Araminta Purdy
Registered On: January 23, 2020
Topics: 10
Replies: 480
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Hi, Holly

I spent 9-10 years is searching for answers to the question as to why I cross-dressed. In that search I found that the relevant concepts as expressed in the terminology developed over 150-years tended to diverge from original intentions to fit what I can only see as popular Psychology without any genuine critical thought. The word, ‘transgender’, for example, basically derives from an intent in the 1960s to indicate that ‘transsexual’ is a misnomer and that it was a reference to transiting between anatomical genders as opposed to physiological sex. It was first adopted by people around Virginia Prince (‘transgenderal’) to describe people who were gender variant. From there it was used as a general and inclusive term. It then was co-opted to mean only those who fully transited but in a way that excluded the gender variant. Thus you have cross-dressers today who ask, “Am I transgender?”, meaning do they want to go through the biochemical and surgical processes of transition. Anyone who presents variations in gender are transgender. Some people only transition basically once and are gender invariant (which is why being invariably feminine in a male body is so dysphoric) while others transit between genders frequently.

It’s all complicated but the basic conclusion I came to was it is necessary to recognize the connectivity of sex and gender but to also realize the distinctions if only in that one is objective and the other subjective.

I applied that principle to other terms (‘spectrum’ for example) and found that the present (especially 2000-2010) usages created misconceptions and contradictions and not a few debates. I was not alone in these findings, especially amongst linguists and philologists who noted similar discrepancies.

So I wrote a book that is unpublished because nobody is really interested. I took each term (including ‘sex’ and ‘gender’) search for the etymology and variance is definitions to understand the history of each term and how each is presently used. For example, a German baron. I look at five editions:

Krafft-Ebing, Baron Prof. Dr. Richard von, “Psychopathia Sexualis: eine Klinisch-Forensische Studie”, Verlang von Ferdinand Enke, Stuttgart, 1886, translated by Prof. Dr. Charles Gilbert Craddock, M.D. as, “Psychopathia Sexualis”, Rebman Company, Philadelphia, 1892.

Krafft-Ebing, Baron Prof. Dr. Richard von, “Psychopathia Sexualis: eine Klinisch-Forensische Studie”, Verlang von Ferdinand Enke, Stuttgart, 1886, 12th edition translated by Francis Joseph Rebman, Rebman Company, New York, undated, ca. 1903.

Krafft-Ebing, Dr. R., O. Ö. von, Prof. Psychiatrie u. Nervenkrankheiten A. D. K. K. Universität Wien, “Psycopathia Sexualis: Mit Besonderer Berücksicht der Conträren Sexualempfindung: Eine Klinisch-Forensisenche”, Neunte, verbessserte und theilweise vermehrt Auflage, Verlan von Ferdinand Enke, Stuttgart, 1894.

Krafft-Ebing, Baron Prof. Dr. Richard von, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, University of Vienna “Psychopathia Sexualis: With Special Reference to Contrary Sexual Instinct: A Medico-Legal Study”, Authorized Translation of the Seventh Enlarged and Revises German Edition, by Charles Gilbert Chaddock, M.D.; The F. A. Davis Company, Publishers, London, 1894.

Krafft-Ebing, Baron Prof. Dr. Richard von, “Psychopathia Sexualis: With Special Reference to the Antipathic Sexual Instinct: A Medico-forensic Study”, translated by Franklin S. Klaf 1965, Arcade Publishing, Inc., New York, 1998.

in the earlier translations ‘gender’ is used 5 times, each with a fairly specific reference to behaviour and not to sex. In the more recent translation each use of the word ‘sex’ (when possible) was converted to ‘gender’. That is, early translators (and von Krafft-Ebing himself) understood the difference but later translators simply followed the erroneous conclusions of some 1970s theorists and the prurient policies of media executives (who misunderstood why the Feminist Movement as inspired by de Beauvoir worked towards gender equality) and use the terms as equivalents. This essentially poor translation would lead to the conclusion on the part of those new to the field that von Krafft-Ebing though that ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ were the same which was not the case. (The earlier translations are not the best either.)

An it goes on and on.

The assumption that ‘passing’ as female is the desired outcome for a cross-dresser simply does not recognize that, in our society, we place values on masculinity and femininity as if one is a pathological version of the other. For example, the belief until comparatively recently (and still held by some and still used to make political decisions) that females were imperfect males incapable of having the same privileges as males.

Being feminine is normal, healthy and desirable. In either sex. It is not pretending to be females (sex) that is the goal but being genuinely women (gender). The term ‘passing’ is misleading and conducive to an inequitable valuation of gender.

So, no, I do not have an published works, just a 350-page manuscript that is now out-of-date.

Feel free to communicate anytime. Just keep in mind that a single question can set me off on a lengthy exposition.


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