IEET > Rights > Contributors > Peter Wicks > PostGender
The end of gender?
Peter Wicks   Mar 15, 2012   Ethical Technology  

It has been suggested by Peg Tittle in her recent article that the prefixes Ms. and Mr. be abandoned, on the grounds that they reinforce discrimination between sexes. What this and most other contemporary debates about gender might be missing, however, is that the whole concept of gender may be about to go the way of the dodo.

Contrary to what some like to claim, the basic male-female divide is not in the first place a social construct that humans have invented. Opposition and dichotomy is built into the fabric of the universe, and is fundamental to sexual reproduction. Long before homo sapiens the vast majority of animal species were divided cleanly into male and female, with females hosting and gestating their offspring through the initial stages of its developments, while the direct male role reproduction was limited to providing the fertilizing agent, together with its payload of DNA. As with all things biological there are exceptions to confirm the rule, but they are rare enough not to disrupt the overall picture.

In addition to the direct roles in reproduction, gender has also been correlated with other roles, in ways that differ from species to species. In the case of humans, the classic model for understanding this division of roles within stone age communities is the hunter-gatherer paradigm, and while this theory can be questioned, for the moment it seems to be the best guess as to how the roles between men and women were divided at this stage.

With homo sapiens came both technology and language, and eventually civilization. This resulted in a huge complexification of social structures, and thus of gender-correlated roles. There is plenty of evidence that the first civilizations were matriarchal in their structure, but at some point—possibly associated with the invention of the wheel and the taming of the horse—men came to dominate the public sphere, and patriarchal civilizations were born.

By then we were a long way from a simple hunter-gatherer division of roles, and indeed one’s role in society depended on much more than one’s biological gender. Furthermore, in addition to the two biological genders there was a third, socially-constructed gender, namely the eunuch. Thus not only did societal role started to become decoupled from biological gender, but even one’s sexual identity started to become decoupled from one’s at-birth biological gender. For the most part, however, men continued to be men, and women continued to be women.

This started to change during the 20th century when gender started to be seen as something that was entirely socially-constructed. This was a false belief, of course, but also an influential one. In particular, an increasingly vociferous number of women were no longer willing to associated in any sense with the traditional female gender. It was no longer just a question of demanding the vote, or equal pay for equal work. Instead, the whole concept of what it meant to be female—and by extension what it meant to be male—was now up for grabs. In parallel to this, people who had other reasons to be dissatisfied either with their biological gender or with the social baggage that accompanied it increasingly found a voice, and demanded the right to forge a sexual identity of their own choosing. The ladyboys of Thailand are just one example of a “third gender”—which, unlike the eunuchs of yesteryear, is largely the result of choice and tolerance rather than of oppression—that is complicating the traditional male-female divide.

The question that this article seeks to raise is whether this trend will eventually annihilate the whole concept of gender, at least in humans, and if so how long this will take. There are at least three reasons to suspect that gender is on its way out.

Firstly, the trend towards increasing insistence on choosing the socially-constructed aspects of one’s gender—whether it concerns sexual orientation, how to dress, what kind of roles to play in society, how we refer to ourselves (and insist on being referred to by others, or whatever—seems set to continue, at least in the developed world.

Secondly, surgical techniques enabling de facto alteration of our biological gender, at least at the macroscopic level, are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are thus enabling increasing alignment of our (apparent) biological gender with our wishes.

Thirdly, and most radically, we may be on the verge of being able to tinker massively with our DNA, with the result that even at the genetic level we might find ourselves able to blur the boundaries between male (XY) and female (XX), to a far greater extent than nature has done for us.

And once gender becomes a matter of choice, rather than of nature’s providence, there is no reason why there should be only two, three or even four of them. And once gender splinters, like political parties and religious denominations, into categories that are limited only by the human imagination, the term “gender” seems likely to become increasingly inappropriate as a description of reality.

Peter Wicks was employed for 16 years at the European Commission, working mainly on environmental policy, and now works as a consultant.



COMMENTS

You are on the cutting edge, Pete; unfortunately, Americans do not see things your way or Europe’s way..
the where does matter.
I warrant you the Lush Rimbaughs will sell billions of magazines, articles, DVDs in the coming years concerning “the castrati”.

And they will be correct—from their own perspectives, naturally. A Lush Rimbaugh does not spend most of his life building up power and influence to turn about and reject his patrimony.
Remember, it is patrimony, not matrimony, and it is profoundly personalized. Violently so!
Europe can change rather quickly, however America’s (and perhaps the entire Western Hemisphere’s) notion of change tends to be a radical conservative notion of change.
Now, that isn’t to be pollyannish in regards to Europe: you have got your Lush Rimbaughs, too. From the few weeks I spent in N. Europe- and from reading Joern’s articles- it is apparent the cataclysm of WWII certainly had something to do with Europe’s relative progressivism—such should not be overlooked even in the 21st century (or esp. so! since memories fade). What changed Europe quickly was “the most stupendous complex of events”—the war and its aftermath.
Here in America, buffered by its oceans, we have had only the Civil War, a skirmish by contrast to European history. It ought not be minimized how we have been tempered by trial by fire.
This (finally) segues to what makes the Lush Rimbaugh what he is; the positive being, as you know as well as anyone, Pete, American—forgive the platitude—dynamism, its rapid leveling and social mobility dowwards as well as up.
You never though I’d return to the topic at hand, however the machoness of the Lush Rimbaugh is a force not to be denied. Just you watch,
“Men built this world,”, the Rimbaugh will say, “Real men… and the castrati shall not be permitted to obscure that this is my world and I will hold it in a death grip if needs be.”

Intomorrow, I totally trust you with regard to Limbaugh. Yet this is a rearguard action, I’m convinced of that.

Re Europe, my own analysis (for what it’s worth) is that the two devastating wars of the first half of the 20th century shaped Europe’s (albeit fragile) commitment to multilateralism and transcending the nation-state model. Perhaps Joern and others are also right in suggesting that they also played a role in turning Europe more secular, but I tend to think that the real difference lies in the fact that America was funded halfway through the Enlightenment, so that beyond such things as separation of church and state (where US is more advanced than some European countries, including my own) secularism has taken longer to penetrate. (In this context I fondly remember Giulio’s comment on an earlier thread that here in Europe we are so secular we don’t even bother to call ourselves atheist.)

Admittedly, one may question how stable the trend towards making socially-constructed gender a matter of personal choice really is, even in the developed world. Some might say it’s even gone into reverse. But overall I think the trend is positive, and the Limbaughs of the world are ultimately pissing in the wind. And even if I’m wrong, that still leaves the other two reasons to think that the whole idea of gender may be about to explode.

That should be “founded” by the way, although “funded” is kind of fun!

I’m glad you say the hunter-gatherer paradigm is being questioned (I’ve just read another paper on that point), but I’d like to suggest that even though it comes down to the same thing, we not call it hunter-gatherer but babytender and not-babytender.  I suspect that’s the more root cause for why (if) one sex went hunting (providing iffy sustenance) and the other stayed home to discover agriculture (providing more secure sustenance).

I’ve never heard of the wheel and horse explaining the sexual division of labor - can you tell us a bit more about that, Peter?

