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Wesleyan University | Center for the Humanities



Legislating Gender

Paisley Currah • City University of New York 

March 4th @ 6pm • Daniel Family Commons 

Does justice for transgender people hinge on the meaning of male and female? As the right-wing “anti-gender” movement leans hard on the notion of sex difference—there are only human females and human males and those statuses are fixed at birth—scholarship in gender studies and transgender studies respond with explanations about the mutability of gender and the secondary status of sex in determining social roles. Trans and anti-trans movements appear to be litigating, seemingly endlessly, the etiology of sex and gender, the relation between the material and the social, the biological body and the psychological self, and definitions of sex and gender. In this talk, Paisley Currah argues that conservative policy, if not rhetoric, is perfectly willing to eschew claims of biological sexual dimorphism and gender complementarity when needed. Rather than limiting trans politics to contests over gender definition, it’s vital to connect anti-trans policymaking with the perseverance of gender inequality in social and economic life.

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Center for the Humanities · 95 Pearl Street, Middletown, CT 06459

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