If you've ever questioned the logic of basing an entire identity around what you have between your legs, it's time to embark on a daring escape outside of the binary box...
Open your eyes to what it means to be a boy or a girl — and above and beyond! Within these pages, you get to choose which path to forge. Explore over one hundred different scenarios that embrace nearly every definition across the world, over history, and in the ever-widening realms of our imagination! What if your journey leads you into a world with several genders, or simply one? Do you live in a matriarchal society, or as a sworn virgin in the Balkans? How does gender (or the lack thereof) change the way we approach sex and love, life or death?
Jump headfirst into this refreshingly creative exploration of the ways gender colors every shade and shape of our world. Above all, it's more important than ever for us to celebrate the fact that there are infinite gender paths — and each of them is beautiful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
She/He/They/Me teaches the reader about the social construction of gender through a choose your own adventure style narrative (for example, choose whether you're from a country that views gender as binary, choose whether your gender identity matches your assigned gender at birth, etc.). My first time through I picked answers that were true only to myself, then I started playing around with other paths. I'm so impressed the the way in which Ryle was able to provide detailed teachings about your gender identity and gender roles by asking increasingly detailed questions about your demographics. By the end, I wasn't just learning about my gender as a female, but reading SPECIFICALLY about being a bisexual white married woman who identifies as "she" living in a disabled body in the United States. The chapters build upon one another until you reach a "conclusion" and have the option to return to a prior chapter. Honestly, the most impressive part of this book is the scope of people that will make up its audience. I have already recommended it to my husband (who really only knows much about gender at all because he married a sociologist) and a friend of mine in Tennessee currently teaching sociology. This would be great for kids in school trying to understand sociology and the impact of gender, and you could do SO MANY assignments with it; for example, "choose a path where you are a person of color who is the opposite gender from which you identify and living in a different country" to learn specific elements of that person's experience. Or as a non-academic reader you could explore your own path, the path of your friends, your partner(s), and the rest of the world if you're just curious. While covered in quotations and academic sources, this is a book that reads in a more mainstream nonfiction fashion, to the point that I think it will be equally appealing to academics and non-academics alike. Very importantly, you don't have to know anything about gender going into this to enjoy it (part of why I recommended it to my husband, and part of why it will be great for students). Ryle builds the book from the ground up, starting with the basics and ramping up until she lands you in the nuanced depths of research and social construction. But even if you did just teach a course on gender a couple of years ago like I did, you may still learn something new like I did. I am proud I was taught by a woman who is so creative and is contributing so much to the world with her words. Not only can this book give someone a more communal sense of where he/she/they fit in the world, I can truly see it inspiring people to seek empathy for others after learning the surprising ways their experiences may be both similar and different. And this is definitely a time when the world needs a little more empathy. I want to thank NetGalley and Source Books for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review (and despite my inherent bias, every word was indeed honest).
This is a wonderful book on the nuance of gender. I'm fairly well-read in the subject matter, and I still learned something. The amount of information and history this book contains is seriously impressive. I think the flip-book "choose your own adventure" style is novel and allows for a custom reading experience. The back and forth makes it friendly and easy to digest. The stand-alone nature of the segments means it is easy to just flip to a random spot in the book and get something out of it. However, if you subscribe to the "open the book to a random page" philosophy of reading, the book will lead you to flip to more and more chapters. Be prepared to learn many things. Although it is available on kindle, I strongly recommend that people buy this in paper--and I'm someone who prefers to read digitally. I don't think the flipping around is easily accomplished in digital format. For myself, I started reading online through Net Galley but waited for the actual book release to finish the book in hardback. It's thorough, inclusive, and fun to read. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in exploring gender or someone frustrated by trying to explain gender to someone else. Thanks Net Galley for the digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
I went into this book expecting one style of writing and got another. Ryle explores gender through the make your own story page finder and this is an interesting way of looking at it. The non-linear nature of it means that as a reader you do not have the same reading experience and the way the book is structured that some routes are dead ends that do not go anywhere.I enjoyed reading this and it made me consider what gender is and how it is treated in countries that aren't the UK or USA.