Abstract

The article argues that while introductory women and gender studies courses typically take social construction theory as foundational, their textbooks, supplemental materials, and teaching strategies simultaneously rely on a definition of "woman" that assumes particular body parts. Such a linkage elides the existence and particularities of transgender and gender-nonconforming bodies and subjects on the one hand, yet posits them as exceptions on the other. This combination stabilizes the normativity of hegemonic sex and gender embodiments by naturalizing nontransgender bodies. Rather than simply arguing for greater inclusion of trans subjects under the sign of woman or man, the article suggests that careful attention to the positioning of transgender bodies necessitates a broad theoretical reframing of how women's studies textbooks and curriculum are designed, and how gendered bodies more broadly are taught and conceptualized.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2151-7371
Print ISSN
2151-7363
Pages
pp. 25-51
Launched on MUSE
2012-08-24
Open Access
No
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