The shame of Sheila Jeffreys’ hate

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March 6, 2014

The shame of Sheila Jeffreys’ hate

By Cristan Williams
@cristanwilliams

 

University of Melbourne Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF), Sheila Jeffreys is being called out for her racist comments by the indigenous Australian community. Jeffreys asserted on a radio show that being trans is like blackface. A genderqueer member of the Indigenous people of Australia, told the Star Observer:

There is a fear that racist, misogynistic, queerphobic and transphobic people will take her message as truth and enact these prejudices against trans identified Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. By reducing transgender identities to that of histrionic mimicry is more reflective of her prejudice than it is of my understanding and practice of gender as a genderqueer Indigenous person. I cannot change my racial configuration. I can however mold and express my gender identity as unique and valid to my culture. – Andrew Farrell


Sheila Jeffreys, a TERF who also asserts that women who get tattoos are mutilating themselves to appease the patriarchy, is an opinion leader of a branch of “feminism” that most other feminists reject. In fact, the feminist community popularized the “TERF” back in 2008 to try to distance TERF rhetoric from feminism.

abolish-gender-terfs

Jeffreys has made a career out of sweeping generalizations supported by anecdotal, cherry picked data and more than a little equivocation. She will assert that trans surgeries are patriarchy-driven mutilations without ever mentioning the inconvenient fact that her own community – Australian lesbians – pioneered trans surgical care:

On top of that, equivocation never seems far from her lips. Jeffreys pretends that when the world speaks of gender, we only ever mean cultural rules. The reality is that when people talk about gender, they’re also talking about their subjective and innate experience of their body’s sex (which would exist with or without culture), the VERY complex and nuanced ways they conceptualize that experience (which would exist with or without culture) and the ways they communicate that experience (which would exist with or without culture). While her ontological gesticulations may appeal to her own in-group, her ideology is ultimately meaningless to practical discourse.
terf-gender-uniform
If you’ve noticed that Jeffreys sounds a bit like a right wing demagogue, there’s a very good reason for it:

“Now one of the things I find puzzling about it is that, when I look at the House of Lords debate on this legislation, those I agree with most are the radical right. Particularly the person I find that I agree with most, in here, and I’m not sure he will be pleased to find this, is Norman Tebbitt… Tebbitt also says that the savage mutilation of transgenderism, we would say if it was taking place in other cultures apart from the culture of Britain, was a harmful cultural practice, and how come we’re not recognising that in the British Isles. So he makes all of these arguments from the radical right, which is quite embarrassing to me, but I have to say, so called progressive and left people are not recognising the human rights violations of transgenderism or how crazy the legislation is.” – Jeffreys

Criticism of the practice of transgenderism is being censored as a result of a campaign of vilification by transgender activists of anyone who does not accept the new orthodoxy on this issue.

– The very first sentence of Sheila Jeffreys defence the RadFem2012 Conference – a conference that which was later given the boot by their event host for being an anti-trans hate group 

The practice of transgenderism? Take a guess at who says stuff like, the practice of homosexualism and the practice of homosexuality.

Despite being a Catholic, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty of Ontario forced even Catholic schools to promote the homosexual agenda in the schools and have Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs, even though the practice of homosexuality violates Catholic teaching. (So much for religious freedom!)

– White supremacist, Paul Fromm

Framing being gay or trans as a mere practice – something that one does instead of what one is – is a favored rhetorical tool used by hate groups the world over and unsurprisingly, Sheila Jeffreys uses the same type of rhetoric. For if being trans is merely a practice – an addiction, a lifestyle, a pastime, etc – then it can be argued that one can cease engaging in that practice.

People like Jeffreys wrap their hate in the language of feminism because to do otherwise would make it immediately recognizable for exactly what it is. While one might be tempted to dismiss people like Jeffreys as harmless conspiracy theorists attempting to validate their own existence by contrasting it against a strawman of their own design, it’s not as benign as all of that.

For instance, the TERF movement played a significant role in the revocation of trans healthcare access. In fact, TERF activist Janice Raymond, authored the American government’s anti-trans position.

