generations. In this article, Dembroff and Payton argue that transracial identification undermines collective reckoning with that injustice.
From a radical feminist perspective, gender is a cage. Or to be more precise, it’s two cages. If genders are cages, then surely we want to let people out. Being less constrained in our choices is something we all have reason to want: theorists in recent years have emphasized the importance of the capability to do and be many different things. At the very least, we should want an end to sex-based oppression. But what does this entail, when it comes (...) to gender? In this paper, I’ll compare four ‘transitional pathways’, with a view to considering how each relates to the ultimate end of ending sex-based oppression. Should we open the doors to the cages, so that people can move freely between them, but leave the cages themselves in place?. Should we add more cages?. Should we make the cages bigger, so that people have a lot more room to move around inside them? Or should we dismantle the cages, so there are no more genders at all?. Some of these options are ‘gender revisionist’, others are gender abolitionist. I’ll argue in favour of a gender abolitionist pathway. (shrink)
This essay develops a concept of curiotization, through which people are reduced to a curio for the fascination of others. I argue that trans people as they have appeared in media, philosophy, and narratives of history are curiotized as forever fascinating, new, titillating, and controversial. In contrast to the narrative of momentous trans progress in the mid-2010s, I point out that frameworks such as the "Transgender Tipping Point" worked to position its "trans moment" as unprecedented and always on the threshold (...) of arrival. To work through a specific example, I point to decades of renewed fascination over trans women being capable of breastfeeding and the long history of trans fascination in popular music. I conclude by emphasizing the obscured world-historical presence of transsexuality as it coincides with the history of pharmaceuticals, hormone technologies, and birth control. In contrast to a "goldfish memory optics" through which trans people become eternally new, fascinating, and debatable, I stress the importance of restoring the complexity of "trans" and its histories back into an understanding of the present. (shrink)
There is broad agreement among social researchers and social ontologists that the project of dividing humans into social kinds should be guided by at least two methodological commitments. First, a commitment to what best serves moral and political interests, and second, a commitment to describing accurately the causal structures of social reality. However, researchers have not sufficiently analyzed how these two commitments interact and constrain one another. In the absence of that analysis, several confusions have set in, threatening to undermine (...) shared goals for the responsible modeling of social kinds of humans. This essay first explains the source and substance of these confusions. Then, by distinguishing different value-laden investigative questions into the classification of social kinds of humans, it sets out specific relations of dependence and constraint between empirically-driven investigations and value-driven investigations into social kinds of humans. The result is a more detailed and fruitful framework for thinking about the classification of social kinds that respects both normative interests and mind-independent causal regularities. (shrink)
Kate Manne’s Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny combines traditional conceptual analysis and feminist conceptual engineering with critical exploration of cases drawn from popular culture and current events in order to produce an ameliorative account of misogyny, i.e., one that will help address the problems of misogyny in the actual world. A feminist account of misogyny that is both intersectional and ameliorative must provide theoretical tools for recognizing misogyny in its many-dimensional forms, as it interacts and overlaps with other oppressions. (...) While Manne thinks subtly about many of the material conditions that create misogyny as a set of normative social practices, she does not fully extend this care to the other intersectional forms of oppression she discusses. After touching on the book’s strengths, I track variations of its main problem, namely, its failure to fully conceive of oppressions besides sexism and misogyny as systemic patterns of social practices, as inherently structural rather than mere collections of individual beliefs and behaviors. (shrink)
This article considers Beauvoir’s gesture towards fraternité at the end of The Second Sex (1949) by focusing on her fleeting characterisation of this future as ‘an androgynous world’. Generally, either Beauvoir’s call for fraternité is dismissed as an erasure of sexual difference and is thus seen to be politically bankrupt, or fraternité is understood to realise sexual difference. This latter reading suggests that androgyny plays no role in Beauvoir’s solution to women’s oppression, while the other view often sees it as (...) one effect of fraternité. This article takes a different position by arguing that Beauvoir affirms sexual difference and commits to an androgynous future. The article argues that androgyny is an affective mood that is constitutive of an openness in the field of possibility for living sexual difference. Consequently, androgyny plays not only a central role in fraternité, but also gestures to a future beyond dimorphic sexual difference. (shrink)
