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Alice Dreger: 2006 correspondence with Andrea James

American anti-transgender historian Alice Dreger became obsessed with trans filmmaker and consumer activist Andrea James (me) after failing to suppress my academic freedom in 2006.

Below are the seven emails Alice Dreger and I exchanged, unabridged and chronologically ordered with contextualization and annotation. Four of them were on the first day Dreger contacted me (May 16).

Overview

Since few will want to slog through this, here’s a summary:

  • May 9, 2006: Dreger contacts faculty in failed attempt to suppress my upcoming Northwestern University speech.
  • May 11: Dreger contacts my student hosts in failed attempt to suppress my upcoming Northwestern University speech.
  • May 13: Dreger posts “The blog I write in fear.” in failed attempt to get me to respond.
  • May 16:
    • Dreger emails me to make sure I saw the blog.
    • My 2,500-word detailed response to Dreger’s questions, and offer to meet or speak.
    • Dreger’s 25-word blow-off.
    • I reiterate my offer to continue a dialogue.
  • May 18: Dreger’s attempts at stifling academic freedom fail. I speak at Northwestern.
  • May 22: I stop by while in town to see Dreger and another person I know in Dreger’s program.
  • May 27: Intersex activists contact me about Dreger’s “lies, distortions and outright bigotry.”
  • June 1: Dreger fails to get me fired from my speakers bureau. I send a note mocking Dreger’s efforts.
  • June 7: Dreger publishes “A follow-up on my encounter with Andrea James,” selectively quoting exactly as I predicted.
  • June 12: Dreger and Bailey fail to get me fired from my speakers bureau again.
  • June 13: Dreger begins interviews for a “history.”
  • August 1: Dreger interviews continue.
  • September 20: I link to intersex activists critical of Dreger’s “disorders of sex development” disease model.
  • October 1: Dreger emails friends bemoaning my attempts to “ruin” people and discredit Dreger’s exploitation of minorities.
  • October 3: I mockingly suggest that Dreger stop fixating on me, to no avail.

May 9, 2006

Alice Dreger gets the alarm call: “Bailey emailed me to let me know that Andrea James had been invited by Northwestern University’s Rainbow Alliance to speak at the Evanston campus of our university.” (Dreger 2007)

Apparently attempting to get attention and validation from Bailey, coworkers, and Northwestern administrators, Dreger starts contacting faculty at Northwestern about getting my speech stopped.

They generally ignore Dreger’s attempts. One academic takes Dreger to task for trying to stop the free exchange of ideas: “I support Northwestern students in gathering knowledge about sex and sexuality from many points of view.” (Dreger 2006e)

Dreger is none too happy and starts escalating things.

May 11, 2006

Alice Dreger contacts Northwestern’s Rainbow Alliance in hopes of silencing me. Though Dreger claimed in a May 16 letter to me that this led to a “productive dialog,” they in fact ignore Dreger.

Dreger is none too happy and starts escalating things.

May 13, 2006

Alice Dreger posts “The blog I write in fear.” It focuses on some deliberately offensive satire I wrote in 2003 about how Bailey tends to reduce sexuality to pseudoscientific binaries. Bailey had no problems with mocking gender-diverse children in lectures, so I responded in kind. Today, the only place that satire is available is on Bailey’s website, part of a pattern where Bailey’s own children get misused in service of arguments.

With Mother’s Day the next day, Dreger must have been feeling a bit sentimental about being a mommy blogger while blogging about me: “I just hope she keeps her words off my kid. (Defender of children, my ass.)”

Dreger opines about why my upcoming lecture should be stopped: “I would feel the same way were someone to be interested in, say, inviting a neo-Nazi to speak on campus.”

Dreger adds: “I hardly think there is any point in hearing from folks like Fred Phelps, nor do I think it makes any sense to invite Andrea James.”

I ignore Dreger’s trolling.

Dreger is none too happy and starts escalating things.

May 16, 2006

Alice Dreger contacts me by email to make sure I had seen the blog, hypocritically advising me to  “consider toning down (better yet, ending) your attacks.”

