What makes the textual image of a woman with a penis so compelling, malleable, and persistent? The phallic woman can be a ribald joke, a fantastical impossibility, a masculine usurper, an ultimately unthreatening sexual style, an interrogation into the I of the author, or an examination of female culpability. Every Inch a Woman takes note of a proliferation of phallic feminine figures in disparate North American and European texts from the end of the nineteenth century onward. Carellin Brooks traces this phallic-woman motif backward to the sexological case study, and forward to newspaper accounts of testosterone-taking third-sexers. Brooks examines both high and low literature, pornography, postmodern theory, and writing.
Carellin Brooks was a Rhodes Scholar and holds a Master’s in English literature from Oxford University. She is the editor of Bad Jobs and co-editor of Carnal Nation.
And you thought all academic books were dull? ... [a] penetrating study of gender-bending penetration.