A Matter of Perspective: A Transsexual Woman-Centric Critique of Dreger’s “Scholarly History” of the Bailey Controversy
As someone who is both an academic scientist and a transsexual woman and activist, I would very much welcome a proper historical analysis of the controversy over Bailey’s book The Man Who Would Be Queen: one that fully explores the many ethical issues raised by both the book and the backlash that ensued, one that thoughtfully articulates the perspectives of both researchers/gatekeepers and their transsexual subjects/clients while taking into consideration the institutionalized power that the former group holds over the latter. On paper, Dreger seems well suited for the task given her experience as a science historian, ethicist, and an advocate for sexual minorities in her past work with the Intersex Society of North America. Unfortunately, while Dreger describes her article as a “scholarly history,” it fails in this regard for numerous reasons, several of which I will address here.
The first rule of thumb when conducting a historical analysis—particularly one involving any backlash or...
KeywordsGender Identity Personal Attack Transsexualism Trans Activist Trans People
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