Recasting encounters between women and the transgendered: a sensitive analysis of Nixon v. Vancouver Rape Relief Society

Date

2009-09-09T21:37:05Z

Authors

Dyck, Ronald Paul

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Abstract

In Nixon v. Vancouver Rape Relief Society, a legal case involving the exclusion of a male-to-female transsexual from a volunteer position with a women-only organization, the question of what a woman is one of the central questions being addressed. Questions of this kind place significant limits on cases like Nixon that involve women-only organizations and transgendered persons, since they can only address the place of women, and not the transgendered, in an organization like Rape Relief. This thesis examines two of the decisions that have emerged from Nixon v. Vancouver Rape Relief Society and Vancouver Rape Relief Society v. Nixon - in order to account for their shared investment in determining what a woman is. It then utilizes select writings of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Emmanuel Levinas to consider how the discussion taking place in Nixon might be recast in a manner that better accounts for the claims of women and the transgendered, enabling a responsive encounter between the one and the other.

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Keywords

transsexuals, legal status, law, British Columbia

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