• Summary
  • Contents
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The central argument of this book is that the sex//gender distinction is invalid and must be transcended. To this end, the work of Foucault, Connell, Goffman, Garfinkel, Butler, Freud, Derrida, Saussure, Lacquer and Kessler and McKenna is woven into a rich and compelling set of arguments. The sex//gender distinction is attacked for producing a series of irresolvable traps. However much one tries to think one's way out of the dichotomy, one ends up being suckered back into its imponderables and blind alleys. The book attempts to comprehensively reorientate the field and redefine the terrain.

Truth is Slippery Stuff1
Truth is slippery stuff

A number of years ago, in the Independent newspaper, the understanding of how sex determination works was described as ‘the Holy Grail’ (Wilkie, 1991). The Grail is a curious object, which Geoffrey Ashe (1974 [1957]) described as a talisman, whose unholy, pre-Christian and magical roots were enhanced rather than diminished by its assimilation into the Christian tales and romances. At times sinister, at times beneficent, but always elusive, ‘[t]he primitive Unholy Grail may be roughly defined as a miraculous source of well-being, physical and mental, the discovery or rather achievement of which unveiled the secret of Life itself’ (Ashe, 1974: 187). In the early Grail legends, the hero discovers the Grail and three other talismanic objects – a ...

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