On March 6th, 2022, I attended a memorial protest at Scottish Parliament on the one-year anniversary of Sarah Everard’s murder. Several women spoke in her memory highlighting brutality of gender-based violence in the U.K and around the world, calling for the dismantling of the very systems that are meant to protect us but instead regularly create violence and fear.
Anger is an emotion that is highly influenced by gender. That is not to say that men are angrier beings. This is a popular misconception that plays into gender stereotypes of men being allowed to feel anger more than others, when in fact all genders feel anger equally and as intensely as one another.
What do you think of when someone says that they study Classics? Hollywood representations of the ancient world? Privileged school kids studying Latin and Greek? White men inventing democracy, the foundations of European philosophy, and all the other alleged pillars of “Western” society?
I recently read Gender Rebels: 50 Influential Cross-Dressers, Impersonators, Name-Changers, and Game-Changers (hereafter Gender Rebels) by Anneka Harry (published 1 June 2020) and I have some thoughts about it. I’d like to start this review with a star rating, but I actually think this book defies rating for me. On balance I think I would have to give it 2.5/5 stars, but that feels both unhelpful and unrepresentative of my actual thoughts. It suggests I thought it was a completely mediocre read when actually I have feelings at both extremes…