In this presentation I argue how the transgender character Ry faces different forms of genderphobia and little acceptance in Jeannette Winterson’s 2019 novel Frankissstein. Whereas the artificial intelligence throughout the novel are more generally accepted. I will analyze Ry’s interacts with other characters in the novel, each have a differing perspectives and thoughts, all negative and rather damaging illuminating the poor social acceptance of transgender people. Transgender people and artificial intelligence have a connection of conversation in the 21st century which is explored in Winterson’s 2019 novel. She takes on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and fuses it with the evolution of AI and connects it to those who are transgender. The protagonist, Ry, is outcasted by the other characters due not conforming to social norms and not identifying as male or female. Whereas artificial “women” called Sexbots are all the rage and are more accepted. Winterson’s criticism of the social acceptance of those who identify as trans is essential to the novel. Ry faces people harassing the choices they made, how they don’t identify with heterosexual boxes, and how the acceptance is towards artificial women instead of another human being. Fusing the platform of literary fiction, a historically impactful novel and contemporary issues allows readers to get a perspective on the issues that trans people have to deal with. Winterson explores the cultural acceptance between artificial intelligence and transgender people and the different levels of acceptability between the two. The social acceptance of AI over other human beings is the focus of my analysis.
Lisa Ann Robertson
English, Philosophy, Women's Studies
Mitchell, Rachel, "Trans, Artificial Intelligence, and Social Acceptance" (2021). IdeaFest. 386.