Before we get to the meat of her thesis there is a chapter setting out her methodology and defining terms.
I am only going to pick out some key points but it is well worth reading in full for an explanation of her methodology and word choices. This is a strong opening paragraph which sets out the premise of the work. “Transsexualism” has a specific impact on females and it is therefore not surprising that feminists engage critically with the concept of “transsexualism”. Conversely it is not surprising that various shades of mens rights activists, conscious or otherwise, have embraced the concept with unseemly haste.
Raymond devotes an entire section to language which will surprise none of the women who have wrestled with the pronoun issue, irrespective of which side of the argument you fell.
Before choosing to use the term “transsexual” Raymond unpacks what she means by this term. She is not using it in the sense of “true transsexual” but to signal that some men (it was overwhelmingly men, in 1979) have constructed a “social identity” based on sex (sexist) stereotypes.
She also notes that the term is of relatively recent usage and was coined by a man embedded in the Gender Industrial complex, such that it was in the 1960’s. Benjamin formed an organisation which eventually became WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health). He was one of the first people to reject therapeutic help to reconcile feelings of “gender incongruence” and instead propose medical treatment so the dysphoric person can make their body fit their mind.
At its heart the “transsexual” phenomenon undercuts women’s attempts to question/ undermine sex role stereotyping and thereby tackle the oppression of the female sex class, by reifying those same sex (ist) stereotypes; by carving them into, and out, of human flesh.
The word “gender”, as Raymond explains is therefore problematic for feminists in its reliance on those same sex (ist) stereotypes. Feminists, of old, used the word “gender” to try to unpick expectations for the sexes which for females were a way to set limitations. The use of gender has been hijacked by the Gender Identity ideologues for precisely the opposite purpose. For them “gender identity” exists it may not always align with your biological sex but instead of this becoming a liberation project for women it leaves the sex stereotype system intact and deals with anomalies by arguing the “gender identity” exists in the wrong body. 👇 A byproduct (arguably, by now, the main aim) was the money making machine which became the Gender Industrial Complex.
Many men made the pilgrimage to Casablanca for superficial “sex-conversion” therapy including Jan Morris the Wales based travel writer. The words of George Burou make it clear that it is the patients own imagination, or faith, that is doing the lion share of the “work” in believing he is now a “woman”. The whole project depends on “trans” as a secular faith which Raymond calls “theodicy” and which I read as “theoidiocy”.
Raymond returns, repeatedly, to the obscurantism of the word “transsexual” which masks the mechanisms at work to construct the “transsexual” and to perpetuate the delusion which we are now inculcating in our young. What “gender dysphoria” does is to problematise males who deviate from the masculinity script. What it does not do is question the script. The medical empire now creates and perpetuates this dissociative disorder because it generates huge profits. 👇.
The extent of the profits to be made I cover in this piece. CAGR is the Compound Annual Growth rate. 25% is a very healthy CAGR.
Raymond may be the earliest person, I have read, to recognise that this is not a civil rights case it’s a consumer generating activity.
If I build them they will come!
The term “trans” is a marketing term which sells a solution to a societally generated problem. Just like all advertising cultivates dissatisfaction to create a market for the solution. It is the diagnosis that has misdirected clinicians to ignore the myriad of reasons why people claim a “trans” identity and provides a label and a ready made treatment pathway. It’s a profitable pipeline.
The danger of this was raised with Domenic Di Ceglie who opened the child and adolescent branch of the Tavistock, Gender Clinic. He seemed to find this question amusing.
Raymond spoke to a number of “transsexuals” in proportion to the contemporary male:female ratio. She also spoke to people who worked at “gender clinics” and therapists /counsellors who worked with “transsexuals”.
Men in flight from their masculinity are in flight from the expected roles for men in a patriarchal society. The society that generates the problem then sells a synthetic sex identity to the men whilst ignoring systemic issues. We thus perpetuate the problem for the afflicted and then use them as a means to sell the solution to other young men. The product thus becomes the advert, the ultimate in self-commodification.
It’s an individualised solution to a societal problem. The sex (ist) stereotypes must exist for the men to identify the liberation of adopting societally defined “feminine” behaviours. Furthermore, order to provide a place of refuge for men, in flight from their sex, women must run the refugee camps and we must remain there too! This is what “cis” means; that women who “identify” as women are accepting the sex stereotype /role for their sex. No wonder many women are resisting the “cis-woman” label.
The construction of the myth of the “transsexual” and now “transgender” person has wider societal impact than the hormone/surgery patient. It requires a whole edifice, belief system, to support this delusion; co-opting us all to validate these synthetic, sex, identities.
I will return with further chapters as I defer the temptation to read Double Think her new book. (I am very tempted by the way).
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