Gender Stories
Negotiating Identity in a Binary World
Essential for anyone seeking to understand the contemporary gender landscape, Gender Stories defines gender as the socially constructed meanings assigned to bodies. At the heart of the book is a description of the process of becoming a gendered person through crafting and performing gender stories. Because each gender performance is unique, a virtually unlimited number of genders exists—not just two, as the gender binary would have us believe. The same multiplicity that characterizes the gender landscape characterizes the individual, who typically changes gender multiple times a day and across the lifespan.

In Gender Stories, personal gender performances are framed within a philosophy of choice. Readers are encouraged to become more conscious of the choices they have in constructing their gender identities and to allow others the same choices by respecting their gender performances. Readers will easily find a place for themselves in the book, regardless of their views on gender. Gender Stories affirms and legitimizes diverse perspectives, all of which contribute to a more comprehensive knowledge about gender.
“The authors of Gender Stories contend that identity should not be based on the dual notion of men and women; rather, it should acknowledge the process by which individuals construct their genders, resulting in a virtually infinite number of gender stories and performances—not just the two that the gender binary prescribes.” — Feminist Review

“I like the framework of the book, instructor resources (especially activity and assignment ideas), and the story approach.” — Diane Keeling, University of San Diego

“The text is something that students will feel motivated to read. The approach is holistic, and all perspectives are valued and represented in some way. While the authors challenge the gender binary, they are not forceful; rather, they welcome discourse about the topic. The invitational approach is refreshing and it aligns with my teaching philosophy.” — Julianna Kirschner, California State University, Northridge

“The text has outstanding potential to fundamentally alter the ways in which we think about gender. It’s an excellent text!” — Jamie Huber, Utah State University

“I love the narrative/storytelling approach and the contemporary examples. The structure of the book makes it easy to follow and the ideas easy to understand.” — Rachel Silverman, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

“I love the personal, approachable writing style that acknowledges the diversity of beliefs and experiences of a gender studies classroom. Additionally, the cultural references are current and vivid. This will be an incredibly helpful guide for my students as they analyze cultural texts for their gendered assumptions.” — Rebecca Richards, St. Olaf College
Table of Contents
1. Gender Stories: An Introduction
Gender / Stories / Identity / Binary / Agency / Our Perspectives / Our Goals for You

2. Dramatic Fiction: The Social Construction of Reality
Social Construction of Reality / Social Construction of Gender / Changeable Nature of Reality

3. The Classics: The Gender Binary
Binary Gender System / Binary Ideals / Life in the Gender Binary / Binary as Matrix

4. Science Fiction: Gender Stories in Scientific Research
Of Math and Men / The Girl Who Talked Too Much / The Curse of the Hormones / Fictions from Science

5. Best Sellers: Gender Stories in Popular Culture
Gender Stories that Retell the Binary / Gender Stories that Revise the Binary / Gender Stories that Rewrite the Binary

6. Crafting: Developing Gender Stories
Attending to Gender Stories / Appropriating from Gender Stories / Drafting Gender Stories / Crafting a Coherent Identity / Agency in Crafting Gender Stories

7. Performing: Enacting Gender Stories
The Functions of Gender Performances / Performance Elements / Stages of Performance / Agency in Performing Gender Stories

8. Reworking: Managing Responses to Gender Performances
Receiving Performance Reviews / Responding to Performance Reviews / Agency in Reworking Gender Performances

9. The Next Chapter: Constructing Gendered Worlds
Participating in a Spirited Discussion / Consciously Creating and Performing Gender / Respecting Other People’s Gender Stories / Inviting a New World / Your Next Chapter