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My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  375 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Cultural theorists have written loads of smart but difficult-to-fathom texts on gender theory, but most fail to provide a hands-on, accessible guide for those trying to sort out their own sexual identities. In My Gender Workbook, transgender activist Kate Bornstein brings theory down to Earth and provides a practical approach to living with or without a gender.

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Paperback, 2nd Edition, 293 pages
Published April 19th 2013 by Routledge (first published December 1st 2012)
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Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm liberal, ace, and genderqueer, and there is a lot of stuff I did not agree with in this book. First of all, the way it's written is really only going to convince people who already are in this area of thought. Anyone who is approaching these ideas for the first time, especially if they come from a conservative mindset, are not going to be moved by anything she has to say and on the contrary be repelled by most of it due to the way she presents it, just like how a Pride Parade Recap on tv rep ...more
Mathew Walls
Nov 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
Someone recommended this book to me a while ago and I just got around to giving it a look today, but I couldn't read it. The author's style and tone is just utterly insufferable. "Look at me being all subversive and in-your-face and quoting Doctor Who." It kind of feels like it was written by Tumblr. ...more
Erin Sterling
Most of us think of gender as a (mostly) binary thing and we use it all the time: divide into girls and boys, the gender gap in college admissions, why girls aren't going into computer science, etc. This book will challenge your thinking of what gender is and look at all sorts of different aspects of gender. Written by a transgender woman, the book is a mix of quizzes (a la your favorite teen magazines) and information about gender identity, sexual orientation, sex, and a whole lot more. It's a ...more
Logan Hughes
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: trans
I like the idea of a fun, quizzy, whimsical workbook you can do to figure out your personal relationship to gender. I thought it would be about helping questioning people figure out if they are trans/nonbinary/etc., but it's actually more like guiding the reader to understand gender as a theoretical system, question their assumptions, understand intersections of power. While Bornstein has definitely thought about the portion of their audience that is trans or questioning (there is a whole sectio ...more
Jordan Lombard
As a gender neutral asexual (ace) who is also quiet and introverted, this book wasn't for me. I found a lot of the quizzes (and there are a lot) difficult to answer mostly because they don't take aces into consideration and are mostly about sex or PDAs. I'm not into PDAs, not because I'm afraid of what others will think, do, or say, but just because I'm not into that kind of action, even at home in private.

Don't get me wrong, aside from that aspect, I do like what she has to say, and I thoroughl
Apr 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt
Fun layout, cute graphics, but too many problematic aspects (appropriation of native terms ie. "twibe", mock portrayals of religion, etc) that prevents it from being anymore than 3 stars. ...more
May 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
More like 3.5. It's good, but a little out of date now. ...more
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, lgbt
I really enjoyed reading through the book. Kate Bornstein writes in a very sweet and kind manner, which is really comforting when you are confused and worried about gender. I learned new ways to look at the world, and not just in regards to gender.

Of course there were points where we disagreed, but Bornstein repeats through the book that everything is just theory and could easily be wrong. Thus, the content of the book never seemed off-putting.

I feel grateful to have read the book at a time I t
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I thought this was done decently and had some good info, but for me it was too "cutesy" too "we're best buds, omg!" I do wish some of that had been dropped.

I also agree with a previous reviewer who did that this isn't going to change anyone's mind or make them THINK. It's written for people who already have an interest or reason to investigate.

so for me, it didn't fulfill what I was quite v hoping for. well thought out and well written, but not executed as week add it could have been. I though
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: feminism-etc, queer
I enjoyed the beginning, especially how other voices were incorporated by way of contributed tweets, etc. I largely skipped the quizzes (it's a library book, so I'm not going to mark it up), and eventually the redundancy and cutesy writing was too much for me. I tried skipping through sections, but that was confusing.

