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Pre-2008 Posts

Criticism of Gender Theory, a Scientist Under Siege

The following article was sent to me by Caroline and can be read in full at the New York Times, link follows.  Caroline (whose last name I won’t use because I didn’t get permission) writes:

Dear Heart, I am a writer who found your site through [a publication]. I was interested in Bitch being barred from performing at the Dyke March in Boston. (I think Bitch is fabulous.) Anyway, I thought this article in today’s New York Times would be of interest to you, if you haven’t already seen it. It talks about a scientist at Northwestern University who came up against some aggressive transgender activism. The scientist whose book was nominated for a Lammy was harassed by people in the transgender community because of his theories. …what I found interesting was the aggressiveness of some of the people who opposed it. 

 Aggressiveness is correct.  Take a look at the harassment this scientist received because he refused to tow a particular party line.

Criticism of a Gender Theory, and a Scientist Under Siege

In academic feuds, as in war, there is no telling how far people will go once the shooting starts.

Earlier this month, members of the International Academy of Sex Research, gathering for their annual meeting in Vancouver, informally discussed one of the most contentious and personal social science controversies in recent memory.

The central figure, J. Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University, has promoted a theory that his critics think is inaccurate, insulting and potentially damaging to transgender women. In the past few years, several prominent academics who are transgender have made a series of accusations against the psychologist, including that he committed ethics violations. A transgender woman he wrote about has accused him of a sexual impropriety, and Dr. Bailey has become a reviled figure for some in the gay and transgender communities.

…The hostilities began in the spring of 2003, when Dr. Bailey published a book, “The Man Who Would Be Queen,” intended to explain the biology of sexual orientation and gender to a general audience.

“The next two years,” Dr. Bailey said in an interview, “were the hardest of my life.”

Many sex researchers who have worked with Dr. Bailey say that he is a solid scientist and collaborator, who by his own admission enjoys violating intellectual taboos.

In his book, he argued that some people born male who want to cross genders are driven primarily by an erotic fascination with themselves as women. This idea runs counter to the belief, held by many men who decide to live as women, that they are the victims of a biological mistake — in essence, women trapped in men’s bodies. …

Other scientists praised the book as a compelling explanation of the science. The Lambda Literary Foundation, an organization that promotes gay, bisexual and transgender literature, nominated the book for an award.

But days after the book appeared, Lynn Conway, a prominent computer scientist at the University of Michigan, sent out an e-mail message comparing Dr. Bailey’s views to Nazi propaganda. She and other transgender women found the tone of the book abusive, and the theory of motivation it presented to be a recipe for further discrimination.

Dr. Conway did not respond to requests for an interview.

…after consulting with Dr. Conway, four of the transgender women who spoke to Dr. Bailey during his reporting for the book wrote letters to Northwestern, complaining that they had been used as research subjects without having given, or been asked to sign, written consent.

One wrote a letter making another accusation against Dr. Bailey: she claimed he had had sex with her.

Dr. Conway and Dr. McCloskey also wrote letters to Northwestern, accusing Dr. Bailey of grossly violating scientific standards “by conducting intimate research observations on human subjects without telling them that they were objects of the study.”

…In an interview, Dr. Bailey said that nothing he did was wrong or unethical. “I interviewed people for a book,” he said. “This is a free society, and that should be allowed.”

But by the end of 2003, the controversy had a life of its own on the Internet. Dr. Conway, the computer scientist, kept a running chronicle of the accusations against Dr. Bailey on her Web site. Any Google search of Dr. Bailey’s name brought up Dr. Conway’s site near the top of the list.

The site also included a link to the Web page of another critic of Dr. Bailey’s book, Andrea James, a Los Angeles-based transgender advocate and consultant. Ms. James downloaded images from Dr. Bailey’s Web site of his children, taken when they were in middle and elementary school, and posted them on her own site, with sexually explicit captions that she provided. (Dr. Bailey is a divorced father of two.) Ms. James said in an e-mail message that Dr. Bailey’s work exploited vulnerable people, especially children, and that her response echoed his disrespect.

Dr. Dreger is the latest to arrive at the battlefront. She is a longtime advocate for people born with ambiguous sexuality and has been strongly critical of sex researchers in the past. She said she had presumed that Dr. Bailey was guilty and, after meeting him through a mutual friend, had decided to investigate for herself.

But in her just-completed account, due to be published next year in The Archives of Sexual Behavior, the field’s premier journal, she concluded that the accusations against the psychologist were essentially groundless.

For example, Dr. Dreger found that two of the four women who complained to Northwestern of research violations were not portrayed in the book at all. The two others did know their stories would be used, as they themselves said in their letters to Northwestern.

The accusation of sexual misconduct came five years after the fact, and was not possible to refute or confirm, Dr. Dreger said. ..The transgender woman who made the complaint said through a friend that she stood by the accusation but did not want to talk about it.

…“The bottom line is that they tried to ruin this guy, and they almost succeeded,” Dr. Dreger said.

Dr. Dreger’s report began to circulate online last week, and Dr. Bailey’s critics already have attacked it as being biased.

…One collaborator broke with Dr. Bailey over the controversy, Dr. Bailey said. Others who remained loyal said doing so had a cost: two researchers said they were advised by a government grant officer that they should distance themselves from Dr. Bailey to improve their chances of receiving financing.

…Dr. Bailey said that the first weeks of the backlash were the worst. He tried not to think about the accusations, he said, but would wake up in the middle of the night unable to think of anything else. He took anti-anxiety pills for a while. He began to worry about losing his job. He said that friends and family supported him but that some colleagues were afraid to speak up in his defense.

“They saw what I was going through, I think, and wanted no part of it,” he said.

…In October 2004, Dr. Bailey stepped down as chairman of the psychology department. He declined to say why, and a spokesman for Northwestern would say only that the change in status had nothing to do with the book.

…It is perhaps fitting that the history of this conflict, which caught fire online, is being written and revised continually in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which is compiled and corrected by users. The reference site provides a lengthy entry on Dr. Bailey, but a section titled “

Link

Discussion

48 thoughts on “Criticism of Gender Theory, a Scientist Under Siege

  1. In his book, he argued that some people born male who want to cross genders are driven primarily by an erotic fascination with themselves as women.

    The pornification experience coming to fruition brought to the world through patriarchal medicine.

    One wrote a letter making another accusation against Dr. Bailey: she claimed he had had sex with her.

    This very accusation which may or may not be true, I suspect is not, is typical of what males think of women and being women even when they “become” women. This man (supposedly a MTF woman) accuses another man (the doctor) of having sex with him because it is what men (rapists) believe in the deepest depths of their bowels to be female behavior. This MTF is attempting to intimate a woman (defined by men) by accusing a man of having sex with him hoping he will get the slither of creditability that she (the hypothetical woman) gets some of the time (but real yes I said it, real women know the deal and know that in reality real women cannot bank on any accusation when it is against a male). Talk about exploitation, monopolizing privilege, here it is, in transgender form, males using male tactics to remain entitled to reap havoc while exploiting the ideology of the female gender that was created to begin with to benefit males.

    As far as conducting research without consent, then that would mean, every psychologist and every psychiatrist who has ever published a thought would be expected to document exactly which patient initially introduced a thought to that doctor when in discussion even it the thought developed later with the next patient once a pattern was identified. It would be impossible. After so many patients, there become similarities that are indicative of the whole and is no longer specific to an individual.
    It seems that some folks can only keep up with the abstract and hypotheticals when it comes to protecting their right to have it their way and nothing else.

