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What needed explaining in particular was the formation of American ghettoes. Any theory construction to be done, said Harvey, had to be ʻvalidated through revolutionary practiceʼ. If there was required reading in inner Baltimore, it was more likely Mao than von Mises. At the instigation of a small group of graduate students, Harvey embarked on a close study of Marx. And – no surprise this – he read Marx geographically. So began his grand project of giving Das Kapital a spatial ﬁx, or, to put it the other way, of giving spatial science a Marxist ﬁx.
Bodily changes are then sought to allow others to gauge, in an immediate way, the category in which we wished to be placed. I want the phalloplasty because I want to be able to go swimming [which includes of course being able to use the male changing rooms]. I donʼt have a problem once Iʼm wearing my swimming costume, or when I am dressed. 27 There is something right about this move, but it cannot be the whole story, as it sees the body only as a sign for others. It fails to address the ﬁrst-person phenomenology, the unintelligibility which aspects of embodiment can present to oneself.
We can explore this, I suggest, without commitment to some kind of originary identity, or to a view that sees social practices as themselves determining. What might seem to mark the transsexual use of gendered terms is the sense of operating with a language which does not feel like their own. 22 In this text Derrida recognizes a desire to assign an origin to the complexity of such felt displacement, by imagining an originary language in which the truth of identity could be spoken. 23 Maybe it is in this light that we should view the transsexual narratives with the trajectory we began 30 by describing.