Pregnant Men: Repronormativity, Critical Trans Theory and the Re(conceive)ing of Sex and Pregnancy in Law
This article argues that a critical re(conceive)ing of sex and pregnancy is required in law. Drawing on the dual meaning of conceive - 'to become pregnant' and 'to imagine, or form a mental representation of', the goal of this article is to better ensure that pregnant men and trans individuals are not denied their reproductive rights, the legal recognition of their gender identities, and the protections of pregnancy discrimination law. Here, I survey molecular biologists' and critical trans theorists' scientific and discursive challenges to the understanding of sex as biologically determined; I map the extent to which biological and repronormative discourses - those which materialize and maternalize female identity - underpin legal determinations of trans subjects' sex and their ability to access state issued documentation; finally, I suggest that feminists' efforts to construct pregnancy discrimination as sex discrimination may unwittingly factor into discriminatory practice against pregnant men by reifying pregnancy as necessarily female and thus pregnant men as 'really' women. Drawing on Darren Rosenblum's call to unsex parenting, I conclude by briefly considering the opportunities presented by unsexing pregnancy in law.
|Keywords||'unsexing' pregnancy, critical trans theory, gender, pregnancy discrimination law, Pregnant men, repronormativity, sex|
|Journal||Social and Legal Studies|
Karaian, L. (2013). Pregnant Men: Repronormativity, Critical Trans Theory and the Re(conceive)ing of Sex and Pregnancy in Law. Social and Legal Studies, 22(2), 211–230. doi:10.1177/0964663912474862