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Material Girls by Kathleen Stock(4 Posts)
Review by Helen Saxby
I'm mulling over buying this, & thought it would be worth a thread to discuss the content & "that bit" too.
If anyone has an opinion about it, "that bit" & whether it's worth the £15, I'd be interested in your views.
I think “that bit” demonstrates that Stock is ignorant of how widespread men’s sexual interest in dressing up in frilly knicker or other porn inspired get up is.
I read somewhere 1 in 30 men do it to some extent. I also, unfortunately, think Stock is unaware of abuse dynamics within too many relationships involving men. She could benefit from reading Lundy Bancroft.
I can’t just overlook “that bit” in case the rest of the book is fantastic, as “that bit” gets to the heart of too many women’s actual lived realities, I am not impressed.
I don’t care how awesomely “feminist” a book is, if the book and the feminism cannot encompass ordinary women and their realities.
Trans widows’ lives matter, and there are more of them than Stock realises.
That's a.... long review. Was it written by a friend of Stock? It comes across as a bit defensive.
I've read the whole book. It was okay. If you believe there is such a thing as gender identity and that people who think they have one should be treated differently by society to those who don't. I don't think there is such a thing as a gender identity in the way the political movement thinks of it. I am uneasy at the idea anyone's metaphysical beliefs should result in different treatment by society - should we treat someone differently because they believe they have a soul?
To be fair, the bit that has blown up all over the internet is a tiny part of the book. I think it demonstrates that Stock has a blindspot and a predictable one given her ivory-tower-not-grassroots-frontline background but if we are thinking about the book as a whole?
I'd call it weak sauce.
I have bought the book but not read it yet, although I plan to start it shortly.
I've started something of a personal project - I'm buying books where the book / author / both have been victims of cancel culture for one reason or another.
This is one of those books - due to the reports of the harassment Dr Stock has received from students, colleagues, and others, because of her views.
I also try to print an article or two which discusses the reasons for the 'cancellation' of the author / book, to keep with it.
I'm not saying I necessarily agree with the views of the authors / the topics in the books I am buying, but I definitely do not agree with cancel culture so this is my personal sticking two fingers up at anyone who buys into it. Just recently there have been a few books by gender-critical authors so I am reading quite a lot around this subject.
It's led to some very diverse reading if nothing else. I've read a few books I wouldn't normally have picked up if not for the weird bits of controversy that have blown up around them.