The Transsexual Empire

February 15, 2009

Janice RaymondAll transsexuals rape women’s bodies by reducing the real female form to an artefact, and appropriating this body for themselves. [...] Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive.

The transsexually constructed lesbian-feminist feeds off woman’s true energy source, i.e. her woman-identified self. It is he who recognises that if female spirit, mind, creativity and sexuality exist anywhere in a powerful way it is here, among lesbian-feminists.

I contend that the problem with transsexualism would best be served by morally mandating it out of existence.

From The Transsexual Empire: the making of the she-male (1979) by Janice Raymond.

15 Responses to “The Transsexual Empire”

  1. Ruth Moss Says:

    Is it just me imagining it, or is she advocating the murder of trans people? VERY nasty.

  2. Helen G Says:

    She advocated legal limitations on changing sex, but the outcome would be the same: no transsexual women.

    But hey, that was 30 years ago and we’re all older and wiser now.

    Oh wait…

  3. Ruth Moss Says:

    I just don’t get how you can say “my body my choice” (I know being a trans person isn’t a choice but you know what I mean) in one breath and then in the next advocating legal limitations on what people do with their bodies… it is a bit of a mind fuck anyway. She must have had to perform some proper mental gymnastics.

    Maybe in another thirty years… god that’s depressing!

  4. Helen G Says:

    But, you see, transsexual women just mess up all that nice, neat theory. And it’s far easier just to eliminate the ‘problem’ than have to rethink everything…

    And I don’t know about another 30 years – I’ll be 82 (assuming I live that long) – and what then?

  5. Ruth Moss Says:

    You know, Copernicus had a “nice, neat theory”. And when Galileo came along with something that threatened that theory, the Catholic church did everything they could to stop him.

    Sometimes, however, no matter how much you want it to, the sun just doesn’t go round the Earth.

  6. Helen G Says:

    True, true – but some people think it shines out of Ms Raymond’s backside…

  7. Ruth Moss Says:

    Hopefully it will be much, much less than another thirty years before those people are irrelevant.

  8. Helen G Says:

    Their theories already are, certainly.

    Now, if they’d only take the damn things off my body…

  9. Jen Says:

    Well, she largely is irrelevant, and rightly so. I don’t think any serious academics would take her seriously, outside of women’s studies departments. I certainly don’t think she arrived at those conclusions by any kind of methodology or logical thought process, she just tailored the methodology to suit her foregone conclusions.

    It’s only because of the internet that the few people who think she’s great can get together and communicate. And then they become another “valid opinion” to be “included”, and before you know it you’re having to argue against it.

    Pretty horrifying really.

  10. Yuki Choe Says:

    I find it shocking that a mere opinion from a bigot can be construed as fact from authority. No one questions and no one reads up on the truth about transsexuality. They are either too lazy too or feel any factual sciences about transsexuality is by an “agenda”. I also think, is she crazy?

    Look at the mirror, and you will realise if she really thinks transsexuals are “raping” women, then people like Janice are raping everybody in the world by stuffing garbage theories down everyone’s throats, and appropriating hardcore myth for themselves. One word Ms Janice. My skin is smoother than yours. Let us meet face to face and see whose skin looks more “artefact”, shall we?

  11. Jen Says:

    I also think, is she crazy?

    I would guess one of two things from this:

    – either she’s had some kind of trauma, which makes her think this stuff, or

    – she’s a charlatan and she’s catering for a certain audience, which just makes her exploitative considering the kind of material she’s dealing with – both of trans people and of her intended audience.

    This kind of obsession with rape and invasion just screams trauma to me. On the other hand, the ability to go on lecture tours and just come out with this stuff in public places does not.

    Either way, she would ordinarily be just a fringe figure, so I think the fault lies more with the fact that there is now a context where she can be considered and taken seriously, which should obviously never happened.

    I hate this side of academia, because it’s basically fobbing off women with “women’s studies” stuff that just isn’t as rigorous or serious as real academia, and it’s really exploitative of everyone involved, possibly including Raymond herself. I mean, there’s a time and a place for being outraged about rape, but outrage isn’t really a good academic tool. As for using “rape” as some academic word that can mean everything you want it to – argh, I don’t even know where to start with that.

    Where it gets really crap is that she becomes a valid opinion to be respected in feminist spaces, which results in people who otherwise wouldn’t be dicks to trans people saying “nope, you’ve got to listen to the nice lady who’s saying that your existence rapes women“.

    What gets me is that you’re expected to actually put up with it! Most cis women feminists can’t even put up with the suggestion that women sometimes like pink, and yet expect you to accept the idea that people like Janice Raymond are respectable academics.

    Mind you, there’s something very rotten in feminism, in terms of hierarchies and power structures, and it’s obvious that there are certain people you don’t offend and that means others end up being disposable, which is really vile. I think (as a cis woman, mind) that this bothers me more than the fact that somewhere, somehow, someone holds Janice Raymond’s opinions.

  12. Winter Says:

    It is he who recognises that if female spirit, mind, creativity and sexuality exist anywhere in a powerful way it is here, among lesbian-feminists.

    Oh really? Good to know the majority of women on the planet are excluded from this quasi-magical lesbian-feminist power of spririt, mind, creativity and sexuality then — most of them not being lesbian-feminist separatists (which of course the SHOULD be!). The arroganace. But this comment makes me wonder, is this discourse really anything to do with “feminism” as such, or is it the case that trans women are perceived as threatening some people’s desires to claim that they are extremely special and create a very exclusive group on the basis of that specialiness?

    In general, I think we do have an issue in feminism with the way we tend to respond to dominating, forceful personalities. We need to analyse the attraction to/fear of (because there seem to be elements of both) people who present themselves as totally convinced of their absolute rightness no matter what.

  13. Helen G Says:

    Plus, of course, you can’t beat a bit of good old-fashioned cissexism (deliberate use of inappropriate pronouns)…

    It’s blindingly obvious to me that feminism does have an issue about its response to transphobic bigots – the issue being that it doesn’t have a response to them!

    As I’ve ranted at length quite enough elsewhere, it’s my view that there’s been plenty of talking by cis women feminists about what can be done about these people, and now it’s (long past) time for cissexual women feminists to start taking transphobia seriously – and doing something about it.

    And I’m not interested in the pluralist response either – it’s quite clearly full of fail.

    People tell me that, as a transsexual woman, I’m as welcome to take part in feminism as any cissexual woman – so prove it, I say. Because I just don’t see it. If my online safety is permanently at risk, and nobody gives a damn – why should I, or any transsexual woman stick around?

    Especially when there are vids of cute kittehs and bunnies to watch instead.

  14. Winter Says:

    Plus, of course, you can’t beat a bit of good old-fashioned cissexism (deliberate use of inappropriate pronouns)…

    I apologise. I did mean “we” as in cis feminists and obviously I should have made that distinction. It was cissexist and I will be more careful to check my language in future.

    It’s blindingly obvious to me that feminism does have an issue about its response to transphobic bigots – the issue being that it doesn’t have a response to them!

    I totally aqree. Cis women feminists seem unable to respond effectively to the way the transphobic bigots use feminist rhetoric to justify their transphobia.

  15. Helen G Says:

    Yeah, I know… 30 years since Janice Raymond’s pronouncements and still feminism can only offer talking shops? It’s not exactly ideal, y’know?

    All I’d like to know is – what’s The Plan?

    *sighs, shakes head, wanders off to look at shiny things*


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