Debates about gender are everywhere. Is it an inner identity, a biological fact, or an oppressive system? Should we respect it or resist it?
What Even Is Gender? shifts the conversation in a fresh direction, arguing that these debates rest on a shared mistake: the idea that there is one thing called "gender" that both sides are arguing about. The authors distinguish a range of phenomena that established vocabulary often lumps together. This sheds light on the equivocations and false dichotomies of "gender" talk, and how they deny many of us the tools to make our needs, experiences, and concerns intelligible to others or even to ourselves.
The authors develop a conceptual toolkit that helps alleviate the harms that result from the limitations of familiar approaches. They propose a pluralistic concept of "gender feels" that distinguishes among our experiences of diverse facets of gendered life. They develop a flexible approach to gender categories that reflects the value of self-determination. And they suggest that what we need is not one universal language of gender but an awareness of individual variation and a willingness to adjust to changing contexts and circumstances.
A bold and thought-provoking approach to thinking about gender, What Even Is Gender? will be of great interest to those in philosophy, gender studies, sociology, and LGBTQIA+ studies.
2. All The Feels: Against "Gender Identity"
3. Don’t Hate the Player: Traits vs. Norms
4. "Above All That": Glorifying Indifference
5. Our Princess Is In Another Castle: There Is No Essence of Womanhood
'Briggs and George blow open the "gender debate" by questioning tired distinctions and unhelpful tropes about sex, gender, and gender identity, while fashioning new, multi-dimensional lenses through which we can begin to see human beings -- trans and otherwise -- in all their bio-psycho-social complexity. Anyone looking to move past politicised point-scoring and drain-circling disputes about social ontology will benefit from reading this book, with Briggs and George as their capable guides to a more nuanced sex and gender terrain.' - Brian D. Earp, University of Oxford, UK