Gender Lit final preparation.

1.     What are three things the inhabitants of Herland have given up to get their utopic society? Does the trade seem worth it to you? Defend your opinion.

One of the most noticeable sacrifice for the women of Herland is that they give up their own children. The women give birth to their children and subsequently give them up for another women to raise them.

Give up sexuality.

Give up individuality (weaker argument….try to find stronger.)

Not worth it to me.

2.     Give two examples of “preparation” for the gender binary.

Text cites Taylor Swift. Children’s novels.

3.     Why does Roy claim that he is not a homosexual? Do you agree with his argument? Why or why not?

Not homosexual because he has power. He says that homosexuals don’t have power.

In a strange way I agree with him, ONLY under the context of time. In the 80’s, the homosexual population truly didn’t have power. Dark time, didn’t have equal rights and were ignored when plagued with a deadly disease. BUT at the same time, he who vs what statement shows how thin the line between the two is.

4.     What does the word “queer” mean? Give two example of characters or ideas that would be considered queer.

Queer:  A unified community shared by dissent from dominant organization of gender and sex. (Lisa Duggen, 213).  “[A constructed] community no longer defined solely by the gender of its members’ sexual partners.” Queer is an easy way to describe the whole community that doesn’t fit in the gender binary and heteronormative lifestyles we’re all a part of.

Characters: Belize. He is very flamboyant, a cross dresser, etc.

The “five-sexes idea” or the idea of eliminating gender from the drivers license.

5.     What attributes of fiction make it useful for critiquing the gender binary? Give an example of science fiction from the class.

The freedom fiction allows.  Like in “Bloodchild” the sci fi that allows interspecies sex to demonstrate the idea of forced consent and power dynamics. Herland also assigns androgeny to its female characters. This world is somewhat believable and critiques the oppression and stereotypic binary that we’re in.

Ursula Le Guin: “Sci fi in the now. Trying to tell something about us in our time”

Different Theories and stories:

Judith Butler;

Gender can be individualist. Re-describe it. Performativity is unfixed, gender up to choice.

Octavia Butler “Bloodchild, MEN, Speech Sounds”:

Bloodchild: Coercive. Creepiness of sexual politics. Species flop.

Evening: Arguing we are predetermined.

Reproductive rights….choice. women’s choice specifically.

Forced Sterlization. AIDS? How was that dealt with.

Power dynamics in many of them. Women does seem to have a real grasp on power. In all the stories.


Sexuality is absent. Men are not there. Civilzation fell maybe from man’s hubris. Ends traditional love and marriage

Babies are given up.

Sexual violence: women protect themselves from sexual violence by men. Terry tries to rape one and disturbs the peace. That’ why there’s no sexuality, why it can’t be there. It is a society without harm and the threat cannot be there for harm.

“The Straight Mind”

Witting is very polemic. She disregards all other thoughts and ideas.

Angles in America:

Reagan-era. Dystopic heaven Perestroika: fall of USSR.

Gender Stories

Revision: Critique and try to revise binary

Rewrite: Critique and try to rewrite binary

Reinscription: looks like question binary, but doesn’t. Acts critical, but doesn’t help. 


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