Introduction: Rights, Movements, and Critical Trans Politics
This chapter argues that traditional ways of thinking about and advocating for “individual rights” fail to adequately comprehend or remedy the harms facing trans populations. Rather than looking at transphobia as a form of top-down oppression by discriminators, the introduction argues that the enforcement of racialized gender and body norms permeate everyday life and the administration of government and non-profit services and programs. It introduces the term “subjection” as an alternative to “oppression” to describe the complex, nuanced, and multiple manifestations of harm and violence trans people face. It also describes why activists use terms like Prison Industrial Complex and Military Industrial Complex to identify the decentralized operation of systems of control, suggesting that this view of power is essential to contemporary social movements. It also provides an outline of the book’s chapters.