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Critical Transfeminist Design

El pressentiment→ project about critical thinking (series of postcards)

Main questions related to the body

Inflection points when the body was erased

A/ The stigma of the flesh→ the Christian pastoral care of the flesh

B/ The body as a machine→ the body as a cultural mechanism.

Christian pastoral care: Everything that surrounds the body is charged with stigma. The flesh is nullified----flagellation / No display of the body/ Natural mechanicism: body is understood from the mechanised animal. Body as machine. Soul-body dualism(mind=soul, body=machine). Ontological dualism

Inflection point at the end of XIX century

The emergence of phenomenology(= area of philosophy studi g relationship between humans and the surroundings like fenomena), the study of the body in its entirety begins.

2 dimensions of the body:

  1. Corporeal dimension of human existence (embodied things) first half of XX century
  2. Symbolic dimension second half of XX century

A/ Husserl-Ponty: body lived as a centre of intentionality, from the body I establish my relation with the other, A reference to the other. The body made flesh, carnally anchored in the world.

The focus of all action passes through the body.

Heidegger: affective anchoring of the individual in the world. All vision is codified by the context.

Nitche → truth is an agreement in a specific community (social cultural contexts)

B/ Lacan. Mirror theory: I see the body of the other reflected and become aware of my own selfhood as a body.

Foucault. Diff. Forms of subjectivity of bodies: Power: anonymous structures: subjectivation: surveillance and punishment

microphysics of control→(hetero)patriarchal.discourse

From a gender studies point of view: Cyborg. Haraway “we are all chimeras, theorised and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism; in a word, we are cyborgs.” On the relationship between science, technology and society

The performativity of the body: Performativity: action/reaction action linguistics

Butler. 2 points about the body: on the one hand, the body does things due to processes of normalisation, but on the other hand, the body has the capacity for rebellion (— Homosexuality/dif.sexuality). Language → represent myself in the world establish a communicative bridge representing my subjective world

  • linguistic coding marks the regulating meaning Language – meaning horizon / acts/→ normativisation----uniformisation

We are always already linguistically pre-constituted. The self is blurred in different linguistic attitudes Where is the freedom or autonomy of the self? How to avoid determinism? How to keep rearticulating

→ Implementing the processes of resignification

The norm is made effective by constant repetition, temporality?

  • Revision of regulative ideals: Incorporation of corrective practices, due to the dynamic character of the norm itself.

There are certain moments when language and body do not coincide → this is where implementation can take place.→ queer ———> body as an active principle of resignification

the flesh is resignificing the language


Recognizability in an identitarial society



Subaltern———Gramsci (Prison notebooks, 1929-35)

  • Subordination in the framework of capitalism_Marx (related with the Industrial Revolution)
  • Reflec. On Hegemony_Gramsci
    • Subaltern as an expression of the experience and subjective condition of the subordinate, determined by a relation of domination - in Gramscian terms, of hegemony (draft of a theory of subalternity_posterior).

“the subordinate classes always suffer from the initiative of the ruling class, even when they revolt”

the ruiling class is the problem of the revolt

Subaltern studies related to colonialism as the subaltern classes the places colonised ( UK and USA cases)

The concept of THE OTHERS → presented as a treat, dehumanising of the others and taking away their rights to be a human

Gayatri spivak, Can the subaltern speak?


“The clearest available example of such epistemic violence is the remotely orchestrated, far-flung, and heterogeneous project to constitute the colonial subject as Other. This project is also the asymmetrical obliteration of the trace of that Other in its precarious Subject-vitiy. It is well known that Foucault locates epistemic violence, a complete overhaul of the episteme, in the redefinition of sanity at the end of the European eighteenth century. But what if that particular redefinition was only a part of the narrative of history in Europe as well as in the colonies? What if the two projects of epistemic overhaul worked as dislocated and unacknowledged parts of a vast two-handed engine?” Spivak

The term ‘intersectionality’, was coined by the Black feminist lawyer, Professor Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989. On the experiences of racism and sexism of Black women. Intersectionality_became an analytical tool for looking/measuring at how different power structures interlink, function and impact on people’s’ experiences in feminism and other liberation movements. The complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (racism, sexism, classism…) intersect.

“The subaltern subject cannot speak because it does not have a place of enunciation that allows it. Women occupy this radical place because of their double condition as women and colonial subjects. The dominant discourse renders the colonised or subaltern incapable of reasoning for themselves, always needing the mediation and representation of the “first world intellectual”. There is no chance for the subaltern to learn the languages of the West and at the same time remain in his or her native context. Either one is a first world intellectual with full capacity to speak, or one is a silenced subaltern.” Spivak

Transfeminism is a part of what is known as new feminisms. It expands the subjects considered within feminism to include others who are also oppressed by cisheteropatriarchy, who are not necessarily cisgender women. Transfeminism understands the concept of gender as a social construction used to oppress and exclude. Transfeminists identify patriarchal oppression not within genders themselves, but in the inflexible binary system ‘man/woman’ and the fact that gender is associated to sex. Therefore, while transfeminism proposes the existence of as many genders as there are identities, gender critical feminism desires for there to be none. Transfeminism highlights the fact that society privileges people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth (cisgender people) and that, because it is a binary system, it only recognizes two genders (men and women), which marginalizes any other gender. However, it does not consider gender itself as good or bad. It defines it as a subjective personal and individual condition which should not be limited to masculine/feminine (there should be an infinite number of gender identities, which is why they recognize non-binary genders) The subjects of feminism are not just cisgender women-who identify with the gender they have -but also trans people and others who are oppressed by cisheteropatriarchy.

Last update: June 24, 2024