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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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Me
October 22nd, 2012
8:10 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.

Gisele
August 7th, 2012
7:08 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
9:07 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.

Victor Victorious
July 13th, 2012
9:07 PM
Unlike many of the commenters, who seem to have bought-in to the concept of GID, this article was a breath of fresh air for me. My entire childhood, I was different. I hated the cute little dollhouse my father made for me, but all my female friends loved it. I always took my younger brother's toys and squirreled them away in my room, making dinosaurs eat the ever-uninteresting barbies. I loved dirt, bugs, tree climbing and wanted to join the Boy Scouts (after all, they camped, had pocket knives, and raced pinewood cars!) In my teens, it became more and more apparent to me that I wasn't just a tomboy -I was a man in a woman's body. I hated having breasts, I hated my female genitalia. I dressed as a male, passed as a male -bought a vest to hold down my breasts, and a fake soft piece for the downstairs. The stress of not being able to reveal any of this to my family was huge. It took a very long time (and some unsuccessful therapy) for me to decide whether or not I was going to transition. I chose not to -not because I didn't want to, or was scared, but because it wouldn't give me what I wanted. I would have a flat chest, but large scars. I could get a penis, but it would likely be small with little to no feeling or function. In short, I wouldn't be a man. And you know, I did like wearing skirts once in awhile (a LONG while). So, in my own typical fashion of rejecting society, I've rejected what could be the largest of societal norms -gender. I may have the biological sex of a female, and society can react to that all it wants -but I am ME. I'm a human, a placental mammal, a vertebrate, I am intelligent, I drive too fast, lift heavy shit, work on my car, and love my cat. I don't think trans people should have to change to fit what society has told them is one gender or the other. I am one of millions of variations on the gender binary. I'm not a masculine female, I am a female who like what he/she/it likes, regardless of how my culture pegs me. If you're not happy with you, you can't be happy. No surgery can change that. If you have a young child who you or they believe is trans- support them, listen to them, and make sure they know you love them for them, and not for their gender. Leave the surgery and hormones for them to decide after they're 18. Our brains don't finish growing until our early 20s, and it's just irresponsible parenting to allow a child to make such a huge, life-changing, and irreversible decision.

Anonymous
July 6th, 2012
12:07 AM
Julie Bindel...as the mother of a clearly transgender child, developmentally disabled in fact, and so not influenced to be who he determines to be by any other means than what his mind tells him (that is where the TRUTH of one's identity is), it absolutely pains me to read your article that I come to by happenstance. Seems to me that you have absolutely no idea what transgender IS. Do you really seriously believe that anyone "chooses" SRS treatments to get their jollies? You are the one that needs your head examined, if you do. ...can you even imagine what it is like for them to live life without gender conforming bodies? Continued reading makes me wonder what is your ultimate point...pretty scary. Yeah, and I'd considered myself a feminist for a pretty long time...I admit similar naivety in the past, short long winded intolerance, up to my most recent conviction concerning my son...do you really have to have one to know one?? You with the religion here, get off it!! Does God tell you personally what his plan is by divine intervention?? Consider that such diversity is the plan and Jesus turned away not the least of these.

Eileen North
April 25th, 2012
5:04 AM
Dear Julie,The BBC star Andrew Neil has broadcast the fact that "The European Court also overruled a British Law restricting forced marriages seemingly on the grounds that the right of men to a family life overrided the right of young women to be abducted. Please could you find out which Political Party set up this Law,please? T

Bloom Fjeld
April 20th, 2012
2:04 PM
Well, it's good to see so many intelligent comments here to contrast with the article. I'm an androgynous girl in a male body. I'm also a feminist. (And I'm attracted to girls, so you can screw the idea that I'm transitioning to "correct" my sexuality). I understand that transsexuals often conform heavily to gender stereotypes (not me, I'm incredibly anti-stereotyped), but if they want to do that, then what business is it of yours? There ARE girls who are naturally feminine. And to suggest that all transsexuals conform to such stereotypes is stereotyping in itself. How about a world in which everyone is allowed to be whoever they want? If I want a sex change to get a female body, while being utterly myself, completely androgynous, I'll do it. I'll wear men's suits if I want to (I plan to)! And if I wanted to get a sex-change so I could wear f***-me shoes and birds' nest hair, then I'd do that too. Yeah, your article is pretty unintelligent. But honestly, it's disgusting what that poster wrote about you; the one you mentioned.

Anonymous
April 11th, 2012
8:04 PM
What crap !

Anonymous
March 19th, 2012
7:03 AM
So, you either had sex or competition with a trans woman; and you didn't like the outcome -- I'm betting it was competition.

Sheena
March 17th, 2012
7:03 PM
I can't say that I'm surprised by this artcle, only that I thought we, as a whole, were getting past all of this. Every person has the right to be happy regardless of what one person or group or organization defines as happiness. I fail to see how your issues as a feminist are the issues of transgendered people. Their decision for surgery or therapy or what ever they feel is necessary to live a normal life has only to do with them; their happiness. One persons decision to have SRS does not necessarily have anything to do with YOU. It has everything to do with THEM and what will make them happy. The world does not revolve around Julie Bindel or Feminists...just so you know.

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