I’ll be honest and say that Lloyd in Space is a show that I all but forgot about. This is a show from the later years of Disney’s One Saturday Morning. I saw people talk about this episode when the announcement Raine Whispers being non-binary came up and people were wondering if Disney had ever a non-binary character and this was the closest they could think of.
Now, the episode this character comes from is 19 years old. So, it may not be the best depiction and there is also the thing having an alien being a non-binary character, which so many have found tiresome. Is it fair to scrutinize a nearly two-decade show for this? I dunno. However as non-binary blogger, Christine Prevas, it is disappointing when the only rep for the enby crowd are aliens and robots.
Even then, I don’t know if I’d actually qualify Zoit as non-binary. They choose whether they want to be a boy or girl, not because they’re an alien but rather because on the 13th birthday of Zoit’s race. This is interesting and the decision is never revealed and I do like that in a sense, which has led to the non-binary readings of this episode.
The big reason that Zoit doesn’t reveal what they chose is that all throughout the episode, they were being pushed and pulled by the boys and girls at their school to be either a boy or a girl. This was part of a bet the boys and girls made to determine what Zoit would choose. I’d be curious to know if the show staff had any deeper meanings behind this but the bet that was made is reminiscent of the pressure of gender norms in society. While I am not a fan of this web site’s name, Save The Children does break it down rather succinctly.
Gender norms describe how people of a particular gender and age are expected to behave in a given social context. Harmful gender norms result in many types of inequalities between girls and boys
I have discussed this before with The Little Prince(ss) and that was more blunt and direct with its message.
However, what the kids at Zoit’s school were doing may not have been malicious the same way, Mr. Chen was with his outdated beliefs but they were still pressuring Zoit to choose a gender for their own benefit. And that is not okay. Zoit does get to call them out on it and stand up for themselves. In the process of the kids apologizing, they overcorrect to where the boys are giving presents for girls and vice versa. Zoit rightfully gets annoyed and that’s why they decide to not reveal what gender they chose.
Again, this episode isn’t bad for the time that it came out in and I can respect what it attempted to do but I don’t know how well it holds up. Even more so when you consider that this was the only episode that Zoit appeared in. Perhaps Zoit could’ve been integrated into the show more but that could have also run the risk of the other characters trying to guess what gender they chose. Again not bad, but I think we are starting to see better.
Now, my next blog is going to be a bit different. It’s more a spin-off of this segment as this is something I’ve been thinking about since starting this retrospective and that’s looking at the Maxine arc from Wizards of Waverly Place.