"A man wants his virility regarded, a woman wants her femininity appreciated, however indirect and subtle the indications of regard and appreciation. On Winter they will not exist. One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience."

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

I recently did about twenty hours of coach travel (stark reminder that Aberdeen remains miles from anywhere) so finished this book from Christmas and also read a whole other novel. So you are going to get some quotes.

My copy of this novel has three different introductions. One of them remarks something along the lines of it being an easy read, but I found it really hard to get into - although science fiction has historically been my favourite genre, I have a low tolerance for made up words and this definitely surpassed it; However, once I got over myself and into the book I enjoyed it and found it interesting.