"a deeper analytical language for transsexual theory"
November 15, 2015 5:35 PM   Subscribe

The 'Empire' Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto Trans media theorist Sandy Stone's 1987 essay on transsexual women and radical feminism, written in response to TERF works of the time, was a foundational text for transgender studies, located within a particular cultural moment but calling for a new discourse of transsexual and transgender womanhood beyond the gender binary.

An interview with Sandy Stone in LBGT Weekly part 1 part 2

Stone's current project page

TERF Hate and Sandy Stone, about Stone's history in radical lesbian music collective Olivia Records in the 1970s and the hate campaign against her (warning: contains descriptions of violent transsphobia and threatened hate crimes)
posted by thetortoise (4 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
This is awesome; thanks for this post.

Sandy Stone taught an undergrad course I took at UT in the 90s. (It was a class about how TV and film work, technologically.) I thought she was really awesome -- very engaging teacher, able to explain technical concepts really well, and a great storyteller. Half of the large class seemed to pretty vehemently dislike her, though, and I couldn't ever figure it out, because I thought she was so great. People -- and it was almost always male students -- would openly challenge her the way undergrads who think they're smart like to do, although it's usually directed at, say, philosophy or English professors, not at someone teaching a course in technical concepts.

I didn't know until a couple years after I graduated that she was trans, and it didn't occur to me until even just a few years ago that what I was seeing in the lecture hall was straight-up transphobia. It hurts me now that I didn't recognize it and therefore couldn't try to counter it somehow. I hate that she experienced it, on a relatively large scale, in a classroom full of 300 shit-for-brain post-adolescents. It must have stung, and there must have been days when she walked out of the classroom feeling assaulted. That really, really sucks. I have to say, though, she never let them win, and she never even acted flustered by it. On the one hand, how unflappable she was in the face of bigotry was really admirable. On the other, it sucks that she had to develop that unflappability, over time, as the result of sustained encounters with hatred.

TLDR: Sandy Stone is awesome, and I'm really honored to say that she was once my teacher.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:43 PM on November 15, 2015 [27 favorites]

This is an essay I've seen mentioned a lot but never did the minimal leg work / googling to track down. Thanks.
posted by PMdixon at 11:35 PM on November 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

I had no idea this person existed. Holy crap. This is awesome. Thanks!
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:20 AM on November 16, 2015

I love Stone's writing:
The verdant hills of Casablanca look down on homes and shops jammed chockablock against narrow, twisted streets filled with the odors of spices and dung. Casablanca is a very old city, passed over by Lawrence Durrell perhaps only by a geographical accident as the winepress of love. In the more modern quarter, located on a broad, sunny boulevard, is a building otherwise unremarkable except for a small brass nameplate that identifies it as the clinic of Dr. Georges Burou.
What she had to go through is appalling, and I can only stand in awe of her courage and determination. Thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 9:40 AM on November 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

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