Cristan Williams, a trans historian and journalist, interviewed Judith Butler about gender and the trans experience for The TransAdvocate. They discussed the problem with TERFs and the work of Sheila Jeffreys and Janice Raymond.
Cristan Williams: You spoke about the surgical intervention many trans people undergo as a “very brave transformation.” Can you talk about that?
Judith Butler: It is always brave to insist on undergoing transformations that feel necessary and right even when there are so many obstructions to doing so, including people and institutions who seek to pathologize or criminalize such important acts of self-definition. I know that for some feels less brave than necessary, but we all have to defend those necessities that allow us to live and breathe in the way that feels right to us. Surgical intervention can be precisely what a trans person needs – it is also not always what a trans person needs. Either way, one should be free to determine the course of one’s gendered life.
The right to demonstrate is non-negotiable. But in towns and cities across France, society is being reordered in a way that criminalises social and political struggles.
In Madrid, the opponents of the new Internal Security Act organized a demonstration of holograms in the Spanish Parliament.
The direct actions that took place across the US yesterday on Martin Luther King Day were accompanied by calls to reclaim Dr. King’s legacy, and highlight his commitment to radical action. They also served as a testament to the resilience and vision of the social movement galvanized in the wake of Mike Brown’s murder. From New York City to Oakland, Black Lives Matter has become a rallying cry for Black communities in the face of systematic racial discrimination and police brutality.
In a recent interview with George Yancy for The New York Times, Judith Butler weighed in on the potency of the nascent movement and the power of public gatherings.