The National Center for Healthcare Technology was a government funded body that reviewed metadata so that Health & Human Services (HHS) would be able to make evidence-based ​judgements about the efficacy of medical technologies. In short, they informed the US government on what was and what was not medically efficacious. The NCHCT had Janice Raymond, author of The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male issue their position on the efficacy of trans medical care in a paper titled, “Technology on the Social and Ethical Aspects of Transsexual Surgery.” This position paper makes practically all the same assertions about trans people commonly found in far right-wing anti-trans propaganda; however, unlike other extremist group propaganda, this misleading report informed HHS’ position on trans medical care. The report was available through the Office of the Associate Director for Medical and Scientific Evaluation, Public Health Service.

Raymond asserted that trans medical care was a new phenomena, unethical, asserted that legislation should block trans medical care and that it would be best to institute a national program of reparative therapy.

Until Raymond’s HHS paper, the US government generally supported trans care as medically necessary. I want you to reread that previous sentence. This meant that poor trans people could access psychological and medical care and it also meant that public and private insurers had no basis upon which to reject coverage of trans care.

It was only after the NCHCT pushed Raymond’s bigotry in 1980 that the US government reversed course in 1981 and took up Raymond’s views and rhetoric. Raymond’s hate became the government’s stance. Raymond – a Catholic ethicist, not a clinician – was the architect of the anti-trans stance the US government adopted in the 1980s. This official anti-trans stance soon spread to private insurers and the American trans population soon found itself without access to medically necessary health care.

There’s a reason many trans people lay the death and suffering of untold numbers of trans people at the feet of Janice Raymond. In a time when employment discrimination against trans people became legal, Raymond helped dismantle the trans community’s ability to access trans health care through public and private insurance. Raymond heralded in the era in which trans people (many to most of whom were unemployed, depending upon the study) had to pay out of pocket or go without. In essence, Raymond helped ensure the future of a medical system that was unresponsive to the needs of the trans community at every level.

If you want to get a sense of just how many trans people TERF policy killed, consider the following governmental study published in 2012:

One of the most severe results of denying coverage of treatments to transgender insureds that are available to non-transgender insureds is suicidal ideation and attempts.

A meta-analysis published in 2010 by Murad, et al., of patients who received currently excluded treatments demonstrated that there was a significant decrease in suicidality post-treatment. The average reduction was from 30 percent pretreatment to 8 percent post treatment.

De Cuypere, et al., reported that the rate of suicide attempts dropped dramatically from 29.3 percent to 5.1 percent after receiving medical and surgical treatment among Dutch patients treated from 1986-2001.

According to Dr. Ryan Gorton, “In a cross-sectional study of 141 transgender patients, Kuiper and Cohen-Kittenis found that after medical intervention and treatments, suicide fell from 19 percent to zero percent in transgender men and from 24 percent to 6 percent in transgender women.)”

Clements-Nolle, et al., studied the predictors of suicide among over 500 transgender men and women in a sample from San Francisco and found a prevalence of suicide attempts of 32 percent. In this study, the strongest predictor associated with the risk of suicide was gender based discrimination which included “problems getting health or medical services due to their gender identity or presentation.”According to Gorton, “Notably, this gender-based discrimination was a more reliable predictor of suicide than depression, history of alcohol/drug abuse treatment, physical victimization, or sexual assault.”

A recent systematic review of largely American samples gives a suicide attempt rate of approximately one in every three individuals with higher rates found among adolescents and young adults. According to Dr. R. Nicholas Gorton, MD, who treats transgender people at a San Francisco Health Clinic, “The same review also noted that while mental health problems predispose to suicidality, a significant proportion of the drivers of suicide in the LGBT population as a whole is minority stress.” He continues to conclude that, “[f]or transgender people such stress is tremendous especially if they are unable to ‘pass’ in society. Surgical and hormonal treatments — that are [also] covered for non-transgender insureds — are specifically aimed at correcting the body so that it more closely resembles that of the target gender, so providing care significantly improves patients’ ability to pass and thus lessens minority stress.”

These studies provide overwhelming evidence that removing discriminatory barriers to treatment results in significantly lower suicide rates.

– State of California Department of Insurance, 2012

TERFs seem happy with these outcomes and still campaign against trans health care. To quote TERF pioneer, lecturer, and writer Bev Von Dohre, “They expect we’ll be shocked to see statistics about them being killed, and don’t realize, some of us wish they would ALL be dead.”

