Whipping Girl illustrates the multipronged obstacles trans women face with insuppressible wit, starting with and fed by a base societal dismissal of and hatred toward femininity. Author Julia Serano is a brilliant biologist, activist, and writer all at once, and the diversity of her approach is obvious in the wide reach of her ideas. If you have any interest in understanding the struggles trans women have before them or have an interest in being an ally in the fight, this is the place to start. Recommended By Cosima C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A provocative manifesto, Whipping Girl
tells the powerful story of Julia Serano, a transsexual woman whose supremely intelligent writing reflects her diverse background as a lesbian transgender activist and professional biologist. Serano shares her experiences and observations both pre- and post-transition to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societal attitudes toward trans women, as well as gender and sexuality as a whole.
Serano's well-honed arguments stem from her ability to bridge the gap between the often-disparate biological and social perspectives on gender. She exposes how deep-rooted the cultural belief is that femininity is frivolous, weak, and passive, and how this "feminine" weakness exists only to attract and appease male desire.
In addition to debunking popular misconceptions about transsexuality, Serano makes the case that today's feminists and transgender activist must work to embrace and empower femininity in all of its wondrous forms.
"Serano has...either opened a door into a new world or widened the scope of an already informed discussion of gender, transsexuality and femininity. From either perspective, her work is worth investigating." San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Julia Serano is a writer and spoken-word artist on the subject of gender with a PhD in biochemistry from Columbia University. She is a researcher at UC Berkeley in the field of evolutionary and developmental biology and has performed her spoken word at such high-profile events as the National Queer Arts Festival, San Francisco Trans and Dyke March Stages, Ladyfest Bay Area, and The Vagina Monologues. Serano's work has appeared in Bitch magazine's BITCHFest, Clamor, Kitchen Sink, The Believer, The San Francisco Chronicle, and on Invisible Ink Radio (NPR). Julia lives in the Bay Area.