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Critique Humanities Law/Legal Nonfiction Social Sciences

Sex, Gender, and War in an Age of Multicultural Imperialism

By Dean Spade, Craig Willse, 2014

This essay examines the case of Chelsea Manning in the larger context of both U.S. imperial war and the ways in which gender and sexuality are deployed in service of colonialism, racism, and militarism. Situating the Manning case alongside two contemporaneous events, the attempted prosecution of Julian Assange on rape charges and Hillary Clinton’s much-lauded “gay rights are human rights” speech, we argue that Manning’s trans identity has challenged both right and left commentators to absorb her into projects of pinkwashing and homonationalism. We conclude with a consideration about what anti-war, anti-imperial, anti-carceral LGBT politics and organizing around this case might look like.

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