Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity 2nd Edition
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It's official: Whipping Girl is a 21st century feminist classic. It's also a gift to a culture (still) struggling to face its own misogyny. Serano's writing is clear, gracious, and incredibly illuminating.”
"Serano's thinking continues to challenge and delightWhipping Girl is a foundational text that will prove to be timeless.”
"Having only just come out as Transgender, I was taken by a friend to a bookstore and told to buy Whipping Girl immediately. As I read, the revelation dawned on me that experiencing my gender could be full of self-empowerment and liberation as opposed to the fear and shame I had already spent a lifetime living with. Not only was this book a light in the dark for someone jumping head-first into transition, it also served as an essential tool to pass on to family and friends to help them to better understand what it means to be Trans. I'm forever thankful for this book and its author.”
Laura Jane Grace
Serano takes to task those who categorize femininity” as artificial rather than a natural gender expression. Her convincing analysis and personal revelations challenge us to recognize our own sexist notions.”
"Julia Serano offers a perspective sorely needed, but up until now rarely heard." Bitch Magazine
"An absorbing and essential achievement in both theory and biography.” Washington City Paper
"Whipping Girl critiques media depictions of trans people, dismantles science's longtime characterization of transsexuality as pathology, and offers a whip-smart vision of a world that celebrates sexual difference.” AlterNet
"Julia Serano is a careful and astute critic of the ways that trans women have been stereotyped and dismissed in popular culture, feminism, and psychology, and she repeatedly surprised me with her razor-sharp observations of the pervasive hatred of trans women and all differently gendered people. This is an important text for gender studies classes, as well as for therapists, journalists, and anybody who'd like to keep updated as a sex radical.”
Patrick Califia, author of Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism
"Julia Serano is the wise, acerbic brain at the center of the transgender movement. The original edition of Whipping Girl forever connected trans theory to feminism and queer studies; this new edition updates that work as well as providing a compelling new preface that reflects the movement's enormous progress as well as the progress that remains to be made. Julia Serano is more than a brilliant writer and theorist; she's also a tremendously compassionate, humane woman whose work has enlarged the lives of all her readers. Urgent, contentious, generous, and brilliant.”
Jennifer Finney Boylan, Author of She's Not There, and Writer in Residence at Barnard College of Columbia University
"Julia Serano did not invent transfeminism, but she's done more to promote its ideas and demonstrate its necessity than any other writer. Her analysis of the misogyny at the root of transphobia is vital. This book should be taught in every introduction to gender and women's studies class in the countryread it, teach it, learn from it, and act on it."
Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History and Director, University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies
Praise for the first edition:
About the Author
Julia's background as a writer, performer, activist, and biologist (she has a PhD in biochemistry from Columbia University) makes her a unique voice on the subjects of gender and sexism. She has the rare gift of being able to present complex ideas from feminism and gender/queer theory, and to interweave them with her personal experiences as a bisexual trans woman, in a clear, compelling, and entertaining manner.
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I would happily recommend it to anyone who wants to take a hard, in depth look at these issues.
Serano responded with meticulous care and penetrating analysis to every media-induced or reflexly stereotypical assumption I had about trans experience. (I didn't realize I had so many!) She doesn't guilt-trip--instead she helped me to see all the elements in my world that--of course--prevent almost all of us from "getting it" about transgender/transsexuality. Rather than challenging my feminist perspective, her insights deepened it as she shows how powerful a factor sexism plays in transgender oppression.
Serano writes with admirable clarity--still, even though I found an important insight on every page, " Whipping Girl" is undeniably a dense book to read through, and so it will not be as easily accessible as one would wish. Other books will be able to mine this one for a wider audience.
(Alas, the title and cover--in-your-face ugly and suggesting S&M more than trans experience--would have turned me off if a trusted friend hadn't handed it to me. I would have missed a brilliant, powerful and important book.)
Top international reviews
If you feel you don't know anything about trans people, it's a great catch-all text.
If you're interested in psychology, biology, gender theory or other social sciences, or LGBT activism or feminism, you'll love it.
If you're feminist or interested in feminism you'll love it.
If you think you might be trans, it might help you find your answers.
This is a brilliant book on a poorly understood topic,and it addresses a lot of common misconceptions. Everyone should read it. We all have things to learn from these experiences, whether trans or cis, male or female.
It explains in detail why gender is not binary ...even though there are some misguided soles who still (somehow) think it is.
Trans people (and in particular trans women) still have very limited legal rights or respect in the UK and although the book concentrates on the issue in the USA the connotations for the UK are valid. Latest estimates suggest that around 1% of the folks in the UK are trans and this figure has for many years continued to grow. One percent may not seem high but if you put all the trans folks in one city even Manchester would not be big enough.
There are some reviewers that dislike this book. Often described as "TERF's" I still have not been able to get my brain around this terminology. For the fact is whilst there is a tiny minority of people who are "trans exclusionary" the term "radical feminist" is in my humble view not equitable. A proper feminist (and I certainly consider myself one), is striving for equality, meaning of course, we are ALL equal, no if’s and no but’s!
The depth that this book goes into is extraordinary....no wonder it is considered a “textbook” in trans academia in the USA. If there is any negative to this book, (which engrossed me to read it in two days as per the normal one month), is the use of certain words that I personally have never encountered before. Please forgive me on this but as a child of the very early 1950's who missed some years of schooling due to illness, I accept I am not the brightest person on the planet.
However, I am bright enough to understand that nature makes mistakes and that trans people are victims of nature’s mistakes… just as some are born partially sighted or with one leg longer than the other.
There is NO ROOM in our society for discrimination in our society today, and the sooner all the "wrongs" described in this book are corrected the better society will be! Very highly recommended.
Als ehemalige Betroffene vor 35 Jahren kenne ich natürlich (fast) alle Situationen, die damals wie heute in der Transsexualität
auftauchen. Julia Serano beschreibt diese eingehend in ihrem Buch. Darüber hinaus analysiert sie auch das Verhältnis
und die Interdependenzen des beiden Geschlechter. Das Buch kann daher auch Nicht-Trans-Menschen empfohlen werden.
Besonders Psychologen sollten sich dies einmal zu Gemüte führen, damit auch bei Ihnen die sich selbst gemachten
Vorurteile abbauen lassen. Allerdings ist das Buch nicht einfach zu lesen. Julia Serano hat eine fantastische Sprache und
einen exellenten Stil. Man muß sich in dieses Buch einlesen.
- how trans people are depicted in the media
- the way psychiatrists have pathologised trans people, preferring to see them as objects of curiosity, rather than helping them cope with their condition
- the way gender theorists in academia have written about trans people without actually having done any first-hand research - never having listened to them, preferring only to consider them from a distance
- the discrimination against trans people in society
- Serano's own account of what it's like for her as a trans woman
My review can't possibly do Serano's book any justice. She obviously put a tremendous amount of effort into it and it was all thoroughly researched. Never have I read something so eloquent by a trans person. I'm usually a slow reader, but I got through the book in a day. Please order it now - you won't be disappointed!
Her varied experience slowly going from one side of the fence to the other, exploring along the way, gives her perspective real merit in my opinion.
Beyond that she also takes great care to shine a light on the issues from a myriad of perspectives and opinions.
This book should be anyone's first stop when concerning gender related questions and gender related research.