This podcast is part of the LGBTQIA+ Fantastika Graphics Symposium.
Join the discussion on discord (https://discord.gg/k7AagGf4v5) or on our zoom webinar on 20 Nov 2021. See fantastikajournal.com for details.
Background music by scottholmesmusic.com
Podcast by: Verónica Mondragón-Paredes
“Are You Woman Enough to Survive?”:
Transgender Segregation in Bitch Planet
Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro’s American comic book series Bitch Planet (2014–2017) has been celebrated for its depiction of intersectionality, its subversion of the comic book form and even for its use of trigger warnings. The current state of the critical literature derived from this work has yet to address the portrayal of transgender characters in the comics. A satire of exploitation comics and films, Bitch Planet presents a dystopian future where women are exiled and imprisoned for being “non-compliant”, deemed as such by a patriarchal Protectorate that has taken over most of the world.
Transgender women were introduced in Issue #8 and further developed in Issue #9, when the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost—the official name of the prison—is revealed to have more than one facility with different types of populations. This podcast is set to address this critical gap in the assessment of Bitch Planet’s speculative fiction, relying on a sociolegal analysis that focuses on the prison industrial complex’s function as enforcer of a rigid sexual dichotomy.
By integrating transgender prisoner perspectives with the legal bases for sexual segregation a fuller understanding of the comic’s choice to create a trans-only prison facility will be provided. This podcast will argue that, within the context of the comic’s dystopia, segregation exacerbates the “otherness” of transgender women: their crime is “gender falsification” by presenting as female yet they are still deemed non-compliant, a female-only crime. This paradoxical scenario is solved in Bitch Planet with a secondary facility, which contrasts with the PIC’s struggle to accommodate trans prisoners. The result is an intersectional premise that challenges the normative conceptions of gender, sex, and encarceration that can be extrapolated to other aspects of human life.
About the Speaker: Verónica Mondragón-Paredes is a senior studying International Relations (BA). She studied English at Yale University during the summer of 2019 under a Banco Santander grant and worked on young-adult literature as a MITACS Globalink Research Intern at the University of Alberta in the summer of 2021.
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The views expressed in these podcasts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Fantastika Journal and its editorial board.
This podcast edited by Kerry Dodd