Render Me, Gender Me: Lesbians Talk Sex, Class, Color, Nation, Studmuffins--

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Columbia University Press, 1996 - Social Science - 215 pages
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In day-to-day-life, people often act as if they know exactly what they mean by boys and girls, mamas and papas, masculine and feminine, butch and femme, stud and fluff. But what happens to gender in same-sex relationships? Can different women be differently gendered? If you accept that gender is as much about race and class and nation as it is about sexuality, what happens to commonly accepted "truths" about gender and identity? Render Me, Gender Me challenges comfortable assumptions about gender by weaving Kath Weston's own thought-provoking commentary together with the voices of lesbians from a variety of race and class backgrounds. Nuns, strippers, teachers, carpenters, small business owners, and women in the military all find a place in this spirited account. At the heart of the book are interviews Weston draws upon to give a new twist to contemporary discussions of gender. Among the topics discussed are gender as a multicultural subject, power play in lesbian relationships, lusting after "fluidity", writing gender into lesbian history, the tomboy mystique, the latent tendency to imagine gender as a sliding scale, the impact of job markets and race relations on the way women gender themselves, the guessing games people play when they pin one another down with respect to gender, why "who's the man?" is the wrong question to ask about lesbian couples, and why gender is not about "imitation" or "roles".

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About the author (1996)

Edward D. berkowitz is professor of history and public policy and public administration at George Washington University. He is the author of eight books and the editor of three collections. During the seventies he served as a staff member of the President's Commission for a National Agenda, helping President Carter plan for a second term that never came to be.

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