Rothblatt makes a case for the adoption of a new sexual model that accommodates every shade of gender identity. She reveals that traditional male and female roles are dictated neither by genetics, genitals, nor reproductive biology, but rather by social attitudes that originated in early patriarchal cultures and that have been institutionalized in modern law, and she calls a new acceptance of human sexuality in all its prismatic variety. 10 charts.
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Positing the notion of a continuum with virtually limitless variations between the gender extremes, this well-researched, scholarly work argues for a new sexual revolution. Rothblatt contends "there is no socially meaningful characteristic that defines humanity into two absolute groups, men and women. . . . Genitals are as irrelevant to one's role in society as skin tone" and asserts that manhood and womanhood are lifestyle choices. Sure to provoke controversy, the book sees chromosomal differentiation as an unreliable tool for sorting humans into two genders; "male" and "female" thought patterns as meaninglessly simplistic constructions; and sex as developing on account of the evolutionary benefits derivable from the genetic diversity of two parents' cells (i.e., sex leads to an endless reshuffling of genetic material, minimizing unhelpful mutations and maximizing resistance to parasites). Concluding with an International Gender Bill of Rights, Rothblatt's "manifesto on the freedom of gender" makes a welcome addition to collections strongly concerned with women's issues. Whitney ScottFrom Library Journal:
Arguing that "the legal division of people into males and females is as wrong as the legal division of people into black and white race," Rothblatt, an attorney and transsexual, is a proponent of "transgenderism," which she characterizes as a grass-roots movement whose guiding principle is "that people should be free to change, either temporarily or permanently, the sex type to which they were assigned since infancy." Using a provocative reinterpretation of historical and legal issues, feminist thinking, and scientific research to defend her belief in continua of sex, gender, and sexual identity, Rothblatt sometimes seems unclear of her intended audience. The volume concludes with the International Bill of Gender Rights adopted in August 1993 by the Second International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment Policy. For larger public and academic collections.
James E. Van Buskirk, San Francisco P.L.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Harper Collins Publishers, London, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. xiii-178pp. Index. Light tanning to pages and edgewear to covers o/w a VG copy. Bookseller Inventory # 023480