The Transsexual Empire 2: Coming to a Bookstore Near You in 2013!!!

From Transmeditations:  http://transmeditations.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/the-transsexual-empire-2-coming-to-a-bookstore-near-you-in-2013/

By Joelle Ruby Ryan
May 29, 2012

Reposted with Permission

I truly enjoyed reading Roz Kaveny’s spot-on article on Rad Fem 2012 that was recently printed in the UK Newspaper The Guardian.  If you have not read it, please read it here.

While reading Roz’s article, I discovered that “rad fem” anti-trans ideologue Sheila Jeffreys is working on a new book.  Entitled Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism, and slated to be published by Routledge in October 2013, the blurb for the forthcoming book reads as follows:

“Transgender describes those who seek recognition as the opposite sex or gender on a long-term basis. The idea and practice of transgenderism now affects legal systems, schoolteachers, parents, wives and partners, and the politics of gender in profound ways.  Gender Hurts examines the wider social and political context and implications of the phenomenon of transgenderism. Jeffreys and Gottschalk propose that gender in western culture is socially constructed as the basis of male domination and that the concept of gender has the potential to hurt many. They argue that in transgenderism the hurt can take several forms; psychologically, physically and socially. This book explore how the phenomenon is affecting people’s lives from exploring the implications for the children and adults who are diagnosed as having gender identity disorder, to the survivors’ movement who claim to have been misdiagnosed, and the impact on the partners of transgenders.  This controversial book is a must read for all students and scholars of the politics of sexuality, women’s studies, gender studies, queer studies, transgender studies and cultural studies courses.”

When perusing the page on Amazon, I noticed that Jeffreys has a co-author for the book, another Australian professor named Lorene Gottschalk.  I had never heard of her, so after a Google search I found this page, which is principally about Jeffreys’s slate of research.  However, Gottschalk name’s had come up because:

“Phd supervisions completed:
2000: Lorene Gottschalk’s ‘Feminism and the Construction of Lesbianism. A Comparison of Lesbians’ Experiences in Feminist and Non-Feminist Contexts’.”

So, Jeffreys is writing a new transphobic book with her former dissertation advisee.  Can you say déjà-vu?  Back in 1979, Janice Raymond released her anti-transsexual screed The Transsexual Empire and poisoned the feminist well against trans folks for many years to come with her vitriol.  And guess what?  Raymond began the project at Boston College under her dissertation adviser, lesbian separatist Mary Daly.  Nearly 35 years later, we see history repeating itself.  But my question is this: given how far we have come in terms of transgender liberation, activism and civil rights in the past three decades, how has it come to pass that another bitterly anti-trans book in the name of “feminism” (The Transsexual Empire 2?) is being written at all, much less published by a reputable publisher of gender studies books, Routledge?   I mean if it was Spinifex, I would be highly unsurprised, but Routledge?

Jeffreys wrote a sort of rebuttal to Kaveny’s piece complaining bitterly about Conway Hall’s decision to disallow her from speaking on the Rad Fem 2012 platform of scheduled speakers. See here. She particularly does not like us transgender activists spreading the word about Jeffreys vile work on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as all over the Blogosphere.  Jeffreys has the audacity to complain about this commendable action by Conway Hall as “censorship” and bemoans trans activists like myself for calling her out for her hatefulness.  SHE IS HATEFUL!  Sorry, but given that the kind of person she is talking about is my kind of person [trans folks], WE get to decide what is and is not hateful to us, not her privileged, cisgendered behind.  And this is from a woman who has published eight books, is a Full Professor, and someone who has lectured around the globe?  And yet she is claiming to be “censored”? Is this a joke?  And you are going to make outlandish, outrageous, and deeply offensive claims about trans people and not expect to get any push-back and paint yourself as the victim?  And you are going to frame yourself as contributing to a “debate” about transgenderism?  Really???  And since this “debate” was to happen at Rad Fem 2012, how in the hell were transgender women going to take part in the debate given that we are officially banned from attending?!?

