Raymond & Bindel

Fleur Black brings up Raymond and Bindel.

Being American I’m more familar with Raymond first hand than with Bindel (who I tend to confuse with a woman who used to write for New Music Express).

A few months back I read a book that was a few years old called “I Used to be Nice” by Sue O’Sullivan who gives me the impression that the feminist anti trans faction in Britian like in the US was just a faction and not the entire movement.

I was in Los Angeles and was involved in the Women’s Building when Raymond first started her bullshit.  I wasn’t the only WBT involved in feminism and I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t trashed.  Indeed most of us weren’t trashed even when people knew our history.

I started out involved in the New Left during the 1960s, had co-run the NTCU in the early 1970s and was known up and down the West Coast as a result of Gay/Lesbian Conferences and speaking at the LA 1974 Pride Day.  But as a member of the feminist community I never made a big deal of my history, a sort of don’t ask and I won’t tell.

About the time the trashing of Sandy Stone happened an article by Raymond came out in a feminist publication  (Chrysalis). It was juxtaposed next to a photo essay of the trans group run by Carol Katz (Sister Mary Elizabeth) and Jude Patton (The place I first heard the term transgender used in conjunction with non-ops).  Much to the consternation of myself and another sister who also was involve in the Women’s Building there were photos of us in the Essay.

I had just started working as a photographer and production artist for “The Lesbian Tide” around that time.  We had two feminist news papers in LA.  The Tide and Sisters.  Sisterswas the one that ran the letter by the mentally ill Angela Douglas that actually caused us more problems than Raymond.

This brings us to “Trashing” during 1970s.  Often times people who got trashed were those who started to rise to leadership roles by working harder than and being the most dedicated.  Trashing was a use of personal attacks on the part of people to call attention to themselves and gain power with out doing the work.

Second Wave feminism didn’t handle the matters of class and race privilege very well.  The idea that women were all the same class was a fiction that just didn’t work. When lower class women managed to work their way into positions of authority over those who were more privileged based on class personal attacks were used to put them in their place.

Thus those who worked the hardest were often those who were trashed.  This was absolutely true in the case of the two WBTs who were trashed in the California feminist movement.

Now something slightly different happened in the 1990s regarding the Michigan Women’s Music Festival in that one of the major figures leading the attacks on WBTs was herself WBT and wanted to throw any suspicion that she might be on to others by leading the attacks.

Again this gets balanced out by many feminists being on our side just as the other women of the Tide and the Women’s Building stood by me and I never heard boo.

BTW a few years ago when a cabal of BB&L supporters were attacking the Trans-theory mailing list I looked at Amazon for another of Raymond’s books and discovered that those who bought Raymond’s book “A Passion for Friends” also tended to by books regarding transsexual and transgender.

This brings me back to something my mommie told me when I was a little kid, “If you keep picking the goddamned scab that scrape will never heal!”

15 Responses to “Raymond & Bindel”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Hm… you make thinking me a lot. Even pre op, I reveived now two invitations to groups with feminist issues, one might be called “Business Women of Switzerland” and the other is a group of IT woman wanting to promote that (wonderful) careerpath to young woman (Information Technology and women is a very interesting thing when it comes to gender, eg. all women in IT business I know did that not by studying but by doing, and the ones studying most often left the field early). And I just dont know, but I think in both cases it might be known to them, that i’m TS (according to your definition i am not WBT for at least 9 long months 😦 )

  2. Ariablue Says:

    Forgive me if I am wrong about WBT, but I don’t believe people who use this term think that surgery magically turns you into woman. That is a misunderstanding I see a lot in the transgender crowd.

    Those who are critical of us, people born with a transsexual condition who happen to be women, seem to have the impression that we think surgery turns us into something different than them. As if we started out the same, and are now trying to create a false distinction. Nobody wants to acknowledge that we are different from them from the start, just because we always have been. Born that way, ya know? Not better, just different.

    I don’t know how that better crap got started anyway. The last thing I would want is to be born with a horrible problem. Just like I wouldn’t want to be born with any of the intersex conditions that lead to dangerous health conditions. Even without life-threatening health issues, being born different makes life very difficult for some of us because of the way society works. I don’t like it either, but I would rather not drag anyone down with me in a fit of pique, as some do. I don’t think I am better or worse than other people, but I am different.

    I don’t appreciate being told who I am and dragged into some political mess for the sake of other people’s convenience. I don’t like being used, or having my scant rights and privileges trashed because some people don’t know how to play nice.

    It isn’t the act of surgery that makes you who you are. That is a genitally-focused view of the world, and is counter to everything that (most) of us believe. It is Woman BORN Transsexual for a reason, if I am not mistaken.

    Some of the critics probably do understand what we are saying and are putting forth the surgery argument as a red herring. It creates a distraction from the truth- that we are born the way we are; the surgeon has nothing to do with it. Surgery is a treatment, nothing more. I hope that those who are considering surgery as a step up some imagined social hierarchy really stop and think about what they are about to do.

  3. tinagrrl Says:

    Different – neither “better” nor “worse” – just different, from the getgo / beginning / start / etc.

    The “better” crap was started by the TG apologists. No matter how many times we’d try to explain, they would come back with cries of “elitism”.

    We did not even claim “separate but equal” (which would have opened us to justified criticism). We just said DIFFERENT.

    Of course, that goes against the Canon of The Faith of Transgender — It’s faith simply because all evidence to the contrary is ignored, and the “true believers” will not even bend enough to say, “transgender and transsexual”.

    A WBT will move heaven and earth to complete her process — IE: have SRS. That’s one of the tells. If you do not really want SRS, you are not WBT.

    One of the reasons I don’t think there is a continuum is that SRS is NOT a “reward” for being a “good crossdresser / TV”. It’s the logical end of one process, and the beginning of another — getting on with your life as a woman.

    It’s really quite simple.

  4. Suzan Says:

    This is also why I use “PWT” People with Transsexualism.

    I really owe a big part of the development of the whole idea to one of the brothers I met in LA who described himself as T to M.

    The idea that we are born transsexual and that we don’t transition from male to female or from female to male but rather from transsexual to either female or male depending was a major part of coming up with WBT. I hashed it out with Tina right after the big Forward Motion Conference I went to.

    The other part… The becoming. It is like SRS is almost a rebirth. It is the end of one stage of life and the start of another.

    People in transition don’t understand why most of us don’t particularly feel we have all that much to offer people still in process once we are a couple of years or so past SRS.

    I realize process gets over used but it is pretty relevant because post SRS is a whole new world with a different set of problems and joys.

  5. Suzan Says:

    Sarah… If you have been invited accept the invitation. Most feminist women are neither Bindel nor Raymond.

    Remember even the two sisters in the US who were most loudly and viciously trashed had far more women who stood behind them than attacked them.

  6. SA-ET Says:

    Different – neither “better” nor “worse” – just different, from the getgo / beginning / start / etc.

    The “better” crap was started by the TG apologists. No matter how many times we’d try to explain, they would come back with cries of “elitism”.

    Yes! Very different. Different doesn’t seem to be a word the transgender understand or, if they do, will accept. Sing cei la vie.

  7. fleur black Says:

    LOL how the TG howl whenever they hear mention that they are different from TS. the arguments they put forth about why they dont have the femaleness of the WBT are pathetic.

    Is it Bailey or Zucker who stupidly says that a WBT who is good at IT is really autogyne or some such crap?

  8. Suzan Says:

    What I find hysterical about BB& L and the whole pile of AP/AGP crap is that when I was an anarcho-commie with a deserter boy friend and hustling I was AP. When I got a girl friend and modeled while learning photography they couldn’t decide if I were AP or AGP.

    I guess they might consider me AGP while I was living on Sunset and doing photography except I was a sort of L-Word Shane type with anything cute boy or girl I wanted to sleep with. (Sleeping is a euphemism)

    Then I took some aptitude tests and listened to a career counselor who was hyping computers. So I went back to school.

    Does this mean a career counselor made me AGP?

    Or does this mean BB & L are totally full of shit?

  9. Sarah Says:

    BBL ist by default complete crap. Sorry, Suzan, Cathryn and other “elders” of our community, but I know the youth.
    Nothing, Bailey Cosmo Test ever tries to say doesn’t fit.
    First me. I learnde a typical female job when I was young but didn’t find my way to the medical community (I built up a hughe antipathy). I later made my way into IT and absolutly liked it.
    I was pre hormones attracted to females (never males) on hormones the complete other way arround.
    Baileys Cosmo test gets extremly confuded on me…
    Then the young girls transitioning I know (there are not so much 45 after familly tranitioners anymore with more media attention) are completly mixed up in there sexual orientation and the most are somewhat in IT. By the way, as now young transitioners most fullfill the “oops im errected factor” that Bailey places in the distinction. Well I think so. And passing? Not a problem. Some of the post Ops I know are so much typical IT people with jeans, sneakers and printed T-Shirt, if there wasn’t something you couldn’t disquinqish them to the male geek role model 😉
    And no one gets them for a male geek :-b

    The Transwomen in IT phaenomenon by the way is a very interesting one, which I very much would like to resolve. There was a statistik about 1.8% of all people becoming famous in IT were WBT (not for the latter)

  10. Suzan Says:

    WBTs and Computing.

    Lots of us were/are book worms. Read lots of Science Fiction. The computer was pushed during the late 1960s and 70s as an up and coming career where book worms with Sci-fi vision were welcome.

    It was also one of the first industries to put non-discrimination clauses into effect for all sorts of things.

    I got into computers through electronic music, musique concrete, layout and production, type setting etc.

