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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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September 15th, 2013
7:09 PM
I am glad I am not the only person who thinks this phenomenon of transsexualism is anti-feminist and anti-queer. I think a large reason it has become so quickly normalized is that it both reinforces gender stereotypes and is profitable to a lot people.

September 8th, 2013
12:09 PM
Your article shows some horror at the idea of losing a "perfectly functioning penis" and you see transgendered as dressing like drag queens. Transgenderism is not about wanting to be allowed to join the sewing club, or the football team, if we really want that we can break the gender stereotypes even at the cost of being seen as "Genderqueer", but most about the person and their perception of themselves. Personally I have not liked myself (my body and gender) deeply since around 10 years old, but I am a patient person and this has manifested in an indifference to life. Life has not been unkind to me, but truly while I normally do not want to die I don't really fear it and sometimes I get a real black depression for days on end when I do think of suicide. The problem is I do not feel I have something to live for with my life as it is, for that reason I would seek counselling and hopefully get good honest advice. In the end, while more impulsive people will suicide or change to fix what they perceive is wrong with them, eventually everyone has to face that they have one life and they have to make the most of it. For this reason I believe gender reassignment is a very good treatment (after all when 6000 30-44 year olds commit suicide every year we really want to be bring that number DOWN and not up!) The counselling is designed to try to weed out those who want SRS for the ultimate thrill of being the opposite gender, some people will always bluff their way through and truly make an awful mistake. But that should not be held as a reason to deny treatment to those that it will benefit.

August 24th, 2013
12:08 AM
I wonder why too much people (such as the author of this pitiful article) don't make their own businness? Why they don't let people, who are so different to them, live as they like and want? Do they live to love or to hate? ... I don't wonder that this world is, just because such people, a world of constant conflicts, and of sad and angry living beings...

Merit Coba
August 16th, 2013
2:08 PM
I read this article and it made me feel at peace. Who, except for a small hardcore minority, would even want to listen to Julie Bindel? Perhaps she is right and some profound wisdom can be found in her words, but the sad thing is that there is not one inch of feeling for those she condemns rightly or wrongly. If she is the model of a true feminist, then the world is a sad place, for regardless of right or wrong, to be right is one thing, but to be right without mercy is another. True feminism is colder than the harshest winter. As such feminism loses for Bindels hard cold approach condemns it to be a fringe movement. The more she writes with this hard distant hand the less credible her kind of feminism becomes. I never heard of her till this day and tomorrow I will have forgotten her. And so will 99,99% of the world.

January 3rd, 2013
4:01 AM
Quite curious that this article is all about MTFs and FTMs are not mentioned at all, almost as if they were... erased. Your Janice Raymond is showing.

December 18th, 2012
2:12 AM
i speak as the heterosexual female ex-partner of a trans mtf...julie has a point, but anyone questioning the right to pursue the permanent and drastic body changes should expect some histrionics from the trans community and the trans allies. i am filled with horror at the idea of my partners plans to mutilate herself. if i can accept and love her with a penis, her insistence on having a surgeon remove her perfect, functioning penis, and throw it in a bin, feels to me like the worst kind of rejection and insult to our years of intimacy and lovemaking. when i respect her identity and sexuality , despite being decieved and conned for years that she was in fact a heterosexual man, lying and covering her tracks regarding previous relationships and previous attempts at transition, where was the respect for my sexuality and identity all this time? when i say reassignment surgery would crucify me, i mean it. it is not my body. it is not my decision. but it would still crucify me. maybe im just selfish. or maybe im just a transphobic prude eh? interestingly, while tgs claim it is not a mental illness, that is precisely the reason they get treatment on the nhs and cosmetic treatment at that,(you cant change your chromosomes) which cisgender women are denied. not only that, they are frequently paid disability benefits and the welfare state pays for top of the range cosmetics and cosmetic treatments that cisgender women, slogging away in the real world, could only dream of. the irony is not lost on me, that a mans womanly needs are protected much more fiercely than a womans womanly needs...

