Le bouclier thérapeutique : discours et limites d'un appareil de légitimation

Abstract : In 1982, Professor René Küss made a televised call for a defined procedure to distinguish between "real" and "false" trans people: stating that people who are "real transgender" cause no disorder to the gender order ; they can be afforded exceptional assistance (an operation) through which men can become women and women can become men, bringing them into the gender and identity order. This was the one of the first expressions of what we propose to call the "therapeutic shield", an expression which highlights the ambiguity of the position he defended. During the three following decades we observe a confrontation between the need for self-affirmation by those identifying as trans and the dominant ideology of thosepromoting "treatments". Positioning themselves under the umbrella of the Gender Studies movement, people who are transgender and who are not covered by the therapeutic procedure set up a broad social, political and philosophical protest movement, whereas the "treaters" defended their status and expertise as doctors and "professionals". Is this "therapeutic shield", still used today as a device to legitimize the ancient order, not the last remnant of an era marked by the erosion of a second "legal shield" guaranteeing that free disposal of the civil status remains a unique legal exception? Such issues deeply question the lenses through which our societies represent themselves. Perhaps the time has come to free up the route traced by social and human science research in order to allow new paradigms envisioned by Gender Studies to emerge.
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Contributor : Karine Espineira <>
Submitted on : Saturday, October 15, 2011 - 12:45:27 PM
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Karine Espineira. Le bouclier thérapeutique : discours et limites d'un appareil de légitimation. Le sujet dans la Cité - Revue internationale de recherche biographique, L'Harmattan 2011, pp.189-201. ⟨hal-00632748⟩



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