Village Voice interview with Sheila Jeffreys on ‘Gender Hurts”

tessa stuart village voice sheila jeffreys gender hurts
Village Voice staff writer Tessa Stuart ran a piece yesterday on the topic of ‘Gender Hurts’, featuring an exclusive interview with the author. What follows is the entire published interview, reprinted without authorization under Fair Use. Enjoy!


“very serious mental problems”


“To criticize the practice is seen as hating on the people who do it”

Okay! Thanks for stopping by.

87 thoughts on “Village Voice interview with Sheila Jeffreys on ‘Gender Hurts”

  1. This is what passes for journalism these days?
    Got my copy in the mail today, thanks to everyone who gave me ordering tips 🙂

  2. Good. Even though it was an ambivalent review it at least gets the book more widely known about and might start more people thinking about this stuff.
    The article is wide of the mark when it says that all mainstream feminists have ostracised rad fems: the criticism of the transcult is getting louder in the mainstream and some brave female journalists are beginning to stand up and be counted.
    On a reated issue, check out Laurie Penny, not a brave journalist though no doubt she thinks she is, drowning in the trans Kool Aid over at the New Statesman. This has to be the most appallingly badly argued, and confused, case for transgenderism that I’ve ever read and marks Penny out as the opportunist some of us always feared she was. Sadly comments are closed on the article. I just hope the NS gives Glosswitch or Sarah Ditum the same space to put the truth across.

    1. > I’m one of the [“cis” women], and that’s why I believe trans rights are so important to feminism
      Funny how that rhetoric has been used before : women’s rights are important, that’s why they should support workers, black movements, democratic movements, whatever.
      There’s always something to do before addressing women’s needs.

      1. “Funny how that rhetoric has been used before : women’s rights are important, that’s why they should support workers, black movements, democratic movements, whatever.
        There’s always something to do before addressing women’s needs.”

        In my eyes, that almost reads as if though feminism is for white women only…
        I’m female.
        I’m black.
        I’m feminist.
        I still face racism within this movement and outside of it.
        I understand partly what you’re getting at. But technically, what you’d be speaking of isn’t putting the black movement before women, but putting men before women. Because if black, Asian, Hispanic, etc women came first, then there is no problem.
        But if black, Asian and Hispanic, etc men start to come first, now there’s a problem. Simply because they’re still men, even if underprivileged while compared to white men.
        And this is why the worker, political and other movements keep getting added on to feminism; these movements include men.

      2. @FabBro. Fair enough, I however hardly see women represented in these movements. In France, it has been the experience that virtually all the people’s movements (and there has been quite a few in the last centuries) have been lead by men and designed for men. It’s common usage to consider these movements as male-centred, and women as secondary beneficiaries or targets (a wealthy man would prefer his to property look nice and be nice to him).
        We don’t see it as excluding “non-white” women (that term doesn’t make sense here) because no women get to be represented in these groups. In retrospective, I think I added the black movement, because feminists always are required to wonder “what about racism???” because they were deeply involved in the issue (many came from North African (ex-)colonies), and that criticism would hurt them most.

      3. Precisely FabFro. I remember a white feminist telling me once that police harassment wasn’t a feminist issue. I pointed out that police also harass black women. This notion that all women are white and all the blacks are male is insidious.

      4. @Frenchie- First, it’s FabFro, not Bro. I ain’t a Bro [thank goodness].
        Second, you say: “I think I added the black movement, because feminists always are required to wonder “what about racism???””

        No need to backpedal. You’re just shooting yourself in the foot as you do so, and sounding more and more racist.
        And this actually ties into what roslynholcomb was saying:
        “I remember a white feminist telling me once that police harassment wasn’t a feminist issue. I pointed out that police also harass black women. This notion that all women are white and all the blacks are male is insidious.”

        Exactly, because racism doesn’t just magically go away once you join feminism. White feminist just don’t un-become racist once they embrace the title of a feminist. Their household, and society will still teach them to be racist in everyday ways that they don’t even notice. Such as schools, which was designed to teach white males about white history. And make up products that refer to lighter toned concealers as “nude” and “natural”, suggesting that if I, with my darker skin, was to put it on I would not be ‘natural’, because this isn’t my ‘nude’ skin…
        Band-aids is another racist thing; anyone darker than me, why the band-aid would scream: LOOK! LOOK! THIS SKIN TONE IS TOO DARK! [Paper bag test much?]
        Also, going into any hair care aisle in any grocery store will show you of the country’s racist history, as blacks get this tiny little shelf, in which hair care products for men, women and children are all jammed together. Not to mention that majority of these products are for straightening your hair, not for natural hair. And these products are also chock full of harmful chemicals that will break the hair of blacks. [So evil!]
        Now what really gets me about this hair care aisle is because, we, as blacks, will work at this store, buy from this store, and contribute our time and money there and our thanks that we get for doing so is embarrassing and insulting. For many stores do not even carry proper combs and brushes for our natural hair tells us we live in a racist society. So, basic everyday needs as a black woman becomes difficult and calls for one to be creative just to manage your hair and skin.
        This is racism. And it becomes part of feminism because it affects me [and many other black women] as a black feminist trying to live out her everyday life.

      5. “This notion that all women are white and all the blacks are male is insidious.”
        Very true. It gets more complicated when North American women apply their racial biases to women from other parts of the world, for example it’s completely untrue to say that the Roma (some of whom have blonde hair and blue eyes) have white privilege in both West and Eastern Europe. I can definitely sympathize where you’re coming from since I’ve been told by white feminists that antisemitism isn’t a feminist issue, and that my calling them out about it is proof that Jewish women are agents of ZOG trying to destroy feminism. This isn’t to say our experiences are exactly the same, I can empathize though since I’m racialized as “nonwhite” in my country too.
        Feminists absolutely need to criticize male dominated political movements while prioritizing the women made invisible in those movement.

