Namaste And Butler's Approaches To Violence Against Transwomen By Judith Butlern Summary

Contrasts and Evaluations of Namaste and Butler’s Approaches to Violence against Transwomen
In “Undoing Theory, The ‘Transgender Question’ and the Epistemic Violence of Anglo-American Feminist Theory”, Viviane Namaste (2009) examines the impacts of feminist knowledge production on transgender lives, specifically looking at the ways in which Judith Butler’s theories frame violence against transwomen. Indeed, in doing so, Namaste astutely points out that Butler fails to recognize the complexity of this issue as she is blinded by gender primacy (2009, p. 18). However, although this conclusion is enlightening, Namaste’s own analysis of violence against transwomen is quite superficial as it largely relies predominantly on the concept of labor. Although
…show more content…
Namaste attempts to complexify the simplistic notion of gender transgression as being the only factor explaining violence against transwomen by adding the factor of labor. Indeed, basing her claims on Mirha-Soleil Ross’s work, she explains that transwomen (particularly transsexual women of color) are frequently victims of such violence because of their prevalence in the sex work industry, whose workers face dehumanization and stigmatization (Namaste, 2009, p. 17). Although there must be an appreciation of Namaste’s problematization of violence against transwomen, her reflections are clouded by her shallow look at labor as she doesn’t delve into the power dynamics of gender which are enacted through sex …show more content…
As credible bearers of those attributes, however, genders can be rendered thoroughly and radically incredible” (1990, p.193). In other words, Butler seeks to radically resignify gender based on the illusion of an inner truth of gender (2009, p.186); she wants to abolish power relations that marginalize trans people, among others (by looking at the production of gender – and consequently, its abolition). We have to be clear, however, and specify that this deconstructing, theoretical approach to gender does not mean that feminist theory must not account for the lived experiences of people it studies; rather, a more holistic approach to gender must be promoted in order to bridge the gap between their theoretical explanations and the lived experiences of

Related Documents

Related Topics