Abstract

This article offers a critique of the claim made by trans-exclusionary radical feminists that transphobia is being misused as a way of silencing or censoring critical feminist speech. The article suggests that transphobia works as a rebuttal system, one that, in demanding trans people provide evidence of their existence, is experienced as a hammering, a constant chipping away at trans existence. The article suggests that transphobia within feminism needs to be understood in relation to cis privilege: not having to come into contact with this hammering. It offers a model of political hope resting on “an affinity of hammers”; that is, affinity can be acquired through the work of chipping away at the system.

We learn about worlds when they do not accommodate us. Not being accommodated can be pedagogy. We generate ideas through the struggles we have to be in the world; we come to question worlds when we are in question. When a question becomes a place you reside in, everything can be thrown into question: explanations you might have handy that allow you to make sense or navigate your way through unfamiliar as well as familiar landscapes no longer work. To be thrown by a question is to be thrown into a world that can be hostile as well as startling. Another way of saying this: when we are not at home, when we are asked where we are from or who we are, or even what we are, we experience a chip, chip, chip, a hammering away at our being. To experience that hammering is to be given a hammer, a tool through which we, too, can chip away at the surfaces of what is, or who is, including the very categories through which personhood is made meaningful—categories of sex and gender, for instance, that have chipped away at us.

This reciprocal hammering can be thought of as an affinity. I want to explore my relationship to transfeminism as an affinity of hammers. Why use the term affinity here? Let's assume that transfeminisms are built from or out of trans experiences in all their complexity and diversity. I write then of “affinity” as a way of recognizing that I write from a position of cis privilege. I am writing of how I came into contact with a hammering I did not directly experience because of that privilege. The question of how we can account for that privilege is one that I will keep live throughout this piece.

A starting point is the point from which we proceed, from where a world unfolds (Ahmed 2006). We have many starting points. I write this contribution as a cis lesbian who has experienced gender norms as alienating insofar as gender norms are so often heteronorms: rules of conduct that direct girls toward boys and that render heterosexuality the right or best or happiest destination. I write this contribution as a woman of color who finds that gender norms so often remain predicated on an unremarkable whiteness: the evocation of a fragile female body who needs to be defended from various racialized as well as sexualized others. Intersectionality is this. It is about ups and downs, stopping and starting; how we pass through at one moment while being stopped at another, depending on who is receiving us, depending on what is being received through us. An affinity of hammers does not assume we will automatically be attuned to others who are stopped by what allows us to pass through, even when we ourselves have the experience of being stopped. We have to acquire that affinity. It is what we work toward.

The Letter

I want to account for the problem of trans-exclusionary radical feminism, the problem of how it is within some feminist spaces, that this hammering is happening. I will start with a letter, even though the letter in question is not the starting point of a certain kind of feminism that has long been chipping away at trans lives. On Sunday, February 1, 2015, a letter denouncing the tactics used by trans and sex-worker activists to contest speech they perceived as violent toward them was published in the Guardian under the headline, “We Cannot Allow Censorship and the Silencing of Individuals,” followed by a subheading, “Universities Have a Particular Responsibility to Resist This Kind of Bullying” (Campbell et al. 2015). It was signed by 130 prominent feminists, academics, and activists and became the most recent flash point of a long-running conflict regarding the relationship of transgender issues to feminism. Four examples are mentioned as evidence of this worrying trend: the cancellation of Kate Smurthwaite's comedy show at Goldsmiths, University of London; the calls for the Cambridge Union to withdraw its speaking invitation to Germaine Greer; the pressure on the Green Party to “repudiate” Rupert Read after he “questioned the arguments put forward by some trans-activists”; and the “no platforming” of the “feminist activist and writer” Julie Bindel by the National Union of Students.

I will not rehearse some of the wider problems with this letter that I have discussed elsewhere (Ahmed 2015). I want to focus instead on how trans comes up. The word trans is mentioned both as a description of activists and as a style of accusation: the letter refers to “a worrying pattern of intimidation and silencing of individuals whose views are deemed ‘transphobic’ or ‘whorephobic.’” The statement then says, “Today [no platforming] is being used to prevent the expression of feminist arguments critical of the sex industry and of some demands made by trans activists.” Put the sentences together and you have the picture: feminists who are critical of some of the demands of trans activists (which demands? one wonders1) are accused of transphobia, which is how they are silenced. A summary: the accusation of transphobia is a means by which critical feminist voices have been silenced.