Hm…and once gender becomes a matter of choice, maybe THAT’S the factor that will make mandatory gender prefixes fall by the wayside.  (No, that doesn’t follow - marital status was by choice, and those prefixes persisted for a very long time…)

But I hope Peter’s right.  And I fear Intomorrow is.  Sigh.

It’s not the choice itself that will make them disappear, it’s the _multiplicity_ of different choices. To marry or not to marry was still a binary question.

Re the wheel and horse, this something I read in a book once, and I’d need to do some research (e.g. at least find the book!) to find out where it comes from. The basic idea is that the horse and chariot favoured the type of “hunting” (as opposed to “gathering”) style of men. I’ll come back when I have more.

To be honest I wrote that the hunter-gatherer model “can be” questioned because I suspected that it might be and wanted to pre-empt screams of “that’s just a speculative theory”. I’d be interested to know more about the paper you’ve read.

Sorry, can’t even go find them for you - my job involves skimming tons of journal articles, and I often just ‘register’ the abstract, and seldom make a note of the citation.  I just recall that the hunter-gatherer model has been questioned, as you say.

Peg, I’m not nearly as pessimistic as it appears, not pesimistic concerning the future for those Christian C.‘s age. That is why it is important to convince adults his age of the positives of technoprogressivism.
And also to mention the negatives: a giddiness deriving from the birth of technoprogressivism in the ‘60s (it wasn’t quite formed in the ‘50s). Re-read the books and articles from that era; though we take into account a pioneer is a brave fool, we are pan-critical, we have to separate the wheat from the chaff, otherwise we are not technoprogressives—we are squishy liberals, squishy radicals.
My mistake, being a child of the ‘60s, was to think yelling at the Rimbaughs was wrong when such is what rubes respect… not like, yet respect. They do! they will back down eventually.

Peter Wicks ( responding to Peg Tittle )  article is very much within the scope of the message many are getting. We have to end the either/or and all comparison world to move forward in a healthy way. Just 2 recent acknowledgment of this need to eliminate gender differentiation is started in the recent weeks with many ready for it..

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/28/1069264/-Bravo-NPR-?detail=hide
NPR National Public Radio has formally disavowed this form of “he said, she said” journalism
in favor of a journalism that is “fair to the truth.”

http://www.weareequals.org/
EQUALS believes that men and women are equals and that we should have equal rights, equal opportunities and equal representation in politics, education, health, employment, family life and media and culture.

While there has been many ” Equality” websites and organizations etc… they were tipped towards the female
with the Oppressor being the Male… Now that Emergence has arrived we know this Us vs Them mentality is NOT the Problem
but more so it is ” Ideologies” being forced on People via the Power and Control of those who live for Greed…Elimination of the Gender code of sex’s is the fastest way to eliminate the discrimination of cultures, colors,races, nationalities, size, physical look etc.. 

A very long time ago ( 1999 !! ) Susan Faludi wrote a book about this called
” Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man”  ~ The Pressure to be Masculine in a culture that No Longer Honors Traditional
Codes of Manhood..  http://www.WarrenFarrell.com who was a leader of the NOW movement for most of it’s heyday but realized a few years ago the need for Real Equality is Not a Us vs Them problem either and
Warren started Spring 2011 Proposal for a White House Council on Boys to Men
http://whymenearnmore.com/PDFsdotcom/Feb.pdf

I believe the lizard brains of dinosaurs like Rush Limbaugh and most politicians are evaporating in what ever country etc due to the 2 way media and social networks allowing ” Emergence” to start running the show, life and reality etc… How quickly information goes viral in real time without anyone able to control it is the internal private voice of each individual no matter what gender,color, race, culture etc having tremendous Power !
This Emergence structure of life requires one to be Awake and congruent with their Selves and Life in Real Time. It is bringing about the “Urge to Merge” a Magnetic Attraction that is opposite of the fight or flight response that has been running our Planet the last 150 yrs if not for all time ! This pitting one against the other to Win keeps vital humans rats in maze to Win What is the question .

This viral communicating via twitter, FB and ton of other vehicles on so many levels is allowing individuals to live through their essential real internal self rather then their shallow social external self.
It is showing the “2nd life” to be the external social life of adapting to the Man Made World and the Authentic Original Real Life to be this internal “Essential” wireless cellular viral self that is finally getting a voice due to the wireless instant time cellular communication on the whole planet and Space via the magic of MEMS and NANO mobile electronics .

When living in present moment in real time of Essential Self the “Urge to Merge” to a thing, place, person etc is what is the ” driver” which is much healthier not just for longevity but quality of life in the Positive engagement rather then the Walls of Fear of the fight or flight.

Due to wanting power and control after WWI methods were employed to bait the Human via their weakness’s resulting in the mass majority has been living in the external social self of abiding by ideologies or other person’s agenda or realities, especially via the traditional ME-D-I-AM “Driver” of control that are blaring at everyone via TV, Movies, Browser home pages and of course newspapers on the stand glaring at you and via online sources etc ~ Pitting the Us vs Them emotional bait.

This is what is really drawing the line between the genders while making the poor human neurotic.. All the advertising and consumer goods sold to make a female more of a female and a male more of a Male !! It is all junk to appeal to their insecurities, hormones, fantasies etc and like pavlo dogs the Human’s have been jumping through one hoop after another.. 

As consciousness starts arriving to individuals due to the power of personal expression through the virtual world of Twitter, FB, blog conversations and others etc we will see more and more of people being exposed that are living attached to the superficial social external self to be the empty bloated Lizard dinosaurs they are and they will evaporate !!

All what I am writing here comes from my researching “Why People live, and die and what makes them human” the last 40 yrs etc.. Of course it comes down to behaviors but what creates the behaviors… the brain, the bio etc… With the wireless cellular world leading now we are ” Emerging” way out of the restrictions of the bio/brain etc… into how we are really made as a magnetic attractors of real Atomic electricity !

I have been very pleased a social scientist with 3 degrees from Harvard has written magnificent books about all of this with easy to understand language and exercises to allow this Emergence to take over in the individual that MERGES the female, male qualities within each person so no need for Gender acknowledgement. You are a Person… Not a sex,color,culture… etc..
http://www.marthabeck.com

@casrose It’s not always completely clear what you’re trying to say here but as far as I can understand the basic gist is very much in the same direction as what I’m saying. I think the (apparent??!) pessimism of Intomorrow (and Peg) also has an important place - there is a danger of being pollyanna-ish about the supposedly beneficent role of technology and the Internet, but, indeed, we need to get away from us/them mentalities whoever they arise, even when we think we have justice on our side. And I say this not because I’m a man (really, I don’t believe it’s because of that) but because if you apply the principles that work elsewhere to the gender issues you are forced to the conclusion that emancipation of this or the other gender group is a less promising focus than identifying the core reasons for conflict and injustice and trying to transcend them.

At the risk of sounding like a Harvard Business School professor from the 1980s, it’s about looks for the win-win (and preparing for a future that will be AMAZING).

Yes Peter I am agreeing with you !
I was offering links to support to what you are saying..
Here is one that just came up today.
http://techland.time.com/2012/03/14/kurzweil-south-by-southwest-keynote-speech-grossman/

My writing is confusing as I am Deaf person who has not had training of using words to communicate !! I use Way too many words to say too little ! Having a Editor some day will be a advantage !!

