Study Guide

The Female Man What's Up With the Title?

By Joanna Russ

What's Up With the Title?

The Female Man's title is our biggest clue that this book is about Joanna, first and foremost: after all, she's the one who tells us about the time she turned into a "female man." Like the book itself, this moniker points us toward some pretty heavy questions, like: what defines femininity, and what defines masculinity? If a woman wants to get respect in a man's world, does she have to turn into a man herself? If she does turn into a man, is she taking feminism forward, or moving it two steps back? Can the word "man" really stand for all of humanity?