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Critique Essay Nonfiction Social Sciences

Gendering the Fat Body: Rhetoric and Personhood in Transition

By Han Koehle, 2022

Though ciscentric discourses often claim that genitals alone define gender, public disciplining of gender deviance suggests a move toward a broader and less genital-focused concept of gender, even among people who explicitly object to the normalization of trans people in society. In this chapter, I explore genital focused and holistic concepts of embodied gender in public discourses about cisgender celebrities and then in trans writings about gender and fatness emerging around the time of the transgender tipping point of 2014. I argue that hyperfocus on genitals in ciscentric discourses about trans bodies not only misunderstands trans experiences of gender but also misrepresents the role of genitals in post-millennium discourses about cisgender bodies. Advances in Trans Studies: Moving Toward Gender Expansion and Trans Hope Advances in Gender Research, Volume 32, 77–90 Keywords: Transgender; sex and gender; body image; social history; racism; fat studies

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