Sexuality Policy Watch

Feminism Without Transphobia

Originally posted on the Duke University Press’ blog on 11/05/2016. Available at:

Feminism and trans activism don’t have to be mutually exclusive, argue the contributors to “Trans/Feminisms,” the most recent issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly.

This special double issue, edited by Susan Stryker and Talia M. Bettcher, goes beyond the simplistic dichotomy between an exclusionary transphobic feminism and an inclusive trans-affirming feminism. Exploring the ways in which trans issues are addressed within feminist and women’s organizations and social movements around the world, contributors ask how trans, genderqueer, and nonbinary issues are related to feminist movements today, what kind of work is currently undertaken in the name of trans/feminism, what new paradigms and visions are emerging, and what questions still need to be taken up.

Central to this issue is the recognition that oppressions intersect, converge, overlap, and sometimes diverge in complex ways, and that trans/feminist politics cannot restrict itself to the domain of gender alone.

This issue features numerous shorter works that represent the diversity of trans/feminist practices and problematics and, in addition to original research articles, includes theory, reports, manifestos, opinion pieces, reviews, and creative/artistic productions, as well as republished key documents of trans/feminist history and international scholarship.

In “An Affinity of Hammers,” Sara Ahmed offers a critique of the claim that transphobia is being misused as a way of silencing or censoring critical feminist speech. She suggests that transphobia works as a system in which trans people experience a hammering—a constant chipping away at their existence—by the demand to provide evidence of their existence.

Also featured in this issue is micha cárdenas’s hybrid poetry/bioart project, Pregnancy, which presents a vision of trans Latina reproductive futures. The work is based on cárdenas’s own experiences of sperm banking after having been on hormones for many years.

Read the introduction to “Trans/Feminisms,” made freely available.


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