Gender(s) Kathryn Bond Stockton

Kathryn Bond Stockton

Kathryn Bond Stockton examines the interesting, delicate, personal, and ever-changing subject of gender in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series installment. No matter how “regular” the concept appears, Stockton contends that gender is weird for everyone—even when presented in a straightforward manner. She also discusses how race and wealth significantly impact everyone’s gender, sometimes in unexpected ways. To think about, Stockton marshals an astonishing collection of exhibits, including dolls and their new gendering, Lil Nas X and Jane Austen, gender identities according to women’s colleges, homosexual and transgender dancing scenes, and much more. She is playful yet serious, knowledgeable, and funny.
Stockton also looks at gender in the context of biology’s peculiar quirks, demonstrating how “man” and “female” are out of sync with one another and attempts to reinforce gender through things like language, hair, work, and dress. She confronts the present moment with all of its genders and counter-genders to analyze gender as a concept—its historical significance, seductive pleasures, and deceptions. What is “the opposite sex,” after all, is a riveting subject that propels this book’s central theme of race. What happens to the male/female combination that supports gender if there is no opposite?