Toward the whole Ender-Neo-masculinity thing

May 14, 2009

My super-geeky cousin Roya is threatening to flip her shit has probably flipped her shit twice and is threatening to flip it a third time if I don’t acknowledge her attempt to claim the 10-point Ender/Neo Prize.

One week ago TODAY I threw down the digitized guantlet, offering 10 points to anyone who could explain why Ender and Neo both represent “kwisatz haderach-like fusion[s] of masculine and feminine.”

Here’s Roya’s entry:

Well, they are both isolated, messianic figures who fight an enemy through a computer-generated program. Their very names describe the actions that allow them to pass from one part of their life to the next, so in that sense they are transformative figures that represent our attempt to find freedom from the tyranny that is in all of our lives. Do I earn the 10 points, or have I missed the point?

The prize remains unclaimed. Roya: We were looking for a psychoanalytic explanation, not an existentialist one. I’m very pleased at the attempt, however. 10 points to you for taking my bait. Let it never be said I don’t reward a loyal Fistling.

I’m raising the prize to 15 points. The question will now be stated as follows:

  • In what way can we adapt Evelyn Fox Keller’s gender-oriented take on object relations theory to explain the drive toward a new masculine ideal, as modeled in Ender’s Game, The Matrix and Frank Herbert’s Dune?

Hint?: There may or may not be a spoon that takes a gendered pronoun in Spanish.

Now, I may or may not have drank so much coffee this morning that I am making the kitchen table shake, so I may or may not go take a walk.

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2 Responses to “Toward the whole Ender-Neo-masculinity thing”

  1. JCL Says:

    the fact im taking your blog so seriously is surely a sign my self assigned vacation should really be over. of course, i’m on vacay with boys while Mags goes into phD mode so it may not be as ‘self assigned’ as I’d like to think.

    aka: im on housewife duty and blogs are the new oprah… at least when oprah’s not on.

    that said, im looking into your Fox Keller/Neo-Ender-Dune critique trying to make some sense of what you’re after. Haven’t read Ender’s Game, but get the gist. The Matrix and Dune, however I do have a few opinions about.

    (I may not actually be high enough to get into this, but…)

    Are you saying that Neo, Paul Atreides, & ender are all fusions of masculine/ feminine or in some way post-gender characters? i disagree, but wanna hear what ya think.

    James

  2. JR Minkel Says:

    It’s one step more meta than that. “Drive toward” refers to the authors of the works. Why would Orson Scott Card, Frank Herbert and the Wachowskis be so concerned with reconciling masculine and feminine, reason and emotion, object and subject? What is it about the male condition that would lead them to be so preoccupied with such a reconciliation, and why would a male audience eat it up? And is it really a male thing, or is it a masculine thing? Keller is spelling out a framework for answering those kinds of questions.


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