Dr. Anne Lawrence's attack on Virginia Prince

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kym...@xconn.com

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Oct 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/19/96
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I speak as the publisher and managing editor of "Cross-Talk" and I speak
both for the magazine and for Virginia Prince, who is an associate editor
and regular editorial columnist.

Dr. Anne Lawrence, in a post to the TS Menace mailing list, recently reposted
here, has called for action to be taken against Dr. Prince on the grounds of
remarks she made in her October column, entitled "Gender Fundamentalists".
The remarks were taken out of context and thus the original meaning has been
obscured.

Since I have the privilege, as copyright holder, to republish anything in
the magazine's pages (a legal privilege that Dr. Lawrence violated by using
those out-of-context remarks without my permission), I am releasing the
entire sections of Dr. Prince's column from which the remarks are excerpted.

I believe that seeing the remarks in context will allow each individual
reader to come to their own conclusions regarding Dr. Prince's intent.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

EXCERPT:
"[Transsexuals] ... are the fundamentalists who know what is best for
everyone ..."

IN CONTEXT:
The so-called "she-males" have grown long hair, had electrolysis, tracheal
shaves maybe, face lifts and nose jobs but have not had genital surgery.
They live full time and in many cases make their living from various kinds
of sexual activities. Now I personally share many of these changes with
them except for the sexual activities. But since I don't share that aspect
of their life with them I can't share much empathy with them and certainly
would not presume to speak for them in any debate about various aspects of
their lives. By the same token I would not want any one of them to
undertake to speak for me and other heterosexual transgenderists. So
similarity is not the same as identity.

But there are those out there who feel that they can. I refer to them as
Gender Fundamentalists because, like all other fundamentalists, they think
they know best and know how things ought to be. So their message is "we
have a hold on the *truth* and the *right* way ... we know what's best, so
come over to our point of view and do things as they should be done." It is
strange but true that the ones who are most vocal, most in print and most
publicly active are the transsexuals. Their main point of attack is Tri-Ess
because of the policy (which in their anointed wisdom they like to term
"exclusionary") of selecting heterosexuals only, which conflicts with what
they proclaim to be the only right way for a group to be ... open to all
comers. Why can't they just let things lie and be the way the members of
Tri-Ess want it to be? Because they are the fundamentalists who know what
is best for everyone and take it as gender gospel that since God created
all kinds of people (many of whom crossdress in one way or another and in
various degrees), any group in our field should be open to anyone who walks
in the door.

EXCERPT:
"[Transsexuals] ... look back ... remembering the days when they were a kind
of human ..."

(and)

"... [N]obody made them have surgery, so now that they have had it, why don't
they just go about living their own lives, forming their own organizations
and building their own amorphous (sic) psychology and leave the rest of us
alone?"

(and)

"After all, for every TS in the country there are probably a thousand
heterosexual males who [crossdress] ..."

IN CONTEXT:
The gays pay no attention to Tri-Ess because they don't have to. They have
their own political action activities, their own newspapers and magazines,
their own restaurants and meeting places and they have achieved a pretty
good level of social tolerance (I can't quite say social acceptance). Why
should they care if some hetero organization doesn't want gays as members?

But those poor transsexuals! They don't have any of the confidence building
mechanisms that gays have. They don't have anywhere to go because there are
no effective organizations for TSs. So they remember somewhat longingly that
they were crossdressers once and they kind of look back on those days with a
kind of what might be called "sexual nostalgia" ... remembering the days when
they were a kind of human, a male or a female burdened with requirements and
expectations to be sure, but nevertheless they fitted in somewhere. Now
after surgery they are neither fish nor fowl since they have no reproductive
organs of any kind and they probably could not survive without synthetic
hormones of one kind or the other the rest of their lives. They are not
really male and really not female and that has to be a major mental burden
(although I am sure they would be the last to admit it). But nobody made
them have the surgery, so now that they have had it, why don't they just go
about living their own lives, forming their own organizations and building
their own amorphous psychology and leave the rest of us alone? We feel no
need to bother them; why do they feel a need to bother us? ("Bother" in this
case refers to their complaints about Tri-Ess' policy of selectivity.) After
all for every TS in the country there are probably a thousand heterosexual
males who enjoy their little occasional "micro-vacations" of an evening, a
weekend or a convention away from the limitations of masculinity.

FROM THE DICTIONARY:
a-mor-phous adj. formless

[Editor's Note: I don't know why Dr. Lawrence didn't look up the word,
choosing instead to treat it with the notation (sic), as if the word had
either been misspelled or fabricated.]

EXCERPT:
"`[W]hat is the difference between an Iranian terrorist ... and a
transsexual?' The answer is that `you can negotiate with a terrorist.'"

