Patterns: Throughout the novel there is a rejection of the belief that there could be a third gender. Most characters believe that Nikanj takes on the “male” sex even though he is of no gender.
Example 1: “Yeah, I know. But doesn’t yours (Nikanj) seem male to you?” (89)
Paul Titus’s reaction to the Ooloi, Nikanj.
Example 2: “I don’t want him (_Nikanj)_ here again” (170)
In this passage, Joseph is angry because he wants to only be intimate with Lilith yet Nikanj is always involved. His emotions portray jealousy and homophobia due to his belief that Nikanj is pleasuring him and is also a male.
Example 3: “He’s (Curt) not in control even of what his own body does and feels. He’s taken like a woman and… No don’t explain.” (203)
In this passage, Gabriel describes his disgust in what the Ooloi are doing and relates Curt to a woman who is being “taken” by the Ooloi. Again here, there is a homophobic context due to the the disgust hinted to be related to the male-on-male contact that is believed to have happened between the Ooloi and Curt.
Example 4: “‘Never once with a woman…” (96)
Here Paul Titus intentionally say that he had never done it with a woman. The use a gender separates what is considered correct in this passage. Paul Titus feels as if it was his birth right in a sense to find a woman mate. Although as other situations have shown the humans do not consider the coerced sex with the Ooloi right in nature due that fact that most label them as male.
Hypothesis: The text uses the metaphoric relationship between humans and Ooloi to describe the controversial issue in society of whether female and male are the only genders. The text allows the reader to see first hand negative reactions and tolerance as portrayed by Lilith. On a grander scheme, this could mean that readers should understand that there are people that are different, maybe not as much as the Ooloi, yet are able to live together in one environment. The lack in the text of any openly homosexual or transgender character could also be indication that Butler was intentionally trying to make a point through the reading.
Return to the Text: After returning to the text, I still agree with my hypothesis. Reading through the text examples 3 times helped me to also determine that gender roles also play a crucial part in the novel. In the text, Lilith is given the stance as a leader and she throws men to the side without ever even seeing their faces (177). It is clear that Lilith was being given a role that in society may not have have belonged to her. This also shows that the author wanted readers to consider thinking outside what a gender role should be. This will allow more tolerance between those of different genders and the acceptance of genders outside of the norm. After re-reading the text, I still strongly agree with my hypothesis.