« Sonya Boeser Critical Response 5 | Main | The Club House »

Sonya Boeser Critical Response #6 (last one)

Sonya Boeser
GLBT Critical Response #6

Response to Transgender Studies Reader article:
“Divided Sisterhood�

A summary of this article is that it is actually a summary in itself. The author of the article, Carol Riddell, critically analyzes Janice Raymond’s book The Transsexual Empire, saying that the arguments in the book “present a picture of transsexualism that is empirically false (p. 144). In this response, I will be discussing both how I agree with Carol Riddell’s criticisms, and disagree with Janice Raymond’s arguments about transsexuals.
Raymond is a feminist; many feminists are pro-GLBT, but Raymond believes that transgendered and transsexual people present a problem to society. This, as Carol Riddell points out, shows that feminism can support a broad range of opinions and positions. Riddell makes a valid and effective statement on page 145: “Trans-sexuals are not a major social problem. We have some curiosity value to the media as freaks. This occasionally results in incredibly naïve statements from trans-sexuals conned by publicity, which can be incredibly irritating to feminists, but trans-sexual women are not now, nor ever will be, a threat to the female sex’s existence.� Again, I will say that this is an effective, true, ad valid argument.
Some ineffective arguments made by Raymond in her book are “Trans-sexual women are not women. They are deviant males. Trans-sexual men are not men, but women� (145). Another incredibly blind sighted argument is “The practice of trans-sexual surgery, in its blindness to the wider human ethics of the trans-sexual problem, has parallels to the Nazi experimentation in concentration camps� (147). How can transsexual women be men if they have chosen to live as women, and even altered their bodies to be women? How can transsexual men be women if they have done these same things? Why is genital surgery “experimentation,� if it is done with consent from the person having the surgery? All of Raymond’s arguments against transsexualism are illogical.
This article provides an accurate description of the world because of the fact that everyone has their own opinion. Sometimes strong opinions (like feminism) that you think might connect to other opinions (like support for transsexuals) do not meet up. I, for one, support GLBT rights but do not believe in abortion as I know many gay and lesbian people do. This article is also important because (after bisexuals) the Trans community is probably one of the most overlooked and ignored groups of the GLBT community that I know of. Books and articles of hate and discrimination that are published should be looked at thoroughly by the publishers before they send them out to the community at large. There are other books that are published, such as Kate Bornstein’s stories and poems, which fight against this kind of discrimination; those are the books that the community needs to be paying attention to.