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My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely [Paperback]

Kate Bornstein
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

Dec 18 1997 0415916739 978-0415916738 1

Gender isn't just about "male" or "female" anymore - if you have any doubts, just turn on your television. RuPaul is as familiar as tomato ketchup with national radio and television shows, and transgendered folk are as common to talk-shows as screaming and yelling. But if the popularization of gender bending is revealing that "male" and "female" aren't enough, where are we supposed to go from here? Cultural theorists have written loads of smart but difficult-to-fathom texts on gender, but none provide a hands-on, accessible guide to having your own unique gender. With My Gender Workbook, Kate Bornstein brings theory down to Earth and provides a practical approach to living with or without a gender.

Bornstein starts from the premise that there are not just two genders performed in today's world, but countless genders lumped under the two-gender framework. Using a unique, deceptively simple and always entertaining workbook format, Bornstein gently but firmly guides you to discover your own unique gender identity. Whether she's using the USFDA's food group triangle to explain gender, or quoting one-liners from real "gender transgressors", Bornstein's first and foremost concern is making information on gender bending truly accessible. With quizzes and exercises that determine how much of a man or woman you are, My Gender Workbook gives you the tools to reach whatever point you desire on the gender continuum.

Bornstein also takes aim at the recent flurry of books that attempt to naturalize gender difference, and puts books like Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus squarely where they belong: on Uranus. If you don't think you are transgendered when you sit down to read this book, you will be by the time you finish it!

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Kate Bornstein's 1994 book of autobiographical theory, Gender Outlaw, drew a line in the sand about the whole boy/girl thing. "Who needs it?" America's most active transgender activist questioned. Now, in My Gender Workbook, Bornstein has assembled a collage of simple exercises, quizzes, puzzles, and essay questions that systematically break down our ingrained ideas about how women and men--and whoever is in between--should act. Bornstein's breezy, "hey, let's all discover who we might really be" style works to make this potentially threatening material accessible and even intriguing to almost all readers. Just glance down, check out who--or what--you thought you were, and get ready to answer a few questions.


"My Gender Workbook [is] the most complete guide to living with or without gender to have been written to date, putting books like Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus squarely where they belong: on Uranus." -- Seattle Gay News

"[T]he most exciting and difficult aspect of My Gender Workbook is the way it never relents. It asks a question, then another, then another, answering questions with more questions... Bornstein never tells us what or where the genderless promised land might be, but by the end of the book you do get the sense that she never describes it because she understands its indescribability so deeply." -- Hungry Mind Review

"[Bornstein's] ideas are both novel and intriguing." -- Baltimore Alternative

"My Gender Workbook may take a leap of faith to crack open, but the charm, wit, and quiet intelligence of its author will almost undoubtedly keep you along for the whole trip. And it is a trip, let me tell you." -- The Toronto Star

Winner of the 1999 Firecracker Alternative Book Award, Special Recognition/Wildcard Category: Self Improvement

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
From the moment we take our first breath (and sometimes even before that, what with sonic imaging technology), the cry "It's a boy" or "It's a girl" ushers us into this world. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but could be better April 8 2003
The layout of this book -- as a workbook with exercises you can do as you move through it -- makes this a very interesting way to examine gender issues in your own life. However I found two problems with the book. First, not all of the sections flow smoothly and the stream of consciousness moments can be distracting and patronizing on a few occassions. Secondly, I think the definition used of "gender" is far to broad to really give the book a solid foundation to build on. You'll find yourself agreeing or disagreeing with much of the book -- isn't that the appropriate thing for a book of self-growth?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Thing Sept. 29 2002
By Sophie
If you have ever wondered what a real man, a real woman, or a real something in-between is, this is a must read. "My Gender Workbook" has interactive exercises, advice, and guidance on gender, and provokes the reader to question the whole idea of gender as an absolute. We all have elements of each gender, and Bornstein goes to the point of arguing that there are many genders, not just two, and it is possible to lack gender entirely. As a transgendered person myself, I found the book enlightening and helpful in my own discovery of gender, and who I really am. In fact, this is one of the most useful books I have found on gender identity, and I refer back to it often.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible! mind-blowing! Feb. 9 2000
a book for all genders, orientations, and adjectives. i've yet to show this book to someone who wasnt impressed. kate talks theory for those of us that would like a little, adds a dash of cosmology, and then gets into the true, errr, meat of exploring gender with fun exercizes and quizzes. hilarious, irrreverent, and ever-relevant it explores gender while maintaining the upbeat aesthetics of a true gender artist. whether your interest is academic or personal, it's a must read for _anyone_ interested in questions of gender.
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