The Transsexual Empire: Time for a Re-Print?

September 28, 2011

Recent Amazon prices for a used paperback copy of Janice Raymond’s The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male.

41 Responses to “The Transsexual Empire: Time for a Re-Print?”

  1. Om Kalthoum Says:

    Time for a reprint?
    Hardly.
    [link deleted-GM]

    • GallusMag Says:

      Sorry Om, I don’t click on or post unidentified links. You’re welcome to re-state your comment in the old fashioned way- with words. Sorry for the inconvenience.

      • Om Kalthoum Says:

        As I thought was obvious from the wording in the link, it referenced a well-known used book service and it showed the title of the work which is the subject of this thread. If the link were available for people to click on, they would find multiple sources where people could buy this work for prices ranging from $6 to $20.

        So, no, it’s not time for a reprint, and I can’t imagine who would pay $600 when they could pay $6.

        Thanks for the warm welcome.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Warm welcome? I could swear you’ve posted here before….
        at any rate, those are the prices on Amazon when I went to purchase the book. If I can find a six dollar copy that would be awesome!


      • Hi GM

        ABE Books (Google) has one rough, but intact copy for $15.

  2. kurukurushoujo Says:

    For someone that is supposed to be so irrelevant and hateful her books are surely considered highly valuable and sought after. If there wasn’t anyone to buy them stores could not charge that much.

    • DaveSquirrel Says:

      Given the wild pricing, we would have to conclude that males with their greater earning power and resources are buying this. Females, particularly feminists, are usually dead broke.

      It must be nice to wear a dress part time for kicks, and retain a well-paid male jobbie!

      • kurukurushoujo Says:

        I must admit my mind didn’t go there. It’s very difficult to understand that someone would pay a fortune for a book just to get upset about it. But, hey, I am not a self-obsessed man with a delusional streak so it figures!

  3. bugbrennan Says:

    I had never heard of Janice Raymond or her book until this year. Because people kept accusing me of being Janice Raymond, I figured I better pretend to know who she is and what this book is about. So, I paid $32.97 for it in May, but I failed at reading it, because it is boring prose and of an era where I was more interested in watching Saturday morning cartoons. I would totally resell it for any of the going prices above!

    On an unrelated note, I just finished the Rogue, Joe McGinness’ book about Palin. Recommended!

    • Barbara Di Bari Visconti Says:

      Too bad you couldn’t get past the boring prose, Cathy, because Raymond does an excellent, compassionate and FEMINIST analysis of the transsexual phenomenon.

    • DaveSquirrel Says:

      LOL, I keep getting compared to Raymond, and accused of being a Raymondette or something! Never read her!

      It is entirely possible to become twanz-critical on one’s own, and by reading twanz themselves. That’s what did it for me.

    • yttik Says:

      Is that sarcasm? Because if it isn’t, I don’t even know what to say. Who would reject a book by a highly educated feminist, a professor of women’s studies and medical ethics, in favor of unsourced piece of male gossip that tries to make the case that a woman is a “whore?”

      • bugbrennan Says:

        Sorry, I regularly reject reject books that are boring to read. I am not a literary masochist.

        As for unsourced, you might want to read The Rogue book if you haven’t, because it seemed fairly sourced to me. And it seems only fair for you to give it a whirl in exchange for the effort I put in trying to read Janice Raymond. Believe me, I tried. Not everything is good just because a feminist wrote it.

      • GallusMag Says:

        @yttik- There’s a free PDF of the entire book now available here:

        http://rancom.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/empire/

        And it is anything but boring. ;)

  4. Bev Jo Says:

    Thank you, Gallus, for suggesting “The Transsexual Empire” be reprinted. It certainly is needed and as relevant as ever. No, it is actually much more relevant now because back then we had no idea things would ever get as bad as they have, with men claiming to be women, and now women claiming to be men. The whole medical industry around it has become so enormous that they are now making money off surgically and chemically victimizing children. If there was a patriarchal high command working on coming up with the most destructive way possible to harm girls, women, Lesbians, and feminism, this issue is it.

    It would certainly help to have this book in bookstores instead of what is now almost all porn and sado-masochism in the “Lesbian” section.

    I too have been compared to Janice Raymond, though I was writing and working against men masquerading as Lesbians since 1971. I also never read her book, but have been impressed with sections friends have sent me, in terms of how she describes the entire situation, including predicting how bad it could get. It is so helpful to just be able to hand such a book to a woman who doesn’t get it about why a man can’t be a Lesbian.

  5. fabflowers Says:

    i smell man stink, lol… or a male-identified laydee… oh dear, actually it’s rather boring seeing dissenters with nothing better to add than a whine about why the book isn’t so great… well, gee, i guess i wouldn’t know anything i read about enough to leave an intelligent critique either if i found the prose boring…. anyone who deigns to prefer male-tastic cartoons over a book and claims to be a book lover is either lying or male. i’m picking the latter, and well.. if the latter is true then perhaps the former is too. ;)

    i wish i had that amount of money too. i think it’s most definitely time for a re-print… i’m going to hunt for this book in where i live and i hope i can get hold of it for others in my real life to read too.

