Pt. 1, The Sex/Gender Binary: Intertextual Dialectics

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Transgender feminist Cristan Williams opens the conversation with radical feminist John Stoltenberg by making inquiries into the ways in which Stoltenberg conceptualizes and communicates terminology relating to sex and gender binaries. Williams roots her inquiry in the historical way in which trans activists have struggled to language critiques of a presumed sex and gender binary to a largely cisgender audience.

Keywords: Sex Gender Social Constructionism Dialectics

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Pt. 2,The Sex/Gender Binary: Essentialism

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Radical feminist John Stoltenberg responds to transgender feminist Cristan Williams‘ essay by recounting the way in which their conversation began and reviews the way he and Andrea Dworkin viewed sex and gender essentialism. Stoltenberg then offers a new metaphor for conceptualizing sex and gender in a way that’s free of implied or asserted binaries.

Keywords: Sex Gender Social Constructionism Gender Theory

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Questioning Sex Essentialism As Feminist Practice: An Interview With Janis Walworth

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Janis Walworth, a radical lesbian activist and progenitor of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (MichFest) protest that came to be known as Camp Trans, speaks about the structural practice of sex essentialism within a community constructed to be a feminist safe space. Walworth recounts the incidents leading up to the establishment of Camp Trans as well as her research revealing that a majority of MichFest attendees were welcoming of trans women.

Keywords: SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM Lesbian Feminism Sex Gender

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Pt. 4, Sex Pedagogy: Essentialism as Praxis

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Radical feminist John Stoltenberg responds to trans feminist Cristan Williams‘ commentary on sex pedagogy noting that his long-term analysis has always been that sex is constructed to support gendered patriarchy. Stoltenberg also considers the ways in which trans and intersex individuals are posing serious challenges to the maintenance and promulgation of sex as a natural binary body system.

Keywords: Sex Gender Social Constructionism Gender Theory

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A Note from the Turf War Zone: Second Wave Erasure

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Please note that in this opinion piece, I am speaking only for myself; but at times I use “we” to say that I am speaking in the environment and social context of The Conversations Project, and am voicing my own sense of what some of the values and purposes of this wonderful community may be. Each participant has a voice which is equally valid on these questions, and many of my siblings who share in this process have confronted and survived forms of oppression I cannot myself imagine. May their voices be heard.

Editor’s Note: This opinion piece comes from a Conversation Project group member who read an article critical of the project’s existence.

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Pt. 5, Radical Epistemology: Applications of Sex Class and Sex Caste Consciousness

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Trans feminist Cristan Williams responds to radical feminist John Stoltenberg‘s commentary on the practice of sex pedagogy, reviewing the application of “sex class” consciousness, as expressed by Andrea Dworkin, Monique Wittig, and Catharine MacKinnon, to the cultural condition of cisgender, transgender, and intersex women. Williams contrasts this analysis with a critique of the prescriptive binary “sex caste” framework promoted by Sheila Jeffreys and Janice Raymond.

Keywords: Sex Gender Social Constructionism Sex Class

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Pt. 6, The Fork in the Road: Sex Class Consciousness vs Biologism, Essentialism, and Identity

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Radical feminist John Stoltenberg responds to trans feminist Cristan Williams‘ commentary on feminist sex class and sex caste epistemology, considers peer tautologies and class analysis of Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon. Stoltenberg scrutinizes “manhood” and “womanhood” as gendered identities and notes his historical rejection of a sex and gender binary as cultural constructs.

Keywords: Sex Gender Gender Identity Sex Class

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Pt. 9, Trans Dasein: Culture, Identity, and Role

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Trans Feminist Cristan Williams responds to Radical Feminist John Stoltenberg‘s commentary on feminism, identity, and manhood, describing how “gender identity” is used within trans discourse. Williams discusses her experience of gender identity, noting the difference between identity and role. Williams asks Stoltenberg to share his perspective on how trans and radical feminists might be able to discuss role and identity in ways that do not construct the trans and intersex experience as being specious.

Keywords: Sex Gender Gender Identity Sex Identity

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Pt. 10, Radical & Trans Feminism: bridging a discursive divide

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Radical feminist John Stoltenberg responds to trans feminist Cristan Williams‘ question regarding the way trans and radical feminists might language oppression without condemning intersex and trans experiences of embodiment. Stoltenberg expounds upon his contextualization of “gender identity”, bridging a discursive divide between trans and radical feminist discourse.

Keywords: Sex Gender Gender Identity Sex Identity

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