I was a pioneer in the Preventive Whole Person Health Movement in 1970. I have been down this road before when everyone did NOT see evolution happening in this area.

What put Preventive Whole Person Health Movement on Map into real lives so now there in USA there is a Health Club or Spa on every corner rather then a bar or nightclub was not us educating etc it was the AIDS academic… That woke people up and instantly everyone started to go Prevention and Health conscious etc !

So this is how I see this evolution you speak about happening too… I have been part of Ray Kurzweil and Eric Drexler world since 1995 as they made so much sense to me !!

I could see the writing on wall too.. This is what I am speaking about when I say ” Emergence” it is sort of the Singularity Ray talks about.. When this virtual AI world is running things as it is now… But it is all Organic like how Life really works etc..

Ray projects Singularity to arrive 2045 etc… I know when I was at the http://www.humanityplus.org conference at Harvard U June 2010 I felt a huge convergence of expanded thought happening that indeed we are now seeing the results of and it is growing..

The shift is On >>> Whether anyone wants it or not..
The Genie is Out of the Bottle and there is No turning back !! Getting rid of the Gender differences is a very direct positive way of allowing the natural momentum to flourish etc…

“I believe the lizard brains of dinosaurs like Rush Limbaugh and most politicians are evaporating in what ever country etc due to the 2 way media and social networks allowing ” Emergence” to start running the show, life and reality etc…”

It is true we have the Web and all the rest of it; whereas in 1968, that wasn’t the case.
I remember 1968 crystal-clearly.. with more clarity than the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s; when the progressive cycle cycled to reaction, many were disappointed, many cycled as far as the far-Right—caught up in novelty, they went from progressivism to diverse fads and fetishes. Tim Leary was a transhumanist albeit the pressures of being on the lam, etc., made him unstable. Bob Dylan went from ‘Highway 61 Revisted’ to ‘Property of Jesus’.
Giddiness, susceptibility, wavering, cyclicism…

Many thanks casrose. I came across Kurzweil’s work considerably later than you did (as late as 2007 in fact) but found it similarly eye-opening. One can agree or disagree, find it realistic or unrealistic, utopic or dystopic, but t was only after reading his work (and somewhat earlier an article by Nick Bostrom on “threats to civilisation” that I started to truly grasp the possibilities.

@Imtomorrow Cycles yes, but they never repeat exactly.

@Imtomorrow ~ Yes it was a wonderful movement in 1960’s ! That evolved into the 1970’s but that also is where so much fell apart etc.  Who can say Why… The Drugs coming through those returning from Vietnam that were distorting a good movement ?
Watergate should had much more power to change things then it did ~ For some reason all the great energy collapsed !

I find it comical to remember how much Andrew Weil was backlashed and ridiculed for his speaking out as a Harvard MD student in Boston about prevention and whole person health. Today He now is the go-to guy on preventive health honored by establishment !

Roshi Joan Halifax was just a beautiful Wild and incredibly educated and vocal Woman of what we needed to do as a society to move forward in a healthy way..Commanding much attention as a leader then… When it all started to fall apart ( Tim Leary, Ram Dass etc) Joan started a community in Ojai CA and then evolved to Roshi with Upaya in Santa Fe NM doing her healing educating work quietly globally.

Deepak Chopra was CEO MD of a small hospital in Boston in early 1970’s. He Skeptical as we were reminding him of his Indian Roots why he should allow us to practice in his Hospital !! Deepak embraced his roots and has showered us all globally with fantastic knowledge of how things work.. Deepak keeps evolving and gaining more and more leadership

This is off topic but does fit with the need to make huge shifts right now to keep pace with the technology upgrading us humans etc… I am now calling on Deepak Chopra to step up to plate and take action in the form of a CEO MD of Hospitals that we finally really do have REAL Prevention in traditional Health Care… Candace Pert calls it the “New Medicine”. Time for us all to grow up and take responsibility for running healthcare.

It is proven scientifically everywhere that dis-ease starts in the mental, emotional, spiritual aspects of a person. Yet these internal ” Drivers” are ignored or are treated as a dis-ease and given drugs to sedate rather then getting to source of problem ! Medicine is BIG Business and it is licensed to KILL not heal etc..

Even CEO’s of hospitals are honest in saying the Hospital is a “Repair Shop” and there is a real need for “Defensive Medicine”
( Prevention ) but that does not happen as it does not make $$$.

So You have repair shops obligated to fix people who cannot afford to pay.. which drives up the price of services for those who can pay and most of the elderly who are #1 users of Hospitals and health care are on very old Insurance plans from their corporations and medicare so nothing out of their Pocket $ yet they are the #1 customer’s of this repair shop hospital..

It is a vicious circle that is going to go belly up due to ignorance of Big Business Medicine feeding off these retires. To remain bloated in $$ While real people cannot get their needs met till crisis and end up in Emergency rooms with problems much worse then originally were.  The Local hospital in Fl where I am..
Naples Community Hospital NCH the local joke is
NCH stands for ” Never Come Home” ! Cheaper to die for some then to allow living etc..

We have to address the reality that License to Kill of the Traditional healthcare and hospitals have now taken over our identity of Prevention and Holistic etc as a IMAGE only to sell themselves.. It is not what you get at all as the service from them… It time for all of us in Preventive Whole Person Medicine to fight back to a Industry that is extremely fraudulent in every way.

Sorry to use your space Peter Wicks for what I am focused on but it is a story that amplifies what you are talking about too.. The resistance of structures governing to acknowledge reality. Everyone running around in denial and being dissociated.
Time for people who are conscious to say ” The Buck Stops Here”.

Developed areas are cause for optimism; it is only really discouraging how in backwaters women can be still stoned and drowned.

You asked once if the Midwestern life is bad; it isn’t, and it has no direct bearing on what someone ought to think concerning pure science and material progress. However it does mock my own sense of future possibilities—of futurism; or perhaps an outmoded 20th century progressivism. Plus, the existence of medieval backwaters where women are property sometimes makes me think only material progress (or possibly only economic activity) is real; social progress at some times appears to be nothing but a construct stringing us along into the future like a rented mule chasing a carrot mounted on a cart.

@intomorrow Why doing away with gender identification has to happen etc.. I tried for 5 months to close my Bank America Bank Account ~ Always a argument.. Sitting in the office dealing with a male bank executive it was the same story…

Till in walked a young man I with.. Only 30 yrs small in stature he said what is the problem… why taking me so long ? He said a few words to the man refusing to close my bank account and instantly it was done… Poof ~ What I as female could not accomplish in 5 months one Man in minutes could accomplish..

Yes they still burn woman at the Stake.. The Rush Limbaugh’s own and run Washington DC on both sides of the aisles. That is where you see inequality at it’s most horrific… It is all just lip service while the woman go in circles looking to move ahead on issues for humanity and children..

No equal rights exist anywhere in USA… It is like the civil war has never been fought.. Why I have high hopes for technology winning the game ! I am all for robots taking over much of the management in life as then you do not get the subjective emotional dogma of the human and their baggage !!

