It is common knowledge that gender orients us in i...
It is common knowledge that gender orients us in interacting with
others and is paramount to our identities. However, we rarely ask ourselves
what would happen if gender did not exist? Theorists acknowledge that one
result of eliminating gender would be “gender vertigo” which is a vulnerable
and unsteady feeling. Nonetheless, we can argue that this frenzy scenario can
be overcome. We can always adjust, and as we recover, the effort would be
worthwhile in the end. It’s apparent that most humans would be freer after all
given the oppressive structure of gender that we try to keep up with on a daily
As much as being genderless seems surreal, some people in the
world already feel like they are genderless. Even before the idea of sex change
came to fruition, some people already felt like they did not fit into any
gender. The Hijra in India, for instance, have existed for centuries and are
males dressed as females but do not consider themselves to be of any gender.
The long tradition of eunuch culture also exists. Several years ago, the
British government declared that transsexuality is not a mental illness.
Moreover, several colleges in the United States including Michigan and Harvard
already offer more unisex bathrooms and gender neutral housing to accommodate
students who don’t fit well into female or male categories (Kantrowitz). In a world where there’s
no gender, this would be a trend in most countries.
Let’s not forget to remind ourselves that every rose has its
thorn. Somehow, turning our backs on gender does not mean that we’ve officially
solved all gender-related injustices. This is a great concern that echoes
criticism of “colorblindness.” For example, stopping the collection of racial
data in the United States Census would mean we would be in the dark regarding
information on whether African American kids are at a higher risk than white
kids of exposure to poverty and pollution. Unfortunately, they do, and
post-racial colorblindness is not the solution to the problem. In fact, it’s
just a smart way to ignore the problem. Unfortunately, we unconsciously inherit
assumptions and cultures about the world that create ideas of race, class, and
gender. These assumptions empower some while dis-empowering others. For both
race and gender, intervention and research must continue for as long as humans
exist. Questioning concepts and being conscious is necessary so that we can
create a more equitable world (Arni).