The post that follows this will discuss Alice Dreger’s “The Controversy Surrounding The Man Who Would Be Queen: A Case History of the Politics of Science, Identity, and Sex in the Internet Age.”
As a matter of disclosure, I believe before I can discuss this journal article I must be clear about a few points.
1. I’m not a supporter of Andrea James or Calpernia Addam’s websites. From years of visiting their sites and taking part in their forums, I’ve found that they support a “Stepford Wife” stereotype that many feminists object to. Alice Dreger refers to it as the “feminine essence narrative.”
I can’t really speak for anyone else, but this narrative doesn’t fit with my experience. I wasn’t born in the wrong body. I was born in THIS body. My gender identity doesn’t match my biological sex. It isn’t a matter of right or wrong, but of an ingrained sex identity that has been with me for as long as I can remember. A look at history suggests that gender variance naturally occurs across most cultures and in many animal species.
2 . I don’t agree with J Michael Bailey’s thesis that groups transsexuals into either “autogynephilic” or homosexual” transsexuals categories. He tries to make something very complex, simple. In doing so, it strips any context away and creates a cartoonish version of what transgenderism is and means. He did much the same thing when he claimed that bisexuals (“in men there’s no hint that true bisexual arousal exists, and that for men arousal is orientation “) or lesbians (“I’m not even sure females have a sexual orientation. But they have sexual preferences.“) don’t really exist, based on genital stimulation to pornography.