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Feminist and trans perspectives on identity and the UK Gender Recognition Act

Paddy McQueen Orcid Logo

The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Volume: 18, Issue: 3, Pages: 671 - 687

Swansea University Author: Paddy McQueen Orcid Logo

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Abstract

This article analyses Sheila Jeffreys’ criticisms of the UK’s Gender Recognition Act (GRA) and her critique of trans identities. Placing her work within a wider radical feminist perspective, I suggest that her arguments against the GRA are based upon a problematic understanding of sex and gender. In...

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Published in: The British Journal of Politics and International Relations
ISSN: 1369-1481 1467-856X
Published: 2016
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa48273
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Abstract: This article analyses Sheila Jeffreys’ criticisms of the UK’s Gender Recognition Act (GRA) and her critique of trans identities. Placing her work within a wider radical feminist perspective, I suggest that her arguments against the GRA are based upon a problematic understanding of sex and gender. In so doing, I defend how sex and gender are understood in the GRA. In addition, I demonstrate that radical feminist concerns about sex/gender reassignment surgery and the complicity of trans individuals with stereotypical gender norms are unwarranted. Through emphasising the importance of attending to the embodied dimensions of sex and gender, I present a partial defence of the UK’s GRA. In particular, I highlight the benefits that offers to trans individuals, although I also indicate ways in which the GRA can be improved. Finally, I challenge radical feminists who see trans theory and identities as inimical to the goals of feminism.
Keywords: Feminism; Gender; Gender Recognition Act; Sheila Jeffreys; Trans identities
College: College of Arts and Humanities
Issue: 3
Start Page: 671
End Page: 687