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on 6 April 2017
Though I do not completely agree with the author, I would recommend the book to everybody that is interested in gender issues.
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on 15 July 2015
a clear and coherent analysis
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Gender hurts is a great book by Sheila Jeffreys examining the "transgender" craze that is sweeping the western world at present & how this is affecting women, including the wives of married men who decide to "transition" to "transwomen" after decades of marriage who have a sexual fetish called autogynephilia (sexual arousal at the thought of themselves as women) & the impact this has on these mens wives & children. It also looks at the women partners of lesbian women who decide to "transition" to "transmen". It examines the eugenics program that is behind the "transitioning" of children who the establishment thinks may grow up to be gay, they are in effect being sterilised.

It also examines the impact of men with a sexual fetish being deemed legally women & suddenly being allowed into what was previously women only spaces & the impact this has on women. One man even said how he was sexually aroused attending a womens knitting group. These autogynephilic men who "transition" to "transwomen" led a hate campaign against the sexologist J Michael Bailey who wrote a book called "the man who would be queen" in 2003, as he was the first to write about the two types of men who "trans" the gay ones & the heterosexual men with "fetishistic transvestism". These men did not like being exposed as having a sexual fetish & so sent him threats & harassed his children, ex wife, his family & friends. (These same autogynephiliac men also targeted Janice Raymond who wrote "the transexual empire" in 1980). This same group of men also tried to get the publishers of this book to revoke their decision to publish it. Sheila Jeffreys herself has been threatened & harassed by "trans activists" to such a degree that she was advised to take her name off the office door at the university at which she worked at, as there were fears for her safety. It is listed in the DSM V for the description of "gender dysphoria" (you have to have a diagnosis of GD to be able to "trans" legally) that the older men who receive a diagnosis of GD who have autogynephilia also have concurrent "personality disorders".

There are two groups of men who can be diagnosed as having "gender dysphoria" (and therefore are aloud to "transition") according to DSM V's own description:
1. Gay teens/ young men.
2. Older heterosexual men (who are usually married often with children) who have "habitual fetishistic transvestism developing into autogynephillia".

The "transgender" craze is the latest attempt by the medical establishment to "cure" gays & lesbians of their homosexuality by making them into the opposite sex, this can be seen very clearly in their targeting of children who by the DSM V's own admission will grow up to be gay & lesbian if left to just grow up without any medical intervention.

A number of gay teens/ young men & lesbian teens/ young women who "trans" have also been sexually abused as children the book touches on this issue also. Since the DSM V says one of the additional features for supporting a diagnosis of GD is: "older adolescents when sexuality active, usually do not show or allow their partners to touch their sexual organs. For adults with an aversion towards their genitals, sexual activity is constrained by the preference that their genitals not be seen or touched by their partner." It is perhaps not surprising that many young ppl who get a diagnosis of GD & then "trans" have been abused given this is one of the "features for supporting a diagnosis of GD".

This "transgender" craze is also a reaction to the gains women made in the 70's, it is trying to get sex roles to be thought of as being innate just as they were thought of before the women's movement of the 70's exploded that myth. We are now living in a extremely reactionary time where the male establishment is trying to push women back into their sex roles, "trans" is a large part of that backlash. The medical establishment is leading the cause with its "brain sex" neurosexist junk science that is the foundation "transgenderism" is based on.

This book is a much needed oasis in a desert full of pro "trans" anti woman propaganda. Womens voices have been effectively silenced by the male autogynephilic "trans" who run the "trans activist" organisations & scream "transphobia" at anyone who speaks out against it. I & many other women cant thank Sheila enough for writing this book & i'm glad she is returning to the UK soon to live.
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on 2 May 2014
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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on 2 May 2014
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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on 2 May 2014
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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on 4 May 2014
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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on 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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on 3 May 2014
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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on 12 February 2015
Given that the feminist movement is known for its lying and hyperventilating over nothing, I'm surprised that something with such clarity comes from it. Few people in the mainstream could write such an effective critique as this.
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