Dreger also mentions an email I sent in 1998 to Anne Lawrence, before it was public knowledge that Lawrence’s 1997 resignation as an anesthesiologist was connected with Lawrence’s erotic interest in ritualized genital modification (which Lawrence describes as “autogynephilia,” a sex-fueled mental illness made up in 1989 by Ray Blanchard). Based on Dreger’s misinterpretation of my first-blush response to Lawrence’s introduction to the concept (Lawrence 1998), Dreger claims that I clearly describe myself as an “autogynophile” [sic].

From: “Alice Dreger, Ph.D.” <a-dreger@northwestern.edu>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 13:41:11 -0400
To: andrea@andreajames.com
Subject: a quick note

Dear Ms. James,

I presume by now you’ve heard about my blog regarding your visit to our campus:

The Blog I Write in Fear

I thought about contacting you directly regarding this, but I get the sense from your posts that productive dialogue is not a real option for us. Happily the post has led to productive dialogue with others, including your student hosts.

In response to my post I also ended up talking with Anne Lawrence, who forwarded me an email you sent her in 1998. In case you don’t recall, in that message you praised her work, Blanchard’s work, and clearly described yourself and other trans women as autogynophiles [sic].

For the record, I have no problem with autogynophilia [sic] –the concept or the identity. I confess that what confuses me is how you got from that to all this.

As someone who finds herself working in pediatric gender clinics to try to get doctors to be more supportive of children with atypical gender and sex presentations, I’d personally appreciate if you could consider toning down (better yet, ending) your attacks. The kind of rhetoric you employ only leads doctors to believe that children who don’t end up gender-stablized [sic] end up violent and angry. Naturally, I know otherwise, but I do find progress is more quickly achieved by staying in civil discourse.

Regards,

Alice Dreger, Ph.D.
Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University

Though I was about to jump on a plane to speak at Northwestern, I send back a 2,500-word response outlining the issues, explaining why I took that tack with Bailey and correcting Dreger’s misinterpretation of the 1998 email to Lawrence.

From: Andrea James <andrea@tsroadmap.com>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2006 17:52:08 -0700
To: “Alice Dreger, Ph.D.” <a-dreger@northwestern.edu>
Subject: Re: a not quick note

Hi Alice–

Yes, I read your recent troll about a three-year-old (and settled) debate. I’m chalking up your Helen Lovejoy-style “Won’t someone please think of the children?” histrionics to Mother’s Day weekend. You’ll have to do a lot better than comparing me to Fred Phelps and neo-Nazis to compete. One guy who used to have a hate site about me is doing a life sentence in Colorado for a string of sexual assaults, so some rich straight white yuppie mommy blogger breaking Godwin’s Law isn’t really in the same league in terms of the offensiveness or intimidation I deal with on a daily basis, ya know? 😉

So, despite the way you decided to start this dialogue, let’s proceed, shall we? You have somewhat of a one-sided picture on this, likely caused by USENET kooks like Willow Arune and Kiira Triea, not to mention three years of damage control by Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrence, and a sense of institutional loyalty to your employer. Since we are three years after the fact, let me get you up to speed. This is very messy and complicated, so I’ll try to keep it short.

We’ll start with Blanchard’s neologism “autogynephilia.” As I discuss in “The Anne Who Would Be Queen,” I fell for this simplistic trap of categorization myself early on. Back when I first got on the internet in 1995, I had come across some of Ray Blanchard’s early writings on the “types” of transsexuals and summarized them online. It seemed like a useful rudimentary way to think about sexuality in our community, and I still believe it has its limited uses in explaining that sexual orientation and gender identity are not the same thing. As many others have, I also did not grasp that this was a paraphilic model which casts our motivations as a sex-fueled mental illness. One of my majors was classical Greek, so I assumed “philia” (friendly love, affection, friendship, as opposed to “eros”) could be considered in apposition to “phobia” (panic fear/hatred) and suggested to Dr. Lawrence that my own motivation might be better described as “autoandrophobia,” a hatred of my self as male. I see my own self-loathing as akin to anorexia, mitigated greatly by transition. You’ll find all that in the letter that was sent to you.

