Gender Book

This was designed and is available as a printed book  2.1 metres long that accordion folds into 21 pages A6 size.  It is two-sided with the Men’s Book on one side and the Women’s Book on the other.

The Interesting Gender Book for Men

The Interesting Gender Book for Women

I teach inmates with Mental Health Problems in HMP Pentonville’s Daycare unit, which offers therapeutic activities such as Art and Music to those with often complex needs in addition to drug and alcohol addiction.
I showed a small group of mainly young men, ‘The really Interesting Gender Book’, reading initially from the male side. After the predictable silliness and giggling (re penis size comparisons etc) passed, genuine interest quickly evolved, illustrating the huge gaps in knowledge most of this group had re not just the physical facts of their own bodies but all the attendant political ones. Inevitably this led to some interesting discussions re gender issues and specific advice with regard to maintaining their own physical well being and understanding of their bodies. In fact they obviously were so impressed that both copies got stolen whilst my back was turned!
On turning to the female side of the book, the gaps in knowledge became even more glaringly obvious. That most men did not know the make up of the vagina, (some with more than 5 children, I hasten to add!) was incredible. Only 1 man identified that urine passed through the urethra and several men seemed confused as to the geography of the clitoris, (no surprises there girls..). When I posited the theory that an understanding of the female anatomy was essential to obtain and maintain a descent sex-life and thereby a functional relationship they were very interested. Many of them did not even know how the  menstrual cycle works having been in and out of prison so frequently as to have never spent long periods of co-habitation with a partner.
The aspects of the book dealing with the issues of gender inequity were a brilliant springboard for debate and education and provided me with the facts at hand to highlight the many injustices suffered by women from FGM to unequal pay. Most of which they had never even considered before.
Personally I think ‘The Really Interesting Gender Book’ should be required reading for all inmates and staff.
Well done on making what could be a dry and turgid book of facts into a pithy and succinct, (and aesthetically pleasing) little treasure trove of relevance.

Sam Miller

"I loved the 'Interesting Gender Book'. I thought it was a great mix of fact and provocative polemic.
 The clever and surprising format added to its charm and the reveal from male to female works really 
well. I enjoyed the quirky imagery, which teased the viewer. I felt that it opened subjects for 
contemplation that are often taboo, and I hope that it will spark many interesting conversations." 
Sarah Pletts

JA Gender book sm

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