      6. Anyone who has not read Kimberle Crenshaw’s work on intersectionality really should do so. She is not the first to note that racism isn’t always the same for men and women, and that sexism isn’t always the same for women of different races, but she certainly has done some extremely important work in that area. The theory of intersectionality is not actually this pomo nonsense that you hear from third-wavers on the internet. I’m disappointed that so many radicals seem to dismiss it out of hand as though all it can mean is what people on twitter say it means. This is critical work for understanding how sexism can operate differently on women of different races. White feminists, in particular, should read it, as it can help us to open our eyes to some of what’s missing in our analysis. You can get a good introduction to Crenshaw’s work in this article, which is free on the internet:

      7. @Maureen- I have never in my entire life seen a Radical Feminist “dismiss” the notion of “intersectionality”. What Radical Feminists object to is the abuse of the concept of intersectionality by men who use it to decentralize women’s oppression in social justice movements. Which it seems you would know if you have done any reading of Radical Feminist theory. Perhaps it is you who should do some reading on Radical Feminism and intersectionality to catch-up. Especially before “schooling” us on our own movement. Thanks.

        1. Sorry, my comment apparently came off very differently than intended, perhaps because I am new to this blog, perhaps because I was in a hurry. I don’t know, but it was certainly not intended as an attack on radical feminists. Radical feminists are, in my view, more conscious of intersectionality than those who are constantly heralding themselves as intersectional. The term “intersectionality” though seems to have been hijacked to by the Third Wave and used in ways that don’t seem at all familiar to me based on it original use. And it’s often used to attack radical feminists when claiming that radical feminism is not intersectional. So my comment must have seemed to fall into that category, but actually was in response to a discussion where the intersection of race and gender was raised and, in particular, the phrase “all the women are white and all the blacks are men” was used, which is what Kimberle Crenshaw is talking about. Anyway, I don’t think radical feminists dismiss intersectionality in it original sense, at all. Kimberle Crenshaw and Catherine Mackinnon have collaborated on articles for example, and regularly cite one another’s work. But I have certainly seen radicals (of various stripes) dismiss intersecitonality online and I think that’s because they are viewing it as it is used popularly, not in its original meaning. Anyway, I was glad to have been able to find her article on line because I wanted to re-read it myself as I hadn’t read it in about 20 years and wanted to share it, not to “school” anyone but because it’s an important article that I found very enlightening, and a lot of people who talk about intersectionality have not read it.. So if you have already read in then great, but there may be others who haven’t who would like to. Perhaps it seemed that I was saying, now I’m a white feminist who gets it and the rest of you don’t, but trust me I am well aware that I have plenty to learn (about racism, feminism and plenty of other things) as I think we all do, which is why I am always looking for new things to read and sharing things I find interesting or useful — including articles on this blog. I am sincerely sorry that my comment came across very differently that I intended especially given that I have such great appreciation for the work that you do and really enjoy reading your blog.

        2. One thing I want to clarify. While my comment was not intended at all as an attack on radical feminism, (as my feminism is informed primarily by radical feminism, as well as critical race feminism), I do believe that all whites (including all white feminists) need to be very conscious of the ways in which unconscious racism affects our politics. I think the comments in this thread demonstrate that. I think white radical feminists tend to be better at that than most whites but we’re not immune from our own unconscious racism and it certainly can affect our politics. We don’t mean for it to. It’s just there. This applies as much to me as the next white feminist. I am well aware this is not an original insight, but here is why I bring it up — In the comments here WoC feminists are having to try to explain racism to another feminist, and how racism can manifest in feminism and how that affects them as WoC feminists. And this seems to be an issue that is only being taken up by WoCs. What should white feminists do when we see that? I don’t think we should remain silent, thus my reference to intersectionality in its original meaning and link to a useful article. It was meant to be constructive, but apparently misfired. Perhaps you have a better suggestion. But, I do not feel comfortable being silent in that situation. I don’t think WoC should have to stand alone in these situations. What does our silence mean if we say nothing? I am genuinely interested in others’ points of view.

      8. Sorry Maureen if I misread you. I should really refrain from reading and commenting on the fly when pressed for time. Since I’m apparently breaking that rule today (lol) I’ll just go one step further and say that I think using the word “intersectionality” to describe the constant every day reality of women’s oppression being compounded by and experienced in ways related to other oppressions (race, class, etc) is a really stupid fucking word. Maybe it’s just me, but there seems something almost “othering” about deliberately complicating the every day oppression of women with a big college-type word that people are supposed to read an essay to understand. Water is wet. I don’t need to understand the word “waterwetnessliquiditality” to understand that concept. Black Feminists, Radical Feminists, Lesbian Feminists have been discussing the multiple oppressions of women since long before that fucking word. Honestly, I think the word only serves the purpose of making unclear that which is simple. Or maybe I’m just a big dumb-dumb.

      1. It’s an OK article but like most of these libfems that can’t quite bring themselves to totally deny the reality of female biology, they still pander to trans delusions, and they still prioritise dialogue and bridge building with those men. (where is the reaching out to lesbians and radfems for instance ?)

      2. Ditum’s words: “For me, Cox’s cover does nothing to further the liberation of women as a class – it’s familiar beauty in a familiar pose. I agree that it’s probably great for trans people – but that doesn’t make it feminism, and that is my original point of disagreement with Penny.” It’s too bad most of the trans people commenting there simply could not grasp that theme, and instead went on their familiar warpath. It seems comments are closed, or I would wade in. Thanks for the link, Sula. (Love that screen name!)

    2. All I’ll say is that I did find it odd that Edgar’s -who at first is a dood when replying to Sula, but then magically turns into Frenchie a “French-speaking woman who, after religiously learning about feminism to “educate myself” and “deconstruct” all the transphobia, sexism and racism [LOL PHAIL!] I had inside” when replying to me- comment went unchecked by anyone for 7 days.
      Kinda seems like someone should have pointed out that he was being a racist poop bag [and now revealed to be a dood posing as a woman in another blog to help herd women safely back to our kitchen.]

