Gender Outlaws Meet the Law: Feminism and Queer Theory at the Borderlands.

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The paper looks at three trials that took place in Israel, the US and the UK, based on similar sets of facts. In the most recent one, held in Israel in 2003, Hen Alkobi was convicted of "impersonating as another person" and of attempting to have sexual relations to which consent was given based on "deception regarding the actor". This followed complaints from young women who were in intimate relationships with Alkobi, who argued that they dated him assuming he was a "man", and did not know he had female genitalia. The Alkobi trial polarized the GLBT community in Israel, and created frictions between lesbian feminists who saw this as an issue of a woman's right to chose her sexual partners, and transgendered people who thought the issue at stake was a person's right to choose the gender of their belonging. The paper examines the different conflicts involved in these cases from both feminist and queer perspectives.I argue that by convicting Alkobi, as well young people in similar situations in the US and the U.K., courts (re)enforced compulsory heterosexuality: by determining that Alkobi was for the purposes of sex not a man, through focusing on the genitalia rather than on gender identity, and thus holding that the sexual acts in question could be the basis for a criminal conviction, the court was engaged in protecting compulsory heterosexuality. At the same time these cases and the reactions to them are also illustrative of conflicts between radical feminism and queer theory, and also of conflicts within these approaches themselves. ..PAT.-Unpublished Manuscript
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2007
EventLaw and society association: Annual meeting - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 25 Jul 2007 → …


ConferenceLaw and society association
Period25/07/07 → …


  • UNITED States
  • GREAT Britain
  • FALSE personation
  • QUEER theory
  • GENDER identity


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