Whipping Girl

Whipping Girl

A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity

Book - 2016
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In the updated second edition of Whipping Girl, Julia Serano, a transsexual woman whose supremely intelligent writing reflects her diverse background as a lesbian transgender activist and professional biologist, shares her powerful experiences and observations -- both pre- and post-transition -- to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societal attitudes toward trans women, as well as gender and sexuality as a whole. Serano's well-honed arguments stem from her ability to bridge the gap between the often-disparate biological and social perspectives on gender. In this provocative manifesto, she exposes how deep-rooted the cultural belief is that femininity is frivolous, weak, and passive, and how this "feminine" weakness exists only to attract and appease male desire. In addition to debunking popular misconceptions about transsexuality, Serano makes the case that today's feminists and transgender activists must work to embrace and empower femininity -- in all of its wondrous forms.
Publisher: Berkeley, CA : Seal Press, [2016]
Edition: Second edition.
ISBN: 9781580056229
Branch Call Number: 306.768 SE65
Characteristics: xxvi, 392 pages ; 21 cm


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Jan 11, 2017

This book is more like a collection of essays on trans and feminist themes rather than a memoir. The first chapter provides a definition of terms but, contrary to the author's assertion, this book would have benefited from a glossary of terms. Endnotes and a very brief bibliography are provided but a serious omission is the lack of an index.

Jul 04, 2011

As a longtime feminist, I learned a great deal from this book. The author is a scientist by profession but a philospher/political scientist at heart. I found myself questioning a great deal of my old notions about transsexuals and even questioned some of my old principles of feminism and femininity. Any book that gets you to think is good! I confess I didn't like the title but other than that I thought the book was excellent.


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Jan 13, 2017

"... When it comes to gender, "natural" is the ultimate trump card because it takes the relevant issues - privilege and prejudice - off the table and frames the very real and legitimate perspectives of sexual minorities as "unnatural" or "artificial", and therefore unworthy of any serious consideration. This is why [the author] prefers the term "cissexual". It denotes the only relevant difference between that [natural] population and those of us who are transsexual: Cissexuals have only ever experienced their subconscious and physical sexes as being aligned." (p. 174)


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