CONvergence 2017 - Day 3

If you haven't read CONvergence 2017 - Day 1 or CONvergence 2017 - Day 2 already, I would suggest that you read those two entries first - the four panels that I was on, "Speculative Fiction Against Colonialism," "Avoiding Tokenism in Comics & Sci Fi Characters," "Diversity, Class Systems, and Equality in Science Fiction" and "50 Shades of Blackface," all relate to tonight's panel: "Androids, AI, And Gender Theory."

This post will be in three parts: First, a couple of definitions and points - these definitions will be without citation, as I jotted them down in a notebook for reference for the panel, though I do plan on revisiting them in a future post. Second, a listing of media that has to do with stories about Androids, AI, and/or Gender. Third, free-form notes that were taken during the panel that I plan on elaborating on at a later date.

Definitions and Points

  • Race is gendered, and gender is raced

    • Asians are seen as more feminine

    • Africans are seen as more masculine

  • The concept of gendered racism

  • Non-gendered pronouns:

    • Xe (Rickter, c. 1973)

    • Ze, hir (Bornstein, n.d.)

    • Ze, zir (Unknown, c. 2013)

    • Singular they (14th century - didn't start becoming frowned upon until 19th century)

  • Cis - from the Latin, "on this side of"

  • Trans - from the Latin, "across from" or "on the other side of"

  • Android comes from the Greek root word ἀνδρ-, "man" (male, as opposed to anthrop-, human being) and the suffix -oid, "having the form or likeness of."

Media to Read/Watch

Dark Matter - Science Fiction Series based on a comic book
Saturn's Children - novel by Charles Stross
Humans Need Not Apply - documentary by CGP Grey
A.I. Artificial Intelligence - Science Fiction movie
Forging Hephaestus - novel by Drew Hayes
Westworld - Science Fiction Series based on a movie
Bicentennial Man - Science Fiction movie based on a book
Lock In - novel by John Scalzi
Mass Effect - video game trilogy
Ancillary Justice - novel by Ann Leckie
Person of Interest - Science Fiction Series
Adventure Time - Animated Television Series
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 - Anime Television Series (must be watched in Japanese to get the gender identity contexts)
The Lunar Chronicles - tetralogy by Marissa Meyer
Questionable Content - webcomic by Jeph Jacques


Gender Identity and Gender Presentation are two parts of one's gender. One is implicitly stated, and the other is how one expresses themselves.

English, Spanish, and Portuguese are invasionary languages.

Virtual Intelligence is not quite at the level of what we perceive Artificial Intelligence to be. Yet.

Humans Need Not Apply discusses how AI is progressing in such a way that we will have to change what it means to be a productive member of society.

HitchBOT, a Hitchhiking Robot that successfully traveled across Canada, the Netherlands, and Germany, was murdered in Philadelphia in 2015.

What purpose is there for an Android and/or AI to have gender? Could an Android/AI be trans, gender-fluid, and/or non-bindary? Is agency involved, and to what degree? 

Panelists: Jamie Riedesel (mod), Susan Willson, Nat Morse-Noland, Justin Grays

If you like what you read here, and would like to show your support, please consider donating.

I am on Patreon to help fund the work that goes into maintaining a website and creating researched content. Also, it will give me some financial relief as I am also endeavoring to complete a number of science fiction and fantasy stories, and hopefully compile them into zines or collected works. As a sponsor, you'll get quality blog posts, early access to completed stories, and the knowledge that you are helping me fund the creative process. I will get the benefit of some stress reduction as I won't have to worry about finances as much anymore, and that will help me be free to create more work.

It's not always possible to sponsor on a monthly basis. If you would like to do a one time donation, please feel free to use PayPalSquareCash, or Venmo. Producing content takes time and effort, and any support would be most appreciated. Your donations help me cover expenses and eventually will let me be able to create quality content full-time.