In the mid 1990s I exchanged letters with Margaret O’Hartigan, a WBT who was as vocal as I am in opposition to the hegemonic colonization by those pushing transgender as identity.
She was also voraciously anti-Raymond and was challenging Raymond’s academic credentials. Among the cited reasons were the claims by many that Raymond’s relationship with her thesis adviser, Mary Daly violated rules governing academic ethical behavior. I’m inclined to view such a relationship, if it occurred as being a reflection of the openness toward sex that was an integral part of the 1970s.
What I found far more disturbing was the extremely limited number of transsexual and WBTs that formed the basis of Raymond’s research. According to O’Hartigan’s research Raymond formed her conclusions based on a group as small as eight people, hardly large enough to provide a representative sample.
This leads one to a conclusion that perhaps Raymond had already decided her position prior to ever interviewing any WBT people and that her interviews were meant only to give the patina of legitimacy to her work. If this is so, it removes any legitimacy from Raymond’s work as thesis and places it in the category of hate speech.
Then there was the infamous Hopkins’ Study circa 1980 that concluded there was little difference in the lives of those that got SRS and those that didn’t.
The research questionaire defined proper adjustment as conforming to a 1950s definition of the role of women that was a fiction for WBFs even in the 1950s. It failed to take into account the feminist changes in the social roles of women brought about by 1960s and 70s feminism.
But there was something else which was ignored and that was the numerous obstructions that would have made living such a life difficult even if one were desirous of doing so. In the 1970s we were still in the process of getting our post-SRS status as female recognized, a state by state process.
But there was something else which was over-looked and that was that we often had childhoods so filled with abuse and bullying as to be considered extenuating circumstances in normborns charged with serious crimes.
I can only conclude that those conducting this study knew the out-come they desired and engineered the study to support their conclusions. Thereby supporting anti-transsexual ideology with both sketchy research and dubious methodology.
I’ve read a number of works by the so called experts, academics with Ph.D.s and M.D.s and so often I find myself completely at a loss as to who they are writing about as I do not recognize these people from either my friends or from people I met in some 40+ years of activism.
Too often the research seems shoddy and done solely to support conclusions arrived at before the first person answers the first questionnaire.