The matter of sex and gender: A dialogue between trans bodies and feminist theory
Despite significant social and political gains derived from gender theory, feminist scholars, progressive thinkers, and those in the transgender community do not critically examine the pre-supposed meanings of sex in gender theory. Instead, they simply assume its significance, thus erasing its complexity and inadvertently reproducing its binary status. In this paper, I use close analysis of theoretical texts to expose the foundational assumptions prevalent in prominent gender theorists who sometimes fall into the trap of pre-supposed sex signifiers. I explain why this tendency erases the terminology's complexity and inadvertently silences diverse trans identities. Arguing that these unexamined/unintentional dualistic perceptions of sex reproduce existing binaries, I demonstrate how and why such a dualism harms trans-people and produces disjunction between our lived realities and academic theory. I conclude by presenting new and alternative ways or perceiving systems of sex that are fluidly inclusive of broader identity categories.