    I think I will buy Dr. Bailey’s published works.

    Posted by E. K. "Kitty" Glendower | August 21, 2007, 7:32 pm
  2. Ms. James downloaded images from Dr. Bailey’s Web site of his children, taken when they were in middle and elementary school, and posted them on her own site, with sexually explicit captions that she provided. (Dr. Bailey is a divorced father of two.) Ms. James said in an e-mail message that Dr. Bailey’s work exploited vulnerable people, especially children, and that her response echoed his disrespect.

    So Ms. James can excuse her behavior by saying MTF are equivalent to children, thus, open game, but let someone call MTF children and see what happens. Typical male-rapist behavior. James is behaving as the male-rapist society taught him to behave as. He feels violated so it is okay to violate children. Very logical in male-rapist ideology 101. You can take the penis from the man but……..

    Posted by E. K. "Kitty" Glendower | August 21, 2007, 7:40 pm
  3. The accusation of sexual misconduct came five years after the fact, and was not possible to refute or confirm, Dr. Dreger said. ..The transgender woman who made the complaint said through a friend that she stood by the accusation but did not want to talk about it.

    Wouldn’t this be an example of a “lying filthy whore” who has ruined an innocent man’s life, you know, the way the Duke woman was portrayed. WHERE IS THE OUTCRY HERE! Who is going to string up this liar? I don’t that is the custom. Why is this liar getting away with his lies. Are only women who say they were raped and unable to prove it are subject to be strung up and branded as liars? Not the MTF! No priviledge there…. No….

    This entry is really pissing me off!

    Posted by E. K. "Kitty" Glendower | August 21, 2007, 7:44 pm
  4. Ms. James said in an e-mail message that Dr. Bailey’s work exploited vulnerable people, especially children, and that her response echoed his disrespect.

    Wow. Nice rationalizing there. “It’s ok I exploited kids- you did it first!!” *rolls eyes*

    So apart from that asshole, which I’ve read other transwomen also call assholey (I think- if I remember correctly), this is an interesting development. I mean, I understand having a criticism of a theory, but to liken it to the Nazis because he said that transwomen have a psychosexual root to their desire for transitioning? That’s a little over the top. If it is true, then what happens? Are mtf less human? Have they been called an evil group that needs to be stopped to save all the “good” people? You know, having a sexual focus/fetish (not the best analogy for what the theory is about maybe) about your own body doesn’t exactly hurt other people all that much (unless it requires other people). So even if Bailey’s theory is true, how is that like what the Nazis said about the Jews? Even if it is dismissive and patronizing (and I’m not saying it is or isn’t) it still is NO WHERE NEAR what the Nazis said about the Jews. I mean ffs. I *hate* how the Nazis are called up whenever someone says something that other people don’t like!

    Big difference between being fascistic and being patronizing. god.

    Posted by Cinder | August 21, 2007, 9:23 pm
  5. Glad you’re back, Heart🙂

    Kitty, that was my first thought too! Women know these kinds of accusations won’t get them anywhere. I didn’t think of it in terms of men imitating what they believe us to be like, just in terms of men generally expecting to be able to make any kind of accusation and get away with it. You’re right though, this is really how they think women act.

    The book itself sounds interesting. I’ll see if the library has a copy.

    Posted by keen | August 21, 2007, 10:47 pm
  6. Heart, I’d be wary of defending Dr. Bailey or his 2003 book. Many of his studies into homosexuality and transgenderism—which rely on questionable methodology and discredited research techniques—have been widely condemned by both his scientific peers and the LGBT community, and the stated premises and conclusions in his studies rely on the most tired heterosexist stereotypes. One big one: homosexuality “may be an evolutionary mistake, a developmental error.” (Source: Wikipedia) Another big one, from an interview with 60 Minutes in 2006: Gay men have more “feminine” characteristics and hold more “feminine” occupations than heterosexual men (Source: The Advocate). And yet another, from a 2005 study that was also profiled by Benedict Carey in NYT: Men who say they are bisexual are probably lying, because “true” bisexuality does not exist in men (Source: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting).

    In a 2001 paper co-authored with Aaron S. Greenberg, Bailey argued that homosexuality could one day be screened for in utero, and that parents should have the right to select fetuses for sexual orientation because it “would further a parent’s freedom to raise the sort of children they want to raise.” You can read the full paper at the Archives of Sexual Behavior here.

    The pseudoscientific claims and homophobic/heterosexist premises of Bailey’s research render anything that he writes on sexuality or gender highly suspect. This isn’t about aggressive transgender activists trying to take down a courageous researcher. Bailey is no friend of radical feminists or LGBT people. Bailey promotes heterosexist junk as science, and there’s nothing courageous about junk science or patriarchy.

    Posted by Yolanda Carrington | August 22, 2007, 12:21 am
  7. Hey, Yolanda, good to see you here, thanks for weighing in. What you say about Bailey sounds pretty bad, so I guess I am going to have to read him for myself. 🙂 He did get nominated for a Lambda award, which tells me he had support in the GLBT community.

    You know, even if he is the junkest junk scientist around, the response of members of the transgender community as described was despicable. Posting photos of his kids with sexual commentary? Calling him a Nazi and effectively google bombing him? Even if he has the shittiest theories on the face of the earth they deserve to be heard, if someone wants to hear them!

    That’s what most interests me about this. He may not have anything worth saying, but he has a right to say it without being harrassed, targeted, lied about, trashed, run out on a rail and called a Nazi for god’s sake. More and more this is what prominent members of the transgender community do to anybody they don’t like, whether it’s Bailey, or Bitch, or Catherine Couch, or Alix Dobkin or the women of Vancouver Rape Relief. This is NOT acceptable. If your ideas are good they’ll stand and you won’t have to clobber and bully and harrass and threaten people into intimidation to protect them.

    So that’s my zwei pfennig.🙂

    Again, great to read you in here, Yolanda, I’ve missed you.

    And hey, keen, thanks!

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | August 22, 2007, 4:03 am
  8. Thanks Heart, I appreciate your warm welcome back. About that Lambda award—after much complaint from their supporters, they later retracted their nomination, which you can read about here at PlanetOut.

    Other than the attacks on Bailey’s children, which are indefensible, what should oppressed people who feel they are being attacked by mass media-endorsed junk science do? What would we as feminist/lesbian women and people of color do if neo-eugenicists were using crackpot theories to label us as irrational, or sexually loose, or less intelligent, or criminally insane? These are age-old stereotypes of women and people of color, and are we not rightfully enraged when white male scientists promulgate that crap about us? What about gay men being naturally “feminine” and lesbians being naturally “masculine?” This is the actual crap that Lesley Stahl allowed Bailey to spew on 60 Minutes last year.

    And yeah, he has a liberal “right” to spew whatever bile he wants, but so do Klansmen, neo-Nazis, homophobic preachers, and men’s rights activists. If they spew that crap in our direction, we call them on it, period. Holding bigots’ feet to the fire is not an attack. Nobody has slammed Bailey or run him out on a rail—as a professor and former department chair of a major university, he is accountable to a standard of ethics. That’s the deal he got when he took the job, and that’s a far cry from tarring and feathering. Just as he has the right to speak, the trans community has a right to defend itself.

