The conventional cultural construct of gender and sexuality embedded in the dichotomous paradigm makes it challenging for people with queer and trans identities to fit into an assigned social role. Violent gendering takes place where women are seen as second-order beings, disciplined and controlled by men, the first-order beings. The process of feminization and femininity is linked to women, which fixates on the idea that “one is born a woman” rather than “one becomes a woman.” This violent process of acculturation to these set norms comes with a lot of vulnerability for trans people in the form of abiding by the parameters of femininity and the threat of physical violence against their intersecting and transitioning bodies. Kristeva’s conception of “abjection” can be used to understand the discriminatory behavior against outcasts whose sexual or gender practices fall outside of the normative standards and conventions. At the same time, “cultural violence,” which Charlotte Bunch (2015) describes, is the culturally embedded practice and assumption of domination over women in virtually all societies. She also emphasizes that there is a need to understand that all violence against women is supported by cultural attitudes, which she argues is the real cultural challenge of violence. Keeping in perspective the idea put forth by Bunch, this article critically examines the violence reinforced by culture, and the process of gendering, with a central focus on the intersectional experiences of trans bodies as “abject” between gender, sex, and culture. This leads to the systematic violence enacted upon them by the invisible disciplinarians. The article considers 21st-century trans women’s narratives, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi’s Me Hijra, Me Laxmi (2015) and Red Lipstick: The Men in my Life (2016). This article contextualizes and situates trans narratives, which provide insight into how trans women’s bodies are seen as abject and have gone through the violent process of gendering and culturing.
Tanupriya and Pannikot, Dhishna
"Cultural Violence, Violent Gendering, and Abjection: Discourses on Sites of Violence through Trans Women’s Narratives from India,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
6, Article 8.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss6/8