Analytic metaphysics of gender has taken an ameliorative turn towards ethical and political questions regarding what our concept of gender ought to be, and how gendered society should be structured. Abolitionism about gender, which claims that we ought to mandate gender out of existence, has therefore seen renewed interest. I consider three arguments for abolitionism from radically different perspectives: Haslanger’s simple argument, Escalante’s Gender Nihilism, and Okin’s argument from ideal theory. I argue that none of the above manage to establish (...) the desirability of abolitionism and that we should be wary of the abolitionist position, as it imperils trans lives. (shrink)
This dissertation addresses the question of how to reconceptualize “women” in order to do a more intersectional feminism. Intersectionality—the idea that gender, race, class, sexuality, and so on operate not as separate entities but as mutually constructing phenomena—has become a gold standard in contemporary feminist scholarship. In particular, intersectionality has achieved success in showing that the old conception of women as a single, uniform concept marginalizes women and others who exist at the intersecting axes of multiple oppressions (e.g., women of (...) color, women in the global South, working-class women, and/or queer and trans people), and thus, demonstrating the need to develop a new way of conceptualizing women. However, the question of what such a new conception would be remains unanswered. Specifically, if feminist theory today is to destabilize the old notion of “women” that relegates multiply oppressed women to the margin of feminism, and yet still needs to use some notion of “women” to critically analyze how the social structure of sexist oppression operates to subordinate women and to dismantle this oppression, how should the concept “women” be reformulated? In this dissertation, I argue that we need to understand women as a concept that is open to constant redefinition, which is socio-historically situated in the actualities of oppression. This is what I refer to as the “situated redefinition” model of women, which is formulated in more detail as follows: -/- The Situated Redefinition Model of Women (SR) – The concept “women” should be always open to being redefined in a way that it could better serve political goals grounded in the actual, daily lives of the marginalized. That is, “women” should be always open to new meanings and provisional definitions that the marginalized would find more useful to achieve political goals, which grow out of their concrete experiences in the current intersecting structures of oppression. -/- My central argument is that we need to understand the concept “women” according to the situated redefinition model, in order to employ this concept for doing intersectional feminism. To support this thesis, the dissertation is divided into two main parts. By engaging with the intersectionality literature, critical race feminisms, Asian/American feminisms, and recent critiques of intersectionality, the first part of the dissertation elucidates what exactly it means for feminism to be more “intersectional.” The second part develops the situated redefinition model and articulates why this model is needed to do intersectional feminism, drawing on the social/political philosophy literature on non-ideal theory, postmodern discussions of universality, and feminist discussions of identity politics. Broadly, this dissertation seeks to shed new light on how we understand and use the concept women for feminist ends. My conceptual model offers a way for feminist scholar-activists to subvert the essentialist/exclusionary notion of “women” without abandoning altogether feminist-political deployments of the concept “women” for the purpose of ending sexist and intersecting oppressions. (shrink)
Gender classifications often are controversial. These controversies typically focus on whether gender classifications align with facts about gender kind membership: Could someone really be nonbinary? Is Chris Mosier really a man? I think this is a bad approach. Consider the possibility of ontological oppression, which arises when social kinds operating in a context unjustly constrain the behaviors, concepts, or affect of certain groups. Gender kinds operating in dominant contexts, I argue, oppress trans and nonbinary persons in this way: they marginalize (...) trans men and women, and exclude nonbinary persons. As a result, facts about membership in dominant gender kinds should not settle gender classification practices. (shrink)
In this article, Dembroff argues that the category nonbinary should not be understood in terms of presentation or psychological states, but instead in terms of how its members are politically situated with respect to the binary expectations of Western gender ideology.
