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"Are trans men the manliest of men?": Gender practices, trans masculinity and mardanegi in contemporary Iran
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1464-8874
2020 (English)In: Journal of Gender Studies, ISSN 0958-9236, E-ISSN 1465-3869, Vol. 29, no 3, p. 295-309Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, I examine how trans men who undergo or plan to undergo medical transition construe their masculinity or mardanegi (I follow IJMES's transliteration guide - Persian to English) in Persian language, through certain gender practices that manifest their manhood as manly, real and psychologically well. I argue that trans men in Iran practice masculinity in ways that is not only in strong entanglement with women but also is distanced from non-trans heterosexual men, trans women and gay men. Drawing on 14 semi-structured interviews with trans men in Iran as part of a bigger project on sex change in contemporary Iran, I explain that trans men's masculinity in Iran is a localized, traditional-modern kind of trans masculinity that distinguishes itself from other gender groups due to trans men's specificity of gender location.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2020. Vol. 29, no 3, p. 295-309
Keywords [en]
Trans men, Iran, Surgery, Sex change, Gender practices, Masculinities
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-75400DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2019.1635439ISI: 000475001100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85068734482OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-75400DiVA, id: diva2:1339605
Available from: 2019-07-30 Created: 2019-07-30 Last updated: 2020-05-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Trans and Sex Change in Contemporary Iran: A Socio-Legal Study of Gendered Policies and Practices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Trans and Sex Change in Contemporary Iran: A Socio-Legal Study of Gendered Policies and Practices
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is a result of a qualitative study that investigates the socio-legal status of trans persons who undergo sex-change surgery in contemporary Iran. It examines how social practices of gender shape the lives of trans men and trans women in Iranian society. Further, it explores the ‘legality’ and ‘illegality’ of sex change under shi’a Islamic jurisprudence and examines how the interplay between the medical and the judicial systems affects the social and legal status of trans people in Iran.

The thesis uses two sets of materials: interviews and documents. Fortytwo interviews with 39 people were conducted, including trans people, trans activists, lawyers, medical professionals and a jurist in Iran. The majority of the interviews were carried out face-to-face in Iran during two fieldtrips in 2014 and 2015. A set of ten telephone interviews were also completed with trans people living in Iran in 2017. Using the concept of (mis)recognition developed by Nancy Fraser, the thesis argues that the lack of legal legislation, along with the plurality of Islamic legal opinions (fatwas) on sex change and the status of trans people, have resulted in arbitrary decision-making by medical and legal professionals (e.g. surgeons and judges). It further shows that while the dominant view on medicalisation of trans people misrecognises their status within lawand society, it nevertheless helps them to negotiate a liveable life. Drawing on the work of Raewyn Connell, the thesis explains how trans people’s process of social embodiment involves individual, medical and legal transition in which the surgery is only a part.

The thesis shows how trans activism in Iran is shaped around the discourse of needs rather than that of human rights. Furthermore, the thesis problematises the strong influence of homonormativity and some Second Wave feminist thinking among Iranian feminists who consider sex-change surgery a patriarchal force.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2020. p. 159
Series
Örebro Studies in Gender Research ; 5
Keywords
Embodiment, Feminist politics, Gender/sex, Iranian legal system, Islamic law, Misrecognition, Practices, Sex change, Shi’a jurisprudence, Trans men, Trans women
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-80267 (URN)978-91-7529-337-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-06-04, Örebro universitet, Forumhuset, Biografen, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2020-05-05Bibliographically approved

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Saeidzadeh, Zara

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