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Social Philosophy Today

Volume 20, 2004

War and Terrorism

Christine Overall
Pages 183-193
DOI: 10.5840/socphiltoday2004203

Transsexualism and “Transracialism”

This paper explores, from a feminist perspective, the justification of major surgical reshaping of the body. I define “transracialism” as the use of surgery to assist individuals to “cross” from being a member of one race to being a member of another. If transsexualism, involving the use of surgery to assist individuals to “cross” from female to male or from male to female, is morally acceptable, and if providing the medical and social resources to enable sex crossing is not morally problematic, then transracialism should be morally acceptable, and providing medical and social resources to facilitate race crossing is not necessarily morally problematic. To explore this idea, I present and evaluate eight possible arguments that might be given against accepting transracialism, and I show that each of them is unsuccessful.