Janice Raymond

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Janice Raymond
Janice G. Raymond

(1943-01-24) January 24, 1943 (age 80)
Alma mater
  • Author
  • professor
  • activist
EmployerUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst
Notable workThe Transsexual Empire (1979)

Janice G. Raymond (born January 24, 1943)[citation needed] is an American lesbian radical feminist and professor emerita of women's studies and medical ethics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is known for her work against violence, sexual exploitation, and medical abuse of women, and for her controversial work denouncing transsexuality and the transgender rights movement.

Raymond is the author of five books, including The Transsexual Empire (1979). She has published numerous articles on prostitution and lectures internationally on many of these topics via the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.[1] Her opposition to transgender rights for trans women and calls for their disenfranchisement have been criticized by many (from mainstream media to the LGBT and feminist communities) as transphobic.[2][3][4][5][6]


Raymond received a BA in English literature from Salve Regina College in 1965, a master's degree in religious studies from Andover Newton Theological School in 1971, and her PhD in ethics and society from Boston College in 1977.[citation needed]

Academic career[edit]

Raymond is professor emerita of women's studies and medical ethics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She was a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst from 1978 on. When she retired from the university in 2002, the Boston Globe included her among the several "marquee talents" lost to the campus.[7]

Since 2000, Raymond has also served as an adjunct professor of international health at Boston University School of Public Health.[8] She has been a faculty member of the Five Colleges (Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst) Professor of Women's Studies and Medical Ethics (1975–78), visiting research scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1990–91), visiting professor at the University of Linkoping in Sweden (1995), and lecturer at the Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University, Center for Women Studies, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2002).[citation needed]

Advocacy work[edit]

From 1994 to 2007, Raymond was the co-executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW).[1] She is currently on the board of directors of CATW.[1]

During her tenure, CATW expanded its international work, especially in the Baltics and in Eastern Europe.[1]

In January 2004, Raymond testified before the European Parliament on "The Impact of the Sex Industry in the EU." In 2003, Raymond testified before a subcommittee of the United States Congress on "The Ongoing Tragedy of International Slavery and Human Trafficking." She was an NGO member of the U.S. Delegation to the Asian Regional Initiative Against the Trafficking of Women and Children (ARIAT), Manila, the Philippines, hosted by the governments of the Philippines and the United States. In 1999–2000, as an NGO representative to the UN Transnational Crime Committee, in Vienna, she helped define the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Raymond is a former member of the Sisters of Mercy.[9] She left the convent[10] and became open about her lesbianity.[11][12] As of 2016, she and her partner, Pat Hynes, an alumna of Chestnut Hill College, had been together for 42 years.[13]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2007, Raymond received the "International Woman Award, 2007" from the Zero Tolerance Trust, in Glasgow, Scotland.[14]

In 1986, Raymond's book A Passion for Friends: a Philosophy of Female Friendship was named the best non-fiction book of the year by the UK magazine, City Limits.[15]

Raymond has been the recipient of grants from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. National Institute of Justice, the Ford Foundation, the United States Information Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Norwegian Organization for Research and Development (NORAD), and UNESCO.[1]


In her 1993 book, Women as Wombs: Reproductive Technologies and the Battle over Women's Freedom, Raymond examined how reducing infertility to a disease in the West has helped to promote the use of new reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy. At the same time, women's fertility is rejected in the East promoting technologies of forced sterilization, sex predetermination and female feticide. The book was one of the first to look at the international reproductive trafficking of women and children as organized by the adoption, organ and surrogacy trade.[16]

Women as Wombs, as K. Kaufman wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle, "is a strongly written, carefully reasoned critique of ...'reproductive liberalism'."[16] Beverly Miller of Library Journal stated that "...it is hard to resist her conclusion that many reproductive experiments can represent another form of violence against women."[17]

Raymond's 1986 book, A Passion for Friends: a Philosophy of Female Affection, deviates from her work on medical technologies into the realm of feminist friendship as a basis for a broader feminist theory and politics. Carolyn Heilbrun in The Women's Review of Books wrote: "Hers is a brave undertaking, and she begins by facing the central issue of women's friendships: the necessary relation of these friendships to power and the public sphere...Raymond's is the most probing and honorable discussion of female friendships we have..."[18] Published also in a UK edition, A Passion for Friends received the City Limits award for the Best Non-Fiction Book of 1986.[15] Novelist Jeanette Winterson wrote that "It's a complex, food-for thought book that rewards the time and concentration that it needs."[19]

Writings on transsexualism and transgender issues[edit]

In 1979, Raymond published a book on transsexualism called The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male.[20] Controversial even today, it looked at the role of transsexualism – particularly psychological and surgical approaches to it – in reinforcing traditional gender stereotypes, the ways in which the medical-psychiatric complex is medicalizing "gender identity" and the social and political context that has helped spawn transsexual treatment and surgery as normal and therapeutic medicine.

Raymond maintains that transsexualism is based on the "patriarchal myths" of "male mothering," and "making of woman according to man's image." She claims this is done in order "to colonize feminist identification, culture, politics and sexuality," adding: "All transsexuals rape women's bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves… Transsexuals merely cut off the most obvious means of invading women, so that they seem non-invasive."[21]

These views on transsexuality have been criticized by many in the LGBT and feminist communities as extremely transphobic and as constituting hate-speech against transsexual men and women.[2][3][4][5]

In The Transsexual Empire, Raymond includes sections on Sandy Stone, a trans woman who had worked as a sound engineer for Olivia Records, and Christy Barsky, accusing both of creating divisiveness in women's spaces.[22] These writings have been heavily criticized as personal attacks on these individuals.[23] In response, Stone wrote her 1987 essay, "The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto".

