Review of Gender: A Graphic Guide, by Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele

Gender

A Graphic Guide

by Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele

Icon Books, 2019. 176 pages.
Review written July 31, 2020, from a library book
Starred Review

This book explores, in graphic format, more aspects of gender than I even realized existed.

Here’s some text from a page at the start titled “Multiple Meanings”:

Gender is both in the world around us and within us in our own experience. Gender is socially constructed: our culture develops and passes on strong messages about what it means to be each gender – and related roles and behaviours – through media, laws, education, and so on. At the same time we all have a lived experience of our gender which impacts how we experience our body, our feelings, our relationships, and pretty much everything in life. The way gender is socially constructed in the time and place that we live is part of what shapes our lived experience, but it’s not the whole story, and different people relate to gender in different ways.

This means gender is both deeply political and personal, which can make it complex – and emotionally charged – to talk about.

The chapters cover the history of gender, the science and philosophy of gender, masculinities, femininities, non-binary genders, transgender & cisgender, the future of gender, and sums up thinking about gender. It’s wonderfully comprehensive, bringing up different aspects even of the stereotypes, topics like intersectionality and colonialism, and quoting a wide range of sociologists and thinkers.

Gender is such a part of our lives, we may not even realize all these aspects exist. This is a wonderful way to give more consideration to something that’s a fundamental part of your life.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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