Whipping Girl

The Lambda Literary Foundation’s list of finalists for the 2007 Lammies is out, and She’s Not the Man I Married didn’t make the cut. And I’m okay with that; it can be a little tiring to see how even trans people don’t seem to care, often, about how loved ones see/relate/deal with transness, but I’m getting used to it. Besides, I got my props the first time around, when My Husband Betty made finalist.

That said, Whipping Girl didn’t make the cut and that is absolutely 100% wrong.  & I’ll tell you why.

Whipping Girl is, to date, the only book to address, theoretically, the uneasy relationship between trans people – specifically MTF transsexual women – and feminism, and that work was long overdue. It addresses sexuality, media representations, the historical pathologization of trans people by psychologists, the fetishization of tans women’s sexualities, the inherent misogyny of a feminist politics that mocks femininity, and then some.

It has been personally & politically important to me in confronting what remained of my own “natural attitude” toward my own gender, what Serano calls cissexism (and rightfully so) and proposes the concept of “subconsious sex” which did more to explain transsexualism to me than anything ever has — outside, maybe, of Betty’s “because” model.

It’s a real shame that this book was not recognized by the Lambda Literary Foundation. It will be considered a classic, revelatory and ground-breaking book in time; it’s just sad the Foundation’s judges don’t have the foresight to give it its due now.

Julia, personally: thank you. I always appreciate when anyone, with their words and logic and anger, can make me a little less of an asshole, and Whipping Girl did that in spades.

8 Replies to “Whipping Girl”

  1. I totally agree. I was totally shocked and dismayed to read the list of finalists and to find both you and Julia missing. It makes me feel a bit mixed about being a finalist myself.

  2. It would have been nice for this book to make the list, but sometimes, accolades from your community are more important than praise from some “organization”. It does sound like an interesting book. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


  3. As to SINTMIM, that book was permeated by multiple levels of love and wisdom. It really should have been one of the finalists. Well we “love” the book.

  4. i was lucky enough to be at the SF transmarch and pride last year, ran into julia and bought my copy out of her little tote, right after she performed “the penis issue” … so not only did i get it signed … but she also indelibly wrote … penis issue … there in her note.

    i agree with you about the book. i love the way julia explains things … unlike anyone else i’ve read to date. its nice to have a new voice … at least one i hadnt heard before … out there.

    btw … as with anything else … there are no absolutes … i find myself very interested in how loved ones relate to transness, and really enjoy your own little tome too …

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