Authors
Anca Gheaus
Central European University
Abstract
Talk of gender identity is at the core of heated current philosophical and political debates. Yet, it is unclear what it means to have one. I examine several ways of understanding this concept, in light of features that trans writers and activists seem to attribute to it: The concept should, ideally, make good trans people’s understanding of their own gender identities, the claim that people have privileged access to their gender identities and, perhaps the claim that we all have a gender identity. Further, to validate trans activists’ demands, an account of gender identity should admit that misgendering is a form of serious harm, and that it is permissible for states, and maybe other agents, to require information about people’s gender identities. I conclude that none of the considered accounts meets more than a few of these criteria, on the assumption that the gender norms of femininity and masculinity are unjustified. But we can, and should, pursue the feminist project without “gender identity”. Feminism without gender identity doesn’t need to exclude trans people; it is possible to account for the specific harm of misgendering without believing that we have a claim to the recognition of our gender identities. And, instead of “gender identity”, it is more productive to rely on other gender concepts, such as gender norms, roles, and socialisation, to evaluate, separately, each of the trans people’s claims to inclusion into particular spaces.
Keywords gender identity   feminism
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Are women adult human females?Alex Byrne - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3783-3803.
Feminist Perspectives on Sex and Gender.Mari Mikkola - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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