chapter  2
17 Pages

Gender Regulations

A t first glance, the term “regulation” appears to suggest theinstitutionalization of the process by which persons are made regular. Indeed, to refer to regulation in the plural is already to acknowledge those concrete laws, rules, and policies that constitute the legal instruments through which persons are made regular. But it would be a mistake, I believe, to understand all the ways in which gender is regulated in terms of those empirical legal instances because the norms that govern those regulations exceed the very instances in which they are embodied. On the other hand, it would be equally problematic to speak of the regulation of gender in the abstract, as if the empirical instances only exemplified an operation of power that takes place independently of those instances.