- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Seal Press; 2 edition (March 8, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1580056229
- ISBN-13: 978-1580056229
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 103 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity 2nd Edition
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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:
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
About the Author
Serano's understanding of biology (she has a PhD in Biochemistry from Columbia University and worked as a researcher at UC Berkeley for seventeen years) along with her life experiences as a transgender woman give her a unique perspective on gender and sexism, and her writings have been used as teaching materials in gender and queer studies, sociology, and psychology courses across North America. Visit her website at juliaserano.com.
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Serano addresses sexual feelings and being trans. This is a sensitive area and sheds light on questions not generally allowed in discussions of what it means in terms of sexual orientation/behavior to be trans.
The author goes deep into the discussion of sexism as the basis of not only homophobia and transphobia, but also the driving force behind patriarchy and the binary system. Sexism, as Serano sees it, insists that males are superior to females and that masculine characteristics are superior to feminine characteristics in both genders. Many women buy into this concept. Even feminists seem to agree, since they accept trans men into their society - they gain male privilege by transitioning - while rejecting trans women as "not real women."
As Ms. Serano states early in her book, transsexuals "lie at the intersection of multiple forms of gender-based prejudice." She discusses her rationale for this statement in her Transsexual Manifesto, identifying by her own experience and research the myriad forms of gendered discrimination experienced by transsexuals (and all gender variant people). The author calls for a rebellion against sexism in all its forms, but reserves a particular animosity for cissexism - the idea that those whose gender variance is at odds with their assigned gender are unnatural, unreal, and/or are trying to "put something over" on the dominant society.
The overwhelming societal and media attitude of fear and loathing puts tremendous strain on all transgender people, but even more so on transsexuals. Trans women are depicted negatively in most media, even when the media outlet thinks they are reporting "accurately" and compassionately. Surmounting the constant barrage of attitudes that transsexuals are "less than" the expectations of society puts tremendous pressure on the individual's psyche. In the discussion of sexuality and gender in Whipping Girl Ms Serano shows over and over why it takes a very strong person to admit to and undertake transition from their assigned gender to their inherent birth gender.
Anyone trying to understand their transsexual child, sibling, or parent should read this book. It reads somewhat like a Ph.D. thesis, but with more clarity than most sociological theses I have seen. This would seem an important work to include in any gender studies program.
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.)