Event Title

Session Two: Panel 4 - Crafting Transgendered Selves

Location

Marsh Hall 106

Start Date

17-10-2009 1:45 PM

End Date

17-10-2009 3:15 PM

Description

‘Taking a Ride on the Gender Train’ (Dana LaMonica, Brad Forkner, Jennifer Thomas)

The Nature of Harm: A comparison of FTM chest surgery and gynecomastia surgery (T. Garner)

Through a close comparative analysis within medical discourse, this paper explores the inconsistencies between the discursive figurations of FTM chest surgery and gynecomastia1 surgery, in particular, in relation to the ways in which the notion of harm is employed as an (un)naturalisation technique. Through the attribution of male breasts as harmful, surgical modification is assumed to the extent that the post-surgical body is naturalised. In contrast, for trans folks assigned female at birth, it is the surgical procedure itself that is considered harmful, often perceived as a “mutilation” of the natural body. While within the medical realm these determinations of harm are taken to be neutral and self-evident, based on the presupposition that the natural is that which should not be harmed, this paper emphasises the extent to which the notion of harm itself is used to contour the boundaries of that natural.

1“excessive” breast tissue in non-trans men, more commonly known as “manboobs”

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Oct 17th, 1:45 PM Oct 17th, 3:15 PM

Session Two: Panel 4 - Crafting Transgendered Selves

Marsh Hall 106

‘Taking a Ride on the Gender Train’ (Dana LaMonica, Brad Forkner, Jennifer Thomas)

The Nature of Harm: A comparison of FTM chest surgery and gynecomastia surgery (T. Garner)

Through a close comparative analysis within medical discourse, this paper explores the inconsistencies between the discursive figurations of FTM chest surgery and gynecomastia1 surgery, in particular, in relation to the ways in which the notion of harm is employed as an (un)naturalisation technique. Through the attribution of male breasts as harmful, surgical modification is assumed to the extent that the post-surgical body is naturalised. In contrast, for trans folks assigned female at birth, it is the surgical procedure itself that is considered harmful, often perceived as a “mutilation” of the natural body. While within the medical realm these determinations of harm are taken to be neutral and self-evident, based on the presupposition that the natural is that which should not be harmed, this paper emphasises the extent to which the notion of harm itself is used to contour the boundaries of that natural.

1“excessive” breast tissue in non-trans men, more commonly known as “manboobs”