November 27th, 2012
11:11 AM
what about gay ts men and women, there are plenty of those! and it goes to show that sexuality and who you prefer in bed has NOTHING to do with ID and gender,, it's two completely different things, if you don't even understand the difference between a body and a mind, well, don't write an article about it!

October 22nd, 2012
9:10 AM
She doesn't do a very good job at proving she isn't a bigot, does she? I propose, this lady just stay out of business that isn't hers, and stop telling others how to live their lives.

August 7th, 2012
8:08 PM
Gender dysphoria is considered a psychological illness, not a physical one. This is a feminist issue because women should not be forced to accept men, even if they have a mental illness, in private female only spaces. Medically designated mentally ill men (trans women) now have a term "cotton-ceiling" to describe who they call "trans-phobic lesbians" who won't have sex with them, with or without penises. Because sex-change operations are expensive,a lesbian rejecting a woman who has a penis is being classist because the only reason they have a penis is because they couldn't afford to have it removed. Other trans-women don't even want to have an operation. Instead they are saying they have female penises called trans-clit. Lesbians are supposed to challenge their trans-phobia by questioning if they are being prejudice by dismissing trans women who have penises as sexual partners. The absurdity of the situation is high-lighted by two people with penises having sex together claiming to be lesbians. I kid you not. This is not hypothetical. There is an argument to be made for those who have had their penises removed to be permitted to use some public female spaces for safety reasons. That does not mean mentally ill men who think they are female have a right to access -all- female spaces without exception. Some services, like Vancouver Rape Relief, are intended for biological females. Some private places, like the MWMF, are gatherings for females, not people who think they are female, especially when they still have penises. No one who is willing to throw away the right of women to gather in a penis-free environment is a feminist. That is not a radical principal. Females should not have to justify their desire to be in a female exclusive space. To give up the right to female only space to pander to a small number of mentally ill men, including those who keep their penises, is bizarre. It is not feminist.

Reneta Scian
July 20th, 2012
10:07 AM
This article is ignorant, and as equally contrived as the Gender Roles and Gender Norms enforced by the patriarchy. Why is it that people always seem to result to extremes, either all nature, or all nurture arguments. It's pretty clear that neither is the end all be all for human gender. Also, you stated that there was no scientific or medical evidence for transsexuality is fallacious. There is evidence, and your denial is clear that you don't understand biology, or science on the matter of gender. Yes, as a feminist, I agree that much of the standards and norms are contrived, and thus little more than constructs. I think people should be allowed to like whatever they want to like without people labeling it "gender". Your thesis here also seems to be devoid of any discussion of non-gender conforming (Butch, Queer, Et cetera) transitioners. Because of the factual vacuous state of your position it can only be asserted that you are ignorant of trans issues, or what it really is. Not all trans people are for the "loose labels" of gender that could endanger women and children in the use of public accommodation. I am not bigoted against cross-dressers and transvestites, but they don't belong in the women's restroom, not because they don't need safe public accommodations, but because it's not appropriate. Furthermore, your position that transition and SRS isn't effectual is wrong. Plenty of data and studies indicate that it is. Furthermore, you are confusing gender identity with gender expression which are two totally different entities. Thus your article is ignorant, short-sighted in how it defines "gender" either via 'chromosomes' or 'anatomy'. It demonstrates your profound failure to understand science, and medical studies. Generally speaking, gender discrimination against trans women and gay men is higher than most other, especially when you look at murder statistics. The gains you made in working for rights that protect women doesn't entitle you to a free pass when it comes to your stance and faulty understanding of trans issues. You are parroting the words of first and second wave feminists, and those words are scientifically unsound and unfounded. Put your money where the evidence is, rather than data-mining the points that prove your position. Gender Dysphoria is not the assertion that gender roles are biologically predestined, but that gender identity is, and that this constitution is set at birth. Get your facts straight and trans people won't riot at your doorstep.

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