Gender Reversal in William Gibson's Neuromancer


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Gender Reversal in Neuromancer

 

In a world where beauty is literally a small price to pay to achieve. When reading the novel Neuromancer it is not a surprise that all the women described are not dubbed social unacceptable. In contrast they all have important roles: Molly is a street samurai, 3Jane is a leader of a world dominating family, Marie-Frances is a silent manipulative mother, and Linda Lee is, well okay she fits the stereotype of the girlfriend in most books. Stereotypical is not the definition used to describe the relationship between Molly and Case.

 

From the first time they meet Molly is the one chasing. In most relationships the man seems to be the aggressor; Molly takes that role with authority. She is following him around to recruit him for her team under the lead of Armitage. This team is working under the watchful circuits of an artificial intelligence (AIs) named Wintermute. Wintermute and Neuromancer are two AIs made by a powerful family, Tessier-Ashpool (TA). Wintermute needs Molly's muscle and Cases hacking ability to successfully join Wintermute with Neuromancer together. This family is lead by Ashpool and next in line is 3Jane. The person responsible for Wintermute wanting to join together is the mother and visionist Marie-France. 3Jane and Marie-France are different in there approach to power. 3Jane is more silent and patient, whereas; Marie-France is manipulative and has ideas of her own. Marie-France uses her silence to wait for an opportunity to advance her plan to join Wintermute and Neuromancer. 3Jane uses her silence to advance through the ranks undetected, but both have more power on their minds.

 

Power is not the only reverse gender role that Molly shows. Her relationship with Case is a definite reversal of gender. Molly starts as the aggressor and ends as the user. After her prier meeting with Case, he has an operation to allow him to be able t jack into the matrix with out a computer. Molly stays at his place to take care of him after he awakes from his surgery. Of course with the opposite roles Molly is there for one thing, sex. Even during the brief sex scene Molly proves to be the more dominant figure. She initiates the situation and takes the bull by the horns.

 

Taking charge of a predicament is not anything new to Molly.

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She has been know to tear out eyes, break bones, and kill without a second thought, sounds like Rambo of the female persuasion. She is the street samurai of the operation. Another name for it is the muscle or hit man. There is even one part of the book were Molly is attacking the Tessier-Ashpool plant, and she knows that she is going to meet a tough adversary in 3Janes bodyguard; she does not let the little broken leg that she is running on slow her down. Reminds me of the football players and their injuries that go uncomplained about. Molly is unique in that she is what ever man is suppose to be: macho.

 

Macho is not the word used to describe Case. He has a pretty neat talent at being able to go to the matrix without a computer, but he is still a mama's boy. He hangs out on the safe side while his girlfriend goes in and does all the physical work. Case just sits back and jacks in to the computer system steals whatever information that is needed, whereas; Molly goes in and destroys whatever opposes his success. Here is a great case where Case is protected by Molly. With most relationships the male goes out into the world and works to protect his woman, but here the female Molly is the worker and Case is the stay home mom. Case has a sensitive side, as most women do. He jacks into Molly's artificial eyes to see what is going on with all the action or to make sure she is okay. Case not only gets to avoid contact but he is in little danger of any bodily harm. In one scene before Molly he is challenged by his then girlfriend Linda Lee to kill a wasp nest. At first he was hesitate, but soon decided to hit it with a blow torch, at a safe distance. Case's role is not to be undermined by his less then macho ways. His job to steal information and release a virus to link Wintermute and Neuromancer together is probably the highlight of the book. Case has just got to toughen up, or maybe he has the right idea.

 

Whether Case has the right idea or Molly is just plain tough their relationship demonstrates that they are not the typical couple. Molly with her dominate male side and Case with his sensitive emotions shows how these two were made for each other. Of course at the end of the story Molly leaves Case a Dear John letter stating that she is losing her edge and must move on. Molly is still holding onto the male role all the way to the end.

 

 


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