Sunday, July 26, 2009

TransAlchemy Interviews Dr. J Hughes On Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary



Co-Author of Postgenderism beyond the gender binary

http://www.changesurfer.com/Hughes.html
James "J." Hughes Ph.D. serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies where he produces the weekly syndicated public affairs talk show Changesurfer Radio. Dr. Hughes teaches Health Policy at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, and serves as Trinity's Associate Director of Institutional Research and Planning. Dr. Hughes is the author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future. He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities and the Working Group on Ethics and Technology at Yale University. Dr. Hughes speaks on medical ethics, health care policy and future studies worldwide, and appears often radio and television. Dr. Hughes lives in rural eastern Connecticut with his wife, the artist Monica Bock, and their two children.

As we dive deeper Into our series we find it only appropriate, that we ask the authors some questions.. George Dvorsky has been sent the same exact list of questions. They will be posted when received.

Again here is the link to the paper Postgenderism: Beyond the gender Binary

In "Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary" it is implied that the gender we are born into (male or female) holds us back. What is it that we can't accomplish within the confines of either male or female gender?

Physically our biological gender is a subset of the things about the human body that, as transhumanists, we believe we will be happier to transcend. A simple example is menstruation, which imposes unnecessary discomfort and inconvenience on women now that they have fewer children. Psychologically and socially the gender binary restricts our social roles, our emotional expression, and even our cognition. Some of those constraints are cultural, learned and relatively malleable. Others, such as the gendering of the brain, will need advanced technological control of the body and brain to transcend.


-Dualistic gender creates our human social dynamic. The relationship between male and female brings us together and leads us to the creation of new life. If gender became singular what would happen to human relationships? Could we become emotionally, mentally, and physically detached from each other?

We aren't proposing a singular gender, but turning gender from a binary setting fixed at birth into a set of analog knobs that can be tuned to myriad settings. That will provide transhumans many more interesting opportunities for relationships. At the most basic level the relationship between biological men and women should improve as they begin to have more insight outside of their gender box.


-A quote from the paper is: "the incidence of intersexuality is disputed, and it may now be more prevalent than before due to environmental chemicals that mimic estrogen and interfere with fetal genital development." Specifically, what chemicals were being referred to here?

Pseudo-estrogens and endocrine disruptors, specifically phthalates from plastics.


-Artificial wombs could make childbirth physically easier for mothers, but they would also physically detach mother and child. Could this physical detachment lead to emotional detachment? Would the mother/child relationship be divided from conception onward? What would this do to the human family dynamic?

All mothers that opt for artificial wombs will want to ensure post-tank bonding. Most of what we know about maternal-infant bonding relates to breastfeeding, communication, holding, stroking etc. These are all things that happen after birth, not before. Adoptive parents bond with newborns just as well as birth parents. In any case, neonatal intensive care units are already artificial wombs, and we don't see attachment disorders in kids that survive them, although many premature babies do suffer disabilities because the NICUs aren't close enough yet to an artificial womb. The first 0-9 month artificial wombs will also be used by moms who could not carry a pregnancy, and they will be closely studied for any attachment or developmental problems.



-Virtual sex may be "safer", but again, it detaches us from actual human contact. Although virtual reality will continue to grow in complexity, how do we reconcile this with the very real decline in real world social interaction?

Your preferencing of the authenticity of "real" interaction will seem quaint in thirty years. The interactions of people with nano-neural interfaces will be inconceivably more "real," deep, profound and intense than the existing meat puppets, staring through water balls, pawing with meat hands, driven by hormone triggers, and then basking in oxytocin pleasure once their reproductive imperative is fulfilled. It will take a while to get to hyper-real, mind-to-mind virtuality, but in the meanwhile I think people should make up their own minds about how "real" they want to get about sex. There are lots of people with too many physical or mental problems to have sex at all, or the kind of sex they would like to have. Virtual sex in its various forms will generally enhance those folks' lives.



-In your paper, postgenderism is often referred to as a project or a process. Most people don't seem too concerned with rushing toward a postgender/posthuman future. Do you agree that most people are content with humanity as is, and if so then whose "project" is this? At what scale is the project being developed? What are it's implications for society as a whole?

Postgenderism is a subset of the overall trend towards transhumanity, which started with cooked food, worn fur, and etched images on cave walls. The last half million years of our history have been about using brain power to transcend the exigencies of nature. We have given a label to one part of the process to help clarify what it is we are moving towards as a species, why it is a good place to go, and how we could speed up the process by linking and supporting the many postgenderist technological, political and psychological projects.