      1. ? I missed that. I am not a perfect moderator by far.
        ? Are you saying Frenchie is a dude? Can you post a link to that blog? So fucking sick of these male fucking trolls forcing their way in.

      2. @Maureen- You’re posts were wonderfully put and pretty much said what I was trying to get at. Thank you for echoing that. Also, I’m adding that book to my book collect that I plan to gobble up [Doing a bunch of feminist reading this summer!]. So thank you for sharing.
        @Gallus- Sorry for the confusion. Yea, if you click ‘Frenchies’ name it leads you to his blog:
        Edgar has a blog as well, but he seems to have packed up and left (no doubt to change into Frenchie). In Edgar’s blog, his about me page is in french, but it’s nothing google translate can’t fix. Edgar’s about me page reads pretty much like Frenchie’s about me page. So, yea, another dood posing as a woman.
        Also, I’m little on the fence about the word intersectionality. I mean, on one hand I sorta understand it, but on the other it does seem a bit unnessesary as I would just sum it up as women experience sexism and racism if of color. But maybe it’s also because I’ve never read much about it. So maybe after I read about it I might understand it better.
        And I’m really glad to have had this conversation without it turning ugly, but instead into something thought provoking. Thank you ladies! ^_^

      3. > Edgar has a blog as well, but he seems to have packed up and left (no doubt to change into Frenchie). In Edgar’s blog, his about me page is in french, but it’s nothing google translate can’t fix. Edgar’s about me page reads pretty much like Frenchie’s about me page. So, yea, another dood posing as a woman.
        Actually not. I’m a woman, but pick random male/female names depending on my mood (my ‘Edgar’ profile should link to the frenchiewoman blog anyway). I didn’t answer your reply because there was no way to do it without sounding racist and you framed the issue around American topics: there’s plenty of stuff going around in Europe that don’t translate that way.

      4. @ Gallus I think the word intersectionality is crucial, at least it is for me. I remember as a young student back in the early eighties confronting the fact that other young feminists had no idea (and little interest) in the way sexism and racism combined for a black woman and made finding safe spaces almost impossible. As recently as the 2008 US elections, especially the primaries between Obama/Clinton we confronted this crap AGAIN with demands from both black men and white feminists. It was a very ugly time. I had more than one confrontation with both groups accusing me of betrayal. I’ve never supported a political candidate based solely on sex or race and never would. So yeah, it does a good job of of explaining a basic concept that a lot of people still haven’t grasped. So I’m not convinced, in fact, I KNOW that there are lots of folk out there who don’t understand that water is wet = liquidity, but then YMMV.
        I hate the way the word has been abused and misused by the trans folk, but I would have to take a number because those people abuse/misuse/appropriate everything, but that is no reason to throw it out. I doubt Crenshaw would be supportive of their misuse of her term, and considering that the issues she described are still extant I don’t think it’s a word that should be disposed of.

      5. HEY ROSLYN! I hope you see this, because this is SO LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!
        The white doods that run Rational Wiki have selected, out of everything on the entire internet, YOUR post, written by a BLACK WOMAN as the sole example of “TERFS inability to understand intersectionality” :
        (see citation #26)
        omg this is making me laugh so hard holy shit!

      6. OHEMGEE!!! I’m so proud. I have a TERF blog, y’all!!! Okay, GallusMag, I really am screaming laughing. The ridiculousness of this just a scream. I can’t wait to tell all my friends.

        1. Hi Roslyn, I followed Gallus’s link to your page and found your excellent piece and sent it sailing around FB some more. Loved it! And thanks Gallus!

  3. Reignite? This ‘battle’ has never gone away – what perhaps is happening (very slowly) is that as the transgender movement makes further and further inroads into women’s and lesbian’s spaces, and as the male violence, entitlement and general craziness becomes more obvious, greater numbers of women and even sane heterosexuals are questioning what is going on here.
    Also what ‘far reaching consequences’ did The Transsexual Empire’ have for trans people, other than the fact that a bunch of them didn’t like it? What laws were changed, citing this book as evidence? What people committed hate crimes against trans people, claiming that they were urged to do so by reading this book? What employers fired transpeople after reading this book? What doctors denied treatment based on what was in the book? The answer is zero, because I very much doubt that anyone outside of the feminist political world ever even read it. And judging by the fact that feminist spaces became ever more accepting of transpeople rather than the reverse, the book had no impact there either.

  4. “She was one of several scientists from whom the (now-defunct) National Center for Health Care Technology requested papers that would ultimately guide the federal government’s 1981 decision to deny Medicare coverage for gender-reassignment surgery, a practice that was quickly embraced by private insurers. ”
    I see this repeats the slur that Janice Raymond was part of the reason why insurers did this. One of the many slurs that Janice Raymond answers on her website:

    Fictions and Facts about the Transsexual Empire

    I imagine Sheila will need something similar quite soon.
    Quite obvious what the author believes, and they obviously didn’t see any need to check their facts, just to repeat the myths (e.g. trans suicide at 41%) and trans dogma. Add in the sneaky wording (like it ‘leaking out’ that the book was being published as if it were some guilty secret!)……….
    As regards the supposed story, just look at the almost orgasmic gushing over make-up:
    ” resplendent in orchid eye shadow, blush, and lip gloss, her celadon eyes….”
    Plus the claims that reposting and harrassment by radfems is what causes trans suicides.
    NOTHING about actual violence against transgender people as perpetuated by men. Not a peep! Nope, it’s ALL the fault of Cathy Brennan and those nasty rad-fems………………………

    1. I’m no cheerleader for bullying. My conduct in my day-to-day life leans more toward live and let live. That said, bullying is basically a fact of life, and anyone who has such an adverse reaction to it probably needs professional counseling, or at a minimum needs to withdraw from social media. Considering how many transpeople still have serious mental health issues (including suicidal ideation) after transition, many seem to need professional help to deal with the ugly world out there. If they’re otherwise waiting for the world to join hands and sing kumbaya, they’re in for a long wait.
      I mean, I’m a woman, so I know very well what it’s like to be hated and bullied for who I am and not what I’ve done. And , since no one gives a rat’s ass about my welfare and the welfare of other women, it was incumbent upon me to grow a thicker skin not to wail until the world becomes a better place.

