It’s just possible there’s someone reading this blog who, in 75 years, has never read The Hobbit. I know they exist, because that group of people includes my dad, though he has an excuse: he was 10 when it was published, and already not-interested in fantasy.
So, if you are among those people, this blogpost will spoiler you like anything for The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. (The fiftieth anniversary edition, with the lovely illustrations by Michael Hague, is at my elbow as I type.) This may also spoiler you for the movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in which Peter Jackson takes full advantage of the fact that he did a pretty good take on Lord of the Rings and any number of fans trusted him to do a pretty good take on The Hobbit, even though he is blatantly milking it for everything it’s worth and no one should let him even think about the Silmarillion, okay?
According to Forbes, The Hobbit is well on its way to being one of the year’s biggest films: it has already grossed $434 million at the global box office.
I last saw Aliens on the big screen probably when it came out in 1986. I’d seen it multiple times since on video/DVD, but the cinema experience is different – and not just that the screen is much bigger and the details are a lot clearer.
But last night I saw Aliens at the Filmhouse. And it was great.
I’m just going to assume that everyone knows what happens and so there can’t be any spoilers. It’s been 26 years. Surely? Right?
I don’t spend a lot of time thinking of myself as cisgendered, even though when I first heard the word I realised it filled a lexical gap I had been aware of for years: I objected to identifying myself as “not-trans” or “born-woman”. (I was not born a woman: I was born a baby.)
That I don’t have to think about being cisgendered is 28 on the Cisgender Privilege Checklist, of course.
One of the events that makes me more aware of being cisgendered is when someone registers how short my hair is and calls me “sir”, or some rude person wants to know “Are you a man or a woman?” (The best answer I have discovered to that question is to reply loudly “Which are you?” and then walk, don’t run, to get out of sight while the questioner is suffering hed-explody gender-confusion.) On a day-to-day basis people code each other’s gender on a very narrow bandwith – hair, clothes, specs, make-up/absence of – which rarely if ever has any connection with a person’s physical sex, let alone their gender identity. (Granted if you are wearing physically-revealing clothing past the age of puberty, this usually ceases to be quite true.)
I was filled with excitement about seeing Tomboy because not only had it been well-reviewed, it appeared to deal with a life-situation that both babydykes and trans boys know about directly, and to express this in a way that a mixed audience could perceive. [Update: Though I may have been wrong about that – see Hullaballoo review.]