1st Edition

Gender Hurts A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism

By Sheila Jeffreys Copyright 2014
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    It is only recently that transgenderism has been accepted as a disorder for which treatment is available. In the 1990s, a political movement of transgender activism coalesced to campaign for transgender rights. Considerable social, political and legal changes are occurring in response and there is increasing acceptance by governments and many other organisations and actors of the legitimacy of these rights.


    This provocative and controversial book explores the consequences of these changes and offers a feminist perspective on the ideology and practice of transgenderism, which the author sees as harmful. It explores the effects of transgenderism on the lesbian and gay community, the partners of people who transgender, children who are identified as transgender and the people who transgender themselves, and argues that these are negative. In doing so the book contends that the phenomenon is based upon sex stereotyping, referred to as 'gender' – a conservative ideology that forms the foundation for women's subordination. Gender Hurts argues for the abolition of ‘gender’, which would remove the rationale for transgenderism.


    This book will be of interest to scholars and students of political science, feminism and feminist theory and gender studies.


    Chapter 1 The Construction of Transgenderism

    Chapter 2 Transgenderism and Feminism

    Chapter 3 Doing Transgender: Really Hurting

    Chapter 4 ‘A gravy stain on the table’: Women in the Lives of Men who Transgender

    Chapter 5 Women Who Transgender: an Antidote to Feminism?

    Chapter 6 Gender Eugenics?: The Transgendering of Children

    Chapter 7 A Clash of Rights: when Gender is Inscribed in the Law

    Chapter 8 Women’s Space and the Transgender Challenge




    Sheila Jeffreys is Professor of feminist politics in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She teaches courses in feminist theory, on the politics of sexuality and lesbian and gay politics, and international gender politics.

    She has a considerable reputation both in the academic world and in the world of feminist and lesbian and gay politics for my work on sexuality, including 7 single authored books, with my eighth book, Man’s Dominion, to be published by Routledge in October, 2011. My work is heavily referenced in academic journals and books, with 53 citations in international refereed journals in 2009 according to the Web of Science citations index, and 47 for 2010 to date.

    ‘Bravo to Sheila Jeffreys who, with exceptional courage, clarity and scholarship interrogates the dogma of transgenderism – that men can become women and women men via hormones, surgery and/or subjectivity. Gender Hurts challenges us to consider how transgender ideology and practices accommodate gender hierarchy and create harmful consequences for transgendered persons themselves, but also for women and children. Anyone inclined to dismiss these views as transphobic needs to read this lucid and compelling book.’

    Janice Raymond is Professor Emerita of Women’s Studies and Medical Ethics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (USA) and author of The Transsexual Empire.

    ‘Feminists fighting to free women from male definitions of what a woman is now find themselves assailed by male transgender activism claiming the right to make precisely such a definition. This clash of human rights has produced more heat than light. But Jeffreys illumines it by countering misogynistic threats of violence with scholarly research and reason. In a climate rife with pain on both sides, toxic with stereotypes, ignorance, misunderstanding, and fear, she dares to offer clarity. Even those who disagree with her must surely recognize that as an act of courage.’

    Robin Morgan