Amateur: a true story about what makes a man

20 April 2019

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Thomas Page McBee is in training for a fight, a white collar charity boxing match in Madison Square Garden. If is goes ahead he will be the first trans man to ever fight there.

But this book is about more than just a boxing match. Instead McBee is interested in maleness, and masculinity. In the way society sees and constructs gender. How “being a man” damages men as well as rewarding them.

It’s an interesting book, and looks at some interesting ideas, and all in an easy to read manner.

Most of the issues raised in it are not exactly new, but at the same time they aren’t old ground, and it is McBee’s personal story as well, which gives it a fresh feel.

Gender and trans issues are of course part of this story, and an essential part, but this is also a wider look at society and how we function, or don’t. How society shapes people, and people then strength that society if they never examine their own reactions and reasons. Children are never raised in isolation from culture, and although biology has a role to play so too does society. If we want society to change we need to realise that and try to make the next generation better by recognising problems within our own.

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