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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Editorial Reviews
Great book. Still provokes thought after all these years. I will be using this next time I teach Psych of GenderPublished 2 months ago by Howard F
When you don't have to support your claims with verifiable facts, anything is possible. To the extent the author perceives gender to be non-binary and gender fluidity to be real,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Robin Lynn Frank
This book has totally changed my viewpoints on gender! Coming from the perspective of someone who was already conscious of the system and pitfalls Kate describes, this book still... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Shiloh
Blew my conception out of the water. If you're interested in the operation of gender, this is a must read.Published 15 months ago by Eric