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Queer ExcursionsRetheorizing Binaries in Language, Gender, and Sexuality$
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Lal Zimman, Jenny Davis, and Joshua Raclaw

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199937295

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937295.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2021

The Discursive Construction of Sex

The Discursive Construction of Sex

Remaking and Reclaiming the Gendered Body in Talk about Genitals among Trans Men

(p.13) 2 The Discursive Construction of Sex
Queer Excursions

Lal Zimman

Oxford University Press

The division between biological sex and social gender is critical in much of feminist theory as well as in discourses about gender that circulate in transgender communities. This chapter investigates the role of body part terminology in the discursive construction of biological sex through a lexical analysis of interaction in an online community for transgender men. Members of the community under study in this chapter tease apart conventional definitions of genital terminology that collapse the body parts themselves from the gender categories with which they are associated in ways that allow them to use both canonically female and canonically male terminology (e.g., vagina and cock) in reference to the same individual. Ultimately, these discourses challenge the naturalization of sex. They instead suggest support for the poststructuralist notion that the gendered meanings attached to the body are themselves contingent on discourse.

Keywords:   sex, gender, embodiment, transgender, body part terminology, discourse, poststructuralist

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