‘Gender critical’ feminism as biopolitical project

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In the last few years, latent anti-trans sentiment within some corners of UK feminism has coalesced into a highly organised ‘gender critical’ movement that has seen considerable success in influencing policy and public debate. This article addresses ‘gender critical’ feminism as a lobbying movement, examining its orientation towards governance and power. It argues that the ‘gender critical’ movement must be understood as a biopolitical project indebted both to sexological work aimed at ‘normalising’ trans and intersex minds and bodies, and to 1970s feminist responses to this work. This project strives for the power to manage trans populations, both via direct surveillance of trans lives and indirectly, via attempts to counter the supposed threat to a broader cisfeminist population management project posed by trans identification.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Early online date28 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 May 2024


  • Gender critical
  • biopolitics
  • census
  • trans-exclusionary radical feminist
  • transphobia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Gender Studies

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