-The theme of suppression is used many times in this paper: suppression of pair bonding impulses, male aggression, and sexual desire. The idea that these forms of suppression will ultimately lead to a postgender liberation is implied. Doesn't this combination of suppression and liberation represent a distinctly dualistic point of view? Is it ironic to present postgenderism in a dyadic way, when its apparent goals are to transcend and unite the dyad?

Suppressing cancer is a liberation from cancer. Suppressing pain with drugs is a liberation from pain. But ultimately you are right. Once we have a fully postgender society and full technological control over the body and brain we won't need to suppress anything, but rather make conscious design choices. We won't suppress menstruation or fertility, we will choose whether to be a menstruator or a fertile person or not.


-As you have pointed out, "third gender" priests of various cults have modeled themselves on androgynous creator gods. If postgenderism lead to the creation of a third gender posthuman, could that posthuman be considered divine? Is postgenderism a blueprint for "building gods"?

Because the gender binary is so basic to human psychology and culture androgynes have always exercised powerful liminal magic. Christ's androgynous love for men and women on the one hand, and the irrational murderous fear and loathing for homosexuals on the other hand. By breaking down the gender binary we are releasing and normalizing that source of liminal anxiety and magical thinking. So no, postgenderism isn't a formula for building gods, it's a process that helps us understand why we made the gods we did. There may still be androgynous gods in the future, but they won't be crazy/scary/weird just because they are androgynes.


- You mention in your article that biologically engineered androgyny
-- or at least biological "choice" for which gender or blend of gender
characteristics to allow for physical expression -- can equalize all
people by eradicating the gender and sexuality class struggles. Can
you explain why humanity cannot currently solve these issues, while
the differences in gender and sexuality remain to be largely
"programmed," either biologically or culturally? And how will
providing people with more gender and sexuality "options" solve these
fundamentally social issues?


As we are careful to say in the essay, much patriarchal inequality can be erased with cultural and political struggle. But, as Firestone pointed out, so long as society needs to reproduce using two genders performing very different roles, biology places some limits on how equal the genders can become. Similarly while the constraints of the gendered brain and differences in physical strength can be overcome to some extent with socialization, true equality requires technologies that ensure that men can't physically intimidate women, and that men aren't routinely more dominating in social interactions than women.


- You mention in your article how childbearing and childrearing pose
severe limitations on a mother's ability to compete in the workforce
and have a fulfilling career, but there are some women who in fact
choose to leave their careers to stay at home and raise their
children. With the option to forego giving natural birth and to forego
assuming the stay-at-home motherhood role -- do you think that some
women will still choose to naturally bear and raise their children?
And what might be their motivations for doing so?


Of course, many women will choose to have biological children and raise them at home. Structural unemployment and social supports for parents to have children in aging societies will probably may make childrearing a much more attractive option for both genders. Since the religious are much more fertile than the seculars there will also likely always be a religious group in society with traditional gender roles and high fertility.


- Are you aware that childbirth does not always entail excruciating
pain and discomfort to the mother? Some women use hypnosis to
reprogram the cultural beliefs that childbirth is violent and even
"unnatural," so that they deliver while induced in a hypnotic state
and do not feel pain. How much of a role do you think cultural
construction plays in how we as a society view childbearing and
childrearing?


Cultural construction plays a large role in structuring the experience of childbirth. I'm a little skeptical of the notion that any human society can make childbirth completely painless just by convincing women it will be. Human pain in childbirth seems a pretty inescapable consequence of enormous brains having to be forced through pelvises designed for upright bipedal locomotion. But yes, since both my kids were born at home under the supervision of midwives, I'm a strong advocate of women taking full advantage of our accumulating knowledge of natural childbirth, if they want to. But if women prefer anesthetics, c-sections or artificial wombs that should be their choice as well.




- Science is revealing how the womb itself is implicated in prenatal
development, yet we do not know the full extent of how important the
womb is in shaping and guiding fetal development. Do you think we
should have a firmer grasp of how the womb plays a role in development
before replacing it with external wombs? If so, at what point would
our body of research be sufficient enough to show that we are gaining
more than we are risking in terms of conceiving and developing fully
functional and healthy human beings with external womb devices?


Answered above.

- Do you think that gender itself is a social construction that is
underpinned by biologically programmed tendencies? In other words, how
much of a role do genes play in gender identity, physicality, and
expression?


