|Occupation||Scholar, author, political activist|
|Employer||University of Melbourne|
|Known for||Feminist activism|
Sheila Jeffreys (born 1948) is a lesbian feminist scholar and political activist, known for her analysis of the history and politics of sexuality in Britain. She is a professor in Political Science at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Jeffreys's argument that the "sexual revolution" on men's terms contributed less to women's freedom than to their continued oppression has both commanded respect and attracted intense criticism. Jeffreys argues that transsexuals reproduce oppressive gender roles and mutilate their bodies through sex reassignment surgery. Some of Jeffrey's other controversial positions are that lesbian culture has been negatively affected by emulating the sexist influence of the gay male subculture of dominant/submissive sexuality, and that women suffering pain in pursuit of beauty is a form of submission to patriarchal sadism.
Discussion of her works 
In 1979, Jeffreys helped write Love Your Enemy? The Debate Between Heterosexual Feminism and Political Lesbianism, a pamphlet that offered a definition of a political lesbian: "We do think... that all feminists can and should be lesbians. Our definition of a political lesbian is a woman-identified woman who does not fuck men. It does not mean compulsory sexual activity with women." Jeffreys was one of several contributors to The sexual dynamics of history: men's power, women's resistance, an anthology of feminist writings about gender relations published in 1983 under the name "London Feminist History Group." Jeffreys wrote the last of this book's eleven chapters, "Sex reform and anti-feminism in the 1920s".
Jeffreys's best known historical work is The Spinster and Her Enemies: Feminism and Sexuality 1880-1930, published in 1985. It challenges the view that the sexual puritanism of Victorian England was displaced by the scientifically enlightened ideas of sexologists such as Sigmund Freud and Havelock Ellis. It examines late 19th century and early 20th century feminist campaigns against child abuse and prostitution, identifying the New Woman vision espoused by spokesmen for sexology as a male backlash strategy. Jeffreys argues that these concepts were authoritarian and interpreted women's sexuality to conform to men's preferences. She traces later adaptations of these concepts made to fit changing social conditions: the New Woman was modified to accommodate wartime pro-natalist imperatives, and the sexually hedonistic Flapper Girl was invented to move women out of traditional male roles assumed by default during the World War I period, which had allowed them greater independence in paid work at home and at the front.
In Anticlimax: A Feminist Perspective on the Sexual Revolution, published in 1990, Jeffreys criticises popular prescriptions for women's sexuality from the 1950s on in key texts including pornography, sex manuals and surveys, and best-selling novels. Having spent most of her life in the United Kingdom, Jeffreys moved to Australia in the early 1990s.
The Lesbian Heresy was published in 1993. In it Jeffreys is highly critical of sadomasochistic practices that involved women. One author involved in sadomasochism cites Jeffreys' views in this book as an example of the "simplistic and dualistic thinking" among anti-sadomasochism campaigners, when she describes sadomasochism as "male supremacist", a reenactment of heterosexual male dominance and women's oppression, which glorifies violence and uses women's bodies as a sex aid, and as anti-lesbian and fascistic. The author points out that Jeffreys ignores that some heterosexual women may enjoy sex, and that 'tops' may be women who work hard to give their 'bottoms' pleasure, rather than the passive recipients of sex in the way she describes.
Jeffreys' book The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade: The Industrial Vagina, was published in February 2009. It describes the globalisation of the sex industry, and includes a controversial description of marriage as a form of prostitution; in her article on Jeffreys, Julie Bindel quotes her: "the right of men to women's bodies for sexual use has not gone but remains an assumption at the basis of heterosexual relationships", and explains that she draws out more obvious links between marriage and prostitution, such as mail-order brides, which she sees as a form of trafficking.
Views on transsexualism 
Jeffreys has received attention for her views on transgenderism, transsexualism and gender reassignment. In interview, Bindel explains that Jeffreys believes that transsexual surgery "is an extension of the beauty industry offering cosmetic solutions to deeper rooted problems" and that in a society without gender this would be unnecessary. Jeffreys has presented these views in various forums. In a 1997 article in the Journal of Lesbian Studies, for example, Jeffreys contended that "transsexualism should be seen as a violation of human rights." Jeffreys also argued that "the vast majority of transsexuals still subscribe to the traditional stereotype of women" and that by transitioning medically and socially, trans women are "constructing a conservative fantasy of what women should be. They are inventing an essence of womanhood which is deeply insulting and restrictive."
Jeffreys' opinions on these topics have been challenged by transgender activists. Roz Kaveney, a trans woman and critic of Jeffreys, wrote in The Guardian that Sheila Jeffreys and radical feminists who share her views are "acting like a cult." Kaveney compared Jeffreys' desire to ban transsexual surgery to the Catholic Church's desire to ban abortion, arguing that both proposals bear negative "implications for all women." Finally, Kaveney criticized Jeffreys' and her supporters for alleged "anti-intellectualism, emphasis on innate knowledge, fetishisation of tiny ideological differences, heresy hunting, conspiracy theories, rhetorical use of images of disgust, talk of stabs in the back and romantic apocalypticism."
- Jeffreys, Sheila. The Sexuality Debates. New York : Routledge & K. Paul, 1987. ISBN 0-7102-0936-3
- Jeffreys, Sheila. Anticlimax: A Feminist Perspective on the Sexual Revolution. Washington Square, N.Y. : New York University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-8147-4179-7 (cloth). ISBN 0-8147-4180-0 (pbk.)
