Date of Submission
Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Dr. Nancy Williams
Dr. Ellen Rentz
© 2018 Jasmine E Shirey
Individuals who do not fit neatly into the expected genetic and phenotypic XX/XY binary have been misrepresented, ignored, operated on without consent, denied legal rights, and gaslighted by multiple spheres of dominant society including, but not limited to: medicine, popular culture, and the justice system. Using Michael Foucault’s conception of 'counter-discourse' in conversation with the work of Gayatri Spivak, I ask how online intersex communities (OICs) have participated in counter-discourse by examining forums, blogs, comments, organization websites, memoirs and social media pages.
Major examples of phenomena OICs respond to, engage with, and critique include: surgery on intersex infants; the introduction of the term 'DSD'; intersexuality in popular television shows; chromosomal primacy; and legal standings of intersex individuals in different countries. I found that 'counter-discourse' within OICs include efforts to: redefine the 'truth' against common problematic appeals to medicine, morals, or nature; advocate acceptance of all bodies; and create of a sense of belonging where there is space for people to heal and organize on a foundation of affinity.
Shirey, Jasmine, "Systems of Expression: Counter-Discourse in Online Intersex Communities" (2018). CMC Senior Theses. 1964.
Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication Commons, Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority Commons, Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Social Media Commons
Best Senior Thesis in Gender Studies