The sentences in the letter work to create a figure of the trans activist who is making unreasonable demands and arguments, and who is using the accusation of transphobia as a means to silence feminists. Indeed, if words like silencing, bullying, and intimidation cluster around the figure of the trans activist, then words like critical, questioning, and democratic cluster around the figure of the cis feminist.2 The letter does not have to make an argument explicit: it works to create an impression that is sticky; trans activists are bullying the feminists, and universities are allowing this bullying to happen. The letter does not have to say explicitly that critical feminists and trans activists are distinct camps, one of whom is silenced and intimated by the other, to carry the point.

The letter uses the language of free speech; in a way it both insists on free speech while announcing that free speech is under threat. In the United Kingdom, all speech is understood as free speech, with the exception of speech that is an “incitement to violence.” Free speech is increasingly mobilized as an ideological weapon by the creation of a clear distinction between offensive statements and “incitements to violence.” Let me offer an example. On March 15, 2015, a leading Black public figure, Trevor Phillips, the former head of the Commission for Racial Equality, released a documentary, Things We Won't Say about Race That Are True (Cooper 2015), which ends up defending racism as a form of free speech. The claims made are familiar, though they are more usually articulated in the right-wing press. Antiracism or political correctness is inflated as if it is a hegemonic discourse that has prevented “us” from being able to speak the truths (things we cannot say). The story goes something like this: we cannot ask legitimate questions about immigration because will be branded “racist.” The very accusation of racism is understood as what stops us from asking legitimate questions. Paradoxically, then, racism is now incited by being understood as prohibited or minority speech. In such an account the very act of being offensive or causing offense (often through articulating stereotypes about others) speaks to how we assert our national character (as being tolerant of different views) as well as our freedom.3 In such a schema, dominant views become rearticulated as if they are minority views that we have to struggle to express. Racism is enacted by the claim that we are not free to be racist.

Let's return to our letter. I do not think the letter justifies the freedom to be “critical of . . . some demands made by trans activists” as the freedom to be offensive; rather, what is being implied is that trans activists, by labeling critical feminist speech as offensive (through the liberal use of the illiberal word transphobia), are intending to impose a restriction on feminist speech. In other words, being offended is registered as an imposition on the freedom of others. The real offense is caused by those who are offended. This is how the very use of the word transphobia is heard as an attempt at censorship. We might note that the claim to be censored can be generative of speech. The example of Germaine Greer mentioned by the letter is a case in point: she was not stopped from speaking at all. She did speak: as did transfeminist activists at another event organized by the LGBTI Society and the Women's Society (speakers included Roz Kaveney and Sarah Brown).4 If anything, the evidence here points to the opposite of what the letter claims: protests about who is speaking have led to the proliferation rather than prevention of discourse.

When the letter says that critical feminists are being silenced, it is implying that “being critical” of the “demands of trans activists” is a legitimate form of feminist speech. In other words, the letter relies on the assumption that we can distinguish “critical feminist speech” from “incitement to violence,” and that there is censorship because others have failed to make that distinction. Behind the letter I can hear these sentences uttered in unison: “It is not racist to ask critical questions about immigration; it is not transphobic to ask critical questions about the demands of trans activists.” But this distinction between critical speech and incitement to violence breaks down, which is how an incitement to violence is justified as freedom of speech.

Let me give an example of how this distinction breaks down. At a Reclaim the Night march that took place in London in November 2014, a pamphlet entitled “Not Our Sisters” was distributed by trans-exclusionary radical feminists.5 On one side of the pamphlet is written text. It begins by describing Reclaim the Night as “protesting male violence against women.” It then describes trans women as “male transgenders” and suggests that “male transgenders” commit violence against women “at exactly the same rate as non-transgender males.” This violent misgendering enables trans women to be positioned as imposters within a feminist march, as perpetrators rather than victims of male violence. On the other side of the pamphlet are four photographs of trans women who are given a story that is not theirs: they have committed violence against women; they have tried to hide that violence by describing themselves as trans or not men. The photographs are used to retell a story, to abbreviate and condense the associations made by the written text: trans women are “male transgenders,” trans women are men; as men they use trans as a mask to commit and conceal violence; trans women as men injure, rape, and murder women.

To abbreviate and condense an association in the form of an equation:

Trans = violence and death.

