soon it will be possible to not just change genders but create your own unique form. Surgery is not the only way this will be done: we are just beginning to see the potential of CRISPR, which will allow us to alter our very genes.
by M. Christian
In our previous instalment, “La Petite Mort: The Death Of Sex,” we looked at how technology will eventually eliminate not just the reproductive aspects of makin’ whoopee but possibly also the whoopee part itself.
This time, though, we’re looking at the end of something just about as old as sex. But, as we’ll soon find out, what’s really going to die isn’t snips and snails, sugar and spice but how we look at world around us — particularly when it comes to gender.
Before we get to that, we first have to talk about pareidolia: the way the human mind sees structures — like faces in clouds — that aren’t really there.
Many researchers have hypothesized that pareidolia is actually a survival tactic: that the deepest structures in our minds evolved it to be able, as quickly as possible, to identify possible threats — or even to be able to “read” the emotions of those around us. Again, as a way to get the jump on what could be a dangerous situation.
The bottom line is that we, humans, really like patterns. We want to box and label everything around us. There’s even a scientific discipline dedicated to this very thing: Taxonomy, the science of (cribbing from Wikipedia here) “description, identification, nomenclature, and classification of organisms.”
Oh, sure, there are rules in taxonomy — what separates it just seeing bunnies in stratocumulus formations — but even in this field we’ve begun to realize that we need to change our perspective, not just see things that just aren’t there.
Hell, we can barely decide what life actually is — or can be — let alone trying to fit it into neat compartments.
Here’s where we get to gender. It would be easy to say that the idea of gender has changed, playing into the conservative hysteria that “boys can’t be boys, girls can’t be girls” anymore, but there are many societies — some far older than our embarrassing country — that has seen gender as much more fluid.
Just to pick one that’ll rub some salt in well-deserved wounds the real Americans, not just those filthy immigrants, had a much more expansive and inclusive concept of gender. The Dineh (incorrectly called Navajo) see not just men and women but four variations, depending on behavior as well as biology.
Similarly, there are the Hijra of India and Pakistan, who are considered to be neither male or female but a unique third gender.
In these modern times, there is the slowly growing acceptance of intersex individuals: those who (quoting from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights): “do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies.”
Thought LGBT activism and visibility, both in the United States and other countries, we have also similarly seen idea of gender being expanded: from transgender individuals but also from those who choose to embrace their own definitions and physical forms. Read more “Quantum Sex & The Death Of Gender”