The Haunting of Misgendering

It’s been over a week since we finished our discussions on Lillith’s Brood, however, our conversations related to gender are still prevalent in my mind. Similarly to Kevin, I found myself thinking of the role of the ooloi and how even now, we still struggle with giving it the wrong pronoun. After a great class discussion last Monday, I began to realize that I have learned more about the ooloi and its gender, through it’s role as a parent.

When Jodahs says that it grew up believing it was male but now realizing he has a choice in becoming ooloi, it knows what it is that it wants to be. When Jodahs goes through its second metamorphosis, everyone gets upset with Nikanj for allowing this to happen and I start to realize that gender is not only a choice within the individual but in this universe that Butler creates for us, it is also a responsibility for the parent. This makes me think more about the role of gender in our society, and how one might assume that a person who is not cis or heterosexual must have had something “wrong” with them during their childhood. Even as I type this, I find myself having to go back and correct all the “he” pronouns to “it” and it’s showing me that I have been socialized to think in the binary even after constant self-correction. I’m thankful for Butler who was so ahead of her time for constantly haunting me with these thoughts and forcing me to be uncomfortable with misgendering someone.

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