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Bettcher, Talia Mae, , . Trapped in the Wrong Theory: Rethinking Trans Oppression and Resistance
2014, Signs: Journal of Women Culture and Society, 39 (2): 383 – 406.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by: Rory Wilson

Abstract: In this essay, I defend an account of trans oppression and resistance that departs from the prevailing transgender model. While I show why both the “trapped in the wrong body” model and the transgender model are problematic, I also illuminate how the former can be seen as a resistant narrative. The new account has two key ideas. First, I draw from María Lugones’s work to defend a model of multiple meanings, arguing that the traditional accounts assume dominant meanings while foreclosing resistant ones. Second, I draw from the recent literature on the transphobic representation of trans people as deceivers to argue that reality enforcement is an important consequence of dominant ways of doing gender. The traditional wrong-body narrative can be seen as resisting reality enforcement.

Comment: This article can pair well with teaching on gender or transgender / queer philosophy. Compliments the work of Rachel MacKinnon.

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Humphreys, Rebekah , Watson, Kate, . The Killing Floor and Crime Narratives: Marking Women and Nonhuman Animals
2019, Kate Watson, Katharine Cox (eds.), Tattoos in crime and detective narratives, Manchester University Press, 170-196
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Björn Freter

This interdisciplinary chapter provides a literary reading and philosophical analyses of issues surrounding the depiction of women and of nonhuman animals in a subgenre of contemporary crime narratives – what this chapter terms ‘killing floor’ crime fiction. This is achieved through a focus on the function of the tattoo, ‘markings’ in a broad sense (both metaphorically and physically) and the gendered elements of animal representations in crime fiction. Through an analysis of the significance of marking skin, the chapter links the exploitation and objectification of the bodies of women and of nonhuman animals. In doing so, it compares the use of animals in modern-day killing floor practices and the position of women in contemporary crime fiction. Through forcible marking and scarification, this chapter raises pertinent interrelated ethical issues concerning the perceptions of women, their societal status and the commercial use of nonhuman animals.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Young, Iris Marion, , . Five faces of oppression
2009, In George L. Henderson & Marvin Waterstone (eds.), Philosophical Forum. Routledge. 270
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Diversifying Syllabi: The concept of ‘oppression’ cannot be captured by traditional, distributive conceptions of justice. Oppression is also not a unified phenomenon with an underlying, fundamental essence. To make sense of oppression, we need to revise our accounts of social ontology to recognize the existence of “groups.” Social groups can experience oppression in any of the following, crucially distinct five ways: exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and violence. Individuals within these groups can experience all, multiple, or just one of these forms of oppression and can also find themselves, simultaneously, in dominant groups/positions in other contexts. A revised social ontology that accounts for the existence of such groups shows that redistribution of material goods will not eliminate these forms of oppression.

Comment: This text is most useful in teaching on the nature of justice, as it offers a valuable alternative to the theories typically discussed in undergraduate classes. It offers a great introduction to the notion of systemic injustice and issues in gender and racial discrimination. Since the text is written in a fairly approachable way, it can offer a good introductory text in some junior courses, stimulating reflection on issues typically taken for granted.

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Young, Iris Marion, , . Justice and the Politics of Difference
1990, Princeton University Press.
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Added by: Nick Novelli, Contributed by:

Publisher’s note: In this classic work of feminist political thought, Iris Marion Young challenges the prevailing reduction of social justice to distributive justice. It critically analyzes basic concepts underlying most theories of justice, including impartiality, formal equality, and the unitary moral subjectivity. The starting point for her critique is the experience and concerns of the new social movements about decision making, cultural expression, and division of labor–that were created by marginal and excluded groups, including women, African Americans, and American Indians, as well as gays and lesbians. Iris Young defines concepts of domination and oppression to cover issues eluding the distributive model. Democratic theorists, according to Young do not adequately address the problem of an inclusive participatory framework. By assuming a homogeneous public, they fail to consider institutional arrangements for including people not culturally identified with white European male norms of reason and respectability. Young urges that normative theory and public policy should undermine group-based oppression by affirming rather than suppressing social group difference. Basing her vision of the good society on the differentiated, culturally plural network of contemporary urban life, she argues for a principle of group representation in democratic publics and for group-differentiated policies.

Comment: This is an important work of feminist political philosophy. It would be useful to teach in a course on feminist philosophy, or as part of a course or unit on theories of justice, as it engages with many of the seminal thinkers in this area, such as Locke, Rousseau, and Rawls.

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