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Shemale (sometimes she-male) is a usually derogatory term[1] for a person who appears to be female, possessing both breasts and male genitalia.[2]

The term, along with tranny, ladyboy and others, is often used in sex industries[3][4] to refer to a pre-operative transsexual woman[5] who has not had sex reassignment surgery; although the industry is known to advertise catering to customer's interests. Less frequently, it is used to describe intersex people.

Many people within the LGBT communities, particularly transgender individuals, consider the term offensive.[6] However, like many potentially derogatory labels, some have adopted the term as an endearment or as a form of self-empowerment. People that have sex-changes are not shemales. People of the third sex are also not shemales.[7]

Etymology Edit

In the early 19th century, "she-male" was used as a colloquialism in American literature for "female".[8] Davy Crockett is quoted as using the term in regard to a shooting match, when his opponent challenges Davy Crockett to shoot near his opponent's wife, Davy Crockett is reported to have replied:[9]

No, No, Mike," sez I, Davy Crockett's hand would be sure to shake, if his iron pointed within a hundred miles of a shemale, and I give up beat...

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, by 1970 the term shemale had come to be used disparagingly for "masculine lesbian",[8] although this is no longer common usage. In 1979, Janice Raymond employed the term's modern usage in her controversial book, The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male[10] in which she argues that from a feminist point of view, transsexuals constitute an attack by males upon femininity. In 1990, Jennifer Anne Stevens defined a she-male as "Usually a gay male who lives full time as a woman; a gay transgenderist" in her book From Masculine To Feminine And All points In Between.[11]

Trivia Edit

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. Trans@MIT: Allies Toolkit (PDF). Retrieved on 2007-10-26.
    "shemale: A term, usually derogatory, used most often in the porn industry for a pre-op transwoman who has already developed breasts but still has an intact penis."
  2. She-male”, Dictionary.com, <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/she-male>. Retrieved on 2007-10-26 
    "derogatory slang, 'a genetic male who has both male and female characteristics; a male who has undergone surgical feminization" from Webster's New Millennium Dictionary of English
  3. SHEMALE”, WordWebOnline, <http://www.wordwebonline.com/en/SHEMALE>. Retrieved on 2007-10-26 
    "(sometimes offensive) a form of transsexual, esp. one in the sex industry" WordWeb Online
  4. Transgender Terms & Definitions”, eTransgender.com, <http://etransgender.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=188>. Retrieved on 2007-10-26 
    "A highly demeaning/derogatory term used to describe transgendered people. Term comes from the pornography industry, characterizing those with fem features and male genitalia. This term is also often used to portray "girls" involved in prostitution and pornography."
  5. Trans@MIT: Allies Toolkit (PDF). Retrieved on 2007-10-26.
    "pre-op: transexuals who have not attained gender reassignment surgery"
  6. Glossary of Transgendered Terms”, Transsexual Road Map, <http://www.tsroadmap.com/start/tgterms.html>. Retrieved on 2007-10-26 
    "A sexualized term popularized in pornography for a transgendered woman who has not had surgery. Often considered highly offensive."
  7. Herbst, Philip H. (2001), Wimmin, Wimps & Wallflowers: An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Gender and Sexual orientation Bias in The United States, Intercultural Press, p. 252-3, ISBN 1877864803, <http://books.google.com/books?id=8rgUeEpWfbsC&pg=PA38&dq=shemale+empowerment&sig=heIoin691HMnIucKQBuK1_4mbWE#PPA253,M1>. Retrieved on 2007-10-25 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harper, Douglas, “she-male”, Online Etymology Dictionary, <http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=she-male>. Retrieved on 11 September 2007 
  9. Boorstin, Daniel J. (1965), “Part Seven: "Search for Symbols"”, The Americans, vol. 2 The National Experience., N.Y.: Vintage, p. 335f, ISBN 0394703588 
  10. Raymond, J. (1994), The Transsexual Empire, New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, ISBN 0807762725 
  11. Stevens, Jennifer Anne (1990). From Masculine To Feminine And All points In Between. Cambridge, MA 02238: Different Path Press. ISBN 0962626201. 


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Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Shemale. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

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