Radical Theory

The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male

The Transsexual Empire: The
Making of the She-Male
Janice RaymondBeacon Press1979

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.

Janice Raymond, The Transsexual Empire / page 104.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Some Comments on Method (for the Methodical)
Chapter 1: “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Transsexualism”
Chapter 2: Are Transsexuals Bom or Made—or Both?
Chapter 3: “Mother’s Feminized Phallus” or Father’s Castrated Femme?
Chapter 4: Sappho by Surgery: The Transsexually Constructed Lesbian-Feminist
Chapter 5: Therapy as a Way of Life: Medical Values versus Social Change
Chapter 6: Toward the Development of an Ethic of Integrity
Appendix: Suggestions for Change