Gender Dysphoria and the Medical Gaze in Anglo-American Carceral Regimes
Anglo-American carceral spaces are invariably segregated on the basis of sex. Drawing on the stories of Katherine Johnson and Synthia Kavanagh—two transgender women who launched complaints against the Correctional Service of Canada—this chapter analyzes the ways in which non-normative genders are constituted using biomedical discourses in carceral spaces. By segregating individuals on the basis of sex, using diagnostic categories such as “gender dysphoria,” and imposing surgical requirements on those who refuse to be subjugated by essentialist gender norms, carceral spaces participate in a larger corporeal project. The chapter concludes by arguing that changes to prison policies, along with a broader commitment to decarceration, constitute important sites of resistance to the imposition of biomedical discourses on transgender people.
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