47.8%

- You mention the prospect of being able to replicate a sexual organ
in the male that has comparable nerve-composition as does the female
clitoris. If humanity attempts to construct new sexual organs, do you
forsee any moral or ethical precautions that will need to be taken?


Yes. The bigger the clitorally-sensitive skin area or organ, the more important it will be to have an on/off switch for our erogenous zones. Otherwise shaking hands in the workplace could be sexual harassment.


- In pop culture, we are beginning to see more androgynous characters
-- specifcally heterosexual females in touch with their masculinity,
and hetersexual males in touch with their femininity. Do you think
that "balanced" heterosexual males and females would opt to undergo
procedures to, using the term very loosely, "balance" their gender
phsysiology? Or might they be content with their mental-emotional
balance (that may also be expressed through their sexuality), that
they would not want to alter their physiology to encompass more
postgender goals?



We already have both breast enhancement and breast reduction surgeries, and both are popular. If George and I are correct there will be a growing market for aesthetic modifications, neurochemicals, surgeries and other technologies which reduce, reverse, or even enhance gender traits. The metrosexuals of today will be the sexy androgynes of tomorrow.

TransAlchemy Interviews Dr. J Hughes On Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary



Co-Author of Postgenderism beyond the gender binary

http://www.changesurfer.com/Hughes.html
James "J." Hughes Ph.D. serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies where he produces the weekly syndicated public affairs talk show Changesurfer Radio. Dr. Hughes teaches Health Policy at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, and serves as Trinity's Associate Director of Institutional Research and Planning. Dr. Hughes is the author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future. He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities and the Working Group on Ethics and Technology at Yale University. Dr. Hughes speaks on medical ethics, health care policy and future studies worldwide, and appears often radio and television. Dr. Hughes lives in rural eastern Connecticut with his wife, the artist Monica Bock, and their two children.

As we dive deeper Into our series we find it only appropriate, that we ask the authors some questions.. George Dvorsky has been sent the same exact list of questions. They will be posted when received.

Again here is the link to the paper Postgenderism: Beyond the gender Binary

In "Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary" it is implied that the gender we are born into (male or female) holds us back. What is it that we can't accomplish within the confines of either male or female gender?

Physically our biological gender is a subset of the things about the human body that, as transhumanists, we believe we will be happier to transcend. A simple example is menstruation, which imposes unnecessary discomfort and inconvenience on women now that they have fewer children. Psychologically and socially the gender binary restricts our social roles, our emotional expression, and even our cognition. Some of those constraints are cultural, learned and relatively malleable. Others, such as the gendering of the brain, will need advanced technological control of the body and brain to transcend.


-Dualistic gender creates our human social dynamic. The relationship between male and female brings us together and leads us to the creation of new life. If gender became singular what would happen to human relationships? Could we become emotionally, mentally, and physically detached from each other?

We aren't proposing a singular gender, but turning gender from a binary setting fixed at birth into a set of analog knobs that can be tuned to myriad settings. That will provide transhumans many more interesting opportunities for relationships. At the most basic level the relationship between biological men and women should improve as they begin to have more insight outside of their gender box.


-A quote from the paper is: "the incidence of intersexuality is disputed, and it may now be more prevalent than before due to environmental chemicals that mimic estrogen and interfere with fetal genital development." Specifically, what chemicals were being referred to here?

Pseudo-estrogens and endocrine disruptors, specifically phthalates from plastics.


-Artificial wombs could make childbirth physically easier for mothers, but they would also physically detach mother and child. Could this physical detachment lead to emotional detachment? Would the mother/child relationship be divided from conception onward? What would this do to the human family dynamic?

All mothers that opt for artificial wombs will want to ensure post-tank bonding. Most of what we know about maternal-infant bonding relates to breastfeeding, communication, holding, stroking etc. These are all things that happen after birth, not before. Adoptive parents bond with newborns just as well as birth parents. In any case, neonatal intensive care units are already artificial wombs, and we don't see attachment disorders in kids that survive them, although many premature babies do suffer disabilities because the NICUs aren't close enough yet to an artificial womb. The first 0-9 month artificial wombs will also be used by moms who could not carry a pregnancy, and they will be closely studied for any attachment or developmental problems.



-Virtual sex may be "safer", but again, it detaches us from actual human contact. Although virtual reality will continue to grow in complexity, how do we reconcile this with the very real decline in real world social interaction?

