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Professor Greenberg’s Book: Widespread Interest & Critical Acclaim

January 30, 2012

Professor Greenberg / Intersexuality

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Professor Julie Greenberg’s new book Intersexuality and the Law: Why Sex Matters  has attracted widespread interest and critical acclaim. Professor Greenberg has been invited to discuss her book  on February 3  at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute Book Series, on March 4 at the University of New Mexico Faculty Colloquium series, and on April 3 at the UC San Diego Osher Institute .  The American Constitution Society will feature the book on its ACS BookTalk Blog on February 1.

In Intersexuality and the Law, Professor Greenberg examines the role that legal institutions can play in protecting the rights of people with an intersex condition. She also explores the relationship between the intersex movement and other social justice movements that have effectively utilized legal strategies to challenge similar discriminatory practices. She discusses the feasibility of forming effective alliances and developing mutually beneficial legal arguments with feminists, LGBT organizations, and disability rights advocates to eradicate the discrimination suffered by these marginalized groups.

In a review of the book, Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and lead counsel for same-sex couples in the landmark California marriage equality case, wrote: “This volume solidifies Greenberg’s reputation as a thinker of uncommon clarity and, unquestionably, the leading legal scholar on intersex issues.  While other scholars have explored—and sometimes exploited—intersex identities to advance theoretical propositions about gender and sexuality, Greenberg is the first to examine how the emerging intersex movement might use the law to advance its own goals.  Based on her unparalleled knowledge of the nuances and internal debates among intersex advocates, Greenberg provides a richly detailed and masterful account of the legal issues affecting intersex people, enlivened by a keen appreciation of the tensions and potential conflicts between legal advocacy for intersex and transgender people. “

Executive Director of Advocates for Informed Choice (AIC), Anne Tamar-Mattis, reviewed the book and wrote: “This book is a much-needed summary of how the law is functioning (or not functioning) to protect a vulnerable group of citizens.  Julie Greenberg writes with sensitivity, addressing the legal issues face by intersex people as they struggle for full citizenship and equal protection. “

According to Ellen Feder, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion, at American University, and author of Family Bonds: Genealogies of Race and Gender: “Intersexuality and the Law is a careful, concise, and accessible analysis of legal issues that bear on the lives of those born with atypical sex anatomies, and an essential guide for those who choose gender reassignment as adults.  This will be an invaluable source not only for all those—children and adults with intersex conditions, transsexuals, and their advocates—who have a stake in these matters, but it will also be essential reading for those in the humanities and social sciences reckoning with the harms experienced by those whose bodies transgress sex and gender norms.  “

Professor Greenberg hopes that this book will educate people about the discrimination suffered by people with an intersex condition or DSD (difference of sex development) and will inspire legal institutions and other progressive social justice movements to begin to address these problems.