Last night, I had a dream. A dream in the sense of neurons firing at will, not like a vision for the future. My dreams are mostly uncoordinated, colorful, absurd flying-circus constructs, but last night was one of those different ones. I was sitting with a handful of people in a room and we clearly had the job to constitute laws for a society on a new planet, where mankind (including us) had just arrived. We were discussing, what to do, to leave the gender-problem behind, now that we had left earth behind.
The solution we came up with, was the following:
- There are only two genders: Male, having to identify by male names wearing trousers and short hair, and women wearing skirts or dresses with longer hair with female names.
- You are not allowed to change the gender - ever.
- Misgendering someone will cost you. Maybe money, first little, by doing it repeatedly going from significant amounts to jail. Misgendering is a serious crime.
- The gender is decided at birth by a throw of a coin.
I called this gendertopia, because I am not sure, if it will lead to an utopia or a dystopia. At least it will cause a disruption throughout the society. When I now (fully awake) look at those 4 laws, I can see what each and every one is made for. It might look as if they entrench the old binary gender view, and leave no space for non-binary or otherwise gender-fluid people.
But let's take a look at some implications they may have. Wherever it is necessary to reference to our known earth system of gendering I will use (p) or (v) for penis or vagina as a prefix. So a (v)man is a man for lifetime on our new planet (according to the birth-coin) which has a vagina, and would most likely have started as a woman on earth. When not explicitly stated all genders are that of our new planet.
Let's start easy: You can't just make laws for women when you just meant "people who give birth", "people with less strength", or "people with less height". Let's say you want to hire people for a job where they have to deliver an image of power and strength (like an army-job may call for). Now you have to state so.
Here be dragons
There are several thoughts, that come to mind, when musing on this, and I would be interested in your thoughts on them. As you see, there is no comment section for this notebook, because I consider internet comment sections as a failed concept. Instead you are welcome to write me an e-mail, or use your own way of expressing your thoughts and mail me a link to it. You may get a personal response, and/or see your thoughts taken up in my ongoing musings.
A few of those thoughts are on
Love and family
I could have two sons, one of them falls in love with the son of another family, and the could have her own family by having sex. In general, marriage and family would need another definition. When a couple (two, or maybe more people loving or needing each other) decide to stay together, they may, or may not have a ceremony, and state themselves married, or whatever word they choose. Deciding to stay together has no implications with the government. There are no special laws for couples. Nearly 50 percent of the couples would be of the same gender, You'll never know which gender your next partner may have be, so it would be a disadvantage to discriminate on that. Contrary, there is a concept of a family. A family is every constellation (even a single person) that raises a child. As raising is a good way to develop (not necessarily grow) as a society, it is privileged by the society. The privileges are tied to the child and you can only benefit from them by raising the child. No, not by giving birth to.
Of course this laws will not stop discrimination, but they will make it harder to hide it. On earth is often hidden in gender stereotypes like woman are smaller, weaker, and have to use more time for the children than for their company. If you still want to discriminate on that, you must have to name it like that. Ok, ok, I also see the dystopian ending, where slurs for (v)people rise up. They are needed by a system, that want's to introduce a group of discriminators as a dog whistle to assemble)
What will become of transgender people with this laws applied? Being born to a gender that doesn't match your genitals will become the new normal. Half of the population lives with that. How will be transgender be defined under those conditions. I honestly don't know, what the main reason for "feeling as having the wrong gender" is. I don't know any TS person myself (like in have a friendship with, where talking feelings is possible). When I look at it from the outside I see mostly people transit in their role stereotypes as well as in their body image (maybe or not their sexual visuals). For them it would become a mere cosmetically operation, while keeping the gender. (P)women that are more often doing jobs, where bodily strength is of use, may find wearing skirts at work utterly impractical, so I expect the fashion to adapt very quickly by blending into some kind of unisex fashion, where it becomes harder and harder to tell women from men (which makes it harder to conform to law 3. In an Utopia that would lead to the insight, that attaching whatsoever attribute to gender has been a failure from the start.
Naming will probably the most ambivalent thing on that planet. On one side it helps with the correct gendering of people. A Karl Smith is always Mr. Karl Smith. So, good, no fines for that, but on the other hand you will never know whether you will talk to a (v)man or (p)man. I think that constant reminder for "does it even matter" is a good thing for a change to the better in that society. But I'm already a big fan of the concept that words can change behavior,
I hope you saw, that this world is not a world that I would aim for, or even support, but it is a nice vehicle to test your point on sex, gender or other identity theories against. Will they stand in a world like that? And if not, even more interesting, where and why do they fail?