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When He is a She is a He : the pregnant man and the transgendered mother

Muller, Vivienne (2010) When He is a She is a He : the pregnant man and the transgendered mother. In Barrett, Maria (Ed.) Grotesque Femininities : Evil, Women and the Feminine. Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxfordshire, UK, pp. 193-200.

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Abstract

The recent successful pregnancy of Thomas Beatie, a transgender FTM, billed by the various media as ‘the pregnant man’, has stirred up considerably diverse public opinion and debate, some supportive and indicative of changing and progressive ideas around sex, gender and sexuality; others condemnatory in their claims that Beatie’s pregnancy is an affront to the laws of Nature and/or God. Desired or derided, the pregnant male body contests the terrain of reproductive embodiment and the orthodoxy of Western systems of gender categorization. This chapter analyses a selection of media and internet responses to the case of the pregnant man, arguing that most disturbing of all it seems, is the body in-between (Kristeva 1982, p.4), the one that visibly defies socially obdurate gender oppositions of male and female, feminine and masculine in its insistence on being, to borrow from Homi Bhabha, a ‘third space of enunciation.’ Banana Yoshimoto’s novella Kitchen, also contests gender boundaries in its characterisation of Eriko, a transgendered male to female, a father, then a mother. In this narrative the in-between, the ambiguous, is not reviled but rather celebrated as a ‘horizon of possibility’ (Halperin, qtd in Jagose 1996 http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/Issue-Dec- 1996/jagose.html).

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ID Code: 39888
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: body, sexuality, gender, transgender, pregnant man, yoshimoto banana
ISBN: 9781848880382
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LITERARY STUDIES (200500)
Divisions: Current > Schools > Creative Writing & Literary Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Inter-Disciplinary Press
Deposited On: 04 Feb 2011 08:06
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:30

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