I was on Facebook when someone's status update caught my attention. The person spoke of how, sadly, a peaceful feminist march was interrupted by “trans activists.” Outrage about violence becomes the cause of a disturbance and not the violence itself. In the next section, I will return to the issue of how disruption is located and narrated. When I wrote in response to that update of my own outrage about the pamphlet, one of the people named in the letter referred to above responded, “So are you saying it is as bad as the Holocaust.” By “it” I think she was referring both to the pamphlet that I had described as hate speech and to the more general domain of antitrans feminist speech. It would take us a long time to unpack what is wrong with this statement. But just note the implication that violence against trans people is “relatively” minor, a footnote in a much more horrifying history of human hatred. And it is this very implication that was carried by the letter: “‘No platforming’ used to be a tactic used against self-proclaimed fascists and Holocaust-deniers. But today it is being used to prevent the expression of feminist arguments critical of the sex industry and of some demands made by trans activists.” So this comparison (“it” is not like the Holocaust) is already in use not only to present feminists critical of “some demands made by trans activists” as unjustly censored but also to recast that critical speech as not as violent or offensive as other kinds of speech. I make this point just to make clear that even if those who signed up to the letter might argue that critical feminist speech can or should be separated from the kind of speech represented by the pamphlet, the terms of the letter point to such speech: it is exactly this kind of speech that becomes justifiable as a relatively minor form of offense, or even, as no offense at all.

How often: some forms of violence are understood as trivial, or not as violence at all. How often: violence is reproduced by not being understood as violence. So much violence directed against groups (that is, directed against those perceived as members of a group) works by locating that violence as coming from within those groups. Thus minorities are often deemed as being violent, or as causing violence, or even as causing the violence directed against them. To give an account of trans people as causing violence (by virtue of being trans) is to cause violence against trans people. We are most certainly talking about lives and deaths here; and we are most certainly talking about incitement to violence.

The letter tells a tale: that to take offense at “critical feminist speech” is a wrong (the offense taken is heard as antifeminism) that leads to more wrongs. To take offense at the letter would thus be judged as enacting the very problem described by the letter. Those who protested against the letter were indeed understood not as expressing their freedom of speech but as displaying their desire to restrict freedom of speech in the very act of “being offended” by it. There is an economy of speech at work here. Some protests are judged as stifling free speech while other protests (such as the letter itself) become expressions of free speech. We learn that free speech has become a political technology that is used to redefine freedom around the right of some to occupy time and space. Whenever people keep being given a platform to say they have no platform, or whenever people speak endlessly about being silenced, you not only have a performative contradiction; you are witnessing a mechanism of power.

A Rebuttal System

When I first read the letter, I remember thinking that one of the worst consequences of it would be the new legitimacy it would give to antitrans and trans-exclusionary feminism. I thought at first I was indeed witnessing an increase of such speech. But once I began to work through the networks that supported that letter, mostly on social media, I began to realize that what I first heard as a turning up of the volume was just more of the same thing that had been going on all along for many trans people: that volume switch was already stuck on full blast. My cis privilege was, until then, not having had to notice that harassment or not having had to hear the sound of that blast.

In order to explain how this letter was taken up, we need an account of how privilege is affective as well as effective. When I think of affectivity I think of skin: a border that feels. Privilege could be thought of as rather like contact dermatitis: we are inflamed by something when or because we come into contact with it. Privilege is also thus: being able to avoid contact with the cause of an inflammation. We could contrast contact dermatitis with eczema, which is often called a “basket category,” used to describe skin conditions in which the cause of the inflammation is not known. With eczema it can feel as if you are the cause of your own inflammation, whether or not you are the cause, because there is no safe externality; nothing that can be eliminated to heal the skin or the situation.

Like all analogies, this one is imperfect, but I want to use it to dramatize how causality becomes a contact zone in everyday social experience. Let's think of an inflammation as a conversation. Let's say when you enter the room, things become inflamed. If this keeps happening, then you can feel like the cause of that inflammation, whether or not you are. You learn that you cannot stop an inflammation even if you begin to try to “tone things down.” So much racism feels like this: the volume turns up when race is mentioned, or the volume turns up when you turn up as a person of color. Racism is precisely how a body of color becomes the cause of tension. I always learn from bell hooks's description of how “the atmosphere will noticeably change when a woman of color enters the room” (2000: 56). A joyful atmosphere, an atmosphere of warm solidarity is lost. It becomes tense. Given that wherever you go, your body goes with you, it can end up feeling like you cause the loss of a good atmosphere. You become tense.

