Author Kathryn Bond Stockton argues in her new book Gender(s) that obvious genital distinctions are in reality incomplete. When children are born, it’s like parents “lower a cone over the baby,” imposing an identity without consent and even ignoring other actual layers of a newborn’s fetal biology. Men are dealt a bewildering “ideal of masculinity” which today’s far right is using at the vanguard of the culture war. There is much more depth than merely at the surface. Stockton insists freedom from rigid constraints is challenging but worth it.

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