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PHL243H1 (24)

Bettcher - Trans Women and the Meaning of Woman.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Ronniede Sousa

- Wrong body model of trans – male trapped in female body - This assumes that gender identity is a real, essential thing, not a social construct - Transgender model of trans – trans people don’t fit neatly into man or woman and challenge this binary - Except the problem with this is that some trans people simply view themselves as men or women without qualification - Single meaning situation – a trans woman tells a transphobic person she is a trans woman, and he thinks she means she is a man pretending to be a woman - Multiple meaning situation – a trans woman tells a trans person she is a trans woman and he understands what she is signifying - In the single meaning situation, we assume that “woman” has one fixed meaning, so we can divide things into categories of “real woman”, “fake woman”, and “not woman” - It all depends how we are defining woman, ex. chromosomes, social category, genital appearance - Semantic contextualism = what woman means changes depending on the context, but there are rules that govern how that context determines the term, ex. the signifier “I” changes depending on who is speaking it, but there are rules governing h
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