Saturday, January 03, 2009

I'm reading a Charles Stross novel, and just ran across a scene that my brain just wouldn't parse until I got to the end and then read it through again. It's a discussion between the narrator, a nurse, and a cop. They all have clearly different agendas and are otherwise were easy to distinguish, but when it got down to pronouns, my brain sort of gacked. My problem was that my brain read cop and thought "male" and read nurse and thought "female" even though the text clearly said that the cop was a woman and the nurse was a man.

I like Stross quite a bit, and one of my favorite things about him is his willingness to mess with expectations, especially when it comes to gender. This is a tiny scene in a light comedic novel, but he managed to use it to remind me of my own sexism.


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