It does not. Far from clearing the air Dr. Winters book is a prosaic primal scream of narcissistic rage embedded in a brilliant exposition of the barbarities inflicted on transgender folk by the psychological profession. The book is based heavily on blog's written by the author witch are freely available, and adds little value for the money it cost. That said I whole heartedly agree with her about and have experienced some of the ignorance of psychologist who don't work with trans folk on a regular basis. Her writings on Blanchard's theory reveal in her a narcissistic rage, a jealous sounding,... angst towards those labeled "homosexual" in that nomenclature. That said the book makes important points about how the diagnosis of GID is used, and misused to oppress. However the way those points are made would only impress those who already agree. I can give this book no more than 2.5/5 stars. ★★ ½
There is much I can and do agree with in this book. Her major focus in this book is on the reformation of the way transsexual and transgender folks are treated by the medical, and psychological profession. Her main point being that the term “gender identity disorder” is maligning and misleading. That the presence of the word “disorder” leads people to think of this as something that needs to be cured. Which as she mentions cuts both ways. Open minded people and institutions recognize that the cure for gender dysphoria is transition to a new gender role. I agree that the use of the word fetishist to describe cross dressers, and that calling autogynephilia a paraphilia in line with bestiality, is a poor poor choice.
I was pleased to find that throughout her book and in the glossary she defined a persons gender in the social domain, without going into ruminations about etiology and brain sex. According to her, and I agree, a person who is living in their affirmed gender role full time regardless of op status is a transsexual. No second guessing. There were many other things I could agree with but will not enumerate. I also applaud her for exposing some of the more barbarous “treatments” that were used in the past by reparitve therapist. Shock treatments are just the tip of the iceberg, try conditioning crossdressers to become nauseated upon seeing womens clothes (I wonder if that ever worked what happened to those CD'ers when they saw women in public?) If a country did things like that to a segment of it's population...it's leaders would be put on trial at the Hague.
This takes me to the way she misrepresents Blanchard's theory in her book in particular with respect to homosexual transsexual/transgender folks. In “Deconstructing the Feminine essence Narrative” Blanchard writes
that all anatomical males who are attracted to the same sex, have brains that are structurally and functionally similar to those of straight females. (various studies on homosexual males, that Blanchard had nothing to do with, have found just that.) “Homosexual transsexuals” are simply more neurologically feminized than homosexual non-transsexual males. This is a far off cry from the impression of that branch of Blanchard's theory from reading this book. According to this book homosexual transsexuals are merely homophobic homosexual males who do not accept themselves. I would argue to the contrary for a male in this society to come out as a transsexual, while at the same time be self accepting enough to embrace that small part of her psyche that is still a boy takes great
self acceptance. To have SRS then pretend that you grew up 100% natal female, that is what is bread of homo and transphobia. This does not surprise me, since like so many other commentators on this topic she writes of it with a bit of rage, and angst about what the theory implies about her if it is accepted as even partially true. This blinds her to the real problems that one could have with the homosexual transsexual postulates of Blanchard's theory. For example she provides a list of problems with Blanchard's theory. 6/8 of them are about autogynephilia. Then there is the little detail that self identified autogynephiles definitely exist, as do people who have self identified as “homosexual transsexuals”. Yet after so passionately and poignantly making the case against maligning language...she maligns those people who use that language for themselves in some way or the other.
The engineer then makes an excursion into criticizing scientific theory. For example the concept of equfinality. That being that two different complex systems, can given time and similar conditions, evolve to be almost if not totally identical. She derides this as unscientific. I would direct the engineer to the existence of the Ichthyosaur, and the Dolphin. Two very different creatures, who after millions of years in the same biological niche evolved strikingly similar body plans. This in spite of being biologically very very different indeed.
In conclusion this book does little to clear the air and only throws up more dust. This book preaches to a choir of the converted and I can't see how it would do anything to convince the powers that be to do anything to remove GID from the DSM. (Aside from replacing it with even more Blanchardian language than what's there now.) The claim is made in a review published with the book. That Blanchard's ideas are crackpot and discredited.... but then the book notes in an appendix that Blanchard and a number of researchers who have collaborated with him are writing the newest edition of the DSM. Discredited crackpots don't get put in powerful positions by their peers. The book does an admirable job of unmasking some of the horrible things that have been done to “repair” transgender folk. However I wish that it had focused more on those type of barbarities. The fact that this book is available in the form of Kelley Winters Blogs, is enough for me to say wait for this one at your local library. Save your money... libraries buying this book ought to more than cover the publication cost, worry not. Dr. Winters will not be starved.)