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Alice Dreger’s attacks on academic freedom

Alice Dreger is an American historian whose exploitative work on minorities is often presented as academic freedom, but when those attacked try to criticize Dreger in academic settings, Dreger does everything possible to stop them from exercising their own academic freedom.

Dreger fails to stop my 2006 Northwestern speech

Dreger unsuccessfully tried to suppress a 2006 speech I was invited to give at Northwestern University and twice tried to get me fired. Obsessive anger following those failures drove Dreger to spend a year on a magnum opus about J. Michael Bailey’s 2003 anti-trans book The Man Who Would Be Queen and the ensuing investigations (Conway 2003, Wilson 2004). Dreger calls the article a “partial history” (Dreger 2007), apparently missing the second meaning. It is certainly partial in both senses. This 53,000-word apologia epitomizes why I left academia. Sadly, this kind of sloppy, vindictive nonsense passes as scholarship today, especially at the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the house organ for Bailey and his cronies (Springer 2007) associated with Toronto’s regressive CAMH (formerly the Clarke Institute). It’s remarkable how much Dreger deliberately omitted despite rambling for over 60 pages.

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 ingratiate herself with Bailey, her coworkers, and Northwestern administrators, Dreger starts contacting faculty at Northwestern about getting my speech stopped.

They generally ignore her attempts. One academic takes her 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)

She’s none too happy, so Dreger escalates things.

May 11:

Alice Dreger contacts Northwestern’s Rainbow Alliance in hopes of silencing me. (Dreger 2007)

Though Dreger claimed in her May 16 letter to me that this led to a “productive dialog,” they in fact ignore her.

She’s none too happy, so Dreger escalates things.

May 13:

Alice Dreger posts “The blog I write in fear.” (Dreger 2006e) 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-variant children in his lectures (Roughgarden 2003), so I responded in kind. Today, the only place that satire is available is on Bailey’s website, part of his pattern of using his own children in service of his arguments.

With Mother’s Day the next day, Dreger must have been feeling a bit sentimental about being a mommy as she blogged about me:

“I just hope she keeps her words off my kid. (Defender of children, my ass.)” (Dreger 2006e)

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 2006e)

She 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.” (Dreger 2006e)

I ignore her.

She’s none too happy, so Dreger escalates things.

May 16:

Alice Dreger contacts me by email to make sure I had seen her 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 (James 1998, see Appendix 1), before it was public knowledge that Lawrence’s 1997 resignation as an anesthesiologist (Washington Dept. of Health 1997) was connected with Lawrence’s erotic interest in ritualized genital modification (which Lawrence describes as “autogynephilia,” a sex-fueled mental illness made up 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 her school, I send back a 2,500-word response outlining the issues, explaining why I took that tack with Bailey and correcting her misinterpretation of what I meant in the 1998 email to Dr. Lawrence. I have linked key terms below for reference; full URLs were in original.

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. She places his work squarely in the context of the American and German eugenics movements.

As for Kiira Triea, she’s quite a story, too. Former Johns Hopkins employee who after a 1993 breakdown claims to have been subjected to sexualized experiments by her employer when she was younger. [2007 correction: though Triea had a Johns Hopkins email address at jhu.edu, she does not appear to have been an employee.] Since the breakdown, she’s become a poor man’s Laura Albert, a semi-employed wannabe rocker who created a bunch of JT LeRoy type “transkids” only she 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 she was known then) was once the Linux newsletter editor, and her own new name is Finnish. There’s also her friend Dr. Aeirt, whose surname is an anagram of her new name. I’m sure there’s a reason ISNA has backed away from her a bit, but it seems she still has the ear of a few people there despite being a little off her rocker 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 transsexuals, 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 son 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 him his book was not science. 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 his “freak of the week” afterschool specials where he 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 he “cures” Danny in his book, I guess it makes sense you’re down with him, 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 her 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:

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:

As discussed in my first note, I stop by Dreger’s office to speak 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 Dreger’s colleagues briefly (they were all having lunch at a big table) and I leave my business card for Dreger.

