• The Look of a Woman: Facial Feminization Surgery and the Aims of Trans- Medicine

    Author(s):
    Pages: 208
    Illustrations: 2 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $84.95 - Not In Stock
    978-0-8223-6886-1
  • Paperback: $23.95 - Not In Stock
    978-0-8223-6914-1
  • Acknowledgments
    Introduction
    1. On Origins
    Interlude. The Procedures
    2. Femininity in the Clinic
    Interlude. Celebrate!
    3. Cutting as Caring
    4. Recognition and Refusal
    Interlude. My Adam's Apple
    5. The Operating Room
    6. And After
    Conclusion
    Notes
    References
    Index
  • "In the early 1990s, Judith Butler theorized a new performative model of sex/gender; now Eric Plemons provides us with an exemplary ethnographic analysis of how that discursive model materialized as surgical practice, transforming medical treatment for transfeminine people along the way. It is a readable, well-argued, and deeply informed account of how what counts as 'sex' has shifted from genitals to faces over the last few decades. It is of interest not only to members of trans* communities, but to anyone working in the history or anthropology of medicine, and to scholars of gender, sexuality, and embodiment more generally." — Susan Stryker, coeditor of The Transgender Studies Reader

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  • Description

    Developed in the United States in the 1980s, facial feminization surgery (FFS) is a set of bone and soft tissue reconstructive surgical procedures intended to feminize the faces of trans- women. While facial surgery was once considered auxiliary to genital surgery, many people now find that these procedures confer distinct benefits according to the different models of sex and gender in which they intervene. Surgeons advertise that FFS not only improves a trans- woman's appearance, it allows her to be recognized as a woman by those who see her. In The Look of a Woman Eric Plemons foregrounds the narratives of FFS patients and their surgeons as they move from consultation and the operating room to post-surgery recovery. He shows how the increasing popularity of FFS represents a shift away from genital-based conceptions of trans- selfhood in ways that mirror the evolving views of what is considered to be good trans- medicine. Outlining how conflicting models of trans- therapeutics play out in practice, Plemons demonstrates how FFS is changing the project of surgical sex reassignment by reconfiguring the kind of sex that surgery aims to change.

    About The Author(s)

    Eric Plemons is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona.
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