      1. Same here. Though considering Vikki has made rape threats to Cathy Brennan my sympathy is limited. Obvious male behavior is obvious. And yeah I got bullied by these nutjobs for having a “bigoted” sexual orientation but I didn’t get an article about me because I’m not a man who wishes he was a lesbian; I’m a real lesbian who embraced radical feminism because of the bullying I got from these nutjobs both online and in real life. (Interestingly though I never made rape or death threats as a form of revenge…)

    2. BadDyke, that page from Raymond’s site is invaluable; thank you for leading me to it. I learned a lot. I will be making much use of that (correct) information next time I see some trans person spreading the lies.

    1. That’s the whole point : the article says Jeffreys was interview for The Voice, and Gallus Mag took out all the direct quotes of Jeffreys from that interview…

  5. well whether you call it lamestream or malestream, it’s still lukewarm and tell-them-what-they want-to-hear, must be disappointing but hey these are extreme anti-feminist times and at least they mentioned it.
    The only thing you can say that will defeat these demonically inspired types is ‘demon, what is your name?’ everything else is a ‘it is/is not a dead parrot’ pythonesque mindfuck.

  6. What a clusterfuck of an article. There is supposed to be a war between “TERFs” and transgender people (equal participation of both implied) yet the first example Stuart uses describes a transgendered male called Vikki experiencing a bout of medium-severe depression after radical feminists allegedly made fun of his make-up/looks on twitter. Meanwhile Stuart finds herself unable to list one of the numerous examples of threats and abuse transgendered activists and their allies have directed at radical feminist women, scientists and authors for not believing that men can turn into women and vice versa. Ridiculing someone’s looks seems benign compared to this.
    For decades, certain radical feminists have viewed trans women as men demanding the spoils of womanhood without enduring the female experience, or worse, as fifth columnists intent on subverting the women’s movement.
    A factually inaccurate summary of radical feminist concerns abut transgenderism. First, there are no spoils of womanhood – women are an oppressed minority and what Stuart calls womanhood are markers of this oppression so it cannot lead to privilege. It’s also not the case that we reap the spoils after enduring life as a woman. What kind of semi-MRA rhetoric is that, anyway? If we pluck, preen and shave enough, put on enough make-up, act like a ladeeee, we are rewarded with what exactly? Male attention, a drink at the bar, economic security through marraige? Inquiring minds want to know. If yes, Stuart has already capitulated to the totalitarian gender system and accepted its values as her own.
    And, omg, the conspiracy theory bullshit. Even neutrally speaking, societies require norms to uphold social cohesion. These norms can be enforced by punishment or internalization, the latter meaning that people accept these norms by themselves and do not require external control. Sounds like “brainwashing” – but it’s a completely normal social process. The story behind transgendered males as agents of the patriarchy is the following: women are raised to put men first and most will have internalized this – we could say, they have a gender identity(!!!). If some, e.g. lesbians, separatists or certain feminists, fail to prioritize men they are punished with social isolation, partial loss of livelihood, lack of economic ressources etc. etc.
    Now contrary to popular (PC) understandings everyone knows that transgendered males are NOT women. Women put them first specifically because they are NOT women. However, identifying as women allows them to claim an oppressed status based on gender. This is a very potent weapon to disturb the creation of women-only spaces. Although transgendered males have not experienced life as a woman from birth (a shared experience of all born women), sometimes being well into their thirties and older until transitioning, they can claim a right to women-only spaces on the basis of their identity (NOT on the basis of their lived experience) and will be assisted in this by men and other women because of their maleness. Women will then have to deal with people not sharing their lived experience. They will be forced to put men FIRST once again, acting exactly according to the oppressive socialization they tried to escape. This shit is not a conspiracy but social reality. Some of the gendersick idiots should re-read their Foucault: identity is not liberating, it’s an oppressive self-conception derived from power structures surrounding us.
    What follows is an unsophisticated summary of Janice Raymond’s and Sheila Jeffrey’s analysis. Both authors don’t think of transgenderism as a social fad but an social mechanism to discipline gender-non conforming bodies.
    And then we have this bullshit:
    In 1980, feminist Janice Raymond, now professor emerita at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, wrote The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She Male, whose title neatly summed up her central arguments: The medical and psychiatric professions had fallen prey to pressure from transgender activists and to trendy theories about gender identity.
    As someone who has actually read Raymond’s work I can say two things:
    1) This is a complete misinterpretation of the book’s title. “Empire” refers to a system of social control (that of the medical-industrial complex, not of transgendered activists) and “she-male” is supposed to emphasize the Frankensteinian intention (not the monster but the doctor) to turn men into women.
    2) The book is about transgendernism as a patriarchal mechanism of social control against the burgeoning women’s rights movement.
    The book established Raymond as an authority on transgenderism. She was one of several scientists from whom the (now-defunct) National Center for Health Care Technology requested papers that would ultimately guide the federal government’s 1981 decision to deny Medicare coverage for gender-reassignment surgery, a practice that was quickly embraced by private insurers.
    That’s factually accurate but it cannot be reasonably established that Raymond’s paper “ultimately guided” anything: (“2) Fiction”): Nobody is dumb enough to not see what the inclusion of this paragraph is supposed to accomplish: to imply that Raymond is responsible for transgendered people suiciding because they cannot get surgery while many of them claim that surgery does not make a woman.
    “To criticize the practice is seen as hating on the people who do it,” she says, doubtless aware that transgender people no more consider their gender identity a “practice” than gay men or lesbians view their sexual identity as a “choice.”
    Transgenderism is a practice: Every point oulinted in this Wikipedia article (and as someone who has studied practice theory I can vouch for the accuracy of the citations) applies to gender and therefore to transgenderism.
    Cristan Williams, editor of the website TransAdvocate, says Jeffreys’s work is particularly pernicious for the way it plays right into the hands of the political far right. Because Jeffreys is a lesbian who considers herself a left-wing radical feminist, Williams says, “It gives the right wing this notion, this appearance of an unbiased source” when people like Sean Hannity, who name-checked Gender Hurts on his daily radio show, cite her work approvingly.
    Stuart should have included some sources on conservative religious communities embracing transgenderism as a diagnosis for their non-conforming children and the uncontroversial nature of third-gender-categories in severely patriarchal cultures. Just to make the article a bit more balanced. Do I even have to mention that this is not the first time conservatives have used our analysis for their own goals? This does not mean we agree with them, ffs!
    In November, the feminist group Secular Woman initiated a petition calling on the Southern Poverty Law Center to monitor Gender Identity Watch as a hate group. The petition recounted stories about transgender men and women who were outed to their physicians, employers, family members, and school administrators, or doxxed: had their pre-transition photos and names posted online, sometimes alongside those of violent sex offenders.
    Well… There are transgendered people who are violent sex offenders so… what’s the point here exactly? “Don’t associate us with people who make us look bad although we have common characteristics! We do this shit to radical feminists ALL THE TIME but it doesn’t apply to us – we are special unicorns, waaah!”
    There also seems to be an accusing emphasis on radical feminist authors labelling transgendered people as “mentally ill”. Well, I think if you aren’t able to perform the “easiest taks” like applying make-up to work because you cannot stand looking into the mirror – this triggering body dysphoria – for several weeks(!) you have indeeed a mental health problem. Redefining gender dysphoria as a simple mismatch between identity and body doesn’t really disappear this obvious fact.
    TLDR: A biased article regurgitating many of the anti-radical feminist arguments by transgendered activists and their allies. Its subtext tries to portray radical feminists as an anti-transgender hate group with considerable power about to be defeated by a more and more progressive society.

