This essay is the first of a series I’m writing about my reactions to and analysis of the Tranzing phenomenon, from cross-dressing to hormones and surgery, and it’s effect on women as a class. The first time I considered the Tranz issue, other than wishing I had been born a boy in order to avoid sexual assault by men (beginning with my father), was when I was 17 and read this popular novel by Robert Heinlein:
The story takes place in the early 21st century against a background of an overpopulated Earth with a violent, dysfunctional society. Elderly billionaire Johann Sebastian Bach Smith is being kept alive through medical support and decides to have his brain transplanted into a new body. He advertises an offer of a million dollars for the donation of a body from a brain-dead patient. Smith omits to place any restriction on the sex of the donor, so when his beautiful young female secretary, Eunice Branca, is murdered, her body is used. He changes his name to Joan Eunice Smith, with the first name given “the two-syllable pronunciation” Jo-Ann to mimic the sound of his original name.
After Smith awakens after the transplant, he discovers he can communicate with Eunice’s personality. They agree not to reveal her existence, fearing that they would be judged insane and locked up. Smith’s identity is unsuccessfully challenged by his descendants, who hope to inherit his fortune. Smith and Eunice decide to have a baby together and so they (Joan and Eunice) are artificially inseminated using Smith’s sperm from the sperm bank. Joan explores her new sexuality at length. She goes to visit Eunice’s widower, Joe Branca, to help reconcile him to what has happened.
Joan marries her lawyer, Jake Salomon, and moves her household and friends onto a boat. Jake has a massive rupture of a large blood vessel in his brain and dies, but his personality is saved and joins Smith and Eunice in Joan’s head. She (Joan, Eunice and Jake) emigrates to the moon to find a better future for her child. Once there, her body starts to reject her (Smith’s) transplanted brain. She dies during childbirth.
Then the movie, Tootsie came along. Then there was Torch Song Trilogy, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar. I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the Tranz phenomenon, at least as it sugared-off for men. I saw Transvestitism and Drag Queens as kind of fun and essentially harmless. I had read Mary Daly’s Gyn/Ecology in the mid nineteen-eighties and I registered her disapproval of men pretending to be women, but this was before the hormone/surgery option to become the opposite sex started to become widely socially acceptable and at that time I didn’t see trans-genderism as much of a threat to anyone.
In the early 2000’s my daughter started reporting to me about the gender-bending trends among her peers. Non-binary, gender-fluid, etc. people in various combinations hooking up. And I even thought that was ok, because they seemed to be challenging the patriarchal gender hierarchy and searching for new ways to express their sexuality.
I had some dire health problems and wound up moving in temporarily at the student housing coop where my daughter was living. There were transgender people living at the coop’s houses and before every business meeting we had to go around in the circle and voice our preference of pronoun. I went along with this, also thinking that it was somehow liberating of traditional gender/sex roles and a progressive move in the direction of female equality with men. Many of the coop members identified as feminists and the structure of the meetings was supposedly based on something known as feminist process.
I went to the local rape crisis center both for support for my own post-incest recovery issues and to offer support to others. What I found there were posters talking about “gender-based violence.”:
“Gender-based violence (GBV) is the general term used to capture violence that occurs as a result of the normative role expectations associated with each gender, along with the unequal power relationships between the two genders, within the context of a specific society.” (Bloom 2008, p14).
I don’t know if it’s obvious to you, but it seems really creepy to me that the word “woman” has been erased and omitted in favor of the word, “gender.” At the rape crisis center the posters pictured girls being sexually abusive to boys. Yeah, I get it that this happens, it happened to my brother, but in fact all men do not live in fear of all women who are stronger and more socially powerful than they are. It doesn’t matter what the statistics are, what matters is that the sexual caste system oppresses ALL women and gives ALL men privilege. And this fact is being minimized, hidden, erased.
And that is a problem for me and for all women. Because erasing women is not a new thing within patriarchal cultures.
The Tranz Trance is simply the most recent phase of torturing and obliterating females and female bodies. It is the same kind of behavior-mod practice as footbinding and clitoridectomy , essentially products of virulently patriarchal, misogynistic, body-hating cultures. Just the normal modus operandi of the phallocratic sadostate. The human body is part of nature, and nature is seen by patriarchy as something to conquer, control, commoditize and destroy. It’s part and parcel of the thrust of the Corporate-Industrial Medical Corrections System’s intent to take control of and take credit for fertility and reproduction, from invasive and painful “fertility treatments” to genetically-raped organisms. It is the Male-Mothering that Mary Daly describes so eloquently in her books on feminist ethics.
It took awhile for me to be able to put together the severed parts, but the fact that Tranzing is a psychiatric and surgical matter was a strong clue as to what, exactly, I was confronting.
Trans sexual, trans gender, we are supposed to go into a trance and overlook the horror that is at the heart of the matter. I have been attempting to understand this incursion into the Sacred Space of Female Integrity but more as more I can see the roots of the ritualized sado-masochistic Goddess dismemberment and murder that is being re-enacted by the adherents of this ideology.