And given the prospect of a posthuman condition, I also wondered what relevance 'gender' would continue to have for a technologically advanced species.
I was inspired by Donna Haraway's Cyborg Manifesto, but felt that it was incomplete, unimaginative and far too female-centric. That's when I started to think of 'postgenderism,' the idea that both men and women should use advanced biotechnologies to reduce the gender gap and create entirely new opportunities for sexual expression.
I've never fully articulated these ideas into anything formal, aside from an early Wikipedia article and the odd blog posting.
This has finally changed. James Hughes and I have collaborated on an essay that is set to appear in a forthcoming book on gender and reproductive technologies. Dr. J has released a shorter version of the essay on the IEET site and we're hoping to get some feedback so that we may improve the final version for the book.
Here's 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. 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.