Kate Goes Ga-Ga

Kate Bornstein has gone ga-ga over WALL-E, as have tons of people. But only Kate Bornstein can talk about a robot movie and move seamlessly into a discussion of gender fluidity and butch/femme roles:

Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo can make all our hearts flutter. So can Justin Bond in a gown or a tux… or both! Gender ambiguity—when it’s safely positioned onstage or up on a movie screen—is and always has been sexy to damn near all of us, no matter what our gender might be. All of our desires are being tickled. So how’s that happening? What is it that’s signaling sexual attraction to an audience with such a wide range of gender identities and sexual desires? I think the answer is that WALL•E is butch, and EVE is femme, two genders defined by the expression of strong, respectful, sexual desire.

She kills me.

Helen Boyd

is the author of My Husband Betty and She's Not the Man I Married.


  1. I wondered the same thing as I watched it! I was thinking it could work either way, quite nicely, and I think that was Kate’s point. It really is a precious story, I loved it, and I usually hate Disney/Pixar drivel.

  2. Sorry Batman fans, WALL-E is the movie of the year. I definitely like the idea of Eve as a boy :)

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