In this article, I extend the feminist use of Friedrich Nietzsche’s account of memory and forgetting to consider the contemporary externalization of memory foregrounded by transgender experience. Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals argues that memory is “burnt in” to the forgetful body as a necessary part of subject-formation and the requirements of a social order. Feminist philosophers have employed Nietzsche’s account to illuminate how gender, as memory, becomes embodied. While the account of the “burnt in” repetitions of gender allows (...) us to theorize processes of embodied identity on an individual level, analyzing gender today requires also accounting for how gender is externalized. I take up this question through the specific examples of identity documents and sex-segregated bathrooms. Returning to Nietzsche’s call to practice a resistant forgetting, I conclude by exploring the distinct strategies required to disrupt externalized memory. These strategies include contesting the use of past gender assignments in data collection and rewriting architectural reminders of gender. (shrink)
In "Amelioration and Inclusion: Gender Identity and the Concept of Woman," Katharine Jenkins argues that Sally Haslanger's focal analysis of gender problematically excludes nonpassing trans women from the category "woman." However, Jenkins does not explain why this exclusion contradicts the feminist aims of Haslanger's account. In this paper, I advance two arguments that suggest that a trans-inclusive account of "woman" is crucial to the aims of feminism. I claim that the aims of feminism are to understand and combat women's oppression. (...) First, I argue that denial of trans identities reinforces cultural ideas that perpetuate both transphobic violence and sexual violence against women. Consequently, a feminist account of "woman" that fails to respect trans identities indirectly contributes to the oppression of women. Second, I prove that nonpassing trans women are oppressed as women through the internalization of sexual objectification. I then conclude that an account of "woman" that excludes nonpassing trans women cannot successfully advance a complete understanding of women's oppression. (shrink)
There is already a long history of conversation between feminism and deconstruction, feminist theorists and Derrida or Derrideans. That conversation has been by turns fraught and constructive. While some of these interactions have occurred in queer feminism, to date little has been done to stage an engagement between deconstruction and transfeminism. Naysayers might think that transfeminism is too recent and too identitarian a discourse to meaningfully interact with Derrida’s legacy. On the other hand, perhaps Derrida’s work was too embedded in (...) second wave feminism, and in some cases implicit misogyny and transphobia, to meet transfeminism on its own playing field. And yet, I think both suspicions shortchange these discourses. In this article, I stage a conversation between Derrida and two writers working in the area of trans feminism: Paisley Currah and Julia Serano. I explore, in particular, how their conceptions of gender neutrality or gender pluralism are complementary and together change the so-called “question of woman,” from a philosophical and political perspective. (shrink)
The “born this way” narrative remains a popular way to defend nonnormative genders and sexualities in the United States. While feminist and queer theorists have critiqued the narrative's implicit ahistorical and essentialist understanding of sexuality, the narrative's incorporation by the state as a way to regulate gender identity has gone largely underdeveloped. I argue that transgender accounts of this narrative reorient it amid questions of temporality, race, colonialism, and the nation-state, thereby allowing for a critique that does justice to the (...) enmeshment of categories of difference. (shrink)
How do we view, understand and appreciate a complex and challenging work of visual art such as Leon Mostovoy's Transfigure and how, in our encounter with it, does beauty matter? Transfigure Project--a 2013 book, film and photographic installation that is now also an interactive website--is "a project of corporal self-expression, presented as an experimental, visual feast" by which 'transfigure' means "to transform into something more beautiful or elevated." Photographs of fifty nude trans-identified figures can be playfully arranged in numerous combinations; (...) a woman's head can appear over a post-op torso over a pelvis with penis. The result, according to the artist, is "A celebration of bodies that transcend the gender binary" and shatter stereotypical notions of beauty. How does the meaning of Transfigure challenge and subvert traditional theories in aesthetics? (shrink)
Allies are extremely important to LGBT rights. Though we don’t often enumerate what tasks we expect allies to do, a fairly common conception is that allies “support the LGBT community.” In the first section I introduce three difficulties for this position that collectively suggest it is conceptually insufficient. I then develop a positive account by starting with whom allies are allied to instead of what allies are supposed to do. We might obviously say here that allies are allied to the (...) LGBT community, but I will argue that this community is better thought of as a loose coalition because there are often intersectional issues and conflicting interests that challenge any unified sense of community. I argue that people typically become allies because a friend or family member is experiencing some kind of specific harm; if that harm or discrimination is what causally explains why people become allies, then allies are required to do more than we commonly think. Although allies have a prima facie obligation to honor what members of a subcommunity identify as a harm, this obligation is defeasible if an ally believes fulfilling the obligation would be harmful. I conclude by looking at how we can understand what an ally is in terms of a larger discussion about moral obligations. If people already have these obligations, whatever they are, because morality requires it, then the status “ally” is redundant. I conclude by showing that certain social statuses can not only transform or reprioritize prior moral commitments, but can also introduce new kinds of responsibility that an agent did not have before. (shrink)