[Transsexual surgery] could be likened to political psychiatry in the Soviet Union. I suggest that transsexualism should best be seen in this light, as directly political, medical abuse of human rights. The mutilation of healthy bodies and the subjection of such bodies to dangerous and life-threatening continuing treatment violates such people’s rights to live with dignity in the body into which they were born, what Janice Raymond refers to as their “native” bodies. It represents an attack on the body to rectify a political condition, “gender” dissatisfaction in a male supremacist society based upon a false and politically constructed notion of gender difference. – Sheila Jeffreys


The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is requesting that you assist them in researching the TERF movement.

We’d very much appreciate any information you or your allies could provide of the major players, websites, etc., in the anti-trans world. We would like to take a look at this for a possible investigative story for our magazine, Intelligence Report. I’m especially interested in links between the groups. Any help will be greatly appreciated. – SPLC

Send your stories and experiences with the TERF movement to the SPLC:

Twitter: @splcenter #no2h8splc

FaceBook: facebook.com/SPLCenter

Email: SPLC contact form

Phone: (334) 956-8200

Also, please sign this petition.


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Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of the transgender community. She started the first trans homeless shelter in the South and co-founded the first federally funded trans-only homeless program, pioneered affordable healthcare for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. Cristan is the editor at the social justice sites TransAdvocate.com and TheTERFs.com, is a long-term member and previous chair of the City of Houston HIV Prevention Planning Group.

28 Comments

  1. Thanks for the excellent analysis, Cristan!

    A quibble: The correct title for Janice Raymond’s trans-annihilationist screed prepared for the NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH CARE TECHNOLOGY is

    “Paper Prepared for the National Center for Health Care Technology on the Social and Ethical Aspects of Transsexual Surgery”

    … see http://www.webcitation.org/67q9uFWwu or the post where I originally saw scans of the original on ENDABlog – http://endablog.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/for-those-who-think-a-dressed-up-toned-down-academic-y-touchy-feely-paper-from-a-crackpot-trans-eliminationist-should-just-be-ignored/ .

    thanks!
    – bonzie anne

  2. Penny Marie Sautereau says:

    TERF’s are terrorists, plain and simple.

  3. superlizzard says:

    ugh, what a hateful bunch of angry dried up husks…. terfs are not feminists, they just hate men, end of story… they don’t care about equality, and they certainly don’t deserve anyone’s respect

  4. Jami Shofner says:

    TERF philosophy: “Only WE know what’s right and what’s wrong. No, we can’t delineate it, but we know it when we see it. And if you don’t agree with us 100%, you’re 100% wrong and an enemy to be destroyed.”

    Kind of like the KKK and the Taliban.

    • Terri Tg says:

      or the judicial system “I cant define what and what is not porn, but i know it when i see it” (not verbatim)
      popular paraphrase of Potter Stewart, opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964)

  5. velvetsteele says:

    nazis come to mind!!

  6. christian_transgender says:

    From my perspective, they are transgender persons seeking to eat their own—certainly they conform to no gender “patriarchal-created” norms either. Their very physical representation never deviates from how many of us represent ourselves: as transcending gender but not necessarily toward a gender polarity. In a world where appearance speaks more than the spoken word, undoubtedly they are perceived as being trans and thus trans-knowledgeable which explains their effective lethality. I often forsake the makeup and the ultra feminine clothing but this stems from my attraction to both sexes. I am against the gender binary also, not to seek its demise but to replace it with how many of us who are trans actually live: sometimes at the polarity but often between it.

    At the very core of their movement, implicitly stated of course, is the very denial of sex, as in M or F. Gender, regardless of how it is defined or exists, is the external representation of one’s inner sex. No sex = no gender. To even argue that gender could actually cease to exist is to argue that one day sex could also not exist. Again, ironically while many toot the “trans = delusional” horn, to even form the premise much less posit that a future without sex/gender is possible is completely delusional. To forward this false ideology such that tremendous costs to self, families, and nation measured in trans lives lost is near-criminal. Transgender children of today are showing the world that we’ve been here all along and never should have been vilified to the point of death. They are the voice that many of us never had.

    History records the sheer moral depravity of man that first enslaved then slaughtered entire groups of people. Like the transgender holocaust, it always begins with propagation of an ideology that effectively justifies homicide in defense of nation or cause. In other words, it’s the old “this is war and they are the enemy” meme. Nothing conjures up rationalized homicide like the “enemy” word does: immorality is justified by moral warriors seeking glory and fame. I mean don’t they “wish we are all dead”? That we have been in the eradication phase for years preceded by the ant-trans demonizing propaganda is also now a matter of historical record for the ages. Prisons are replete with many who have justified homicide against one or many in their insane minds, despite the false appearance and demeanor commonly associated with sanity.

