February 28, 2011
'All of this surfaced periodically in my head throughout today and I came to a new thought that I had not had before. Though many are saying that autogynephilia [erotic feminization fantasies] and "classic" transsexuality are different conditions at their core, what if they are wrong? Perhaps the only real difference is that a "classic" transgender female feels like a "woman in a man's body", thus experiencing an early onset gender confusion, whereas we crossdreamers are "women in a man's body and mind". If the difference is simply a factor of the way our mind is wired, then perhaps the sexual response is simply a male mind's response to the need to be female.'
Read also her discussion of the difference between a fetish and a transgender condition:
'I do have a separate unrelated fetish, though I won't get into the specifics, and because of the experience of these in tandem, I can feel a significant difference between the fetish and my autogynephilia. Whereas with the fetish I can be turned on very strongly, I don't actually want it to be made manifest- "it's just a fantasy", yet with the desire to be female there is nothing I want more, even though it usually doesn't turn me on quite as much as my fetish. Each day my desire for a female form varies in intensity, but irrespective of how turned on I am on any given day, the feeling that I am somehow trapped inside an inescapable prison and sometimes almost crying at some level deep inside, seems to point strongly to the suggestion that we are more closely related to classic transgendered women than many would have us believe.'
Read the whole blog post here.
February 25, 2011
The DSM-5 includes a separate category for "paraphilias" (read: perversions), and "autogynephilia" is one of them - classified under the heading of transvestic fetishism. Hinderliter's bibliography has a section for writings on transvestism and crossdreaming.
Here are some of my posts on crossdressing, paraphilias and the DSM-5:
Blanchard and the DSM-V, redefining paraphilia
DSM-V: What about autogynephilia?
DSM-V: What others say
Petition Opposing the Transvestic Disorder Diagnosis in the DSM-5
Autoandrophilia makes it into the DSM-5
On Moser's critique of Blanchard's autogynephilia theory
Strong resistance against proposed paraphilias in the DSM-5
On grammar, paraphilia and the DSM-5
February 16, 2011
Cause and effect
In the debate on transgender conditions there is a mix up of observed behavior and what causes this behavior (correlation vs. causation).
To give the crossdreamer example:
Moreover, the condition is caused by "autogynephilia". It is, according to Blanchard, an intrinsic part of his nature. It is innate.
The alternative would be to look at crossdreaming as an effect of another underlying condition.
The observed "facts" are the same, but the story used to explain them is completely different. In the first the man is a pervert, in the other -- maybe -- a sexually frustrated woman or a person living outside existing gender norms.
Another example: "Autogynephiliacs" are considered self-obsessed narcissist unable to connect in normal love relationships. They are narcissists. (This isn't true, by the way, but this is what some of the experts say).
The alternative would be to look for an explanation for such behaviour outside the observed phenomenon itself:
In other words: They are afraid of yet another rejection and have given up love alltogether.
Again: The context changes everything.
The second fallacy is the tendency of interpreting "normal" as what the majority of people is doing. Hence abnormal is what a minority of people is doing.
A 19th century example would be the argument that since women have never been great scientists or political leaders they must in fact be biologically incapable of becoming so. (Queen Elisabeth I and Victoria would be ignored or explained away as as abnormal exeptions to the rule).
At that time you could also argue that women do not masturbate. Women who do masturbate must therefore be sexually deviant. This argument was commonly heard among doctors and scientists all the way up to the 1970's.
The alternative use of the word "normal" -- if we stick to biology -- would be "that which appears as a result of natural diverisity". According to this understanding homosexuality would be natural, even if a minority of the population understand themselves as being gay.
These distinctions are extremely important, because if you label someone as a pervert or a paraphiliac, you have -- in effect -- denied them their dignity and their humanity.
However, some people have a strong need to sort people into the clean and the unclean, the normal and the abnormal. We have seen this since the time the priests and the prophets of the Old Testament wrote their laws and regulation. They took great pleasure in telling the people what was kosher and what was unacceptable in the eyes of the Lord.
Andrew Hinderliter and Ray Blanchard
Andrew Hinderliter has published an interesting paper called "Defining Paraphilia: Do not disregard grammar" published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.
February 10, 2011
February 8, 2011
TransGriot has published an interview with transgender activist Antonia D'orsay, also known as Dyssonance.
Dyssonance describes herself as a "multi-ethnic, early Generation X, native Arizonan writer, 3D artist, sociologist and psychologist who rarely cleaves to the standard party line for any group."
