- Paperback: 498 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 27, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415919517
- ISBN-13: 978-0415919517
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Vested Interests: Cross-dressing and Cultural Anxiety 1st Edition
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""Vested Interests is a political and emotional gold mine--beautifully illustrated, and written with wit, style, and with obvious love for the subject. Could you ask for more?."
-Kate Bornstein, "Lambda Book Report
." . . erudite and exhilaratingly well-argued . . . her [Garber's] argument is both intricate and persuasive."
-Lucy Hughes-Hallett, "The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Director of the Humanities Center at Harvard
Top customer reviews
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The book arrived in good conditions and very quickly, considering it was an international purchase, it took just a bit longer than a random national one! Just the paper cover involving the hard cover was a bit torn.
Cross-Dressing and Cultural Anxiety
(New York: Routledge, 1992) 443 pages
(ISBN: 0-415-90072-7; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: HQ77.G37 1991)
A wide-ranging book on the public manifestations
of wearing the clothes and adopting the manners of the other sex,
especially as seen in the mass media--television, movies, magazines.
Cross-dressing for the following reasons:
entertainment in the theatre and movies;
respect in the workplace;
to express the other-gender side of one's personality;
for personal sexual interest, arousal, & orgasm;
as an element of one's homosexual sex-script;
to 'pass' as the other sex;
transsexualism--because one believes one is 'really' the other sex;
This book explores cross-dressing as a cultural phenomenon,
rather than a psychological phenomenon.
If you would like to read better books on cross-dressing,
search the Internet for this bibliography:
James Leonard Park
Marjorie Garber uses a very rich vocabulary, some of which I was even able to stump internet dictionaries with. On the other hand, she uses unintended racist vocabulary. She may have known better in 1992.
Many parts of the 390-paged book (+ 35 pages of footnotes and 38 picture pages, some of which are in color) are very interesting to read. Usually, when playing topsyturvy with our Western concepts of gender. For example that the pink-blue baby colors were reversed before WWI. When and in what circumstances Muslim societies appear to harbor more gender freedoms than the West. (Though the author doesn't mention everything possible.) Many history lessons are to be learned, e.g. that Joan of Arc wasn't tried under the inquisition for heresy, but transvestism.
Lengthy chapters are reserved for classic films, sumptuary laws, Peter Pan, Salome, detective stories, M. Butterfly, the posthumous Harold Washington scandal, Josephine Baker and the image connection among Valentino, Liberace and Elvis. With most of these chapters I had the feeling that they were somewhat arbitrary or that separate long articles, worthy as they may be individually, were compiled for a book, which often loses sight of its overall coherence. Even though I liked reading about all of that, it felt too much like a patchwork text instead of clear messages.
If you are interested in gender studies, don't miss out on this one. Just make sure, this will not remain the only one. Some other books include The Mismeasure of Woman,Myths Of Gender: Biological Theories About Women And Men, Revised Edition,The Meanings of Sex Difference in the Middle Ages: Medicine, Science, and Culture (Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine) and Nature's Body: Gender In The Making Of Modern Science
Neat book that explores interesting gender topics. I plan to read it again soon. Wish I still had my first copy. This is the kind of book I wish I had author's signature on. Very, very highly recommended, for any gender.
thank you marjorie garber!