It wasn’t until Bailey’s book that I saw where all that was going in terms of the DSM and other forms of institutionalized oppression we face. I have written up a page summarizing why “autogynephilia” is an iatrogenic artifact here:

    http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/autogynephilia.html

A fuller, more “scholarly” discussion of the issue is here:

    http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/gender-identity.html

I have also written up some background on Anne Lawrence, including the very telling ethics incident that forced her to resign as an anesthesiologist and an incident that occurred with me when we were planning to collaborate on a book. As you probably know, I maintain the foremost site on the practical aspects of transition, and Dr. Lawrence maintains the largest collection of surgery photos and first-hand reports (which it turns out has an erotic component). At that time, I didn’t see a need to duplicate efforts, since our sites were complementary. Since then, Dr. Lawrence has removed all links and references to sites that don’t share the same views, as well as links to several surgeons who have threatened lawsuits, which might give the impression that Dr. Lawrence is not a pariah in the trans community. You can read about the whole sordid mess here:

    http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/lawrence/anne-lawrence.html

Dr. Lawrence has compared transsexualism with amputee fetishism at amputee fetish conferences (the analogue to “gender conventions,” which Dr. Lawrence also cruises, according to those who go to them). In that community they divide the fetishists into devotees, pretenders, and wannabes, and I discuss that here:

    http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/wannabes.html

As I have mentioned, I believe it’s better to drop the medicalized “paraphilia” stuff (which is being questioned as a concept) and think of gender variance in terms of interest in feminization, erotic interest in feminization, and autoerotic interest in feminization. These interests can be objective (toward others) or subjective (toward self) as well as for others and for self, and they do not rely on binaries of male/female and gay/straight. They also acknowledge that interest in feminization is not necessarily erotic, where in the BBL model it is always driven by sexual desire (“that which moves us most” according to Anne Lawrence) and is modeled as a psychosexual pathology.

Now, on to Blanchard and company. During the time they were the sole source of funding in Ontario, they turned down 90% of trans people who came to them for sex reassignment. This led to an incredibly competitive system where they ended up turning down anyone who would not submit to their increasingly regressive requirements, which led to serious sampling bias. That meant anyone who could do so got their health services through private or extralegal networks, as it had been done before ”gender clinics” cropped up in the late 1960s. That left two main groups for Blanchard: those who got off on the forced feminization and humiliation of the “Jurassic Clarke” program, or those who had to report to his offices because of sex offences. Oh, and children who Blanchard pal Ken Zucker forces to conform to gender roles to “cure” them. It turns out that Blanchard and pals consider “male gender dysphorics, paedophiles, and fetishists” to be basically the same thing. Some have suggested that Blanchard’s interest stemmed from seeing if chemically and physically castrated sex offenders had less recidivism. Perhaps you’re aware of another Canadian, Aubrey Levin at the University of Calgary, who performed similar experiments on gay South African soldiers. Anyway, the Clarke Institute is named for Canada’s foremost eugenicist, Charles Kirk Clarke, and was originally an asylum. Blanchard was one of the first members of the “Human Biodiversity Institute” mailing list for eugenics, sociobiology, evolutionary psychology, or whatever they are calling it this year. The most noted surgeons in Canada, Menard and now Brassard, will not accept referrals from the Clarke. I suggest reading “Access Denied” by Ki Namaste for a good overview.

Most people who actually read Bailey’s book, from the head of the Kinsey Institute to the President of HBIGDA on down, realized it was not science and told Bailey just that. That’s probably why he vacated his post at the IASR right after John Bancroft called him out in front of an auditorium of his peers. Bailey’s book is a variation on the old “gay cure” narrative, where Bailey heroically cures a gender variant child growing up without a father figure by stepping in to set an example of a real man and by forcing the child to conform to gender roles. Never mind that the “Danny” story is apparently a fabrication… Perhaps that’s something you can look into. Never mind that Bailey abandoned his own family, either (right around the time he started “studying” transsexual women)… perhaps some issues being resolved there.

