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Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Evil Deceivers and Make-Believers: On Transphobic Violence and the Politics of Illusion

By Talia Mae Bettcher, 2007

This essay examines the stereotype that transgender people are “deceivers” and the stereotype’s role in promoting and excusing transphobic violence. The stereotype derives from a contrast between gender presentation (appearance) and sexed body (concealed reality). Because gender presentation represents genital status, Bettcher argues, people who “misalign” the two are viewed as deceivers. The author shows how this system of gender presentation as genital representation is part of larger sexist and racist systems of violence and oppression.

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