... btw,
the above is less pessimistic than it seems.
As the past influences the present, so too does the future influence (e.g. our expectations) the present. Being ‘rented mules’ chasing towards the future isn’t so bad
—sure beats chasing the past.

@Peter Wicks

Thanks for the article, I agree with many of your points. Just I honestly do not think the current trend that you identified is going to “annihilate the whole concept of gender”. Unless with the term “gender” you were merely denoting the traditional, cultural conceptualization of masculinity and femininity. In that case, sure, in the future our ideas about being a man/a woman are going to change.

However I think that we are only going to change the way we address, describe, and understand the two polarities of sexual reproduction. As long as we are going to need a biotic substrate to reproduce, females and males are here to stay. Maybe with new social roles. Maybe with a more flexible prototypical identity. But they both will be there, willing and ready to spotted by members of the other gender/sex. At least, this is how I believe.

Depends on the timeframe; a very long time from now gender may not mean anything whatsoever.

I am confused by this constant reference to female will always be a female as she bears and brings children into world ??

There is a woman who had sex change operation to a man and is only one of many that still has a womb and is bringing children into the world as a Man !!
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=7795344&page=1#.T2Oje5PjXT5

This will change… Rent a Womb plenty of Male Gay families doing this now… I totally enjoyed Venessa Miemis Post a while ago about the undomesticated female..
http://emergentbydesign.com/2012/02/27/reclaiming-the-undomesticated-feminine/

That is me.. I do not keep a home for anyone ! I have no drama etc. But I am a very much a Sexual Woman who appreciates Men ! I can talk physics, nano, singularity with the most educated etc but I cannot figure out a cookbook nor cook !!

I know plenty of He Man types that love to keep to house.. arrange flowers, make all nice and pretty etc !! Nothing gay about them, they just enjoy domestication !! Which I do Not but I am very feminine too..  Why we have to drop the roles definition etc

My son is a result of hit and run encounter so I was all alone birthing him into world.. Just a Female popping a kid out. No Dad, No Man, No Family etc… These are the Kinds of Roles that will be falling to wayside… as there is No Need…He did great in our modern family of just he and I now he is 22 yrs !!

As I played both roles of Mom and Dad as a guider etc..
No Gender I sat there at his Wrestling matches, his football, his soccer, his lacrosse being right there ring side with the Men fully engaged in his team winning etc and coaching him etc !!
Yet of course dinner was always by candlelight and we engage in conversation over long enjoyable meals etc.. He was extremely neat as his learned from day one ... Mom was not a maid etc..

Yes I would have loved to have been married and have the traditional life but it did not work that way. For sure way society is now I would have been better off bringing a child into world alone as a Man as I had the scarlet letter ( 1990, I was pre Madonna having a kid out of wedlock )

The interesting thing is,
“I did not take the action” that resulted in a child. I only stepped up to plate alone to take responsibility for a Life.

The Catholics were the worse… Why would I bring a child into world alone ?? What was the alternative via a hit and run sexual encounter that was not my doing.. A abortion ??

This is the biggest problem.. Everyone has opinions, attitudes , beliefs without knowing why they have them.. Blindly following ideologies , roles, What came before etc… This is the Pot of lazy self indulgence that is being broken open via the transparency of the 2 way media making education travel instantly globally.

Reality is Any man can buy a egg and rent a womb and bring a child into world today right now !!  No laws against it !! So all this talk about female bearing children and that determines her gender and the male gender has no bearing on anything .

Thanks for the further comments everyone!

There are various issues here that could do with being separated (then perhaps out back together again). Healthcare is one, discrimination (based on gender or otherwise) and the need to get rid of it, and then the question about the future of gender itself.

On the first issue, casrose I have a LOT of sympathy with what you say, and even if I wouldn’t go quite as far as you do I certainly agree that there is a general tendency in our society to overvalue that which is bought and sold, and undervalue that which is essentially free, such as mindfulness as preventive health. Another example of this is how if you look after an elderly relative in your home it does not contribute to GDP (nothing is being bought and sold), whereas if you pay for a necessarily far less personal version of this service (e.g. sticking them in a home) then it’s recorded as economic activity. So our whole economic system is geared towards getting us to buy and sell things, much of which we don’t really need, while discouraging us from nurturing our health and relationships.

The second issue is being vigourously discussed elsewhere (in particular Martine Rothblatt’s “Billions of Sexes” articles) so won’t add anything further on that here, except to say that obviously this has a bearing on whether we consider the “end of gender” scenario desirable or undesirable. This is a crucial question, of course. Personally I have mixed feelings.

The third issue is the main topic of the article, of course, and Andre yes you might be right, but I’m not really convinced. In the short term, yes I think male and female will continue (look around on any public street and certainly there is little sign of it disappearing!) but other genders that don’t clearly fit either seem set to emerge (to a much greater extent than is already the case). And I’m not sure it’s as simple as “as long as we…need a biotic substrate to reproduce, females and males are here to stay”. Sperm banks we already have, artificial wombs don’t seem a particularly far-fetched scenario, we already have in-vitro fertilisation. Technology is finding solutions to the question of how best to reproduce that may be about to diverge quite wildly from the ones we inherited from apes. Probably there will be successors of traditional-female and traditional-male, but my guess is that as these become choices rather than accidents of nature they will disaggregate and be accompanied by other “genders” that aren’t really either one or the other. And this is when I think the term “gender” might start to look increasingly archaic, along with the existing binary-gender linguistic structures.

“gender” being “archaic” - yes, yes, please, i like the sound of that!

and casrose, i SO identify with the incident you describe.  that happens again and again all over the place.  unfortunately, it’s a hard thing to ‘prove’, research, etc… setting up the control variables, etc.  but it’s exactly the thing that people like Andre need, i guess, since they don’t see it, and/or refuse to consider gender as the explanation, ...

@casrose re “This is the biggest problem.. Everyone has opinions, attitudes , beliefs without knowing why they have them.. ” I would put it slightly differently, in the sense that I would hate to feel I need to ow why I hold every opinion, attitude and belief that I have, I would rather say that it’s important from time to time to remember that our opinions, attitudes and beliefs are just that - opinions, attitudes and beliefs - and that they might be completely wrong.

@Peg re ““gender” being “archaic” - yes, yes, please, I like the sound of that!” I’ll take that as your answer to my latest comment on Martine’s article, i.e. your positive vision of how to resolve these gender issues. Which is partly why I wrote the article (although it started out as a more general piece about identity and the use of language). As you know I’m ambivalent about to myself, but I do like the idea of a flourishing of different “genders” (sexual identities?). What I wouldn’t want is to completely desexify (if that is a word…it is now, anyway!) our identities and relationships, and in the short term I see some conflict between the objective of avoiding that and the “end discrimination and apartheid of sex” objective, and I think this may be quite a fundamental reason why the feminist movement has faltered somewhat. (That and Intomorrow’s carrot.) In the longer term I’m convinced that we can achieve both, and must strive for that, but in the shorter term some kind of compromise seems to be called for.

Agreed on all counts.
In the long term, gender will mean nothing. But the near-future? we are stuck for now in past in all areas of life save for science; life drags down for now because very many live in the 20th century, plus a not insubstantial number in the 19th century or before—this is real and cannot be ignored..
for now man is man;
woman is woman.

