Cover Image: Rethinking Gender

Rethinking Gender

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Member Reviews

After having read this educational (but also FUN) graphic novel on gender, here are some pros and one singular con. Overall, the aesthetic of the art and handwriting/font was really cute and pleasing to the eye. The terms and definitions in the beginning of the book were a great way to go over the vast topics covered within this book. The way that the author handled the unknowns and constant evolution of gender when it came to educating the reader was very truthful and helpful, since there is always more to learn. I enjoyed that the author sets up this book as if they’re having a discussion with the reader, explaining what “we’re” going to discuss next. Also, the author does a lovely job of mixing diagrams, history, and easygoing conversation into this book, leaving the right amount of information while also being fun to read. Although I read the e-book copy of this book, I thought that some of the blank spaces for ideas and jotting down thoughts was a very clever way to help people process the information that they have been given. The one con that I could find in this otherwise perfect book was on page 181. The author listed a wide range of pronouns but did not explain duo pronouns such as she/they, he/they, they/she, or they/he pronouns. Overall, I rate this book 5/5 stars because it was very informative and felt as though the author was speaking right to me the entire time.
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I had a friend who is struggling with gender identity right now to read this, and the friend quite enjoyed it. I do not think I could sell this off the shelves, but I could definitely recommend it to those who ask for this topic :)
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Rethinking Gender will not be an easy book to read simply because this is choke full of information that is hard to absorb for people not familiar with LGBTQ terms. But no one can say the author didn't try their best. I would say I already know and I am familiar with 80% of terms used in this book and it still gave me a headache. Illustrations and cursive letters are not the way to go with these. A proper book formatting would be better. The pdf format with the words being stylized and small make it hard to read. And the illustrations didn't make the topics easier to absorb: it's just one more thing I have to concentrate on. But valiant effort. I really appreciate it.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing the copy of this for an honest review! 

I found that the author here was thorough and honest in their work. This read was made less of a hassle to read for those that have difficulty focusing on data and statistics with the help of their illustrations. They made a difficult topic more understandable without being too vague in explanations, even with English being their second language. 
I like the inclusion of opportunities to reflect ourselves if this were a physical copy I may have done so myself. 

I would suggest having consistency with the fonts chosen, and there were a few typos I caught while reading as well. Though I enjoyed the illustrations, they are somewhat distorted in quality and I assume that is because of the NetGalley rendering but I could be wrong! 

This is, as I said, comprehensive but I think those who are questioning gender or have misunderstandings surrounding the concept of gender would find this useful. I would not likely include this in my classroom because it does go into A LOT of detail on some topics better suited for a high school classroom or above.
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I wasn't able to read this book due to the pdf not displaying well in my reader and I had to scroll through it and that went very slowly. The art looked good and the topic was interesting. I am sad I wasn't able to read this one.
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Thank you to NetGalley and MIT Press for providing me with a digital copy of Rethinking Gender.

Rethinking Gender is "a lively, informative, and engaging guide to gender by an author-illustrator who helps readers understand the multiplicity of answers to "What even is gender?".

Things I liked:
- The peer-review process that was briefly explained at the beginning of the book helped provide some credibility when learning about new concepts.
- The "workbook" pages or sections with reflective questions and spaces to add your own thoughts. I love that they provided that space to truly make this book your own! 
- The illustrations helped explain difficult topics and promote diversity. For example, there were some personal experiences shared through illustrated characters. These really helped me understand how different we all experience gender due to intersectionality. I do wish she included names for each character and identified if these are made-up stories or submitted to be part of the book. However, I still found it helpful to hear different stories as it promotes diversity and inclusivity.
- This book comes with a paper/dress-up doll!! 

Things that could have been better:
- Each page is PACKED with information. I found that most pages needed to be broken down further or have more white spaces to improve readability and accessibility. At one point, I felt like this book could have been divided into smaller workbooks, so readers are not too overwhelmed with the new information they are provided and still have space to jot down reflective notes. 
- I wished the author included the references to studies that were mentioned in the book. I felt that a reference page may help others with their own research or learn more about gender. 

