Lal: “I am gender neuter. Inadequate.”
Data: “That is why you must choose a gender, Lal, to complete your appearance.”
Oh, Star Trek, you are one of those shows that consistently disappoints me. This conversation from Star Trek: The Next Generation perfectly illustrates how our society tends to view gender in a strict gender binary. In the episode “The Offspring”, the robot Data creates his own android progeny named Lal. He decides to create Lal gender neutral, so that Lal can choose what gender to be. It seemed like a great idea, but it quickly turned problematic when Lal declared gender neutrality “inadequate” before promptly choosing a female gender. For people who don’t fit the gender binary, this statement is wildly offensive. The message seems to be if you aren’t male or female then you are… inadequate. How fucked up is that?!
I’ve decided to get this one over and done with early on because, quite frankly, outside fanfiction, I really want nothing more to do with Inheritance Cycle. It will only lead to disappointment. Now, I know some of you may be wondering why we’ve included Eragon on this list, since he’s very obviously in love with Arya and seems like someone who’s more or less heterosexual. Or at least I know many fans will be wondering why, before proceeding to get angry at all the following paragraphs. And I also know many of you haters probably knew exactly where this post was going the moment you read the title, but I should also remind everyone that Sexualized Saturdays is meant to explore people of all sexualities. That includes heterosexuality.
However, regardless of the relationship with Arya, many people came out of these books under the not-entirely-unfounded impression that Eragon represses his homosexuality. And again, this is something I disagree with and support. This all comes back to how to rate a story, and this problem wouldn’t be here if the author could show what he wanted, as opposed to telling and showing the opposite. If we go with how Paolini wanted Eragon to be, he’s straight. If we look at how he presents Eragon in the books, however, his sexuality becomes less clear.