Your preferencing of the authenticity of "real" interaction will seem quaint in thirty years. The interactions of people with nano-neural interfaces will be inconceivably more "real," deep, profound and intense than the existing meat puppets, staring through water balls, pawing with meat hands, driven by hormone triggers, and then basking in oxytocin pleasure once their reproductive imperative is fulfilled. It will take a while to get to hyper-real, mind-to-mind virtuality, but in the meanwhile I think people should make up their own minds about how "real" they want to get about sex. There are lots of people with too many physical or mental problems to have sex at all, or the kind of sex they would like to have. Virtual sex in its various forms will generally enhance those folks' lives.



-In your paper, postgenderism is often referred to as a project or a process. Most people don't seem too concerned with rushing toward a postgender/posthuman future. Do you agree that most people are content with humanity as is, and if so then whose "project" is this? At what scale is the project being developed? What are it's implications for society as a whole?

Postgenderism is a subset of the overall trend towards transhumanity, which started with cooked food, worn fur, and etched images on cave walls. The last half million years of our history have been about using brain power to transcend the exigencies of nature. We have given a label to one part of the process to help clarify what it is we are moving towards as a species, why it is a good place to go, and how we could speed up the process by linking and supporting the many postgenderist technological, political and psychological projects.


-The theme of suppression is used many times in this paper: suppression of pair bonding impulses, male aggression, and sexual desire. The idea that these forms of suppression will ultimately lead to a postgender liberation is implied. Doesn't this combination of suppression and liberation represent a distinctly dualistic point of view? Is it ironic to present postgenderism in a dyadic way, when its apparent goals are to transcend and unite the dyad?

Suppressing cancer is a liberation from cancer. Suppressing pain with drugs is a liberation from pain. But ultimately you are right. Once we have a fully postgender society and full technological control over the body and brain we won't need to suppress anything, but rather make conscious design choices. We won't suppress menstruation or fertility, we will choose whether to be a menstruator or a fertile person or not.


-As you have pointed out, "third gender" priests of various cults have modeled themselves on androgynous creator gods. If postgenderism lead to the creation of a third gender posthuman, could that posthuman be considered divine? Is postgenderism a blueprint for "building gods"?

Because the gender binary is so basic to human psychology and culture androgynes have always exercised powerful liminal magic. Christ's androgynous love for men and women on the one hand, and the irrational murderous fear and loathing for homosexuals on the other hand. By breaking down the gender binary we are releasing and normalizing that source of liminal anxiety and magical thinking. So no, postgenderism isn't a formula for building gods, it's a process that helps us understand why we made the gods we did. There may still be androgynous gods in the future, but they won't be crazy/scary/weird just because they are androgynes.


- You mention in your article that biologically engineered androgyny
-- or at least biological "choice" for which gender or blend of gender
characteristics to allow for physical expression -- can equalize all
people by eradicating the gender and sexuality class struggles. Can
you explain why humanity cannot currently solve these issues, while
the differences in gender and sexuality remain to be largely
"programmed," either biologically or culturally? And how will
providing people with more gender and sexuality "options" solve these
fundamentally social issues?


As we are careful to say in the essay, much patriarchal inequality can be erased with cultural and political struggle. But, as Firestone pointed out, so long as society needs to reproduce using two genders performing very different roles, biology places some limits on how equal the genders can become. Similarly while the constraints of the gendered brain and differences in physical strength can be overcome to some extent with socialization, true equality requires technologies that ensure that men can't physically intimidate women, and that men aren't routinely more dominating in social interactions than women.


- You mention in your article how childbearing and childrearing pose
severe limitations on a mother's ability to compete in the workforce
and have a fulfilling career, but there are some women who in fact
choose to leave their careers to stay at home and raise their
children. With the option to forego giving natural birth and to forego
assuming the stay-at-home motherhood role -- do you think that some
women will still choose to naturally bear and raise their children?
And what might be their motivations for doing so?


Of course, many women will choose to have biological children and raise them at home. Structural unemployment and social supports for parents to have children in aging societies will probably may make childrearing a much more attractive option for both genders. Since the religious are much more fertile than the seculars there will also likely always be a religious group in society with traditional gender roles and high fertility.


- Are you aware that childbirth does not always entail excruciating
pain and discomfort to the mother? Some women use hypnosis to
reprogram the cultural beliefs that childbirth is violent and even
"unnatural," so that they deliver while induced in a hypnotic state
and do not feel pain. How much of a role do you think cultural
construction plays in how we as a society view childbearing and
childrearing?


