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Apr 25 17 1:11 AM

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I don't know why I missed this one:

Great article by Jeana Jorgensen on the controversial autogynephilia theory.

She writes:
The main problem, as I see it, is that while some trans women (...) probably are aroused by their erotic imagery of their bodies as female, so are other women, cisgender women (or women assigned female at birth) who might identify as straight, or bi, or lesbian.

We're all taught that women's bodies are sexy (thanks, patriarchal male gaze!) and we all probably identify with our bodies as sexual objects to various degrees. So until there's better research on how women of different types experience their bodies as arousing, it's unfair to single out and stigmatize trans women as unnaturally drawn to this kind of self-eroticizing imagery.


She also draws attention to the fact that science has often been used to bully those marginalized:
I mean, imagine if male doctors were still intently insisting that all women suffered from hysteria, but every time we tried to speak up and said, "No, actually we are unhappy with the lack of opportunities in our sh*tty Victorian-era lives," they just shushed us. Or if whenever African-Americans tried to challenge stereotypes that make them out to be more primitive and violent than whites, they were told, "Shut up, because science."
 


EVERYTHING You Need To Know About Autogynephilia
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#1 [url]

Apr 25 17 11:08 AM

I really liked the paragraphs that immediately precede the second one Jack quoted:

Further, the idea of autogynephilia unnecessarily conflates gender identity (one's internally perceived experience of gender) with sexual arousal (what one experiences as sexy, sexual, and arousing). Feminists have worked for centuries to de-couple gender from sexuality, so it really boggles my mind that scholars and scientists claiming a feminist background would support this notion (such as Alice Dreger).

A lot of trans women have vehemently argued that their identity as female is very much about gender, and not so much about what they're turned on by, and hence wielding autogynephilia against them disempowers their voices and discredits their ability to be rational, thinking beings who should have autonomy when it comes to gender expression and access to medical care.

Along those lines, I want to add that, despite what rubbercripple told me in another thread, it isn't "autogynephilic" when a woman (trans or not) dresses in a way that makes her feel pretty, more confident, or even comfortable.  Nor is it "autogynephilic" for her to take the role of the pursued rather than the pursuer.  All of this is just the natural expression of her gender.  It isn't necessarily sexual, a point that should already have been made by the feminists marching in slut walks.

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#4 [url]

Apr 25 17 4:08 PM

I agree, April. What the "autogynephilia" theory ignores or fails to understand is that the behavior I described is an expression of gender, not biological sex.

There is a difference between sexual arousal and feeling pretty. But Blanchard's theory wants to make it all about sex (and a paraphilia at that.)

Labeling trans women as autogynephilic "males" invalidates their feminine gender. It's insulting.

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#5 [url]

Apr 25 17 4:15 PM

rubbercripple wrote:
Kippi: I said autogynephilic "males." Females are not autogynephilic.

Why can't women be autogynephilic?

Lindsay


"The thing is you see what you want to see and you hear what you want to hear, dig?" the Pointed Man

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#7 [url]

Apr 25 17 4:35 PM

Rubbercripple seems to think that women can't be though. it would be interesting to hear RC's reasoning.

Lindsay


"The thing is you see what you want to see and you hear what you want to hear, dig?" the Pointed Man

Last Edited By: Lindsay Apr 25 17 6:29 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#10 [url]

Apr 26 17 12:01 PM

April: perhaps if he defined it as " a person's tendency to be aroused etc" instead of " a male's tendency etc " maybe there would be an argument for your suggestion but to me the key word is male and I also believe it to be heterosexual male. It's easy for me to see this just as it is easy for some males to say they are female or they have an inner femininity. Mind blowing really 🙂

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#11 [url]

Apr 26 17 1:21 PM

Rubbercripple, But it's a nonsense word. I too could easily makeup all sorts of words to describe my experiences and observations. I could easily create all sorts of complex theories and explanations to describe them, but none of it might actually capture reality. Blanchard made some observations, made up a word and a theory behind it. All of that has been repeatedly debunked and deconstructed by better alternative explanations and further observations. His ideas were never widely accepted in the research and therapeutic communities for very good reason: They are wrong.

Last Edited By: April Apr 26 17 6:44 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#12 [url]

Apr 26 17 1:45 PM

OK, try to see this from my case then.  

I am female, assigned at birth.  I dress as a female.  I do not get aroused dressed as a female.  Some would say, "Right, because you are female."  However, I keep affiliating with males, alpha or beta, and especially MTFs, but not because I want to hump them either (or females for that matter!)  It's because I feel we have too much in common.  Surely, a sense of gender identity has something to do with it.  Like, why would I still be here?

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#14 [url]

Apr 26 17 7:21 PM

lal2828 wrote:
OK, try to see this from my case then.  

I am female, assigned at birth.  I dress as a female.  I do not get aroused dressed as a female.  Some would say, "Right, because you are female."  However, I keep affiliating with males, alpha or beta, and especially MTFs, but not because I want to hump them either (or females for that matter!)  It's because I feel we have too much in common.  Surely, a sense of gender identity has something to do with it.  Like, why would I still be here?

Maybe because you are just awesome like that?

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#15 [url]

Apr 26 17 10:16 PM

The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies on Autogynephilia

This is what the SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies has to say about autogynephilia: 

 'The term autogynephilia was first used in 1989 by Ray Blanchard, a sexologist, to describe a purported class of transgender women.  Classifications of transgender women prior to this time tended to divide this group into those who were sexually and romantically interested in men as “homosexual transsexuals” and those who were sexually and romantically interested in women were classified as “heterosexual fetishistic transvestites.”   

 Critiques of these classifications noted that the “homosexual” and “heterosexual labels were applied incorrectly, failing to recognize the gender identities of trans women themselves.   

 These classifications also reflected mainstream stigma around transgender identity as they resigned many transgender women to little more than sexual fetishists.  The autogynephilia label only intensified this view of some transgender women as sexual fetishists.   The theory of autogynephilia asserted that many of the trans women classified into the “heterosexual fetishistic transvestites” category were primarily attracted not to women but to the idea of themselves as women.  In this way, autogynephilia was proposed as a type of primary sexual-identity category for transgender women.   

 Subsequent research has found little empirical basis for such a classification, and many researchers have criticized the classification as transphobic.  
 One particular critique of this classification system concerns its failure to recognize the way in which all sexual attraction depends on one’s own gender identity.  For example, a critical component of both homosexual and heterosexual attraction among many cisgender men involves an erotic charge around one’s own manliness or manhood.   

 To assume that such attachments to (and sexual desire motivated through) one’s own gender identity and expression, in relation to another’s, exists only among transgender women, is misguided.   

 Despite a relative lack of empirical support for the diagnoses of autogynephilia among transgender women, some segments of the radical feminist community endorse this diagnostic category in their own writing as well. ( … )  

 The most outspoken critiques of the theory of autogynephilia have emerged from self-identified transfeminist academics (e.g. Julia Serano and Talia Mae Bettcher), who have highlighted not only the lack of empirical support for these theories but also the underlying biases and assumption revealed in the very foundations of the theory itself.'

Last Edited By: jackmolay May 2 17 5:01 AM. Edited 1 time.

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