Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by: Janet Mock
Janet Mock the author of this book was born with the anatomical parts of a male, however from as early as she can remember she always felt like a girl. She remembers her early years when things were good. Her father was in the military and her mother was a Hawaiian native. She was an older “brother,” but found that she was not interested in the same as her younger brother. Her younger brother always knew that his older brother was not the same as the rest of the boys. She enjoyed being in the kitchen learning the “ways of the women” and catching up with gossip.
Much like many teenagers in America, Janet Mock came from a broken home, first living with her dad. He was supportive and worked on cars, taking pride in one specific car even though it was not his own. Through telling her tale of abuse in school and being bullied for being a “sissy,” to telling of her father’s crack addiction, Miss Mock pulls us through a true journey of self discovery. She is starting on a path that she realizes she will be journeying on alone.
One day, after coming in from school, she finds her father sitting in the boys room that they all shared together, smoking. At first, she thinks he is smoking his Newport cigarettes in their room, but as her father turns around he is holding a clear pipe and calls her younger brother into the bedroom to make them watch him smoke crack. As both children leave disillusioned, Miss Mock decides to move back to her mother’s house in search of any semblance of family and belonging,
For me, what all she had to do to become the woman she is today in awe inspiring. While she does use a lot of gendered separation terms, at the root of all of her arguments is neither color, race, religion or sexual preference. I believe that Miss Mock tried through her painful journey to remind us that in the end we are all human and that while we are all here, we should be free to choose who and how we love.
Her journey, all of her ways she had to get there from working, separating herself from societal norms and all the consequences and negative stigmatisms that came with being a trans woman made her all the more respectable and more ladylike than most women are today. It’s hard to review all of the things that made her who she was, abuse and neglect, prostitute and shamed, to bold and beautiful, this is a novel that will change you and show you just how alike we all are.
I have rated this book a 4 out of 5 in the review category and recommend it to anyone who is just generally trying to be a better person. Now stand up, hug the nearest stranger (unless they look like they have cooties, then don’t hug, just back away,) and offer to buy their coffee. We only have one chance at this life people. Let’s all get out there and help one another enjoy it! Put yourself in the “NO JUDGEMENT ZONE,” before we start making people, instead of dogs, wear the “cone of shame!”
Until we meet again in the next review, be kind to one another. We only have one life, live it to its fullest!
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