Lamble - Unknowable Bodies, Unthinkable Sexualities.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
University College Courses
Scott Rayter

- Even though lesbians and trans people exist as legal entities, their corporeal experiences and sexual identities remain largely unintelligible (81) - For trans people, this is largely because gender identity isn’t recognized as a separate discrimination ground and social norms marginalize them (81) - For lesbians, it’s mostly because of policing practices that recognized gay men but ignored lesbians (81) - Pussy palace – in 2000, five male policemen entered women’s bathhouse and arrested the owners for serving alcohol outside of prescribed areas and disorderly conduct (82) - The judge threw the case out because he said the police had violated the women’s rights by basically strip searching them (82) - The women’s sexual identities were rendered invisible by the court because the judge ruled based on the fact that police had searched a bunch of half-naked women, ignoring the fact that the police were monitoring queer communities and using liquor laws to do so (82) - The words trans, lesbian, and homosexual were absent from the ruling (82) - Conventional wisdom says that lesbians’ legal invisibility stems from the fact that their sex acts were less threatening to heterosexuals (83) - In 16 Supreme Court cases that reference the word lesbian, only one is actually about embodied lesbians instead of in the abstract, namely M. v. H. (84) - Most of the Charter cases on sexual orientation refer to gay men but impact lesbians, and even the reference re. same sex marriage didn’t directly mention lesbians or sexuality (84) - In M. v. H., the case was framed as a property dispute, and their sexual relationship wasn’t mentioned, and the initials M and H didn’t even refer to the litigants’ names but the names of their lawyers (84) - If the sexual nature of such a relationship is discussed, this may jeopardize the case, so lawyers portray their clients as de-sexualized and disembodied as a strategy to win (84) - Sexual orientation is treated under the law like a cultural group instead of a
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