Date of Award

August 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Andrea Westlund

Committee Members

Joshua Spencer, Luca Ferrero


The topic of transsexualism was most prominently brought into the feminist movement's consciousness through the critical work of cultural radical feminist Janice Raymond. In this paper I will argue that the original response given by trans theorists to Raymond's critiques has allowed for the propagation of certain mistaken notions about trans people. In order to correct these misconceptions a different tack must be taken in responding to Raymond. I will begin by overviewing how two schools of feminist thought have lent themselves to theories of transsexualism, then focusing on radical feminist critique by Janice Raymond and a post-structural feminist response by theorist Sandy Stone. I will then outline how I propose to correct the oversights presented in Stone's response. I will clarify my reason for stating that the original response to critics conflicts with other feminist aims, and will conclude by arguing how to correct the original response's problematic misunderstanding of the factors which motivate peoples' transitions.

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