Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged gender

Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning: Linguistic Practice and Politics

Showcasing twelve articles by noted linguist Sally McConnell-Ginet, Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning weaves together some of her most provocative and influential work on language, gender, and sexual meaning-making from the last three decades. In her many fruitful collaborations with colleagues, students, and friends, McConnell-Ginet argues that language is not a passive craft, but rather, an active process of meaning-making that has its roots in the social identities, contexts, and statuses of the speakers and listeners.

Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon

Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away With the Spoon review, short version: If you have children, know children, or were ever a child yourself, you need this new coloring book by Jacinta Bunnell and Nathaniel Kusinitz.

Put This on the {Map}: East King County

Part education, part cinema, all honesty. Put This on the {Map}: East King County gives a youthful face to gender and sexuality through its twenty-six compelling high school narrators. Filmed in Washington State on the east side of Seattle, where there is seemingly no visibility of queer youth, the strength of these young people to comes out on camera. Celebrating who they are is astonishing for any high schooler, let alone a queer one in a community where they are often isolated.

How Cancer Crossed the Color Line

Cancer—a disease signifying White civilization? A disease of the domesticated female? An indifferent, “democratic disease”? Or, a targeted attack on specific racial and ethnic communities? These varying assertions and many more have populated America’s cancer discourse over the last century, fading in and out as the dominant way to comprehend the disease’s victimization.

Finding Delhi: Loss and Renewal in the Megacity

New Delhi is a city that has undergone many incarnations in its lifespan. Just a century after the British built the city to be the capital of the crown jewel that was India, Delhi is racing towards becoming a world-class city. Published on the eve of the city’s hosting the October 2010 Commonwealth Games, which was supposed to serve as Delhi’s coming out party in the twenty-first century, the collection of essays in Finding Delhi explores what happens to the lives of its twenty million inhabitants as the city is re-engineered and re-imagined for the new millennium.

Gay, Straight and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation

I recently had the pleasure of participating, as a feminist blogger, in a survey about the Feminist Blogosphere. Name? Age? Sex (or "gender," as she put it)? These were not difficult questions (for me) to answer. But when she asked me to identify my sexual orientation, I paused... and then I stumbled. “I’m straight, right?” I asked myself. I’m a woman married to a man. If sexuality is either one of two, possibly three, things, then quite obviously I am a heterosexual. But as Gore Vidal sharply put it: “Trust a nitwit society like this one to think that there are only two categories—fag and straight.”

Strip Club: Gender, Power and Sex Work

In Strip Club: Gender, Power and Sex Work, sociologist Kim Price-Glynn analyzes the organizational structure of a strip club to explore whose interests strip clubs serve and how. To gain an insider’s perspective, Price-Glynn spent fourteen months working as a cocktail waitress in a strip club. During this time, she observed, analyzed, and interviewed strippers, employees, and patrons.

A Man’s A Man

If playwright Bertolt Brecht were alive today, he’d likely blanch at the contemporary tendency to seek common ground with those whose ideologies are diametrically opposed to one’s own. His dozens of plays speak truth to power in daring, direct language and, while farce and sarcasm are employed, his repeated denunciations of colonialism, war, and militarism are boldly presented. A Man’s a Man (sometimes called Man Equals Man) was first staged in Dusseldorf and Darmstadt, Germany in 1926. Eighty-four years later, The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble’s beautifully-presented staged reading of the play is so relevant that the audience quickly forgets the age of the work.

Why Don’t You Understand?: A Gender Relationship Dictionary

Is it just me, or should a person with designation “Dr.” in front of her name know the difference between sex and gender? True: language changes all the time and words gain new meanings. So, as American society becomes increasingly uptight when talking about sex (the act), sex (the anatomical distinction) has been replaced in our vernacular with a word that refers to the classic assumptions for social role play placed upon each sex: gender. (It would seem we’re the new Victorians.) This ambiguity isn’t the only issue I have with Dr.

Who Should Be First?: Feminists Speak Out on the 2008 Presidential Campaign

Please read this book. If you were in any way inspired by the groundbreaking 2008 election of President Barack Obama, you will find an essay in Who Should be First? that speaks what's been on your mind, challenges your way of thinking, causes you to feel frustrated, or represents the many complex emotions you felt on that historic day.

Bijou Roy

Bijou Roy reminded me a bit of Sameer Parekh's Stealing the Ambassador. Both novels feature a young Indian American who visits India after his or her father's death in an attempt to understand the father better, especially his motivation for leaving his home country.

Fearless Female Journalists

Fearless Female Journalists is a set of ten short profiles of female reporters, photojournalists, and newscasters hailing from various times and places over the last two centuries. Among the women featured is one of the early pioneers of modern journalism: nineteenth-century American newspaperwoman Nellie Bly, a daredevil stunt reporter.

Black Dogs and Blue Words: Depression and Gender in the Age of Self-Care

Jerry Seinfeld jokes that pharmaceutical companies could save time by naming all of their antidepressants “Cramitol” (“Cram it all”). Kimberly Emmons would likely agree. Her eye-opening Black Dogs and Blue Words opens up an original, potentially life-changing perspective on antidepressants and the companies who market them.

