A new gender studies textbook will teach college students about a self-identified man having a baby, how burkas can be liberating, and that white weddings are just an assembly line of sexual hierarchy.
“Everyday Women’s and Gender Studies,” written by Prince Edward Island Professor Ann Braithwaite and Beloit professor Catherine M. Orr, “offers instructors a new way to approach an introductory course on women’s and gender studies.”
“There are many ways to go about acquiring what they call ‘a beer belly.’ I chose pregnancy,” wrote chapter author and self-identified man, J Wallace, in the section entitled, “The Manly Art of Pregnancy.”
Wallace laments that most books make it clear pregnancy is only for women and that books for pregnant men are hard to find. “Before I was pregnant, I feared that pregnancy would make me into a woman or a lady. But it didn’t; it made me more of a dude,” wrote Wallace.
She credits her manliness to more hair growth encouraged by pregnancy and the loss of her period. “A pregnant body does not make him as either feminine or woman, but rather produces new possibilities for masculine embodiment,” the text reads.
The gender studies text also explains:
- “The contemporary white wedding under multinational capitalism is, in effect, a mass-marketed, homogeneous, assembly-line production … The heterosexual imaginary circulating throughout the wedding industry masks the ways it secures racial, class, and sexual hierarchies,” another passage reads.
- Burqas are a “liberating invention” reads another section defending the burqa. “Everywhere, such veiling signifies belonging to a particular community and participating in a moral way of life in which families are paramount in the organization of communities and the home is associated with the sanctity of women.”
- “The Viagra phenomenon reinforces and hardens the coital imperative … and “is profoundly disappointing,” says the text. The “co-option of the coital imperative” deprives men and women of “reproductive choices that might have enhanced their health and well-being” and restrictively “close[s] down other legitimate possibilities for sexuality.”
Universities will be able to use the text for the 2018 academic year. It’s a “game changer for teaching women’s and gender studies undergraduates,” UNC’s Michele Tracy Berger wrote in the book’s review.
It “reinvents the introductory textbook form to reflect the field’s intersectional commitments,” wrote Robyn Wiegman of Duke University.
The text provides an “accessible, down-to-earth, yet still theoretically sophisticated guide to the ever-changing field of women’s and gender studies” and “provides a welcome and innovative introduction to the twisted and all-too-everpresent ways in which gender exerts itself on our bodies, our minds, our ideas, our identities,” wrote Northeastern University’s Suzanna Walters.
Publisher Routledge did not respond in time to TheDCNF’s request for a list of universities and colleges that will use this text in the approaching academic year.
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