If Sheila Jeffreys had her way, gender confirmation surgery, hormone replacement therapy, puberty blockers, etc.  would not even be available to transgender youth and adults as the necessary medical treatments that they are.  She would, like her transphobic predecessor, Raymond, gleefully like to “morally mandate” the “problem” of transgenderism out of existence.  Well, the good news is that it is not 1979 anymore.  The trans community is exponentially more powerful than it was then, and the Internet has help to propel our activism like never before.  I, of course, strongly support freedom of speech and freedom of expression.  But frankly, that is neither here nor there in this case.  Just as I do not want to roll out the red carpet for Klansmen and Neo-Nazis, nor do I want to aid and abet cis-supremacist Jeffreys from getting more and larger platforms from which to spread her transphobic vitriol.  I hope that people continue to speak out against Jeffreys and use whatever power and agency they have to expose her dangerous bigotry and her attempts to negatively affect social policy regarding one of the most vulnerable and discriminated against groups in the world.

All Survivors Deserve Support: Activists Intervene at Rape Relief Walkathon

Well the transsexual/transgender hating RadFem Bigots of the Vancouver Rape Crisis Centre are back in the news again…

From The Vancouver Media Co-op:  http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/blog/flux/11077

by The Homomilitia
May 28, 2012

This blog post was written by The Homomilitia.

VANCOUVER – A small group of activists gathered at Second Beach in Stanley park Sunday to provide participants in Rape Relief’s Annual Walkathon with some alternative information highlighting the organization’s ongoing and outspoken exclusionary stance on trans women, sex workers, and substance use.

We had decided on maintaining a relatively low key presence at the event, recognizing that the space created there may be important to some survivors of sexualized violence and that having a more aggressive demonstration would be inappropriate as it could be triggering or potentially invalidate their experiences.

We distributed pamphlets (click here to download our pamphlet) to walkathon participants and decorated the pavement with positive messages in support of trans women’s rights, sex workers’ rights, harm reduction, and access to support for all survivors of sexualized violence.  Shortly into our intervention, we were approached by three disgruntled representatives from Rape Relief, who proceeded to use scare tactics in an attempt to intimidate and silence us.  They told us that we had to leave, asked for our names, photographed us, said they were going to turn the photographs in to park security, and demanded we hand over our pamphlets.  When we calmly refused, they said they were going to call the park rangers and the police.

When they returned after having allegedly called the police, they asked us to “put politics aside” and use the time before the police arrived as an “opportunity” to either dialogue or leave.  When we again refused, they demanded to know if we were affiliated with a group and why we were “interfering” with their event.  They also claimed that they “already provide this information to women accessing [their] services” and that they don’t “disrupt” “our events”.

Although the police didn’t show up, two park rangers approached us along with the Rape Relief representatives and told us that it is against a bylaw to distribute pamphlets in the park without a permit, that we couldn’t “advertise” in the park, and that we couldn’t have signs (which we didn’t).  They said that we could stay in the park and talk to people if we stopped handing out pamphlets.

Although the park rangers asked for a copy of our pamphlet and wanted to know if we were “with a group”, they insisted that they were not targeting the content of the pamphlet or our presence there.  After the park rangers and Rape Relief representatives left us alone, we regrouped and moved on to the area of the sea wall that participants would reach at the end of the walk.  We covered about 50 feet worth of pavement with positive messages (including “end transphobia,” “end violence against all women”, “transphobia is violence against women”, “<3 harm reduction”, and “<3 sex workers’ rights”), receiving positive feedback from a few passersby.

Our chalk-work was interrupted when two Rape Relief representatives aggressively confronted us, telling us again that we had to leave.  This time, one representative actually grabbed all of our remaining pamphlets and refused to return them.  We took hold of half the stack she had in her hands, at which point she reluctantly let go.  She insisted that we “obviously don’t understand her organization” because she is a volunteer who has worked with both sex workers and trans women – as if claiming to work with a community automatically makes Rape Relief an ally that provides support that is appropriate and non-judgemental.