Iron Butterflies: Women Transforming Themselves and the World

In the eternal question of nature versus nurture, author and developmental psychologist Birute Regine leans comfortably towards nature. She embraces “feminine” qualities and calls for women the world over to do the same.

Get Him to the Greek

Aldous Snow (Russell Brand)—the uber-sexual, tongue-in-cheek (and anywhere else you’ll let him stick it) Brit-rocker introduced to audiences in 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall—is back in the latest film from yet another member of the Apatow Film Club for Boys.

Women Without Men

The story of director Shirin Neshat is almost as compelling as her first feature. Born in religiously conservative Qazvin, Iran, Neshat has been using visual art to explore gender relations under Islam for nearly two decades, traveling back and forth between the States and Iran to enrich her perspective. But because her work has been so politically outspoken, Neshat has been exiled from her native country since 1996.

The Codes of Gender: Identity and Performance in Pop Culture

The main theme of The Codes of Gender is “commercial realism.” As explained by the narrator of this film, Sut Jhally, Professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, a code of gender has to be understood as a shorthand language, a set of rules and behaviors.

Family, Gender, and Law in a Globalizing Middle East and South Asia

Family, Gender, and Law in a Globalizing Middle East and South Asia makes available twelve essays that were presented, in earlier forms, at the 2004 symposium of the same title, which took place at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The essays, edited by Kenneth M. Cuno and Manisha Desai, include analysis of eleven nation-states from Morocco to Bangladesh.

King Kong Theory: A Manifesto For Women Who Can’t Or Won’t Obey The Rules

King Kong Theory is most easily my favourite read so far this year; it packs a punch and voices everything I feel about our oppressive patriarchal society. This work is completely free of any hesitation to say what is really going on in the Western world today. Virginie Despentes blew me away with her fresh and honest analysis of what women (and men) struggle within their half-baked, destructive gender roles.


Kick-Ass, the movie, ruled. And though I thought the central character's journey was an interesting one, by far the movie appealed to me because of eleven-year-old Hit Girl. I had a big plan to dissect the movie here, but then this gal over at Jezebel totally stole my brain and wrote the most eloquent review ever.

Women, Gender and Disaster: Global Issues and Initiatives

Women, Gender and Disaster provides a comprehensive overview of the role gender plays in various disaster situations. Case studies and essays are divided into four parts—Understanding Gender Relations in Disaster, Gendered Challenges and Responses in Disasters, Women's Organised Initiatives, and Gender-Sensitive Disaster Risk Reduction—to further develop the myriad of issues within gender and disaster.

Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching

Southern Horrors explores the racial and sexual politics of the Post Civil War South predominantly through the political writings, speeches, and lives of two prominent female figures of the era. Feimster describes the period through Rebecca Latimer Felton, a white woman from the stately plantation class, educated and raised during antebellum south, and Ida B.

Diagnosing Difference

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is referred to as “the Bible” by the psychologists and psychiatrists who utilize it to diagnosis and treat patients. A project of the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM was first published in 1952 and subsequently revised in 1968, 1980, 1987, 1994, and 2000; the forthcoming 2012 edition is currently in formation.

Fucking Different: Tel Aviv

Fucking Different: Tel Aviv is the third installation of this international collaboration of visual storytelling, starting first in Berlin and New York City in a sense similar to Paris Je T'aime_and _New York, I Love You.

SexIs: Sex and All Things Sexual

There are an abundance of websites about sex, gender, and pleasure that range from academic, theoretical discussions to medical descriptions to sexual how-to guides, and I was admittedly skeptical of SexIs, a sex-positive community devoted to “sex and all things sexual” started by online sex toy company Eden Fantasies. Updated weekly by a diverse collection of writers (including Feminist Review founder Mandy Van Deven), [SexIs](http://www.edenfantasys.com/se

Resolving the Paradox of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Sexual Politics

Professor Ice begins her book with what she calls a paradox within philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau's social philosophy. In her words, “Rousseau's views on women sits [sic] in tension with his philosophy of freedom and equality.” That is, Professor Ice refers to the apparent discrepancy between Rousseau's vision of freedom for men and his endorsement of subordination for women.

Women Who Kill

Let me first just throw the creepiness right out there and admit I am a big fan of all media coverage related to serial killers. I love the horrible shows like Cold Case Files, and I love the even crappier rushed books written about every case.

The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman

The Blue Tattoo tells the story of Olive Oatman, a nineteenth century woman with an unusual life. In 1851, Oatman was violently abducted along with her younger sister by Yavapais after watching this group of Native Americans brutally slaughter the rest of her family.

Little Bird of Heaven

Oates' thirty-sixth novel grapples with familiar themes: the rocky underside of marriage, racial injustice, childhood trauma, sexual obsession, and the ways gender plays out among various subsets of the U.S. working classes. The story is set in fictitious Sparta, New York, a once thriving town seven-to-eight hours north of Manhattan. A former center of industry, the area was left high-and-dry when the factories that employed almost everyone relocated in the 1970s.

You’ve Changed: Sex Reassignment and Personal Identity

Each essay in Laurie J. Shrage’s collection, You've Changed, takes on the challenge of analyzing the philosophical, cultural, and psychological dimensions of the—for lack of a better or more acute concept—umbrella category of “trans” identity. This same challenge, which underlines the collection’s creation, is the same challenge that often times handicaps its clarity and ultimate success.