Bailey’s book is a polemic, modeled after The Bell Curve and other successful books of that kind put out by members of the Human Biodiversity Institute list. They learned that controversy is marketable and gets you on TV. Bailey’s writing is a refinement of the work by his mentor Lee Willerman, a prominent member of the American Eugenics Society. As The Advocate called Bailey’s work last month, his is “a kinder, gentler homophobia.” Had he kept his book scholarly, like the article where he says screening for and aborting gay fetuses is morally acceptable and a matter of parental rights, the response to his book would have been different. Here’s my take on what’s really going on, now that he’s claiming his science proves males are “gay, straight, or lying”:

    http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/bailey-bisexual.html

For the best overview of Bailey, I recommend Nancy Ordover’s American Eugenics: Race, Queer Anatomy, and the Science of Nationalism. [Ordover] places [Bailey’s] work squarely in the context of the American and German eugenics movements.

As for Kiira Triea, [Magner’s] quite a story, too. Former Johns Hopkins employee who after a 1993 breakdown claims to have been subjected to sexualized experiments by [employer Johns Hopkins] when [Magner] was younger. [correction: though Magner had a Johns Hopkins email address at jhu.edu, Magner does not appear to have been an employee.] Since the breakdown, [Magner’s] become a [low-rent] Laura Albert, a semi-employed wannabe rocker who created a bunch of JT LeRoy type “transkids” only [Magner] knows, and who all have Spanish, Japanese, or Finnish names. The Finnish is related to the open source program Linux, invented by a Finn. Denise Tree (as [Magner] was known then) was once the Linux newsletter editor, and [Magner’s] own new name is Finnish. There’s also [Magner’s] friend Dr. Aeirt, whose surname is an anagram of [Magner’s] new name. I’m sure there’s a reason ISNA has backed away from [Magner] a bit, but it seems [Magner] still has the ear of a few people there despite being a little [kooky] these days.

Willow Arune, the leader of the “autogynephilia” movement, is another character from whom you’ve undoubtedly heard:

    http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/willow-arune.html
    http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/bailey-willow-arune.html

Make sure to read the part about being a fugitive from Thailand because of a multimillion-dollar forgery charge. You can read about the abortive “autogynephilia” movement here:

    http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/autogynephilia-support.html

The little graph gives a sense of the relative size and significance of this ersatz movement, which is greatly exaggerated by the volume and obsessiveness of their efforts. Yahoo pulled the plug on them after their “leader” Arune started a Yahoo group devoted to cyberstalking me, which encouraged other detractors from my other areas of consumer activism. Some of the tone is preserved here:

    http://www.bostonschoolofelectrolysis.com/transsexual-update3.php

As you can see, you will need to ramp your histrionics up a bit to compete, but I consider your blog entry in the same general category as this one, what with the Nazi analogies and all. One of the other hate sites about me was called needlenazi.com, by the way. Usually a Nazi analogy is the sign of someone who is a little unhinged when they are writing.

Our suite of websites gets well over three million visitors a year, probably four million this year at the current growth rate. If you ask actual [trans people], not what are described in the literature as “transvestic applicants for sex reassignment,” I think you’ll find that your opinion of me is a little out of step with the world outside of the BBL clique. Sorry if you got a bad first impression from something I had on my site for a couple of weeks in 2003. I apologized to Bailey’s [child Drew] directly three years ago. The only place it lives on is at Bailey’s website and in the posts of his vocal supporters. When we sit down for a chat, I’ll explain exactly why I took that tack if you wish. You know what’s funny? Bailey was flogging away at that dead horse during his IASR lecture titled “Identity politics as a hindrance to scientific truth” when Dr. Bancroft stood up and told [Bailey the] book was not science. http://www.iasr.org/meeting/2003/abstracts2003.pdf The sexologists who witnessed it said it was obviously the turning point in Bailey’s career, and you could see it on his face as the crowd sat in stunned silence. Wish I coulda been there. That’s when this matter was settled to me, long before the half-assed “investigation” and the double secret probation that NU won’t discuss.