IN CONTEXT:
But some of the various kinds of people who make up our "coalition" are
fundamentalists and believe that they know best how others should run their
lives and their groups. It is bad enough when the facts led someone to make
up the riddle "what is the difference between an Iranian terrorist (who are
well known fundamentalists) and a transsexual?" The answer is that "you can
negotiate with a terrorist." But now we are being deprived of even that
outlet since the fundamentalists have become the transsexuals and the
transsexuals have become fundamentalists.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why has Dr. Lawrence carefully chosen remarks to take out of context and use
them in an attempt to discredit Virginia Prince? Only she can answer that
question, and I hope she will.

||| Kymberleigh Richards, "Cross-Talk" Magazine |||

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--


Megan

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Oct 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/20/96
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kym...@xconn.com writes:

>Dr. Anne Lawrence, in a post to the TS Menace mailing list, recently reposted
>here, has called for action to be taken against Dr. Prince on the grounds of
>remarks she made in her October column, entitled "Gender Fundamentalists".
>The remarks were taken out of context and thus the original meaning has been
>obscured.

No, I think she really did peg the original meaning... they were hateful
things to say and were very generalizing... I'm glad Dr. Lawrence
posted what she did, and that you completed the picture. Dr. Prince
surely should be censured for what was said.

>Since I have the privilege, as copyright holder, to republish anything in
>the magazine's pages (a legal privilege that Dr. Lawrence violated by using
>those out-of-context remarks without my permission), I am releasing the
>entire sections of Dr. Prince's column from which the remarks are excerpted.

Check again for the 'fair use' clause... you are wrong.

>I believe that seeing the remarks in context will allow each individual
>reader to come to their own conclusions regarding Dr. Prince's intent.

They do... they are more hateful than the original extracts indicated.
I hope Dr. Prince received flak from all quarters for the outrageous
comments.

Megan


WondrGirrl

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Oct 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/21/96
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In article <1996Oct21....@snugbug.cts.com> Joan Tine writes:

>gendergekampfen

Uh, Irish, German...and Dutch too? ;)

Multicultural
Sharon

<Like the pine-trees lining the winding road>
<I got a name, I got a name>
Charles Fox/Norman Gimbel

Amanda Gerrish

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Oct 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/21/96
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Kymberleigh,

OK, so now I've read Virginia Prince's comments in full and I find
them just as objectionable, if not more so. This is bigotry, pure and
simple. I'm saddened that you would deem it fit to be published.

Amanda Gerrish

nadja

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Oct 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/22/96
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kym...@xconn.com wrote in article <019933ISAJ...@xconn.com>...


> So they remember somewhat longingly that
> they were crossdressers once and they kind of look back on those days
with a
> kind of what might be called "sexual nostalgia" ... remembering the days
when
> they were a kind of human, a male or a female burdened with requirements
and
> expectations to be sure, but nevertheless they fitted in somewhere. Now
> after surgery they are neither fish nor fowl since they have no
reproductive
> organs of any kind and they probably could not survive without synthetic
> hormones of one kind or the other the rest of their lives. They are not
> really male and really not female and that has to be a major mental
burden
> (although I am sure they would be the last to admit it).

In context, it's hard not to read this portion of Prince's comments as
condescending to say the least. The implication would seem to be that
a) humans come in two kinds, male and female; b) transsexuals after
surgery are neither male nor female; hence, they are neither kind of
human. This would suggest that they are no longer human. Such is
also implied by the notion that they no longer "fit in" anywhere.

If Ms. Prince means to suggest that they are now a kind of human
*other* than male or female, it is odd that she should choose to speak
of their being a 'kind of human' in the past tense, as if it were a status
that they have (voluntarily) lost.

Of course, there is a growing body of literature that suggests that (a)
is not true - that there are *more* than merely two genders, including
various forms of intersexuality. This could as well include various sorts
of transsexuals, assuming, of course, that (b) is in fact correct. It's
certainly a matter of considerable contention. In at least part, I'd say
how one answers *that* question depends a great deal on one's
definition of what it means to be 'male', 'female,' or ...

> But nobody made
> them have the surgery, so now that they have had it, why don't they just
go
> about living their own lives, forming their own organizations and
building
> their own amorphous psychology and leave the rest of us alone?

Why amorphous (and I *do* know what the word means :) )?

Some of her other points may be fine, but perhaps she should refrain
from speaking about the experience of transsexuals in much the same
way as she claims to refrain from discussing the experience of 'she
males.' It seems clear that when she breaks her own (quite reasonable)
rule her foot is soon to be found in her mouth.

Nadja


Joan Tine

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Oct 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/23/96
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WondrGirrl (wondr...@aol.com) wrote:
> In article <1996Oct21....@snugbug.cts.com> Joan Tine writes:

> >gendergekampfen

> Uh, Irish, German...and Dutch too? ;)

Not _Dutch_...unless you believe in the Tooth Fairy and the
"Pennsylvania Dutch". And my mother's family originally came from
India, I was adopted into Clan MacKensie, and my babysitter was
full-blooded Hopi:).

> Multicultural

(Nothing against the Dutch, they produced at least one great WWII
movie... "Soldier of Orange" with Rutger Hauer.)

J.
--
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Wombat! Transexual Menace! Vicus Lusorum! Curry! Request public key.
Theoni Srith Nanklaren/Bubblegum Crisis/Rollerblade Macro EQ/Stego
Quare tristis es anima mea, et quare conturbas me?

