Transfeminism and Political Forms of Life


  • Martha Alicia Trevino-Tarango None



Transfeminism, Wittgenstein, Forms of Life, Political Activism


It is sometimes argued that there are pre-political, ‘natural’ characteristics that have a significant role in rendering political subjects, for instance that women are the subjects of feminism. These same arguments criticise transfeminism as a usurper of feminist priorities because it changes focus to the rights of groups whose members are not exclusively women. This essay challenges such criticism. It begins by defining transfeminism as a form of activism and an epistemological tool, in order to cogently address some of the views that oppose it. I then propose a way out of the conflict by showing how we can make better sense of transfeminism aided by Wittgenstein’s concept of forms of life, since both views contend that there are biological and environmental features that constitute the uniqueness as well as the diversity of the given human form of life, without implying that said diversity leads to relativism. The paper concludes that transfeminism, when conceptualised correctly, can indeed work with other feminisms and political movements in order to counter institutionalised and market-driven gender politics that only simulate to address feminist concerns.


Key words: transfeminism, Wittgenstein, forms of life, Judith Butler, feminist subject

Author Biography

Martha Alicia Trevino-Tarango, None

Martha Treviño-Tarango is an independent feminist scholar and activist. She received her MPhil in Philosophy from the University of St Andrews (Scotland) with a dissertation titled ‘On Wittgenstein’s notion of the objectivity of mathematical proofs’. Her research focuses on philosophy of language, feminist philosophy and transfeminism, particularly on the notion of normativity. She currently works with trans collectives and feminist groups aiming to introduce the concepts and political relevance of transfeminism to a wider audience. She has presented several papers on philosophy of language and feminism at national and international conferences, mostly at Mexican universities, focusing on the intersections between Wittgenstein’s and Judith Butler’s work. Since 2017 she has organised feminist philosophy and feminist art events locally, working with higher education institutions and feminist collectives.


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