, 32 tweets, 16 min read
just published a long but thorough piece: "Making Sense of #Autogynephilia Debates." It's an "explainer" that makes several novel points. here's the "friend link" (no paywall) – pls share & give lots of "claps" (up to 50!) so others will see it! medium.com/@juliaserano/m… #trans
1st two sections are reviews of arguments & evidence against #autogynephilia theory (old hat for some). the novel part is the last section, where I explain the many underlying rationales & ideologies that lead ppl to find the theory compelling, despite lack of scientific validity
...I will share excerpts from the piece on this thread tomorrow, so stay tuned! in the meantime, if you appreciate this work, and the fact that I make pieces like this freely available, please consider supporting me on Patreon! patreon.com/juliaserano/ov…
FYI tweeting porn at me is 1) a surefire way to get blocked, 2) demonstrates point #10 in the piece, namely, while the theory has been disproven, transphobes still love to use it as a tool to sexualize & smear trans women. thanks for proving my point! medium.com/@juliaserano/m…
OK here's a THREAD of excerpts from my latest piece: "Making Sense of #Autogynephilia Debates." once again, here is the "friend link" (no paywall) – pls share & give lots of "claps" (up to 50!) if you like what I've written! medium.com/@juliaserano/m… #trans #transgender #LGBTQ
let's begin with a clarification: Blanchard did not discover Female/Feminine Embodiment Fantasies (FEFs). what he *did* do was forward a theory that there are two types of trans women ("homosexual" & "autogynephile"), and that in the latter, FEFs are the cause of gender dysphoria
...my essay begins with a brief summary of the many lines of evidence against Blanchard's taxonomy (his "two types") & etiology (that FEFs cause GD). perhaps most damning is all the evidence that cisgender ppl also experience FEFs (& MEFs)...
...the 2nd section discusses trans women's objections to #autogynephilia theory. they are 3-fold: 1) it's ridiculously rigid, 2) proponents of the theory accuse trans women who don't fit his model of lying, denying, or misreporting (which is highly unscientific), and...
...3) #autogynephilia theory sexualizes trans women (as I discuss in far greater length in the second half of this essay: juliaserano.com/av/Serano-Tran…). I try to convey the ramifications of this sexualization via a few thought experiments...
...here is my "autoraptophilia" example...
...and here's my James Cantor-inspired "apicalphilia/basalphilia" example. I think it should be blatantly obvious to any empathetic human being why a "two types, both sexually motivated" construction of any marginalized group is horrific...
...btw, this is why I chose the creepy photo of lab-coat-wearing ppl presenting a flask of pseudoscience as the cover image for this piece...
...what follows next are 10 common underlying rationales & ideologies that lead ppl to find #autogynephilia theory compelling, despite its lack of scientific validity (spoiler alert, transphobia is #10). I will not cover all of them in this thread, but I will highlight a few...
...#3 is unconscious sexism, which is the main reason why both laypeople & old-guard sexologists like Blanchard constantly project sexual motives onto trans female/feminine ppl, while largely ignoring trans male/masculine ppl...
...or as I put it in 2009...
...here I contrast the old-guard approach to trans sexualities vs. contemporary approaches & research. this is a consistent theme throughout several of these rationales, for instance...
...old-guard sexologists were super into pathologizing any & all expressions of sexuality they deemed atypical or non-reproductive, whereas contemporary sexologists tend to view solitary & consensual expressions of sexuality as non-pathological & varied...
...point #5 is HUGE & explains not only differences in opinion re: #autogynephilia, but also many claims the old-guard make about trans kids & reparative therapy. specifically, while contemporary practitioners recognize gender ID, expression, & sexual orientation as separable...
...the old-guard believe in a version of ye olde "sexual inversion" theory, which is why Blanchard calls one of his groups "homosexual" and why his ilk claim that reparative therapy merely prevents "gay" kids from "becoming trans"...
...ye olde "sexual inversion" theory is also why they keep needing to invent "new types" of trans ppl. (btw, look, it's Bailey & Blanchard writing guest-posts for extremely anti-trans 4thwavenow. nothing problematic about that. nope. no siree...)
...as a (not so funny) side note: in doing research for this piece, I checked Blanchard's twitter account on a non-signed-in browser, and it suggested 4thwavenow under "You might like" – wow, he must really retweet and/or interact with them a lot!
...anyway #6 is how old-guard sexologists completely ignored the impact of social forces in determining available life trajectories for trans ppl, and how these trajectories may change over time & from culture to culture...
...here's me stating the obvious...
...ignoring social forces & evolving possibilities leads to utter ridiculousness, such as Bailey & Blanchard's contrasting Jazz Jennings & Caitlyn Jenner w/o ever once mentioning the very different times they lived in. this point segues into...
...I cannot stress point #7 enough: from the beginning, #autogynephilia theory has never been about FEFs, sexual fantasies or arousal. no, it is first & foremost a theory that (poorly) attempts to explain the two most common stereotypes of trans women...
...Bailey's book in particular (as well as the aforementioned Jennings vs Jenner comparison) make it obvious that the theory is 99% about lookism & stereotypes, and about 1% about sexual orientation & fantasies...
...you should read Talia Bettcher's essay (academia.edu/2589078/Evil_D…). and here's an early version of what later became Chapter 2 of Whipping Girl (juliaserano.com/outside.html#s…)... #trans #transgender #media #stereotypes #LGBTQ
...these stereotypes are all about "passing" and cis/heteronormativity. period. anyone who believes that cisgender women shouldn't be judged based on their looks and/or willingness to conform to heterosexist norms should find Blanchard's theory appalling. unless of course...
...you're a transphobe. many people who invoke #autogynephilia purposefully use it to sexualize or smear trans women. you would think that, if this was purely a matter of "science", Blanchard et al would speak out against such misuses of the theory. but instead...
...well, I'll let you decide whether or not Bailey & Blanchard & potentially other proponents of the theory harbor transphobic sentiments...
...in conclusion: Blanchard's #autogynephilia theory has been disproven. here, I've explained the numerous reasons why some people continue to cite & promote the theory despite its lack of scientific validity
medium.com/@juliaserano/m… #trans #transgender #LGBTQ #science #psychology
if you've appreciated this thread, please share it & give the piece many "claps"! and if you appreciate the fact that I make pieces like this freely available, please consider supporting me on Patreon! patreon.com/juliaserano/ov…
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