    By the way, Bailey isn’t in the same league as radical/lesbian feminist women. From what I could discern, Dr. Bailey is not a member of any oppressed class, and there is nothing even remotely woman-friendly about his work. He is no ally of the women’s struggle. And that’s my thing at the end of the day, Heart. As women and as radical feminists (especially lesbians) we are dismissed enough as it is. Now I’ve got tons of differences with the LGBT movement (example No. 1: my invisibilization within it), but at the end of the day, these folks are my peers. Whether I disagree with them or not—whether I LIKE them or not—they are my people. And I’ll be damned if I’d allow anyone, whether that be politicians, pseudoscientists, or everyday Joe Blow bigots, to dehumanize any group of LGBT folk without calling their patriarchal butts to the floor.

    By the way, I’ve got a question for everyone here. Do y’all recognize lesbians, gay men, transpeople, and feminists as part of the same struggle, even when our battles clash against each others? Because I do. We may have tons of differences, but we are all resisting gender oppression together. The last time I looked, rape-bashings of gay men and transfolk ain’t gone nowhere. Neither have those against women and girls. Their struggle is our struggle.

    Posted by Yolanda Carrington | August 22, 2007, 9:13 am
  9. Transgenderism is beginning to sound like a lot like religion. One is forbidden to question, challenge or criticize religion/transgenderism without it being considered sheer blasphemy. I see little difference between trans and religious wingnuts.

    I quit believing in Santa Claus tho when I was 7.

    Human beings do not live by instinct. Human beings live by a belief system. Human behavior is conditioned, not “born.” Which would include sexuality and gender roles. “Roles” is the key word there. Gender is nothing more than a performance. Acting out roles in accordance to social guidelines. Social guidelines which are basically delusional fantasies men pull out of their ass and construct. They seem to think life is Hollywood or a video game or something. And gravity doesn’t apply to them.

    In short, men’s minds have really gone around a bend. They no longer seem to be able to distinguish between fantasy, role playing and reality.

    At this point, I no longer care what men say or think. That would make me more insane than they are.

    Posted by Luckynkl | August 22, 2007, 11:12 am
  10. what should oppressed people who feel they are being attacked by mass media-endorsed junk science do

    Speak out. Challenge. Confront. Refuse to be silenced. Organize. Publish. Protest. Research. Be smarter than they are. Be more determined than they are. Be more ethical than they are. Be meticulously honest so that when you are lied about, you’re proud of the history and paper trail you’ve created for yourself; they won’t find nuttin there. Have the integrity they don’t have. Make allies. Blog. Make websites. Make zines. Make informational handouts. Do street theater. March in parades. And do it all with integrity. Resist the impulse or temptation to do it by force, violence, coercion, criminal activity. The attacks on Bailey’s children are, in my opinion, absolutely criminal. Calling him a Nazi? Totally wrong, offensive to the Jews, cheap, and stupid. Google bombing him? Unethical and dishonest. Same with the other stuff I mentioned about similar situations. Suing Vancouver Rape Relief? Totally wrong. Canceling the Gendercator? Flat wrong. Canceling Bitch’s performance at the dyke march? Inexcusable.

    And after all of that, again, I’ll have to read Bailey to know how strongly I feel about what, you know? I haven’t read him. I do see that an expert who has worked with people born with gender ambiguities once agreed with his critics, investigated, and then believed Bailey was wrongly targeted and misunderstood. So I can’t say how I’m going to feel about him until I read him.

    As women and as radical feminists (especially lesbians) we are dismissed enough as it is. Now I’ve got tons of differences with the LGBT movement (example No. 1: my invisibilization within it), but at the end of the day, these folks are my peers. Whether I disagree with them or not—whether I LIKE them or not—they are my people.

    I would not necessarily consider the men in “LGBT” (QRSTUVSWSG)movement “my people,” because within that movement there are a number of men who are misogynist. It’s just what’s true. Ask anybody what happens to women in that movement. Ask what happened up here in Seattle, at PRIDE (or do a search, I blogged about it). Note that it’s people who identify as part of the “LGBT” movement who canceled Catherine Couth, canceled Bitch, sued Rape Relief, and so on.

    Those persons are my allies and peers? No, they are not. They use their societal power as males, especially, in an attempt to fuck up my events, they put women like me out of business, they cost rape relief organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars defending bogus legal claims, heck no. Not my allies. The men in LGBT and their female supporters are my allies when they demonstrate themselves to be my allies.

    Do y’all recognize lesbians, gay men, transpeople, and feminists as part of the same struggle, even when our battles clash against each others?

    Well, most of the women here are lesbians, at least half, so we can cross that one off the list. Having said all of that, there are lesbian women who are not my allies. They are not my allies when they endorse, make or traffic in pornography, participate in prostitution and advocate for or endorse what is anti-female (like SM). Gay men, transpeople, and feminists are part of the same struggle when, in fact, they are part of the same struggle. When they use the societal power they have against me — as males always can do against women, and particularly lesbian women — then they are not part of the same struggle. Then they act as part of the hegemony, the power structure, which is to be resisted.

    To the degree that we can be allied, then to that degree we can be allied, you know? To the degree that males in LGBT, their female supporters, and male supporters in feminism and LGBT do not sue me, boycott me, harrass me, violate me, lie about me, attack me, spread bogus information about me, and otherwise try to harm me, then to that degree we will be allies. To the degree that they don’t shill for the pornography conglomerate, for trafficking in human beings, for SM, and so on, to that degree we can be allies. Males *always* have power vis a vis women; when they use it against females, they are not our friends. When women support males in using their power against females, they are not our friends, either.

    At the end of the day, it is female persons who are my people. That doesn’t mean they’re all my friends, but they are all my people and share many things in common with me. Males are my people to the degree that they evidence commitment to my own liberation, awareness of my struggle, knowledge of the issues, support in times of crisis, and above all respect and a willingness to listen to what I have to say. If they don’t do all of the above, then I may ally with them as often as I can — because there are many times and places where all people of good will and progressive sensibilities can ally — but I will be paying close attention to whether they are, in fact, on the same page with me as each and every issue comes along. I will be paying even closer attention to how willing they are to throw me and my issues under the truck when our issues, as you say, clash. If they use their power as males, or as supporters of males, in a male supremacist world to get their way at my expense, they can’t be surprised when I don’t view them as allies.

    Within all that I’ve said there are hundreds of individual threads and discussions possible. But this is what I’ve got for now, got to get to work.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | August 22, 2007, 12:28 pm
  11. OK, a Lambda award was taken away. So was the Gendercator’s ability to be screened and Bitch’s ability to play. Losing a Lamda award retroactively might mean there’s more to the story and that it was undeserving — it also might mean that people are fucking cowards.

    “Dr. Bailey is not a member of any oppressed class”

    Well, he could be.

    All he’d have to do is “perform” in the “wrong” way.

    Any straight, white, Christian male in the world can do something that would get him shot dead in the middle of mainstreet by the authorities.

    Unless you believe in a “trans gene” that makes one person your peer and another your oppressor no matter how they are otherwise situated in life, it’s kind of odd to put Bailey in one box and Conway in another. They’re both straight white guys feuding over reality.

    Really, I have to say to trans-activists, where are your vaunted theories of “performance” now? Conway is a magical unicorn who has to perform in a way that theoretically subverts such and such while the idea of Bailey performing contrary to such and such is a staunch impossibility?

    Essentialism much?

    Posted by Rich | August 22, 2007, 1:38 pm
  12. Losing a Lamda award retroactively might mean there’s more to the story and that it was undeserving — it also might mean that people are fucking cowards.

    Yeah, if you read the entire article from the New York Times, there seem to have been quite a few incidences of cowardice along the way. People like Conway and McCloskey are not marginalized, oppressed persons by a long shot. They are white, affluent people with long histories of male privilege, published, tenured, with Ph.D.s, and heavy hitters when it comes to academia as it currently exists. It’s unbelievable the conduct they engaged in and until now, nobody says a word about it that any of us has ever heard.

