Book Corner 2023.2

by Helen Joyce

This book should have been shorter and more balanced. That said, it states some things that desperately needed stating. Pediatric transitioning now seems more disturbing to me than ever.

Something that has always bothered me about our current understanding of trans identity, that I don’t think I’ve ever seen explicitly stated elsewhere, is that it seems to think gender is definable by the most culture-specific, superficial things – i.e. liking pink and liking dresses makes you a girl. Joyce discusses how being trans is explained to children: “You nod along to descriptions of restrictive gender norms, hoping for the right conclusion: that nobody need conform if they do not want to, and that there is nothing wrong with boys playing with dolls or girls playing with trucks. You long to hear that girls (or boys) are people with female (or male) bodies who behave however they damn well please; instead you hear that girls (or boys) are people who behave in feminine (or masculine) ways.”

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