Moments later, we noticed Rape Relief representatives carrying buckets of water, which they were using to wash away our messages, including messages which simply read, “end violence against all women” and “support services for all women.”  We noticed that they seemed to take extra care to erase all remaining traces of messages that read, “ask Rape Relief about their trans policy,” “transmisogyny is violence” and “end transphobia.”

At this point, the park rangers returned to inform us that they “obviously weren’t clear enough” regarding their bylaws.  They handed us a copy of these bylaws, with the section stating that we couldn’t affix, paint, advertise, or distribute information highlighted.   They informed us that our messages were “defacing park property” and were in breach of the “no advertising” bylaw.

When we challenged them on this, stating that children often draw on sidewalks and that the rain will eventually wash the chalk away, the park rangers argued that “children’s messages aren’t political,” thereby contradicting their earlier insistence that we weren’t being targeted for the content of our messages.  They told us that we could either leave the park, or provide identification and be issued a warning ticket.

We were fairly shaken by Rape Relief’s aggressive, and intimidating response and particularly upset over their choice to efface our messages in such a hostile  manner.  Although we weren’t necessarily shocked, we were disappointed that the organization chose to remove messages of ending violence against all women – messages that we would hope, and perhaps even assume, that any rape crisis centre would support.

Unfortunately, we recognize that we aren’t alone in our experience attempting to confront Rape Relief’s violent policies.  Their actions conform to their now predictable pattern of dismissing and silencing criticism of their organizational policies and culture.  We are committed to challenging how Rape Relief contributes to rape culture through their practices and will continue to support the growth of community responses to violence that support all survivors.

Having attended this event for the first time, we can already think of many ways to improve next year’s strategy.  For anyone interested in sharing this information and strategizing, please contact rape.relief.intervention@gmail.com

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Transgender prostitute awarded $46,000 after sex attack

It should go without saying that sex workers deserve the same rights and protections as non-sex workers.  Including the right to refuse to have sex without condoms.  Or for that matter the right to decide to not have sex with a client and refund the money without being subjected to assault or rape.

From Perth(Australia) Now:  http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/transgender-prostitute-awarded-46000-after-sex-attack/story-e6frg13u-1226374391972

Emily Moulton
May 30, 2012

A FORMER transgender sex worker who was raped by a client has been awarded more than $40,000 criminal injuries compensation.

The woman, who can not be identified, was attacked by a man who she agreed to meet for sex at a Perth hotel in June 2007.

Jason Juma was convicted of three counts of sexual penetration without consent and one count of attempted sexual penetration without consent in the District Court on September 19, 2008. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

According to documents submitted to the criminal injuries assessor, the pair arranged to meet via telephone and once inside the hotel room, agreed on a fee. After they undressed, Juma asked if he could not use a condom.

When the woman refused, Juma persisted with his request several times before attacking his victim.

In her submission, the woman said she told Juma she did not want him in the room anymore and refunded his money. When she walked him to the door he attacked her from behind and digitally penetrated her. He then threatened to punch her and tried to sexually penetrate her up to 15 times.

The woman, who moved to Perth from Sydney to work as a prostitute so she could save money for gender reassignment surgery, claimed she suffered psychological injuries as a result of the attack and had to be hospitalised on a number of occasions.

Continue reading at:  http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/transgender-prostitute-awarded-46000-after-sex-attack/story-e6frg13u-1226374391972

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Faces Transforming: research on female-to-male transsexuals

From The Skinny UK:  http://www.theskinny.co.uk/deviance/features/301923-faces_transforming_research_femaletomale_transsexuals

by Stenton Mackenzie.
Published 29 May 2012

As I study the photographic images before me, the boy’s face radiates innocence and boldness. He looks like a bit of an imp. I look at his adult face, and can still see the impishness in his expression. He is middle aged now, balding, with ruddy, coarse skin and beard shadow. This is rather astounding – because this person started out life as female.

He is one of a growing number of transsexuals in Scotland and, as such, is one of my research subjects. In the Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification (CAHId) at the University of Dundee, my PhD project is documenting for the first time the changes that take place in the faces of FTMs (female-to-male transsexuals) when they take testosterone.

