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Transgender Warriors Paperback – 30 Jun 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (30 Jun 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807079413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807079416
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 1.7 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Oct 1997
Format: Paperback
I'm a 20-year-old female-to-male transsexual. Five years ago, I didn't even know other people like me existed. Now, thanks to this book, I know people like me have been around as long as human beings from the more ordinary walks of life.
You might think that being transsexual, I'd be pretty open-minded, but I must confess that this book really got me thinking about my own chosen gender and what exactly I want do with my transsexuality. Do I want to blend in with all the genetic XY guys after all, leaving no trace of my 'abnormal' gender? Do I really care if people know I don't have a penis? Must I be 100% male 100% of the time? And what is 'male' anyway?
Leslie presents a very personal history of transgenderism. Hir short autobiography echoes that of the many people who don't fit into the male OR female ONLY roles society has pushed us into over the centuries. Being transgendered, I could really emphasise with hir life story, and that of all the other trans* people who have a part in this book.
I'd recommend this book not only to other trans* people, but anyone who is interested in something else other than the traditional gender roles we are given. This is such a different prism to look at history and gender through. I want to major in History now. ::grin::
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 April 1999
Format: Paperback
As a committed dialogue-oriented queer theorist and socialist, I value any contributions from new voices in social theory. Leslie Feinberg's book is an exemplary work in this regard, and as a pakeha academic in a postcolonial country myself, I am especially impressed by hir respect for indigenous cultures, sovereignty issues, and gender variation as part of that. I recommend this as an important introductory resource that should be in all queer studies curricula.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S.D. Cat on 1 Nov 1999
Format: Paperback
also concerning other historical persons. The analysis of opression of minorities and gender based discrimination as a completely economical one, is a point which might be debatted - other sociological factors like goup size and the advantages of a separation of male-female space for a significant fraction of women without such arrangements wouldn't be stable are neglected. Still highly to be recomended fo people with an interest in history, queer studdies and of course people which are trannsgender, be they gay, lesbian, transseaual, straight crossdressers or interesexed. I think this book deserves a wider audience, also extending traditional leftist or gay subcircles.
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4 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 July 1999
Format: Paperback
While Dennis Rodman certainly qualifies as "transgendered", Joan of Arc certainly does not: her own statements (as listed in the record of the trial in 1431 and as quoted by several witnesses at the retrial from 1455-1456) make it clear that she only wore her boyish costume because she was being subjected to attempted rapes and other abuse while in prison, and was constantly in danger of the same while travelling through enemy territory. She wore a dress during the entire rest of her life, and at the trial she begged her judges to allow her to be buried in a dress in the event that she should die from illness while in prison, since she was afraid that they might decide to bury her in her male attire instead (hardly the position that would be taken by a transvestite). Similarly, her armor was not "masculine" in any sense (there's a surviving image of it at St. Denis, and it's quite feminine in appearance, as was the case with the many other suits of armor worn by women during this period: armor was never considered to be a purely masculine form of dress, no more than a bullet-proof vest is today, and noble women wore armor whenever circumstances forced them to take nominal command of their families' armies). None of this is in dispute, and it seems that the author needs to learn a bit more about the 15th century.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Trans* people have a history too... 8 Oct 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm a 20-year-old female-to-male transsexual. Five years ago, I didn't even know other people like me existed. Now, thanks to this book, I know people like me have been around as long as human beings from the more ordinary walks of life.
You might think that being transsexual, I'd be pretty open-minded, but I must confess that this book really got me thinking about my own chosen gender and what exactly I want do with my transsexuality. Do I want to blend in with all the genetic XY guys after all, leaving no trace of my 'abnormal' gender? Do I really care if people know I don't have a penis? Must I be 100% male 100% of the time? And what is 'male' anyway?
Leslie presents a very personal history of transgenderism. Hir short autobiography echoes that of the many people who don't fit into the male OR female ONLY roles society has pushed us into over the centuries. Being transgendered, I could really emphasise with hir life story, and that of all the other trans* people who have a part in this book.
I'd recommend this book not only to other trans* people, but anyone who is interested in something else other than the traditional gender roles we are given. This is such a different prism to look at history and gender through. I want to major in History now. ::grin::
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Feinberg Dusts Off Our Transgendered Past 19 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Those interested in transgenderism have long been teased by all-too-brief descriptions of its existence in times past. If mentioned at all in previous works, transgendered history has been soft-pedaled into vague meanderings on Native American "two-spirits".
Leslie Feinberg not only provides comprehensive documentation of the roles of transgendered people in ancient societies, but also interprets these traditions and their decline by deconstructing our current views of gender as the result of patriarchy. Feinberg also weaves into the interpretation elements of socialist theory and class oppression.
These theoretical passages are interspersed with personal vignettes from the Feinberg's life which flesh out the explanation. Even if one doesn't fully buy into Feinberg's views, the book takes you on a fabulous journey and forces you to re-examine your beliefs about gender.
Although not scholarly,the book serves the important purpose of contributing one volume that consolidates documentation of many of the instances of transgenderism that previously were splintered throughout the literature.
The book is a quick read, which is both refreshing and disappointing. Perhaps in the near future Feinberg or others will branch off this pioneering work and continue to re-discover the robbed tradition of transgenderism throughout the world.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Layperson's View of History 5 Nov 2008
By TammyJo Eckhart - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
History is not only for historians but if one is not a historian one's understanding of events and individuals within their context will be limited. Even then, few historians are capable of mastering the entirety of human history. It is clear that Feinberg has done a lot of reading but it is also clear that her readings has been filtered through two lens.

