Although sexuality has evolved into a subject that has become more comfortable to talk about in modern day society, it is still far from being completely unraveled. Thus, I genuinely appreciate the casual manner sexuality is integrated into the world Jemisin creates. It’s a breath of fresh air to see sexuality so freely and for the most part, uninhibited. Jemisin has a skill of incorporating sexuality into the character’s arcs that expresses their passion without making it overly crude or vulgar. I find in mainstream media, artists have difficulty including a love scene to further the plot versus putting one in for the sake of nudity in the piece.
Jemisin can be seen utilizing sexuality throughout the book with the characters like Alabaster in “The Fifth Season.” For instance, in Chapter 16, Alabaster casually mentions his homosexuality to Syenite as he recalls a painful memory with a Guardian. Before coming across this part, I did not realize the easygoing attitude most have towards sexuality in the Stillness. But I also was shocked that I am almost incapable of imagining a world with such unrestricted sexuality – fictional or not. It is strange to imagine a world without such “boundaries” and societal expectations to follow. In addition, I was surprised to learn that Tonkee was transgender, especially since Jemisin easily weaved it in, and did not make it a shattering statement.
It is interesting to me to see the intensity of class and racial discrimination in the book, but there’s a separate tone that’s used to differentiate between the sexes and genders. I think this connects to intersectionality and the overarching role that social injustice plays in “The Fifth Season.” Although there are definitely separate assigned spheres for men and women in the novel, intersectionality is not as present as it is in reality. After discussion in class, it has become apparent that the entirety of the novel is one big allegory for slavery and the discriminatory systems that exist in today’s world.