I am about to embark on Janice’s new book, Doublethink, so now is a good time to cover her 1979 book Transsexual Empire and do a series on her work. The edition I am reading is her 1994 version which is available on her website here: 👇
The introduction to the 1994 edition outlines her thesis but also allows her to address her critics. I will do a full post on the introduction because a) she’s worth it and b) she provides many useful rebuttals to critiques of “gender critical” women. Here are the chapter headings.
Raymond opens with the closure of the “gender clinic” at John Hopkins University. The clinic was shut down after the publication of Transsexual Empire and some people, at the time, attributed the book as a catalyst for the closure. Indeed some people still do this today. Raymond rejects that and also calls into question the public reason for the closure, suggesting it was not the whole story.
In public this was the reason given: Simple lack of efficacy in the surgical/hormonal treatment of “transsexuals”.
Raymond suspects another motive related to John Money.
These views were not restricted to Money but were, Raymond notes, quite prevalent in academic circles.
Aside on Peter Tatchell
Many of us have noticed a resurgence of the defence of paedophilia now being normalised, in some circles, as “minor attracted people”. It is notable that Peter Tatchell is still revered despite this public letter. 👇
Lest you think this is an aberration from his past you can this on his website even today. A whole section dedicated to lowering the age of consent plus a rather disturbing post about a fourteen year old.
The piece is hedged with caveats opposing paedophilia but Tatchell takes at face value Lee’s account of having sex from age eight.
Back to Transsexual Empire.
Raymond references The Lancet expressing concern about “transsexual surgeries” as late as 1991. How soon we forget!
Worth remembering that the inverted sex ratios (now 75% female referrals at the Tavistock) is a very recent phenomenon.
She goes on to suggest a number of reasons for the predominantly male “transsexuals”. One of the reasons is that females were sold alternatives. We were already profitable trying to live up to female beauty standards. 👇
The complexities of the surgeries, for females was another factor.
Phallioplasty remains a surgery with a high rate of complications such that I call it failioplasty. The results come at significant cost in terms of harvested flesh from their arms.
The results vary in terms of appearance, and require additional technical aids to sustain anything approximating an erection. The complication rates are very high as per this paper based on 1212 patients.
Raymond quotes a writer questioning why “transssexualism” is not views in the same light as identifying out of your age or race. This is one theory. 👇
Even in 1979 Raymond identified the targeting of children. How much worse this is in 2022 when we are grooming children?
Swapping “gender roles” is inherently conservative because sex stereotypes must exist in order that the “transsexual” has a template against which to role play.
Good rebuttal to those who call us “biological essentialists” 👇
Remember when David Lammy MP (U.K) called us dinosaurs?
What do “male lesbians” want?
Raymond reframes the wording in the original edition and writes that males want entry into all female environments but especially Lesbians because they wish to be part of these spaces because of their envy of Lesbian solidarity. The only form of “cultural appropriation” that is acceptable to modern day, social justice warriors.
Raymond also responds to those who accused her of wishing to strip those that claim “transsexual” identity of their human rights. I won’t reproduce it here but basically she thinks they should bet as men, not as women. She also addresses those who accused her of being a conspiracy theorists because of the title. Will be interesting to see if she still thinks this now we are seeing all the money behind “transgenderism”.
She also adds a note about the rise of “transgenderism” and the ever expanding alphabet soup. Ultimately she concludes that, even with those identifying out of the “binary” they are not “transgressing” but conforming.
She also does not miss the integral role of the “sex industry” and how many of the trans-identified males spend time in prostitution. We have all noted that SWIW and TWAW go hand in hand. (Sex Work is Work and Trans Women Are Women).
Female fetishists? I don’t think so.
Martine Rothblatt tried this trick; pretending women wearing trousers are the same as men in fishnet stockings. Nope, not going to fly!
There is some discussion of KD Laing and the cover she did with Cindy Crawford. For Raymond it was not a radical stance. (I have a vague memory that Laing was a disappointment on the “trans” issue but I can’t recall why). That section was an interesting discussion.
Stone Butch Blues was also covered. Tells the story of growing up a Butch, working class, Lesbian in the 1950’s and 60’s. Ultimately a sad story with one character taking hormones and having a double mastectomy and posing as a man, only to find she belongs nowhere.
I will leave this post there and return to look at Chapter one.
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