Sass (sashajwolf) wrote in queerlit50,

6. Kate Bornstein, My New Gender Workbook

I picked this up because, after years of identifying as femme, I was conscious that my sense of gender had shifted quite a bit, and I wanted to work through what that meant to me. I never read the old edition of this book, but from what I gather, the main difference is that the new one has a lot of discussion of intersectionality. I get the impression that the concept was still quite new to Bornstein when she wrote the revisions, and it shows a bit; it approaches intersectionality very much as something that may shed additional light on gender and never really looks at how some gender discourse might inadvertently contribute to other forms of oppression. That said, the theory section does explain the basics of gender theory pretty well and would be worth giving to a newcomer to the issue for that alone. Personally, given my objective in reading this, I probably got most out of the second part of the book, which consists of exercises to help you understand your own gender better; the third part, which offers suggestions for how to "do" your gender, assumes that the reader is trans and therefore didn't have much for me as a cis person. Normally I wouldn't mind this, because more stuff that isn't about the privileged people is generally a good thing; but there was more than a whiff of "everyone's trans really" about the way the assumption was presented, and that grated.
Tags: a: bornstein kate, a: trans, feminism, g: non-fiction, gender, politics, transgender

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