An Illustrated Exploration
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?”
For a long time, people thought of gender as male/female, pirate/princess, sports/shopping. Now, we're starting to understand that it's not that simple. In Rethinking Gender, writer-illustrator Louie Läuger presents a lively, informative, and engaging guide that will help readers understand the multiplicity of answers to the question “What even is gender?” With straightforward, accessible text and playful drawings, they offer a “cheat sheet” of basic terms, from AFAB and AMAB (assigned female at birth and assigned male at birth) to intersectionality (a way to understand the specific experiences of people who are discriminated against on multiple levels) and then explains things in more detail. The goal, Läuger says, is to offer a toolbox for empathy.
We learn, for example, that gender can be understood as a spectrum, and that on a biological level we are more similar than different. Gender is a social construct—“We made it all up!”—that starts at birth with social and cultural expectations. Gender identity comes in many varieties and describes your inner knowledge about your gender; some terms include, for example, queer, cisgender, transgender, nonbinary, androgynous, maverique, intergender, and genderfluid. Gender expression is how you express your gender identity to the world, in clothing, with pronouns, and otherwise. “Coming out” can also be thought of as “inviting in.” Louie, self-drawn in cartoon form, explains things to us face-to-face, often accompanied by a trusty cat companion (named “cat”), making us feel as comfortable as we would talking to a friend.