Author: Claire G Coleman
In: Kindred (Michael Earp)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Gender, LGBTQI
Dates read: 22nd May 2020
Format: Short story
Publisher: Walker Books
5th sentence, 74th page: No school could teach me what I needed to learn.
In a world of no gender identity, what will happen when one girl figures out that she’s a she, not a they?
I’ve read a novel by Coleman not long ago. And what struck me most about her writing was the fact that she was able to take issues which are constantly occurring in our daily lives, flip them on our head and make you see things from a totally different perspective. The fact that she did that in this short story, all based around gender, made me literally clap my hands in joy.
I love that this is a world in which there is NO gender. It drives towards this idea that we have – that gender completely defines who we are. And that there are only two options; male or female. I may identify as a woman myself, but I don’t think that that completely defines me. Completely removing all identifications of gender throughout this story was a great stroke of brilliance. It made you think a little bit more about what makes a person a person, rather than how gender makes a person…
The other thing that removing all gender in this world did was remind us what prejudice against those who don’t fit into our schemes does. Instead of being attacked and hunted because the characters don’t fit a binary gender – they become attacked and hunted because they do. We’d like to think that this doesn’t happen anymore in today’s society. But that most certainly isn’t the case and this was a great reminder of that.