Traversing Boundaries of Gender Two Books Challenge Conventional Notions

By Reviewed Amy Adams Squire Strongheart | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), August 18, 1996 | Go to article overview

Traversing Boundaries of Gender Two Books Challenge Conventional Notions


Reviewed Amy Adams Squire Strongheart, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


TRANSGENDER WARRIORS

Making History From Joan of Arc to RuPaul

By Leslie Feinbert

212 pages, Beacon Press, $27.50

GENDER SHOCK

Exploding the Myths of Male & Female

By Phyllis Burke

308 pages, Anchor Books, $23.95

IF YOU'RE puzzled about the evolving roles of women and men in the 1990s, two new books might help, or they might just confuse you further, depending on how committed you are to keeping the sexes separate. "Transgender Warriors" and "Gender Shock" both deal with sex and gender and are based on the premise that "female" and "male" are not fixed constructs.

To understand "Transgender Warriors," it is helpful to know something about the author. Leslie Feinberg is one of millions of individuals who came into this world with a gender expression different from her anatomical sex.

Feinberg has lived her entire life answering the question, "Are you a guy or a girl?" She says that the answer is not simple because she is not a simple person. Feinberg sees herself as a complex individual and that the pronouns "he" and "she" do not adequately reflect that complexity. "I do not want to simplify myself in order to neatly fit one or the other."

"I am transgender," writes Feinberg, "and I have shaped myself surgi cally and hormonally twice in my life, and I reserve the right to do it again."

"Transgender," as Feinberg uses it, is a word that encompasses a variety of diverse but coalescing communities, including transsexuals, transgenders, transvestites, bi-genders, drag queens and kings, cross-dressers, intersexuals (hermaphrodites) and even women body builders who have transgressed the boundary for what is deemed socially acceptable for the feminine physique. In short, "transgender" includes anyone whose gender expression is considered by society as inappropriate for her or his sex.

Often finding herself on the wrong end of a broken beer bottle because someone was frustrated by her appearance, Feinberg began asking a few questions of her own. Have all societies recognized only two sexes? Why is sex-reassignment or cross-dressing a matter of law? Have people who traversed the boundaries of sex and gender always been demonized, and, if so, how did they cope or fight back?

"Transgender Warriors" was born out of a need to answer these questions, and the title is a tribute to all persons who violate the cultural boundaries of sex and gender: "We face discrimination and physical violence. We are denied the right to live and work with dignity and respect. It takes so much courage to live our lives that sometimes just leaving our homes in the morning and facing the world as who we really are is in itself an act of resistance."

The 15-chapter volume begins with some autobiographical narrative about what it was like to grow up working class and Jewish during the McCarthy era and to come out as a transgendered person in gay bars in New York and Ontario during the Stonewall era. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Traversing Boundaries of Gender Two Books Challenge Conventional Notions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.