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gold inkys - ida on feminism

As I am a shadow judge for the inky awards, I thought I’d better start posting about the books from the inkys that I’ve already read. The first book I read from the Gold Inky Award longlist was Ida by Alison Evans – so I’m doing a feminist review on it!

WARNING – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS

This should be interesting, as I haven’t yet done a feminist review on a book with characters with more than two genders. So just to clarify, the definition of feminism is equality between ALL genders. This includes genderqueer, genderfluid, etc. Cool. Let’s get started!

Ida explores the life of a girl who thinks she can travel through time, when in reality she is traveling through alternate universes. In terms of discrimination, Evans focuses more on the fact that she is discriminated against because she is Asian, and fat, than that she is female, and there’s not really much of a storyline I can explore in terms of equality and feminism there, as she is treated pretty equally compared to some of the other characters in the book. There is no plot-line about whether she makes less at the company she works for than the men, so it is assumed that those troubles aren’t paramount in her life.

Daisy, on the other hand. There’s an underlying storyline about how Daisy (Ida’s partner) doesn’t enjoy staying at home, and the assumption is made (through dialogue and things left unsaid) that Daisy’s parents don’t accept their genderqueer identity, treat/see them as a female, and are unhappy about Daisy’s relationship with Ida, a woman. None of this is said outright, just inferred, which is a great representation of the response of today’s society to LGBT+ people.

Through Daisy’s (and Frank’s, and Ida’s) storyline, Evans is talking about intersectional and inclusive feminism – feminism that not only advocates for equal rights for all genders, but also understanding how people experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity, when things like race and orientation play into it, and advocating for rights for everyone, which is some really great discourse and something I’d love to see more of in books.

Alison has stated, “Seeing the ways growing up within a gender binary seems to hurt everyone, not just trans people but cis people as well. We’re supposed to fit these roles and when we don’t, we’re punished. No one should be expected to do anything just because of the sex they were assigned with at birth, and everyone should have the same opportunities”, which you can see in their writing and inclusive array of characters (and is a great feminist stance!!! more snaps for Alison). While science fiction is the main storyline in this book, I would say that feminism and acceptance is definitely the underlying plot line, and it provides an intelligent critique of modern society and feminism that isn’t intersectional.

This was a pretty short review, as the issues that are discussed in this book are more LGBT+ and race oriented than feminist, so I’m going to do another, general review on one of my other blogs soon.

-xox

8 comments

bookwithbane

What do you have to say to scientists who accept gender identities(transgenderism), but say it is scientifically impossible for someone to be gender-fluid/non-binary, as scientifically you cannot be neither, or both. Also I don't mean this to be offensive, I'm just curious, but do people say they are genderqueer because they believe they are another gender, or because they think they don't fit into their gender stereotype and fit into another.(For example, a girl who is really into AFL and wrestling and wear shorts and stuff all the time. Wears typical male clothes and does everything a stereotypical red-blooded male would do. So they say they are male. Of course I'm not saying there aren't people who genuinely believe that they are another gender)

23rd May, 18
serendepity

Hmm. Well, first of all those scientists seem a bit confused between gender and sex. You're assigned a sex at birth (male or female), but gender is what you choose to identify and express as (boy/girl/neither/both etc). So since gender has nothing to do with what's in my genes or my jeans, it is completely possible for someone to be gender-fluid/non-binary.
With the other question, genderqueer people don't identify as their gender because of gender stereotypes like you described. Just because I don't fit the stereotype of a female (feminine, domestic, submissive, quiet), doesn't mean I identify as anything but a girl. They identify as that because they don't fit the gender binary of male or female.
Hope that answered your questions - and just a tip, make sure you know the best language to use when talking about LGBT+ issues :)

23rd May, 18
bookwithbane

In reply to serendepity

What do you have to say to scientists who except gender identities(transgenderism), but say it is scientifically impossible for someone to be gender-fluid/non-binary, as scientifically you cannot be neither, or both.

I said the above. I was talking about gender, not sex, which I know the difference between. They still say it's scientifically impossible to be both, or neither genders. So they're saying you could say, "I identify as girl/boy" when they're boy/girl, but it isn't logical to say "I identify as neither/both". I don't have a clear opinion. It's all a grey area for me. I consider myself an ally though

23rd May, 18
serendepity

In reply to bookwithbane

Okay, glad you cleared it up. I've actually never heard any research say its scientifically impossible to be both genders or neither. I think that neither/both aren't the best terms to describe them. I technically agree that you can't be both on the gender binary, but you can be neither so I would say that the best answer is that gender is a spectrum, which means as there aren't just two genders someone can technically be anything they like - male & female aren't the only options to choose from.

23rd May, 18
bookwithbane

In reply to serendepity

It's a bit befuddling for me... Oh well. It's definitely a spectrum, albeit one with a heap of people heaped at either end and a few inbetween

23rd May, 18
serendepity

In reply to bookwithbane

Yeah. It's much harder to learn about issues when only a small percentage of the population has them. :(

23rd May, 18
bookwithbane

In reply to serendepity

Here's a video where the issue is mentioned https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5mlNZ6J7Ck. I fully agree with them, but I would be lying if I said I was completely sure they were wrong

23rd May, 18
serendepity

In reply to bookwithbane

Personally, most of the things she said I didn't agree with so here's a video I do agree with: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wjs3MZiTkMM

24th May, 18