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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This arrived on Saturday and I've been reading it since then. I didn't want to write a review before I'd finished, but I was conscious that there only seemed to be ranty 'reviews' from amazon.com available to read, which didn't seem to be based on the book itself.

Chapter One deals with how transgenderism has been socially constructed, drawing a parallel with...
Published 7 months ago by Amy Wallace

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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Offensive Garbage
This is some of the most transphobic crap I have ever read - it makes Transwomen out to be nothing more than homosexuals who took it too far.
I have a good friend who is transgendered and another who is a staunch feminist and guess what? This may both shock and offend Jefferys but she considers it an HONOUR that there are men who chose to be women.
In my opinion...
Published 4 months ago by Julia


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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 2 May 2014
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This arrived on Saturday and I've been reading it since then. I didn't want to write a review before I'd finished, but I was conscious that there only seemed to be ranty 'reviews' from amazon.com available to read, which didn't seem to be based on the book itself.

Chapter One deals with how transgenderism has been socially constructed, drawing a parallel with the social construction of homosexuality. It's worthwhile referring to Sheila Jeffreys' earlier works on sexologists and social constructions of lesbianism such as Anticlimax, The Spinster and Her Enemies and Lesbian Heresy. Also, Celia Kitzinger's Social Construction of Lesbianism goes into depth on this issue. Jeffreys makes the worthwhile point that while criticisms of the 'born this way' or 'invert/pervert' constructions of homosexuality remain free from death threats and accusations of homophobia (because they were themselves homosexual) it's very difficult to engage with the constructions of transgenderism in the same way without being accused of transphobia.

Transphobia itself is not present in the book - Wikipedia uses the definition of ' emotional disgust, fear, anger or discomfort felt or expressed towards people who don't conform to society's gender expectations,' and nobody is more critical of society's gender expectations than Sheila Jeffreys.

Chapter Two explores the contradictions between feminist thought and transgenderism. It may come as a surprise to some who are new to feminism that there are any tensions here, but this is explored thoroughly, with strong arguments made. CEDAW is discussed and this is a convention I feel feminists ought to be more aware of. Shifts in lesbian identities are also explored here.
It does seem to me that unthinking acceptance of an internal gender identity, without any explanation of what one of those would feel like, could well be a death sentence for feminists who want to fight for women's rights without necessarily feeling 'like a woman'.

Chapter Three, 'Doing Transgender', was written in collaboration with Lorene Gottshalk. This looks at the physical and psychological impact of transition. There are plenty of references for the points brought up in this chapter, which are worth investigating if the information and testimony goes against your initial impressions of the arguments. The chapter includes stories of those who have had surgery and regretted it. The fact that these people are pilloried within the online transgender community is mentioned.
Some readers may have noticed the media coverage of the investigation into Dr Richard Curtis's conduct. This is mentioned along with concerns about other practitioners.

Chapter Four is also written together with Lorene Gottshalk and this chapter discusses the ways transgenderism impacts on women who are in relationships with transgender people. I think this is much-needed. There's mention of it in Beauty and Misogyny and that was the first time I'd seen any compassion extended towards the women who find themselves stuck married to/cohabiting with someone who wants to be treated as being the opposite sex to the sex they actually are.
I followed Christine Benvenuto's treatment when she published a book on living with a man who transitioned. She was stalked and picketed and allsorts. It's good that this has finally made it into an academic work. It needs to be recorded and analysed.
I was struck by how chilling it was that one man changed his name to Diane to incorporate his wife's name - Anne, plus part of his name - Dick. This just seems indicative of the wider problem of women's identities being co-opted by males.
I think it's very important that consideration is given to the unpaid labour women are expected to surrender to their transitioning partners. This chapter does just that. It also discusses the impact transition has on their mothers.

Chapter Five focuses on women who transition, and the effect this has on lesbian partners who may feel they have to become more feminine in order to accentuate their partner's 'maleness'. It looks in some depth at the affect this has on lesbian women who are suddenly no longer able to call themselves lesbians.

Chapter Six is aptly named 'Gender Eugenics' and is about the transgendering of children. It's perhaps some of the material in the book that will be most surprising to a general audience. It includes such things as medical advice that parents may become aware their child is transgender as early as 18 months. It's sad to think of children being labelled so early. Again, it mentions disturbing concepts such as children 'living as a girl'. What exactly does it mean to live as a girl?

Chapter Seven looks at legal developments in various countries which lead to clashes of rights between different vulnerable groups. One example is an occasional cross-dresser being able to access women-only support services. Another is the fact that in some places, violent men can access women's prisons after commiting assaults upon women. The dangers of enshrining gender stereotypes into law are explored.

