INTRODUCTION: “I began my reading of The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male with a full deck of unexamined liberal assumptions: that the concept of a woman trapped in a man’s body was not absurd; that transsexualism was at least consistent with feminism if not essential to it; that alleviation of an individual’s pain took precedence over all else. Jan Raymond’s book prompted the questioning of all these assumptions and raised many fundamental points that I had not considered.”
Author(s): Susanna J. Sturgis and Jan Raymond
Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 9, No. 9 (october, 1979), pp. 14-15
“The prevalence of anti-discrimination legal proceedings filed by self-defined ‘‘trans-women’’ has prompted an increasingly contested question in modern sexual politics — what does transsexualism actually ‘‘transcend’’? It seems that in spite of the 1970s’ radical feminist critique of transsexualism, the phenomena of transsexualism and sex-reassignment surgery (SRS) have proliferated considerably. This increase has, through sheer magnitude, given birth to a broad-based, international movement that is rapidly expanding its fight for acceptance and rights for trans-people. In particular, trans-women are currently claiming their right to participate in, and access the assistance of, women-only events, organizations, and service provisions.
In this paper, I will argue that whereas radical feminist campaigns have sought to break down gender categories, and thus, free women from gender oppression, the protection of gender is imperative to the goals of trans-activists and their supporters…”
Author: Belinda Sweeney
Source: Women’s Studies International Forum 27 (2004) 75– 88