raymond tran

I did write that the transsexual does not really change sex at all. But this does not mean that gender is immutable; it means that men cannot become women via hormones and surgery. My view is that, using Woodhouse’s own words, the male-to-female transsexual is a “fantastic woman,” the incarnation of a male fantasy of feeling like a woman trapped in a man’s body, the fantasy rendered flesh by a further male medical fantasy of surgically fashioning a male body into a female one. These fantasies are based in the male imagination, not in any female reality. It is this female reality that the surgically-constructed woman does not possess, not because women innately carry some essence of femininity but because these men have not had to live in a female body with all the history that entails. It is that history that is basic to female reality, and yes, history is based to a certain extent on female biology.
—  Janice G. Raymond. The Transsexual Empire, Introduction to the 1994 Edition. Teachers College Press, 1994. xi-xxxv.

It is not hard to understand why transsexuals want to become lesbian-feminists. They indeed have discovered where strong female energy exists and want to capture it. It is more difficult to understand why so many feminists are so ready to accept men–in this case, castrated men–into their most intimate circles. Certainly Dionysian confusion about the erasure of all boundaries is one reason that appeals to the liberal mind and masquerades as “sympathy for all oppressed groups.” Women who believe this, however, fail to see that such liberalism is repressive, and that it can only favor and fortify the possession of women by men. These women also fail to recognize that accepting transsexuals into the feminist community is only another rather unique variation on the age-old theme of women nurturing men, providing them with a safe haven, and finally giving them our best energies.

The question arises: are women who accept transsexuals as lesbian-feminists expressing gratitude on some level to those men who are finally willing to join women and pay for their male privilege with their balls? Gratitude is a quality exhibited by all oppressed groups when they think that some in the class of oppressors have finally relinquished their benefits to join them. But, of course, it is doubtful that transsexuals actually give up their male privilege. As one woman put it: “A man who decides to call himself a woman is not giving up his privilege. He is simply using it in a more insidious way.” Furthermore, a man who decides to call himself a lesbian-feminist is getting a lot. The transsexually constructed lesbian-feminist is the man who indeed gets to be “the man” in an exclusive women’s club to which he would have otherwise no access.

—  Janice G. Raymond. The Transsexual Empire, Chapter IV: Sappho by Surgery: The Transsexually Constructed Lesbian-Feminist. Teachers College Press, 1994. 99-119.

anonymous asked:

Even though terfs will sometimes give lip service to the idea that trans women are oppressed as "gnc males", in practice terfs treat trans women worse than they treat cis men. Do terfs actually think trans women are privileged not just over cis women and trans men but also cis men? What material benefits do they imagine trans women get that other people don't

yeah it really doesn’t make any real sense because the level that they villify trans women is actually like more than they do cis men but really it is more because we are seen as a symbolic threat to their meaning of womanhood. It’s kinda similar to how the Pope claims that we are as dangerous as nuclear annihilation.

I think they do believe that trans women are in some sense privileged over cis men. Like, otherwise their vitriol makes no sense. And like, you can see in the work of Julie Bindel and Janice Raymond that trans women are portrayed as upper class, overeducated, particularly misogynistic and predatory infiltrators.

So that’s why you have people like Julie Bindel making the absurd claim that all trans women have Ph.Ds. Or like even our ‘allies’ like Loree Cook Daniels ( a cis woman who runs the trans dude advocacy nonprofit FORGE and sadly one of the more published social scientists on trans issues) claiming that trans women face less violence in relationships than cis men.

Like, it doesn’t line up with facts on the ground, but also that isn’t terribly important to people who hate trans women