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Tip: To see Abram’s analysis of Winnicott’s theories…

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In-depth analysis of Winnicott’s psychoanalytic theorization was conducted by Jan Abrams in her work The Language of Winnicott. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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Ruth, R. Devinney, H. (2012). Can Psychoanalysis En(-)Gender its Trans(-)Cendence? Which Side are You On? It Gets Better Project. http://www.itgetsbetter.org. It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living by Dan Savage and Terry Miller New York: Dutton 352pp., $21.95, 2011Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children by Diane Ehrensaft New York: The Experiment, 304pp., $16.95, 2011Transvestism, Transsexualism in the Psychoanalytic Dimension by Giovanna Ambrosio (ed.) London: Karnac, 144pp., $37.95, 2009. DIVISION/Rev., 5:12-14.
    

(2012). DIVISION/Review, 5:12-14

Can Psychoanalysis En(-)Gender its Trans(-)Cendence? Which Side are You On? It Gets Better Project. http://www.itgetsbetter.org. It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living by Dan Savage and Terry Miller New York: Dutton 352pp., $21.95, 2011Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children by Diane Ehrensaft New York: The Experiment, 304pp., $16.95, 2011Transvestism, Transsexualism in the Psychoanalytic Dimension by Giovanna Ambrosio (ed.) London: Karnac, 144pp., $37.95, 2009

Review by:
Richard Ruth

Helen Devinney

To the delight of some and the horror of others, the world is alive with transgressive social movements-fractious, colorful, awkward, provocative, and as important as ever. The streets are full of dissent and questioning, principles said to be part of the character and social fabric of the United States. In considering these movements, lurching toward challenge and change, we find ourselves wondering, what role does psychoanalysis play? Can it play a role? Does it desire to play a role?

Such questions have diverse answers, implications, and centers of gravity. We approach them from the perspective of the emergent transgender movement.

Transgender: once a specific term, now grown to embrace and hold space for all who find something slippery or incongruent about regarding birth-assigned gender as the definitive, indisputable, or “correct” expression of their true gender. Under the vernacular umbrella, “trans,” one finds those who the medical community identifies as transsexuals, along with those who self-identify as gender-queer.

It is impossible to reduce all of the potential the terms hold into a satisfying sound bite. The terms' very resistance to being oversimplified mirrors the ways the transgender movement questions and subverts rigid, linear ideas about development and reified concepts of gender as a strict binary.

Trans issues have moved out of the shadows and into our collective face. The evidence is in the news media (recent Washington Post headlines about empowered trans protests against police inaction in the face of the latest round of brutal attacks), popular culture (this summer's hit reality show, The Glee Project, had an African American teen who does drag), academic discourse, and talking points from the Republican presidential candidate race.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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