Indeed, although we might benefit from being a tad more precise about the “stuck in the past” point. I guess what we mean is that many have beliefs and attitudes that seem like a throwback from yesteryear. And this is hardly surprising: new developments, whether cultural or technological, penetrate at different rates in differentiates. As somebody once said: the future’s already here, it’s just unevenly distributed. And then there are the cycles of action and reaction that you’ve pointed out: you seem to be making progress in one direction, and then back swings the pendulum again. And sometimes that’s a useful correction, other times it’s just a frustrating (of hopefully temporary) reversal. And sometimes civilisations collapse altogether. Who knows how many civilisations with wonderful technological and cultural sophistication have existed in the past but are lost to us?

I guess the question I still have is what we do with that information. In the first place I suppose we take it simply as a reality check, but I think it also goes to my point on the “Billions of sexes (Part 2)” thread about the need to ACCEPT reality. The comment didn’t go down well, but one of the best lessons I’ve learnt in recent years is to be ambitious with regard to long-term goals, realistic with regard to short-term goals, and as accepting as possible about the present. This seems to be the best way to steer a safe course between the opposing pitfalls of futility and defeatism. Railing against reality is pointless, but failure to embrace ambitious, positive visions for the future would be downright irresponsible. This, ultimately, is what draws me to transhumanism.

I made a very clear suggestion as to what we do with that information.  You yourself seem to be exhibiting a failure to embrace the positive vision for the future I presented - namely, the elimination of ‘mandatory’ (by law and custom) gender-specific titles and, hopefully as well, pronouns.

“Railing against reality is pointless, but failure to embrace ambitious, positive visions for the future would be downright irresponsible.”

Agreed completely; now will our opponents be accepting?
Or will they perceive our acceptance of their reality to be utter weakness on our part? they certainly do not accept/ tolerate the elimination of mandatory gender titles and pronouns.
I don’t say I know what to do, and as reality becomes more complex I have more doubts of my ability to know what to do or even what to think. But the Rimbaughs don’t know what to do or think either;
however he who yells loudest gets heard—and the Rimbaughs yell awfully loud.

...
PS:
“Indeed, although we might benefit from being a tad more precise about the ‘stuck in the past’ point. I guess what we mean is that many have beliefs and attitudes that seem like a throwback from yesteryear. And this is hardly surprising: new developments, whether cultural or technological, penetrate at different rates in differentiates. As somebody once said: the future’s already here, it’s just unevenly distributed. And then there are the cycles of action and reaction that you’ve pointed out…”

The progressive-reaction cycle, yes. And I accept that progress is fitful, asymmetrical—who at IEET does not? however one cannot be all things to everyone; can’t be radical and moderate; atheist and religious all at once.
Being sentimental for the ambiance of the past, I do not necessarily reject being stuck in the past, one can sympathize with the old-fashioned (rubes). But then, how can we progress adequately if so many are indeed living in the past in their heads?

Here’s another suggestion as to what we do with that information, another positive view for/of the future:  make it mandatory, once we have the easy tech, for everyone to spend a couple years in a male body and a couple years in a female body. Now, THAT would be transformative.

Coming up with positive visions is one thing; embracing any positive vision that anyone comes up with is another. As Giulio as said on another thread: we like what we like ,and others like what they like. Not that I’m opposed to yours, Peg, or at least less so than some others who have commented over the various threads. I just think there’a cost involved in making anything mandatory (that’s not being libertarian, that’s just having a healthy respect for the liberal tradition, and I’m using the word “liberal” here in its political-philosophy sense, not in its US-culture-war sense). But maybe the costs are outweighed by the benefits. I haven’t really made up my mind.

By the way, what practical action would you suggest that IEET readers take now to advance this agenda?

@Intomorrow re “how can we progress adequately if so many people are indeed living in the past in their heads”, I think the answer is essentially the same. Keep coming up with those positive visions, until we come up with some that we are ALL excited about…and which we can hopefully sell to the nostalgic. Remembering that often people like to live in the past because it feels SAFER.

Good thoughts Peter Wick ! Enough Talk !
Where is the action that gets results !

I am doing my part with development of science, tech, products to advance the agenda we are speaking about… To make what we use and wear everyday out of the us vs them platform…This is what Male is and this is what female is etc..

We all have male, female in us that is constantly relating to things biologically, emotionally etc… It is just these mundane roles that society has locked everyone into causing the problem .

I learned by being a pioneer in Preventive Whole Person medicine starting in 1970 that you cannot teach anyone… nor force the information etc.. That it takes a shift in their needs and wants etc..  It took Mothers Against Drunk Drivers MADD years to educate congress and govt to make laws to save lives with DUI laws. But once those laws went into effect it has such a ripple effect on quality of life for individuals and families etc..

Addictions were never talked about before DUI’s… A person could do what ever wanted .. Even if it destroyed them and family. But with making it a law that this addiction can Kill with a vehicle that has brought much overdue awareness and allowed people to find preventive whole person health etc.. Be educated on selves etc.

Same type of thing will happen with seeing genders as equal etc.. It will be some type of over all fact Like AIDS or DUI’s that exposes the damage separation of genders are doing. Right now to me it appears much interest is coming into this from many areas on many levels so what we all are seeking does not appear to be that far down the road etc..

I will put my thinking cap on to speed this along as you suggest in finding other practical action to merge this separation into one with basic concrete ways of enlightenment !

@P. re “make it mandatory, once we have the easy tech, for everyone to spend a couple years in a male body and a couple years in a female body.”

No thanks. Once we have the easy tech I may well choose to follow this advice, or spend a couple of years in a sea slug body to see what it is like, or something else, but please don’t make anything mandatory. I just don’t like to take orders.

@casrose Looking forward to reading your ideas!

@Giulio I’m not keen on taking orders either, but doesn’t casrose’s drink-and-drive example usefully illustrate the importance of binding legislation? Another example is how we got the lead out of petrol: we (in particular US, EU and Japan, working to some extent in a co-ordinated fashion and with the albeit tetchy support of the auto and oil industries) made it mandatory to phase out leaded fuel. You’ll think I’m backsliding here 😊 but surely this is an example of the bureaucracies of the developed world actually doing some good, through binding legislation.

Which is why I still haven’t made my mind up regarding Peg’s (P.‘s? ptittle’s? @Peg what do you prefer?) proposal.

Peg Tittle I do agree as another female all you say as it is my experience too !! I am Cassandra Rose… Yet on facebook I had to shorten my name to casrose as when I posted my thoughts on science threads etc.. The male response to my thinking very different then their perspective was to tell me the story about the Greek Goddess Cassandra and that no one will believe me !!

Here are men with Phd’s being so ignorant about facts and reality only because I was in their Male Territory as a Female !! Can You imagine the uneducated male what their attitude is towards the female if educated are carrying so much childish baggage ???

Reality is Cassandra is common name in Irish world where I got it.
Has nothing to do with Gods etc… But because of this backlash I thought about taking a Male name to use to communicate with ...
In reviewing male names, like John, Robert, Tom, Paul, Michael, Mitch and on and on… I was grossed out !! I do not want to be a MAN.. even if it is pretend !! I like being ME.. Which is female… sensitive, sweet, daffy, goofy, very expansive thinking, loving , nurturing etc.. This does not make my brain less operational then the males !! It is just my components are not left brain like theirs !!

