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Tuesday, December 3 • 3:30pm - 5:30pm
BREAKOUT SESSION ONE: Gender & Sexuality

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Chair: Vivienne Elizabeth

Ciara Cremin: Femininity and the end of Masculine Domination

A power play in which strength means domination and, if not through the dividends of class and race, domination is achieved through aggression, traits associated with the term masculinity are inextricable to patriarchy and capitalism. A stylisation as opposed to a state of being, masculinity is born of crisis but only named as such when the veneer of invulnerability is tarnished. A feminine woman, on the other hand, wears her vulnerability. Goddess, slut, scab to the sisterhood and never queer enough, her femininity is synonymous with decadence, frivolity, weakness and fragility. Her adornments, Freud thought, compensated for the absence of a penis, whereas for others are markers of an enslavement to and complicity with the nefarious practices of the beauty and fashion industries. Being turned into a woman, wrote Bourdieu, is the worst kind of humiliation to be inflicted on a man. The barrier that exists in an overwhelming majority of men that prevents them from making even the slightest sartorial incursion onto woman’s turf is more than a question of style or social pressure. It is an index of the degree to which the subject, irrespective of how they are sexed, is invested in masculine forms of domination. The paper considers how this bond can be severed.

Paul Ware: Does the punishment fit the crime? Examining self-problematising pornography consumers’ negotiation of a stigmatised condition

It is suggested that alongside the explosion in internet access, the viewing of pornographic material has increased significantly. Discussions on whether behaviours of a sexual nature should be added to the addictions section of the most recent version of the DSM prompted a flurry of literature to accompany public conversations on the topic. Efforts were made - and resisted - to establish pornography as a potentially addictive agent. Efforts have also been directed at examining why some consumers of pornographic material come to consider their behaviours problematic. Largely absent from the literature have been the voices of those under scrutiny. Also lacking has been critical and theoretical engagement with the topic. Through research conducted as part of the BHSc Honours programme, I hoped to play a part in addressing both of these issues. I conducted 24 in-depth interviews with participants seeking help to change their pornography consumption. A range of Foucauldean concepts informed the research. Participants were seen to draw on a range of experiences and discourses in their self-problematisation and transformative efforts. For most, the relationship with pornography represented a small part of wider processes of self-discipline, but a part they believed instrumental in accessing particular subjective and institutional transformative technologies.

Suraya Dewing: Enforcing Gendered Policies: The Impact on Transgender Inmates in New Zealand Prisons

In New Zealand, transgender prisoners continue to be exposed to unsafe conditions because initial housing placements are determined by their birth sex and not gender identity. Consequently, they are more likely to be assaulted, neglected, raped and subjected to degradation than their cis-gendered counterparts (Schweikart, 2018). In 2013 the Department of Corrections (DOC) delivered a policy that promised to be more in line with retributive, restorative and reintegration initiatives (Cassaidy, 2016). The revised M.03.05 Transgender and intersex prisoner policy allowed prisoners to be transferred to a women’s facility (DOC, 2019), but enforced arbitrary guidelines which meant most remained in these conditions for several months before being transferred (Schweikart, 2018). In 2018, as an attempt to create visibility, DOC added I.10 Management of Transgender Prisoner guidelines to work in conjunction with the policy (DOC, 2019), but again, failed to address the systematic discrimination sex-segregated institutions impose on gender non-conforming people. This paper argues that to reduce harm and to address these deficiencies, legislators need to revise and authorise placement modifications that are not currently permitted by law (Lea Johnson, 2015). This needs to happen so that imprisonment is a guaranteed just and proportionate sanction for these prisoners. By introducing trans-friendly guidelines to work in conjunction with an already problematic policy will continue to fall short of providing safety because the key determinants for placement decisions are still grounded on binary logic that privileges heteronormative assumptions of gender.

Rogena Stirling: Sex Equality: Will the mainstreaming of gender lead to sex equality?

Sex inequality and discrimination has been based upon the embodied socio-cultural roles and functions in the forms (sex, gender and orientation – as we refer to them today) of sex. This history of sex – its nature, roles of sex and what they should mean – has been reflected through the history of intersex. It was the control over intersex that gender began its rise in power from John Money as the “outcome of a cognition-based behavioural system where gender role was merely one variable of sex among many.” John Stoller picked up on this work of gender and designated it as “the cultural order of sex separate from biological sex variables” becoming the common usage today as two different orders of data. Such a notion of gender is being mainstreamed into social and public life. The process of mainstreaming gender though has further entrenched a biological determinism and though recognises de jure sex diversity, on a de facto basis merely sees diversity as ‘other’. Recognition of sex diversity must include the multiplicity in all its forms to overcome inequality and discrimination must fight against the embodiment placed upon these forms.

Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.

avatar for Rogena Stirling

Rogena Stirling

Teaching Fellow/Researcher
Have completed a PhD in human rights and taught in areas including Urban governance and social policy. I have written on sex/gender equality, affordable housing, and identity and Well-being/human flourishing, and data issues.

Tuesday December 3, 2019 3:30pm - 5:30pm NZDT
206-209 - Lecture Theatre 3