Friday, February 19, 2016

Distiller: Doni Faber
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality
Edited By Annika Butler-Wall, Kim Cosier, Rachel L. S. Harper, Jeff Sap, Jody Sokolower, and Melissa Bollow Tempel
Rethinking Schools, Ltd.
January 28, 2016
(276 pages)

Rethinking Schools has just come out with a collection of articles addressing sexism, gender, and sexuality. It is more substantial and coherent than many of their themed books. It includes articles about student, teacher, and parent experiences along with specific ideas of how to integrate GLTBQ issues into the classroom and curriculum.

One of the proclaimed goals of this publication is to address the complex intersectionality of sex and gender with other personal identifiers. Such articles as "Aren't There Any Poor Gay People Besides Me?", "Young Women in the Movimiento", and "Gayvangelical: Teaching at the Intersection of Religious and Queer," address how economics, race, and religion intersect with GLTBQ issues.

The compilation addresses enough situations that some of the contributors have felt great support in coming out and others have faced discrimination and harassment. A lot of times, they have experienced both. The editors add the caveat that this collection is supposed to be inspirational and supportive, but each person knows their own situation and how to proceed best.

Some of the reoccurring issues in the articles are not forcing kids into boy/girl lines when some kids' gender identity is unclear. Another is providing unisex bathrooms to provide a safer experience for transgender students. Although I appreciated the thought-provoking inclusion of these issues, more often than not, dividing by gender was mentioned for those who might be mistaken for the other sex, rather than explicitly addressing those who might identify as neither boy/girl or both.

So this book is good: I recommend it to educators trying to figure out how to address this issues. However, I have a big gripe with it. Although the editors try to use the “Q” as Queer to address anyone not falling under the traditional gender/sex binary, they do not explicitly address people identifying as intersex nor asexual. In other words, they left the “I” and the “A” out of the GLTBQIA spectrum. As a collection attempting to represent the cutting edge of issues in sex and gender politics, this is a hurtful oversight.


  1. Thank you, Doni. I appreciate the critique and agree that I am still on a learning curve. Next writings will be better. :)