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Extra Extra Late Intro + Utopialand

2009 January 29
by The Doctor

So late late late intro- hey everyone, I’m a freshman at Bryn Mawr, no idea what I want to study yet, and I’ve been online over a decade now. I feel really, really old. I’ll be able to tell my kids “Back in my day we didn’t start out with Wikipedia and YouTube and! We had to walk fifteen miles in fifteen feet of snow with our dial-up modems and hope the Google machine actually gave us something useful!” Good times, good times.

My Utopia (Thanks,

royalty-free image from

"So what're you supposed to be?" "A person."

One aspect of my utopia are creatures- be they organic, mechanic, or a blend of the two- who live a life fully absent of gender. While this picture does show a few female characteristics, such as the presence of lips and a curve to the chest, the actual entity has no need to identify with either or any gender. Beyond breaking the gender dichotomy, this being answers “none” when asked about its gender or sex. (It would also require English to finally adopt a third-person singular pronoun besides it. :D) What would life be without gender? Not just in a completely accepting, open society, but for someone who just chooses to go without? I’m having problems properly describing what I see in my head, possibly/probably because genderlessness (besides not actually being a word) is completely alien to our society. What’s left over without a gender- or, in the case of a thinking machine, without physical sex? What can we build once we’ve got that mess out of the way?

Also from

"So what're you suppoed to be?" "Everything at the same time."

The second image, on the other hand, is an entity that is fully gendered and has free reign to express whichever and how many genders it chooses at any given time. Gender is seen for what it is- exceptionally fluid- and technology aids in an equally fluid expression. Someone can be male, female, something else, everything, or just completely make up their gender on the fly. Just as in the above example someone is freed from the gender dichotomy by choosing no gender, this second type of someone is freed by getting to check all the little boxes on a job application. Gender is made to totally and completely serve the individual, and to be discarded the moment it becomes useless or destructive.


Contacts are so 21st-century.

This third image represents a closer future where we overcome the limitations of our bodies through technology. Pretty simple, and I imagine those who don’t feel the need to be involved in the Great Gender Debate can take this option too. (Not everyone’s upset with identifying as a girl or boy just because of their genitalia, you know.) There’s also going to be great strides towards transcending the human condition (pretentious as that phrase is)- instead of letting our bodies die and only treating symptoms, we’ll replace the broken bits and keep the whole machine running. We’ll get to completely redefine what it means to be human, because eventually “being human” won’t refer to anything biologic or genetic. Or, better yet, we’ll (or I’ll, in the future-me self that has somehow survived, possibly by having my head put in a jar) start identifying as sentient rather than just human.

Oh, and there’ll be aliens and stuff in Utopia, too. Free Cake Day, that sort of thing.

This is what true Utopia is about.

This is what true Utopia is about.

2 Responses
  1. Solomon Lutze permalink
    January 30, 2009

    So, I liked everything about this post – especially about the idea of humans transcending an organic (or even, potentially, a corporeal) form – and THEN THERE WAS A CUPCAKE.

    I like you.

    mmm, cupcakes.

    There is the question of what the future of gender is like in terms of “will there not be any” or “will there be tons of them and you’ll be able to have whichever you like.” The idea of complete evolution past biology (which is a distinct possibility, I suppose) seems to bring with it the idea that people WILL start identifying as genderless because it wouldn’t carry any (obvious) preconceptions. But what would it mean? If there’s boxes for “F,” “M,” and “N/A,” what do you think when someone checks the last one? I can see, potentially, a future in which no one identifies as being of either gender because it refers to social and biological distinctions which no longer exist.

    I guess I wonder if I think that would be a good thing or a bad thing. Do we WANT those distinctions? Would they mean anything if our physical bodies were all identical? Or would we still have enough vestigial thought patterns from back when we had different sexes for it to matter? How would we be producing new humans, or would we at all? If we were, would they be BORN with genders?

    in the meantime, I’m at work in the computing center and I can’t boot a Dell Inspiron. These may be moot questions for a few decades.

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  1. Technology as an Extension of Humanity. | Gender and Technology Spring 2009

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