Overall, I still really want a physical copy of it to put in my office (as an occupational therapist) to help me refer back to history, terminology, and additional resources. With a wealth of information, it is nice to have it with me as a reference and a guide when I create educational materials. :)
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I wasn’t expecting to learn very much from this book because I am in a lot of queer spaces already and have done my fair share of research into gender, but there were still a few things I had never heard of it that were touched on in this book which was a pleasant surprise. I mostly picked this up because I liked the idea of an illustrated guide on the basics of gender. I get the most questions about gender and it’d be useful to have literature that’s easy and fun to direct people to. This would work great for that. I really enjoy that it’s in the style of a reference book almost, where you can skip to the relevant bits when you’re looking into something particular. Having the definitions and descriptions coming from people with those identities makes it feel more relevant and personal, rather than just reading the definitions you would find if you googled the terms. It was a bit dense, in that theres a lot of information here in a short amount of time, but I think that’s only because I chose to sit and read through its entirety rather than using it as a reference guide. The illustrations were cute and I enjoyed how it centralized multiple viewpoints and the role of intersectionality.
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I think this book is such an important read. I think the way Lauger explains all the many possibilities and ways people can identify is very digestible and easy to retain. They don't use difficult explanations, just simply stating it as it is, and using the aid of illustrations and speech bubbles. I also love that it leaves room at the end of each chapter for the reader to reflect and write things down. As well as the fact that Lauger makes sure to explain that gender is an ever-changing thing, and these are not the only options, as change is inevitable. 
I think this book is the perfect reqd for not only people who want to be better allies or a better support sister to people who are not cis, but also people who are questioning their gender themselves. It gives you insight into the various options, many of which I was not aware of before reading it. 
I think we need more books like this to help people better understand people who are different from them, or even better understand themselves.
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This was a really good book describing gender the different ways people discriminated against in the stereotypes a lot of us innocently head towards others. I really like the author the only thing I think I had a problem with with when he said the gender you’re assigned at birth because medically doctors don’t involve their self in peoples pronouns I go by male or female because biologically that’s how are body reacts. Not to be disrespectful but I want to say whenever I hear people discuss gender and how they should be able to love who they love I always think of the man on Jerry springer who wanted to marry his horse I mean if we are free to be who we want to be then why can’t he marry his horse? Either way and having said all that I want to say I thought Louis seem like such fun I love the book I love how he respects everyone and their choices and I loved how he named his cat “cat“ I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.
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-Disclaimer: I received this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.-

The format is extremely hard to read. Gives me a migraine. I am not the target audience. The art is ugly. The information is repetitive and dull put. Other books are better for the topic.
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Wow. I came into reading this thinking that it would be a simple introduction into gender, but I was wrong. This is a complete and thorough dive into gender, it's place in society, and how we think about it. As a member of the LGBT+ community for many years, even I learned new things from this book. If you or someone you know wants/needs an all-encompassing look at gender, or if you are a professor needing a book for a gender studies class, I wholly recommend this title.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to review this book! 

Rethinking Gender: An Illustrated Exploration by Louis Lauger is an interactive exploration that breaks down what gender really is (and no, it isn't what organs you were born with). While I received this as an ebook, in the printed format I believe it is going to be a more journal-like book that encourages you to write and express your thoughts on what you're reading about. Through the chapters we learn about different people and their identities and what each term really means. This is done in a very open and honest way, and is also very easy to follow and understand. 

Pros: 
-The illustrations are BEAUTIFUL and so cute. I loved looking at them as I read along. 
-The explanations are super clear and easy to understand. I learned so many terms for things I didn't even know existed in the LGBT+ community. 
-The author never belittles people who think differently than them. It is just a book to teach about gender expression, the history of gender, and what that looks like today. 
-There is a huge emphasis on intersectionality and how gender plays into that. It was so great to read about that, because it is so important when talking about one identity, how the others affect it. 

