Empire Strikes Back, The : A Posttranssexual Manifesto
Sandy Stone’s classic essay confronts the ways in which both the medical complex and feminism had been used as a tool for the regulation of gender/sex systems and the management of trans bodies. While the essay is certainly dated in many ways, we see a usefulness in making sure that it continues to be distributed. Stone captures the paradox of the trans subject’s will to be recognized as the gender/sex of their choosing while at the same time questioning the maintenance of gender/sex systems on a systemic level. This raises questions about what an insurrectionary transfeminism might look like and how it might be theoretically developed. Is the development of a speaking trans subject already a failure, or is an affirmation of transgender bodies destabilizing to identity and gender/sex? How can we reconcile self-abolition and desubjectification with the desire to be recognized as the gender/sex of our choice? How can we reconcile the lived experience of being trans with self-negation without falling into a Trannsexual Empire-style critique of trans identity as more aritificial? Can we use our trans positionality as the beginning of an attack upon all systems of domination? These questions are potentially daunting ones, but must be answered if we choose to engage with trans experience.
-mimi, not yr cister press