    I wanted a computer 10-15 years before they could even come close to doing the things I wanted them to do.

    I still get frustrated at their limitations to deliver information.

    Then too if you have been picked on and bullied there is the neatness of a field where nerds rule.

  11. Sarah Says:

    >Then too if you have been picked on and bullied there is the neatness of a field where nerds rule.

    I think this could be more of a solution to the riddle then any other thng (IQ or such)

    I love to finally get a dialog to you pioneers.

  12. Ariablue Says:

    I transitioned recently too Sarah, so talking with these women who did it before all the TG stuff came along has been very enlightening. From the first time I encountered the gender community, I couldn’t shake the feeling there was something really ‘off’ about the way the whole thing was being described. They used terms like coming out, en femme, and a bunch of other stuff that just didn’t ring with me.

    There is also a dogmatic adherence to the standard narrative of transness. I couldn’t identify with anything being said. Like the lifelong crossdressing from a young age, interest in “female” activities, and all the other things that came out of playing the psych game. Somehow the falsehoods and stereotypes perpetrated by interaction with the psych establishment had been enshrined as truth with a capital T.

    So it’s no wonder a lot, if not most, serious transitioners these days avoid the system. WPATH has Zucker on board and the psych model is increasingly becoming a tribute to certain beliefs about gender norms (as if this is the 50’s again. Why would any of us want to subject ourselves to this kind of inquisition?

    So I avoided “therapy” entirely. I know that sounds like a typical tg move to a lot of the women who transitioned under the system previously, but reality is that I never put my life in the hands of others. If you want something done, you do it. Don’t go looking for permission or absolution from other people, because the default answer is always no.

    The system is broken as far as I am concerned, and I wasn’t going to waste more years of my life hemming and hawing about something that I knew needed to be fixed since I was young. I didn’t grow up with a lot of gender stereotypes, and I’ve always felt all people are equal in a way that must be foreign to most others in my country. I think the US has turned into a bastion of social conformity that is going to make the 1950’s look like a hippy commune.

    Younger people who transition today seem enamored of the genderqueer element. Many of the visible people playing with gender probably aren’t WBT or MBT in the sense we understand. Those who do actually have this condition and choose to be visible don’t represent the majority of young transitioners. I bet most transitioners remain invisible, like the younger women I know. Which then gives the “out” genderqueer trans-youth a voice that is out of proportion to the actual numbers.

    But being loud and saying things designed to inflame tends to get attention anyway. That’s a lot of fun when you are 20-something, and it’s the *only* time you can (marginally) get away with it. It’s nice that there is a certain amount of freedom in youth, because it just isn’t there a few years later. Anyone who wants any kind of a life is going to have to face reality at some point.

  13. Evangelina Says:

    I sought medical help relativley young, though not as young as I should have, I also completed before all the TG nonsense really took hold. for around 20 years I lived an anonymous life. Apart from online, I still do) Having recently discovered all the garbage that is talked about regarding transsexualism on the one hand and transgenderism on the other, I became angry and confused. Angry that the legitimacy of my medical condition has been trashed and confused at the terminolgy that currently persists in many quarters.
    This blog, TS SI and a couple of other web sites are an oasis in a dessrt of misinformation, fetishism, dogma and psychobabble from people with a vested interest in some private agenda and self promotional ego driven crackpot theory.
    When Harry Benjamin, bless him, began his work very little was known about transsexualism and he was one of only a handful of medical practioners in the world who was prepared to help us. However to base the whole practise of dealing with transsexualism etc. on work 50 years old is rather like treating an infected wound with leeches instead of modern anti-biotics. I saw a therapist four times before corrective surgery and my surgeon a total of six including one visit to hand him a cheque. Today doctors make a fortune out of multiple visits and psychobable. During my time as a counselor in this field I learned to spot the genuine WBT/HBS in about 20 seconds when they first walked through the office door. Often quicker than that. One of the clear symptoms of the whole condition is the conviction and the overwhelming desire for correction to genitalia in particular. The way I see it, any wavering or lingering doubts beyond reasoned caution, is a clear sign that the underlying motivation has its roots in a different cause than transsexualism. The problems that have arisen today are as a result of all interested parties trying to treat many quite separate conditions as one issue when patently they are different and complex.

  14. Sarah Says:

    > During my time as a counselor in this field I learned to spot the genuine WBT/HBS in about 20 seconds when they first walked through the office door.

    Hello Envangelina.

    Just atrained gut feeling or can you name some signs? I don’t have that ability, but there where two times I saw a person and was shure. The one was on tv – a candidate in a reallity show who tranistioned about 9 years later, and once in a shop I saw a bearded person, but something in the bodylanguage and a smile later I was 100% shure to have spotted a sister, but that I cannot verify. According to how common our condition is, thats means I was blind to a lot of others 😉


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