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Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us Hardcover – May 12, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Bornstein considers herself a gender outlaw because she breaks the laws of nature. A former heterosexual male and now a lesbian woman, Bay Area Reporter writer, and actor who has appeared on talk shows, she has completed the transsexual process, including surgery. As she considers her workplace the theater, about a third of this autobiographical work is devoted to queer theater, including her play, Hidden: A Gender. The black-and-white photos were not seen but are apparently a significant part of this informative and humorous book.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A thoughtful challenge to gender ideology that continually asks difficult questions about identity, orientation, and desire. Bornstein cleverly incorporates cultural criticism, dramatic writing, and autobiography to make her point that gender (which she distinguishes from sex) is a cultural rather than a natural phenomenon. The chapters range from ``fashion tips'' on her writing style to dialogue between herself and another about the ``nuts and bolts'' of the surgical process of a gender change (which she has undergone). Confronting transgenderism and transgendered people is not easy for many individuals, but Bornstein does it in a way that sparks debate without putting her audience on the defensive. She suggests that ``the culture may not simply be creating roles for naturally-gendered people, the culture may in fact be creating the gendered people.'' Her discussion of the ``parts'' of gender is based on respected sources and includes analyses of gender assignment, identity, and roles. Things get mixed up, according to Bornstein, because ``sexual orientation/preference is based in this culture solely on the gender of one's partner of choice,'' in effect confusing orientation and preference. Seeing queer theater as a place in which gender ambiguity and fluidity can and should be explored, she includes in the book her play, Hidden: A Gender. Bornstein uses the term ``gender defenders'' to describe those who work hard to maintain the current rigid system of gender, and she claims that her ``people'' (i.e., the transgendered) are just beginning to challenge the system and to demand acceptance and understanding. Bornstein's witty style, personal approach, and frankness open doors to questioning gender assumptions and boundaries. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (May 12, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415908973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415908979
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,452,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By amanda_gender@yahoo.com on May 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Kate Bornstein asks questions that are for some uncomfortable. You are asked to question the Gender system as defined by Society. You are also given an insite into the life and feelings of a Transsexual, everything you wanted to ask (well nearly). If you have an interest in Transsexuality or general Gender confusion. Then you may find that you cannot put this book down. I found this book to be well written, funny, sad, confusing. But thoroughly enjoyable.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1997
Format: Hardcover
It's a while since I read Kate Bornstein's *Gender Outlaw*, but my overall impression is that it is a pathbreaking book which drags (!) transsexuality out of the ghetto and into the homes of 'ordinary' people.
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By Catherine on July 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Five stars! Thank you!
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3 of 18 people found the following review helpful By __ on March 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
We as a society need to be more sensitive with gender!
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