To me this is the problem we are now dealing with.. Is this Male left linear top< down reductionist thinking being the only one running things for past 100 yrs. This is not the way it was once upon a time.. Female thinking, understanding was very much integrated in the whole picture of life operation etc..  It was the industrial society that pushed the female out to being the weaker sex and became USED by the Male in their need for Domination

Porno #1 $$ making enterprise today that includes Children ~ Woman and Children are LURED into this world.. I never met one while I working as a therapist who really enjoyed the work as discounts them as a human being and hiding in drugs/booze to deal with the pain ! 

I Like my soft curvy female body.. I do not want a Man’s hard straight body to live in ! It is the Male body that turns me on sexually though but I do not want it !!

I did not need the male body to do traditional Male work in my life… 1972 I was window cleaner a dirty high risk job that mostly men with Indian blood do.. But I did it as I needed the income ! I wanted to make as much money just being out of highschool as the Men did ! Of course the men taunted me and set me up hoping I would quit ! Their downfall was that in the HIGH I gave them they all went on a wild drinking drugging spree and did not show up for work one morning and I DID !!

Which showed the owner I was reliable and got the job done ! End of discrimination and got me the cushy jobs… Same thing happened when I was one of the first female Cab Drivers in Boston early 1980’s.  Driving a big old checker ! Again the Men thought It was joke and I would not last… But my work ethic proved to the people who owned the company that I was reliable and was good PR for the top clients who worked on retainers.. So again after the initial roughing up by the males at lower level.. My Female softness and beauty won out to get to the Top jobs from the company !!

1974 I was hired as one of the first woman in Boston to be trained as a stock broker… in a very old New England Male Brokerage Firm !! Again it was for the opportunity to support myself as a independent female… The backlash was not just from the males of a female invading their territory.. It was from all the secretaries who felt they deserved the position ( rightly so ) made available to me so the firm could meet it’s Federally mandated ” Equality” #‘s of female being equal to the Male !!

All the other woman in my position were dressing and acting like the Males… I said NO… I am not going to gumpitize myself to the Male World for acceptance.. I am soft, feminine and Like being so.. I want respect for being a Woman…In the end all those woman who took on the Male’s ways ended up behind the 8 ball with regrets emotionally that they short changed themselves in not living a female experience that they really desired .. I quit early on to immerse myself in preventive whole person medicine. 

That we are discussing this in 2012 means real equality still has not happened Yet ! From my perspective it is the resistance to acceptance emotionally for the males is too extreme and the females Like NOW organization are not going after equality correctly. NOW is too combative.. Again it is the US vs Them equation that has to be alleviated !!

This is the KEY doing away with the Walls of comparison. Of subjective ideologies of ” roles” getting in the way of reality and common sense etc..  To end this Us Vs Them in Genders will pave the way to ending Us Vs Them in cultures, colors, races, size, appearance, economics and on and on…

Sorry I am writing so much ! It is just this area I have been fighting all my life . At 60 yrs old I have it with the ignorance !
I am determined to do all I can bring ACTION and evolution to this very stuck World !! Holding onto the past nostalgia is for selling stuff…Playing on the Human emotions to keep them locked up as the non thinking non evolving consumer of NEEDS running them.  It is not for moving forward for quality of life at all by allowing the Human to evolve as it is made naturally !!  It is all domestic violence today of Power and control over the average person so a few at the top can make extravagant unnecessary $$ off the masses rather then each being a individual with rights etc.

Well I didn’t plan to comment further on these retro-gressive gender arguments that now seem to be viral? However..

@ Cassandra - you describe some tough times and decisions in your career, but I would like to suggest that this is no more unusual for a man! Yet you have touched upon maybe the greater issue at hand - “competition” for Jobs and work! Is it really about gender competition these daze, or job competition?

You know? It is just as difficult for a man to compete for Job, career, promotion, and status - I’m presuming you know this right? And no woman wants to date a vagrant, a loser or failure do they.. hmm?

Example: When men meet and shake hands “firmly” it is not so much a sign of mutual respect nor openess, yet rather a male signal that indicates “don’t fuck with me!”

Example 2: when you meet your new manager the first time and he shakes your hand “firmly”, it is customary not to look into his eyes and show dissent, as this is also deemed as too competitive?

.. And we haven’t even got past the hand shake yet?

Example 3: When you go to a bar with colleagues and a male likes a female, even if you show no interest, he will attempt to impress her, covert her, by way of insulting you? And this usually gets ugly if you do show interest, or merely “pretend” to show interest, and worse, if the female really prefers you! - eh.. Ya now what I’m sayin’? Competition!

And it gets worse.. If a man goes to a bar with expectations and fails, his intoxicated rejection is usually expressed as violence or mischief.

So my point? Is it genes or memes? - “Competition” memes?

It would seem there is more status and gender competition in academia and politics, than on the “shop floor” nowadays?

If not? you are all living in the wrong country? Half of all of my previous managers have been, and still are, females!

And one final point.. “and let me make this absolutely clear?” - because of my rather more egalitarian personal views towards women in general, this does mean that a female manager would receive the same criticisms for apathy and incompetance as would a male manager, this unfortunately is the downside - ie. No “positive discrimination”!

I guess if we need to uncover the roots of gender equality, (including tips for further progress), then perhaps we should refer once again to the ancient Greeks - the Spartans come to mind? As well as certain Athenians? (Plato).

And also.. What would Jesus do? (the real Jesus that is, if he actually existed?)

@CygnusX1 Whatever position we take on this debate I think it’s good that we’re having it. My own position is that, while indeed competition and conflict is the root problem, rather than gender issues per se, and the examples you give are absolutely real, I do still think that, overall, women face more obstacles and frustrations than men, essentially because of the relatively dominant position of men since antiquity. And for this reason, I tend to support affirmative action, within reason. And especially creative thinking on the subject.

“.. What would Jesus do? (the real Jesus that is, if he actually existed?)”

Jesus is allegedly the Christ—yet He (or for our purpose, She) is only one of many. As Gautama apparently was the Buddha.
Or was, if you are not a mystic.
First thing would be: She would litigate against the churches, with a class action suit, for the corruption of Her message, theft of services plus false advertising. At any rate, for expediency’s sake, she is preferable to he, as:
a) s/he sounds cloying—and a bit too Feminist Lit 100.
b)  She as deity makes sense if God allegedly whelped the Cosmos.

BTW
“Jesus is allegedly the Christ—yet He (or for our purpose, She) is only one of many. As Gautama apparently was the Buddha.”

Historical Jesus might very well be a composite of priests living in late BCE- early CE eras. Gautama is less problematic: there are/were the Buddha and also countless buddhas (e.g., say, bodhis; no hard and fast rules with Buddhism). If memory serves, Orwell(?) wrote that “Jesus is a little white spider”; an analog perhaps to Buddha being “a stick of dried dung.”
I personally think Jesus is a high-class porn star—the best of them all.