May 27:

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 Dreger’s work “is very damaging to intersex kids” (Hinkle 2006). I first learn about Dreger’s efforts to crush opposition to “disorders of sex development” (DSD), a term Dreger promoted. Since I have criticized disease models of gender diversity (James 2004), I start to see how similar Dreger is to Bailey, especially in terms of the “parental rights” arm of the modern eugenics movement. I bristled at Dreger’s maternalistic attitudes toward intersex critics and the ascendant place reproduction has in Dreger’s 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:

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 Northwestern investigated for ethics violations and wrote some satire of that professor’s tendency to reduce human sexuality to pseudoscientific binaries. I offended Dreger’s sensibilities as a rich entitled mommy in academe, apparently.

Alice is a very fearful person, as you can see from that 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 self-immolation. I believe that was the day Dreger decided to write the retaliatory hatchet job passing as sexology scholarship. In typical “gotcha” fashion favored by trolls, she spent the next year gathering dirt, obsessed that I was out to “ruin” her.

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

They ignored her.

June 3:

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

June 7:

Alice Dreger dutifully does exactly what I knew she would do and writes “A follow-up on my encounter with Andrea James” (Dreger 2006f). 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” will be the first ever instance of that phrase published in an “academic” journal (Dreger 2007, p. 4) says volumes about the quality of Dreger’s scholarship, her willingness to use her child for leverage in an argument (just as Bailey does), and the “scholarly” journal in which it appears.

National Women’s Studies Association

June 21, 2008

CFP: Bailey Controversy (10/29/07; NWSA, 6/19/08-6/22/08) The Bailey Brouhaha: Community Members Speak Out on Resisting Transphobia and Sexism in Academia and Beyond For this panel, I invite individuals to submit abstracts who are interested in presenting papers about the controversy surrounding J. Michael Bailey and his theories regarding the lives and identities of transgender/transsexual women. While Baileys book The Man Who Would be Queen was released in 2003 to overwhelmingly negative reviews, the book caused a stir for its assertion that trans women can be split into two groupings: homosexual transsexuals and autogynephilics. Trans activists and allies mobilized and took Bailey to task for his bogus claims and helped to document a compelling case against him. Many considered it an open-andshut case until the 2007 appearance of an article by Bailey colleague and intersex researcher Alice Dreger, who published a lengthy apologia for Bailey in the Archives of Sexual Behavior and castigated trans women activists for their attempts at ruining Bailey. Possible paper topics may include (but are not limited to): The colonization of trans bodies and identities by non-trans academics The invisibility of transpeople in academia The vital importance of resisting Master Narratives like those produced by Bailey, Dreger et. Al. The role of Science in perpetuating transphobia and sexism The mobilization by the trans community post-publication of The Man Who Would Be Queen as a unique liberatory project in the history of transgender activism, including the Internet and the blogosphere An analysis of the work performed by specific trans advocates in the wake of the Bailey fiasco, such as Andrea James, Lynn Conway and Deirdre McCloskey (dis)similarities between The Man Who would be Queen and Janice Raymonds The Transsexual Empire How the discourse of Bailey, Dreger et. Al. helps to further a chilly climate for transpeople in academia and in society as a whole The sexism in J. Michael Baileys book The Man Who Would Be Queen The interrelationship between misogyny, heterosexism and transphobia Baileys connection to eugenics and reparative therapy and its impact on trans communities Baileys alleged research misconduct, including sex with a trans woman research subject Proposals should be submitted via e-mail to Joelle Ruby Ryan (joeller@bgsu.edu) no later than Monday, October 29, 2007. Please include a 250-500 word proposal description, a brief bio and a 50-100 word abstract and the following info: Name Institutional Affiliation Address Phone Email

Resources

Bailey Brouhaha NWSA Panel Post-Post-Mortem [UPDATED]