Gender and Sexuality for Beginners

Jaimee Garbacik, illus. by Jeffrey Lewis. For Beginners (Random, dist.), $16.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1934389690
With a strong focus on the law and the sciences, Garbacik attempts a comprehensive history of gender and sexuality in the Western world. A large number of available texts by celebrated scholars offers an introduction to the complex mix of theory, history, and science that go into modern discussions of gender and sexuality, and Garbacik's effort announces itself as a similar text that targets young people and maintains an awareness of the intersectionality of identities and politics. The result is an articulate tour through diverse histories, addressing both popular and obscure texts from across the world, and in a variety of general and academic disciplines (biology, critical theory, and pop-psychology all receive fair shares of attention). The few paragraphs that authors receive in the spotlight are accompanied by level-headed analyses by Garbacik, building toward a conclusion that argues for a widely progressive political agenda. The extensiveness of the subject (perhaps by necessity) results in occasional generalization, and—as the number of sources cited attests— Garbacik's voice is one in a heavily populated chorus of experts. Though it doesn't push the conversation forward, the text is a concise primer for those beginning to explore contemporary gender politics. B&W illus. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
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