    I do believe many transpersons are oppressed and marginalized, and I support their efforts to end their own subordination and disenfranchisement. But mostly when I say this, I’m thinking about poor transpersons, transpersons of color, transpersons forced into prostitution, transpersons who will never be able to afford to transition, except at great risk in some underground, back-alley way that might kill them. These are the people I would go to the mat for. These white assholes with 30, 40 years of male privilege, bucks and bucks, degrees, tenure, criss crossing the country spouting off to gullible progressive wanna bes who have never thought deeply about what this is all about, people who advocate all the day long for gender binaries, gender essentialism (though they won’t cop to it, either because their blind spots won’t allow them to or they are dishonest) and who lie their ass off continually about radical feminists especially? Hell no. Marginalized and oppressed my ass.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | August 22, 2007, 3:58 pm
  13. Heart,

    I wouldn’t take whatever Benedict Carey says as the ultimate truth. For example, here is what he says

    “Some scientists say that it has become increasingly treacherous to discuss politically sensitive issues. They point to several recent cases, like that of Helmuth Nyborg, a Danish researcher who was fired in 2006 after he caused a furor in the press by reporting a slight difference in average I.Q. test scores between the sexes.”

    In reality, an investigative team found significant technical errors in Nyborg’s so-called research. That was probably why he was fired. But Benedict Carey is trying to give an impression that Nyborg is a fearless scientist speaking the truth about women’s intellectual inferiority and was punished for speaking the truth.

    If nothing else, the way he inserted that insinuation about women’s intellectual inferiority into an article about transsexuals should make you suspicious about his honesty.

    Posted by Kali | August 22, 2007, 4:58 pm
  14. “Males *always* have power vis a vis women; when they use it against females, they are not our friends. When women support males in using their power against females, they are not our friends, either.”

    So much is said in these two sentences.

    I get tired of people playing the “We’re all in this together!” card re: LGBTetc issues. No, we’re not. The only thing all those groups have in common is that they are marginalized or oppressed, due to their deviance from social norms. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are oppressed because they deviate from heterosexuality, and in a heterosexist society, this is unacceptable. Transgender/transsexual persons are oppressed because they deviate from approved gender roles, and in a sexist society, this is unacceptable. Yes, sexual orientation and gender roles frequently travel together in social norms, but they are not the same issue. One issue is about sexual attraction/behavior/etc., and the other is about gender roles.

    And I don’t think that LGB groups have helped anyone by slapping a T on the end of their acronym, for two reasons:
    1) most LGBT groups exist to serve a largely LGB population (mostly gay men), and therefore attention to trans issues don’t really fulfill the needs of their group members, and are therefore tokenized or outright ignored.
    2) by adding a dissimilar group to the collection of persons you supposedly represent, you make the situation more difficult for outsiders to understand, and more difficult for insiders to maintain cohesion.

    Allies are important in any fight, including radical feminism. But people who seek to redefine universal reality to accommodate their beliefs in faulty “neural maps” (modern transpeak for “being born with the wrong body”) are not my allies. I cannot ally myself with people whose beliefs about sex and gender fundamentally contradict mine.

    Posted by sbravo | August 22, 2007, 4:59 pm
  15. ***They point to several recent cases, like that of Helmuth Nyborg, a Danish researcher who was fired in 2006 after he caused a furor in the press by reporting a slight difference in average I.Q. test scores between the sexes.”***

    I’m not familiar with Nyborg’s case so when I read that I didn’t automatically assume that the slight difference was in favor of men, though I thought it <probably was as Nyborg is a man.

    I did watch Lesley Stahl’s 60 Minutes episode in which she showed home movies and pictures of “masculine” little girls who she interviewed as adults and who said they were lesbian and “feminine” little boys, one of whom was claimed to be transsexual and another one, now grown up, who was gay. I was tempted to send her one of my “feminine” looking little girl pictures and ask her what she thought *I* was. I don’t even remember Bailey from the episode.

    Posted by Branjor | August 22, 2007, 6:00 pm
  16. But people who seek to redefine universal reality to accommodate their beliefs in faulty “neural maps” (modern transpeak for “being born with the wrong body”) are not my allies.
    for what it’s worth, there exists a large faction of trans people, such as myself, who do not buy into the “faulty neural map” or gender identity theory as an explanation for our existence.

    while i’d also agree that the “t” at the end of the lgb may not be a logical, or even practical, association, most people see trans people as either gay or lesbian persons who “took it too far”. members of lgbt groups usually understand our differences to some degree; non-lgbt people typically will see us as all being cut from the same cloth. in that sense, the lgbt grouping may be more reasonable.

    i’d suggest that the lgbt alliance results more from outside pressure than from any of us from the inside.

    Posted by nexyjo | August 23, 2007, 12:18 am
  17. “Women do possess a lower average IQ then men, simple as that.”

    Its a study that has been done time and time again, BUT women possess better hearing and textual pick ups.

    This goes against a man’s visual learn by doing process of learning that is held as a main learning (and thus IQ boosting) trait in over 70% of men.

    The study in which all the fuss was created in was the fallacy in which the study did not go into detail to make sure it was essentially eliminating everything possible but the gender as a control. Thus documentation and the entire study itself can be objectively viewed as…moot.

    If you have been in college or school lately…in say the last 20 years, you’ll notice a push towards heavy BOOK material, rather then a teacher writing everything out, going over it with the class a few times and calling it a day.

    Girls have the advantage of storing that information from books faster then men, its a teaching style that is passed on in many successful woman teachers, and their grades usually reflect a high bias on WOMEN because of their methods. However, male teachers usually have an overall lower WOMAN average scores if they use the style that benefits MEN the most.

    You see its not really a question of gender IQ, but rather the thinking process and how the developement and thus growth of the mind is influenced by different methods of teaching and understanding the world around us. Since all IQ tests are inexorably flawed and reflect highly on things like spelling, math and other aspects of advanced knowledge to test ‘thinking’ you have a pitfall when someone does not recall the teaching and cannot solve or remember the problem.

    In this case the IQ test was as much to blame as the methods of teaching themselves and cannot be able to judge sex related IQ differences as the environment of developement is too unstable and the test is done on faulty procedures. In essence that was the major problem of the study and largely his fault for failing to understand it.

    As for gender theory…I’m staying the hell out of that!

    Posted by Brandy | August 23, 2007, 2:29 am
  18. “Women do possess a lower average IQ then men, simple as that.”

    Why? Because men say so!

    Pssst… the person with the highest IQ in recorded history is a woman. And the girls are soundly kicking the boys ass across the nation in academics. So maybe on Fantasy Island men have higher IQs than women. But not on this planet.

    Posted by Luckynkl | August 23, 2007, 6:41 am
  19. Just to muddle the waters a bit more, or clarify I guess depending on your point of view:

    http://www.megafoundation.org/Genius/GenderCognition.htm

    Men are better mathematicians

    True: Although the gap has narrowed with the equalization of opportunity between genders, there is a persistent male advantage in mathematical performance (at least as it stands today). This is particularly true in the more advanced realms of theoretical mathematics and physics.

    ##

    Hormones exert a significant effect on cognition

    True: Not only do hormones exert a profound influence on emotional behavior, but there is strong evidence of the relationship between hormone levels and cognitive functioning. This includes support for a curvilinear relationship between testosterone levels and spatial ability, and a linear relationship between estrogen levels and verbal skills. This effect is profound enough in some females to diminish the left field advantage, or cause a shift to right field superiority, when female hormone levels fall to a minimum during the premenstrual phase.

