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Other titles in the For Beginners series:
Gender and Sexuality for Beginners (For Beginners)by Jaimee Garbacik
Synopses & Reviews
What does sexual orientation mean if the very categories of gender are in question? How do we measure equality when our society's definitions of "male" and "female" leave out much of the population? There is no consensus on what a "real" man or woman is, where one's sex begins and ends, or what purpose the categories of masculine and feminine traits serve. While significant strides have been made in recent years on behalf of women's, gay and lesbian rights, there is still a large division between the law and day-to-day reality for LGBTQIA and female-identified individuals in American society. The practices, media outlets and institutions that privilege heterosexuality and traditional gender roles as "natural" need a closer examination.
Gender and Sexuality For Beginners considers the uses and limitations of biology in defining gender. Questioning gender and sex as both categories and forms of compulsory identification, it critically examines the issues in the historical and contemporary construction, meaning and perpetuation of gender roles. Gender and Sexuality For Beginners interweaves neurobiology, psychology, feminist, queer and trans theory, as well as historical gay and lesbian activism to offer new perspectives on gender inequality, ultimately pointing to the clear inadequacy of gender categories and the ways in which the sex-gender system oppresses us all.
"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)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Jaimee Garbacik is the owner and founder of Footnote Editorial Services. An editor, writer and publishing consultant, she specializes in short story collections, young adult and literary fiction, cultural anthropology, gender studies, queer theory and food writing. Jaimee cut her teeth in publishing as the acquisitions editor for a major literary agency in Manhattan, handling editorial development for the agency's more than 200 clients world-wide. Jaimee lives in Seattle, WA, where she is a member of the governing body at The Vera Project, a youth-led music and arts venue that provides experiential learning opportunities for all ages.
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