Dialogue: Transgendered bodies as subjects of feminism: A conversation and analysis about the inclusion of trans persons and politics in the Nicaraguan feminist movement

Silke Heumann, AV Portocarrero, C Antillón Najlis, MT Blandon, G Gomez, A Larios, A Quiros Viquez, J Urbina

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

Abstract

Twenty-five years after Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, the question of women as the ‘subject’ of feminism continues to be hotly debated among feminists around the world. The proliferation of new subjects that claim a space within feminism has heightened and complicated debates about the ‘true’ feminist subject and ‘true nature’ of feminist politics. This paper aims to open up space for conversations about redefining feminism in ways that are more sensitive to diversity and intersecting forms of power. It deals specifically with the debate around the inclusion of trans persons in the feminist movement, through a dialogue developed with cis and transgender feminists in Managua, Nicaragua in 2015. The discussions revolved around four main issues: (1) The relationship between bodies, social position and subjectivity, and how that positions transwomen within feminism; (2) transwomen’s gender performance and politics and to what extent they (are seen to) share or rather challenge a feminist politics; (3) the inclusion of trans-bodies in feminist spaces; (4) the multiple points of convergence identified by both cis and transgender feminists who participated in the dialogue. Overall, despite differences and tensions, the dialogue revealed many points of convergence and cross-fertilization between trans and feminist politics. Abandoning essentialist notions (that sometimes prevail in both trans and feminist movements) is crucial to understanding the ways in which patriarchal and heteronormative understandings of gender and sexuality affect us all in different yet interrelated ways – and hence also for a meaningful inclusion of transpersons and politics into feminist agendas and movements.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationBodies in Resistance: Gender Politics in the Age of Neoliberalism
EditorsW. Harcourt
Place of PublicationLondon
Pages163-187
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

SeriesGender, Development and Social Change

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