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Transfixed: The Radical Feminist Body

Mahn, Churnjeet (2012) Transfixed: The Radical Feminist Body Alluvium, 1 (2).

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This article offers a case-study of the tension between feminist and trans politics in British women's activism.

"Last month the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (UK & Ireland) listserv spilled into a public debate about the exclusion of women not biologically assigned female at birth, from the forthcoming Radfem conference in July. The FWSA listserv, primarily used to circulate information on academic notices and cultural events of interest to academics, suddenly found itself implicated in the discussions of biological essentialism, censorship, social conscience and gender politics that invariably expose the fault lines in the history of feminist thought and action. Radfem 2012, taking place in July in London, is explicit in setting the agenda for what it defines as radical feminism, namely a uniformly antagonistic rejection of practices and structures that can be identified as discriminatory against biologically born women living as women. The ‘radical’ in Radfem is a strategic blinkering that excludes or dismisses the prevailing trends at the intersection of feminist and gender studies in order to recover an uncomplicated female body that anchors or reinvigorates the critique of patriarchy. In some sense, Radfem could position itself as a distant cousin to Occupy movement: another grassroots and critically informed reaction to the diffuse systems of power that condition and demand the inequalities and injustices of everyday life."

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Literature and Languages > English
Authors :
Mahn, Churnjeet
Date : 1 July 2012
DOI : 10.7766/alluvium.v1.2.02
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic copy of an article published as Mahn CK (2012). Transfixed: The Radical Feminist Body, Alluvium 1(2) 01 . Available online at
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 Jul 2013 15:50
Last Modified : 12 Mar 2018 11:55

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