I’m currently completing my PhD in philosophy at the University of Arizona. My research addresses issues at the intersection of feminist political philosophy, social metaphysics, and philosophy of law. I will be on the academic job market this fall.

Curious about what my deal is? Check out my recent interview here!

curriculum vitae


My dissertation examines the challenges that transgender equality poses to our conception of gender equality, and in so doing, motivates and develops a trans feminist alternative.

To account for transgender equality in a way that speaks to trans people’s lived genders and gender realities on trans people’s own terms, I argue that feminist theory needs to take seriously both the gender (the social metaphysics) and the equality (the political philosophy) of gender equality, not just one or the other.

Journal Articles

“Pregnant Persons as a Gender Category: A Trans Feminist Analysis of Pregnancy Discrimination” (Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, forthcoming—would be very happy to share a draft over email!)

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How should we make sense of pregnancy discrimination as an issue of gender equality? In a striking 1974 decision, Geduldig v. Aiello, the U.S. Supreme Court has answered that we simply cannot. Pregnancy discrimination does not constitute a form of sex discrimination prohibited by law, the 6–3 Court claims, because differential treatment based on pregnancy draws only a gender-neutral line between pregnant women and nonpregnant persons, not the gender line between women and men. While courts have since invoked Geduldig to curtail both reproductive and transgender rights, the prevailing feminist response to this line of cases is still to double down on an awkwardly cissexist conception of gender, finding the sex discrimination in the “direct” relation that pregnancy is thought to bear on womanhood. The failure of that prevailing feminist response, legitimizing rather than challenging biological essentialism in legal analysis and public discourse, epitomizes a broader failure of feminist analysis and intersectional solidarity; it faces up to the political and social problem that is pregnancy discrimination for neither cis nor trans people. This essay offers a trans feminist alternative. I argue that pregnancy discrimination is discrimination on the basis of sex, within the legally relevant meaning of that phrase, not because pregnancy is in one way or another distinctive of women as a gender category, but because pregnant persons make up a gender category of their own. On my analysis, pregnancy discrimination comes out as a form of sex discrimination directly and immediately, not by way of womanhood.

Public Writing

“Putting Gender Back into Transgender Equality: On Iglesias v. Federal Bureau of Prisons(APA Blog, Law and Philosophy Series, September 2023)

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I discuss issues with what I see as a gender-neutral, cis-centric conception of gender equality that has come to dominate U.S. law, focusing on the law’s systematic failure to protect incarcerated trans women’s health and bodily integrity.

Works in Progress

Please email me for the most recent drafts! :-)

“ ‘Medical Diagnosis, Not Sex or Gender Identity’: Transgender Equality and the Neutral Application Problem”

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Conceptual hang-ups can have real, material consequences. In an ongoing wave of cases, a disturbing number of U.S. courts have found it conceptually impossible for discriminatory legislation targeting trans people to violate constitutional requirements of gender equality, seeing as such legislation applies equally to all transgender persons regardless of gender. In fact, some have gone still further to argue that trans-discriminatory legislation cannot be said to target trans people in the first place, since the discrimination may be easily redescribed as applying to only persons diagnosed with gender dysphoria or only persons seeking gender-affirming care—but not trans persons as such. Anticipating a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the merits of these arguments in the spring of 2025, this essay uncovers the social metaphysics and political philosophy taken for granted by mainstream gender equality law that give rise to the neutral application problem, and in so doing, proposes the first trans feminist alternative.

“Taking Gender Seriously: Transgender Equality as Gender Equality”

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Gender is a crucial part of the explanation for the substantive inequalities faced by trans people for being trans. Surprisingly, however, most feminist and trans philosophers today do not approach transgender equality meaningfully in gender equality terms. This essay develops and defends a trans feminist account that finally does. I start with the positive project of articulating this trans feminist account by distinguishing it from two leading analyses of transgender discrimination in U.S. law. I argue that transgender equality constitutes an issue of gender equality not because it has to do with sex understood as reproductive biology or sex stereotypes understood as the social roles and expectations of our assigned sex, but because it concerns the equality of persons systematically disadvantaged by the social meaning of our bodies being interpreted as trans—the equality of trans persons considered as a gender category for critical feminist analytical purposes. I then contrast my view with a gender-neutral, autonomy-based alternative currently popular in trans philosophy. The gender-neutral alternative fails, I conclude, precisely because it does not take the gender in transgender equality seriously.