- Jeffreys, Sheila. The Lesbian Heresy: A Feminist Perspective on the Lesbian Sexual Revolution. North Melbourne : Spinifex, 1993. ISBN 1-875559-17-5
- Jeffreys, Sheila. The Spinster and Her Enemies: Feminism and Sexuality, 1880-1930. [New ed.] North Melbourne : Spinifex Press, 1997. ISBN 1-875559-63-9
- Jeffreys, Sheila. The Idea of Prostitution. North Melbourne, Vic., Australia : Spinifex, 1997. ISBN 1-875-55965-5
- Jeffreys, Sheila. Unpacking Queer Politics: A Lesbian Feminist Perspective. Cambridge : Polity ; Oxford : Blackwell, 2003. ISBN 0-7456-2837-0 (hbk.), ISBN 0-7456-2838-9 (pbk.)
- Jeffreys, Sheila. Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West. London : Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0-415-35183-9 (hbk.). ISBN 0-415-35182-0 (pbk.)
- Jeffreys, Sheila. The Industrial Vagina: The Political Economy of the Sex Trade. London : Routledge, 2009. ISBN 0-415-41232-3 (hbk.). ISBN 0-415-41233-1 (pbk.)
- Jeffreys, Sheila. Man's Dominion: The Rise of Religion and the Eclipse of Women's Rights (Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics). London : Routledge, 2010. ISBN 0-415-59674-2
- Jeffreys, Sheila. Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism. London : Routledge, 2013. ISBN 0-415-53940-4
Essays and pamphlets 
- Love Your Enemy?: The Debate Between Heterosexual Feminism and Political Lesbianism, London:Onlywomen Press, 1981, ISBN 0-906500-08-7. Onlywomen Press: Leeds Revolutionary Feminist Group, by Lal Coveney, Tina Crockett, Al Garthwaite, Sheila Jeffreys, and Valerie Sinclair.
- "'Pornography' and 'Creating the Sexual Future'", in Ethics: A Feminist Reader, eds Elizabeth Frazer & Jennifer Hornsby & Sabina Lovibond (Oxford, UK ; Cambridge, Mass., USA : Blackwell, 1992.). ISBN 0-631-17831-7. OCLC 23968577. Missing or empty
- "Return to Gender: Post-Modernism and Lesbianandgay Theory," in Radically Speaking: Feminism Reclaimed, eds Diane Bell and Renate Klein (North Melbourne, Vic. : Spinifex Press, 1996.), pp. 362–64 . ISBN 1-875-55938-8. OCLC 35802252. Missing or empty
- "Heterosexuality and the Desire for Gender", in Theorising Heterosexuality: Telling it Straight, eds Diane Richardson (Buckingham ; Philadelphia, PA : Open University Press, 1996.). ISBN 0-335-19504-0. OCLC 34411651. Missing or empty
- "The Queer Disappearance of Lesbians", in Lesbians in Academia: Degrees of Freedom, eds Beth Mintz and Esther D. Rothblum (New York : Routledge, 1997.). ISBN 0-415-91701-8. OCLC 36841542. Missing or empty
- "Prostitution as a Harmful Cultural Practice", in Not For Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography, eds Rebecca Whisnant and Christine Stark (North Melbourne, Vic. : Spinifex Press, 2004.). ISBN 1-876-75649-7. OCLC 57139681. Missing or empty
- SAMOIS (1987). Coming to Power: Writings and Graphics on Lesbian S/M. Boston: Alyson Publications. p. 88. ISBN 0-932870-28-7.
- Vance, Carole S. (1992). Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality. London: Pandora. p. 302. ISBN 0-04-440867-6.
- Gilbert, Harriett. (1993). The Sexual Imagination from Acker to Zola: A Feminist Companion. London: Jonathan Cape. p. 133. ISBN 0-224-03535-5.
- Denfeld, Rene. (1995). The New Victorians: A Young Woman's Challenge to the Old Feminist Order. New York: Warner Books. p. 35. ISBN 1-86373-789-8.
- Bindel, Julie (2 July 2005). "The ugly side of beauty". Guardian.
- London Feminist History Group (1983). The Sexual Dynamics of History: Men's power, women's resistance. London: Pluto Press. p. vi. ISBN 0-86104-711-7.
- Jeffreys, Sheila (1993). The Lesbian Heresy: A Feminist Perspective on the Lesbian Sexual Revolution. Spinifex Press.
- Stein, Atara (1998-09-28). "'Without Contraries Is No Progression': S/M, Bi-nary Thinking, and the Lesbian Purity Test". In Atkins, Dawn. Lesbian Sex Scandals. Haworth Press (published 1998). p. 53. ISBN 978-0-7890-0548-9.
- The Political Economy of the Global Sex Trade
- http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2009/2498297.htm ABC Radion National Interview with Jefferys regarding her new book
- Bindel, Julie (12 Nov 2008). "'Marriage is a form of prostitution'". Guardian.
- Jeffreys, Sheila (1997). "Transgender Activism: A Lesbian Feminist Perspective". The Journal of Lesbian Studies.
- Kaveney, Roz (25 May 2012). "Radical feminists are acting like a cult". The Guardian.