Zizek’s Blindspot on Trans Issues

A lot of Zizek’s inability to properly tackle trans issues I suspect comes from his tendency to primarily view things from the lens of the psychoanalyst.

The psychoanalyst confronts an issue by asking “why is this person doing that” The Marxist approach on the other hand, is to first ask “what is this person doing”. Without first understanding how transsexuals actually function in society, one’s ability to interrogate psychology/motives ends up implicitly restricted to a reified framework.

This echoes a classic feminist critique of psychoanalysis, whereby the psychoanalysts of old tended to look at women’s behavior divorced from their social context, and came to the conclusion that women were innately this or that way, in turn, affirming the social order. Once one took into account the social role/function of women, psychoanalysis became a tool which could inform us not on the nature of women, but the nature of patriarchy. The social analysis was what ended up revealing the true subject of critique.

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