Unpacking the subject – Feminism beyond Womanhood? Non-Binary Transfeminist Methodological Considerations
- Date: Wednesday 2 December 2015, 16:00 –
- Location: 12.21/25 Social Sciences Building
- Type: Seminars
- Cost: Free
Whilst the concept of the gender binary has been widely discussed as a social construct,the relationship between individuals identifying outside of the binary and feminism hasn't been discussed
As some feminist scholars have grappled with the acceptance of transgender women as ‘real’, the concept of transfeminism was conceived. This directed focus onto intersections between transphobia and misogyny, and emphasised the roles and needs of transgender women in the political struggle for gender equality. Whilst the concept of the gender binary has been widely discussed as a social construction within feminist scholarship, the relationship between individuals identifying outside of the binary and feminism has hitherto remained hardly discussed.
This paper reports some of the findings from doctoral research examining identity negotiation amongst non-binary transgender people in relation to queer communities and medical practice. The paper considers ethical engagement with participants surrounding rapport building, and the ethics of anonymity. I argue that whilst feminist research practices were valuable during fieldwork, interactions with participants benefitted hugely from culturally specific knowledge of transgender. Discussion of such practices and knowledge is vital in producing effective, ethically nuanced research. Such work can improve the situations of individuals experiencing forms of oppression associated with womanhood, without identifying strictly as women. Further, the supposed dichotomy between name and pseudonym was broken down as participants used multiple names in different contexts (such as family and social life). Participants were able to exert power by using one name within the research so as to be simultaneously identifiable, and protected.
Presenter: Ben Vincent