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Gender punitivism: Queer perspectives on identity politics in criminal justice
Moira Pérez y Blas Radi.
Criminology & Criminal Justice, vol. 20, núm. 5, 2020, pp. 523-536.
The article examines the convergence of identity politics and punitivism, two tendencies that profoundly affect current LGBT activism and state criminal policies. It considers the case of Argentina, a country often deemed exemplary in terms of gender-related legislation, and analyses a 2018 sentence that incorporates the concept of ‘travesticide’ in order to examine how the role of identity in political strategies, added to prevailing notions of gender, limits the possible approaches and answers to violence against gender non-conforming communities. It then takes this a step forward to understand how these answers are, in turn, often reduced to punitivist outcomes, narrowing the understanding of reparation and exposing the most vulnerable subjects in the community to further violence. As a contribution to Queer Criminologies, the article seeks to expose the limitations of identity politics, and in particular of its advocacy for gendered rights, showing how they can force gender non-conforming subjects to choose between rights, most notably between legal recognition of their gender identity, and safety vis-à-vis the state apparatus of criminal justice.
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