The Transsexual Empire
Cover of the first edition
|Subject||Transsexualism, Radical feminism|
|Followed by||A Passion for Friends|
The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male is a 1979 book by the American radical feminist author and activist Janice Raymond. The book is derived from Raymond's dissertation which was produced under the supervision of the feminist theologian Mary Daly.
Raymond investigates the role of transsexualism in society – particularly psychological and surgical approaches to it – and argues that transsexualism reinforces traditional gender stereotypes. Raymond also writes about 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."
These views on transsexuality have been criticized by many in the LGBT and liberal feminist communities as extremely transphobic, and indeed constituting hate-speech against transsexual men and women.
In The Transsexual Empire Janice 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. These writings have been heavily criticized as personal attacks on these individuals.
Writing in The Transgender Studies Reader, Carol Riddell argues that the book "did not invent anti-transsexual prejudice, but it did more to justify and perpetuate it than perhaps any other book ever written."
- Highleyman, Liz (7 January 2010). "Feminist theologian Mary Daly dies". The Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
- Raymond, Janice. (1994). The Transsexual Empire, p. 104
- Rose, Katrina C. (2004) "The Man Who Would be Janice Raymond." Transgender Tapestry 104, Winter 2004
- Julia Serano (2007) Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, pp. 233–234
- Namaste, Viviane K. (2000) Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People, pp. 33–34.
- Hayes, Cressida J., 2003, "Feminist Solidarity after Queer Theory: The Case of Transgender," in Signs 28(4):1093–1120.
- Raymond, Janice. (1994). The Transsexual Empire, pp. 101–102.
- Hubbard, Ruth, 1996, "Gender and Genitals: Constructs of Sex and Gender," in Social Text 46/47, p. 163.
- Riddell, Carol (2006). "Sappho by Surgery: The Transsexually Constructed Lesbian-Feminist". In Stryker, Susan; Whittle, Stephen. The Transgender Studies Reader. United Kingdom: Routledge. p. 131. ISBN 0-415-94708-1. OCLC 62782200. Retrieved October 7, 2012.
- Fictions and Facts About the Transsexual Empire – Janice Raymond's comments about her book.