Of course, Bailey continues to be popular at Northwestern. I mean, it’s pretty hard not to make sex interesting for college students, right? Then there’s his exotic safari tours of gay bars and transgender hooker bars, and [Bailey’s] “freak of the week” afterschool specials where [Bailey] trots out some gay guy who for $50 will tell about his 500 sex partners, or attention-craving eccentrics who desperately want an audience and don’t understand how they appear to others. Bailey’s the Jerry Springer of academia. No wonder the kids love him.

Since [Bailey] “cures” Danny in his book, I guess it makes sense you’re down with [Bailey], too. After all, you ask “Why not change minds instead of bodies?” Bailey’s book is a perfect answer the very question that drives your life’s work! Allowing kids like Danny (well, real kids, not made up ones) to express gender as they wish “could come at the cost of more transsexuals,” as Bailey intones in his book. Better change those minds now with indoctrination and aversion therapy! The kids on the playground were pretty good with their own brand of aversion therapy when I was growing up, and now that has the imprimatur of science! I know people who were institutionalized as children for “gender nonconformity,” so whenever psychologists start talking about “nonconformity” as a disease, a little chill runs up my back. Did you know during Charles Kirk Clarke’s tenure, 50% of institutionalized people in Canada were foreign born immigrants, especially Bolsheviks, unionists, those kinds of “defectives”? Psychology as a tool of oppression is still alive and well, but they have gotten a bit more sophisticated in its use.

So, you and I can talk before Calpernia and I give our lecture if that would defuse things for you in some way. I am anticipating some hijinks while I’m there thanks in part to your efforts. The guy who runs the conservative student paper doesn’t like me either, because I made him retract some libel he published about me last year, so he and his gun nut buddies might be out for the show, too. Should be a good time. I cut my activism teeth on clinic defenses in Chicago during the Operation Rescue heyday, so I’m ready for anything. You see, I have two feet in. I am ready to take a bullet if that’s what it takes. That’s the difference between you and me. If you aren’t getting arrested or shot, you probably aren’t doing enough in my book. There are different kinds of progress, too. I’m capable of being all mediagenic when it’s called for (as you and I both were in the “Middle Sexes” documentary). Not all progress involves civil discourse and bringing people around to your way of thinking.

If you want to do an in-person thing, I’d prefer to meet with you next Monday or Tuesday, the 22nd or 23rd. I can come to your office downtown if you wish on those days. If you want to meet before our talk, you’ll need to come up to Evanston. In any case, I hope we can have a chat sometime soon, after you have looked over the links I’ve included in this not quick note.

Andrea
213-840-2602

P.S.: To end on a light note, you might have missed what in my opinion is much better satire of his book:

    http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/bailey-divorce.html

The earlier one was written before I knew Bailey had abandoned his wife and children to “study” transgender prostitutes and date his former Northwestern students. It makes the same “two-type” point in a subtler way.

P.P.S. Time constraints keep me from proofing this note, since I wanted to get this to you before I leave. Sorry it’s a bit long, but I don’t have time to give this the kind of thorough editing I usually give emails.

Dreger sent this 25-word response about a half hour later:

Ms. James,

I scanned your response and realized that the folks who told me attempts at productive dialogue with you is [sic] pointless were right.

Cheers,

Alice Dreger, Ph.D.
Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University

Ignoring Dreger’s grammar, I respond:

And I am starting to wonder if the folks who sent me supportive notes since you embarrassed yourself with that rant were right about bothering to respond. I planned to ignore you until you contacted me directly. I still answer all emails.

Though hope fades, the door remains open for a dialogue. Sounds like you’ve chosen sides on this one already, though.

See you in Chicago.

A

May 18, 2006

I speak at Northwestern. Alice Dreger does not attend. Because of Dreger, the head of student affairs reads an opening statement echoing the faculty who told Dreger they support the students’ right to gather information from many points of view. Northwestern assigns a security guard in case of problems.

