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Female Masculinity

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,788 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Masculinity without men. In Female Masculinity Jack Halberstam takes aim at the protected status of male masculinity and shows that female masculinity has offered a distinct alternative to it for well over two hundred years. Providing the first full-length study on this subject, Halberstam catalogs the diversity of gender expressions among masculine women from nineteenth-c ...more
Paperback, 329 pages
Published October 26th 1998 by Duke University Press Books (first published October 5th 1998)
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Emma Sea
Wow, fifteen years old. In many ways it’s kind of depressing that, in general, our culture hasn’t moved beyond a gender binary.

I always had three main peeves with Halberstam. One is zir insistence that “masculinity” is not a synonym for “men or maleness” (p. 13). Well, yes it bloody is. No matter how much we want to challenge language and forge reclaimings, masculinity is, in our culture, a synonym for maleness. Therefore as soon as one talks about female masculinity, one is talking about women/
Stef Rozitis
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book at times irritated me, but often interested me. I learned a new word "tribadism" (google it but not in a public place like I made the mistake of doing). Many of the observations are true, and as she reaches what seem like conclusions she seems to trouble them enough to add complexity, depth and honesty- there are no answers.

At times it seemed to me the idea of "female masculinity" was built upon essentialist assumptions (although at other times Halbestram deconstructed that). I thought
Scott Moore
Jan 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Halberstam makes some generalizations about the slippage between butch dyke and FTM identity that come off as troubling (even though her blurring of butch/transman resonated strongly for me personally). Perhaps it was her style or her lack of "theory power" as writer, but I remember that her tone towards female masculinity - "trans guy, butch dyke, we're really all the same!" - bothered me at times. I did benefit, however, from her discussion about female masculinity and film.
Sara Jaye
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer-studies
Groundreaking, awesome, and unfortunately, subtly (and on occasion not-so-subtly) less than glowing about femmes! Get with it, people: you CAN glorify one identity without putting others down.
Es un poco viejo pero algunas partes valen la pena. Básicamente la introducción y algún capítulo suelto, el resto es repetitivo y mal argumentado. La parte que más me ha molestado es cuando habla sobre hombres trans. Además ya avisa de que en un anterior libro muchas personas trans han criticado y se han quejado de sus comentarios y entonces va y sigue con la misma basura.
May 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
Basically, "Where's my phallus?" Butch, please.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theory, queer
canonical! fun/sad/sexy/opening up possibilities in language/queerness
I think that part of the reason that I didn't love this book as much as I had hoped is because it's a bit outdated. It was published in 1998, and certainly the queer and gender equality movements have changed dramatically over the past decade. Had I read this book closer to when it had been written, it may have resonated with me more.

Female Masculinity is incredibly well-researched and includes a lot of fascinating information about the history of female masculinity. Several chapters focus on pr
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sd-fem-bookclub
To anyone in technical or hard science fields, "social science" is a contradiction at best, and sociology and queer studies are social science's less rigorous younger siblings. At one point near the beginning, Halberstam debates whether the more scientific approach to studying female masculinity is surveying people in a nonrandom way and subjectively interpreting the results--and here you say, OK, finally someone is rejecting this completely flawed methodology as legitimate research--or, wait fo ...more
Jamie Bernthal
Feb 01, 2013 rated it liked it
It was hard to find an appropriate star rating, because this book was timely and important, and I like citing it, but at the same time it's disappointing and I don't like reading it. Halberstam is an excellent figurehead for queer theory, a genderf*cking barely academic professor who sometimes tries too hard to get down with the kids. She is famous for writing accessibly and for using unconventional primary sources - usually children's films and TV, which has led to wonderful lines in later book ...more
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Jack Halberstam (born December 15, 1961), also known as Judith Halberstam, is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Gender Studies, and Comparative Literature, as well as serving as the Director of The Center for Feminist Research at University of Southern California (USC). Halberstam was the Associate Professor in the Department of Literature at the University of California at San Diego be ...more
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