Response Paper to Dean Spade

651 Words3 Pages
11/6/14 Response to “Normal Life” by Dean Spade In the book “Normal life” by Dean Spade, a professor of law at Seattle University law school and an activist of transgender, disapproves of various law reform movements which include; the ones to win marriage equality for same-sex couples, improve prison conditions, and ensure the inclusion of antidiscrimination and hate crimes laws to encompass transgender persons. Spade faults LGBTQ movement’s efforts to gain mainstream acceptance arguing that they should concentrate on distributing life chances by insisting on radical redistribution of wealth and an end to poverty instead of pushing for equality. Spade’s viewpoint is influenced by the prison abolitionist movement together with, as he puts it, “by critical race theory” and “woman of color feminism”. Spade documents that his purpose in ‘Normal Life’ is to express “a critical trans politics that insists on more than a legal recognition and inclusion.” (Spade, p.20) Spade argues that the equality of life chances or distributive justice cannot be attained purely via law reform. He, therefore, calls for a broader agenda: elimination of poverty, abolition of prisons, and end to immigration enforcement and full access to health care. Spade submits that these goals cannot be conceptualized or won in the realm of US law. Spade questions the concentration of antidiscrimination regulations on violation of individual rights, which, he argues, is inclined to obscure more methodical and structural kinds of disadvantage. Spade documents that rather than pushing for rights-based law reforms, the trans-movement should instead focus on population- level operations of power. Such operation might include an ending to mass incarcerations. Spade declares that meaningful change comes from below and that individuals who are most directly impacted should lead the fight. Spade’s
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