She/He/They/Me: For the Sisters, Misters, and Binary Resisters

Robyn Ryle. Sourcebooks, $22.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4926-6694-3
In this unusual, useful resource, sociology professor Ryle (Questioning Gender: A Sociological Exploration) explores the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, culture, and history in the form of a choose-your-own-adventure book. Each chapter presents a different aspect of a gender-based experience; as readers make their way through, they might choose to see what happens when one is born intersex or discovers they are nonbinary or transgender. Ryle defines such terms as compulsory heterosexuality and gender socialization, explaining why some people might not be accepting of deviations from the gender binary: “For some people, gender matters a lot. It is a system that they’re deeply invested in, and a set of rules they believe everyone should follow, including children like you.” Ryle explores various cultures’ genders, discussing the South Asian third gender label hijra, the “sworn virgins” of the Balkans, and masculine archetypes of 18th-century America. She argues that a rigid binary gender system hurts everyone. Though the chapters are short, often about a page, together they form an expansive account of gender that reflects exhaustive research. With its unique format and accessible language, the text is perfect for readers of any age who are questioning their genders, generally curious about gender, or interested in better understanding a loved one’s identity. Agent: Brent Taylor, TriadaUS Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/15/2019
Release date: 03/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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