Chapter Eight looks at women-only space and how this has been affected. Michfest is one example discussed. It also covers different aspects of the impact on women's services, such as women being forced to accept counselling from male transgender people, or have no counselling at all.

I hope that readers can take in the impact on women of the practice of transgenderism and not immediately centre the debate on transgender people and their needs. Rights should not come at the expense of other vulnerable groups. Feminism should protect women's interests and safety. This is a very important book and it's very straightforward to read. The references are easy to find and useful.

I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read and make your mind up for yourself, 2 May 2014
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This very necessary book takes a look at one of the central issues facing feminism and women today. It includes insightful chapters on the female partners of those who transgender, the detransition movement, female bodied transgendered people, the eugenics behind transgendering children and the besieging of women only spaces (including rape crisis services and refuges). Even if you do not agree with Jeffreys, the points she makes need to be heard and I commend Routlegde for publishing
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28 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brave And Necessary Book., 2 May 2014
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The idea of "gender" is one that is generally understood to mean a collection of personality traits or attributes commonly assigned to humans according to their sex - male or female. In this book, Professor Jeffreys clearly and cogently set out how "gender" is in fact a social construct that supports and normalises ideas and concepts that lead to and sustain the oppression of women as the subordinate "caste" within a strict hierarchy, and that the only way that women will be freed of their status as inferior humans is to abolish gender, and the ideas, systems and processes that maintain "gender" as an "innate" quality within human beings. This book specifically looks at the relatively recent phenomena af "transgenderism" and sets out in what ways the ideas that gender is "innate" or can be "played with" is fundamentally damaging to females, and the struggle for full recognition of women's oppression. She examines how the ongoing legal challenges to replace "sex discrimination" legislation with "gender recognition" legislation is in many cases actually rolling back the progress that women have made towards equality and in sme cases are actually harming women as a class. She looks at the effects on families, partners and wives of those who "transition", a perspective that is very often overlooked or minimised in the many stories celebrating the "journey" of individuals who "change sex". This is an important work. One that deserves to be read by anyone serious about examining "gender" or even the lay person, curious about what impacts the theories behind trangenderism is having on individuals, families, society, and particularly on the rights of women to be recognised as fully human beings who face particular and unique forms of opression under the system of "gender". I expect that many will "review" this book without having read it. Some transgender activist even campaigned to impede or stop it's publication. I suggest those reading such reviews consider such actions in light of many such attempts over decades, if not centuries by those who wish to silence women's voices and stifle those they disagree with by labelling them as "bigots" or speakers of "hate". I wuld ask those reading this review to consider exactly what is so threatening (and to whom) about this particular analyisis of "gender", and in
who's interests such censorship would serve. This is a brave and much needed book. Even if you don't agree with it's contents it deserves to be read.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timely Cultural Reference Point, 3 May 2014
This was a much anticipated book and it doesn't disappoint. Jeffreys offers a perspective on transgenderism which is refreshing and controversial in the current postmodernist academic environment. Well-structured, eloquently argued, and meticulously referenced, this book is a valuable resource for anyone involved in the academic or personal study of feminism.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 4 May 2014
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This review is from: Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism (Kindle Edition)
A must read for everyone. This book is a essential resource on the critical analysis of gender, brilliant written which examines the wider social and political implications of transgenderism.
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20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clearly written, lucid, and compelling, 3 May 2014
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To quote Professor Jeffreys: "Feminist criticism... can be buried in loud boos and hisses and accusations of transphobia before it can reasonably be heard or considered." This meticulously referenced work provides a desperately needed analysis of the phenomenon of transgenderism from the feminist perspective, and will be an invaluable counter-balance to the sexist, big-pharma-backed orthodoxy on trans issues which is currently swamping women's and gender studies teaching.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Offensive Garbage, 31 July 2014
This review is from: Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism (Kindle Edition)
This is some of the most transphobic crap I have ever read - it makes Transwomen out to be nothing more than homosexuals who took it too far.
I have a good friend who is transgendered and another who is a staunch feminist and guess what? This may both shock and offend Jefferys but she considers it an HONOUR that there are men who chose to be women.
In my opinion Jefferys strikes me as a woman who has either never had a meaningful and in-depth conversation with a Transwoman/man or doesn't want to. Both are hurdles when trying to make yourself out as anything more than a bigot.
What a truly vile person.
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8 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hateful, 18 Jun 2014
This book was hateful crap. Made it sound like it's some kind sexual deviancy that makes someone trans. Particularly hateful towards men transitioning into women. Seems like she fears them because they make her "feminist movement" worth less because it has to include "non-biological" women. Also surprisingly hateful towards "butch lesbians". How about we all just agree to be HUMANS and treat everyone with respect no matter what decisions they are making with their lives, particularly the decisions that DO NOT affect you. We can call it humanism.
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