Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity

Julia Serano, Author
Julia Serano, Author . Seal $15.95 (390p) ISBN 978-1-58005-154-5
Reviewed on: 04/02/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Open Ebook - 401 pages - 978-0-7867-4791-7
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-283-00793-1
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With her first full-length book, biologist, writer and musician Serano positions herself as a Betty Friedan of the transsexual community. Making a case that trans discrimination is steeped in sexism and that trans activism is a feminist movement, Serano delivers a series of articulate, compelling and provocative essays that unmask many of the misconceptions surrounding transsexualism, gender and feminism. Where most books on the topic focus either on first-person accounts or clinical observations, Serano approaches her topic from multiple angles. Tempering her own experience as a transsexual woman with psychological documentation, historical research and sociological data, she explores the debate on biology versus socialization; the media's "lurid," "superficial" and "contrived" depictions of trans women; the psychology of transitioning; "boygasms" versus "girlgasms"; nonacceptance and marginalization of transsexual women by the feminist community; and the subtle shades of gray between masculinity and femininity. Though her writing is dense at times, Serano largely succeeds in breaking down complex issues and offering deep insights that will be valued by anyone interested in transsexualism or gender studies. (June)

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