Sexed Up: How Society Sexualizes Us, and How We Can Fight Back (Hardcover)
The author of landmark manifesto Whipping Girl exposes the violent ways we are all sexualized–then offers a bold path for resistance
Feminists have long challenged the ways in which men tend to sexualize women. But pioneering activist, biologist, and trans woman Julia Serano argues that sexualization is a far more pervasive problem, as it’s something that we all do to other people, often without being aware of it.
Why do we perceive men as sexual predators and women as sexual objects? Why are LGBTQ+ people stereotyped as being sexually indiscriminate and deceptive? Why are people of color still being hypersexualized? These stereotypes push minorities farther into the margins, and even the privileged are policed from transgressing, lest they also become targets. Many view sexualization as a mere component of sexism, racism, or queerphobia, but Serano argues that liberation from sexual violence comes through collectively confronting sexualization itself.
“... what I love about Julia’s work is how generous and accessible her writing is. She doesn’t just tell you terms and what they mean, she plots them out in such a way that they click into place in your head without you even noticing.”—Sadhbh O'Sullivan, Refinery29
"Serano succeeds in explicating a wide range of complex ideas about gender, sexuality, and identity, and offers incisive new frameworks for reckoning with some of the most discussed issues in contemporary feminism and queer culture. The result is a nuanced and approachable guide to 'making sex more equitable.'"
“This book in particular scratches an itch by making a feminist argument about sexism and patriarchy from a fully trans- and queer-inclusive point of view.... Unlike most people with axes to grind, though, Serano, a scientist by training, reads widely, and has been thinking hard about gender for at least two decades. When Serano introduces a concept… I expect the idea to pervade and permeate feminist thought.” —Helen Boyd, LIBER: A Feminist Review
“The ringing, undeniable truth of how intensely North America assigns sexual deviance (in one direction or another) to everyone it deems marginal (so, everyone but white, straight, able-bodied cis men)—assembled, contextualized and with all the connections very clearly made in a way that cuts directly to the heart of how kyriarchy uses sexual shame as a form of control (still, again, endlessly) and as a way to turn people who would otherwise be natural allies against one another.” —S. Bear Bergman, xtra
“An engaging and thoughtful addition for any library’s popular human sexuality collection.”
“Julia Serano continues to be one of the most remarkable feminists writing today. Sexed Up is a must-read for anyone who cares about feminism, misogyny, and how we talk about sex.”—Jessica Valenti, New York Times-bestselling author of Sex Object
“A brilliant tour de force on an under-theorized topic—sexualization—and the havoc it wreaks on so many lives, especially the most marginalized. I can't wait to discuss this book: it's essential reading.”—Kate Manne, author of Down Girl
"Julia Serano brings us the incisive, clear-eyed analysis of today's culture wars that we so desperately need. Thoughtful and deeply researched, Sexed Up provides a more compassionate way of dealing with our cultural programming around sexuality."—Annalee Newitz, Lambda Award winning author of Four Lost Cities
"How lucky we are to have Julia Serano — a writer who brings razor-sharp analysis to the most challenging issues we face today. Sexed Up is another worthy addition to the canon, brimming with the unique patience, care, and clarity Serano brings to untangling our sexual preconceptions."—Jude Ellison S. Doyle, author of Trainwreck
"Julia Serano acutely speaks to many nuances in gender and sexuality that unjustly dictate the safety, value, and autonomy of marginalized genders. Immersive and precise, she traces enduring stigmas to their illogical roots." —Koa Beck, author of White Feminism
“Fascinating, comprehensive, and clearly explained, Sexed Up leads the reader through a radically sensible analysis of what sexualization is and how it happens. (Hint: You're soaking in it!) As we work to create a sex-positive culture, we'll reference this vitally important book again and again.”—Carol Queen, PhD, Author of Exhibitionism for the Shy and co-founder of the Center for Sex & Culture
“Serano has done it again, taking an idea you thought you understood and unfolding depths to it you never knew were there. Sexed Up is the sexualization rethink you didn’t know you needed.”—Jaclyn Friedman, author of What You Really Really Want
“Julia Serano is a razor-sharp observer and a generous, compassionate, and liberatory thinker. Sexed Up is a wise, nuanced, and unapologetic guide to understanding what goes on under the hood of sexualization in American culture.”—Dr. Hanne Blank Boyd, historian and author of Straight