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A One Stop, No Nonsense Introduction To The Core Of Postmodern Theory, Particularly Its Impact On Queer And Gender Studies Nationally Known Gender Activist Riki Wilchins Combines Straightforward Prose With Concrete Examples From LGBT And Feminist Politics, As Well As Her Own Life, To Guide The Reader Through The Ideas That Have Forever Altered Our Understanding Of Bodies, Sex And Desire This Is That Rare Postmodern Theory Book That Combines Accessibility, Passion, Personal Experience And Applied Politics, Noting At Every Turn Why These Ideas Matter And How They Can Affect Your Daily LifeRiki Wilchins Is The Founding Executive Director Of The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition The Author Of Read My Lips And GenderQueer She Was Selected By Time Magazine As One OfCivic Innovators For The St Century This book is an amazing intro to post modernism in relation to queer theory I found so much in this book and it changed the way I look at the world Very intersectional and excellent view points on modern society and the way it was built. One of the main criticisms I ve read of this book is that it doesn t go into too much depth and it s only useful as a primer The clue s in the title, folks An Instant Primer.Anyway, a primer into queer theory is what I was after and I found this really interesting and informative Some stuff I already had knowledge about, but it explained some theories a littleto me and I enjoyed the stuff about the intersections of gender and sexuality and how the LGBT community has fragmented and changed over time I was also super delighted that she spoke about race and the affect that that has on queer theory etc There were a few moments in the middle of the book that I found a bit dull when Wilchins talked a bitin depth about the theories of Foucault , but it didn t take too much for me to get through that and get back into the book.Overall, a good read to start 2018 off with. thank god i could read this instead of having to read foucault The first three chapters deal with very brief parsimonious history lessons about the scope of activism that underpinned much of later queer theory and postmodern gender analysis Although useful as a primer to someone trying to enter the subject from the beginning, It s still extremely thin and doesn t give much insight at all that isn t reproduced elsewhere in much better detail It is replete with quite a few questionable statements as well such as In a male centred culture, woman will always be the queer sex , which seems to be false since the main critique mentioned briefly is that symbols that we classify stereotypically as male or female are constructed socially and not necessarily fixed products of all woman or men, thus woman are not always the queer sex as such a statement disavows the endless queer difference outside the female gaze Male centered is vague as it certainly doesn t relate to institutional privilege and is predicated on a subtle phallogocentric argument which I believe has problems Chapter 4 begins by fawning over Derrida He was so complex, so profound, so deep, that even philosophers who heard him, men who read Sartre like you and I read Doonesbury, had no idea what he was saying Gifted with a tremendous and insubordinate intellect, Derrida was also unmatched for chutzpah He used this speech to announce the end of modernism Although the book contains a chapter devoted to critiquing postmodern influence on gender studies, there is a lack of critical engagement with moral relativism and it s pernicious desensitization of activism To state that its merely pluralism in allowing other perspectives is euphemistic to say the least and merely changing the demarcations we use doesn t change the underlying point I find fawning over social theorists in a servile way like this is very nonconstructive and unappealing Derrida is never really taken to task for his work here and given free reign Everyone speaks about how corrosive and dead knowledge and intelligence is but relatively few are prepared to speak about the obvious positives of these things and discuss literary criticism that is relational to the text in question, instead of trying to uncover hidden narratives that undermine the very integrity of the text and smash anything it is trying to say We speculate endlessly about how language is unreliable without discussing how reliable it actually is in preserving, communicating with others and in producing wonderful works of literature and indeed philosophy The reason I mention this is because Sedgwick in her reparative reading seemed to convey similar things, a theorist who never makes the pages of this book despite her large contributions to the field Many theorists and critical ideas seem to be minimized or simply ignored I was reading this mainly as an addendum to my own notes going into an examination exploring gender and sexuality, finding that the work was quite scant for this level.Although the book is a good primer, I believe it needed to engage withtheoretical work and disavow the autobiographical context a littleThis seems to be a theme in a lot of books covering queer theory, in that we must be introspective and allow for the author to be personal with us It s a style I am beginning to dislike and get annoyed about especially when I want to learn about the concepts and academic work explored.