14 January 2017

Book Review: Captive Genders



Eric Stanley is an American professor of Gender Studies at University of California, Riverside. Nat Smith is a community organizer with numerous transgender and intersex NGOs. They co-edited this book.

This is part of that same genre of books that I don't usually read. While the "LGBT" community markets and looks to the G and to a lesser extent the L in LGBT, it is the last of those letters, the T who suffer the most brutal, systematic and dehumanizing violence of all.

This volume uses primarily autobiographical accounts of how the prison industrial complex  actively and passively tortures and otherwise subjects working class (non-white) transbodies to brutal, systemic violence.

Looking at the totality of the present situation, it is somewhat strange that so much attention is focused on public restrooms in North Carolina and the rules of gender identity to use one when as soon as a young transgender grows up, they will likely be subjected systematic dehumanizing violence, physical and psychological, regarding their gender identity. What is already hell for Gs and Bs in prison becomes even more so for Ts. It is likely that the bathrooms get so much coverage because it is where trans spills over into the circumscribed lives of non-trans people. The torture and brutality against transgenders are removed from general view, compartmentalized and otherwise obscured from general view. Women's restrooms are no safe space for those "other" women, etc.,.

This is another depressing book about the criminal justice system that is worth reading and feeling crushed.

I version I read was a 425 page paperback published by AK Press (October 27, 2015).

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