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A Guide to Gender

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A Guide to Gender

The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook

Impetus Books,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Gender is more complex than checking off a box labeled “man” or “woman.” Prepare to go down the rabbit hole.

Editorial Rating



  • Overview
  • For Beginners
  • Hot Topic


If you’re struggling to keep up with current labels, language and issues related to gender, Sam Killerman – social justice educator and comedian – offers a light-hearted introduction. Packed with cheesy jokes and cutesy cartoons, his style isn’t for everyone, and seasoned activists may bristle at his hyper-apologetic approach. By the end of this book, you will not only know the difference between “androsexual” and “pansexual,” but – more importantly – understand how to promote justice for all. The climate around gender changes fast, so consider this 2017 edition just a start to your research, which should also include works by LGBTQ people for a richer perspective.


Gender justice promotes equity for everyone. 

Society gives some groups more access to “wealth, education and happiness” than others. Even if the fight for total equity is futile, every small step makes life fairer and easier for marginalized people. Social justice educator Sheri Schmidt’s cycle of oppression describes a process where:

  • People notice another’s difference.
  • Their minds jump to stereotypes.
  • Prejudice emerges.
  • A person in power discriminates against someone.
  • Society also discriminates against that group.

Oppressed people may also get stuck believing negative ideas about themselves because the beliefs are so ingrained. Counter assumptions and resulting oppression using humor and solid information. Begin by using gender-inclusive words like the singular “they” to describe an individual.

Default to the Platinum Rule: Treat people the way they want to be treated.

The Platinum Rule says, “Do unto others as they would have done unto them.” Everyone has different needs, so don’t assume that an individual wants the same treatment as you...

About the Author

Sam Killermann is the co-creator of The Safe Zone Project, a free online resource for LGBTQ and ally training materials. He’s also the creator of the comedy show and website “It’s Pronounced Metrosexual.”

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