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Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of… (2007)

por Julia Serano

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8812118,600 (4.33)26
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.… (mais)
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This book probably wasn't meant for me because everything she said, So yeah sure probably not the intended audience, so giving it lower rating because of this is unfair. Also it would be unfair to criticize it for outdated terminology cuz it's kind of old but just a warning, it's there.
I'm more just not down for this because it didn't challenge me, and the parts I disagreed with didn't challenge me either, because I think they were legit gaps. First of these is pretty much no mention of race and intersections of transmisogyny with race, the trans community in general is white dominated and no one is willing to admit that privilege. The positioning of femininity and masculinity as a privilege dynamic is also dumb, a lot of implications that some people are privileged for being masculine. I'm honestly with the people Serano derides who say femininity is oppressive construct. Also the last chapter about "subversivism" is just dumb, and anti-nonbinary. If she can fit in non-heterosexual people into her model of oppression there oughta be room for nonbinary and GNC people too and she does try but it's just not coherent.
Good part is that it was well written and easy to read, but the organization especially towards the end was just kind of weird. The book frames itself as sort of a theoretical academic thing but most of it seems informed by her own experiences and I wish it was more honest about that, and stayed more in biography territory than where it's at. ( )
  jooniper | Sep 10, 2021 |
Really good read on gender and sexuality. Definitely recommend it.
  livertalia | Aug 30, 2021 |
analysis of societal attitudes on transgendered people and especially prejudice toward femininity per se
  ritaer | Aug 8, 2021 |
This is an excellent book about gender and the privileges that are connected to it. I am not a fan of the author's style of writing. I would have rated the book more highly if it had been easier to read some thing I was truly interested in. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
DNFing this. I just cannot. I am a cis woman who laments the lack of intersectionality in activism on behalf of underrepresented communities and who cannot fathom why other cis people care so much about other people's gender identity. That does not mean I don't have questions, I do, but none of them have to do with anyone's right to identify as they wish to identify and present themselves to the world in the way they choose. I wish Serano believed the same.

I was told that my choice to wear makeup and feminine clothing is performative and superficial.

I was told that cis and trans women are the same despite the fact that their lived experiences are utterly different, both when trans women present as male and as "non-passing" trans or genderqueer. There are, in fact, vast differences between the lived expereince of trans women and those people assigned female gender at birth. You may not like that Ms. Serano, but your experience of living as a woman differs a great deal from my experience living as a woman and my experience probably has more in common with the lived experience of trans men and those whose genitalia is female but who are genderqueer. (Serano is SO dismissive of trans men! It is insulting.) Maybe Ms. Serano might consider whether that fact of shared lived experience had anything to do with the (in my opinion completely wrong) decision to not permit trans women to attend the Michigan Womyn's festival. (An event I have been to and found hokey and silly -- and lord the music was terrible. Lord save me from another Cris Williamson singalong.)

Serano mows over any facts or considerations that don't comport with her world view. She is elitist and entitled and illogical. Bad combo. Read this as polemic if you want, but if you are looking for social science or philosophy run.

I have other things I can rant about, but I will leave it here. I only read about 1/3 of the book so I am not giving it a star rating
1 vote Narshkite | Sep 19, 2019 |
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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.

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