If you've ever questioned the logic of basing an entire identity around what you have between your legs, it's time to embark on a daring escape outside of the binary box...
Open your eyes to what it means to be a boy or a girl ― and above and beyond! Within these pages, you get to choose which path to forge. Explore over one hundred different scenarios that embrace nearly every definition across the world, over history, and in the ever-widening realms of our imagination! What if your journey leads you into a world with several genders, or simply one? Do you live in a matriarchal society, or as a sworn virgin in the Balkans? How does gender (or the lack thereof) change the way we approach sex and love, life or death?
Jump headfirst into this refreshingly creative exploration of the ways gender colors every shade and shape of our world. Above all, it's more important than ever for us to celebrate the fact that there are infinite gender paths ― and each of them is beautiful.
The book starts,
“…gender has probably never mattered more than it does right now. But gender has also never mattered so much less.”
This is a wonderful book on the nuance of gender. I'm fairly well-read in the subject matter, and I still learned something. The amount of information and history this book contains is seriously impressive. I think the flip-book "choose your own adventure" style is novel and allows for a custom reading experience. The back and forth makes it friendly and easy to digest. The stand-alone nature of the segments means it is easy to just flip to a random spot in the book and get something out of it. However, if you subscribe to the "open the book to a random page" philosophy of reading, the book will lead you to flip to more and more chapters. Be prepared to learn many things.
Although it is available on kindle, I strongly recommend that people buy this in paper--and I'm someone who prefers to read digitally. I don't think the flipping around is easily accomplished in digital format. For myself, I started reading online through Net Galley but waited for the actual book release to finish the book in hardback.
It's thorough, inclusive, and fun to read. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in exploring gender or someone frustrated by trying to explain gender to someone else.
What I liked in particular is the attention to all the variations in-between the ends of the spectrum.The cover design, with me in bold color, is a perfect representation of what this book accomplishes: it’s like the conversation is shaded for each reader. Ryle recognizes the lens of culture and ethnicity and delves into the advantages, privileges, and choices we have (or don't have) as a result. This openness is much needed in books of this nature and something I haven’t seen addressed in a book on gender.
Not only would I buy this for a friend, but I’d like to see it in every library and waiting room. It frustrates me in that so many people would benefit from it and I feel as if the people who need it the most are less likely to pick it up, but even people who think they have extensive knowledge on the subject will still learn something important.
Copyright © 2021 Lara Lillibridge
Public domain imagery courtesy of Snappygoat.com