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Females by Andrea Long Chu (review)

Females by Andrea Long Chu (review) Reviews Andrea Long Chu, Females New York: Verso, 2019. 94 pp. The past decade has seen an explosion in trans discourse online especially be- tween trans activists and the “gender critical,” giving the search for a definition of “woman” new urgency. Andrea Long Chu’s first book, Femal, ma es kes a playfully radical intervention into the fields of feminist and gender theory, bypassing ques- tions of binary and biology with the simple statement, “Everyone is female.” Her thesis, however, will not likely result in applause from the “future is female” crowd, as Long Chu immediately follows this statement by defining “female” not as a bio- logical phenomenon but a psychological one, marked by nega self-t ion to make room for the desires of others. The deliberately provocative idea at the center of Fem o alp eera s tes on many levels to engage and challenge scholarly and popular conversations on gender. Long Chu stretches the theory of socially constructed gender to its extreme by defining “female” as “any psychic operation in which the self is sacrificed to make room for the desires of another” (11). Those termed female under the conventional—already embattled—definition, may initially feel taken aback at this http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Females by Andrea Long Chu (review)

The Comparatist , Volume 45 – Nov 11, 2021

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Copyright © Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Reviews Andrea Long Chu, Females New York: Verso, 2019. 94 pp. The past decade has seen an explosion in trans discourse online especially be- tween trans activists and the “gender critical,” giving the search for a definition of “woman” new urgency. Andrea Long Chu’s first book, Femal, ma es kes a playfully radical intervention into the fields of feminist and gender theory, bypassing ques- tions of binary and biology with the simple statement, “Everyone is female.” Her thesis, however, will not likely result in applause from the “future is female” crowd, as Long Chu immediately follows this statement by defining “female” not as a bio- logical phenomenon but a psychological one, marked by nega self-t ion to make room for the desires of others. The deliberately provocative idea at the center of Fem o alp eera s tes on many levels to engage and challenge scholarly and popular conversations on gender. Long Chu stretches the theory of socially constructed gender to its extreme by defining “female” as “any psychic operation in which the self is sacrificed to make room for the desires of another” (11). Those termed female under the conventional—already embattled—definition, may initially feel taken aback at this

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 11, 2021

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