Who we are or what we could become? Musing on a remark of Judith Butler’s

How should queer politics respond to the attachment some people feel to a stable gender identity? This is the question Judith Butler poses in discussion with Sara Ahmed in the current issue of Sexualities. Butler asks: “If ‘queer’ means that we are generally people whose gender and sexuality is ‘unfixed’ then what room is there in […]

Bringing the utopian into our gender politics

This piece was spurred by reading on-line comments from an anarchist feminist conference, in which an organiser was repeatedly attacked for being a TERF (a trans-exclusionary radical feminist). Conflict over the terms of gender politics has been mounting for decades. In the face of deepening disagreement, might there be some overlooked common ground worth building […]

Dawn of the planet of the …bonobos?

Despite glowing reviews, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes makes for disappointing viewing. Alpha male apes say things like: “apes don’t kill apes”; and the plot is a simplified Prisoners’ Dilemma. Cooperation would benefit both sides, but in the absence of trust, apes and humans attempt to destroy each other before being destroyed in turn. It […]

Question everything?: Rape law/ free speech

“Question everything” is an injunction that regularly surfaces in libertarian political circles. But aside from the fact it rarely becomes the focus of its own exhortation, how does the command to question and challenge consensus and orthodoxy deal with the consequences of such actions? When are speakers responsible for what their words do? And to […]