“Transsexualism has taken only twenty-five years to become a household word,” reads the opening line of the 1979 book, The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male. The author, Janice Raymond, a renowned academic and feminist campaigner, caused a massive kerfuffle when she published the work, which seriously tackled the theory and consequences of diagnosing the feelings of body dysphoria and the unbearable desire to live and present as the opposite sex.
Raymond wrote TTE as a response to the rising rates of sex-change surgery in the US. She had long been concerned about the medical practices that negatively impacted women, such as unnecessary hysterectomies and caesareans. This led her to question the medical consequences of the bodily mutilation inherent in transsexual surgery, and the detrimental effects of taking lifelong hormones.