This post is by Emily Asher-Perrin from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content
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Look, I’m just saying that Spock was wrong.
Not about everything, of course. But about his developmental crux, the war going on betwixt his delightfully pointed ears. People love to talk about Spock’s struggle to reconcile the two natures within him—the rational, staid pragmatism of Vulcan and the wild, untempered emotionality of Earth. The half-vulcan half-human spends his entire life trying to accommodate these halves, and seems to wind up somewhere in the middle. He takes what’s best from both of his ancestral cultures and knits them together beautifully, evolving into a mature and centered being.
Except that’s not what happened at all.
Here’s the problem: Binary thinking permeates western culture. People tout the differences between men and women (Mars and Venus!), divide fictional characters into “heroes” and “villains”, insist that cats and dogs are complete opposites despite their many similarities. One of our favorite binaries is how we ...