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Transgenderism & Objectification
A conversation with Donovan Cleckley
I spoke with Donovan Cleckley about how gender identity ideology advances the objectification of women — through pornography, lobbying for the sex slavery industry, and normalizing the fetishization of female subordination.
The origins of “gender identity” are a concept created by the sexologist John Money, who developed his theories of innate gender by sexually abusing children. Money also recommended showing pornography to children in order to help them develop their “gender schemas”.
In the 1990s, Money was interviewed for Paidika, a pedophile psychology journal named after the Greek adjective for “boyish.” His comments have been used by pedophile rights activists to refer to the younger partner in a pederastic relationship, and Money’s work is prominently featured on the website of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), one of the longest-established pederast rights groups.
Men who misappropriate womanhood frequently reveal how pornography underpins their perspectives. American author Andrea Long Chu, for example, describes pornography as the “quintessential expression of femaleness” and has reduced womanhood to notions of sexual submissiveness and receptivity. He has compared women’s anatomy to the anus, which he termed a “universal vagina through which femaleness can always be accessed.”
Andrea Long Chu is far from alone in this line of thinking, as is made evident in the history of the conceptualizing of “gender identity”, and also in the writings of other prominent trans-identified men.
Julia Serano, author of Whipping Girl, has described fantasizing about being sex trafficked. According to Serano, being sold into sexual slavery would allow him to “[transform] the loss of male privilege into the best f*ck ever.”
In addition, pornography has paved the way for transgender surgeries by pioneering the eroticization of body modification surgeries on a massive scale. Beginning with the crude and dangerous silicone injections first performed on sex trafficked women, many of the ‘feminizing’ procedures demanded by men as their right originate within the context of women’s sexual slavery.
Pornography desensitizes the viewer and results in a need for more exreme content to elicit a thrill. One avenue for escalating the shock value of pornography is body modification: plastic surgery to exaggerate the primary and secondary sex characteristics, especially of women.
And though the history of the plastic surgery industry is riddled with horrific experiments on women, no official record has ever been kept on the total number of women killed during these “beauty” procedures.
“We think of our sexualities as something natural that we’re born with. But how can you be born with an attraction to people’s bodies who don’t even exist in nature? As transsexuals, clearly our bodies are the result of a technological and medical process,” said Nina Arsenault, in a lecture he presented at York University.
“When I watch straight porn, when I see female porn stars, those bodies don’t exist in nature either. Sometimes they have enormous breasts, but very tight waists. Again, huge heads of hair that can only be accomplished through extensions. All these things that are really artificial are often the things that are highly eroticized. That really throws our sexualities into questions and destabilizes it.”
Arsenault, a prominent Canadian transactivist, has compared plastic surgery procedures to intercourse, and described being fully conscious throughout a facelift, likening the experience to fisting.
Transgenderism is an ideology that has pornography at its very core. The originators of the “gender identity” belief system based their definition of female on the concept of receptivity in sex, and the man who coined the term — John Money — created child pornography (CSAM) and recommended showing porn to children to help them form their “gender identity”.
Throughout the early modern organizing of Western cross-dressers during the 60’s - 80’s, men used porn magazines to disseminate and promote this fetish. Books on the sensuality of objects and symbology, manuals on sadomasochism, and female hormones were all sold in the back pages of these publications.
The “shemale” porn category saw men undergoing body modifications, presenting themselves as hyper-sexualized representations of the man-made “woman”, accompanied by a male sex drive: the pornographer’s ultimate product, and the novelty for the man who had become bored with more traditional genres.
It must also be said that it is a great irony and a terrible reversal that as women, and especially lesbians, have had their actual identity turned into a porn genre, a porn genre has been turned into a false identity.
As women have been objectified, and documented sex acts became products, so now the dogma of ‘gender identity’ defines all women as sex acts and commodities. Womanhood is in this way divided into purchasable parts — breasts, hormones, etc — for men to possess, providing a completion to the masochistic escape from selfhood, bringing the fantasy of pornography into flesh.
“Objects exist or are made in order to be used: in this case, used so that the male can experience his desire, or his desire to desire, or his alienation from his desire... Women are used in the making and made in the using. The love of or desire for or obsession with a sexual object is, in male culture, seen as a response to the qualities of the object itself. Since the first preoccupation is with the form of the object, men make great claims for the particular forms that provoke lust or the ability to f*ck in them. […] Male supremacy depends on the ability of men to view women as sexual objects, and deviations from this exercise in male power and female oblivion are discouraged.” (pp. 112-113)
Andrea Dworkin, Pornography: Men Possessing Women (1981)
“Objectification is largely accomplished by a process of fragmentation. The fetish is the fragmented part taken away from the whole, or better, the fetish is seen to contain the whole. It represents an attempt to grasp the whole.”
— Janice Raymond
The Transsexual Empire
“Postmodernist thinkers are defending against the downfall of patriarchy by trying to be not male. In drag, they are aping the feminine rather than thinking their place as men in an obsolescent patriarchy.”
— Jane Gallop
Thinking Through the Body
Donovan Cleckley holds a BA in English and Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Montevallo and an MA in English from Tulane University. His research focuses on the relationship between women’s rights and gay rights, literature and sexual politics, and the social and political implications of transgenderism as an ideology, an industry, and an institution.
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