Wednesday, August 12, 2020

TERF Wars collection features my updated critique of "autogynephilia"

This week, The Sociological Review (an academic journal) published a special issue entitled TERF Wars: Feminism and the fight for transgender futures. (If you are reading this now, that link will take you to the issue; in the future, you may need to scroll back to Volume 68 Issue 4, July 2020.) 

It contains my essay Autogynephilia: A Scientific Review, Feminist Analysis, and Alternative ‘Embodiment Fantasies’ Model. That link will bring you to a PDF of my accepted manuscript. If you have institutional access, here's the final publication. While I'm not allowed to post the final publication publicly, I am allowed to share it upon individual request, so shoot me an email if you'd like a copy.

In the article, I provide an updated overview of the scientific case against autogynephilia theory. Following that, I forward an alternative "embodiment fantasies" model that explains all the available evidence better than autogynephilia theory, and is far more consistent with contemporary thinking regarding gender and sexual diversity. Finally, given the theory's recent popularity among trans-exclusionary feminists, I demonstrate how autogynephilia relies on essentialist, heteronormative, and male-centric presumptions about women and LGBTQ+ people, and as such, it is inconsistent with basic tenets of feminism. 

While writing it back in 2018-19, I found that I couldn't fit every argument I wanted to into it (due to word count), so I spun some of these additional ideas into two long-read Medium essays: Making Sense of Autogynephilia Debates and Autogynephilia, Ad Hoc Hypotheses, and Handwaving. (btw, those are both "friends links" that circumvent the paywall.)

If you add all that up, it's almost half a book's worth of writing on this theory (yikes!). While I believe this has been important work (as autogynephilia continues to be routinely cited in anti-trans propaganda), I wasn't paid for any of it. So if you appreciate this work, please consider supporting me on Patreon, which helps make projects like this possible!

Finally, if you're interested in the TERF Wars: Feminism and the fight for transgender futures collection, but do not have journal access, you'll be happy to know that it can be ordered in book form via that link. And it will soon be available via more typical book outlets.