Misgendering and Its Moral Contestability

Hypatia 31 (3):502-519 (2016)

Authors
Stephanie Julia Kapusta
Dalhousie University
Abstract
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.”
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DOI 10.1111/hypa.12259
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References found in this work BETA

The Social Construction of What?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Mind 109 (435):614-618.
Intellectual Norms and Foundations of Mind.Tyler Burge - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (December):697-720.

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He/She/They/Ze.Robin Dembroff & Daniel Wodak - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.

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