    • bugbrennan Says:

      I am happy to sell you mine. bugbrennan@gmail.com – for cheap. Of course, you might not want to touch it with my male-identified cooties on it (this made me guffaw).

    • GallusMag Says:

      fabflowers- were you saying that another commenter “smells”? That’s what it seems like. Maybe I’m misreading. I hope I am, because such a comment is not welcome on my site. Please register your differences of opinion with other commenters in a less disgusting way. Thanks.

  6. Om Kalthoum Says:

    I am not a lawyer, nor do I have the energy or inclination to research this, but…

    I thought I read somewhere that California law had been changed recently so that just anyone “off the street” had no standing to contest an application for a change of sex marker. Can anyone confirm this?

  7. Om Kalthoum Says:

    So let’s see, GM, you don’t allow links to a world-renowned book service, but you do allow the utter nastiness of fabflowers’s ad hom comment? Oh well.

    Hey, all, I’d be glad to show everyone how to find a copy of that book for free within miles of wherever you live, but, you know, no links allowed. Okay, I’ve beaten that poor horse enough.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Om, since that comment was not seemingly directed at any particular person (in my mod que) I thought it was confusing, but it went over my head. I have since addressed it. I try to think the best of people. On that note, I would appreciate it if you would try to wind down the adversarial tone of your comments to me. Thanks.
      To clarify again about the links- you are welcome to post a general link to a site, such as a bookseller. Searches and such cannot be posted. Hope that clears things up.

      Folks, in an effort to facilitate conversation/commentary I sometimes mod posts on the fly. Sometimes things get past me. Apologies to any who were offended.

  8. Om Kalthoum Says:

    Thanks for the explanation. I’m not sure I “get” the links policy, but then since I’m new here, I’m sure plenty of folks don’t “get” me, either. :)

    Is “adversarial” necessarily bad? I do appreciate that as the site owner, you can say and do any darn thing you please. Your house, your rules.

    • GallusMag Says:

      If you’re uncomfortable with the way I do things feel free to explore the rest of the internet. No more of your bitchery will be approved. If I’m bored with it, I’m sure my readers are doubly so. Direct all comments to the content of the post, or the thread discussion, not about Om’s feewings about me.

  9. flogger Says:

    God I love this site!

  10. fabflowers Says:

    my apologies, GM, was not a personal insult intended, but will not happen again.

  11. Bev Jo Says:

    Back to one of our own not having heard of Janice Raymond — that is how bad things have gotten with our Lesbian history erased so much. It is so important to not forget our best, especially someone so attacked for having had the courage and forsight to say how bad the trans con is and will get. Quite visionary.

  12. Kathrin Says:

    Half.com still has 3 copies left for $5.


  13. I have noticed some rare feminist books are waaaay overpriced at amazon. I can’t figure out why this is. Do the sellers really think anyone is going to by them at such a price?

    I was able to read The Transsexual Empire by getting ahold of it through inter-library loan.

    Honestly, the book is dated. Even though there was a “new” introduction, done in 1994, it does read as very old. It’s not going to speak to the younger generation of women today. It purely focuses on M2Ts and does not mention “genderqueer” or female transitioners, saying the latter are very rare. Today, they are becoming quite common in the lesbian community.

    I still think the book has a place for historical purposes. I was also surprised Raymond does not suggest banning surgery for men who wish to have it; I do like her suggestion of supports groups for such men though; I wish they would take off, but men aren’t about to listen to her (or any woman’s) suggestions.

    I suggest Sheila Jeffreys’ writings to people who want an up-to-date analysis of transgenderism/transsexuality.

  14. Luckynkl Says:

    The Transsexual Empire was Janice Raymond’s dissertation. Mary Daly was Raymond’s dissertation advisor. Need I say more? **grin**

    Yes, the book was kinda hard to trudge through in the beginning, but it picks up. Raymond nails it. But with Mary Daly as an advisor, how could she not?

    Yes, trans hate Mary Daly. She had their number right from the get-go. So did Janice Raymond. So did I. And so did many of the folks here. Con artists don’t like the cons exposed, now do they?

  15. Bev Jo Says:

    There are also my and Linda Strega’s writings, which are not Butch-phobic. I’ve been writing about trans since 1973, but my articles (to be added to our book) at my blog are very recent. It was our book, however, that reached young Lesbians in college to change from supporting trans to becoming the opposite and Separatist. A friend says she was going up to Lesbians at her college, asking them to boycott Michigan and any place who was not open to female impersonators — until she read our book, “Dykes-Loving-Dykes” at the Oakland library. Then she and her friends changed completely.

