Whipping Girl

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Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
Whipping Girl.jpg
Author Julia Serano
Country United States
Language English
Subject Transfeminism
Genre Manifesto
Publisher Seal Press
Publication date
2007
Pages 408 pp.
ISBN ISBN 1580051545
OCLC 81252738

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity is a 2007 book by transsexual theorist, biologist, and writer Julia Serano. The book is a transfeminist manifesto which makes the case that transphobia is rooted in sexism and that transgender activism is a feminist movement.[1][2]

Terminology[edit]

The book extensively discusses 'transmisogyny', a form of misogyny that Serano says is unique to the experience of trans women, and uses the term 'transmisogynistic' as its counterpart to 'misogynistic'. Serano also utilizes the terms 'trans-objectification', 'trans-fascimilation', 'trans-sexualization', 'trans-interrogation', 'trans-erasure', 'trans-exclusion', and 'trans-mystification'. She also argues that sexism in Western culture is a two-fold phenomenon, consisting of 'traditional sexism', "the belief that maleness and masculinity are superior to femaleness and femininity” and 'oppositional sexism', “the belief that female and male are rigid, mutually exclusive categories”. According to Serano, 'effemimania' is a societal obsession with male and trans expressions of femininity that is rooted in transmisogyny.

Themes[edit]

In a collection of essays, Serano deconstructs Western societal narratives about trans women, including those of academia, medicine, and the media. She frequently cites her personal experiences as a lesbian trans woman, which differ from the predominant narrative of the heterosexual trans woman.

Cissexual assumption is a phrase coined by Julia Serano for her claim that cissexual people assume that all people experience gender identity in the same way.

In her book, Serano argued that cissexual people, lacking discomfort with their gender assigned at birth, nor thinking of themselves as or wishing they could become a different gender, project that experience onto all other people. Thus, it is argued, they're assuming that everyone they meet is cissexual, and "thus transforming cissexuality into a human attribute that is taken for granted". Serano wrote that cissexual assumption is invisible to most cissexual people, but "those of us who are transsexual are excruciatingly aware of it."[3]

Background[edit]

In 2005, Serano's 36 page chapbook called On the Outside Looking In: A Trans Woman's Perspective on Feminism and the Exclusion of Trans Women from Lesbian and Women-only Spaces was published by Hot Tranny Action Press. It contains 4 essays. Updated versions of three of these (Bending Over Backwards: an Introduction to the Issue of Trans Woman-Inclusion, Skirt Chasers: Why the Media Depicts the Trans Revolution in Lipstick and Heels, and Hot Tranny Action Manifesto) are included in Whipping Girl. In the introduction to Whipping Girl, Serano says that she chose the title 'to highlight the ways in which people who are feminine, whether they be female, male, and/or transgender, are almost universally demeaned compared with their masculine counterparts'.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nonfiction review". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  2. ^ Foster, Julie (2007-06-17). "Transsexual finds sexism in feminism". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  3. ^ Serano, Julia (2007). Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Berkeley: Seal Press. pp. 164–165]. ISBN 1580051545. 
  4. ^ Serano, Julia (2007). Whipping Girl. Avalon Group. p. 2.