Clare Hemmings: The Affective Life of ‘Anti-Gender’ Mobilisations
Clare Hemmings discusses « Unnatural Feelings: The Affective Life of ‘Anti-Gender’ Mobilisations » in the Perspectives on Ethics series.
Unnatural Feelings: The Affective Life of ‘Anti-Gender’ Mobilisations
This paper explores the spatio-temporal and affective tricks that are central to the success of current, transnational ‘anti-gender’ mobilisations. In these increasingly powerful movements (in Europe, the US, and Latin America in particular) gender equality is presented as needing to be tempered by the ‘common sense’ of ‘sex’ over ‘gender, as a way of resisting the destructiveness of both a feminism gone too far, and the reactionary cultural patriarchalism of the interloper. The focus here is on the affective life of anti-‘gender ideology’ claims, as a way of trying to short-circuit efforts to displace violence onto feminist, queer or migrant others. I explore the ‘anti-gender’ logic of the privileging of ‘sex’ as natural and complementary as precisely the locus of aggression, and make a claim for the importance of rooting feminist, queer and critical race approaches in anti-white supremacist affect in turn. Overall, I am interested in exploring feminist methods for undoing the misogynist, homophobic and racist fantasies of annihilation – their own and ours – as an urgent task for our troubled present.
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