May 22, 2006

As discussed in my first note, I stop by Dreger’s office to speak with Dreger in person, but Dreger is not there. Another person in the program whom I knew from when I lived in Chicago was not there, either. I speak with her colleagues briefly (they were all having lunch at a big table) and I leave my business card for Dreger.

May 27, 2006

When I get home, I have an introductory email from intersex activist Curtis Hinkle of Organisation Internationale des Intersexués (OII) who tells me Alice Dreger’s “lies, distortions and outright bigotry have damaged a lot of us.” Hinkle added that he felt her work “is very damaging to intersex kids” (Hinkle 2006). I first learn about her efforts to crush opposition to her pet concept, “disorders of sex development” (DSD). Since I have criticized disease models of gender variance (James 2004), I start to see how similar she is to Bailey, especially in terms of the “parental rights” arm of the modern eugenics movement. I bristled at her maternalistic attitudes toward intersex critics and the ascendant place reproduction has in her life and worldview. I thank the activists and offer to link to their information, suggesting they call the piece “Mommy Knows Best.” OII later uses the term and describes Dreger as “the self-appointed Mother of the intersex community in the United States” (Costich 2006). Echoing the “mommy” jab from my first response to her, I write Dreger:

From: Andrea James <andrea@tsroadmap.com>
Date: Sat, 27 May 2006 09:49:54 -0700
To: “Alice Dreger, Ph.D.” <a-dreger@northwestern.edu>
Subject: Mommy Knows Best

Sorry I missed you the other day. Your colleagues seem quite affable, and not as fearful as you.

DSD is going to be your merm and ferm. You have made a spectacular misstep with this disease model, though still not as inept as Bailey’s. Can’t wait till you and DSD are discredited by intersex activists (e.g., the world outside ISNA) and top-tier ethicists (e.g., not you) looking at the bigger picture. Your one-issue advocacy is selling out a larger movement for the sake of expediency. Bad move, mommy.

I’ll do what I can to assist them in discrediting you, and we’ll chat in person soon.

Cheers,
AJ

June 1, 2006

Alice Dreger tries to get me fired from my speakers bureau:

From: “Alice Dreger, Ph.D.” <alice@alicedreger.com>
To: <info @wolfman productions.com>; <scott @wolfman productions.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 7:25 AM
Subject: Andrea James

Greetings,

I wanted to let you know about this post, which explains why I recommend against inviting Andrea James to speak:

The Blog I Write in Fear

Her recent actions (i.e., responding to my criticisms with explicit threats to me/my work and implicit threats to my child) merely confirmed what I wrote originally in that post.

Regards,

Alice Dreger, Ph.D.
Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University

My speakers bureau writes:

Hi Andrea,

I wanted to let you know we got this sent to us.

I know we did not book that date for you and I read her blog which seems awfully angry & misplaced.

However, I thought I would let you know. . .

Let me know if I can do anything or should know anything!

I explain:

Thanks!

This person is upset because I got the Chair of the Psychology Department at her school investigated for ethics violations and wrote some satire of his tendency to reduce human sexuality to pseudoscientific binaries. I offended her sensibilities as a rich entitled mommy in academe, apparently.

Alice is a very fearful person, as you can see from her blog. I have to put up with this nonsense from losers like this all the time. That wasn’t even the most histrionic blog entry about me that week. Sorry you had to see the downside of being a political activist working to stop hackademics like this kook, and I look forward to our continued relationship!

A

Now that she’s trying to affect my livelihood, I respond to Dreger with what I know will put her over the top:

From: Andrea James <andrea@andreajames.com>
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 14:45:49 -0700
To: “Alice Dreger, Ph.D.” <alice@alicedreger.com>
Subject: FW: Andrea James

You sure you want to play this way, Alice?

I know you can’t see it, but you are really embarrassing yourself with this angry mommy routine. Your thin skin and general fearfulness are affecting your judgment. You are cracking me up with your ineffectual rage.

