- Series: Athene Series (Book 39)
- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Teachers College Press (March 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807762725
- ISBN-13: 978-0807762721
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,777,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male (Athene Series) Paperback – March 1, 1994
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To paraphrase a statement I remember from Jean-Paul Satre's "Anti-Semite and Jew", all bigotry has a grain of truth to it--and that's what makes it dangerous. Bigots take a minor fact and blow it out of proportion, and that is precisely what Raymond does throughout her book. She contends, for example, that male-to-female transsexuals symbolically rape women's bodies by attempting to acquire one for themselves. There is, in fairness to Raymond, a condition which transsexual therapist Anne Lawrence calls "autogynephilia"--people with this condition are aroused by the change itself. But on further examination, this argument falls apart. Post-op transsexuals find themselves as much in danger of ACTUALLY BEING raped as any biological woman--why would transsexuals willingly risk being the victims of real rape merely to degrade women? And what of those who are not aroused by women's bodies at all, but are attracted to MEN? Raymond, as usual, is blind to these Grand Canyon-size holes in her logic.
One might wonder what she thinks of female-to-male transsexuals. Simple--they don't exist. They are, in her view, lesbians in denial, thus exonerating all biological females from the insidious evil of transsexualism. She never asks herself why the numbers of female-to-males are so low.Read more ›
Raymond's invective is apparent in the first few pages, when she says, of physician and tennis player Renee Richards, "it takes castrated balls to play women's tennis." No bias there. Uh-uh.
Raymond's primary problem with transsexuals is that she expects them to singlehandedly destroy the binary gender system-- while she constructs her own gender identity so as to appear unambiguously female. News flash, Janice Raymond-- transsexuals have no special obligation to fight your fights. Most want only a little personal happiness and have no responsibility to tear down gender barriers for you (although many do).
I could understand Raymond's rant if it were published as opinion-- but it purports to be a scientific study. There's evidence that contrary to her claims, she did no interviews at all.
What's scary isn't that Raymond is so crazy, but that so many people listened to her, that so many have lacked the ability to differentiate vendetta from science.
And, in the process, I become an agent of patriarchal authority by infiltrating the sisterhood to destabilize it: "Transsexually constructed lesbian-feminists show yet another face of patriarchy. As the male-to-constructed-female transsexual exhibits the attempt to possess women in a bodily sense while acting out the images into which men have molded women, the male-to-constructed-female who claims to be a lesbian-feminist attempts to possess women at a deeper level, this time under the guise of challenging rather than conforming to the role and behavior of stereotypes femininity." [TTE, re-issue 1994, p. 99].
We ARE the enemy. There can be no other motivation but to put things back into their cages, to fit gender-role and biological-fact. Forget the mind, the feelings, the base itself of feminist ethics -namely, that rules shouldn't be applied rigidly to a case but each case is separate and the circumstances influence the rightness/wrongness of the rule applied.
We, transsexuals, are painted with a very broad brush. What is the solution? "I contend that the problem of transsexualism would be best served by morally mandating it out of existence." [TTE, p. 178]. The "moral mandate" is nicely covered by blaming society for our existence: "The prevention of transsexual surgery, and the social conditions that generate it, are not achieved by legislation forbidding surgery [....Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just read Janice Raymond's recent supposed refutation of all of the "accusations" against her for being a transphobic hate monger and a TERF. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Barbara E Warren
Best piece of literature since Mein Kampf. Adolf would be proud.Published 11 months ago by howdydoo
Talk about a book full of hate towards one small and very marginalized and exploited group. To think this author is a Lesbian and that the LGBT now claims to represent and support... Read morePublished on June 25, 2013 by Lisa McDonald
This work is relevant solely from the standpoint that it's an interesting revelation of the origins of transphobia, in that the book itself is one of the cornerstones of... Read morePublished on April 18, 2013 by Una Nowling
This book and the very basis for it is absolute tripe serving only to devalue trans* identity. The mere fact that "she-male" is in the book title alone should tell you that this is... Read morePublished on October 22, 2012 by Phoenix Singer
This book is well out of date, so it's only valuable as a reference book. As a trans woman I find it rather wrong-minded. Read morePublished on January 7, 2012 by Elizabeth K
In the interest of disclosure, I am a heterosexual male. I am also a professional philosopher with an interest in gender theory and feminist philosophy, although neither is among... Read morePublished on February 19, 2011 by John Kress
Janice Raymond speaks an inconvient truth about male-to-constructed-females. Raymond takes us through the history of transgender/transsexual surgery and we discover that it is an... Read morePublished on October 27, 2010 by P. Mullins
The Transsexual Empire:
The Making of the She-Male
(Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1979)
(Library of Congress call number:... Read more