Cons: 
-I wish there were more journaling prompts and questions asked for reflecting on what is learned throughout the chapters. 

Overall, this book was awesome, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to understand gender identity. It's something that effects everyone!
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As the title implies, this is a beautifully illustrated guide that helps to explain the complexities that are the spectrum of gender and sex. I can see this being a book many may wish to reach to both to aid in their own exploration of their gender etc as well as to help those comprehend the often emotionally draining and hard journey one goes one whether that be as a nonbinary person like myself, or transgender etcetera. 

Communication and comprehension I think has become difficult as of late to try to prevent another of the confusion, fear and sadly hatred those whose gender differs from their sex suffer from and books such as this by Louis Läuger are essential. I can only begin to imagine how much easier my own journey would have been if there had been books out there to both help me understand what I was feeling, and to show me I wasn't alone. 

My only concern with Rethinking Gender: An Illustrated Exploration is that I think it can be a little overwhelming and perhaps this will work alongside some more basic books that explain gender versus sex in a more simplified manner. Especially if you are beginning your journey or trying to help others with understanding how or what you or they may be feeling? Don't feel rushed to know everything, taking your time is paramount and I think taking it slow with this book is a necessity. 

This will work well as a companion book to others that our out there or after you have begun to learn and understand the concepts of gender versus sex and where you feel you belong - but no matter what? You are not alone.
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Louie Lauger’s illustrated Rethinking Gender covers the topic of gender in an easy-to-understand method. They explain societal biases, sex vs. gender, various types of gender identities, and many other things with illustrations and real-life examples. 

This illustrated book was a simple and informative read on gender. It gives examples of real people and explains various identities and concepts really well! If you’re wanting to learn more about gender (and the history behind it and stereotypes), or want to recommend a book to someone else, I highly suggest this one!
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This was quite dense with information. I can't say I loved the art, but that's more of a personal preference. I don't exactly know what the audience is for this, but I had no major problems with it and I think it could be read by most teens or adults.
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A very interessting and informativ book about gender for all ages, not just for kids, also for adults.

It has so much informations about the "new" genders, it's not only black and white, like most of the ages.

Take time and read carefully.

Have fun reading!
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this was so informative ab gender, different labels, and just history in general! definitely recommend. i read this through netgalley
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A book that means well, tries well, and does pretty well. But it becomes too ambitious, and I fear a part of its intent will be lost because of the complexity of its content.

Originally published in German as “Gender-Kram: Illustrationen und Stimmen zu Geschlecht” in 2020, this is the English edition due to be published in November 2022.

The author-illustrator created this book as a part of their master’s degree. I liked the way they introduced the purpose of this book as a map of the landscape of gender to help you empathise with others as well as to help reflect on your gender. 

The book begins with a powerful introduction on how knowing genders is relevant in today’s age. It also covers the important concept of intersectionality, which correctly states that gender experiences are impacted by sexism as well as racism, classism and ableism. For instance, the experience of a Black lesbian woman will not be the same as that of a white woman in a wheelchair. The book also talks about how assigned genders at birth can be dangerous to a person’s gender identity as well as mental health. 

Once the background to understanding the concept of gender is set, the book moves on to covering details of the various acknowledged genders. By now, many of us are aware that gender isn’t a binary but a spectrum, something the rainbow flag depicts so accurately. The book covers a whole range of possible genders, ranging from the traditional man and woman, to the somewhat more known transgender and androgyne, to the almost unknown such as maverique and graygender. Each of the genders is explained in brief, followed by a short first-person experience of people identifying as that gender. 

Finally, the book moves on to what you can do with the information you have gained access to. It includes not just how to understand your gender identity but also be a better ally. There is also a list of helpful resources at the end. 

