DWF 103-104 TUTTA SALUTE! – Abstract

Foreword. Toward a (trans)feminist perspective on health in neoliberalism – Beatrice Busi and Olivia Fiorilli

The neoliberal dismantlement of welfare state and the biomedical normalization pose new questions to feminist critique and politics: how to respond to the attack on welfare without abandoning the critique of its biopolitical implications and dismissing the critical discourses on biomedicine? Furthermore, how to articulate a critical analysis of medicalization that does not rely on essentialist notions of bodily integrity and takes into account the fact that access to health is regulated not only through gender, but also through class and race? Transfeminism, as an intersectional perspective that aims at creating political alliances between embodied subjectivities, can provide some answers. This article analyzes some examples of transfeminism political practices and theorizations that emerged in Italy and Spain in the last years, from advocacy to biohacking and queer experimentations of commonfare. The article also contextualizes them by highlighting the continuity between these politics and perspectives with gay&lesbian, trans, queer, intersex and feminist health movements.

Ormonautica: the amazing adventures of Consultoria Queer in the “sex” hormones’ land – Consultoria Queer di Bologna

Consultoria Queer is a self-organized group based in Bologna which works on queer(ing) sexual health. Its aim is to foster patients’ self-determination, to promote attention to the social determinants of health, to challenge the dominant heteronormative and sexist organization of health care, while resisting to the welfare dismantling at the same time. The group is composed both by trans and cisgender people who variously identify as women, men, or neither of the two; as lesbians, gays, heterosexuals; as patients, students and scholars who work in/against the health care system. This paper is based on the work on sex hormones conducted by the group, and focuses in particular on the social meanings, uses and policing of testosterone and testosterone-based drugs in the Italian context. By sharing experiences and representations of testosterone among people with different positions in the gender hierarchies and in the health care system, Consultoria Queer has developed a collective, embodied critique to the construction of masculinities, to the different access to sexuality granted to “female” and “male” bodies and to the medical discourse about gender and sexuality.

Nodules and pink ribbons – Viviana Indino

For a woman, the breast cancer and the chemotherapy are experiences that do not merely involve her own health and her ability to self-determine her well-being, but also challenge her integrity as a person. This article is a personal account of breast cancer that takes its steps form my personal experience and analyzes it in relation to the public perception of the disease, of its therapy and of gender performance. Particularly important in this analysis is the doctor-patient relationship, the relationship among patients, the social representation of cancer and how this has been subsumed by a capitalist process of production and reproduction, as highlighted in the phenomenon of pinkwashing. The ultimate intent of this article is to seek the meaning of such path, made possible by a rich bibliography and by collective experiences that allow to not hold anything back, be it pain, fear of dying or even the possibility to learn a new motivation for living and a new point of view on the world and on time.

Queersultoria: grassroot welfare experiments for a new right to health and livable life – Fuxia Block

In this article Fuxia block, a trans-feminist and queer collective born in Padua in 2006, describes the genealogy of Queersultoria, a political space occupied in 2012 where a series of projects about sexuality, queer relationships and health are developed. As the name suggests, Queersultoria contains the combination of Queer and Consultoria, the latter being the historical feminist spaces where women implemented their knowledge and practices about sex, health, and self-determination. With the same attitude, while in all Europe new forms of fondamentalism are carrying on a wide attack against women’s and LGBTQ freedom and rights, Queersultoria is an experiment of (bio)political subjectification from the bottom connected with the struggles against austerity and for elaborating new health rights and welfare.

People’s dignity and self-determination: beyond the boundaries of sex/gender binarism – Michela Balocchi and Egon Botteghi

Intersexioni is a group founded in the Spring of 2013 by some friends, activists, and scholars whose shared interests cover analyzing the roots of ascribed characteristics-based and socio-economic discriminations. Intersexioni has been the first non-profit organization in Italy, and currently still the only one, to join a pledge to the scientific divulgation of intersex issues with the advocacy for intersex rights, and an analysis of other areas in which violations of human rights exist on the basis of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic and somatic characteristics. In this paper we have focused on: a) the violation of intersex human rights, and the contemporary paradox of society, where the more is known about human biological complexity and diversity, the more is done to eliminate such diversity and to medically reduce it to social gender/sex binary orthodoxy; b) the interconnections between the institutional oppression against gender non conforming and trans people, and non-human animals.

GYNEpunk: DIY-DIT gyneLABs klau kinki

“Medical institutions use prohibitive and creepy technologies, patriarchal conservatives and dark methodologies to diagnosis, to read them and apply their vivisection treatments. In gynecology’s particular case, it reaches an inquisitive, paternalistic and fascistic attitudes. (…) The technical control of the diagnosis generates extreme dependence and a classicist deep gap of knowledge. Patients are ignorant slaves of lab diagnosis technologies that send a message only translated and read by the doctors that in some kind of possession of the clinic oraculo have the only sacred truth. BUT… There’s no need of hi-tech machines to generate accurate and self-aware diagnosis. (…) Gynepunk’s aim is to make DIY-DIT accessible diagnosis labs and technics emerge in extreme experimentation (…) no body can burn US! NO ONE! the witches NOW have the flames.”

Playing the Boggle game. An interview with Fabrizia Di Stefano – Viola Lo Moro

Queer bodies, LGBT movements and political issues: these are some of the topics Fabrizia Di Stefano, feminist and queer theorist, discusses with Viola Lo Moro in this interview. An interesting dialogue that offers us some sharp reflections concerning our political times.

Posthuman in feminist theory – Rosi Braidotti

This article provides a critical cartography of the development of posthuman feminist theory and develops some of its main tenets. The notion of the posthuman is defined as the intersection of post-humanism with post-anthropocentrism. Posthumanism focusses on the criticism of the universalist idea of ‘Man’ as the alleged ‘measure of all things’. Post-anthropocentrism targets species hierarchy and the claim to human uniqueness. Feminist posthuman theory emerges from multiple genealogical sources which include cultural and media studies, science and technology studies, critical theory, science fiction and political theory. The essay analyzes some of its conceptual premises and focusses on implications of this notion for feminist politics, subjectivity and for sexual politics, notably in relation to non-human agents.

About differences. An Interview with Lea Melandri – Stefania Voli

In this interview Lea Melandri, one of the protagonists of the so-called “Second Wave Feminism”, goes back over three (almost four) decades of feminist practices and theories, trying to face their complexes paths. The interview tells a difficult story, full of ruptures , exchanges, and contradictions. In the Eighties, a new feminist political dimension rethinks not only the practices, but also many of the feminist categories of knowledge: subjectivity, plurality, sisterhood, sexuality, democracy, participation, power, and, above all, difference(s). The interview fosters, on one side, reflections about the long-term persistence of these categories; on the other side, it provides a reflection about the reasons why an overall historiographical reflection on Italian Feminist Movements’ results and changes, in political and cultural terms, is still to come.