  16. SheilaG Says:

    A community that can’t control the space, a community that can’t create safe space, and a community that let’s men in, is a community that will be messed up…. creepo picture of Elliot. He used to write columns for lesbian magazines in the early 80s, and the lesbians who published those magazines did not reveal that he was a man. This guy has been a real menace for decades, and yet “the community” comntinues to let him in, and put up with this.

    This is what I hate about lesbian groups these days… everyone comes in the front door, but just have one real lesbian speak up, and SHE gets silenced. That’s the problem wommin!

  17. twanzmooselike Says:

    I’m trying to get a copy through inter-library loan. Although ABE Books has lots of copies of her other titles, conspicuously only one of TE, and none of the university libraries I can access have it.

    I wonder if we’d use “out-of-date” comments about other issue-related texts? Just imagine someone saying Simone de Beauvoir’s work was out of date.


    • Actually, at the school where I’m going to, the WMST department almost *banned* The Second Sex from being taught under the guise that it is no longer relevant. Fortunately, a prof. fought for it to be kept as a potential book to be read (not sure that any classes actually use it though).

  18. Purplerage Says:

    @ womanonajourney

    Why would using ”prostituted” be enough to make you feel like a dinosaur? Have pimps and sex traffickers ceased to exist? Has the reality of women and girls lives in prostitution changed so much for the better? I don’t understand your point?

    The term ”sex work” is a reactionary euphemism that was coined to normalize male sexploitation of the female sex, some of the most major crimes against humanity are normalized, incorporated into the malestream culture and society at large, they may often become a central part of the economy. Euphemisms (to gloss over the horrors/oppression/exploitation/human suffering etc.) and mythology are essential to keeping the values of patriarchy and male supremacy intact. Male-supremacist mythology, above all, in all the forms it takes is truly sacred to the patriarchists. It is far more important then anything inconvenient such as factual information, or the reality on the ground. ”Sex work” is a callus, dehumanizing liberal term. Slavery in the liberal universe of discourse would most probably be termed something like ”life-long employment.”

    When my mother was trapped in prostitution and spoke of how much she hated it (all her friends in prostitution felt the exact same way, and they were at the higher end of it, and all at the mercy of pimps), the man using her as a sexual latrine for the evening refused to believe her, because to him the patriarchal mythology of what a prostituted woman is was more real and meaningful to him than the flesh and blood woman before his very eyes telling him how much she hated it. Patriarchal mythology is sacred, anything that challenges it is akin to heresy. The term ”sex work” has now become a sacred patriarchal word.

    The slave-owning white male elites of the American South considered themselves to be the true ”nigger-lovers” because they claimed to care about the well being of their ”negroes” as they were their property. If it were today those who opposed the slavery of the Antebellum South would be accused of being anti-negro and denying the negro slaves their agency, denying the precious bond between a slave and her/his master, and the ”natural” need of ”the negro” to serve … yada yada yada. Remember those enslaved Blacks that resisted were cast as mad or suffering from drapetomania (if they ran away) to brand them as anomalies.

    Right now the sons of patriarchy and tragically, their female loyalists wage a deadly war with words too and at this point in time they have the upper hand. Never forget that they are mind-f*ckers of the highest order. Don’t let them get into your head!

    I’ve just recently glued the pages of my Transsexual Empire back into the spine – I bought it second hand from a Lesbian Fair back in the early 90’s. It can be difficult reading at first, and of course it’s going to seem out of date in parts, but what isn’t lost on me is how astute Janice Raymond was and alot of what she wrote is still applicable today. Let’s face it, there weren’t many books written on such subject matters from a radical feminist perspective way back then? Her book isn’t redundant, it merely needs to be updated and expanded upon.The foundations her analyses were build upon are still as applicable as ever.

    However, considering the death threats and hate mail and intense trans-hounding she’s been subjected to, I doubt very much that she’ll touch the subject matter again with a barge pole (a meagre success to the transjacktivists – 32 years after she wrote it – they must feel so proud?). Her fight against the sex trafficking in women and girls is what matters now.

    Has anyone read A Passion For Friends, that’s my favourite Raymond book?!

    • DaveSquirrel Says:

      I don’t think WOAJ really meant to deny the term ‘prostituted’, more that if one hangs around a young crowd, a liberal crowd, general feminist crowd, the ‘hip’ thing pretending to be PC is to say ‘sex work’ because it is empowerfulnessising(!!!), so anyone using the accurate term ‘prostituted’ is deemed to be an old dinosaur, out of touch.

      The reality is that we are on the money.


  19. [...] by a man coming to terms with the fact that he drank the gender Kool-aid, got swept up into the “Transsexual Empire”  of the psychiatric and medical sex-change industry, and now needs to come to terms with it [...]


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