Abstract

Marcuse advocated for what he called a Great Refusal of the idea that there was no plausible alternative to capitalism. He rallied against what he called the performance principle, a passive submission to the logic of exchange, particularly in respect to alienated labor and consumption. This essay takes the idea of a great refusal and applies it to transgender people, and trans women in particular, who refuse to submit to the demands of society to conform in their identity and practices to the gender given at birth. There are manifold implications, both personal and collective, that this essay examines. Drawing on Marxist and psychoanalytic concepts, it describes how a generalized aversion and repudiation of femininity born of an androcentrism of the unconscious must be addressed and the institutions of today's reality principle radically recalibrated to favor the feminine.

You do not currently have access to this content.