    The key element that demonstrates that once again it is fear that motivates our eradication lies in the answer to this question: “Why are the primary movers and shakers against trans equality female?” We all know why—basically it comes down to the ubiquitous and false notion that “if some men are rapists then all men are rapists, including ‘men’ who claim to be female.” Herein lies the second delusion. If in fact they know this to be true, their motivation would be not against trans females but against men, period. Why expend tremendous resources at the symptom and not the cause?

    One thing is clear: those of us that have defied the horrible statistics must (such as this stellar website) continue to speak for our fallen and for the children who follow so that they can obtain at least a measure of justice and a future void of an ideology so extremely delusional that it denies the biological reality of sex and gender representation, that includes we that have a transgender history.

    • Andrew Geske says:

      “They are transgender persons seeking to eat their own” … “argued of course by females who appear to be men” … seriously? I almost can’t read what you’re saying because you stooped to assumptions and criticisms of the way they do their gender. Don’t use their weapons: don’t postulate about whether they are what they say they are, and don’t bring appearances into it. This fight is about individual rights, not rumor-mongering, haircuts, and wardrobes.

      • christian_transgender says:

        A more clarifying intro would have been (to avoid unintended implications that you express):

        “From my objective perspective, based on the photo, they appear to be transgender persons, merely because many of us with a trans history choose to dress as they: between the gender binary. It would not be an overstatement to state that to outsiders looking in, this would appear to be an internecine struggle: transgender persons eating their own.”

        As someone with a trans history, it would be entirely hypocritical to criticize gender expression in whichever manner it is expressed for I would first have to start with me. To the contrary, gender expression is a very beautiful and diverse thing. Herein lies the difference between those who persecute us for our gender expression and I: when they state something like “appear to be men” it is loaded with hostility and malevolence. As used by me, at first blush it appears to, within context have the same meaning, however, as I state it is purely objective void of subjective negative overtones. It truly is meant literally and void on judgement for my trans family includes trans men as well.

        This doesn’t take away, however the objective reality of what really is at play here: females that subscribe, like most of us, to the same ideology: we choose, like me, to “violate” in appearance what much of society has for eons dictated how males and females should dress. What irks me is that I consider them my sisters in spirit and heart based on our shared courage to live “outside the norms” and yet I will never share the ideology that is so destructive to my trans sisters and brothers: “Once male always male, or the pre-conviction of all males as criminal deviants.” It is as you say about the individual and not broad judgement on a group.

        Whether transgender persons exist or not, criminal activity which is statistically produced by males, will continue unabated. This is the product of living outside utopia. What makes the broad conviction of trans females as criminal deviants, even while innocent, is that within a civilized society such prior judgment is the proverbial “pulling of the string” that deconstructs the knit sweater. A propensity to commit crime, which males in fact do own statistically, is what is behind the mass persecution of LGBT persons worldwide and of which I fight against here. The only hope of assisting our LGBT brethren worldwide will completely evaporate if the US also goes down that path. We truly are part that shining light on the hill that Reagan talked about, at least in regards to LGBT rights.

  7. […] The shame of Sheila Jeffreys’ hate. […]

  8. Terri Tg says:

    i had read about the change in 81, but didnt know that until then it was covered, i had assumed that it was just an “official” policy statement for something that didnt have one, and i had no idea a TERF was responsible. any way to charge her with depraved indifference manslaughter?

  9. Sophie Hawthorne says:

    A well thought out and researched piece of critical analysis. I worry greatly about the effect that TERF dogma actually justifies the position of trans* healthcare professionals here in the UK and of course the the power of shadowy organisations such as WPATH which tend to exclude trans* voices from the mechanisms of policy making. I am convinced that institutions such as Charing Cross Gender Identity clinic view their own retrograde treatment of trans* people is quite acceptable when in fact it lags so far behind the ‘actual’ real world situation.due to the consideration of TERF hate and nonsense.

  10. […] TERFs speak about their own gender uniform? Noticing this glaring double standard, I dared to be critical this TERF gender hypocrisy. I dared notice that that the below TERF opinion leaders share a […]

  11. Cpt_Justice says:

    Can we take the “F” out of that – or add a silent “P” for “PSEUDO”?

