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 basis (Sherwood).
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).
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