I think there are people who I'd recommend it to with the expectation that they'll only reach 20%, and it'd still help them. There's plenty of good stuff in here, but maybe it could
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The new gender workbook is excellent. It really helped me to answer the question "what is gender?"- surprisingly hard to answer, right? The book has helped me to understand my own identity and expression. A must read for anyone in the trans* spectrum, interested in gender theory, or just curious! Easy to follow whether you're a novice or well versed in queer studies. A+ Kate! ...more
Clara Grace
I wanted to love this book, but I had a really hard time understanding how to apply some of the author's metaphors to my own life experiences. The exercises are useful if your gender expression is already part of your radical praxis, but less so if you're just confused and trying to figure out the basics. ...more
Edie Kestenbaum
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, books-read-2014
Honestly Kate Bornstein is perfect and my role model in life and the sweetest soul and I feel so much better for having read this book. That's the highest praise I can give a book, right there. ...more
Sassafras Lowrey
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
a really fun update to Kate Bornstein's classic text which includes great sidebars from the genderqueer world of twitter! I'm honored to have some of my tweets included in this book! ...more
Jun 04, 2016 added it
This is very thought provoking although I could do with fewer tweets inside it.
Very helpful during my initial discernment of my gender identity, with a fun "hip auntie" approach. ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
An important book that helped me break down the walls of the gender binary within my own mind. However, I didn't love the way it was written. The first couple of chapters were difficult to read, but the latter ones made up for it. It introduced quite a few new concepts all at once, and I think I'll need to read it again in a few years. ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF. I gave up. Sigh.

I tried. I really, really, really tried. And I wanted to like it! Going in, I was excited by the prospect of an activity book that would have some practical activities to think about gender and how it works in our lives.

A lot of it boils down to the voice. For me personally as a reader, voice accounts for a heck of a lot of my opinion. If I find the voice inaccessible or distracting then I simply won't have the mental space to appreciate any of the content being presented. T
An important book for our time, one I would recommend to anyone who has reached the age of consent. I don't pretend to understand every concept in here, or agree with them all, but I welcome the opportunity to stretch my thinking about gender. For example, I like the idea of there being five components of gender: gender assignment; gender role; gender identity; gender expression; and gender attribution. I also like thinking of gender as the intersection of identity, power, and desire. I like how ...more
Apr 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
Because I'm too UGH to articulate my thoughts right now I'm just going to link this pretty accurate review.

Also, cultural appropriation and mock portrayals of religion is not something I am okay with.
Dec 04, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: academic-me
I'm thinking about using this book for a Psych of Women class I'm teaching next semester....because of the affordable price. Other suggestions are most welcome. ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very cute. Accessible. A bit twee and over-precious at times.
C.E. G
Apr 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Glad I read this, especially for her differentiation between sex/gender and a few of the exercises, but by the end I had lost my interest.
Nov 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
3.5 stars? 3 stars? one of those. This is a hard book to rate. It helped me a bit, but there were a lot of things I didn't know how to react to or actually disagreed with.

I went through this book at my therapist's suggestion, in a series of workbooks/homework assignments to help me reflect on some things in my life. My therapist is a general fan of Bornstein and the be-your-own-fabulous-gender take on life.

I found the book helpful, not so much because it gave me profound insights on gender or t
Mar 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: consent
I kept having folks recommend I give this book a read.

I just don't see why.

I am saddened by this. This book could have been an amazing opportunity to explore a spectrum of gender instead of the binary, traditional ideas we have. However, I think this book did a disservice to the topic.

It does raise a few interesting, if unintentional, notions. Even though the author has worked to distance their-self from gender mindsets, it is prevalent. How the author was raised is clear throughout every page
Dave Taylor
May 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
This came to me highly recommended, but, alas, I didn't enjoy it greatly. Why was this? Well, for starters, the writing style is highly whimsical, to the extent that the whimsy often obscured the points being made. The quizzes were awkward - reams of questions testing concepts pointing in different directions all summed up in a big numerical mess. Pointing out that gender varies according to many attributes beyond those sex-derived - interesting; asserting at length that variations in each of th ...more
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
I wish I didn't have to choose a single rating for this book. On the whole, Bornstein's ideas and analysis of gender and society are insightful and intelligent. Sadly, I found the presentation of these ideas increasingly frustrating as I worked my way through the book. There's something both patronising and badgering about the tone.

This would have been a five-star book - had it been condensed into fewer, more neutrally worded chapters. It's definitely worth skimming through.
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So cute! Probably gonna buy it and spiral bind that thing so I can make copies for all the young teens and tweens in my life. Or at least get a copy for each of my kids. Good info, presented in a fun way. My kids end up being gender warriors wherever they go. A whole book about it is nice.
Feb 01, 2020 marked it as to-read
There are many reviews either for or against this book and no mention of it being outright problematic or factually incorrect, so I’m curious. Also what I gathered from reading reviews, it seems like this book is best for people who are cis and liberal leaning, so hopefully I’ll learn something.
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mental-health
Very cool read! Lighthearted and super supportive.
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Kate Bornstein is a Jewish-American author, playwright, performance artist, and gender theorist.

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