The Last Sex: Feminism and Outlaw Bodies

Description

249 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
$14.95
ISBN 0-920393-37-3
DDC 305.42'01

Year

1993

Contributor

Edited by Arthur Kroker and Marilouise Kroker
Reviewed by Lisa A. Dickson

Lisa A. Dickson is a freelance writer living in Guelph, Ontario.

Review

The Last Sex is a collection of essays, artwork, fiction, and fantasy
that seeks to disturb normalized social categories by celebrating the
“outsidedness” of those on the sexual “fringe.” This “third
sex”—exemplified by, but by no means limited to, gays, lesbians, and
transsexuals—provides for the editors a new model for the negotiation
of gender in a technological and post-AIDS world—a model based on
“sexual reconciliation rather than sexual victimization.” Collecting
the stories of Tallahassee “top dykes,” drag queens, sorority
sisters, and survivors of sexual violence, the editors attempt to trace
the “new sexual horizon” of a post-male/post-female world of sliding
gender categorizations liberating in their very instability.

Neither strictly theoretical nor “simply” anecdotal, the text
confounds critical categorization, thereby performing the resistance to
restrictive “framing” that is its unifying theme. Selections range
from Sue Golding’s commentary/fantasy on mirrors and S&M in “The
Excess: An Added Remark on Sex, Rubber, Leather and Ethics,” to Diane
Chisholm’s more conventionally critical essay, “Violence Against
Women.” The agitating effect of the third sex on the complacency of
sexual “insiders” is perhaps best dramatized in Gwen Bartleman’s
“Wedding Woes,” where a lesbian is greeted by her date’s relatives
with the question, “Aren’t you your brother?”

The Last Sex combines humor and satire, criticism and proclamation,
bringing to the social “inside” the voices of “outsiders” whose
destabilizing presence seeks a cure from the rigid categorizations of
what the editors identify as the “deadly virus” of gender. Readers
looking for polite discussion should probably look elsewhere.

Citation

“The Last Sex: Feminism and Outlaw Bodies,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/6846.