    Heh. “female hormone levels fall to a minimum during the premenstrual phase”. You know, when we go all unstable, crazy and require all those anti-depressants?

    Because, we’re more like men at that time.

    Posted by Sis | August 23, 2007, 2:59 pm
  20. “Women do possess a lower average IQ then men, simple as that.”

    That is what I believed (many years ago) until I looked at the research. The research indicates the exact opposite of the above-stated common view. Here is what the research shows:

    – Some IQ tests show an advantage for women and some show an advantage for men. Factor analysis of these IQ tests show that males have females have equal average IQ and equal IQ variance.
    – Stereotype threats depress the scores of females and blacks in various tests, including IQ tests. When the stereotype threat is removed, women perform as well as men on difficult math tests. Under normal testing conditions (when the stereotype threat is not removed), women perform worse than men on difficult math tests. The stereotype threat depresses the scores of women more on the higher end of math ability than on the lower end.
    – Babies who are breastfed have higher IQs than babies who are not breastfed or are breastfed for a shorter period. Girl babies are breastfed less often and for lesser periods than boy babies.

    The logical conclusion from the above is that without the stereotype threat and with equal treatment as babies/children, females would have higher IQ scores as compared with men and equal or higher scores in Math as well.

    In fact, among blacks, women have higher IQs than men. This is probably because the stereotype threat affects black men too, reducing their societal advantage over black women somewhat.

    Posted by Kali | August 23, 2007, 4:49 pm
  21. Yes, and I read research that said when children are tested for various abilities for entering the first grade, girls perform better than boys on all tests, including spatial perception and math, except science, in which boys perform slighty better.

    Posted by Branjor | August 23, 2007, 6:11 pm
  22. when I was in 8th grade, we had to do math problems that required us to visualize the rotation of a 3-D object. After struggling with the concept, I remembered being taught that men are naturally better at this sort of challenge than women, so I gave up trying to figure it out. I mean, I couldn’t change my woman-brain, right? Some of my male peers came to a similar conclusion regarding their ability in English class (as we were taught that women were naturally better at reading comprehension and writing).

    that is fucked up and sad.

    Posted by sbravo | August 23, 2007, 6:41 pm
  23. Branjor, yes.

    Girlhood in the patriarchy is the process of being relentlessly dumbed down.

    Mary

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | August 23, 2007, 6:53 pm
  24. The really stupid thing about the 3D rotation stuff is that, as far as I can tell, most people, male or female find it very difficult. I’ve met very few people who find it as easy as I do, and all of them were in engineering/math fields. I’ve always found it particularly annoying when people say that men have better visual/spacial skills because from my point of view they have nothing of the sort. It’s also made me very distrustful of male/female brain theories, because I know my brain is very likely to be considered a “male” brain, based entirely on my visual/spacial skills.

    The only physical cause I’ve heard linked to visual/spacial ability is childhood ear infections, which certainly fits my history. I’m not sure if boys are more likely to have them than girls though. I’m betting on most differences coming from things like more men having training in math, engineering, etc.

    Posted by keen | August 23, 2007, 8:17 pm
  25. The tactics used by many transgendered to discredit any who disagree with them offends any rational person.

    I know I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: If culture is a social construct and gender is a social construct, then the whole changing-of-genitalia issue is MOOT. TG is an issue which only serves to disguise a deeper issue, that of sexism and gender bias. Nobody has a good rebuttal for that, which is why nobody ever even attempts one. Case closed until somebody comes up with a logical answer.

    Personally, I think you guys should be repeating that until you are blue in the face.

    The only rebuttal which makes any kind of logical sense is “choice”, but it still is not a complete answer. “I want the choice to do whatever I want with my body and you are going to validate my choice”. Well, I can demand all sorts of things, doesn’t mean my choices are entitled to automatic validation.

    Show me the logic, and I’ll change my opinion.

    Posted by m Andrea | August 23, 2007, 8:38 pm
  26. There is a white heterosexual-male supremacist (WHMS) liberalism in some comments here that keeps showing up: in focusing on the actions of a few individuals over structural political reality; in defaulting to a valuation of “logic” and “science” when we know both are seriously WHMS to the core. What I hear Yolanda saying is simply structurally true, from a radical feminist point of view: no matter what tactics any transgender person in North America employs, that doesn’t make trans folks structurally more powerful than white men. Period.

    I am deeply troubled by what some North American WHMS trans people are doing: attempting to silence lesbians, attempting to infiltrate or invade women’s spaces, such as at MWMF, attempting to claim gender statuses based on having sets of uncritically examined feelings and senses of self, or because of having “gender reassignment” surgery. I stand in opposition to the behaviors of those who attempt to force feminist/anti-racist/anti-heterosexist women to accommodate the values of WHMS, no matter who is doing the promoting of those values.

    But, in my view, it does matter who is doing what, in terms of activist coalition-building. Non-trans men of color being homophobic doesn’t structurally effect me the way white heteromen being homophobic does. Anyone can bully, beat, or kill me for being gay. For the record, all who have bullied and beaten me have been white males: this is not anecdotal; it is the inevitable outcome of living in a society dominated by white heteromen with WHMS values. Political reality wouldn’t be otherwise if I had been bullied as a teen by boys of color: my enemy, structurally speaking, is never men of color, heterosexual or gay, because I am always, structurally, a white man.

    Trans people do not have institutional power; they have qualified power as individuals that is never socially unmarginalized. I may be utterly pissed off by or be threatened by some people who are structurally less powerful than I am, but as someone who supports a radical analysis and course of action, it is my responsibility to strive to be aware of my entitlements and location, regardless of anecdotal individual experiences that temporarily appear to pause my privilege. In reality, far more of my individual experiences support my privileges, and I believe this to be the case for the vast majority of privileged people: reality bears out what radical feminists of color know about who gets harmed and why, not (only) individually, but as a class.

    Yolanda earlier raised serious concerns about the professed politics of J. Michael Bailey, a white man with a PhD and access to publishing houses. I find it both accurate and worth noting that no trans person has as much institutional power as him.

    White heterosexual men routinely silence lesbians of many colors in ways that go far beyond (in reach, in scope, in capacity to do harm) what happens to some women due to the actions of some trans people. Misogyny should be named wherever it lives. And most of the ways white heterosexual men express their misogyny are not necessarily apparent, glaring, or (in the mainstream) newsworthy. Sometimes, of course, they are. But Yolanda’s points are solid (whether or not this whiteboy says so).

    Posted by Julian | August 24, 2007, 1:03 am
  27. Bailey, a white man with a PhD and access to publishing houses. I find it both accurate and worth noting that no trans person has as much institutional power as him.

    While I’m pretty much in agreement with most of what you say here, Julian, I’m not sure as to the above. I think transwomen who are located similarly with Bailey — who are tenured, advanced degrees, published, and so on– likely do have as much institutional power as Bailey. Maybe I should say, they seem to me to have equal power at least in academia, which is one face of institutional power. And I see transwomen having substantial power as compared with lesbians and radical women, too, of all races. I see transwomen getting book deals, speaking all over the country, getting tenured, getting plum jobs, again in academia. I see them deeply influencing “Gender Studies” programs throughout the country, programs which have supplanted women’s studies programs. Try being a radical feminist/lesbian separatist and managing any of the above– getting a book deal without compromising your integrity. Getting tenured. Getting speaking engagements and plum jobs. It is like pushing a huge boulder up a mountain.

