Trans-formation Tuesday: Woman on the Edge of Time
Updated: Feb 23, 2019
Each Tuesday, I will be posting about favorable depictions of gender expansive and/or transgender persons in media. As a non-binary person, I love seeing my community living proudly and with dignity. Having that represented in media is critical to increased awareness and respect.
Today's focus: Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time.
Published in 1976, Piercy uses the gender neutral pronoun per when referring to all characters within the protagonist's visions of the future. And that future is EVERYTHING!!! Queerness, gender diversity, racial diversity, polyamory, communal living, co-mothers. It pushes the boundaries on everything considered conventional. And did I mention it was published in the 70s?
I would love to live in the future Piercy depicted. I can get down with per all day.
To be completely trans-parent (ehehehe), this book was hard for me to get through. When the protagonist isn't in the future, her present day is heavy. Piercy writes about mental health treatment in the 70s, as the protagonist is repeatedly hospitalized for psychosis. She is subjected to incredibly invalidating and invasive care and it reminds me too much of the insensitive treatment I know people receive at psychiatric facilities today.
Overall, I highly recommend Woman on the Edge of Time for its intersectional approach to the future. I found Piercy's depiction of gender rich, complex, and downright sexy. Just be forewarned that in between those sensational snapshots of the future, there's a lot of heavy reality.