No it is not about competition..
That is the Male frame of reference that has to become extinct if we are to evolve.

This is the “Us vs Them” that does not exist in reality only in ideological, fantasy and Attitudes.. No one is your enemy..
Get a Life.. Get LOVE !  When one loves themselves the Love that the Mommy’s of yesterday did not give, a person has NO need to compete etc.. They feel and are secure.

Competition is the excuse of alpha male caveman hold out as it is comfortable.. My father is this way, my grandfather this way etc..
Once again we all have to get a life in the Present here and Now reality !!  What Dad and Grandpa did is Zero relation to what is today. Their world is Apples and todays world is oranges..

When I went for jobs in the Male kingdom in 1970’s to be equally $$ solvent so I did not have to sell my soul for survival there was no shortage of Jobs in 1970’s 80’s . I was not taking a Male job away from him etc…and for sure they did not see me as threat in that area… I was only someone to capture and throw off the Island etc.. just due to I was the wrong gender of their territory.

The Male behavior 40 yrs ago was all due to what still is today..
Guarding it’s TURF as @CygnusX1 made reference to in the handshake and meeting a female in bar etc… Survival of fittest is extinct… We are not living off the land anymore !!
This is very low behavior on the scale of evolution and should be ignored !!

What everyone needs to accept especially the Male species is that we are No Longer land locked !! The space station information is far more superior to anything we get on earth… This is about being a planet in a Universe now… Not fighting each other on land etc…

This is about working together all sexes, genders, races, colors, cultures, economic standing etc as a Global Team not childish attitudes of you female and your hurt me or I need to capture you and lock you up and make you mine as you are this being I do not quite understand etc !!

I know I receive from men much emotional outburst etc.. My communication with Men would work much better if they had resolved their emotional attachments about Mom and Woman much earlier in their life.. This is the problem..

Women will look for insight in understanding others but the Males tend to think due to fallacy of the ME-D- I-AM that the world revolves around them ( Media suckers Men in every second for $$$ ) so communication is not evolved etc…

I constantly use Anthony Wiener as example of how detach the Media has made Men from reality… That is NOT my Penis.. this man said for 2 wks on National TV…  This is called someone stuck in infant stage of life when they can not identify their own body part !!

This is not a put down of Males at all.. It is just the gender problem originates from the males.. They are the ones with distinction problem… and refusal of acceptance of equality due to this TURF caveman hold out. It is relaxing the guard.. Knowing the only person who is your enemy is YOU !! No one else..

I am a big fan of http://www.warrenfarrell.com whom is working hard to bring attention to the Males and how they have been shafted ! Woman are not equal no but most men are losing footing too due to the wrong and detrimental attitudes that are holding onto role, identity etc that existed in past civilizations not the one we in now. Being Present in Real Time as a Human Being Not a Gender.

@casrose I preferred your previous comments! You are arguing against the “us vs them” (i.e. competitive) mentality but then you write an entire post complaining that the whole problem originates with men!

Also I don’t agree that competition is a particularly “male frame of reference”. Competition has been with us since life on earth emerged, and takes place in the first place at the level of genes competing for the opportunity to replicate. So yes, I think the root problem IS competition.

Not that competition is entirely bad. As David Brin argued recently, it is the lifeblood of any economy. But like yin and yang, things go wrong when it gets out of balance. And we need to make sure that we’re competing in the right way, for the right things. For example, on this thread, are we not competing to see who has the better arguments? And isn’t that a good thing, as long as it motivates us to seek out (and hopefully come closer to) the truth? By contrast, if it were just to descend into a mud-slinging contest that would be a bad thing.

No Peter I am not writing on this thread to compete with anyone !

I am giving my opinions as a female to maybe enlighten or give a field of understanding to the female perspective since your article is in response to Peg Tittle saying we should do away with the gender identifications etc… I have no attachment to winning anything !! Just communicating… The aggression of ego I do not have. It is unnecessary.

No mud slinging either.. I lived my life as a therapist so how I approach things.. Look for the source causing the problem. The source is the sensitivity of attitude you are writing here… Rather then engaging me you appear to be taking it personally my saying Men have caused the separation of making genders a Us vs Them silly roles of ideologies that have no bearing in reality of life.

This is not a put down of the Males !! It is a fact…to deal with.
Females are nurturers and inclusive. They instinctively like to share and help etc.. ( hang around a nursery school and you will see the difference.. The Male is saying MINE ! and the female is saying… Ok you can have it !! )

The view point I have taken is how do we make the males feel more secure in themselves to not put up walls of feeling inferior or challenged etc…  Why I am 100 % behind http://www.warrenfarell.com work to bring inclusion and Love to the Males identity etc. As well as I am very supportive and Happy to see groups like this one ManKind below arising around the country to bring Men together to create a new identity for selves that fits with the 21st century .

We females have had the Woman’s movement evolving us for the past 40 yrs… Now it is time for a Male’s Movement to reclaim themselves ! So we can all move beyond the competition and comparison etc… No I do not see competition as driving force of the economy ! That is another subject though ! First we have to move beyond the gender attitudes !!

Yin Yang is a Polarity that works on equal reciprocity dynamics of ” Engaging” creating a ” relationship of give/take” that builds a foundation and expands outward to engage in world around in a harmonious way. No either/or. There is much Unity in Diversity !!

http://www.mankindproject.org
The ManKind Project is a global not for profit organization [501 (c)(3)]The ManKind Project flies in the face of rigid stereotypes about the “Sensitive New Age Man” AND the “Macho Man”. We ask men to go right up to the edge - and beyond it - in a culture that seems to be comfortable with mediocrity and passivity from men. We ask men to stop living a vicarious adventure through their TV’s and step into a real time adventure to win back their passion for life. We ask men to confront the real problems in their lives and to get 100% honest about who they are. Some men have a really hard time doing that. Many of us did too, but we took the risk anyway.

Leaders wanted. Men willing to step through fear and into the challenge of their lives. Men not afraid to revolt against repressive social norms, take off their masks and break through their personal barriers. Men ready to take real risks and step into their full power. Men not afraid to inhabit ALL the characteristics required of men in changing times; resiliency, integrity, courage, creativity, innovation, adaptability, compassion, empathy, radical self-responsibility, inclusivity, generosity and respect.

I like the look of mankind.org, but casrose, don’t you think you are reinforcing gender stereotypes by saying things like “Females are nurturers and inclusive…The Male is saying MINE ! and the female is saying… Ok you can have it !!” I’m not even saying you’re (entirely) wrong about this, but if this really begins in the nursery school then doesn’t this suggest that the differences are indeed innate, and not (entirely) the result of socialisation as some like to believe? In any case I’ve seen enough vicious competition between women to know that it’s not as black and white as you’re suggesting.

Also I want to insist on the point that competition is not fundamentally bad. Of course this ultimately depends on your values, but from my preferred utilitarian perspective of maximising overall welfare I’m convinced that a degree of competition is healthy, even if I agree that at this moment in history we have more than enough of it, and not enough of the qualities listed at the end of your post: resiliency, integrity etc.

And finally something we can definitely agree on: here’s hoping that Mike turns up safe and sound. This must be a distressing time for a lot of people…

“In any case I’ve seen enough vicious competition between women to know that it’s not as black and white as you’re suggesting.’

