Jean Halley

Seeing Straight: An Introduction to Gender and Sexual Privilege

This book introduces readers to key concepts in gender and sexuality studies through the lens of privilege and power. After an accessible overview, the book asks readers to examine the privilege inherent in approaching heterosexual and cisgender identities as “normal,” as well as the problems of treating queer gender and sexuality as “abnormal.” Compelling real-life examples illustrate theory and empirical research, revealing phenomena that shape not only students’ own lives but also their communities, their country, and the field of gender studies itself. The book addresses tough topics like hate, violence, and privilege, and it also considers institutionalized heteronormativity through the military, law, religion, and more. The book ends with a chapter called “It’s Getting Better” that presents evidence for queer hope and courage. Filled with compelling true stories, this book is an ideal introduction to gender and sexuality that encourages readers to question their own assumptions.

Selected Works

Feminism; Queer Studies
“A beautifully written handbook on understanding how systems of power and privilege warp, cloud, and distort human sexual and gender experience. I think the concluding section will save many lives, as the authors offer realistic hopes based on existing social progress.”
–Peggy McIntosh
Memoir; Social History
“This book is a tour de force, a magnificent performance in its own right.”
–Norman K. Denzin
Social Science; Critical Race Theory
Seeing White engagingly makes whiteness into a problem – one needing to be investigated in all its human and inhumane dimensions.”
–David Roediger
Sociology; Family Studies
“Brilliantly conceived… Boundaries of Touch offers readers a rare opportunity to rethink their ‘common knowledge’ about child rearing.”
–Stuart Ewen
Social Theory
"The essays in this volume are evidence of what Patricia Clough identifies as an affective turn in the humanities and social sciences." 
–Michael Hardt