Shulamith Firestone's Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution was, upon its original publication, both radicacmen would be freed from the burden of childbirth, in which the nuclear family, gender roles, typical constructions of marriage and parenting are all a thing of the past, still for many seems radical, even forty-five years after its debut in 1970. With Firestone's recent passing, it is a particularly suitable time to reconsider her work in light of the medical, technological, and social changes (...) of the past few decades. Specifically, I wish to argue that the kind of future society that Firestone envisioned, which would be possible only through the use of certain medical technologies, has begun to be actualized within many trans-affirming communities. The greater the recognition of trans identities, trans lives, and trans relationships, the more we will approach the realization of the post-revolutionary society that she describes. In this essay, I consider Firestone's ideas on the issues of biological sex, gender, relationships, and parenthood, after which I will identify how present trans-affirming practices serve to support these Firestonian ideals. (shrink)
What does woman mean? According to two competing views, it can be seen as a sex term or as a gender term. Recently, Jennifer Saul has put forward a contextualist view, according to which woman can have different meanings in different contexts. The main motivation for this view seems to involve moral and political considerations, namely, that this view can do justice to the claims of trans women. Unfortunately, Saul argues, on further reflection the contextualist view fails to do justice (...) to those moral and political claims that motivated the view in the first place. In this article I argue that there is a version of the contextualist view that can indeed capture those moral and political aims, and in addition, I use this case to illustrate an important and more general claim, namely, that moral and political considerations can be relevant to the descriptive project of finding out what certain politically significant terms actually mean. (shrink)
In this article, I consider the harms inflicted upon transgender persons through “misgendering,” that is, such deployments of gender terms that diminish transgender persons' self-respect, limit the discursive resources at their disposal to define their own gender, and cause them microaggressive psychological harms. Such deployments are morally contestable, that is, they can be challenged on ethical or political grounds. Two characterizations of “woman” proposed in the feminist literature are critiqued from this perspective. When we consider what would happen to transgender (...) women upon the broad implementation of these characterizations within transgender women's social context, we discover that they suffer from two defects: they either exclude at least some transgender women, or else they implicitly foster hierarchies among women, marginalizing transgender women in particular. In conclusion, I claim that the moral contestability of gender-term deployments acts as a stimulus to regularly consider the provisionality and revisability of our deployments of the term “woman.”. (shrink)
What happens when we consider transformative experiences from the perspective of gender transitions? In this paper I suggest that at least two insights emerge. First, trans* persons’ experiences of gender transitions show some limitations to L.A. Paul’s (forthcoming) decision theoretic account of transformative decisions. This will involve exploring some of the phenomenology of coming to know that one is trans, and in coming to decide to transition. Second, what epistemological effects are there to undergoing a transformative experience? By connecting some (...) experiences of gender transitions to feminist standpoint epistemology, I argue that radical changes in one’s identity and social location also radically affects one’s access to knowledge in ways not widely appreciated in contemporary epistemology. (shrink)
This paper will examine the violence of heteronormativity: the violence that constitutes and regulates bodies according to normative notions of sex, gender, and sexuality. This violence, I will argue, requires more than a focus on gendered or sexualized physical harms of the kinds normally examined when studying violence against sexual minorities or women. Rather, it necessitates focusing on the multiple modalities through which heteronormativity performs its violence on, through, and against bodies and persons, including through the production of certain bodies (...) and persons as inciting violence in their very being. To establish my argument, I explore the killing in 2002 of trans woman Gwen Araujo and the violence of the legal strategy (the trans panic defense) used in the legal trials that followed her killing. Both forms of violence, I suggest, operate in a similar way, albeit through different mechanisms, to maintain and extend the system of binary morphology that itself entails the perpetual violent materialization of sexed bodies. (shrink)
The notion of gender, introduced into France by queens and drags in the late 20th century (the glorious period of the "drag-queens") and revitalized by American "queer", follows a traditionally feminist path where homosexual and particularly male issues are once again being hidden away. Having played a big part in popularizing that first version, Patrick Cardon proposes, in order to avoid any misunderstanding and escape once for all from any attempts at reification, to use the term and the universal notion (...) of transgender, which would cover the deconstructivist notions of queer, post-colonial and cultural studies, in order to give a place intelligently to ALL diversities beyond any binarism and with a foresight of future hybridity. (shrink)
Is sex identity a feature of one's mind or body, and is it a relational or intrinsic property? Who is in the best position to know a person's sex, do we each have a true sex, and is a person's sex an alterable characteristic? When a person's sex assignment changes, has the old self disappeared and a new one emerged; or, has only the public presentation of one's self changed? "You've Changed" examines the philosophical questions raised by the phenomenon of (...) sex reassignment, and brings together the essays of scholars known for their work in gender, sexuality, queer, and disability studies, feminist epistemology and science studies, and philosophical accounts of personal identity. An interdisciplinary contribution to the emerging field of transgender studies, it will be of interest to students and scholars in a number of disciplines. (shrink)