The Lambda Literary Foundation’s list of finalists for the 2007 Lammies is out, and She’s Not the Man I Married didn’t make the cut. And I’m okay with that; it can be a little tiring to see how even trans people don’t seem to care, often, about how loved ones see/relate/deal with transness, but I’m getting used to it. Besides, I got my props the first time around, when My Husband Betty made finalist.
That said, Whipping Girl didn’t make the cut and that is absolutely 100% wrong. & I’ll tell you why.
Whipping Girl is, to date, the only book to address, theoretically, the uneasy relationship between trans people - specifically MTF transsexual women - and feminism, and that work was long overdue. It addresses sexuality, media representations, the historical pathologization of trans people by psychologists, the fetishization of tans women’s sexualities, the inherent misogyny of a feminist politics that mocks femininity, and then some.
It has been personally & politically important to me in confronting what remained of my own “natural attitude” toward my own gender, what Serano calls cissexism (and rightfully so) and proposes the concept of “subconsious sex” which did more to explain transsexualism to me than anything ever has — outside, maybe, of Betty’s “because” model.
It’s a real shame that this book was not recognized by the Lambda Literary Foundation. It will be considered a classic, revelatory and ground-breaking book in time; it’s just sad the Foundation’s judges don’t have the foresight to give it its due now.
Julia, personally: thank you. I always appreciate when anyone, with their words and logic and anger, can make me a little less of an asshole, and Whipping Girl did that in spades.