This paper responds to Kathleen Stock’s attempt to explain a puzzling fact, at least from her standpoint: widespread assertions that some people who are biologically male are women and some people who are biologically female are men. She regards these assertions as made while immersed in a fiction. Stock rejects an alternative explanation – that a lot of these people have read Judith Butler or 1970s feminism. Clarifying that explanation reveals it to be not so easy to dismiss.
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)
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)
There are two conceptions of ‘inclusion’ in play in this debate. 1. The traditional conception in sport: How does sport provide inclusion/exclusion? Through eligibility criteria. 2. The social justice conception: trans people must be included in all social endeavours/institutions, one of these being sport. In the latter ‘inclusion’ facilitates affirmation and validation of their gender identity. The question is: should sport take on this ‘social justice’ task?
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)
The Yogyakarta Principles for the application of human rights to sexual orientation and gender identity define gender identity as “each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of the body and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech, and mannerisms.” This definition and its acknowledgment within human rights politics is a key step in the fight of trans people for legal protection. Our (...) aim is to analyze this definition both historically and systematically to find out how the Western liberal conception of rights fosters specific trans politics and limits the options for others. Specifically, we claim that political liberalism and the form of subjective rights that it brings about influence concepts of identity and political strategies. While we analyze the limits of the liberal framework, our aim is to think about how it is possible that even within this framework, non-normative bodies and queer identities can be acknowledged and supported through law. (shrink)
This essay uses Maria Lugones’s account of the colonial/modern gender system to analyze the retro-use of “biological sex” in recent anti-trans legislation. The retro-use of sex refers to the role of sex in legislation that has been widely described by critics as moving the U.S. backward in time, or as a rollback of trans rights. The essay argues that Lugones’s theorization of the sex/gender distinction in the context of colonialism offers a better way of understanding the retro-use of sex in (...) this legislation than white Anglo-American feminist theories. While Lugones does not explicitly engage with this legislation, the essay shows that her racialized material history of the concept of biological sex not only allows for an expanded sense of the pasts that are at work in the present use of sex but also sharpens the need for feminist and trans responses to the retro-use of sex that are explicitly anti-racist and decolonial. -/- . (shrink)
This paper offers a discussion of the rationale for the creation of sports categorization criteria based on sporting genealogy and the gendered body, as proposed by Torres et al. in their article ‘Beyond Physiology: Embodied Experience, Embodied Advantage, and the Inclusion of Transgender Athletes in Competitive Sport’. The strength of their ‘phenomenological’ account lies in its complex account of human experience; but this is also what makes it impractical and difficult to operationalize. Categorization rather requires simplicity and practicability, if it (...) is to be applied to all athletes (and not exceptionally to transgender athletes). This discussion helps us to formulate three general principles for the process of categorization of athletes, relating to fairness, verifiability and practicability. (shrink)
In the consolidated cases Altitude Express v. Zarda, Bostock v. Clayton County, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Although the parties disagree as to the appropriate formulation of a but-for test to determine whether or not there was a discriminatory outcome, all parties do agree to the use of such a test, which asks “whether the evidence (...) shows ‘treatment of a person in a manner which but for that person’s sex would be different.’” City of Los Angeles, Dep’t. of Water and Power v. Manhart, 435 U.S. 702, 711 (1978). However, but-for tests confuse more than they clarify the inquiry; a discriminatory outcome cannot be explained by appeal to just a discrete characteristic of a particular person. Individuals are not discriminated against because of these characteristics per se. Rather, they are discriminated against because of the social meanings and expectations that attach to these characteristics. Beyoncé and Taylor Swift illustrate the difference between individual-level causation and social explanation in two separate songs, “If I Were a Boy” and “The Man.” The explanation for why the counterfactual ‘male’ Beyoncé and Swift are evaluated differently than their current ‘female’ versions does not lie in individual-level features considered apart from the social world, but in social-level roles and expectations associated with those features. For this reason, a social explanation test—one that asks whether the social meanings of sex characteristics, rather than the characteristics per se, explain the outcome in question—is more suitable for determining whether or not Title VII has been violated. (shrink)
Recent debate regarding transgender persons’ bathroom-utilization prerogatives raises broader issues concerning current practices of sex segregation more generally. I argue that the only consistently Progressive position on bathroom access is an outright opposition to any form of bathroom segregation. This opposition, in turn, entails a thorough-going rejection of all types of sex- and gender-segregation. I then suggest that Progressives uncomfortable with such wide-ranging implications may wish to consider the merits of a certain Traditionalist position on such matters—one that counsels caution (...) and legislative forbearance when it comes to overturning long-standing customs (such as those embodied in current practices of sex-segregation). (shrink)
In this peer commentary on Maura Priest's "Transgender Children and the Right to Transition: Medical Ethics When Parents Mean Well but Cause Harm", I argue against the "mismatch" model of trans identity. On this model, which is prevalent in institutional and medical contexts, to be trans is to have one's gender identity "mismatch" with one's sexed body.