    1. Anyone else think that kind of throws mentally ill people under the bus, too? Oh no, they’re not mentally ill, what they’re going through is real and valid, unlike mental illness! It kind of attaches a negative connotation to mental illness. Mental illness is a real thing, affects the structure of the brain itself (I think the term ‘mental illness’ encourages the mind/body dichotomy. It’s also so irritating, and often downright offensive, how ‘mentally ill’ gets treated as a catch-all when there’s many drastically different conditions).
      If Radical Feminists suggest they have a mental illness/neurological condition, they should see that as validating, a recognition that they are going through something real, not a rejection just because they won’t accept it makes them really really fully female.

      1. Oh yeah despite their claims of high suicide rates they insist they are not mentally ill. It makes no sense. Gender Hurts does make a compelling case that underlying psychological issues and sometimes child abuse may be a motive to transition for a lot of people.
        There are trans people, usually FTTs who view being trans as a medical condition or mental disorder and who say you need sex dysphoria to be trans. They tend to get a lot of hate and get called “truscum”. Also there was one MTT who got bullied of tumblr for saying that he was glad that the United Kingdom considers it a medical condition because it meant he could take estrogen.
        Yep it’s a mess.

      2. I’m only passingly familiar – so if any other readers know better, please feel free to correct me – but if Transgenderism counts as mental illness, it seems to conform to Erich Fromm’s theory of much such illness being a sane reaction to a sick society: specifically, if you grow up presenting qualities generally understood as ‘feminine’ then learning to perceive oneself as female isn’t mad at all, it’s only to be expected.
        It’s less that ‘mentally ill’ people that are being ‘thrown under the bus’ – a phrase that has become cliché – than a popular notion of ‘mental health’, imo…

  7. Also, the review NEVER gets near the real issue of the book and the politics of gender, just says:
    “…doubtless aware that transgender people no more consider their gender identity a “practice” than gay men or lesbians view their sexual identity as a “choice.”
    as if ‘gender identity’ is unquestionable, as is gender itself. Nice then that the article itself DOES show their gender identity inextricably linked to actions, as the gushing over make-up shows.
    But I’m just continually amused over the repeated suggestion that radfems are RESPONSIBLE for violence against trans folks. The doublethink required to just totally IGNORE male violence against trans people, and instead claim that WE caused it all. How anyone can claim that and keep a straight face, I don’t know………….

  8. Feel free to move this GM, because I didn’t know where to put it.
    I used to spend a lot of time on an answer board, interpreting dreams, posted mostly by teens and young adults unfortunately. I’ve started to go back and spend way too much time but it can be so rewarding to help people understand themselves.
    What I like about dreams is there is no filter, once you get past all the symbolism. People tell you stuff about themselves and their own faults and foibles as they never would in real life, because they have no clue what it is they are divulging. I often wondered about transsexuals’ dreams. Their internal conflicts must be overwhelming.
    I just got my first transgender m2t dreamer, and it was almost a cliche. I won’t go into all the details but it’s clear that he feels he is in disguise and part of him wants him to go back, but he won’t; he prefers to rebel against authority. He sees himself persecuted at every turn, and has a lot of guilt. In the end he hides out, alone.
    I went through it very step by step telling him what it all meant, and he hasn’t responded yet, but most posters never do. I checked his other posts and he’s pre-op but seems to be very conflicted. For one thing, he doesn’t pass.
    I also notice he posted his dream once in the dream section and once in the lgbt section. It will be interesting to see how they interpret it in Bizarroworld.

    1. I tried searching for the post where GID Watch posted this but was unsuccessful. Does anybody have a link or a screenshot?

  9. Fifty years ago The Village Voice was publishing rabid anti-feminist Norman Mailer; today they print an article with an anti-feminist slur in the headline. V V, you haven’t aged a bit!