I have made no threats to you or your precious womb turd. I could care less about your kid and your sense of breeder entitlement. I am, however, going to do what I can to discredit your lame-ass DSD model. At least you got that part right. I’m sure in your mind that constitutes a threat. You exemplify so many things wrong with academia today.

Hope that clears things up.

A

PS: I pre-wrote an “In fear” blog update you can just copy and paste:

ANOTHER UPDATE! ANDREA CALLED MY WELL-BEHAVED SON A WOMB TURD AFTER I STARTED INSULTING AND HARASSING HER DURING MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND!!!!!!! THIS IDIOTIC NEO-NAZI FRED PHELPS CLONE IS CLEARLY A MENACE TO SOCIETY!!!!!! AS A MOMMY, I NOW FEAR EVEN MORE FOR THE SAFETY OF MY FAMILY!!!!!!! DOES ANYONE HAVE THE NUMBER FOR HOMELAND SECURITY???? WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!?!?!?!?!?!?

That email was the match I handed Dreger which has led to Dreger’s self-immolation. I believe that was the day Dreger decided to write a retaliatory hatchet job passing as sexology scholarship. In typical “gotcha” fashion favored by trolls, Dreger spent the next year obsessively gathering dirt. But there was no need for me to “ruin” Dreger, who I know would do the job for me.

Dreger claims to have contacted campus police, and since I was never held in Northwestern jail by campus police or detained by the Department of Homeland Security, I assume both law enforcement groups did what everyone else does.

They ignored Dreger.

June 3, 2006

A friend in Chicago tells me Anjelica Kieltyka called her to find out what my birth name was. Around this time, Kieltyka contacts Dreger (Dreger 2007, p. 6).

June 7, 2006

Alice Dreger dutifully does exactly what I knew she would do and writes “A follow-up on my encounter with Andrea James.” As I’ve noted, we’ve had no in-person “encounter,” but that sounds way more melodramatic than “A follow-up on my email to Andrea James.” Dreger’s response is substantively similar to my proposed cut-and-paste above, including the selective quotation of “womb turd” but minus the CAPS LOCK. That my use of “womb turd” is the first instance of that phrase published in an “academic” journal says volumes about the quality of Dreger’s scholarship, Dreger’s willingness to use loved ones for leverage in an argument (just as Bailey does), and the “scholarly” journal in which it appears.

June 12, 2006

My speakers bureau gets a note from Dreger’s pal Bailey, too. They write:

Just so you know we did get a few more emailed from that woman & today received one from Bailey himself.

They tell Bailey:

We represent close to 100 speakers, all with varying opinions, topics, and beliefs. We are not responsible for their work outside of the events that we produce for them.
 
Please do not contact us, or have anyone else contact us, regarding this matter.

June 13, 2006

Bailey’s none too happy, so he of course responds.

I wonder if you would take this approach if you found out that one of your client speakers had written in favor of neo-Naziism. I hope not. In which case, your response is unsatisfactory in every respect.

My speaker’s bureau ignores them both.

Alice Dreger starts looking for different ways to hurt me and decides to write a “history” of the Bailey fiasco, featuring me as the heavy.

Dreger interviews or corresponds with Drew Bailey (June 20), J. Michael Bailey (July 6), Jim Marks (July 22), John Bancroft (July 22), Kim Wallen (July 26), journalist Robin Wilson (July 27), and Northwestern’s Institutional Review Board (July 31).

August 1, 2006

An anonymous troll publishes a record of my court order for name change online and starts emailing me and others, using my former name as their email address.

Dreger interviews C. Bradley Moore (August 1), Simon LeVay (August 2), Ray Blanchard (August 2), Eli Coleman (August 4), J. Michael Bailey again (August 8), Anne Lawrence (August 8), Deb Bailey (August 9), Stephen Mautner (August 11), journalist Bill Horne (August 15), and Anjelica Kieltyka again (August 16).

The same day as the first formal Kieltyka interview, Dreger calls Professor Lynn Conway at the unlisted number Kieltyka had. Knowing that Dreger is working on a pro-Bailey hatchet job, Conway tells Dreger to stop harassing her.

