by Kate Bornstein

prompt 48: published in the 20th century

It was quite interesting reading a book about gender that was written so long ago. Language has changed and t hear words used then but no longer considered appropriate, fair or desirable was odd. There were moments when I felt ‘aha’ there were also moments when I squinted my eyes and thought ‘really?’
I am cishet though so I don’t think I have a right to comment on her use of language and concepts – I just felt uncomfortable with some of her phrases, ideas and beliefs in a way that I don’t with the concepts for gender now. I don’t think I will ever be able to hear the word ‘tranny’ and not cringe for the 90’s.
I just found it dd that while she was speaking of the huge range of gender possibilities she also seemed to be categorising people quite strictly. ‘We do this’, ‘they do that’ etc. I struggle with the idea of anyone saying that any group, even if they belong to it, is one thing or another.
So yeah – interesting but problematic in 2020 the way it probably was not in the ’90s. And this is something the early gender warriors face all the time too – the way they fought is no longer deemed appropriate – but without their fight, the present would not exist.
So I do not want to bash Bornstein but rather used this text as a way to see how much the language has changed, but sadly, often, not the attitudes of individuals.
Let’s hope that anything written now seems as odd in 20 or 30 years as this does now – because society has grown up and moved on from its obsession with gender and the rules it imposes based on some binary bs.