    1. Norman Mailer actually co-founded the Village Voice.
      To be fair, Mailer would have said something like, “So where is this fucking interview, you dumb bitch?”
      Just sayin. This cheesy article is far worse than Mailer’s reporter-instincts would have permitted. The Village Voice used to pride itself on covering the perspectives nobody else would touch. Once upon a time, believe it or not, they loved to print the unpopular thing and loved controversy.
      Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

      1. Village Voice Media is now just a big conglomerate, but even still the VV’s sister paper the Phoenix New Times does occasionally do real reporting. I can’t remember the last time I read something in VV that wasn’t clickbait. When Vice and Gawker are doing a better job covering local New York politics, you should realize you have a problem.

  10. Steinem herself disavowed her older views in an essay published in the Advocate in 2013. “Transgender people,” she wrote, “including those who have transitioned, are living out real, authentic lives. Those lives should be celebrated, not questioned.”
    She also said liberal dudes like Clinton should be allowed a free grope. She’s irrelevant to women outside the beltway/academe/media bubble, i.e. virtually all women.

    1. It’s also the *only* quote they have from her. And it’s not like she takes much of a position, except for disallowing criticism by women (who don’t criticize lives but actions, but that’s irrelevant).

  11. Hahah look what I found over at the Viliage Voice–a naughty comment
    “More solid evidence and “facts” as if any is needed, because it all so convincing.
    Forget the lists of killers and rapists.
    Just got word that at this very moment over at the TransAdvocate they are putting up some photoshoped definitive proof that a massive Transgender grave has been unearthed under a parking garage in the northern Ukraine—the birth place of TERFS, they are dating the bloody massacre back 1000 years.
    . . . Wait a sec. . . The game changing find, dating back centuries (because that sounds good. And they made it all up anyway—and ‘cause people will believe anything if you really make hysterical claims of victimhood) surely proves they ain’t lying when they threaten suicide. And it will be “all your fault and you will feel like a very shitty person.”
    Okay, not a talking point–Who the hell is going to wade through all the misogynistic videos and links that “Our Lady of Hatred” has posted—no narcissism, no compulsion, did not make this up, real they say real.
    And in the days legal news on the Trans advocate: All women will be tried in absentia for not complying with the menz “feeling” and misgendering—so now you’re all gonna pay stupid bitches, cows, old hags and you can stop worrying and STFU about rape in the bathroom you’ve been sentenced to death.
    And dear readers don’t let truth or reality come in to play. And forget the fact, that at the forefront of the new progressive gender culture and civil rights movement are the misogynist men, self identified “women” who have found a place among progressive types that dare not dabble in real social justice because it cuts into their middle class reality and values. Don’t question. Support abusive, manipulative, rage driven males assholes and embrace the chance to be an even bigger assholes that pretends they actually give a shit about social justice”.

    1. But if we don’t assign gender at birth, how will transkids know that they were “born in the wrong body”? I thought the transcult hates the idea that a kid can just like blue and trucks or pink and Barbies without necessarily being a boy or a girl.

    2. > It’s called infant gender assignment: When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It’s a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring’s genitals.
      Bwahahahah! Twilight zone, all day long.

    3. At least most episodes of The Twilight Zone are interesting! That article is so stupid, it hurts. I could only let my eyes glance over it–don’t want to get too close to stuff like this:
      “With infant gender assignment, in a single moment your baby’s life is instantly and brutally reduced from such infinite potentials down to one concrete set of expectations and stereotypes … ”
      My god, these people actually believe that BEING a girl or a boy CAUSES brutal expectations and stereotypes. So, apparently, we’d best pretend not to notice?
      Do I dare read the comments? Arguing with dummies seems like a health hazard …

      1. The comments are the best part, @morag99. I love the ones that say the idiocy of this article unites people on all sides, liberal and conservative. Makes me want to encourage more articles from this author…

      2. Ha!–you’re right, LC. We do need more from this author. She puts the “trans” in transparently stupid.
        Christin Scarlett Milloy is based in Toronto. Figures. From everything I’ve heard from rational Torontonians, it’s the Canadian queer-theory headquarters.

      3. Trans and queer ideology is so divorced from reality. Why is it that your average Jane or John can tell what a person’s sex is 99% of the time or more but a queer theorist can’t? Or rather they can but it’s just not politically correct to say so. That article was so stupid that I think binge drinking to forget it would save your brain cells. How I hate alphabet soup organizations and how homosexuality and bisexuality is now associated with that reality-denying nonsense.
        If the article had been about how we shouldn’t surgically force intersex infants to better fit into a particular sex category and they should get to decide what they want to do about it when they’re adults then I would’ve agreed. But it’s just a delusional fantasy with some fear-mongering. Love the description of the evil doctor holding the infant up to the light to see their genitalia even though a quick glance would suffice. Even if the doctor hadn’t done that the parents would see what sex their kid’s sex was the first time they changed the diaper. I want to know what the person who wrote the tripe was smoking because it sounds like a hell of a drug.
        On the plus side at least there was some rational comments, including people saying that acknowledging that sex exists isn’t the limiting factor, its the imposition of sex roles and that we should just treat girls and boys the same. Maybe there is a way outside of either conservative or liberal gender worshiping.
        To be honest this crap about pretending that sex doesn’t exist reminds me of obnoxious white people who think they’re enlightened by being “colorblind” and pretending not to see race or color.

  12. ‘journalists’ are a variety of mental prostitute, they have to consider whether they would be able to pay their rent/mortgage etc if they endorsed notions that destroy the cherished phantasies of their paying clients/pimp/paymeister. That will always put them in the’ tell them what they want to hear’ position. Whether it’s left or right they’re still presstitutes who will adopt whatever physical or mental posture will pay their bills. I only state this as someone who has been a physical, but never a mental prostitute. So I can understand why people have no other options in front of them.
    In CT (conspiracy theory) they are widely referred to as presstitutes. It’s the same bullshit physical prostitutes have to spin in order to earn a living, like a yes, I will reinforce your phantasies as long as you pay me. I’m sorry that bloggers like GM are left to carry the heavy burden presstitutes/lamestream propagandists pretend to carry. I hope it’s not too heavy a burden.

