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Dewing, H. (2009). Deconstructing the Feminine: Psychoanalysis, Gender and Theories of Complexity by Leticia Glocer Fiorini. Published by Karnac, London, 2007; 158 pp; £19.99 paperback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 25(2):263-268.

(2009). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 25(2):263-268

Deconstructing the Feminine: Psychoanalysis, Gender and Theories of Complexity by Leticia Glocer Fiorini. Published by Karnac, London, 2007; 158 pp; £19.99 paperback.

Review by:
Hilary Dewing

I was astonished to read an author's assertion, during an exercise to publicize her new book, that those who refuse to acknowledge the duality of the sexes are either ‘militant (female) homosexuals’ or ‘militant intersex’ (Chiland 2008, p. 14). For as long as I can remember, I have always, as a rather boringly straightforward heterosexual female, questioned these kinds of dualities. Too often, perspectives on gender carry alarmingly dogmatic projections which blur the issues and serve only to entrench prejudice. Claims like these do need to be questioned rather than just believed, or laughed at (my original response). This is not just because of the insulting and patronizing position they take up in relation to homosexual and transgendered people, but also because they genuinely do make it difficult for the rest of us to see the wood from the trees.

In this sense, perhaps the most important thing about this book is that it clearly illuminates how the question of gender goes way beyond whether one feels comfortable in one's own skin as man, woman, feminine, masculine, heterosexual, homosexual, etc. - important though that undoubtedly is. This of course is not new, but the book does convey well the way in which gender-related issues reach right to the heart of our deepest origins and also deeply influence whole ways of thinking about the world - ways which can be narcissistically restrictive and repetitive or ways which can be productive and liberating.

The

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