Bypassing Binaries: Towards a Feminist Politics of Transgression

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ProQuest, 2008 - 90 pages
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This project is an archaeology of queer theory's tensions with feminist thought, as illustrated through understandings of the transgender body. First, I will examine the roots of both feminist's and queer theorist's understandings of sexuality as it relates to gender, pleasure, and danger. After that, I will examine the work of transgender activists who have been in direct conversation with the academy's theories to illustrate the ways that both feminist and queer approaches have been insufficient in addressing the specificities of the transgender experience. Considering these bodies of literature in conjunction with each other is important, as the ways that transgender activists push conversations around binary gender construction can serve as valuable model for activists concerned with addressing actual, lived realities outside of theory. Further, the challenges transgender bodies pose to both feminist and queer theories demonstrates the pressing need to constantly re-evaluate theories of sex and gender as they relate to embodied experiences. Ultimately, I will propose a new theoretical paradigm, a feminist politics of transgression, which will bring together the work of feminists, queer theorists, and transgender activists in the hopes of providing a platform for more effective collaboration. I believe that this work is necessary to bring current scholarly discussions of sexuality into a place which is more inclusive and ethical.

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