There are many things to appreciate about this graphic novel, even beyond the information it provides. It stimulates you into questioning your own assumptions about gender. It throws across several thought-provoking ideas such as linking gender to societal capitalism. It is also fair to cis people also by acknowledging the roles cis men/ women are forced to play to cater to social ideas about their gender identities. (At the risk of getting brickbats, let me say that I was really grateful for this last point. Not many books on gender talk about cis identities in detail. It is like, just because we fit under the supposed “heteronormative”, we are the villains. Sometimes, we are, but not all of us are.)

Why, then, did I not go higher in my rating? The main reason is that the style of putting across the information was overwhelming. I did learn a lot about gender identities, but to be perfectly honest, I am a lot more confused than I was before. Though I took my time with this read, it was still too intense. I see how it would have made for a brilliant research paper. But if the purpose of this book was not only to speak to non-heteronormative people about how to identify and accept their gender identity but also to communicate to cis people the importance of being more aware, then it should have been more accessible to the layperson. 

Just a few months ago, I had read another graphic novel on the same topic of gender identities. Rhea Ewing’s outstanding “Fine: A Comic About Gender” also spoke of the varied gender terms and people’s experiences living outside of or in between the traditional gender binary. It was comprehensive and yet I never felt like the content became too convoluted. If this graphic novel had aimed at a similar level of being approachable, it would have worked even better. 

I am not denying the importance of the content. But maybe, it will work far better if taken in small doses, a few pages at a time. The author also suggests to take in the sections you are interested in, as and when you want to read them, and not to necessarily follow the sequential order. As an ARC reader, I didn’t have that luxury, but I can see how that method will work far better for this book. 

Overall, a resourceful book that depicts how all genders have to be understood in apposition rather than in opposition. The days of the gender binary are over. In this century, with the concept of gender being as fluid as water, such books help us to begin understanding the range of genders and shattering our illusions about what we think we know about genders.

3.75 stars.

My thanks to MIT Press and NetGalley for the DRC of “Rethinking Gender: An Illustrated Exploration”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.
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This is a very ambitious book. Relative to other illustrated guides on progressive gender identities that I've read, it packs in a lot more information - both factual and subjective. And so it seems that the target audience is already engaged, questioning readers rather than those who are living in the cis binary and need a primer on alternative models of gender. As a non-binary adult who has read both popular and academic books about gender, I still learned new things from this book - in particular, I wasn't familiar with some of the more esoteric gender identities described in the second half (which could almost have been its own book). The author/narrator explains that this book is based on their Master's thesis, and it shows. Translating an entire Master's thesis into a graphic novel is a tall order; it may have worked better as a two-volume collection.

I think the problem for me is that this book looks like it's supposed to be accessible, but the content is really complex. I wish this were the sort of book I could give to my cis friends to challenge their assumptions, but I fear it would go over their heads.
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Let’s start with the most important thing: this is a good book.

Now I’ll dive into my rating. I think this is an excellent workbook, if high schools had a good gender studies and diversity acceptance program I would 100% recommend this book as a textbook/exercise tool.

It’s cute, colorful, full of resources and different experiences and it has drawings of the author’s cat (which I’m sure we can all appreciate). There’a also open discussion of intersectionality, which is great!

However, even though I personally liked it a lot, I got a feeling it may not be the best option for neurodivergent people. Personally, I struggled a bit with all the colors and balloons, practically losing focus every sentence. The text font also is kind of annoying in long paragraphs. But then again, at the end I managed to read it all and enjoyed it.

My only other doubts concern the several experiences from people of all genders that the book shows. While it’s perfectly understandable for trans and non-binary folks that gender really is confusing and diverse, and that’s okay, and we are used to seeing people with the same gender identity having polar opposite experiences, I’m afraid that showing them to the cis public will confuse them and reinforce the idea that “we’re making that up”. Which, obviously, is not true. But people judge what they don’t understand so yeah, I’m concerned by what cis readers might think.

I’m afraid I’m being too harsh on a book that, once again, I enjoyed. However, it’s important to have the talk regarding how a book with this amount of good and diverse representation might backfire in the hands of the wrong kind of readers.
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