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A photographic exhibition at the Hammer Museum, University of California Los Angeles, shows a comparative study between teenage girls and adult male-to-female transsexuals 

Last year, I was nominated for the Stonewall Journalist of the Year award. This seemed fair enough since I write prolifically about sexuality and sexual identity. But I guessed that Stonewall would not dare give me the prize, because a powerful lobby affiliated with the lesbian and gay communities had been hounding me for five years. Six weeks later I, along with a police escort, walked past a huge demonstration of transsexuals and their supporters, shouting "Bindel the Bigot". Despite campaigning against gender discrimination, rape, child abuse and domestic violence for 30 years, I have been labelled a bigot because of a column I wrote in 2004 that questioned whether a sex change would make someone a woman or simply a man without a penis. Subsequently, I was "no platformed" by the National Union of Students Women's Campaign, a privilege previously afforded to fascist groups such as the BNP. As a leading feminist writer, I now find that a number of organisations are too frightened to ask me to speak at public events for fear of protests by transsexual lobbyists. 

The 2004 column was about a Canadian male-to-female transsexual who had taken a rape crisis centre to court over its decision not to invite her to be a counsellor for rape victims. Feminists tend to be critical of traditional gender roles because they benefit men and oppress women. Transsexualism, by its nature, promotes the idea that it is "natural" for boys to play with guns and girls to play with Barbie dolls. The idea that gender roles are biologically determined rather than socially constructed is the antithesis of feminism. 

I wrote: "Those who ‘transition' seem to become stereotypical in their appearance — f**k-me shoes and birds' nest hair for the boys; beards, muscles and tattoos for the girls. Think about a world inhabited just by transsexuals. It would look like the set of Grease."

Gender dysphoria (GD) was invented in the 1950s by reactionary male psychiatrists in an era when men were men and women were doormats. It is a term used to describe someone who feels strongly that they should belong to the opposite sex and that they were born in the wrong body. GD has no proven genetic or physiological basis. 

A review for the Guardian in 2005 of more than 100 international medical studies of post-operative transsexuals by the University of Birmingham's Aggressive Research Intelligence Facility found no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery was clinically effective. It warned that the results of many gender reassignment studies were unsound because researchers lost track of more than half of the participants. 

The past decade has seen an increase in the number of people diagnosed as transsexual. There are now 1,500-1,600 new referrals a year to one of the handful of gender identity clinics in Britain. About 1,200 receive treatment on the NHS with the rest going private, Thailand being the main country of choice. The largest clinic, at Charing Cross Hospital in London, saw 780 new referrals last year. The NHS carried out some 150 operations in the last year (up from about  100 in 2005-2006). Apart from Thailand, the country with the highest number of sex-change operations is Iran where, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death. When sex-change surgery is performed on gay men, they become, in the eyes of the gender defenders, heterosexual women. Transsexual surgery becomes modern-day aversion therapy for gays and lesbians. 

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May 31st, 2015
3:05 PM
I have lived my life as a very masculine male. But I have felt I should have been born a female. When I dress in female attire, I am not pink and fluffy. I like to wear leggings, tunic and knee boots. Make-up I enjoy but it's not essential. I feel being a woman is in essence how one feels inside. At 48 years old this year, I have suppressed my female feelings for a long time. This year is the first time I have decided to let go of my fight and be who I feel I should be. A masculine female.

May 19th, 2015
7:05 PM
Ciswomen are to transfemales as Men are to Ciswomen... OPPRESSORS...DOMINATORS! But yet they just don´t get it! There are many transfemales who ARE the nature and spirit of women...yet the arrow in the eye blinds. Transfemales do not need to be assimulated into the cisfemale world. This is their world...their creation. The transfemale world is different and this needs to be well understood and communicated. Transwomen are a separate gender with their own herstory...of pain and struggle since birth. We get it... and we are moving onward towards building our own world based upon our realties and triumphs. We do not need the miserable and continuous self pitying grumbling of ciswomen who can not accept themselves for who you are and live onwards. In all realities they should really question...(not those who are in the home working their heads off maintaining the hard realities...) but those who have nothing better to do than travel around the world crying how unfair their lives are and how much they would love to be men!!! Just do it! Just get it... it is envy! Real women understand the power of their female gender...that it is much more than what men have. Real women understand...through biological processes that men are testosterone created and in the end of their lives the testosterone is cut off and they return to female...estrogen dominance of their bodies. Men are second plane...testosterone created... and testosterone debilitated by its absence in the final years. Women... real women can see their place as first and front line... can be proud to see that "FEMAlE" is the basis of all creation en utero. Female you begin and female you will end even though your exterior is masculine. Estrogen dominates!!! Testosteron is used in our bodies to create estrogen...the feminizing your studies. Stop being a cry baby...rise fight the fight to help other women be happy. Fight to teach the feminine spirit...not the combative aggressive male spirit that separates and destroys. Together... we shine appreciating our differences and giving love...compassion... which builds strength in our children and future for our communities. Stop the transbashing.... we are equal as humans to you ciswomen. We are not wanting to take your place.... only occupy a space by you side... to live and breathe each day in peace. Be our us how to live in peace...defend the weak...lift them up if you have so much power to offer! Get it? Stop being babies!!! Grow up to be real women! Grit it and gut it... the baby comes out!!!