  12. E says:

    You know, I agree with all of the points you make in this article and I can’t stand TERFs myself. However, I have to admit that I’m a little upset by a graphic that, as far as I can see, doesn’t do more than ridicule the appearance of butch lesbians. I understand that these particular people are awful, but I do feel like this image attacks butch lesbians in general and honestly, butches get a lot of shit. Also, I think it’s misleading of you to include that chat post from tumblr and stamp “transadvocate.com” on it, when I’m reasonably sure you didn’t write it. Maybe I’m nitpicking, but I think these things make you look less credible.

    • a.) Please share the tumblr link. I’d like to see what you’re talking about.

      b.) Do you not understand what gender is and that these TERF leaders made their names by “rejecting” it?

      • E says:

        http://deathwood.tumblr.com/post/77189810692/terf-we-are-here-to-abolish-the

        I don’t understand where you got it from if you really have no idea what I’m talking about. I think you shouldn’t put your watermark on things that you didn’t write.

        B. Of course I do. I realize that you’re responding to their flawed logic by pointing out that they also seem to conform to their own specific gender presentation. However, I am upset by the image because it seems to attack the image, specifically, of the butch lesbian. Does that make sense? Maybe if you simply pointed out that they, too, seem to perform a certain type of “gender,” it wouldn’t bother me. But the text seems to actively mock butch presentation: “We just don’t do purses.”

  13. Anonymous says:

    New Yorker Shamefully Cites Anti-LGBT ‘Researcher’
    Posted on July 29, 2014 by

    //<![CDATA[
    reddit_url="http://www.brynntannehill.com/new-yorker-shamefully-cites-anti-lgbt-researcher/&quot;;
    //]]>

    All but lost in Michelle Goldberg’s recent love song to anti-transgender internet trolls in New Yorker magazine was a less-than-skeptical reference to Dr. Ray Blanchard.
    While best known for promoting widely discreditedand openly mocked anti-transgender theories, he is also a proponent of the idea that homosexuality is a disorder, and he denies that bisexuals exist, or at least that they are any different from heterosexuals.
    Dr. Ray Blanchard is a psychologist who specializes in paraphilias. According to his Wikipedia biography, Blanchard is:
    “Head of Clinical Sexology Services in the Law and Mental Health Programme of the CAMH, and he serves as a Professor of Psychiatry at theUniversity of Toronto. He served on the American Psychiatric Association DSM-IVSubcommittee on Gender Identity Disorders and was named to the DSM-5 committee. According to the Web of Science, Blanchard’s scientific articles have been cited more than 1800 times, with an h-index of 27.”
    He is also responsible for more harm to the transgender community than any other person in North America — and he’s proud of it.

    Anti-Trans Demagoguery
    Blanchard openly admits to abusing his position to create a fake diagnosis in the DSM-5, and to resorting to unethical means to push his pet theories. He also believes that homosexuality should never have been removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
    Blanchard developed a theory of a transsexualism typology which groups male-to-female transsexuals into two types: those attracted to men, and those attracted to women. He believes the ones he calls “homosexual transsexuals” are just confused gay men who think it would be easier to live as a straight woman than as a gay man. He also claims that those who are attracted to women are actually paraphiliacs who have let their fetish take over their lives.
    He believes all MTF transsexuals fit into one category or another. No exceptions. Any transgender woman who denies belonging to one category or another is assumed by Dr. Blanchard to be lying.
    As for bisexual transgender women, he assumes they don’t exist, or that they are no different from heterosexual ones. In essence, he has designed a theory that deliberately erases bisexuality as a legitimate orientation. Ironically, the implied narcissistic element of autogynephilia closely resembles the (discredited and outdated) narcissistic love theories regarding the roots of homosexuality.
    In a recent interview, Blanchard claims that he doesn’t believe his position causes any harm to the transgender community:
    Q: “Do you think that classifying transgender people as having a disorder does contribute to stigma against the trans community?”
    A: “No. I mean how many people who make a joke about trannies consult the DSM first?”
    In the same interview, he acknowledges that his work feeds the fires of those who wish to do transgender people harm, and that frankly, he doesn’t care.
    I’m certainly not in favor of saying things in a hurtful or mean way if there’s an equally precise way of saying the same thing that is not hurtful or mean. I’m not one of these guys who goes out of his way to be politically incorrect. But I don’t think we should promulgate untruths for the sake of political agendas, even if they are worthwhile political agendas.
    First, is there a nice way of calling someone a deluded, self-hating homosexual, or a fetishist? Of course not, and he knows it. In fact, he has gone out of his way to describe transgender people asamputation fetishists.
    Legitimizing Bigotry
    Blanchard’s theories have been picked up by radical anti-transgender feminists, who use it to justify their claim that transgender people are perverts who cannot be trusted. All of these individuals attempt to deny legal protections and medical care to the community.
    Who else is picking up on Blanchard’s theories? NARTH, for one, whose anti-transgender manifesto is mostly based on his writings. It’s also used in the right-wing, anti-transgender campaigns being waged by the Pacific Justice Institute and the like. Indeed, theFamily Research Council and the American Family Association cite his theory as a reason that transgender people are sick and should be institutionalized rather than protected. Anti-trans pundits like Dr. Keith Ablow rely on Blanchard’s typology to deny that transgender people even exist.
    Blanchard is cited frequently by other anti-LGBT groups, including Courage (the group Antonin Scalia’s son belongs to) and Catholic World Report. And why not? Blanchard was raised Catholic, and he holds the very traditionalist Catholic view that any non-penis-in-vagina sex act is abnormal and should be pathologized. “[N]ormal sexuality is whatever is related to reproduction,” Blanchard says.
    To date, I can find no evidence that Blanchard objects to either the radical right or radical feminists using his theories to spread their hate of the transgender community.