  13. VERY PAINFUL READ. No interview at all.
    I’m amused that the writer of the article doesn’t know Jeffreys’ position on sexuality and the CHOOSING of it. The author writes as if she has caught Jeffreys in an inconsistency, yet it’s the author’s ignorant impatience with nuance that really shows.
    “Jeffreys says she harbors no personal animosity toward transgender people. As a feminist, she says, she simply consigns transgenderism to a list of “harmful” social practices that also includes prostitution, makeup, high-heeled shoes, and tattoos. “To criticize the practice is seen as hating on the people who do it,” she says, doubtless aware that transgender people no more consider their gender identity a “practice” than gay men or lesbians view their sexual identity as a “choice.””

    1. Yeah but that would require doing actual journalism where the author may have to read forbidden “terf” literature instead of mindlessly spewing the cult dogma. Also having a sexual orientation is not the same thing as claiming to be to be the opposite sex and expecting everyone else to go along with your delusion, and oftentimes taking dangerous cross-sex hormones and getting SRS.

    2. That’s the way in the Twitter-age – if you disagree, you’re a hater, no nuance. And isn’t it telling how the old sexist divisions persist: outspoken women are still ‘bitches’, ‘cunts’, ‘wreckers of families’.
      Intellectualism hasn’t died, contrary to what some might say, but it’s still those shouting loudest who get the attention; and the liberal tendency to buy into the latest trend being the best…

  14. My applause to everyone who has analyzed this joke of an article. I was all excited and I thought it would be a real interview but nope. Having read “Gender Hurts” the blatant lies going on really pisses me off. Being “queer” or trans is no excuse for lying!

  15. As I mother I’m getting annoyed when tranz keep saying that “teh doctor” assigned them a gender at birth.
    Erm, there was no doctor at the birth of my children. Doctors are unecessary for birth in most cases because they interfere with the birthing process unecessarily.
    It’s as though there is this implied male doctor-god who gets to decide what a baby is, and in the case of tranz, he has made a dastardly mistake.
    Such misogyny. As if it’s imperative that we need a male authority figure at the birth to lend any legitimacy at all to the baby’s sex? Preposterous.
    Here’s a novel idea. What if the mother herself looks at her own baby, the one that had been growing inside her for nine months, sees its genitals, and makes a logical conclusion that it was either a boy or a girl based on what she knew of the world. (Vulva- girl / Penis- boy). As I did.
    These misogynists put mothers completely out of the picture–completely invisibilize and shit on their own mothers– when they bang on about how “doctors assigned me with the wrong gender at birth”. Fucking assholes.

    1. Yes, cherryblossomlife! Even when they are railing against the evil, coercively-sex-assigning-doctor-gods–who are always named or implied as male–it’s really full-on woman-hating at the root.
      In these stupid hospital scenarios they imagine, women are just the speechless, brainless cows lying there, passively delivering and waiting for a learned scientist (wearing lab coat and round glasses, probably), to tell us what we have produced. That is, if we’re there at all when this birth-thing happens?
      This transy “assigned at birth” business is such a grab bag of misogyny and bonafide idiocy, and the whole jumble is so tangled up, that it’s hard to decide which part of the mess to unpack first. They help themselves to language that only makes sense in rare, ambiguous situations involving inter-sex conditions (doing damage to DSD people/activism in the process); they reduce women to the level of livestock or erase women-as-mothers altogether; and, they dispense with logic, failing in the most basic attempts at reasoning such as knowing the difference between cause and effect.
      “Fucking assholes” will do, but that doesn’t quite cover it. They may be harbingers of another dark age.

  16. @GallusMag @FabFro — Thanks for good insights all around. I have never really contemplated the usefulness of the word “intersectionaliy” itself. It is a bit of a mouthful and perhaps doesn’t need to be in order to express the ideas behind it. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry that a dood was behind this shit. But, whatever he was aiming to do, I’m pretty confident he failed.

    1. Okay, I’m just an ‘old school’ rad fem, so this later intersectionality stuff mostly passed me by. But using my usual Wiki test (i.e. skim read of the Wikipedia article on the issue), my first impression is that the sociologists got all over-excited over mathsy phrases like “multiple dimensions of disadvantage” and “Interlocking matrix of oppression” (as a trained mathematician and physicist I always tend to find it rather funny when others get all over-excited when they realise they can have MORE than 2 or 3 dimensions……………….).
      Not saying that other ‘dimensions’ or whatever aren’t important, just that the pomo crowd just seems to use this to muddy the water, and play the “I’m more oppressed than you” card. Or it gets used as a way to silence women talking about sexism, because how DARE they ignore all those other oppressions in the damn matrix (and then somehow again, sexism gets seen as less important that other forms of oppression………..). I guess my naive view is it’s no surprise, the menz discovered that the male/female dichotomy could be turned into a really good thing, so just repeated the same pattern with other non-us groups. But the basic form started with male/female.