The interview is relevant to my previous post on the conflict between so-called "Classic Transsexuals" and the rest of the transgender community.
Dyssonance represent their exact opposite, a transwoman that would like to unite the various types of transgender people under one banner.
She has written an interesting summary of her own debates with the CT crowd:
"[This debate] is about the right to determine who is and who isn’t a transsexual.
They want to say that if they are left alone (well, transgender is an umbrella term for everyone but this group of some transsexuals right here is what they want said) they will leave us alone.
The problem is that when you tell them that all they need to do is go away and ignore us, then they suddenly say 'well, no, it’s also about how you embarrass us. You need to stop using transsexuals whenever you talk about transgender people.'
You argue that point, and suddenly it becomes 'No, because you aren’t a transsexual, You are a transgender.'
And if you piss them off, you get called a non passing transvestite hooker pretending to be a transsexual.
If they really get a hard on for you (pun intended), they misgender you, calling you sir or man."
And that, being addressed with the male pronoun, has happened a lot of time in Dyssonance's own online life.
In the interview she asked about where sees see the trans community at the end of this decade and beyond.
"In-community, I think we'll see a division that becomes stronger as the various gender variant groups fund their own language outside the binary that many transsexual people feel is best for them. I'd like to say that I also see many of the APA estimated 2-3% of the population that is CD [crossdresser] but not transsexual emerge and step up, which will have an effect on the transsexual dominated forms of discourse surrounding political efforts.
“However, I fear that the intense degree of internalized stigma in that community will continue to limit them, especially when combined with a high degree of stigma within the overall 'full time' trans community. Reminds me of the 'weekend warriors' in fighting between the regular Army and the NG/AR units before the Gulf War pointed out they all bleed red just as easily."
In other words: She does see the possibility of crossdressers and crossdreamers getting some more respect if we start making ourselves more visible, but it is a long shot.
I would add: for that to happen, we would have to be as respectful to others, as we want them to be to us.
Here are some of Dyssonance's other posts that might be of interest to you:
Internal trans warfare: Some Insights (on using the term transgender as an insult and the Classic Transsexuals)
The end of disorder (on the relationship between homosexuality and transgender conditions in American psychiatry and the DSM)
Goodbye Disorder, Hello Incongruence (on the DSM, gender issues and autogynephilia)
Transgender (Golden Calves, Part III) (on the non-transsexual parts of the transgender community, including crossdressers and "autogynephiliacs")
February 3, 2011
One of the reasons for this is that I agree with their argument that transsexualism is not a psychological syndrome, but something inborn. They are real women to me, not some kind of strange gender hybrid.
There are a few of them, however, who spend an awful lot of time attacking people the call the "transgender" or "TG", who in their opinion are trying to take over the transsexual narrative. They are accusing all other "TGs" of being the same as the majority of my readers: fetishists, "autogynephiliacs" and crossdressers. Some of them are extremely aggressive, to point of using the male pronoun for tranwomen that they feel do not live up to the purity of womanhood.
I have not blogged about them, but I have tweeted. Here is one such tweet:
The destructive and hateful TS/TG war flares up again.http://ow.ly/3JDVA http://ow.ly/3JDVI http://ow.ly/3JDW0 http://ow.ly/3JDWC
"I am getting sick of Jack Molay, a cross-dresser, keeping tabs on this mainstream and TS blog. Being a TG cross-dressing man, he has no right to keep an eye on TS sites. The TG+gay community is one community, and the TS/mainstream/cis-gendered community is another. TGs have no right to try to control or keep tabs on TSs, and TSs have no right to do that to TGs.
Jack's libel of TS-only sites as anti-TG hate sites is unwelcome. We don't hate them. We just want our OWN community without them trying to lead us, help us, or define us. Let us be our own train wrecks if we must, and stay out of our way. We have the right to fail, on our own, without TGs trying to help us in ANY way....
True-TSs are neither autogynephiles or androphiles, since there are NO sexual or erotic motives to true-TSism. Autogynephiles are straight men who have a fetish for femininity, while androphiles are self-hating, effeminate gay men. Discredited 'researchers' who were really TG admirers and who couldn't admit their homosexual attraction to cross-dressed men invented the entire AG/AP thing. So that makes them homophobes, and they were willing to abuse/exploit true-TSs for unsavory purposes, and Jack pays homage to them."