Our discussion in class today lead to the topic of gender and sexuality in Black Hole. From the very beginning, in ‘Biology 101’, we are exposed to the gender roles in society. Being called ‘pussy’ and other female derogatory terms reminds us of the common notion of females being inferior. Furthermore, Keith feels as though he should be tough during the dissection simply because he is a man. In our discussion today, we established that many characters look alike. The genders of the characters are often indistinguishable simply through their physical appearance. Names are also used interchangeably between males and females (such as Chris). Due to the time period in which it took place, the 70s, it is clear that the surrounding society greatly impacted the mixed gender outcome. The following article discusses androgyny and its relationship with characteristics of an individual
“Research studies have shown associations between androgyny and a wide range of positive outcomes such as self-esteem, satisfaction with life, marital satisfaction, subjective feelings of well-being, ego identity, parental effectiveness, perceived competence, achievement motivation, cognitive complexity when evaluating careers, cognitive flexibility, and behavioral flexibility.”
It is interesting to think about this in terms of the characters in Black Hole. The theme of individuality and conformity plays a role in what the article states. The positive outcomes of ‘self-esteem’, ‘subjective feelings of well-being’ and other features can be seen as enforcing individualism. Chris displays this behavior by going for a swim despite the fact that no other girls are going. On the other hand, however, most characters that are infected with “the bug” do not seem to be “satisfied with life” at all, thus they indulge in bad habits. Even though the article does not reflect the characters behavior very accurately, it is interesting because it gives some context to the time period.