A few months, some of our colleagues over at IEET had drafted a paper about overcoming gender, about which we had blogged and which provoked some criticism. Many of our readers, in response to our poll, felt that gender should be either embraced or transcended, but very few felt that gender should be overcome. Authors Dvorsky and Hughes took said criticism to heart and revamped their paper, and came up with something more balanced -- I really think this article is so much better than the previous draft and I like the philosophically monistic, wholistic approach (dare I say, Buddhist?). The essay is forthcoming in an edited book on gender and reproductive technologies and here is the abstract:
Postgenderism is an extrapolation of ways that technology is eroding the biological, psychological and social role of gender, and an argument for why the erosion of binary gender will be liberatory. Postgenderists argue that gender is an arbitrary and unnecessary limitation on human potential, and foresee the elimination of involuntary biological and psychological gendering in the human species through the application of neurotechnology, biotechnology and reproductive technologies. Postgenderists contend that dyadic gender roles and sexual dimorphisms are generally to the detriment of individuals and society. Assisted reproduction will make it possible for individuals of any sex to reproduce in any combinations they choose, with or without “mothers” and “fathers,” and artificial wombs will make biological wombs unnecessary for reproduction. Greater biological fluidity and psychological androgyny will allow future persons to explore both masculine and feminine aspects of personality. Postgenderists do not call for the end of all gender traits, or universal androgyny, but rather that those traits become a matter of choice. [Emphasis added] Bodies and personalities in our postgender future will no longer be constrained and circumscribed by gendered traits, but enriched by their use in the palette of diverse self-expression.
Download the whole essay here in PDF form and let George and Jay know what you think!