    Making Sh*t Up
    If Dr. Blanchard were some wingnut with no positional authority or credibility, it would be easy to dismiss him. But that is not the case — to the contrary, he was on the DSM committee in charge of paraphilias and sexual disorders. Blanchard has openly admitted to abusing that position to create diagnoses out of thin air — a serious breach of professional ethics — just to prove a political point:
    Q: “Do you think autoandrophelia, where a woman is aroused by the thought of herself as a man, is a real paraphelia? ”
    A: “No, I proposed it simply in order not to be accused of sexism, because there are all these women who want to say, ‘women can rape too, women can be pedophiles too, women can be exhibitionists too.’ It’s a perverse expression of feminism, and so, I thought, let me jump the gun on this. I don’t think the phenomenon even exists.”
    It is a testament to Blanchard’s pull in the mental health community that the DSM-5 now actually includes this diagnosis — one he openly admits to making up out of whole cloth, just to show contempt for his critics. Given his power, what he said next should scare every LGB person out there:
    “I would say if one could start from scratch, ignore all the history of removing homosexuality from the DSM, normal sexuality is whatever is related to reproduction. Now you have everything else. I would distinguish between behaviors which are anomalous and benign vs. those that are malignant. So homosexuality would be not normal but benign. Whereas something like serious dangerous sadism would be a malignant variation.”
    As far as Dr. Blanchard is concerned, all non-reproductive sex is abnormal and should be pathologized. In short, he is a radical Catholic who would go back to a time before 1972 and classify all lesbians, gays, and bisexuals as suffering from a paraphilia.
    Given his history of pursuing his own aims regardless of professional ethical constraints or concern for how his actions affect thousands of people in the LGBT community, Dr. Raymond Blanchard holds a unique position: he is openly anti-LGBT, yet remains a Teflon version of Mark Regnerus.
    And he likes it that way, because dupes like Michelle Goldberg keep giving him and his ego good press.

    Related ArticlesFighting Back Against Anti-Transgender Talking Points
    What You Need to Know about Anti-Trans Bathroom Bills
    How LGBT Organizations Can Be Better Transgender Advocates
    What’s Next in LGBT Law
    What You Need to Know About Anti-Trans Bathroom Bills

    Originally published at http://www.bilerico.com/2014/07/new_yorker_shamefully_cites_anti-lgbt_researcher.php

    Tags: Autoandrophilia, autogynephilia, Bullshit, Ray Blanchard

  14. Lynn says:

    I disagree with your view completely and this us why:
    On Being Deceived..But Not Like Most

    Not many people know I have been married twice, why would they ? My husband and I have accomplished what few seem to these days. We have been married now for 20 years and have three lovely grown children, two of which were born after we married. The third though, was born before and was conceived at least, while I was still married to someone else. Not a great sin these days, but I challenge anyone who regards divorce as easy or even a victimless event. I never saw myself as the victim in my divorce but the perpetrator, that was, until a few days ago.