    Having said that, I didn’t post the NYT article excerpts because I think Bailey is, for example, being “oppressed” by transpersons or anybody else. As you and Yolanda say, he’s an affluent middle class white guy and therefore enjoys substantial privilege. I posted the article excerpts as yet another example of the down and dirty tactics of some prominent transpersons who are leaders, and who do have access to institutional power, to wealth and to influence. I didn’t post the article because I agree with Bailey. I won’t know what I think of him until I read his books. I posted the article excerpts because regardless what the guy believes or writes, the tactics used against him were despicable and inexcusable, in the same way the tactics used against Catherine Crouch, Bitch, Michfest, and Vancouver Rape Relief were despicable and inexcusable. That’s something I’m thinking a lot about right now having just seen the Gendercator and returned from Michfest, and it’s these disgusting and sometimes criminal *acts* that caught my attention and, I believe, the attention of the writer who sent the article to me.

    But thanks for your comment, I appreciate it.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | August 24, 2007, 2:50 am
  28. “Kitty, that was my first thought too! Women know these kinds of accusations won’t get them anywhere. I didn’t think of it in terms of men imitating what they believe us to be like, just in terms of men generally expecting to be able to make any kind of accusation and get away with it. You’re right though, this is really how they think women act.”

    Interesting point and I think key.

    Posted by profacero | August 24, 2007, 4:29 am
  29. I think what Julian says sounds nice but really doesn’t take into consideration that unlike every other oppressed social group, no one has *any* idea what “trans” is. No one has a clue. Does it count people who pass or don’t pass or both? Does it take into account that people claim they are moving OUT of oppression by transitioning, or at least to a lesser or more normalized kind of oppression? What about debates between people of the “trans community” over who is authentic and who is merely a “transvestite” (as if it’s a dirty word)?

    All of that is elided when you just say “trans people occupy position x in society.”

    Indeed, how can one even say “white heterosexual-male supremacist” as if it means something when some white heterosexual males have access to locating themselves on a “gender spectrum” when others do not (or have no reason to, for the most part)? All of that is fracturing the very arguments that Julian is, ironically, trying to employ in defense of that.

    Posted by Rich | August 24, 2007, 2:20 pm
  30. That is interesting, Rich. I have similar doubts about the valorization of “hybridity” and “heterogeneity” in literary and cultural studies, some forms of postcolonial theory, and also some theorizations of race and identity.

    [Famous example: Vasconcelos’ “The Cosmic Race” values mixture but notice how very often mixture is construed to include whiteness … at which point how do you distinguish between transgressive mixture and hierarchy-serving ‘whitening’.]

    Also: there must be some term in logic for the rhetorical strategy of weaseling out of behavior by invoking an identity.
    As in: “Because I am mixed, I could never do anything racist.”

    Posted by profacero | August 24, 2007, 6:26 pm
  31. In looking for resources on LJ about unschooling, I ran across a transman’s LJ. He was ranting about the MWMF’s anti-trans policy. One of his commenters denounced feminists for thinking that gender had to do with physical structure and hormones and stuff like that.

    Near as I could tell, both the OP and the commenter were using testosterone.

    *headdesk*

    They really don’t get it, do they?

    I mean, I’m fine with someone deciding they want to live as the opposite sex. Great. Knock yourself out. I view it as body modification. I will even call that person whatever gender pronoun they desire.

    But politically, transgender is problematic for me on all sorts of levels which have been adequately (I feel) articulated here, and I won’t repeat them. It just feels like a propping-up of the existing social mores about sex and gender expression–and they expect radfems to welcome them with open arms in that context? On top of that we’re supposed to be mind-readers and welcome them into our born-women-only spaces? Um… no.

    (By “transman”, by the way, I mean FTM.)

    Posted by radicalearthling | August 24, 2007, 6:31 pm
  32. Heart wrote:

    I do believe many transpersons are oppressed and marginalized, and I support their efforts to end their own subordination and disenfranchisement. But mostly when I say this, I’m thinking about poor transpersons, transpersons of color, transpersons forced into prostitution, transpersons who will never be able to afford to transition, except at great risk in some underground, back-alley way that might kill them. These are the people I would go to the mat for. These white assholes with 30, 40 years of male privilege, bucks and bucks, degrees, tenure, criss crossing the country spouting off to gullible progressive wanna bes who have never thought deeply about what this is all about, people who advocate all the day long for gender binaries, gender essentialism (though they won’t cop to it, either because their blind spots won’t allow them to or they are dishonest) and who lie their ass off continually about radical feminists especially? Hell no. Marginalized and oppressed my ass.

    I would like to expand on what Heart wrote, she is dead on target. I know all the players in this ugly conflict, primarily because I was one of the first intersex activists and I’ve met hundreds if not thousands of autogynephilic transsexuals, the type who are waging the character asassination of Michael Bailey. Oh and on me too… also ANYONE who even does not unquestionedly support the socially privileged construction of gender identity which holds that a normal appearing man can be “a woman inside” for some part of his adult life.

    I also know the other type of transsexual as well, called homosexual transsexuals in the medical literature. A more different population from the privileged and powerful transsexuals who are getting away, at least so far, with cultural murder, cannot be imagined. Transsexuals like Lynn Conway or Gwen Smith are not getting killed in the street because they are latina or black but on websites like “Remembering Our Dead” (we call it “Exploiting Our Dead”) white, middle class transsexuals engage in erasing the class and syndrome distinctions between them and a population they have absolutely nothing in common with. This is a socio-political appropriation of their history, circumstances and social identity… not one they need for their social identities – none of them want to be out “HS transsexuals” any more than intersex activists ever did activism so we could “identify” as “intersexuals”. An accurate socio-medical understanding of what is going on with them is neccessary for them to get treatment instead of being kicked out on the street when they are 14. It is the ability of another class and typeology of transsexual to colonize other lives which earns them sympathy as “oppressed transwomen”. They are anything but oppressed, but they are quite skilled in oppressing others and have absolutely no qualms about exercising their entitlement to do so. I don’t want to go on too long about this but I am able to point out many examples of this power on Andrea James’ website as well as Lynn Conway’s, two of the major architects of this conflict. You will predictably see incredible classism and sexism… Lynn Conways interpretation of how she impregnated her wife twice requires explaining after all and it’s a doozy.

    These transsexuals also engage in pro-actively attempting to erase and redefine what intersex activists have accomplished in the last 15 years as well. They are simply not as effective about it as they they have been with the other type of transsexual. But they would erase our issues completely were they able to do so and continue to work to that end.

    Michale Bailey does have class and male privilege. So do his autogynephilic opponents as well. The worst thing that can happen to their stranglehold power to dictate their “identities” is for scientists and society to start making differentiations of syndromes and class membership. They will not give up that power willingly. From an activist POV, Michael Bailey’s book is extremely valuable… despite its flaws. Our approach to changing those flawed ideas has been, hang onto your hats guys, to talk and write about them, to him and the academic community that I have access to. He discusses our issues with genuine interest and respect, and he will change his ideas in the face of convincing evidence.

    Kiira Triea
    http://www.transkids.us

    Posted by Kiira triea | August 25, 2007, 12:59 pm
  33. The problem I have with Transsexualism is their promotion of gender essentialism when gender is a social and cultural construct. It’s dynamic. It changes within one culture and between cultures. It is heavily influenced by priveledged classes interacting with underpriveledged classes, to the degree and extent of oppression and priveledge. There is no female brain. Female hormones do not, for instance, make women want to wear bras and dresses. Male hormones may make men want to see women in body modification, to the degree that they oppress and sexualize women. You can see this in other cultures where men oppress women as well. It may not be bras, but it may be some other sexualized part, depending only on the male priveledged culture and the extent of bodily modification of women is probably proportional to the degree women are oppressed and enslaved in that culture.

