February 12, 2006

New Wikipedia article: Postgenderism

Last week I created a new entry in Wikipedia: postgenderism. I added it mostly because I was surprised to find it absent. The idea of the postgendered posthuman is nothing new, with Donna Haraway's Cyborg Manifesto propelling the concept straight into popular consciousness and the culture wars.

That being said, I don't believe Haraway directly articulated 'postgenderism' specifically; she was speaking more of the 'female cyborg' liberated from biological reproduction. The postgenderism that I'm thinking about is more gender neutral with a stronger emphasis on the elimination of not just biological reproduction, but of all gender-specific aspects that differenciate the sexes.

The intro to the Wikipedia piece reads like this:
Postgenderism is a diverse social, political and cultural movement whose adherents affirm the elimination of gender in the human species through the application of advanced biotechnology and assistive reproductive technologies. Advocates of postgenderism argue that the presence of gender roles, social stratification, and cogno-physical disparities and differences are generally to the detriment of individuals and society. Given the radical potential for advanced assistive reproductive options, postgenderists believe that sexual reproduction will eventually become a thing of the past, placing the entire need for gender and gender differences into question.
I hope that others contribute to this entry, particularly in adding referrences to those who have worked on this subject and movement.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... the transhuman possibilities for postgenderism are many and varied. I note that your wikiarticle focusses on (1) hetrosexual gender neutralisation (2) heterosexual transsexualisation (3) possible elimination of one sex.

I am intrigued by imagining the "genderisations" would be for symbolic sentients (people) with other biological sexualisations.

I mean, ungendered artificial intelligences will throw a good spanner in the works; but what would the socialogical implications be for:

* Hermaphroditic people
* Monosexual people
* Asexual people
* Diploid people
* Haplo-diploid people
* Apical (Tri-sexual) people?

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy a haplo-diploid society. But would a society of monosexual people be different from a hermaphroditic society? Will we ever get to see such a society, or will transhumanism create too much fusion for new societal dynamics to be created? (By analogy, will communication blend accents, or allow new ones to be cultivated?)

-- Olie NcLean