    My ex husband was an only child of only children and with a reasonable degree of certainty, given the longevity of members of his family, he thought he would live to an age where his friends would have all gone long before. This must have been the reason why he didn’t leave a will and heir hunters rang my dad in late January. The experience wasn’t like the sanitised version on TV, where lovely, suited, heir hunters come to your house and pour over your family tree and sign you up as the programme glosses over the discussion of fees with sepia photographs, a montage of the blitz, or neighbours of the deceased talking in respectful tones. No such luck. They rang while I was at work and were only interested in the overlap between my daughter’s birth 21 years ago and my divorce for adultery. When they found out that she wasn’t his , though she could have been: intellectually gifted, pale skinned and tall with blonde hair; they left us alone. In their wake, they dropped a bombshell that Rob had died aged 58 some six months ago and what is more his mum, whom he had assured me was still alive and approaching her hundredth, was also dead and had been for years.

    Any passion I had felt in the nine years’ we were together, died long before the marriage did, so there was no anger or hatred in our parting and, while we had not been friends, we were still on good terms. I had loved his mum too and although she never understood my leaving, so we were estranged, I had looked forward to her hundredth birthday in August 2013 with a secret delight. Both lives suddenly ended for me on that day with no opportunity to say goodbye or a funeral. I was devastated, particularly at the loss of Molly. I like to look at the sky and imagine people that I care about looking up at the same clouds, being rained on, or basking in the sun just like me. In my naive little world view, Rob and Mollie had been walking around under that same sky as me, but the problem was, they hadn’t been, and for some time.

    I didn’t feel like I had any rights at all in their lives, but the point I guess, was that I cared.

    They had only lived over the other side of the county, so I managed to find someone to tell me what had happened and this is where the shockwave came. The lovely neighbour who had mothered him after his mum’s death aged 95, told me in the blunt terms that Yorkshire people use without malice, that Rob had been transgendered went under the name of Cathy or Cat. She (Cat) had amassed a beautiful collection of dresses, hats, shoes and jewellery and when not at work, Rob would become Cat and live a double life which in our culture was still moderately risky and would definitely have earned disapprobation in the traditional Yorkshire village where he had lived. She told me that he had died of a DVT in August following an accident in July. She gave me loads of detail and was kind about it.

    My immediate reaction was a mixture of curiosity and relief. Having taught psychology and a topic on gender for years, I probably didn’t have the prejudice that might have been expected of an ex-wife, who had lived with near celibacy in a marriage and blaming herself for being unattractive, had suffered years of self-doubt and sat under a dark cloud of expectation that sooner or later her second husband would find someone to leave with who was better or sexier.

    The relief was because I had carried huge amount of guilt about what I had done. Rob was seven years’ older than me and when we had met he had set about his task of transforming me from what he charmingly called a “working class oik” with a gusto not seen since Professor Henry Higgins launched himself on Eliza Doolittle. Because I was from a strict-ish Christian background I was relatively innocent and didn’t realise that our almost platonic marriage wasn’t the norm. It took years and a flirty, older colleague, coincidentally a psychologist, to make me realise that my life was lacking in affection. This lack of knowledge or experience may sound implausible today, but my relationship with Rob began more than thirty years ago.

    When, having found someone who did love me, I left Rob with everything apart from my own clothes and a few books. I left our savings and I even paid a month’s salary into his bank account so that he would have time to adjust. For years I couldn’t go to a church without feeling the word “adulteress” was burned into my forehead, and when my husband and I were married and we had our union blessed in church, I nearly keeled over when the vicar wrapped his stole around our hands and said the immortal words “What God has joined together…” I thought to myself, this is only supposed to happen once in your life.

    So what’s the beef I hear you thinking ? Well, my guilt is of course my problem and indeed when I found out a few weeks ago that I had only been supplanted by a feather boa I thought I could live with it. But the problem I have found since is that I wasn’t, I supplanted them. The 1950’s pink cocktail dress he had had since he was 16; the diamante; the underwear and God-knows what else. Apparently, he made a pyre of them just before we were married and he cried. Rob hadn’t discovered himself after me, after us. He had known all along.

