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FTM Transsexualism and Grief

In “Pornography and Grief” Andrea Dworkin writes very powerfully about the impact upon her of having to look at so much pornography in order to write about it. The horror of the pain, destruction, and just pure run of the mill hatred towards women inspired grief in her (Dworkin, Letters from a War Zone, 1988). I have looked at the websites aimed at and created by female-to-male transsexuals (now fashionably called transgenders). I have experienced considerable distress from witnessing the destruction of female body parts, the pain, the blood and cutting up that is being visited presently on women who, often by their own admission, would, a few years previously, have considered themselves simply lesbians but are now ‘transitioning’ (to use the jargon). As a lesbian feminist I had believed that the oppression of lesbians, the hatred and harassment, incarceration in mental hospitals, attempts at suicide that had characterized the experience of so many lesbians for so long would be alleviated in the future. The discovery of this new form of immensely serious oppression is a source of considerable grief…

Read the full article in Feminist Reprise. First published in 2002, with an earlier version published in 2001.