Privilege can be what does not come up when we turn up. This letter was signed by many academics and activists who I do not think would endorse the kind of pamphlet I described in the previous section. So why did they sign such a letter? How could they sign it? I suspect they did not hear the “point” of the letter. Many of those who supported that letter have not been in contact with the relentless nature of the harassment against trans people. They do not have to come into contact with harassment; this is what makes privilege a privilege. Privilege is what can allow a world to recede. When someone brings something up, it can then seem they are bringing something into existence that would otherwise not have been there.

Something I have learned from my work on my blog Feministkilljoys is how people witness a reaction as the beginning of something because they do not notice what people are reacting to. Think of a twig that snaps under pressure. A snap sounds loud, and it seems like a sudden movement. But the snap would only seem the start of something, or as the beginning of violence, if you did not notice the pressure on the twig. Pressure is hard to notice unless you are under pressure. A system can put some bodies under pressure without that pressure being experienced, let alone witnessed by others who are not under that pressure.

A snap is not the starting point even if a snap is a start of something. Violence does not originate with the one who snaps. But so often: the exposure of violence is perceived by the privileged as the origin of violence. But so often: when the exposure of violence is perceived as the origin of violence, the origin of the violence that is exposed is not revealed. The figure of the bullying trans activist circulates because of what is not being revealed: that everyday relentless hammering at the house of trans being. Following T. L. Cowan (2014), we could think of this figure of the bullying trans activist as the transfeminist killjoy. The killjoy is without doubt a violent figure: to point out harassment is to be viewed as the harasser; to point out oppression is to be viewed as oppressive. Part of the work of the killjoy is to keep pointing out violence. In making these points, killjoys are treated as people who originate violence. This is the hard work of killjoys. They are up against it!

Transfeminist killjoys expose hammering as a system of violence directed against trans people, including from some of those who identify as radical feminists. Some of the hammering might seem on the surface quite mild because it appears as an instance: a joke here, a joke there. And jokiness allows a constant trivializing: as if by joking someone is suspending judgment on what is being said. She didn't mean anything by it; lighten up. A killjoy knows from experience: when people keep making light of something, something heavy is going on.

Something heavy is going on. Many of these instances might be justified as banter or humorous (the kind of violent humor that feminists should be familiar with because feminists are often at the receiving end). So much of this material makes trans women in particular the butt of a joke. Following Julia Serano (2007), I would describe much of this material as trans misogyny: what is evoked is the figure of the hyper-feminine trans woman as a monstrous parody of an already monstrous femininity. In January 2013, for example, British feminist journalist Suzanne Moore published a piece on women's anger that makes casual reference to the figure of the “Brazilian transsexual” as the “ideal body shape” that most women are angry about because they do not have it (Moore 2013). This statement could be understood as a form of casual racism as well as trans misogyny: the other over there is a means by which a subject here is given contour and definition, a “we” takes shape from what we are not. Another journalist, Julie Burchill, then writes a piece defending Moore against trans activists (quickly described as the “trans lobby”—another inflationary mechanism) whose protests against Moore's statement are called “bullying,” a piece that deploys as weapons such violent phrases as a “bunch of dicks in chick's clothing.”6 These two pieces, one much more extreme than the other, are not simply related through a citational chain; they are both part of what I would call a “rebuttal system.”

A rebuttal is a form of evidence that is presented to contradict or nullify other evidence that has been presented by an adverse party. A rebuttal is a form of evidence that is directed against evidence that has already been presented. What if you are required to provide evidence of your own existence? When an existence is understood as needing evidence, then a rebuttal is directed not only against evidence but against an existence. An existence can be nullified by the requirement that an existence be evidenced. The very requirement to testify to your existence can end up being the very point of your existence.

To be treated as a being who needs to provide evidence of being is also to be treated as an adverse party. The word adverse implies opposing. But it is often used to create a stronger impression, to convey a sense of hostility or harmfulness. To present evidence that nullifies that presented by an adverse party might be how a party is treated as adverse in the first place: you direct evidence to the one who is deemed to be opposing something in the very manner of their existence. Words can be teachers. The word rebuttal derives from butt and is often used in the sense of a target or aim, as in the butt of a joke. Trans women are made into the butts of jokes. When materials such as those described above make trans women into butts, they are functioning as a rebuttal system, which is to say, they are working together to target an existence. Jokey comments and exchanges have become a significant part of this system. And other, more qualified forms of speech might use of other kinds of “buts” to create a softer impression: I am not saying trans women are not women, but. What follows this “but” can contradict what precedes this “but.” To qualify an argument can be how an argument is made. We learn to hear the “but,” how it is pointed at someone because it has been repeated, over and over again.

