The anthology of our ZiF research group “Global Constestations of Women’s and Gender Rights” has been published! The book is the result of our collaboration at the ZiF and was produced in record time, only 8 months after the end of the group. It contains analyses of the attacks on gender rights from a wide range of perspectives and disciplines, thus drawing a comprehensive analysis of the present.

Ligia Fabris, Holly Patch, and I contributed the chapter Liberalism and the Construction of Gender (Non-)Normative Bodies and Queer Identities. We analyze how, on the one hand, subjective human rights that argue from the naturalness of bodies have been successfully invoked by trans* activism to combat discrimination. And we show how, on the other hand, this rights-based politics leads to limitations, namely that it cannot be used to demand support for identity political countercultures in which queer identities are lived and learned.

Generalized, this suggests that purely rights-based identity politics relies on identities that it can only understand as given. It thus cannot contribute to its own presupposition, the very construction of these identities.

Abstract of the anthology

Edited by Alexandra Scheele / Julia Roth / Heidemarie Winkel
Across the globe, a growing number of social movements, such as demonstrations in support of equal civil status or reproductive freedom and against sexualized violence, show that women’s and gender rights are highly contested. Against the backdrop of a long history of unequal rights implementation, the contributors to this volume deal with the questions of why and in which ways gender equality has become contested in various political contexts. Local case studies examine the relevant structural, institutional, and socio-cultural causes of the global challenges to equality. This book follows an interdisciplinary approach and unites scholars from law, linguistics, cultural studies, history, social sciences, and gender studies in diverse contexts.

Entire book download (open access)

Cite and download

Fabris, Ligia; Holly, Patch; Schubert, Karsten (2022): Liberalism and the Construction of Gender (Non-)Normative Bodies and Queer Identities. In: Julia Roth, Alexandra Scheele, Heidemarie Winkel (Eds.): Global Contestations of Gender Rights. Bielefeld: Bielefeld University Press, 269-286.

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