Post-Binary Gender in SF: Introduction
Excellent and provocative article that is relevant to (my) everyone’s interests!
I want an end to the default of binary gender in science fiction stories.
What do I mean by “post-binary gender”? It’s a term that has already been used to mean multiple things, so I will set out my definition:
Post-binary gender in SF is the acknowledgement that gender is more complex than the Western cultural norm of two genders (female and male): that there are more genders than two, that gender can be fluid, that gender exists in many forms.
People who do not fit comfortably into the gender binary exist in our present, have existed in our past, and will exist in our futures. So too do people who are binary-gendered but are often ignored, such as trans* people who identify as binary-gendered. I am not interested in discussions about the existence of these gender identities: we might as well discuss the existence of women or men. Gender complexity exists. SF that presents a rigid, unquestioned gender binary is false and absurd.
I intend to use this column to examine post-binary SF texts, both positively and critically, as well as for discussions of points surrounding this subject.