new article by Talia Bettcher

Without a Net: Starting Points for Trans Stories

There is a familiar view of transsexuality which speaks of women trapped inside male bodies and men trapped inside female bodies. We can call this the “wrong body” account. In this view, transsexuality is construed as a misalignment between gender identity and sexed body. At its most extreme, the idea is that one’s real sex—given by internal identity—is somehow grounded somatically. It’s on the basis of this identity that one affirms that one has always really belonged to a particular sex and therefore has a claim to surgical procedures that bring one’s body into alignment. One of the obvious problems with this account is that it seems to naturalize sex/gender differences in a troubling way. Christine Overall remarks, for example: “On this theory, gender is reified, at least for some individuals. As a member of the social group ‘women,’ I find this idea frightening.”1 As a (trans) woman, I find this idea frightening, too. READ MORE HERE


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1 Response to new article by Talia Bettcher

  1. Evan says:

    This is brilliant. Thank you. It made me think. Especially the part about the enforcer and dominant culture view vs. the self-identification that is characteristic of the trans culture. A friend and I were talking the other day about how we feel in regards to our actual gender identity, the experience of it, the shifting and fluidity of it and how it’s tough because it’s not a solid I’m a man that’s it kind of thing. In non-trans space, for me, mainly with family and people who knew me before medical transition, it sort of feels like a fight to be seen as who I am and perceive myself to be. For ex. I ask my family simple to use male pronouns and my name. I’m socially male. The end. My outward physical appearance is mostly masculine but I am queer and am at a point in my life where I want to accent my style with what would be seen as more feminine in the larger society. For ex. nail polish and maybe eyeliner..It’s not a trendy thing. Or trying to be cool. It’s about genuine expression and beauty. But I’m scared because I don’t want to be messed with when I’m out and about and I don’t want my masculinity called into question. Gah! In our LGBT community I feel pretty safe though.
    Anyway, thanks. I follow this blog but have never felt the need to comment.


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