    We cannot call wearing dresses, make-up, being polite, passive “feminine” when make-up and being polite or passive are only normal for women because they are socially enforced norms for women. If we can reference cultures where women are not “meak”, polite, and wear makeup, we can rest assured that femininity as we understand it is a -cultural construct-.

    This doesnt’ mean that, within any society, it is going to be very simple to “be feminine” or “be masculine”. I do not think MTF Transsexuals identify with women just because they are feminine. I think, for some reason, they simply identify as women strongly, and therefore want to reinforce their womanness by adopting all things they believe to be “female” because for some reason they believe inside that they are women. There are plenty of females who have very “masculine” character traits, and yet never would identify as a man, or want to be a man.

    So what the transsexuals are promoting to me when they call for gender essentialism “studies”, and say that they are females inside because they are “feminine”, seems very backwards and dishonest, not to mention harmful to (real) women’s progression. Any organization or group truly interested in women’s progress must not accept gender essentialism.

    Posted by Kiuku | August 25, 2007, 6:01 pm
  34. Hey, Kiira triea, thanks for that good comment which puts everything into good focus. I’ve got to get Bailey’s book and read it for myself.

    Kiuku, so true re the way gender essentialism needs to go if women are going to move forward.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | August 26, 2007, 1:53 pm
  35. Came back to clarify that I really don’t mind TG’s one way or the other and I do have sympathy for them, but their insistance on being included in woman-only space burns.

    Kiuku, biologists are coming up with good reseach all the time on how androgens affects the brain, so even a first year student would shred that part of your comment. There is measurable differences in brain chemistry between males and females. It is only our male-dominated culture which reserves the “correct” designation for males; neither chemical balance is inherently “better” than the other, overall.

    Hormones don’t make women wear pretty dresses, hormones effect how physiology is expressed through cultural norms. It’s an intersection of two things, not either/or.

    Science would actually support radical feminist desire to maintain seperate space, as logic would indicate that if someone needs sufficient quantity of progesterones to look physically female, then they weren’t all that female to begin with.

    There is nothing inherently wrong with using logic, especially when we can use it to our benefit. Some people see a tool used to suppress a gender, and blame the tool. Try blaming the one welding the tool instead.

    Posted by m Andrea | August 27, 2007, 3:22 am
  36. Go, mAndrea!

    You said it all for me.
    😀

    Mary

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | August 27, 2007, 10:02 am
  37. ***Hormones don’t make women wear pretty dresses, hormones effect how physiology is expressed through cultural norms. It’s an intersection of two things, not either/or.***

    I don’t exactly understand this. Are you saying that hormones, in combination with cultural norms, make women wear pretty dresses? In that case, I would have to strongly disagree. Hormones are totally innocent in this wearing of pretty dresses, cultural norms are the reason. That, and sometimes, personal preferences, but these are not caused by hormones. What’s missing in this is an awareness of the plasticity of the human female, with the same “physiologies” displaying wide variations in behavior and outer presentation, sometimes on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.

    Posted by Branjor | August 27, 2007, 12:54 pm
  38. I meant to say, the same “physiologies” in combination with the same cultural norms displaying wide variations in behavior and outer presentation, sometimes on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.

    Posted by Branjor | August 27, 2007, 12:58 pm
  39. “This man (supposedly a MTF woman) accuses another man (the doctor) of having sex with him because it is what men (rapists) believe in the deepest depths of their bowels to be female behavior. This MTF is attempting to intimate a woman (defined by men) by accusing a man of having sex with him hoping he will get the slither of creditability that she (the hypothetical woman) gets some of the time (but real yes I said it, real women know the deal and know that in reality real women cannot bank on any accusation when it is against a male). Talk about exploitation, monopolizing privilege, here it is, in transgender form, males using male tactics to remain entitled to reap havoc while exploiting the ideology of the female gender that was created to begin with to benefit males.”

    This is a brilliant, succinct observation of the psychology belying his accusation. It’s disgusting, like a living black-face routine or something, but the woman-version somehow goes so much further than that. I couldn’t have even imagined that was possible.

    Posted by K.A. | August 28, 2007, 8:23 am
  40. I spelled imitate wrong. Sorry.

    The red flag for me was the broken female-born-female society-conditioned-female code. I would say girl code , but the connotations have been exploited by pop culture and now means something to do with girls not recognizing behaviors that may interfere with another girl attracting the attention of a boy. Using old-fashioned patriarchal language it simply would be cock blocking (the rooster, not the pet name for the penis, —- nasties). Yet that transformation in itself would be an example of male appropriation, make an animal behavior analogous to their little dangalangs. @_@ It is all about their dicks. Another @_@ before I move to my point).

    A female-born-female conditioned by society to be a female would not rely on the accusation of rape or sex to be a card as in a power tool, “she played the rape card.” Why because in most cases when the rape is real, true, the accusation has not proven to be a tool. If anything the accusation compounds the woman’s problem. Women who have been raped or empathize with rape because she is vulnerable to rape would immensely understand the un-sacredness of lying about rape.

    In the MTF case he claimed he had sex with Dr. Bailey played the “sex with therapist card” which is not exactly a rape accusation but close enough because if proven it would expose Dr. Bailey as unethical (unworthy of being taken seriously) which was one of the accusations. Most (not all, because exceptions to the rules) male-born-males conditioned by society to be men, brought up with male privilege would systematically view an accusation of rape or sex that may be viewed conflicting as a power tactic. Women by default do not view rape accusations or inappropriate sex (coerced sex by a therapist or supervisor which in turn would basically be rape) as a tool to be utilized to fight men because that tactic does not reconcile with our reality. Men know this. Yet being the opportunists of dominance that men are conditioned to be they attempt to revise reality and make everyone think women lie about rape so men can rape without penalty. Also, since everything is a power play he views an accusation of rape as power because it is a power comeback regardless of how weak of a power comeback society (male-dominated) has allowed it to be. So naturally, if a man is pretending to be a woman and get caught up in a power struggle with another man he will resort to using power tactics that have proven beneficial to men without considering the consequences his actions would have on women even though he is supposedly representing women (The MTF was so caught up in the pissing contest and pretending to be a woman that he fooled himself into thinking that a sex claim would give him more power than it actually does. I say welcome to our world. It does not give us power even when the rape is real, when the rape did occurred). That is why women-born-women who are brought up (conditioned) as women can recognize a breech in code and know that transexuals such as this one is not a female-oriented ally.

    Posted by E.K. "Kitty" Glendower | August 28, 2007, 9:39 pm
  41. “So naturally, if a man is pretending to be a woman and get caught up in a power struggle with another man he will resort to using power tactics that have proven beneficial to men without considering the consequences his actions would have on women even though he is supposedly representing women (The MTF was so caught up in the pissing contest and pretending to be a woman that he fooled himself into thinking that a sex claim would give him more power than it actually does. I say welcome to our world. It does not give us power even when the rape is real, when the rape did occurred).”

    This is so true! There is nothing observant that I can add to this, except that it sickens me. Really, is there anywhere to look without woman-hatred awaiting? All of society promotes Women™ as women qua blackface routine (or its equivalent), especially these transgender “activists.”

