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  • The Gender Games

  • The problem with men and women, from someone who has been both
  • By: Juno Dawson
  • Narrated by: Juno Dawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Categories: LGBTQ+, LGBTQ+ Studies
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (273 ratings)

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Summary

Winner of the UK Black Pride Literary Prize for Non-Fiction Diva Awards 2017.

As seen on Transformation Street

'It's a boy!' or 'It's a girl!' are the first words almost all of us hear when we enter the world. Before our names, before we have likes and dislikes - before we, or anyone else, has any idea who we are. And two years ago, as Juno Dawson went to tell her mother she was (and actually, always had been) a woman, she started to realise just how wrong we've been getting it.

Gender isn't just screwing over trans people, it's messing with everyone. From little girls who think they can't be doctors to teenagers who come to expect street harassment. From exclusionist feminists to 'alt-right' young men. From men who can't cry to the women who think they shouldn't. As her body gets in line with her mind, Juno tells not only her own story, but the story of everyone who is shaped by society's expectations of gender - and what we can do about it. 

Featuring insights from well-known gender, feminist and trans activists including Rebecca Root, Laura Bates, Gemma Cairney, Anthony Anaxagorou, Hannah Witton, Alaska Thunderfuck and many more, The Gender Games is a frank, witty and powerful manifesto for a world in which everyone can truly be themselves.

The Gender Games has been optioned by SunnyMarch Productions to be turned into an original television series, written by Rose Lewenstein.

©2017 Juno Dawson (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"Opens minds, breaks down myths and vaporises prejudice - I loved it!" (Rebecca Root, star of Boy Meets Girl)

"Funny, thoughtful and honest...I read most of it on the train and had to stifle laughs every few pages." (Stylist) 

What listeners say about The Gender Games

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hilarious and informative

This is a fantastic listen. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in gender. It's written with a great understanding of how gender effects people everyday; making you question the world around you. The writing is hilarious and entertaining throughout.

6 people found this helpful

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Great, a must experience.

I always find autobiographical books difficult to review as I don't feel that I have the right to decide how good someone else's life is or has been so I always rate them based on how much I enjoyed the book and how thought provoking I found it and this was beyond thought provoking.

Having never read anything by or known much about Juno before I decided that I was going to read this I wasn't sure what to expect. She took us through her life up until the book was published, her ongoing transition from male to female and talked about gender roles, stereotypes, expectations and discrimination and how the socially constructed idea of gender is stifling everyone regardless of sexuality or gender identity.

It's definitely given me a lot to think about, especially in regards to the things that we accept as "the norm" that really shouldn't be as well as where I fit into the world and how, despite being humans every minority group within society has their own set of issues, many that the average white, cisgendered, straight man doesn't even have to worry about.

This is a book for everyone.

4 people found this helpful

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  • dc
  • 17-05-18

An amazing insight into her life

this book challenged my views on what societal constructs we all live our lives within...what is gender, is it just a construct... certainly challenged my thinking about what isidentity and how it is built on how other percieve us and how we perceive ourselves...and she delivers it with a sense of humour...this book will challenge everyone and widen their view...

2 people found this helpful

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Tedious, self obsessed, contradictory

I have tried several times to plough through this book, but have given up now. It is supposed to be about what it is like to be transgender, but tells you almost nothing about that. It is more a very confused, but very opinionated person trying to tell you that gender stereotypes are invented by society, and a very unhealthy thing which should be ignored, then then contradicting themselves totally by saying they prefer things which are associated with the female gender, but have to become a transwoman to be feminine, which totally contradicts everything they say about not being dictated to by gender stereotypes.

There are one or two thought provoking points, although some fundamental errors too. but in general, its just someone with a chip on their shoulder venting their spleen, in a fairly incoherent way. There is a very artificial, self conscious attempt to use language that sounds "down-with-the-kids" which is quite cringy.

The writer appears totally obsessed with media, and seems to have been watching hours of television daily for decades., constantly referring to various "celebs" - like big brother contestants, etc. If you haven't watched so much TV, you are really not going to have a clue what they are talking about.

The narrator is toneless and mechanical sounding, and gives the impression of a robot that is trying to follow instructions on how to be animated.

This is a pointless book with little or no actual content. I've given up on it .

1 person found this helpful

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Great, give it a go!

I didn’t really know what to expect, but was very pleased with the result. Juno weaves together personal story and lessons in gender/sex/sexuality with ease. I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite not knowing much about her at all prior to listening.

1 person found this helpful

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Great overview, authentic voice

Really enjoyed Juno's comprehensive overview of gender intertwined with her personal journey, including her touches of humour. Authentic and compassionate, even about those with whom she disagrees.

1 person found this helpful

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A powerful journey through gender identity

I will definitely be purchasing other books by Juno. As someone who has struggled with gender identity this book was relatable, funny and moving. Her wit and charm is apparent in every sentence. Fantastic book!

1 person found this helpful

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Genderingly Fanastic

If you could sum up The Gender Games in three words, what would they be?

Accurate, considered, entertaining.

What other book might you compare The Gender Games to, and why?

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig.

Which character – as performed by Juno Dawson – was your favourite?

Herself.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Learn something, idiots.

Any additional comments?

As a trans man, I am naturally "skeptical" about things that are bound to talk about my life and identity. I have been a Juno Dawson fan for the past four or so years and I am so happy to see that she has done us proud. Nothing was glossed over, everything considered and a really well-balanced exploration of the one phenomenon we all blindly allow to govern our lives: gender. Well done and thank you.

1 person found this helpful

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Mindless

Incredibly superficial. Should have something meaningful to say about gender, but I found this so basic and badly written, I'd learn more and be more stimulated by a 5- year old. I got 2/3 of the way through and, though I can't remember the last time I had to do this with a book, I gave up on it.

5 people found this helpful

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Brilliant, heartwarming and eye opening

I loved this book so much. Juno shares her life experience in such an open, personal and funny way. She’s a fantastic writer so it’s a great story and as an additional bonus you get to learn lots about the experiences a trans person might have and get a chance to become a more authentic ally if you’re a cis person or even just less prejudiced as a first step. Thanks for your honesty and openness Juno!