Transgender Women’s Experiences of Gender Inequality at Work

Transgender Women’s Experiences of Gender Inequality at Work

New on my blog: Sociologists use the idea of “doing gender” to show the effort that people put into their own gender identity as well as policing the gender performance of others. The way that we “do” gender leads to inequality because people are expected to conform to society’s narrow ideas of what it means to be a “man” or a “woman.” This type of gender policing is especially difficult for transgender women, who are undermined at work – sometimes literally shouted into a place of submission and kept from succeeding, especially transgender women of colour.

Sociologists argue that because gender inequality is learned (through socialisation), it can also be unlearned. There’s been increasing focus on transgender people being a model for “undoing” gender. The idea is that transgender people may provide unique insight on how to overcome inequality, having experienced life as different genders. I show why this is a problematic assumption, through an analysis of the gender policing that transgender women are subjected to in the workforce. I bring attention to institutional problems that individuals face. I also look at gaps in mainstream feminism, which largely fails to address transgender issues in a meaningful way.

Read more on my blog: http://buff.ly/1yNtwup #sociology #lgbtqi #lgbt

4 thoughts on “Transgender Women’s Experiences of Gender Inequality at Work


  1. Very few people are not judgmental and this can easily turn into bullying. At a job there is no need for any personal judgments, either they do the job right or they do not, regardless of their gender. It is in social settings that acting accordingl to norms becomes important – are you going to be offensive & do you care?

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  2. Joey Brockert Exactly – at work, what people look like (what they wear, how they do their hair, and how their gender comes across) has zero bearing on their ability to do their job. Thanks for your comment; it is absolutely about caring about our colleagues!

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  3. Thanks Bill Carter! It is infuriating, isn’t it? It doesn’t take much to be educated or simply put ourselves in the shoes of others. Would we want to be judged for the quality of our work or our looks? Really glad to read that you take up this debate at work! These conversations are important.

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