OT feminisms

Charles Butler hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk
Fri Mar 12 16:03:02 EST 2004

> And I can't resist putting my two [<surveys length of post> or perhaps
> slightly more] penn'orth in, because, I suppose, I think that gender is a
> dimension of *being* a person: that's why it's very difficult and takes a
> conscious effort and a great deal of resistance to write a character
> *without* a gender (I don't think, f'rex, that Ursula K LeGuin quite
> manages it in The Left Hand Of Darkness). That is, being "a person first"
> doesn't mean you're not gendered.

Isn't there a practical distinction, though, between the acknowledged
impossibility of conceiving of oneself in terms that are wholly free of
gender assumptions - built-in as they are to our language, etc - and the
near-as-dammit successful attempt not to prejudge people's personalities and
capabilities in advance according to their sex? Gender ideas are pervasive,
but one of the things I value about DWJ is her refusal to let them swamp
other things about people that are just as real and important.

I'm not sure if I'm disagreeing with you or not, because this is more or
less what (I think) you go on to say in the rest of your post!


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