You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘books’ category.

A question occasioned by a strong emotional reaction recently experienced in a bookstore:

Are there any queer-boy sex books that aren’t totally masculine-normative, that talk about femme boys as if we might conceivably be attractive, in which all the advice about sex doesn’t have an undercurrent of “and this is how you can be a Real Man in bed with your lover!”, and that actually mention trans guys?

Recommendations eagerly solicited.

“To me the important question—the important test for the political underpinnings of a policy or a theory—is, ‘Does it place a value on the lives of people of varying sexualities, on their experiences, on their survival, on their rights to dignity and expression and thought?’ I don’t think that there’s any way to guarantee that from either minoritizing or universalizing, or either essentialist or antiessentialist points of view. Any of those can offer fuel for homophobic and queer-eradicating forces and energies. Any of them can also be useful for projects that do value the survival of these people and acts and cultures and possibilities.
So I’m uncomfortable seeing the question of survival, support, and so forth being collapsed with any version of the essentialist-constructionist question. I see those as basically different questions. It’s time that people asked, for instance, politicians, ‘Do you value the survival and possibilities of these people and these potentials?’ Not ‘Do you believe X or Y about the hypothalamus and what would that lead to?’ That can lead to a lot of different things. The question of the value of people’s lives and contributions seems to me a different one, and a nonnegotiable one.”

— Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (in: Williams, Jeffrey. “Sedgwick Unplugged: An interview with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.” Critics at work: interviews, 1993-2003. New York UP, 2004. p. 246.

I’m not sure whether she coined it, but in her book Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (strongly recommended, BTW), author Julia Serano brings the word “transmisogyny” to greater attention. She defines transmisogyny separately from transphobia — hatred faced by any trans person as a result of their trans status — describing it as follows:

Transmisogyny: Sexism that specifically targets those on the trans female/trans feminine spectrums. It arises out of a synergetic interaction between oppositional and traditional sexism. It accounts for why MTF spectrum trans people tend to be more regularly demonized and ridiculed than their FTM spectrum counterparts, and why trans women face certain forms of sexualization and misogyny that are rarely (if ever) applied to non-trans women.

Read the rest of this entry »

From one of the most important thinkers in gender studies today. Please read her book immediately:

[W]hile most reasonable people see women as men’s equals, few (if any) dare to claim that femininity is masculinity’s equal. Indeed, much of what has historically been called misogyny—a hatred of women—has clearly gone underground, disguising itself as the less reprehensible derision of femininity. This new version of misogyny, which focuses more on maligning femininity than femaleness, can be found everywhere. It can be seen in our political discourse, where advocates for the environment, gun control, and welfare are undermined via “guilt by association” with feminine imagery as seen in phrases such as “tree huggers,” “soft on crime,” and pro-”dependency”—where male politicians who exhibit anything other than a two-dimensional facade of hypermasculinity are invariably dismissed by political cartoonists who depict them donning dresses.
Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity [my emphasis]

Please go read this:

The Butch-Femme Dance: Two-stepping along the gender lines” by Lawrence Schimel, in Opposite Sex: Gay men on lesbians, lesbians on gay men, Sara Miles and Eric Rofes, eds.

April 2019
« Apr