I have seen that there are a number of people who benefit from doing loving kindness meditation, either prior to or along with mindfulness meditation. It varies from person to person of course, but for many, their practice of mindfulness will bring along old habits of self-judgment and ruthless criticism, so it is not actually mindfulness.
The way the world works now, the way the rules of engagement operate, you can't claim to make sense out of the exterior without booking voyages into the interior. Think about it: How can you understand 'it' if you haven't made any effort to understand 'you'? Because what you're really doing is establishing a living, electrical, vital, energetic connection between it and you. You're creating both of them, simultaneously. A lot like quantum physics.
It is untrue that fiction is nonutilitarian. The uses of fiction are synonymous with the uses of literature. They include refreshment, clarification of life, self-awareness, expansion of our range of experiences, and enlargement of our sense of understanding and discovery, perception, intensification, expression, beauty , and understanding. Like literature generally, fiction is a form of discovery, perception, intensification, expression, beauty, and understanding. If it is all these things, the question of whether it is a legitimate use of time should not even arise.
I do know that some people believe that I see gender as a "choice" rather than as an essential and firmly fixed sense of self. My view is actually not that. No matter whether one feels one's gendered and sexed reality to be firmly fixed or less so, every person should have the right to determine the legal and linguistic terms of their embodied lives.