In this article, I consider the harms inflicted upon transgender persons through “misgendering,” that is, such deployments of gender terms that diminish transgender persons’ selfrespect, 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)
Despite a “spatial imaginary” which constructs Europe as a location of sexual and gender freedom (Rao, 2014), presently, twenty countries in Europe require sterilisation in order to legally recognise transgender people’s gender identities, including four of the seven countries in the INFERCIT study: Greece, Italy, Turkey, and Cyprus (but not Spain, which since 2007 does not require sterilisation for gender identity recognition [see Platero, 2008]. In Bulgaria and Lebanon no gender identity recognition for trans people is provided by law; the (...) latter lies outside the “European” region) (TGEU, 2014). Compulsory sterilisation—classified as a crime against humanity in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (UN General Assembly, 1998: art. 7.1)—is widely in force against transgender people, who constitute “the only known group in Europe subject to legally prescribed, state-enforced sterilisation” (Hammarberg, 2009: 19). However, forced sterilisation of trans people is not generally conceptualised as a eugenicist or genocidal policy, in part because sterilisation is conflated with gender reassignment surgical interventions which, widely considered as that which brings transgender bodies into being, are in turn conflated with embodied transgender subjectivities. On this view, transgender individuals could not exist except through a medicalised process that, by design, precludes their “natural” reproductive capacities and is generally not accompanied by fertility preservation or the provision of assisted reproduction technologies (Plemons, 2014: 38; De Sutter et al., 2002; De Sutter, 2001). Sterilisation laws are justified through a pathologising discourse on transgender lives which constructs gender reassignment interventions as medical “treatment” of gender identity disorder (Suess, Espineira & Crego Walters, 2014: 73-76). Adopting a depathologising perspective enables us to contextualise compulsory sterilisation (which naturalises the sexually dimorphic, cisgender, heterosexual body) as a form of “gendercide” which has historically been instrumental in the imposition of a Euro-colonial binary gender system (Miranda, 2010; Lugones, 2007). The state-imposition of medical interventions on trans people not only has deleterious effects on their reproductive rights, “effectively undermin[ing] their right to found a family” (Hammarberg, 2009: 21; see OHCHR et al., 2014)—as “family” is hegemonically defined by a heteronormative and bio/ logical kinship order (Butler, 2002; van Anders, 2014). I argue that state regulation of transgender reproduction constitutes a form of institutionalised gendered violence inasmuch as it impedes transgender people’s ability to exercise inherent first-person authority over the materiality and meanings of their gendered embodiments (Bettcher, 2009; Spade, 2013). Efforts to renaturalise gender and kinship inextricably intersect (Kantsa, 2006) in the biopolitical attempt to regulate transgender embodiments and reproduction, which conditions the emerging legal recognition of transgender subjects as a rights-bearing minority (Stryker, 2014). (shrink)
Developments in uterus transplant put assisted gestation within meaningful range of clinical success for women with uterine infertility who want to gestate children. Should this kind of transplantation prove routine and effective for those women, would there be any morally significant reason why men or transgender women should not be eligible for the same opportunity for gestation? Getting to the point of safe and effective uterus transplantation for those parties would require a focused line of research, over and above the (...) study of uterus transplantation for non-transgender women. Some commentators object to the idea that the state has any duty to sponsor research of this kind. They would limit all publicly-funded fertility research to sex-typical ways of having children, which they construe as the basis of reproductive rights. This objection has no force against privately-funded research, of course, and in any case not all social expenditures are responses to ‘rights’ properly speaking. Another possible objection raised against gestation by transgender women is that it could alter the social meaning of sexed bodies. This line of argument fails, however, to substantiate a meaningful objection to gestation by transgender women because social meanings of sexed bodies do not remain constant and because the change in this case would not elicit social effects significant enough to justify closing off gestation to transgender women as a class. (shrink)
Trans studies constitute part of the coming-to-voice of transpeople, long the theorized and researched objects of sexology, psychiatry, and feminist theory. Sandy Stone’s pioneering, “The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto” sought the end of monolithic medical and feminist accounts of transsexuality to reveal a multiplicity of trans-authored narratives. My goal is a better understanding of what it is for transpeople to come to this polyvocality. I argue that trans politics ought to proceed with the principle that transpeople have first-person (...) authority (FPA) over their own gender, and I clarify what this means. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that anyone who accepts a Rawlsian account of justice should favor granting family-based immigration benefit to same-sex couples. I first provide a brief over-view of the most relevant aspects of Rawls's position, Justice as Fairness. I then explain why family-based immigration benefits are an important topic and one that everyone interested in immigration and justice must consider. I then show how same-sex couples are currently systematically excluded from the benefits that flow from family-based immigration rights. (...) Next I argue that people in the constitutional and legislative stages of Rawls's original position would act to protect family-based immigration rights for themselves and show how these rights are rights of the current citizens of a state to bring in certain outsiders and not rights of outsiders seeking to enter. Importantly, this argument takes place entirely within the bounds of Rawls's domestic theory of justice and does not make reference to his more controversial views found in his account of international justice. I then show that there is no acceptable reason to restrict these rights to opposite-sex couples and good reason to extend them to same-sex couples. Finally I consider two objections to my account and show why they do not threaten my conclusion. (shrink)
There are two popular ways of explaining why a person has authority over her own gender identity: epistemic FPA and ethical FPA. Both have problems. Epistemic FPA attributes to the self-identifier an unrealistic degree of doxastic reliability. Ethical FPA implies the existence of an unqualified obligation not to reject which is too strong to be plausible. This essay offers a third explanation called “weak FPA” and investigates how far first-person authority reaches in terms of grounding rights and obligating others. Weak (...) FPA doesn’t obligate one not to reject but it implies that when self-identification can be satisfactorily defended against attempted defeaters, the self-identifier has the right to recognition, which entails the respect and all other legal and social rights any other self-identifier receives from her peers. (shrink)