    Actually, now your analysis and this article reminds me of something related. I quit my job a few years ago over having a boss that was like one of these guys, and I finally got the nerve to write him an e-mail this week (in part because of finding validation for the first time through this website). He at least offered to give me a glowing job reference, although he completely ignored the harassment part of it. Anyway, I am reminded of one incident at work where he attributed his little obsessive fetish (it’s totally autogynophilia; he was really upset that he couldn’t get a GID diagnosis) to the time he was “attacked,” presumably sexually, by one of his male friends in high school. Y’know, because fending off an attempted sexual assault is what deposited the seeds of his femininity. Rape-object is the essence of a woman? Is that his idea? I guess fetishizing oneself as a woman could go hand-in-hand with this origin theory if his conception of sex was based on violently doing something to a female and conflating “female” with “receptacle for sexual aggression” in the first place. Wonder where men get that idea at all?

    Posted by K.A. | August 29, 2007, 6:17 am
  42. The patriarchal power-play aspect of it was spot-on, but I wonder if it’s also part of his fetishized role. Maybe he thinks: “If men want to have sex with me and dominate me, I will feel validated as successfully inhabiting a woman’s role in this BDSM society!” Maybe he also lies to himself about the reality of the situation; perhaps he deludingly brainwashed himself into believing the accusation because regularly being the victim of sexual dominance is what he has always envisioned, pre-transitioning, as part of his dream for reaching the womanhood goal.

    Stated another way, getting to have experiences like this, whether real or not, was the point of the operation! If this is something men do to biological women, and if he can make himself believe this guy wants to do this to him, he is now a proven “real woman.” Fetish complete.

    It would seem an oxymoron that he’s still playing patriarch via that power-play mentality, while still forcing the doctor to be complicit in his fetishized female position. But it could be both. It may be a submissive-female-brutalized-by-the-bully-male fantasy exchange, but forcing the complicity of another person’s participation in feeding his psychosexual ego in such an elaborate role-playing fetish would still be a patriarchal mindset.

    Interestingly, playing this “zOmg women are so weak! YAY!”-role only seems to be desirable to them in certain scenarios when they’re around men. The submissive fantasy role-playing game goes away and the ghost of their prick haunts any joint where they’re around women!

    Posted by K.A. | August 29, 2007, 7:11 am
  43. I think you’re absolutely right KA. It’s something Nora Ephron commented on years ago, when speaking of a man who had changed gender. Who would think this was being a woman? Who but a man.

    Posted by Sis | August 29, 2007, 4:37 pm
  44. I can understand that fetishization theory and agree with the possibility. It seems to create a degree of absolute privilege. The FTM has the male privilege (default conditioning) to compete with other men in a male dominated (and elevated) society and he is able to fulfill his sexual fetishes fully. He therefore achieves the political as personal and the personal as political. He is not forced to move around or on the outside of power structures because he benefits from actual powers and perceived powers, which are perceptions created by male power already and is able to freely move about on the inside. He is certainly not pushed into the margins because he is armed with tools that will never allow it.

    Both power moves have nothing to do with the plight of being an oppressed woman or liberating her from that oppression. However, both power moves allow him to have everything he wants.

    Posted by E.K. "Kitty" Glendower | August 29, 2007, 6:16 pm
  45. Branjor, thanks for asking for clarification, sometimes I forget to do that. I knew I didn’t say that exactly right, and was hoping some scientisty person would come along and fix it. Branjor, I think we both mean the same thing. Agreed that of course humans are always along a continuum.

    Hormones do not cause women to wear pretty dresses. Hormones would cause someone to want sex. Culture would influence how that person presented themselves to potential partners in order to satisfy their need for sex. So yes, an intersection.

    Talked with a neurobiologist today and she told me this part of my comment:

    “if someone needs sufficient quantity of progesterones to look physically female, then they weren’t all that female [brained] to begin with. ”

    is actually incorrect, if you want to be picky, and I do! For clarification, I was originally referring to the quantity of hormone levels in the brain, expecting there to be some correlation with hormone levels in the body.

    She told me this was not the case, and I’m not going to repeat what else she said, for fear I’ll screw it up. She also said there is no controversy within the field that there are distinct differences in male and female brain structure and hormone levels within the brain. So yes, there are female brains and male brains, along a continuum of course, but there is not always corresponding hormones levels in the body. Interesting!

    Posted by m Andrea | August 30, 2007, 3:23 am
  46. Interesting. One difference in male and female brains that I know of is that female brains have more connections between the hemispheres than male brains do. This, interestingly, was the only atypical thing found upon examination of the brain of Albert Einstein after death – he had more interhemishere connections in his brain than a normal male, more like a normal female.

    Posted by Branjor | August 30, 2007, 12:09 pm
  47. Thanks sis and EK. EK, that’s a good point about it giving them absolute power. They are only able to reach this position because they weren’t a marginalized transperson of color in the first place, so I call bullshit when they cry about the operation signifying the loss of male privilege and-why-don’t-you-get-that-you-stupid-bitch? They haven’t lost anything. They weighed their sexual desires against the times they’d be gawked at when they failed to pass in public, and the former won out for them. They chose to get what they really want, and that’s power.

    A lot of studies try to prove that science and math guys are more “female”–physically and mentally–while trial lawyers and politicians are more masculinized. They try to do this with digit ratios, which have been unreliable in some studies. But this just goes to show that hormone levels exist on a continuum, and defining some target range and its behavioral correlates as quintessentially “male” or “female” is still perpetuating male-female gender binaries. One of the most frightening fallacies I see in most of these studies is the willingness to take any type of dimorphism that correlates with hormone levels and generalize it to male/female behavior. There are traits that may be mediated by hormones, but they are not the only way the traits can be mediated. There are tall women, short men, outspoken women, shy men, etc. Height and behavior may correlate with hormone levels somewhat, but they are also mediated by other genetic and environmental factors. We wouldn’t say the average shy Korean man has a “female height” or a “female demeanor,” would we? Feeling a need to gender everything is as misguided and weird as the romance languages’ treatment of the world. Setting standards of acceptable dimorphism based on hormonal correlates may inadvertently cause people to select against positive traits that weren’t mediated by hormones in the first place, i.e., if the culture tries to promote the idea that math ability or being handy around the house is a sexually dimorphic trait, there are some smart women with lots of exceptional brain matter and little “virilization” who are not going to be able to pass their smartness genes along as readily in the gene pool. When we look at how stupid human beings are today, I just think back to the times when intelligence was considered a sexually dimorphic trait. Genes for intelligence were selected against in the gene pool because of their presumption that exceptional women were not women! Now that I think about it, it’s likely that men who weren’t violent and aggressive were selected against due to this sexual selection construct denigrating their hereditary (or even socialized) personality, at least where these traits were assigned as gender-specific and enforced by mating norms.

    Posted by K.A. | August 31, 2007, 1:20 am
  48. This thread is old and gone, but:

    http://www.scientificblogging.com/jmichaelbailey/transsexual_smokescreen_ignoring_science_in_the_man_who_would_be_queen?page=1

    Dr. Bailey responds to criticism here. I didn’t read through the commenters’ dialogue following his statement, but one woman hit the nail on the head by coining the term “autoandrophobia,” i.e., many men fetishize being women, but some men don’t feel comfortable in patriarchally prescribed gender constructions, so they mistakenly believe they had this dormant dichotomous woman living inside them all along who needs to be brought to full fruition anatomically if their normal personalities are to be free, rather than constricted by oppressive masculinity norms.

    Posted by K.A. | September 11, 2007, 12:44 am

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