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Critique Essay Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

What Gender Is, What Gender Does

By Judith Roof, 2016

A truly new conceptualization of “genders” What Gender Is, What Gender Does provides a forceful new paradigm for considering genders. With depth and insight, Judith Roof demonstrates how the persistent conflation of gender and sexual difference is, on the one hand, a simple taxonomic urge and, on the other, a cover that offers the security of identity in place of the frustrations and fears of the real asymmetries of personal power dynamics. What Gender Is, What Gender Does is a major intervention in today’s stagnant theoretical debates on gender in its twenty-first-century permutations. With characteristic assertiveness, Judith Roof takes us beyond identity politics to forge a model of polymorphous sexuation that exposes gender regimes—including those based in queer, transgender, and performative thought—to cover up and perpetuate the asymmetries of sexual difference as immutable truth. — Renée C. Hoogland, Wayne State University

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