I too, am a female-to-male transsexual – I am an ‘embedded’ researcher. A late starter, I began my transition at age 37 in Canada. My background is in social, and more recently, forensic anthropology.

Female-to-male and male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals are commonly grouped under the Transgender ‘Umbrella’. The trans in transgender means to “cross over”. Transgendered individuals may express a gender presentation and behaviour that does not match their ‘assigned sex’, or the norms of culturally conventional roles. Having said this, categories of gender, sex and sexuality are frequently controversial. More often than not, the most vociferous arguments over labels take place among those on the transgender continuum. This loose collation may embrace a range of identities that resist the male/female binary, such as transvestites, drag Queens and Kings, cross-dressers, and the genderqueer.

At some point or another in their lives, often as young as two or three years, but also as late as their 50’s and 60’s, transsexuals experience overwhelming feelings of dysphoria – a profound sense of disconnection between the sex of the body and a self-perception of gender. Depending on their geographical location and the entrenched concepts and bureaucracy of their society, they may change their bodies hormonally and surgically to reflect the gender identity which defines them.

Continue reading at:  http://www.theskinny.co.uk/deviance/features/301923-faces_transforming_research_femaletomale_transsexuals

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Canada ‘Church vs. State’ showdown sparked by dispute over gay-straight alliances

From LGBTQ Nation:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/05/church-vs-state-showdown-sparked-by-dispute-over-gay-straight-alliances/


May 29, 2012

TORONTO — A dispute over the use of the term “gay-straight alliance” in Ontario schools has prompted the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto on Monday to accuse Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s administration of making “religious freedom . . . a second-class right.”

The church-versus-state showdown was sparked by an amendment from Education Minister Laurel Broten to the anti-bullying bill, closing a loophole that gave schools veto power over club names.

Under the proposed change, all schools — including those in the Catholic system — won’t be able to stop students from calling anti-homophobia clubs “gay-straight alliances.”

Broten said that Ontario’s LGBTQ students received highlighted mention in the legislation, as statistically LGBTQ youth are at increased exposure and risk to being bullied and that schools, parents, and government needs to reinforce the message that this behavior will not be tolerated.

But in an interview with the Toronto Star, Marino Gazzola, chairperson of the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, said Tuesday that using the word “gay” in the name of supportive clubs is going too far.

Continue reading at:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/05/church-vs-state-showdown-sparked-by-dispute-over-gay-straight-alliances/

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Casseroles across Canada: Tonight we resist and dream together

From Rabble Canada:  http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/derrick/2012/05/casseroles-across-canada-tonight-we-resist-and-dream-together

By Derrick O’Keefe
May 30, 2012

I don’t care what the weather report says where you are today: it’s a beautiful day across Canada.

Tonight, in over 60 communities big and small, people will be gathering to celebrate and defend the determined student and people’s movement in Quebec. It’s a night of cross-Canada Casseroles, inspired by the spirited pots and pans protests of the past week in Quebec.

The world’s joining in too, with solidarity Casseroles happening tonight in London, Paris, Brussels, New York City – and even Little Rock, Arkansas, believe it or not.

This is a remarkable and nearly totally spontaneous coming together; the idea of a coordinated ‘Casseroles Night in Canada’ was hatched barely 72 hours ago in some late night twitter banter.

Tonight, in every corner of the country, from Halfmoon Bay to Halifax, Saltspring Island to Sudbury, Whitehorse to Winnipeg (and in 50-some other not-necessarily-alliterative towns and cities), neighbours, friends and perfect strangers will gather to bang some pots and pans in solidarity with the student strike and in defence of civil liberties in Quebec.

Continue reading at:  http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/derrick/2012/05/casseroles-across-canada-tonight-we-resist-and-dream-together

See Also:

Activist Communiqué: Could Wednesdays become ‘Casserole Night in Canada’ in support of the student strike?

Jacques Parizeau weighs in on Quebec protests, NDP remains neutral

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Bilderberg 2012: Secretive summit kicks-off in Virginia

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