The first is Marxism. Given her working class background and where/when Feinberg grew up and lived prior to this book, it makes perfect sense this would be one of the lens she views history through. Marxism is still a valid if debated theory of historical interpretation but it is rarely sufficient to explain everything.

Feinberg's second lens is her own natural desire to find others like herself, others who do not neatly fit into the social defined gender categories. While this desire is natural it should never be can excuse to misinterpret evidence or to view other cultures with your own biases. But let's be honest, many well-trained historians do this.

Therefore I cannot fault a layperson too much for historical interpretations I may have issue with but instead I should look at where such information is gleaned. The fact is that the vast majority of Feinberg's statements are drawn from published students by scholars and wouldbe scholars.

What I like about this book is that she attempts to pull together a wide range of information and couple it with the political, social, and economic struggles of transgendered people today. The stories are powerful and pulled from a variety of times and places though I noticed a very large amount of Native American information.

This book came out 12 years ago so I would urge Feinberg to reflect on this and revise it to include more evidence and interpretations as well as an update on civil rights for those who cannot or refuse to live nicely in a gender box.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A history of trans-ness written BY a trans person 3 Feb 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Of course this book is personal. Of course it is passionate. It is an important attempt by a recognized trans author and amateur historian to catalyze a larger project of tracing authentic patterns of gender expression that don't conform to the binary that has been forced upon society since the rise of class divisions (i.e., since the collapse of "primitive" or "tribal" collectivism). And the book thereby contributes to efforts to demystify the notion that "two sexes" are a scientific fact and historical truth.
Hopefully others will pick up where Feinberg leaves off and apply other methodologies to uncover what has really been going on throughout human history where it comes to gender.
What the book lacks in traditional academic rigor it more than makes up for with its first-person self-consciousness, originality and plausibility in the interpretation of historical data. It is richly illustrated, literate, contemporary and very relevant to today's discourse.
A must-read for all who care about HERstory and human rights for all 23 Dec 2014
By Trista Hendren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A fascinating read!

"It had never occurred to me to search history for answers to my questions. I didn't do well in history classes in school. Actually, that's an understatement. I could never make sense out of history. I couldn't remember whether Greece or Rome came first. The Middle Ages were a monolithic boulder I couldn't chip. I always got confused about who were allies during which war.

I couldn't find myself in history. No one like me seemed to have ever existed.

But I had to know why I was so hated for being "different." What was the root cause of bigotry, and what was its driving force?"

----

"...the material basis for women's oppression is precisely what today's ruling-class "fathers" do not want opened up to scrutiny. They seek to shape history in their own image. To hear the bible-thumpers, you'd think that the nuclear family, headed by men, has always existed. But I found that the existence of matrilineal societies on every continent has been abundantly documented. Up until the fifteenth century, a great majority of the world's population lived in communal, matrilineal societies. This was true throughout Africa, large parts of Asia, the Pacific Islands, Australia, and the Americas. If all of human history were shrunk to the scale of one year, over 360 days of historical time belong to cooperative, matrilineal societies.

A deeper understanding of the roots of women's oppression had great meaning to me, particularly because of my experiences growing up as a girl in a woman-hating society. But my oppression was not just based on being "woman." Was there a material basis for transgender oppression? Surely transsexual women and men, or people like me who expressed their gender differently, were not merely products of a high-tech capitalist system in decline. I came to circle to one of my original questions as well: Have we always existed?"

---

"What was responsible for the imposition of the present-day rigid sex/gender system in North America? It is not correct to simply blame patriarchy, Chrystos stressed to me. "The real word is 'colonization' and what it has done to the world. Patriarchy is a tool of colonization and exploitation of people and their lands for wealthy white people."
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