      1. @BadDyke — Sorry if my comment doesn’t appear in the right location. I’m having some trouble figuring that out. Anyway ….
        I completely agree with you about how the pomo crowd uses this word to ” to muddy the water, and play the “I’m more oppressed than you” card and I think the wikipedia article relies heavily on this popular misuse of the word in its definition. Phrases like “multiple dimensions of disadvantage” and “Interlocking matrix of oppression” seem intended to obscure rather than illuminate, at least if they are left without further explanation. But my understanding of intersectionality is that it is not merely multiplied oppression or being the most subordinated within a group, but rather about being pulled between two sides and having your oppression unarticulated and unrecognized. So, when “all the woman are white and all the Blacks are men” Black women’s concerns can be completely overlooked. And often they are asked to “pick sides.” Roslyn gave an example of how this affected her during the 2008 elections,pulled between white feminists and Black men and being thought of as a traitor either way.
        This started with some comments by a troll (who I did not realize was a troll) saying things along the lines of “why should feminists always have to care about other movements first. like the workers movement, Black movement, etc? And then FabFro made the perfect comment, which is that movements for racial equality are only “other” movements than feminism if you think that feminism is only for white women because if you are thinking about Black women, indigenous women, Latinas, etc. then fighting racism becomes a part of feminism. Unfortunately, we have a way of fighting racism that is very male-focused. I was reading an article by the Black abolitionist Vednita Carter in which she talks about how when Rodney King got the shit beat out of him by white cops it was a national issue. Civil right activists everywhere condemned it loudly and repeatedly. However, when a serial kill in Detroit is brutally murdering one Black woman after another and their mutilated bodies are being discovered, we hear crickets. So we need to have an anti-racism movement that recognizes and cares about the way women of color are oppressed as much as it cares about men and a feminist movement the is equally concerned about the ways women of color experience sexism as the ways white women experience sexism. I think those of us discussing the question here all agree with this, but it can still be a challenge to achieve.
        Now thankfully the person who said those things here was a troll, but unfortunately, I’ve heard the same things from some white women who call themselves feminists. I think radical feminists are less likely to do this (although maybe I’m biased) but I, for example, catch myself doing it all the time unintentionally when I say things like “women and people of color” and then I catch myself and realize that there is a tacit assumption in that phrase that “all the women are white and all the people of color are men.” And even though I know that not to be true, it reinforces that way of looking at things. I never say “whites and men,” for example, although I’m going to start trying to say that more often. The way I see the word intersectionality being used by the pomo crowd is ridiculous and completely obscures its original meaning as far as I’m concerned. White males do not ever experience intersectionality. Neither do white women. I do think that lesbians experience something like it because there is a tacit assumption that “all the women are straight and all the gay people are men” but I don’t think it operates in the same way as intersectionality, though, for reasons that would take too long to go into here. However, I think its important that there is a word that captures the particular oppression that lesbians experience which is different from what straight women experience or what gay men experience. That word, of course, is lesbophobia and I’m glad that it is being used more widely because I think it’s important to have a word that describes that particular oppression that lesbians experience that is not completely captured by the words sexism or homophobia. I suppose that’s why I also like the word “intersectionality” for what it was originally intended to express. However, it has been so thoroughly hijacked, that maybe we need a different word. The word “intersectionality” is a bit on the fancy side and I remember thinking that when I first read Crenshaw’s articles many years ago. She was probably a bit influenced by the pomo milieu of the times and wanted to have a sufficiently fancy word for the academy. But it was never the word itself that I thought was important but rather the idea she was getting at..
        Finally, since this blog is mainly about how transgender harms women, I will end with two examples of why I think words like intersectionality and lesbophobia are useful to this discussion. Transgenderim hurts all women but it is taking a particular toll on lesbians for reasons that I think everyone on the blog understands. People who are telling lesbians to have sex with men are being lesbophobic. That word captures it much better than sexist or homophobic, I think. Now transgenderism also takes a special toll on Black women, which I understand because of an article Roslyn wrote in which she points out that as a Black woman, she has had to fight her whole life to be recognized as a woman and for someone to now expect her to qualify that with -cis is outrageous. No woman should have to qualify herself with “cis” of course. But after reading Roslyn’s article, I realized that being asked to do that is a difference experience for a Black woman than a white women – not merely a worse experience (though it is worse) but qualitatively difference because white women have never had to fight to be recognized as women, as Black women have had to..
        I don’t know if the word “intersectionality” can ever be taken back from the pomos, but as long we have the concept is there, that’s okay.

    2. @Maureen!!! <3 <3 <3
      Thank you for that! That was very well put and very insightful! Especially about comparing the words [though, meaning to very different things] lesbophobia and intersectionality and how both are important to our movement!

      1. @FabFro — Thanks to you, GallusMag and the other great women on this blog for inspiring this discussion!

  17. @Edgar/Frenchie: “I didn’t answer your reply because there was no way to do it without sounding racist and you framed the issue around American topics: there’s plenty of stuff going around in Europe that don’t translate that way.”

    So, you’re telling me that bandages come in different colors to match darker skin over in Europe? And that the hair care aisle for blacks is the same size as the white hair care aisle in major chain grocery stores? Because to have several countries over there founded and claimed by whites, only for them to turn around and treat people of color with super-duper kindness and respect…that sure would be interesting if so…
    And let me guess, that picture of Edgar is a male friend or relative and they’re cool with you using their picture as you post at different blog sites?
    Cause I know I’d be totes cool if a dood took a picture of me and used it as his avatar on the net! [Not!]

    1. Incidentally, FabFro- did you invent the thing about the Band-Aid/Brown Bag correlation? That is so fucking genius! I’ve considered this band-aid issue before and decided that the only “person” with band-aid skin color is Malibu Barbie. Ergo, according to your analysis, Malibu Barbie embodies the Brown Bag Test. LMAO.

      1. First, thank you for banning Edgar/Frenchie. They were driving me up the wall trying to figure out what the heck was up with them. I appreciate that, Gallus.
        Second, Thank you, again ^_^. I got inspired when I read about band-aids not matching darker skin on another blog site, but I did come up with it as being a paper bag test because I just hurt my heel last week and when I put the band-aid on I noticed that it stood out. I then started thinking about how 2 months ago I seen a band-aid on a much darker person and could spot it out as I looked out my window…from the third floor…and they were standing across from my building. So much for ‘blending in’. -_-
        Oh Barbie. Cause if she was modeled off of a sex doll over in Europe [I believe] and is used as the model young girls and women must aspire too, then, yea, I could see how she could be used as a brown paper bag test and a femininity test all in one go. “Don’t look like Barbie? Then you’re not a woman and you’re too dark!”
        Huh, that’s interesting. Never viewed Barbie like that. Learn something new everyday, and I love it!

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