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But I thought we'd already won that argument!: “anti-gender” mobilizations, affect, and temporality

Hemmings, Clare (2023) But I thought we'd already won that argument!: “anti-gender” mobilizations, affect, and temporality. Feminist Studies, 48 (3). 594 - 615. ISSN 0046-3663

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Identification Number: 10.1353/fem.2022.0042


This article responds to the invitation to participate in Feminist Studies' celebration by reflecting on current stories about 'sex' and 'gender' that take place both within and outside of feminism. I start from how it feels to be subject to anti-gender attacks as someone who has worked within feminist studies for over three decades. I interrogate how affective temporality is mobilised both by anti-gender advocates in order to justify forms of violence as forms of defence, and by those targeted by anti-gender mobilisations. Focusing specifically on anti-trans* arguments within feminist theory, I revisit the progress, loss and return narratives of Why Stories Matter (2011) to try and unpick and resist the teleological assumptions underpinning fantasies that 'sex' and 'gender' were ever and ever could be in a settled relationship. Rethinking these questions also raises methodological ones about 'what next?' that I try to answer with a form of recitation that focuses on the multiple genealogies of a sex determinist rather than sex essentialist history within the field.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 Feminist Studies, Inc.
Divisions: Gender Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2024 14:09
Last Modified: 19 May 2024 03:48

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