05.08.2022 - notes on susan stryker's "performing transgender rage"
just some notes on a particularly dense reading; not sure where else to put it
"If this is your path, as it is mine, let me offer whatever solace you may find in this monstrous benediction: May you discover the enlivening power of darkness within yourself. May it nourish your rage. May your rage inform your actions, and your actions transform you as you struggle to transform your world."
Stryker on Performing Transgender Rage:
-emotions like rage into political action
-also rage in academics
-embodying and enacting concept of queer gender
-transgender aesthetic: replicating abrupt and jarring transition between genders
-transsexual and frankenstein: bodies made by science
-rage from exclusion from humanity
-What about trans people who do not choose this path?
-monstrosity: lesbian and gay represent trans like this because it DESTABILIZES foundational fixed gender assumption
-trans women seen as 'war on nature' 'mutant'
-not a fall from grace but same-plane movement
-has its toll though
-loss of community support = death
-need to reclaim those slurs and pejoratives to dispel their power
-'you are constructed as me; the same anarchic womb has birthed us both. i call upon you to investigate your nature as i have been compelled to confront mine. i challenge you to risk abjection and flourish as well as have i. heed my words and you may well discover the seams and sutures in yourself.'
-frankenstein's problematization of gender: knowing by seeing and knowing by speaking/hearing as gendered; the monster provides a feminine/feminist view because a woman writes it
-transsexual monstrosity unable to be a secured space because of movement over time between stable positions of linguistics
-process of transitioning into a gender SUCCESSFULLY is not subversive but becomes subversive if we claim that these stable sites are as unnatural as the becoming
-consciousness of transsexual body as creation of science, flesh refigured to have science triumph over nature so to speak BUT it doesnt stop trans people from existing even tho its part of this metaphysical hubris
-through the filter of this official pathologization, the sounds that come out of my mouth can be summarily dismissed as the confused ranting of a diseased mind
-the shape of my flesh was a barrier that estranged me from my desire. like a body without a mouth, i was starving in the midst of plenty. i would not let myself starve, even if what it took to open myself for a deep connectedness cut off the deepest connections i actually had.
-now as a dyke i am invisible among women, as a transsexual i am invisible among dykes.
-the high price of whatever visible, intelligible, self-representation i have achieved makes the continuing experience of invisibility maddeningly difficult to bear
-what is transgender rage? it comes from a subject's spot caught between language and material, where language organizes something that eludes definition and must be perpetually re-defined
-the subject must constantly police the boundary because signification/materialization constantly works to rupture those boundaries
-at the margins of subjectivity and the limits of signification
-transgender because the subject must transgress the gender regulation schemata
-its unlivability is what defines the subjectivity
-a set of practices that precipitates one's exclusion from a naturalized order of existence that seeks to maintain tiself as the only possible basis for being a subject
-trans rage enables the establishment of subjects with new modes and codes
-trans rage as disidentification with the compulsively assigned positions of gender
-state of abjection in the aftermath of a lover's daughter's birth...
-authority seizes upon specific material qualities of the flesh, particularly the genitals, as outward indication of future reproductive potential, constructs this flesh as a sign, and reads it to enculturate the body
-the mark of gender and the unlivability of its absence: caught between a rock and a hard place!
-phallogocentric language is the scalpel that defines our flesh...
-the idea of moving through the Law of Language enough that perhaps we as trans people can leave a mark to make our own legible reinscription
-violation, loss, and separation but also self-sustaining pleasures are possible as a transsexual