But vicious female competition is virtually entirely in the context of a Man’s world.
As for Mike, I know what authorities are like- someone has to travel to Detroit to jawbone law enforcement. In a city such as that?? we’d better believe it.

“Watergate should had much more power to change things then it did ~ For some reason all the great energy collapsed!”

Forgot to respond to this:
Watergate did have a profound effect-
it did not cause the malaise of the ‘70s, yet was an exacerbating factor—a big one. But remember, millions of progressives did get sucked into over-emphasising issues such as marijuana legalisation and assassination theories.
To get right back on-topic for once, no reason gender stasis ought to be permanent; think of how anthropic such a position is—the sort of negativism I am accused of. And think of how anthropic, say, Star Trek, just as a random example, was: projecting the late 20th century on the 23rd! yes I know it was merely entertainment, but still.. we can’t think hundreds of years from now will see “us” as being only an extension of what homo sapien is today; in fact it isn’t even progressive, it is utopian moderate-conservative.

I still don’t buy the idea that competition is fundamentally a “male” quality. Rather the competition is more direct and overt (the examples given by CygnusX1 being good illustrations). The reality is that as soon as self-replicating molecules emerged they started competing for resources. Competition is thus built into the fabric of life. The trick is to frame the terms of competition in a way that contributes to overall welfare. Sports are a good example of this channelling of the competitive instinct; so is the market, when properly regulated.

Since my background is sociology and psychology I am looking at the instinct of behaviors etc… As Intomorrow said ~ The female has become like the male in their survival characteristics which makes them grabbing… and there fore competitive etc…

The biological is controlled by the mental and emotional of the person. The real person is NOT biological at all ! The bio is only the house to contain the Person. Why all this talk about a person being uploaded into computers etc is very realistic as we are NOT our bodies.. The Bio is the step down to the earth plane due to gravity fields creating mass ~ Sophisticated Mass for sure !!

This article talks about how Everyone is very insecure these days which flicks on the flight or fight syndrome big time… Which brings out the competition in all genders !! Again it is the theme of pitting one against another that has led to our stagnation.
http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/154469
How America’s Obsession With Money Deadens Us

I personally do not have the ability to be competitive as I grew up in a deaf world… No ability to fight with anyone as I did not have the verbal exchange.  I say you want it bad enough take it…
That is my personal survival mechanistic to walk away and move on…As when a person who is competitive knows the other weaker it leads to physical violence and much manipulation. 

Living in the quiet world of No voices I got to observe much.. The games due to the insecurity…Childish waste of time to me as I do not live in the linear limited world… There is plenty of space etc for everyone to have what they want etc… It is all in the perception, understanding, attitudes etc.. Human’s make their own jail cells.

It is the beat of the drummer you choose to live by… and majority have been conned and tricked into thinking they have to have certain things etc to be etc… Especially when it comes to the male and female roles etc..

Sports have been healthy yes but now it is obsession of escape for many.. NIKE while of course being motivated by money built up the sports world for health and fitness.. Personally outfitting majority of schools globally at all levels and teaching coaches etc…as I way to keep people busy while being healthy.. Creating community etc… Interchange that allows personal growth expression etc..while selling and advertising their product in a natural free way ! Creating all these Images of Sports Stars is healthy to a degree but I find Men in particular have a Hero Worship complexity that allows them to stay in denial of self.

Real Sportsmanship is not the animalistic competitiveness but more for driving to win as there needs to be a beginning and end to games !! So keeping score is the logical way… Yet this world of keeping score has now infiltrated everything in life as the contrast that is keeping us stuck in time !! The us vs them whose is winning and whose is not…We are a Cat consumed with catching it’s own tail just to keep a few rich ( the 1% ) !

Reality is this is not how nature works… It grows in spirals working with the space around it to nurture and grow. Everyone talks about humans being from animal instincts , survival of the fittest. With all the new research and data now this scenario of our evolution is being redone due to we are gaining extensively in the knowledge bank of how this Universe really works.. How this planet works etc… Which we humans are a product of !

@casrose I so much like both what you write and the way you write it that I hardly want to argue with you! But it would be wrong of me not to insist, gently, on a couple of points.

First re who we are really. Ironically this was what I originally intended the article to be about, before I made it specifically about gender. Personally I believe that who we “really” are is, above all, a construct of the way we use language. There are just so many ways in which we can use this word “I”. It can refer to our biological selves, it can refer to just our minds, it can refer to “I in the here and now”, or even “this thought process”, or it can refer to an entity (spiritual, physical/biological, or both) that evolves through time (e.g. From conception to some unknown future, or multiplicity of possible futures). I don’t believe there is one right answer to the question, “Who am I?” it really is a choice.

Secondly I honestly do believe that we all compete. Even you! 😊 What we don’t generally do (if we are sensible) is to fight battles we can’t win, and it’s true that some of us are less comfortable with competition than others, preferring co-operation. And we need more of that in this indeed over-competitive, adrenalin-surcharged world. I’m just not convinced that it’s quite so gender-correlated as you seem to believe.

It seems to me that BOTH competition and co-operation are built into the fabric of the universe, and for those of us (i.e. virtually all of us) who enjoy a bit of (healthy) competition that really doesn’t seem like a bad thing, per se. It becomes bad when competition becomes destructive.

For example, I would love to see a competition of positive visions about where we want to go. It seems to me that this would be a good way to channel our competitive instincts. And we need to, because they will persist long after gender (as we know it today) disappears.

Pete,
women compete so far less than men that the evidence is hypothetically, if women were not dominated by men, women would only compete enough to survive.
Look at this pix, as a random example of stereotyping: it demonstrates how anthropic we are.. though it is only entertainment, it does show somehow that the majority project their current lives hundreds of years into the future.
Look at the figures in this 23rd century scenario: they are just like us, a preposterous scenario even for entertainment. Look how in the pix, men are men and women are women and wearing uniforms! Does anyone at IEET other than guest rubes think that 300+ years from now “we” will look like as in this pix?
In fact, space might be colonized by ‘bots and posthumans, not humans wearing uniforms and stuck in stereotypical male v female roles and appearances. No real transhumanist would take this or any other 20th century projective scenario seriously, would view it as being anything but slightly rube entertainment—
I mean, uniforms fer cryin’ out loud.


http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view_ylt=A0PDoX3ormdPr2YAfU2JzbkF_ylu=X3oDMTBlMTQ4cGxyBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1n?back=http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=star+trek&fr=yfp-t-701&fr2=piv-web&tab=organic&ri=7&w=1930&h=1448&imgurl=www.elec-intro.com/EX/05-13-17/star_trek.jpg&rurl=http://www.elec-intro.com/com-star-trek&size=124.8+KB&name=com+star+trek_Elec-Intro+Website&p=star+trek&oid=ff2e726fad18fa66b017a2af45faca3a&fr2=piv-web&fr=yfp-t-701&tt=com+star+trek_Elec-Intro+Website&b=0&ni=21&no=7&tab=organic&ts;=&sigr=117fcosli&sigb=1327nflkb&sigi=11c1ai0ob&.crumb=y.R6eFMBMEO

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