Anne Marie Tobias

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Oct 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/23/96
to

Hi Nadja,

I hope you don't mind... I'm going to go a step further. Unlike
a rather excessive flame session earlier in the list, I do not
plan on making this a matter of personalities. I do however feel
that Dr. Lawrence has allowed something truly reminiscent of
sewage, to make it's way into the world and represent itself as
her opinion. I hope that she has the intelligence and dignity to
back peddle on this as fast as her little legs can carry her.

nadja wrote:
>
> kym...@xconn.com wrote in article <019933ISAJ...@xconn.com>...

>> So they remember somewhat longingly that they were CDers


>> once and they kind of look back on those days with a kind
>> of what might be called "sexual nostalgia" ... remembering

>> the days when they were a kind of human, male or a female


>> burdened with requirements and expectations to be sure, but
>> nevertheless they fitted in somewhere. Now after surgery

>> they're neither fish nor fowl since they've no reproductive
>> organs of any kind and they probably can't survive without

>> synthetic hormones of one kind or the other the rest of

>> their lives. They're not really male or female and that has

>> to be a major mental burden (although I am sure they would
>> be the last to admit it).

How smug, arrogant, and completely bigotted this quote is. I
have never CDed, and have no "fond memories" of such... She does
not know me, & apparently doesn't want to be confused by facts.

I am 10 times the "Human Being" today that I was before I took
on my transition. I am more honest, related, and committed. I am
able to look at myself for the first time in my life and see a
person consistent with my hopes and dreams. I now FIT IN!

As for being neither fish nor fowl, I am not going to brag about
how wonderfully I exist in a woman's world... there's no point
in it. I do just fine. I will say that in this world there are
countless thousands of men and women who are TG, intersexed, had
hysterectomies, had testicles removed due to cancer or other
desease, and who for one reason or another have missing or non-
functional genitalia. Dr. Lawrence, with a single stroke has
simply declared all these people as sub or non-human. Since when
has a person's humanity been determined by the function of there
genitalia?

About hormones... I am equivalent to a young woman in the middle
of her puberty. Until I have fully developed, I will continue to
take >>Natural<< (not synthetic) hormones (estradiol). When I
get to the point where I've reached the equivalent of natural
female maturity, I will choose to continue hormones (identical
to any other woman on an HRT program), or I will stop, and go
through precisely the same menopause as all the women before me
in recorded history. Again, I fail to see any distinction in
Dr. Lawrence's blithering.

As for the burden of being TS... being a chocolate in a vanilla
world is always going to be stressful, and I totally acknowlege
that. Of course, when we put that inside the context of a full
and functioning life... the stresses of keeping employed, being
sure to get enough love and satisfaction, fulfilling on my
dreams and wishes, and getting enough chocolate... I find my
issues of gender pretty low on the totem pole. If she is in some
sneaky way suggesting I should feel ashamed or inferior for who
I am... she can kiss my pink panties (preferably used!).

>> But nobody made them have the surgery, so now that they have
>> had it, why don't they just go about living their own lives,
>> forming their own organizations and building their own
>> amorphous psychology and leave the rest of us alone?

First... in cultures with no gender typing... Transexuality does
not exist... So the poor Dr.'s claim about it purely being "our"
decision may in fact be simply more sewage. But even saying for
the moment, that it is fully my decision to have altered my body
that my heart and mind might better function in this strongly
gender typed society, where does the Dr. get off suggesting that
I should somehow see myself as less for that?

The last part of this sentence sounds remarkably like tracts
taken almost verbatim from various Neo-nazi literature.

Like; "Why can't we just put them in a place, with high walls,
and keep them from infecting decent people..." and "Why do these
people forever piss and moan about injustice, and bigotry, for
the love of Pete, they brought all down on themselves...". I
hope the Dr. is reading this... her bigotry is showing clearly,
and her small thinking is a shameful thing to put on public
display. I simply hope that she sees the damage she does with
such senseless drivel. AND STOPS... NOW!!!

Marie

Rosalind Hengeveld

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Oct 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/28/96
to

Anne Marie Tobias wrote:

> I do however feel that Dr. Lawrence has allowed something truly

> reminiscent of sewage, to make it's way into the world [...]

Setting the record straight: the quotes that Anne Marie Tobias
attributes to Dr. Anne Lawrence, were in fact written by Dr. Virginia
Prince. Dr. Lawrence had in fact attacked them to the point of
demanding that action be taken against Dr. Prince.

--
Rosalind Hengeveld

MarciaX

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Oct 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM10/28/96
to

Hello,

Marie's NNTP server is full so she cannot post her apology, so I posted it
for her.

It reads:

Hi All,

I've gotten plenty of notice that I fired my big gun at the wrong person.
I
beg Dr. Lawrence's apology for flaming her, I simply got my dander up and
I
"Ready, Fired, Aimed".

So, to Dr. Lawrence, my profoundest apology... please forgive my
unwarranted
flames, I instead acknowledge you for your contribution to this issue.

And, to Virgnia Prince... Shame on you unthinkingly, uncaringly saying
such
hurtful and inconsiderate things.

And, Finally to Me... Shame on me for going off half... well you know.
I'll
be better at making sure that I don't jump cases without due cause and
proper
identification.

Marie Tobias

mar...@aol.com

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