Gender and Truth, Gender as Post-truth

Gender is a salient carrier of competing truth and justice claims. It is the basis of very different, even contradictory rights claims (women’s, gay or transgender recognition demands, for example), which some right-wing political actors frame as a unified, coordinated lobby. These (and other) gender strategies embody different, conflicting political visions about the regulation of populations and the disciplining of the body. Gender was not invented by liberatory feminist politics, but by the normalizing sexological praxis of the post-war United States, from which a couple of decades later the transgender movement emerged. This latest, and currently highly visible gender strategy does not merely disregard the material embeddedness of recognition issues (as do other forms of recognition politics), but even places sex difference and its political materiality under taboo. The truth of gender as self-identity, presupposing an immensely individualized concept of the human, completes the devaluation of materiality inherent in the sex/gender distinction, and thereby takes the individualization of truth and justice claims to the extremes. This is a key reason why gender became a principal signifier for the modernist idea of teleological progress and the logical conclusion of post-truth and post-justice tactics construed as a strategy of elite struggles.

Released: Replika 112, 167–186.
Replika block: