||#SeeingGender #sponsored by @ChronicleBooks ||
This book is about gender, yes. But it’s also about so much more – sexuality, age, race, religion, ability, biases, classicism, privilege, and other topics traditionally considered “taboo”, that we are just starting to discuss in the age of “Me Too”, “Black Lives Matter”, “LGBTQ+” and other social movements. And this discussion can be difficult, a lot of these topics can seem confusing or challenging, especially for people not directly affected by these movements in their everyday lives. This is where I think “Seeing Gender” succeeds as a book – Author Iris Gottlieb presents complex topics in an accessible and beautifully illustrated format; It’s embellished with personal stories, statistics, historical references, and analysis to educate the reader about these ongoing topics. I could not put this book down once I started reading it – definitely a must-have for anyone who is curious and wants to be more woke.
Below are 3 stories from the book that particularly appealed to me with some of the direct quotes from the book and my thoughts:
If we accepted Prince for being “Prince”, we can accept anyone.
“I’m not a woman / I’m not a man / I am something that you’ll never understand.”
“He defined the confines of race, sexuality, gender and fashion – when we think of Prince, we think of his colorful, flamboyant, unapologetically androgynous, and wildly sexual presence. His complexity forces us to challenge the assumption we hold about the intersection of gender, sexuality, and religion”
Intersectionality – “One’s experience in life is never isolated to only one sector of their identity”
And this is so true! We are not just defined by our gender or race or sexuality, or religion but it could easily be all 3 or more things that make you “you”. As a black woman, I particularly find this true as both my womanhood and race have an effect on my standing in society and on my daily experiences.
Black Women Are the Backbone of Resistance
Black women have been fighting for our rights in America for over 200 years! As far as resistance goes, black women have always been on the frontlines of paving the way for others in America to rise up and speak out against marginalization. Some of the lesser-known African-American heroes include (and this list is by no means exhaustive)
Claudette Colvin – civil rights pioneer, arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat 9 months earlier than Rosa Parks did.
Mae Jemison – first African American woman to travel in space
Marsha P. Johnson – A black transgender woman and lifelong activist who was on the frontlines of the Stonewall Uprising and who committed her life to fight for rights denied to LGBTQ+ populations.
Shirley Chisholm – first African American to run for the nomination of a major party for President