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- ISBN 9780349726625
- Author STOCK KATHLEEN
- Pub Date 01/01/2022
Material Girls is a timely and trenchant critique of the influential theory that we all have an inner feeling known as a gender identity, and that this feeling is more socially significant than our biological sex...
Material Girls is a timely and trenchant critique of the influential theory that we all have an inner feeling known as a gender identity, and that this feeling is more socially significant than our biological sex.
Professor Kathleen Stock surveys the philosophical ideas that led to this point, and closely interrogates each one, from De Beauvoir's statement that, 'One is not born, but rather becomes a woman' (an assertion she contends has been misinterpreted and repurposed), to Judith Butler's claim that language creates biological reality, rather than describing it. She looks at biological sex in a range of important contexts, including women-only spaces and resources, healthcare, epidemiology, political organization and data collection.
Material Girls makes a clear, humane and feminist case for our retaining the ability to discuss reality, and concludes with a positive vision for the future, in which trans rights activists and feminists can collaborate to achieve some of their political aims.
'Material Girls is by Kathleen Stock, a philosophy professor who came to fame due to protests by trans activists against her when she addressed the Oxford Union. Despite her controversial reputation she is actually very reasonable and thoughtful, and those qualities shine through in this book. She writes as a feminist rather than a Christian but much of what she says most Christian would thoroughly agree with. Stock starts by recounting the history of how we got to the present situation with trans culture, and this is probably the most useful part of the book. She then looks at why sex matters and her calm style make her arguments so very obvious. Indeed, she begins with the comment, ‘The most basic and obvious reason why the sexes matter is: our species would die out without them’. From here she launches into a definition of what a woman is and argues against the trans activist belief that a biological man can be an authentic woman, which she describes as a ‘fantasy’. This is a good and well-argued book even if some of her chapters do not contribute significantly to her main thesis.'
Publisher: Fleet (7 April 2022)
Paperback: 320 pages