‘Transphobia and Feminist Existentialism’ is an Exploration of Feminist Transphobic rhetoric’s use of Existentialist language and ideas, using Judith Butler’s ‘Gender Trouble.’
In Gender Trouble, Butler theorised that Gender is constructed, rather than natural and therefore performed. Biological sex is also analysed to be a construct, emerging from ideas of gender. Feminist Transphobic rhetoric, or ‘Gender Critical’ or ‘TERF’ ideology puts forward that gender is oppressive to the female sex, and should be abandoned, leaving only biological sex. Butler’s ‘Gender Trouble’ is used to demonstrate why this is impossible.
The examination of these ideas will unfold in the following way: first examing the emergence of these Feminist Transphobic ideas, then an analysis of the Feminist Transphobic rhetoric. Next will follow an explanation of Butler’s ‘Gender Trouble’. This basic examination will allow an exploration of Butler’s perfomativity theory, applied to a critique of ‘Gender Critical’ ideas, including updating ‘Gender Trouble’ with current understandings of Gender variance, and providing an analysis and criticism of Feminist Transphobia with this updated understanding of ‘Gender Trouble.’ This updated understanding of ‘Gender Trouble’ will reveal how gender in the modern era can progress and expand in a way that allows emancipation from harmful stereotypes surrounding gender.