    When he met me he knew what he was and had known since he was about nine years old. The full story, I found out is written out appended to hundreds of images he has shared publicly on the internet via Flicker. There Cathy stands in all her six feet of blonde, blue-eyed slightly dame-ish beauty. Brave to a point and gloried in column inches from her “Tgirl” community. Apparently, that’s what Tgirls do, its a community thing, a therapeutic release if you like, of lives they cannot live because we live in a narrow and bigoted world that values the shallow rather than seeks to understand the complex.

    But she didn’t stop there. The profile and commentary contains at least two very defamatory and cruel statements about me which are echoed horribly by her adoring fans. T girls appear to have an exaggerated understanding of femininity, but it doesn’t stop with the clothes, underneath all the bitchiness is also extreme. My own take on our sad relationship was that my first husband didn’t fancy me. I wish he/she too had decided to be similarly discrete.

    I told a mutual friend from university about my discovery and he said that Rob had been very selfish to marry me and to mess up years of my life without ever acknowledging to anyone or even just to me that any of it was his fault. He could not help having a woman’s mind in a male body, but he could have taken some responsibility for the failure of our marriage and he never did, not even in his many published column inches. He chose to deceive me. He had a choice, I didn’t.

    T girls have a difficult road to walk and by contrast, as a moderately heterosexual woman (I don’t believe sexuality is a black and white thing but rather shades of grey) I have it easy at least on the face of things. But today, when I was crying and wanting to share my pain with someone who would understand, I searched the internet for a support forum just to find a listening ear to understand what I had been through. I was looking for the Trans-gender equivalent of Al-anon but there wasn’t one. Of the ills the world have inflicted on transgendered women there is a plethora of sites. The academic papers and analysis are wide ranging and helpful. The memorials and support groups are ten a penny, especially if you happen to live in the US. They even have their own equivalent of “fag hags” perhaps they should be called “Diamante Lils”. But there is nothing for me, no research on the impact on families, wives who have been deceived, or like me have been made to bear the burden of a failed marriage alone. No support.

    We are a minority too and just as hidden. The dowdy pea hen hidden behind a huge, colourful cock.

  15. […] uptake of TERF rhetoric within the mainstream media and academia alike due to the publication of Sheila Jeffrey’s new anti-trans book, Gender Hurts, we felt that it was time for the voices of those who are often […]

  16. Amanda Hunter says:

    are they transmen in denial?

  17. […] discurso do feminismo radical e da psiquiatria em relação à transgeneridade: eis o ponto no qual Sheila Jeffreys junta esforços com Ray Blanchard no discurso furado sobre a “autoginecofilia”. Julia […]

  18. […] anti-trans bigotry in the language of feminism. A hallmark of TERF discourse is that it tends to sound a lot like the anti-trans rhetoric coming out of extreme right-wing […]

  19. Iraina says:

    Dear Cristan,

    Until recently, I never even heard about these issues. I accidentally came across the term “autogynephilia” and marvelled al the sheer absurdity of the concept. If anything, it evokes a very strong suspicion that the person who coined it (mr. Blanchard) was looking for a framework to validate the opinion that he held anyhow. I can’t quite pinpoint it, but it has a similar unpleasant feel or “flavour” as other opinions or theories that turn out to be motivated by – well, whatever drives (extreme) right-wing conservatives. And from there it’s a small step to Janice Raymond and these ‘terfs’.

    As someone rather naive about these things it was quite a revelation, and not the most pleasant one. In several different ways, actually: first and foremost the jaw-dropping, astounding bigotry that I honestly thought was found only in neo-nazis, skinheads and the like, or – in a slightly more human guise – in characters like Archie Bunker. It’s a crying shame that ideas such as theirs are actually shaping the way the American society deals with gender identity issues and the people involved who seek help and acceptance.

    But I’m also confounded how it can be that people like Raymond and Blanchard can get away with it professionally. Sure, I know a PhD isn’t a guarantee somebody has even a minimal amount of sense – unfortunately, I see this mostly in the ‘soft’ sciences – but just consider that incredibly ramshackle bungle that Blanchard presents as the underpinning of his ‘autogynephilia’ theory. The same goes for his distinguished colleague Raymond.

    How can it be that individuals hang on to a tenured position for life, individuals who not only engage in proliferating abject, hateful ideas that harm thousands, but whose lack of scientific and intellectual rigour and honesty should have them flippin’ burgers instead – where they can at least do little harm?

    What does that say about the universities that employ them?
    No pun intended, but what a travesty.

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