Alice Dreger corresponds with Joan Linsenmeier (August 17), Jamison Green (August 20) interviews J. Michael Bailey again (August 25), contacts Walter Bockting (August 30), staff at HBIGDA (September 12), and interviews Anjelica Kieltyka again (September 19).

September 20, 2006

I take two minutes to add a link on one of my sites to “Alice Dreger: Disorders of Sex Development” (OII 2006), created by intersex activists around the world criticizing Dreger and her DSD pathology.

Dreger interviews Anjelica Kieltyka two more times (September 22 and September 27), as well as Kiira Triea (September 28).

October 1, 2006

Dreger writes to her mailing list confirming she has resigned from the DSD Consortium and blaming me for her woes:

The thing I want you to know is that I pissed off trans activist Andrea James (see http://www.alicedreger.com/in_fear), and as a result she decided she would try to attack me via attacking the DSD terminology. (Dreger 2006g, see Appendix 2)

This letter contains early versions of the same attacks on me in Dreger’s 2007 “history.”

October 3, 2006

My readers tell me Dreger is sending out the mass mailing blaming me for the growing international concern about “disorders of sex development.” Here’s a typical response from me:

From: Andrea James <andrea@tsroadmap.com>
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 19:17:13 -0700
Subject: Re: Dreger on You, etc. blah, blah, blah

What a kook, huh? Dreger has been fixating on me since I spoke at Northwestern last spring— writing my agent and anyone else she can think of. The obsession is not reciprocal, though, so it’s a little weird to see I have become her go-to folk demon. I don’t think she sees how she comes across to others. She seems to think I have mind control over Milton Diamond and IS activists around the globe who object to being labeled sextards by Dreger & co.:

http://adc.bmjjournals.com/cgi/eletters/91/7/554#2460

I think she’s mad because she knows deep down that this was a huge mistake that will be a part of her legacy. If she keeps it up, I may actually even take a day or two and craft a response…

Best,
A

I can’t resist sending one last note to Dreger:

From: Andrea James <andrea@andreajames.com>
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 23:03:55 -0700
To: “Alice Dreger, Ph.D.” <a-dreger@northwestern.edu>
Subject: Alice Dreger: Disorders of Sex Development

Hi Alice!

Saw your latest rant. I am really in your head, aren’t I? Maybe Aron can manage your disorder with SSRIs.

When I expose quacks, kooks and criminals, it is merely by documenting and commenting on their own words and actions. It’s very telling that you construe this as “intimidation.” You’ll definitely know if I ever bother to put a few days against writing a public response to your ongoing harassment and insults.

While it’s oddly charming that you partly attribute the impending implosion of your career and legacy to me, your fixation on me is not reciprocal. Try to get me out of your head, sweetums. Drugs, therapy, hobbies, whatever it takes.

I am not the cause of your inevitable fall. You are.

Cheers,
AJ

Conclusion

I have no doubt Alice Dreger will continue to escalate this. Dreger will try to set the rules of engagement and play the victim when those rules aren’t followed. Dreger will spin lies of omission and distortion to bolster any arguments. Dreger will use their child Kepler Dorumat Sousa in this feud just as Bailey does. What Dreger doesn’t seem to understand is that I don’t care about faux academic civility or credentialism. They are designed to give people like Dreger the upper hand.

Looking beyond Dreger’s ridiculous personal vendetta against me, I do hope I can assist those questioning Dreger’s disease model of intersex, just as I question disease models of gender diversity. Discrediting bad ideas and bad scholars will lead to empowerment for those who should be speaking for themselves. Dreger can’t hurt me, but Dreger can hurt a lot of people with differences of sex development in the long term.

In the meantime, I will periodically begin the work of discrediting both Dreger’s “partial history” and Dreger.

With luck, farsighted activists and academics will soon see through Dreger’s petty, self-aggrandizing nonsense and pathologization and see both for what they are. That’s when Alice Dreger will finally be a part of history, as an unfortunate historical footnote.

First published online 14 August 2007