Robin Pinnel on publicizing bigotry
Robin Pinnel is a publicist at Joseph
Henry Press, the publishing arm of the National
Academies Press. Pinnel is responsible for writing much of the defamatory
materials about sexual and gender variance put out by the National Academies
Press in support of The Man Who
Would Be Queen by J. Michael Bailey.
Robin Pinnel's work for Bailey:
Gay, Straight or Lying? Science has the
answer (21 March 2003)
Pinnel is credited by name in the above "article" about The
Man Who Would Be Queen by J. Michael Bailey. This glorified press
release was placed in several queer
publications around the time of the book's publication in Spring 2003.
Pinnel message (2 April 2003)
Pinnel sent this out to drum up publicity for Bailey in Atlanta. Bailey
eventually just resorted to showing up at Emory
University for free (and stinking of booze).
See also Caitlin Antrim's letter to Pinnel.
by J. Michael Bailey
ideas [PDF file: requires reader]
"praise" compiled by
file: requires reader]
"timeline" by Robin
[PDF file: requires reader]
Press release (28 April 2003)
See also Lynn
Conway's commentary on this defamation.
Advocate advertisement (10 June
National Academies Press website
(retrieved June 2003)
web link: NAP
Pinnel is probably placing this sad
little classified in gay mags:
The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism
by Michael Bailey. "Recommended," Out Magazine.Available at www.jhpress.org
April Fool's in black and blue
From the Selective Quoting Dept.: Publisher's
Weekly ran the following review on April 1, 2003. The black part is the
selective quotation Bailey and friends use, Pinnel wisely avoids the critical
"An associate professor of psychology at Northwestern
University, Bailey writes with assuredness that
often makes difficult, abstract material-the relationship between sexual orientation
and gender affect, the origins of homosexuality and the theoretical basis
of how we discuss sexuality-comprehensible. He also, especially in his portraits
of the women and men he writes about, displays a deep empathy that is frequently
missing from scientific studies of sexuality. But
Bailey's scope is so broad that when he gets down to pivotal constructs, as
in detailing the data of scientific studies such as Richard Green's about
"feminine boys" or Dean Hamer's work on the so-called "gay
gene," the material is vague, and not cohesive. Bailey tends towards
overreaching, unsupported generalizations, such his claim that "regardless
of marital laws there will always be fewer gay men who are romantically attached"
or that the African-American community is "a relatively anti-gay ethnic
minority." Add to this the debatable supposition that innate "masculine"
and "feminine" traits, in the most general sense of the words, decidedly
exist, and his account as a whole loses force." -- Copyright 2003
Reed Business Information, Inc. Source
Robin Pinnel is a University of Virginia graduate with a Bachelor's in English,
and the former Daily Cavalier student newspaper editor. While there, Pinnel
had at least one class with Rita Felski, who has contributed the introduction
to Bland & Doan's important historical critique of "sexology."
Pinnel used to work for a literary agent/lawyer called Gail Ross (who does a
lot of nonfiction books out of DC). She has an MA in writing from Johns Hopkins.
She was scheduled to appear at the same 2003 Lambda
Literary Foundation event in Provincetown which listed Bailey:
(THE INFLUENCE OF transgender WRITING ON LESBIAN AND GAY LITERATURE
Gail Leondar Wright, Moderator; Toni Amato, J. Michael Bailey, Kate
Bornstein, Leslie Feinberg, Gordene McKenzie, Nancy Nangeroni, Riki Wilchins
[I contacted Gail Leondar-Wright, who stated this was cleared up and Bailey
I suspect one of two things happened regarding Robin Pinnel's decision to link
herself with Bailey for the rest of her literary career:
Maybe Pinnel was forced to promote a book that may or may not match up
with her political beliefs. Someone unfamiliar with the issues who ended
up on the wrong side of the argument. Several Bailey reviewers fall into
Robin Pinnel might be a total slimeball or old schooler herself with an
anti-trans axe to grind. She is attending Johns Hopkins, after all. Not
to mention that even my former colleagues in advertising all thought PR
people were bottom-feeders who drop off their morals and values at the reception
desk every morning. Her coworker, editor Stephen
Mautner, isn't getting back to me any more as of August 2003.
Robin Pinnel's work below kept getting cranked out long after it was clear
that the book was problematic. Still, it may be a case where she simply
set aside her morals long enough to pick up a check for her role in marginalizing
women in in the transgender community.
"We make mistakes. And when we make those mistakes, we try and correct
them the best we can. With every letter we receive, we learn something new
about responsible reporting. And we pass that piece of knowledge to those
who come after us. That is why we grow stronger every year. Feedback is key
in our business."
Pinnel in 1998
Feel free to contact Robin and share your feedback about her handiwork!
Robin Pinnel, Publicist
National Academies Press
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington DC 20001
phone: (202) 334-1902
fax: (202) 334-2793
How PR flacks contribute to the rash of bad science reporting: