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Can international human rights law accommodate bodily diversity?

journal contribution
posted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Wendy O'BrienWendy O'Brien
This article considers recent efforts by international bodies and advocacy groups to secure the human rights of individuals with intersex variation. Identifying that these efforts are constrained by powerful assumptions about binary sex, it argues that international rights discourse looks set to regulate intersex individuals by the same protective strategies applied to the last four decades of the women's rights movement. A frank reading of legal feminist scholarship indicates several possible risks for the nascent intersex campaign. Efforts to ensure the substantive enjoyment of rights (for all) need to move beyond the constraints of a binary system in which women and sexed/sexual minorities will always be produced as other. Having argued that human rights are not contingent on biological determinants, the right to non-discrimination on the basis of sex traits is considered.

History

Journal

Human rights law review

Volume

15

Pagination

1-20

Location

Oxford, Eng.

ISSN

1461-7781

eISSN

1744-1021

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, Oxford University Press

Issue

1

Publisher

Oxford University Press