In 2021, Raymond's Doublethink: A Feminist Challenge to Transgenderism was published. In a review of the book in Lesbian and Gay News, Claire Heuchan writes, "With a directness that is characteristic of her work, Raymond cuts through the culture of fear and intellectual dishonesty that defines many discussions around gender identity.[24]

Writings on prostitution and sex trafficking[edit]

In 2000, Raymond co-published one of the first studies on trafficking in the United States entitled Sex Trafficking in the United States: Links Between International and Domestic Sex Industries.[25] In 2002, she directed and co-authored a multi-country project in the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Venezuela and the United States, entitled Women in the International Migration Process: Patterns, Profiles and Health Consequences of Sexual Exploitation.[26]

Among the many articles she has published, her work entitled "Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution and a Legal Response to the Demand for Prostitution"[27] has been translated into over 10 languages. This essay looks at the legislative models that have legalized or decriminalized the prostitution industry and the rationales supporting them, and argues that legitimating the sex trade has made its harm to women invisible. Raymond supports the alternative legal model of rejecting legalization and decriminalization of the sex industry, and penalizing buyers of sex while not arresting prostitutes.[27]



Book chapters[edit]

  • Raymond, Janice G. (1999). "Class matters: Yes it does". In Zmroczek, Christine; Mahony, Pat (eds.). Women and social class – international feminist perspectives. London: University College Press, (Taylor and Francis Group). pp. 105–113. ISBN 9781857289299.
  • Raymond, Janice G.; Hynes, H. Patricia (2002). "Put in harm's way: The health consequences of sex trafficking in the United States". In Silliman, Jael; Bhattacharjee, Anannya (eds.). Policing the national body: Race, gender, and criminalization. Boston: South End Press. pp. 197–229.
  • Raymond, Janice G. (2004). "Ten reasons for not legalizing prostitution and a legal response to the demand for prostitution". In Farley, Melissa (ed.). Prostitution, trafficking and traumatic stress. Binghamton: Haworth Press. pp. 315–332. Translated into many languages including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish, Norwegian, Hungarian, Estonian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Romanian, Russian and Hindi.



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Janice Raymond – Coalition Against Trafficking of Women". Catwinternational.org. Archived from the original on January 15, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Rose, Katrina C. (Winter 2004). "The Man Who Would be Janice Raymond". Transgender Tapestry. International Foundation for Gender Education (104). ISSN 0884-9749.
  3. ^ a b Julia Serano (2007) Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, pp. 233–234
  4. ^ a b Viviane Namaste (2000). Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People. University of Chicago Press. pp. 33–38. ISBN 978-0-226-56810-2.
  5. ^ a b Heyes, Cressida J. (2003). "Feminist Solidarity after Queer Theory: The Case of Transgender". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 28 (4): 1093–1120. doi:10.1086/343132. ISSN 0097-9740. S2CID 144107471.
  6. ^ Beyer, Dana (February 19, 2015). "Trans Women Are Not a Threat to the Mission of Women's Colleges, But Certain Feminists Are". The American Prospect. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  7. ^ Russell, Jenna. "Professors' Retirement Rattle UMass." Boston Globe, June 22, 2002, p. B1 Metro/Region. June 10, 1979, p. 11
  8. ^ "BU 2009-10 School of Public Health Bulletin – Faculty". Bu.edu. December 2, 2009. Archived from the original on January 31, 2009. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  9. ^ Raymond, Janice G. (2001). A Passion for Friends – Google Books. ISBN 9781876756086. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  10. ^ Janice Raymond, 2001, A Passion For Friends, p. 79.
  11. ^ Janice Raymond, 2001, A Passion For Friends, p. 14.
  12. ^ Cheshire Calhoun, 1994, "Separating Lesbian Theory from Feminist Theory," in Ethics, vol. 104, no. 3.
  13. ^ Lange, Brenda (Fall 2016). "Alumni Spotlight: A Life Dedicated to the Quest for Justice: Pat Hynes '65" (PDF). Chestnut Hill. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  14. ^ Cate Devine (May 18, 2007). "The woman risking her life to end a modern slave trade". Herald Scotland. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  15. ^ a b City Limits, October 16–23, 1986, p. 93.
  16. ^ a b Kaufmann, K. "Reproductive Technology and Women's Rights." San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, January 9, 1994.
  17. ^ Beverly Miller, Book Review of Women as Wombs, Library Review, November 1, 1993.
  18. ^ Carolyn Heilbrun, "The Future of Friendship," The Women's Review of Books, June 1986.
  19. ^ Jeanette Winterson, Short Review of A Passion for Friends, Time Out, June 4–10, 1986.
  20. ^ book. Worldcat.org. 1994. ISBN 9780807762721. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  21. ^ Raymond, Janice. (1994). The Transsexual Empire, p. 104
  22. ^ Raymond, Janice. (1994). The Transsexual Empire, pp. 101–102.
  23. ^ Hubbard, Ruth, 1996, "Gender and Genitals: Constructs of Sex and Gender," in Social Text 46/47, p. 163.
  24. ^ Heuchan, Claire. "Janice Raymond takes on gender identity: Doublethink reviewed by Claire Heuchan". Lesbian and Gay News. Archived from the original on January 12, 2022. Retrieved April 21, 2023.
  25. ^ "Sex Trafficking of Women in the United States: International and Domestic Trends". Archived from the original on September 27, 2009. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  26. ^ "Traffick Study TOC PGMKR" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 10, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  27. ^ a b "Coalition Against Trafficking in Women". Action.web.ca. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2010.

External links[edit]