Trans-cendental trauma: Public bathrooms as panoptic sites of gender policing, violence, and trauma in trans and gender non-conforming people

What’s in a bathroom? Indeed, who’s in a bathroom? Many politicians, legislators, and members of the general population will tell us that the referential signs on bathroom doors must match the referential signs for gender located in one’s pants. As a result of their gender-nonconforming identities and because of the inherent power structures latent in cisgendered heterosexuality, trans and gender non-conforming people are disproportionately affected by institutional structures and experience interpersonal and collective trauma at rates higher than their cisgender counterparts. This paper will take up how public bathrooms function as panoptic sites that surveil and police trans and gender non-conforming bodies and ultimately act as perpetrators of interpersonal and collective trauma. Continue reading “Trans-cendental trauma: Public bathrooms as panoptic sites of gender policing, violence, and trauma in trans and gender non-conforming people”

Phallic phanaticism: Men’s sexuality and its relationship to the superweapon and security discourse as tools of oppression

Nuclear weapons are plagued by paradox. The most fundamental paradox of nuclear weapons—the paradox from which all others are derived—is that they complete the logic of maintaining national security through force while at the same time leaving the United States more vulnerable than ever before. The superweapon continues to exist since its creation during World War II, and will continue existing forever—after all, the possession of nuclear power is one of the major ways we assess a country’s power, status, and security. Discourse about nuclear weapons is infused with a series of false dichotomies which underpin the primary signifiers of masculine/feminine, favouring masculinity over femininity in almost all respects.1 We obfuscate the language of the military to distract ourselves from the devastation and calamity that armed conflict and warfare actually inflicts. This paper will take up the ways in which the language of the bomb, nuclear warfare, and national security reifies stereotypes of men’s sexuality as dominating and conquering of women across various media, travelling through time from the Cold War era to our current, post–9/11 existence. Continue reading “Phallic phanaticism: Men’s sexuality and its relationship to the superweapon and security discourse as tools of oppression”

  1.  Claire Duncanson and Catherine Eschle, “Gender and the Nuclear Weapons State: A Feminist Critique of the UK Government’s White Paper on Trident,” New Political Science 30, no. 4 (December 1, 2008): 546, doi:10.1080/07393140802518120.