Words do not always do what they say. The expression “gender critical” is now used by trans-exclusionary radical feminists to describe their own commitments. (“Trans-exclusionary radical feminism” [TERF] is regarded by this group as an antifeminist and even misogynist slur.) Of course, the implication of this expression is that trans activism (or trans existence) requires being gender uncritical, thus nullifying the long and varied critiques of the category of gender (including as a diagnostic category) made within trans communities.7 Putting the problem of this expression to one side, I think we need to treat these arguments about gender as techniques of rebuttal, different ways of rebutting an existence, different ways of saying, for instance, that trans women are not women, that trans women are imposters in women's spaces and the feminist movement.

Different ways of saying: how something keeps being said. This is why the criteria being used to exclude trans women from “women” keep changing. When content (a woman is x) is being used as an end (you are not x), ideas have already become weapons. At the present moment, “biology” has become weaponized in feminism. This is quite odd and actually rather striking: there are some who hold onto rigid ideas of biological sex, but I do not expect feminists to be among them. When I hear people refer in code to “biology 101,” meaning the scientific basis of female and male sex difference, to claim that trans women are not “biologically women,” I want to offer in rebuke, “Biology 101? Patriarchy wrote that textbook!” and pass them a copy of Andrea Dworkin's Woman Hating, a radical feminist text that supports transsexuals having access to surgery and hormones and challenges what she calls “the traditional biology of sexual difference” based on “two discrete biological sexes” (1972: 181, 186). To be so-called gender critical while leaving traditional biology intact tightens rather than loosens the hold of a gender system on our bodies. But if we start engaging with arguments on these terms, the target will move. Trans women will become not women because they were socialized as boys and men, or for some other reason that has yet to be invented.

When people use such criteria to decide who counts, that criterion has already become a technique for exclusion because it is not a criterion that will be shared by others. Criteria have become points: they are pointed at someone; they are aiming to do something; they are sharpening an edge. The criteria will change if the rebuttal is rebutted because the criteria have become the basis of exclusion. The target is thus a moving target: the policing of the boundaries of woman will take place on whatever basis can be found. In our collective feminist histories, the policing of who are “women” has been about how a specific group of women have secured their right to determine who belongs within feminism (whiteness being a key mechanism for policing feminism). The policing of the boundaries of “women” has never not been disastrous for feminism.

It is in this context that we need to think about invitations addressed to trans activists to have a dialogue with trans-exclusionary feminists. Invitations can function as part of a rebuttal system. A dialogue is not possible when some people exercise arguments as weapons by treating others as evidence to be rebutted. When you are asked to provide evidence for your existence, or when you are treated as evidence, your existence is negated. Transphobia and antitrans statements should not be treated as just another viewpoint that we should be free to express at the happy table of diversity. There cannot be a dialogue when some at the table are in effect (or intent on) arguing for the elimination of others at the table. When you have “dialogue or debate” with those who wish to eliminate you from the conversation (because they do not recognize what is necessary for your survival, or because they don't even think your existence is possible), then “dialogue and debate” becomes a technique of elimination. A refusal to have some dialogues and some debates is thus a key tactic for survival.

The very expectation that a conversation with trans-exclusionary radical feminists is possible is evidence of what people have not yet come into contact with. It is an expectation that derives from privilege, of not having been worn down by the relentless questioning of your being. Even that hopeful liberal question, “can't we just have a conversation?” can become another kind of hammering. It makes those who refuse to participate in a conversation into the problem, the cause of a division: so those “trans activists” who are making demands, who are not listening, not engaging, who are using “transphobia” to block feminist critique become those who are getting in the way of the liberal promise of reconciliation, the promise that we can move forward by getting along.

Conclusion: Hammering away at the System

Survival becomes a project when your existence is the object of a rebuttal. You have to survive a system that is constantly chipping away at your being. A feminism that participates in that chipping away is not worthy of the name.

