Friday, August 20, 2010
This week, Newsweek asked: Are We Facing a Genderless Future?
Although no one is keeping statistics, researchers who study gender say a small but growing number of people (including some who have had sex-change operations) consider themselves “gender neutral” or “gender variant.” Their stories vary widely. Some find that even after surgery, they simply can’t ignore previous years of experience living as another gender. Others may feel that their gender identity is fluid. Still others are experimenting with where they feel most comfortable on what they see as a continuum of gender.
I'm all for more mainstream and respected media outlets covering this issue because I think right now, far too many people view those who step outside of gender boxes as a small group of freaks whom, if we ignore, will eventually go away. But Newsweek is absolutely right: as more and more people realize that "there is no way that six billion people can be categorized into two groups," the group of people who define gender on their own terms is growing.
But I've said before: I personally don't aim for a genderless future -- instead, I hope for a society that embraces the right of each person to define their own gender. Seriously, can't we get rid of those tired and constricting "male" and "female" check-boxes on every form we have to fill out and replace it with a blank line instead?