chapter  4
Transsexual surgery: a novel reminder and a navel remainder
Pages 11

On the cover of Gherovici’s Please Select Your Gender (2010), we see a slender figure dressed in feminine clothes standing in front of a toilet, legs slightly spread, as if ready to urinate. The woman (or man?) stands facing away from us, with hair tied up in pigtails in the fashion of little girls, and wearing high-heeled boots. Readers are pressed to articulate what they are seeing. Is this a man or a woman, a transsexual or a transvestite? We may look at the cover over and over and over, but we cannot walk away with a sure answer. What then renders this figure so indeterminant? Does the ambiguity reside in our ideas of what gender should be, or in the figure’s actions? Gherovici’s book cover suggests that language and the body do not get along. Knowledge, all at once, settles and destroys meanings.