“Gender from the Ground Up: Equality and the Metasemantics of ‘Woman’ ”

Leading philosophical accounts of ‘woman’ begin with what being a woman means to cis women within dominant social relations and cultural spaces, and then struggle to extend that analysis to trans women. I argue that the intense focus trans-inclusive feminism has placed on gender identity is, in this light, as well-meaning as it is misguided: the leading accounts invoke a concept of gender identity in order to retrofit trans people into a cis-centric analysis that wasn’t built for us in the first place; it is no surprise that they fall apart. Is there any hope, then, for a way out? Drawing on Kimberlé Crenshaw’s work on intersectional discrimination, I show that just as an analysis of gender discrimination that begins with what being a woman means to women of color incorporates rather than marginalizes white women’s relationship to womanhood (but not vice versa), an account of ‘woman’ that begins with what being a woman means to trans women incorporates rather than marginalizes cis women’s relationship to womanhood (but not vice versa).

[paper on the explanatory priority of gender over gender identity]

[paper on the metaphysical significance of trans/queer gender practices]


Current & Recent Courses

Sex, Gender, and Love: An Introduction to Social Philosophy (Fall 2024—new Gen Ed Exploring Perspectives: Humanist course)

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What is sex? Is it a mere accident that the English term ‘sex’ refers to both an activity and a system of categorization? How does sex relate to sexuality, gender, and love, and how might the experiences of queer and trans people both complicate and illuminate these connections? What counts as having sex in the first place, and what counts as having good sex? How should we think about consent, desire, objectification, and sexualization in connection to sexual autonomy and gender equality? This course surveys these central questions about sex, gender, and love, and in so doing, aims to introduce students to the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of social philosophy.

Feminist Philosophy (Spring 2024; Spring 2023)

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What is the nature of patriarchy, and what would it take to smash it? Can there be “pleasure under patriarchy” in the meantime? What is it to be gendered, to be sexed, to be constructed? What does being a woman mean to queer and trans women? Who and what is feminism ultimately a movement for? In this course, we will trace the development of contemporary feminist philosophy from the early days of the women’s liberation movement to the present, with an emphasis on trans and queer voices, issues, and experiences throughout this fraught history.

Courses Taught

Law and Morality (Winter 2023; Summer 2023; Summer 2021 × 2; Summer 2020)

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This course is an introduction to the philosophy of law in general and feminist philosophy of law in particular. We will consider several significant philosophical issues at the intersection of law and morality and explore their jurisprudential implications. Topics will include the nature of law, judicial discretion, constitutional and statutory interpretation, civil disobedience, racial equality, gender equality, sexual harassment, reproductive freedom, and LGBTQ+ equality.

Logic in Law (Fall 2022; Spring 2022)

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This course examines logical reasoning and conceptual analysis in the law, with a focus on the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the equal protection and due process requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment. Topics will include constitutional interpretation, stare decisis, the shadow docket, racial discrimination, sex discrimination, reproductive rights, physician-assisted suicide, and LGBTQ+ rights.

Medical Ethics (Fall 2021)

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In this course, we will examine a variety of normative issues in and about medicine. Many of the topics we are going to discuss are more or less standard in a medical ethics course, such as harm, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, medical paternalism and patient autonomy. But what makes our course distinct is we will also look at critical approaches that seek to challenge and expand the traditional themes and positions. Specifically, we will consider feminist relational conceptions of autonomy, the continued debate between biological determinism and social constructivism, epistemic injustice in the practice of medicine, the politics of reproductive care and gender-affirming care, the medical policing of intersex, trans, racialized and disabled bodies, and the connection between lived experiences of the body and structural injustice. In so doing, our aim is to further explore the ethics of medical care in light of its broader political and social significance.

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A Note on My Last Name & Pronouns

For family-related reasons, I do not go by a last name professionally. ‘Ding’ can fill in for a last name as needed.

I go by they/them and she/her.

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