This is what transmisogyny looks like


When a Twitter user at the handle afroSHIRL requested a voluntary sterilization, she was told she shouldn’t get the procedure because she wasn’t married and her future husband might want kids. She rightly pointed out that this implicitly meant to the doctor that her body belongs to a man she hasn’t even met yet. The trope itself is the meeting point of two virulently misogynistic ideas: The first that a woman’s worth is defined by her appeal to men; and the second that procreation is her duty. 

Most self-identified feminists will recognise why these premises are troubling. What I hope is that we’ll start to recognise them when they’re being wielded against trans women, too:

Did anybody else hear that? It’s the sound of the bottom of the barrel being scraped.

Ray Blanchard’s previous appearance on Against the Grain was my fact check of the BBC documentary “Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?”, in which Blanchard said one of the most stunningly cissexist things I’ve ever had the displeasure of hearing:

“Transgender activists don’t like the high rate desistance to be talked about because if you know that 80% of gender dysphoric children are going to end up as ordinary gay men, I’m going to encourage all of them to adapt to their anatomical sex and the handful that are destined to be transsexual no matter what will sort themselves out later.

Meanwhile, medical practitioners who might view such a statement to be a confession of malpractice have gone on to produce a methodology that does not require anybody to, quote, “sort themselves out later,” nor do ethical counselors consider it a promising sign that one’s counseling created a need for more counseling after the fact.

I’m not sure how bloated your ego has to be to believe the things Blanchard says but my impression of him is that this man is the Donald Trump of trans research.

Now here we are, six months later, seeing Ray “they’ll sort themselves out later” Blanchard lauded by The Stranger as an “expert,” recycling the trope that someone’s body does not belong to them, but to a man they haven’t met yet. I won’t hold my breath, but maybe that’ll help Katie Herzog figure out why she’s under fire for her contrafactual twaddle.

If feminists can figure out why it’s wrong to withhold reproductive options for cis women based on the idea that a cis man they haven’t met might want children, then they should be able to figure out why it’s wrong for Dr. Blanchard to argue against gender affirmation on the idea someone they haven’t met might be transphobic.

Are we going to start “warning” cancer patients that their fatigue and weight loss from chemo might be viewed as unattractive to shallow dickweeds in this fucking misogynist lala land? Are we going to start telling people recovering from horrendous injuries and chronic illness that any lifelong disabilities will render them undesirable to a sizeable portion of thoughtless fuckheads in this misogynist lala land?

I’d say it’s un-fucking-believable, but that’s transmisogyny for you: Being reduced to an object to be appraised only for its ability to get Dr. Blanchard’s dick hard.

And this is the man we used to have to impress to get transition healthcare.

Some expert.

*spit*

-Shiv

P.S. For bonus irony, the woman he tweeted at is married. You can’t make this shit up. I will never ever underestimate the motivated reasoning of a bigot ever again.

 

Comments

  1. Siobhan says

    Bonus meta-transmisogyny points: When Blanchard was still a practicing clinician, he had a mountain of complaints lodged against him from his former patients. He was never penalized in any way.

  2. says

    It’s a disgust response. They need people to confom to something they can’t actually talk about. I’ve seen it in the homophobia and recently I’ve seen patterns in the transphobia. Things like an unwillingness to actually confront sexual predators on a social level. They need to sort by anatomy and kinds of behavior related to anatomy.

    That’s what the bathroom bullshit looks like to me anyway.

    It’s fascinating the way a bot fly is fascinating in a disgust redponse of my own..

  3. starskeptic says

    Was I got a vasectomy, I ran into quite a few people who were under the impression that this wasn’t legal to do for a single person.

  4. chigau (違う) says

    Are 20% of gender dysphoric children going to end up as ordinary lesbians?
    I’m not following his math.

  5. chigau (違う) says

    I just read a couple of Pfft articles about Blanchard and his theories.
    I have diagnosed him.
    He is a Freudian.
    or maybe since everything Freud is dead, moribund, pushing up daisies
    a ZombiFreudian.

  6. Siobhan says

    @chigau

    Are 20% of gender dysphoric children going to end up as ordinary lesbians?
    I’m not following his math.

    Transmasculine folks barely exist in Blanchard’s world. There’s a reason I specified transmisogyny. He didn’t even start mentioning transmasculine folks until the DSM-V, and even then it was an afterthought. His research predates the DSM-III. The dude is fucking obsessed with transfeminine-spectrum people.

  7. chigau (違う) says

    Shiv
    I expect he never encountered any trans men because his focus has been … narrow.
    I know that two tweets don’t give a big picture but does he *really* think that being a transperson is *only* about recreational sex?

  8. Siobhan says

    @chigau

    I know that two tweets don’t give a big picture but does he *really* think that being a transperson is *only* about recreational sex?

    Literally: yes. In his world, if you’re attracted to women and also transgender, it’s all a sexual fantasy.

    https://learningtrans.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/serano-agreview-ijt.pdf

    “While other researchers had previously
    described MtF cross-gender arousal (calling it
    “transvesticism” or “cross-gender fetishism”),
    Blanchard reenvisioned these phenomena as
    all being manifestations of “autogynephilia”
    (literally, “love of oneself as a woman”). In
    order to explain its prevalence in nonandrophilic
    MtF transsexuals, Blanchard hypothesized
    that autogynephilia arose from a “misdirected
    type of heterosexual impulse, which arises
    in association with normal heterosexuality
    but also competes with it.” (Blanchard, 1991,
    p. 241).

    He proposed that gynephilic MtF
    transsexuals experience both autogynephilia
    and “normal” attraction to women, whereas,
    asexual MtF transsexuals “represent those
    cases in which the autogynephilic disorder
    nullifies or overshadows any erotic attraction
    to women” (Blanchard, 1989a, p. 324). He also
    argued that bisexuality in MtF transsexuals is
    better described as “pseudobisexuality”: “The
    effective erotic stimulus in these interactions
    . . . is not the male physique of the partner, as it
    is in true homosexual attraction, but rather the
    thought of being a female, which is symbolized
    in the fantasy of being penetrated by a man. For
    these persons, the male sexual partner serves the
    same function as women’s apparel or makeup,
    namely, to aid and intensify the fantasy of being
    a woman” (Blanchard, 1989a, pp. 323–324).”

  9. chigau (違う) says

    That ^ quote@#8, right there is a shining example of why a huge swack of current psychiatric practise is a horrible, grotesque, lethal joke.
    Freud will never die.

  10. says

    chigau@#9:
    That ^ quote@#8, right there is a shining example of why a huge swack of current psychiatric practise is a horrible, grotesque, lethal joke.

    A huge swack of it has always been and used to be much much worse. So the psychiatrists try to skate on “well, we’re nowhere near as bad as we used to be!!”

    it’s a field that had been so wrong for so long, that it really ought to have been uprooted and plowed with salt. And, in spite of so much protesting, Freudian methods still set the standard for most of the basic practices.

  11. says

    chigau@#7:
    does he *really* think that being a transperson is *only* about recreational sex?

    That was my takeaway, but I’m not sure how to phrase it: so many cis’ sexual identity (or entire identity) is wrapped up in recreational sex performance, that they color their perceptions of everyone else accordingly. There is a critique of pornography culture to that effect, which I used to dismiss, but now I realize I’ve been trapped in the middle of ever since I was a teenager.

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