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While many feminist and queer movements are designed to challenge sexism, they often simultaneously police gender and sexuality-sometimes just as fiercely as the straight, male-centric mainstream does. Among LGBTQ activists, there is a long history of lesbians and gay men dismissing bisexuals, transgender people, and other gender and sexual minorities. In each case, exclusion is based on the premise that certain ways of being gendered or sexual are more legitimate, natural, or righteous than others.As a trans woman, bisexual, and femme activist, Julia Serano has spent much of the last ten years challenging various forms of exclusion within feminist and queer/LGBTQ movements. In Excluded, she chronicles many of these instances of exclusion and argues that marginalizing others often stems from a handful of assumptions that are routinely made about gender and sexuality. These false assumptions infect theories, activism, organizations, and communities-and worse, they enable people to vigorously protest certain forms of sexism while simultaneously ignoring and even perpetuating others. Serano advocates for a new approach to fighting sexism that avoids these pitfalls and offers new ways of thinking about gender, sexuality, and sexism that foster inclusivity rather than exclusivity.
Rather than the typical autobiographical process of transsexuality, Julia Serano, who holds a PhD in biology, writes from a sociological and political viewpoint of transsexuality. As an out transsexual, she sometimes uses her own experiences to illustrate a point, but the value in the book is the larger political perspective she brings forth. Although by the title one would think the book only relevant to women, it is equally valuable to men, trans men, any men. The issues she raises are relevant to all people. This one is a real thinker, a non-sensational look at viewpoints, language, changing times. I highly recommend this book to anyone starting to learn about transgender issues or wanting to widen their knowledge. There are extensive notes on each chapter at the end of the book. "Footnote" numbers have been placed in brackets. All footnotes and biblio data was carefully checked for accuracy, esp the web addresses. This would be a wonderful book to use in gender studies, sociology, human sexuality, women's studies, and current culture and politics courses.
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