Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices By Toby Beauchamp

    Toby Beauchamp Ì 9 characters

    In Going Stealth Toby Beauchamp demonstrates how the enforcement of gender conformity is linked to state surveillance practices that identify threats based on racial, gender, national, and ableist categories of difference. Positioning surveillance as central to our understanding of transgender politics, Beauchamp examines a range of issues, from bathroom bills and TSA screening practices to Chelsea Manning's trial, to show how security practices extend into the everyday aspects of our gendered lives. He brings the fields of disability, science and technology, and surveillance studies into conversation with transgender studies to show how the scrutinizing of gender nonconformity is motivated less by explicit transgender identities than by the perceived threat that gender nonconformity poses to the U.S. racial and security state. Beauchamp uses instances of gender surveillance to demonstrate how disciplinary power attempts to produce conformist citizens and regulate difference through discourses of security. At the same time, he contends that greater visibility and recognition for gender nonconformity, while sometimes beneficial, might actually enable the surveillance state to more effectively track, measure, and control trans bodies and identities. Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices

    great analysis of how surveillance practices/programs, new and old, are rooted in categorization and biopolitical management. And here, specifically with transgender as a category and its production/regulation/contestation. also great discussion of the dangers of visibility 9781478001577 For more on TSA security practices against trans and gender non-conforming people I recommend “going stealth” by Tony Beauchamp. Beauchamp describes how state surveillance practices have a long history of criminalizing gender non-conformity & typecasting gender non-conformity as threatening/suspicious. He uses the word “gender non-conforming” versus “trans” to reflect how surveillance of gender affects anyone who isn’t able to align with normative gender (especially Black people, people of color, and working class people). He shows how gender normativity is actually upper classed whiteness, & anyone who cannot or is not interested in participating in it is seen as a threat to the system.

    What I find most helpful about this book is his critique of how The Real ID Act was created to offer “verifiable” identity documents to prove “sex,” as a corrective for ambiguous gender being seen as a threat. The problem is for TGNC people to get these IDs we often have to be conferred medical diagnosis/procedure — herein the double bind: to be legitimized we have to have access to legitimacy to begin with. Also, he critiques mainstream trans activism for normalizing surveillance — advancing medical transition as the only means to disappear non-normative gender & evade scrutiny. Rather than saying that people should be able to be gender non-conforming, many mainstream trans organizations have perpetuated the idea that you can only be granted privacy & respect by passing as a man or a woman.

    Privacy & bodily integrity should be conferred to all people, not only white & gender normative people. The most exciting parts are when he talks about anti-trans bathroom bills as part of a larger state sanctioned project of biometric surveillance — the idea that bodies have immutable physical characteristics that can be mined as raw data for monitoring. Making gender & sex fixed, rather than recognizing their fluidity, allows for better data mining & population control. 9781478001577 A compelling analysis of the powerful logic of surveillance to create and police categories, even queer ones, in order to bring more people and practices under the purview of surveillance agencies. I'm especially taken with how Beauchamp's discussions implicate civil society and some forms of activism premised on recognition and visibility, which often unintentionally bring (gender) non-conforming people in for added scrutiny and violence. 9781478001577 Really strong chapters concerning how U.S. identification documents and surveillance practices work to establish and subsequently marginalize trans and gender non-conforming people as inherently duplicitous and deserving of scrutiny.

    I really dig trans scholarship in this vein, but its hard to read without feeling just so damn tired. 9781478001577 Really intriguing analysis about how surveillance and security are inherently trans issues. Loses a star for lack of true recommendations about policy direction, but overall is a fascinating analysis on how deviance is policed. 9781478001577

    Included in a blog post and resource list at https://booksbeyondbinaries.blog/2019... 9781478001577 4.5 stars. 9781478001577 363.23 B372 2019 9781478001577