This chapter focuses on the language of institutions, starting from the case of the Italian language, in which gender is very obvious, because of the gendered articles and the absence of a neutral pronoun. It describes the intersex case within the framework of language to problematise the relationship between institutional choices and social change. The chapter reviews the criticisms that intersex activists have raised to the German law introducing "third sex", and the similar laws in Australia and New Zealand, to highlight how the introduction of new categories does not undermine the binarism. When the law takes into account sexuality and gender roles, it reproduces the patriarchal structure of the world and it changes only if social movements modify the power relations. The criticisms of the "third sex" laws illustrate that: "Sex matters. It matters socially, politically, and legally. It matters to the people who are harmed by society's failure to protect them from discriminatory practices based on sex stereotypes".

Linguistic traps : identity and differences through institutions / C. Cossutta - In: Law, Politics and the Gender Binary / [a cura di] P. Agha. - London : Routledge, 2018. - ISBN 9781138486058. - pp. 45-60

Linguistic traps : identity and differences through institutions

C. Cossutta
2018

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the language of institutions, starting from the case of the Italian language, in which gender is very obvious, because of the gendered articles and the absence of a neutral pronoun. It describes the intersex case within the framework of language to problematise the relationship between institutional choices and social change. The chapter reviews the criticisms that intersex activists have raised to the German law introducing "third sex", and the similar laws in Australia and New Zealand, to highlight how the introduction of new categories does not undermine the binarism. When the law takes into account sexuality and gender roles, it reproduces the patriarchal structure of the world and it changes only if social movements modify the power relations. The criticisms of the "third sex" laws illustrate that: "Sex matters. It matters socially, politically, and legally. It matters to the people who are harmed by society's failure to protect them from discriminatory practices based on sex stereotypes".
Settore SPS/01 - Filosofia Politica
2018
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1027924
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