Theory is Yours: A Brief Archaeology of Trans Feminist Awesome

This post will appear as a crosspost on QT very shortly and was addressed chiefly to its audience, and thus the 'this space' term refers to Questioning Transphobia. Otherwise, enjoy! In looking out at the vast, expansive canon of gender studies literature, and in light of even the most superficial analysis of its myriad failings it is easy to feel dispirited by what it has to offer trans people. It is all too easy to understand the instinct to abandon both queer and gender studies as a privileged exercise in neo-pathology, the postmodern turn of the same ideologies that guided the hegemonic psychiatrists of decades past. One could find yet more examples, of course. Judith Lorber, someone readers of my blog may remember my past disagreements with, had this to say in 1994 about trans people: “[trans folk do not challenge the gender order because] their goal is to be feminine women and masculine men” (Lorber 1994, 20). Yet again we find the tireless obsession with … [Read more...]

Lost in Trans-Lation II: Attack of the Bad Puns

What follows is another journal entry, as the really bad title might well have clued you in to. This one is a brief analysis of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. Needless to say, I loved the book, and equally needless to say I found a means of relating some trans issues to it. The entire thing is nowhere near as deep and comprehensive as I would have liked. There are a multitude of ways to read those 120 pages that comprise Ms. Woolf's most famous feminist work. For instance I did not get to expound much on my idea that the Internet allows countless people from a variety of backgrounds, including otherwise very marginalised ones, to have a vast and endlessly interesting room of their own. The proliferation of blogs has created innumerable platforms that are both very personal and very public- perhaps transcending the firm dichotomy between them- for people like sex workers, trans folk, radical activists across the various spectra, people with disabilities, the impoverished, and … [Read more...]