Joanna Russ’ The Female Man incorporates a wide range of sociological issues such as the necessity of differentiating between sex and gender, women’s position within societies, gender construction, patriarchal impositions on women and men, the transitivity of gender categories, performativity in gender, and so on. These problematic cases, however, are considered in a different and effective way since they are blended with Freud’s and Todorov’s ideas of the uncanny and the fantastic. Through the employment of these theories, Russ endeavours to present alternative lives to her readers. Moreover, she also benefits from Butler’s theory of performativity of gender in order to underscore the necessity of differentiating between gender and sex; by doing so, she explicitly highlights how slippery gender categories are and how important it is to understand that woman is a social construction, which is and has always been open to any type of change depending on the conditions of societies in terms of their structures and cultures, whereas female is a biological and physiological entity which is not possible to be changed except for a series of surgeries nowadays.
Keywords: Second wave feminism, gender construction, performativity theory, patriarchy.