Chipping away is something we too can do. Transfeminism is a form of diversity work. In On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (2012), I discuss diversity work in two senses: the work we do when we aim to transform an institution (often by opening it up to those who have been historically excluded), and the work we do when we do not quite inhabit the norms of an institution. These two senses often meet in a body: those who do not quite inhabit the norms of an institution are often those who are given the task of transforming those norms. We can think of gender, too, as an institution. We can think of gender norms as places in which we dwell: some are more at home than others; some are unhoused by how others are at home. When we are talking about the policing of gender, we are talking about walls, those ways in which some are blocked from entry, from passing through. We might say that all women, including cis women, have to pass through the category of women: no one is born woman; we must be assigned to her. An assignment is what is received by others, how we exist in relation to others. But we don't all experience ourselves as passing. If you do not constantly have your legitimacy thrown into question, if you are not asked whether you are a woman, constantly, repeatedly, if you do not have the door shut in your face when you try and enter the room, then you do not have to pass through “women” in the same way.

We notice norms as palpable things when they block rather than enable an entry. If you do not conform to an idea of woman—of who she is, how she comes to be, how she appears—then you become a diversity worker in both senses. For to exist as a woman would require chipping away at the walls that demarcate who resides there, who belongs there. And this is what diversity workers come up against: walls. An institutional wall is not something that we can simply point to: there it is, look! An institutional wall is not an actual wall that exists in front of everyone. It is a wall that comes up because of who you are or what you are trying to do. Walls that are experienced as hard and tangible by some do not even exist for others. And this is how hammering, however exhausting, can become a tool. Remember, it is through hammering that these walls become tangible. We can direct our attention toward those institutions that chip away us. We chip away at those walls, those physical or social barriers that stop us from residing somewhere, from being somewhere. We chip away at those walls by trying to exist or trying to transform an existence.

We learn from political labor because of the resistance we encounter: walls come up because of what we are trying to bring about. The effort to transform a world is hopeful, not only or always because of what we do bring about (we might fail, we do fail) but also because of what (and who) we come into contact with. Contact gives us a chance. We don't have to take that chance. We can retreat. We can turn away and build fortresses around our own bodies. Feminism too can be turned into a fortress, which is another way of saying that feminism too is where hammering is happening. This is why when I use the word affinity I am pushing against another wall. That word is often used to indicate a natural attraction, a natural tendency. An affinity of hammers is an affinity that is acquired; we become attracted to those who chip away at the worlds that accommodate our bodies. I think of the potential as atomic: an attraction or force between particles that causes them to combine. We have to take a chance to combine our forces. There is nothing necessary about a combination. In chipping away, we come into contact with those who are stopped by what allowed us to pass through. We happen upon each other. We witness the work each other is doing, and we recognize each other through that work. And we take up arms when we combine our forces. We speak up; we rise up.

Chip, chip, chip: an affinity of hammers is what we are working toward.

1. The example of Rupert Read might allow us to specify the demands: his comments related to trans women's use of public toilets.

2. The use of critical is of special interest to me: I think “critical of” also evokes “gender critical,” which as an expression is used to mask antitrans sentiment as feminist argument. See the following section on how arguments become part of a rebuttal system.

3. The documentary is premised on a misunderstanding of the nature and function of stereotyping. The point is that some generalizations “stick” because they naturalize an association between groups and qualities (often but not only negative qualities). Racism works by rendering some problems into problems of culture. So when Pakistani men are found guilty of child abuse, that comes to express a quality of Pakistani or Islamic culture (or even immigrant culture), while when white men commit child abuse, that violence is understood as individual and idiosyncratic.

4. See Sarah Brown's own discussion of the problems in Brown 2015.

5. You can see the pamphlet itself as well as a discussion of what happened at the march on GenderTrender, a UK-based, trans-exclusionary radical feminist website. For the pamphlet, see Reclaim the Night 2014a. For the discussion, see Reclaim the Night 2014b.

6. This piece was originally published by the Observer but was removed and republished in the Telegraph. See Burchill 2013.

7. See Tim R. Johnston's patient review of Sheila Jeffreys's equation of “transgenderism” with being uncritical of gender. He writes, “To the contrary, there have been many transgender people and allies who have used the resources of social constructionism to question both the medicalization of transgender identity and the social forces that constructed the diagnostic criteria for gender identity disorder (GID) and gender dysphoria” (Johnston 2014).

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