April 2nd, 2015
10:04 AM
There were no valid points in her argument at all. No positive comments on men or transsexuals either. In her view it's all about whether you were born with a second x and are worthy of "the struggle." The neigh sayers are simply threatened by the lines of gender getting tossed out of the window. It's just very sad to see inequality being promoted by people who claim to hate it. Nearly everyone else is satisfied with their gender, there's no reason that I shouldn't be able to be as well. Bottom line: We're here to stay and the subtle differences that people attempt to divide us on will not stand up to ever advancing medical techniques.

March 16th, 2015
11:03 PM
And what about me? I have been diagnosed with gd. I WANT the surgery. Because I personally feel that I need to have a vulva and vagina. I HAVE phantom sensations down there. I don't barely even want to think about what is down there right now. I am also stable. I don't dress like a prostitute, I'm a major gun and knife nut, I consider myself conservative, and actually rather normal. I have my own dreams. But in all of them I am allowed to be me and to make my own decisions without hindrance nor pressuring. I want the right to choose whether I get the surgery or not without anyone but me having any say in the matter. Once I get the surgery, it'll just be one less thing to worry about. If anyone has anything to say against me on the matter, I'll say this: 'Who are you and what does it matter to you? If you want to get involved, fine, but don't you dare tell me how to live my life or what to do with my body, cause if you do, I'll micromanage your life to the point where you feel death is the only escape. Often, too often, that is what people like me wind up feeling: Trapped. Let us be us and we'll let you be you. ____J

February 28th, 2015
10:02 PM
Ms Bindel should come and witness the effects of denying surgical help to trans people. In my career in healthcare, I've dealt with people who have literally hacked their genitals off. If gender is a social construct, then why the obsession with having the world neatly boxed into 'men' and 'women'. This article isn't just evil. It's profoundly stupid.

January 5th, 2015
12:01 AM
I don't know how any woman who values the innate uniqueness of womanhood could not be offended by the various trans movements. We are women because that's how we were made. I do not cease being a woman when I wear pants and workboots. Nor am I more of a woman on days when I dress up and put on jewelry and makeup. My womanhood is not something that is defined (or redefined) by when I last shaved my legs, or by whether or not I bear children, or by how much money I earn, or by how athletic I may be. Yet, those involved in the trans-world seem to think WOMAN = lipstick, a hip-wiggling walk, oozing emotionalism, and an ability to accessorize. And the trans interpretation of masculinity is equally grotesque, as if men are somehow less than manly if they're not sporting facial hair and "butching" it up. I am most disgusted by the rabidly misguided parents who are using childish role play as an excuse to sacrifice their children on the altar of trans ideology. Considering the odds are overwhelming that these children will reject their "trans" identity when they reach adulthood, it seems especially cruel and abusive to construct a false childhood for them.

Amy Hardcastle
November 24th, 2014
2:11 PM
I have enjoyed reading pieces by Julie Bindel but on the issue of trans-women I really do feel she acts a gender fascist intent on policing her own view of gender purity and I suspect she does so less because of a concern for women's welfare and safety than her own personal sexuality and preferences. She has written elsewhere of how only a lesbian relationship can capture the purity of love and in other writing has clearly been emotionally hurt when potential or actual girlfriends have left her for men. This piece seems much more motivated by her lingering resentment towards men. None of the arguments really stack up. They are mostly just "these transwomen don't look physically perfect" - well how many women do? or "one or two trans-women used to be dangerous men" well there are dangerous, violent and abusive cis-women too (e.g. Rose West, Irma Grese - the list would be very long). The article is just mud-flinging and a self-pitying whinge about how she's rightly been called out for advancing really quite unpleasant argument.

November 13th, 2014
4:11 PM
The problem is simply that one does not get what one is paying for. It doesn't matter how intensely one defends the procedure, in the end one gets nothing more than an elaborate, surgically created costume--much like those who point their ears or have horns inserted. They are still not elves or demons. And that is the crux of the disappointment.

October 14th, 2014
4:10 PM
So, there are edge cases: There are those who mistake mtf for an excuse to feel normal, or for something that will change who they are inside (it won't) or solve their personal and social issues outside (it won't do that either). There are also those who use their new position to put other people in a difficult spot (such as the biological male rapist going in a women's prison). Congratulations! You have just discovered the obvious. The one thing you never even go close to mention in this article though, are those mtf post-op who are mentally stable, perfectly happy with their new life, don't dress up like prostitutes (and what's wrong with that anyway? Last I checked it was neither illegal nor immoral), and still feel like they needed the surgery because they didn't identify as men. The reason why you fail to mention even one of these successful examples is to be found in your stern, superficial and upsetting conclusions, which you know you would't be allowed to reach should you show these obvious truths.

October 3rd, 2014
9:10 AM
The last statement is just nerve wrecking. 'Perhaps we should just give up and become men.' I mostly feel the urge to wear a dress, to kiss a boy on the cheek as a sign of affection and sometimes my younger sister says that I'm a better 'mommy' than our mom because I have a natural maternal instinct to protect and guide her. If only could have I been a mom with a fucking beard would have been lovely. But I can't, and this is the reason why I want & need to make a change. Yes, equality between men and women plays the most important role in our need for change, because we are 'supposed' to behave in a stereotypical manner: shake hands, dress in a specific manner a.s.o I can't bare to live as a man and I simply won't. In the present moment there is no palpable alternative to MTF gender reassignment, so I simply refute even thinking to give up on it, no matter what the consequences are.

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