A review by plantonic_friendships
I'm Afraid of Men, by Vivek Shraya


I would give it a lower rating but I respect Shraya's experiences and feelings regarding them. I, too, have bouts where I hate and am terrified of men and women; of people. And tend to use absolutist terms and sentiments towards and about them.

But I disagreed with much of her analyses and commentary. Women were thrown under the bus quite a bit in this book, as if women aren't dealing with a lot of what they experienced. As if she isn't a woman herself - trans or otherwise.

Female/femininity was used interchangeably and applied to so many things that they shouldn't have been applied to.

This felt like a rather archaic perspective on gender - it was so binary. I researched her midway and I realized she's 41 and, yeah, likely a bit older and out of touch with current sex/gender discourse. Shraya was rather self-centered throughout and we get a lot of her opinions and POV which, at times, felt very one-sided or lacking context.

That said, I do like the fact that she talked about the male/masc things she's carried into her existence as a woman. This is an important topic that should be discussed more in-depth. There needs to be more acknowledgement to the differences between cis and trans women. Yes, both are women, but both have vastly different lives, especially as children. And when people transition later in life, there are tendencies acquired that are carried over. Which with MTF, involves a lot of toxic masculinity.