Memoirist Benvenuto attacked by Trans Activists, Police Called
December 6, 2012
This is a follow-up to THIS post.
A book reading by Christine Benvenuto, from her memoir “Sex Changes: A Memoir of Marriage, Gender, and Moving On” was disrupted by transgender activists who took issue with the author’s right to share her experiences as the wife of a transgendering partner. Although her ex-husband is never identified in her memoir he has since been publicly identified as Yeshiva University professor Jay, now “Joy” Ladin. Ladin, who notified the Orthodox Jewish university of his intention to adopt a “female” persona 48 hours after being granted tenure at the institution, himself published a memoir this year called “Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between Genders”. Ladin has referred to his transgenderism as his own “private concentration camp“. Ladin’s friends were reportedly among the activists who disrupted the reading, shouting obscenities and threatening violence until police were summoned.
One of the activists was Hampshire College “Queer Studies” professor Margaret Cerullo. From today’s Amherst Bulletin:
“While Benvenuto says her story can help families in which a member has gender issues, not everyone agrees. It has sparked a local protest which included Margaret Cerullo, a Hampshire College professor of sociology, who admits she hasn’t read the book, but nevertheless calls it hurtful, containing negative stereotypes about transgender people based on excerpts she read online. “These kind of portrayals are very damaging, especially for young trans people, who are already struggling with self-image … it seemed unnecessarily cruel,” she said in a phone interview.
“Last month Cerullo, a group of Hampshire students and others — including friends of Benvenuto’s ex-husband — showed up at Benvenuto’s reading at Amherst Books to voice their objections, an episode that ended with police being called. Cerullo said the group was attempting to have “a dialogue” with Benvenuto. Benvenuto, however, said the protesters shouted obscenities, even though children were present at the bookstore, and seemed to be seeking “a violent encounter.”
Benvenuto has also left the Jewish Community of Amherst Synagogue that she and her children have attended for years due to lack of support from some members.
From the same article:
“[Benvenuto] was also disturbed by what she calls “an anti-feminist element” among some people, primarily women, whose attitude appeared to be “we’re going to support your husband — you’re the wife and you’ve got to shut up and back him and sacrifice, and if your kids aren’t on board with this, get them on board.”
Read more from today’s Amherst Bulletin article here:
You can support Benvenuto’s right to free speech by purchasing her book here:
Makes a nice Holiday gift!
[bolding by me- GM]