Julia Serano’s "Whipping Girl": A Review

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5 Responses

  1. Hannah Rossiter says:

    It is interesting that the author of review implies that transwomen are not affected by the sexualisation of society. Transwomen are often viewed as existing for the sexual pleasure of cisgender men.

  2. kp says:

    “In fact, while she berated feminists for sometimes advocating that females are superior to males, I felt that Serano was guilty of insinuating that trans women are superior to people born female.”

    In fact, that is a completely ridiculous assertion to make. What specific passages lead you to think this way? Also the correct term for non-trans women is cisgender, not “born female”. You criticize her for being forceful and dramatic. Trans women are discriminated against and treated as sub-human by much of society, are constantly ridiculed and attacked in the media and are at much higher risk of being a target of violence. Why shouldn’t someone who’s been subjected to that to be forceful in their arguments?

    • Candace Smith says:

      Hi kp,

      After re-reading my post, I realized that I was wrong to make that assertion. I went back and edited the post to hopefully better reflect what Serano was trying to argue (i.e., that feminists should see trans women as allies, and not threats, in the fight for gender equality). I apologize if I offended you; that certainly wasn’t my intention. I appreciate your feedback as it has helped me to better understand Serano’s bigger point.

      Thank you,


  3. Jane (UK) says:

    In reading the book as a trans woman I didn’t feel that Serano set herself above cis women other than from her privileged perspective of having seen both sides of the coin. What I read instead was a sense of exasperation with oppositional sexism ( which is nicely observed ) and traditional feminist that needs to move on from it’s entrenched 1970’s dogma. Cis women have nothing to fear from trans women, but I share her sense of frustration that the understanding that we can bring is often rejected on principal not content.

  4. Eva says:

    Dear Candace Smith —

    As a transsexual woman, and one accustomed to mindless, stubborn standpoints in both academic and casual circles, I have to commend you for your your open-mind and open-heartedness in listening to, admitting and amending any insensitivity or inaccuracies from your original post. You are a perfect example of how an ego-free, objective discourse should go, particularly when dealing with such a controversial and open-ended subject as transsexuality.

    Eva Ovalle

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