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    The Boston Brahmina is
    a copy editor, writer, and
    avid baker who blogs about media, politics, feminism,
    and dessert.

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    BostonBrahmina [at] gmail [dot] com

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It’s easier to see the movie without your head up your ass

What is up with this Salon review of XXY? From what I can tell, the movie’s basically the coming-of-age story of a 15-year-old intersexed girl, which deals with some of her more unusual challenges without allowing them to overwhelm the basic humanity of the story. Assuredly, many people who review the movie aren’t going to be totally comfortable with its subject matter, but the reviews I skimmed at Rotten Tomatoes didn’t seem to have a problem with using feminine pronouns for the protagonist, Alex, or referring to her as intersex. Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir, though, apparently wants you to know that ambiguous gender identities are Just Not Right.

Maybe this film’s international success has something to do with its sensational gender-theory subject matter — the central character is an “intersex” teenager, not exactly a girl or a boy […] Speaking personally, I was afraid that “XXY” might be one of those dogmatic, confrontational lecture-demonstrations in the mode of late-’80s “queer cinema.” Instead, it’s a nifty little Gothic fable of loneliness that would be plenty compelling even if young Alex (Inés Efron) knew what sex s/he was. […]
When Alex’s father finds her and Alvaro sharing a startling private moment, he clearly undergoes a private crisis about his daughter’s (or son’s) identity and future.

The “The Gender Binary Was Good Enough for My Grandpappy and It’s Good Enough for Me” Checklist:
Stubborn refusal to refer to Alex by her chosen pronouns? Check.
Scare quotes around the word intersex? Check.
Transphobic “I guess it’s OK as long as you don’t proselytize” sentiment? Check.



3 Responses

  1. never seen a movie about someone, intersex, will this be available nationwide?


  2. Queerunity, I think it depends on where you are. It seems to have officially been released earlier this month, but I can only find one theater in Boston showing it and that won’t start until later this week. Here’s the movie’s official website, and you can always plug your zip code into Fandango and see if it’s playing near you. I hope you find a local showtime!

  3. I am writing on behalf of the Organisation Intersex International to add a link to OII, the largest grassroots intersex organisation in the world. ISNA is now defunct.

    Our link is


    Kind regards,
    Curtis E. Hinkle
    Founder, Organisation Intersex International

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