Cultural construction plays a large role in structuring the experience of childbirth. I'm a little skeptical of the notion that any human society can make childbirth completely painless just by convincing women it will be. Human pain in childbirth seems a pretty inescapable consequence of enormous brains having to be forced through pelvises designed for upright bipedal locomotion. But yes, since both my kids were born at home under the supervision of midwives, I'm a strong advocate of women taking full advantage of our accumulating knowledge of natural childbirth, if they want to. But if women prefer anesthetics, c-sections or artificial wombs that should be their choice as well.




- Science is revealing how the womb itself is implicated in prenatal
development, yet we do not know the full extent of how important the
womb is in shaping and guiding fetal development. Do you think we
should have a firmer grasp of how the womb plays a role in development
before replacing it with external wombs? If so, at what point would
our body of research be sufficient enough to show that we are gaining
more than we are risking in terms of conceiving and developing fully
functional and healthy human beings with external womb devices?


Answered above.

- Do you think that gender itself is a social construction that is
underpinned by biologically programmed tendencies? In other words, how
much of a role do genes play in gender identity, physicality, and
expression?


47.8%

- You mention the prospect of being able to replicate a sexual organ
in the male that has comparable nerve-composition as does the female
clitoris. If humanity attempts to construct new sexual organs, do you
forsee any moral or ethical precautions that will need to be taken?


Yes. The bigger the clitorally-sensitive skin area or organ, the more important it will be to have an on/off switch for our erogenous zones. Otherwise shaking hands in the workplace could be sexual harassment.


- In pop culture, we are beginning to see more androgynous characters
-- specifcally heterosexual females in touch with their masculinity,
and hetersexual males in touch with their femininity. Do you think
that "balanced" heterosexual males and females would opt to undergo
procedures to, using the term very loosely, "balance" their gender
phsysiology? Or might they be content with their mental-emotional
balance (that may also be expressed through their sexuality), that
they would not want to alter their physiology to encompass more
postgender goals?



We already have both breast enhancement and breast reduction surgeries, and both are popular. If George and I are correct there will be a growing market for aesthetic modifications, neurochemicals, surgeries and other technologies which reduce, reverse, or even enhance gender traits. The metrosexuals of today will be the sexy androgynes of tomorrow.

TransAlchemy Interviews Dr. J Hughes On Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary



Co-Author of Postgenderism beyond the gender binary

http://www.changesurfer.com/Hughes.html
James "J." Hughes Ph.D. serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies where he produces the weekly syndicated public affairs talk show Changesurfer Radio. Dr. Hughes teaches Health Policy at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut, and serves as Trinity's Associate Director of Institutional Research and Planning. Dr. Hughes is the author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future. He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities and the Working Group on Ethics and Technology at Yale University. Dr. Hughes speaks on medical ethics, health care policy and future studies worldwide, and appears often radio and television. Dr. Hughes lives in rural eastern Connecticut with his wife, the artist Monica Bock, and their two children.

As we dive deeper Into our series we find it only appropriate, that we ask the authors some questions.. George Dvorsky has been sent the same exact list of questions. They will be posted when received.

Again here is the link to the paper Postgenderism: Beyond the gender Binary

In "Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary" it is implied that the gender we are born into (male or female) holds us back. What is it that we can't accomplish within the confines of either male or female gender?

Physically our biological gender is a subset of the things about the human body that, as transhumanists, we believe we will be happier to transcend. A simple example is menstruation, which imposes unnecessary discomfort and inconvenience on women now that they have fewer children. Psychologically and socially the gender binary restricts our social roles, our emotional expression, and even our cognition. Some of those constraints are cultural, learned and relatively malleable. Others, such as the gendering of the brain, will need advanced technological control of the body and brain to transcend.


-Dualistic gender creates our human social dynamic. The relationship between male and female brings us together and leads us to the creation of new life. If gender became singular what would happen to human relationships? Could we become emotionally, mentally, and physically detached from each other?

We aren't proposing a singular gender, but turning gender from a binary setting fixed at birth into a set of analog knobs that can be tuned to myriad settings. That will provide transhumans many more interesting opportunities for relationships. At the most basic level the relationship between biological men and women should improve as they begin to have more insight outside of their gender box.


-A quote from the paper is: "the incidence of intersexuality is disputed, and it may now be more prevalent than before due to environmental chemicals that mimic estrogen and interfere with fetal genital development." Specifically, what chemicals were being referred to here?

Pseudo-estrogens and endocrine disruptors, specifically phthalates from plastics.


-Artificial wombs could make childbirth physically easier for mothers, but they would also physically detach mother and child. Could this physical detachment lead to emotional detachment? Would the mother/child relationship be divided from conception onward? What would this do to the human family dynamic?

All mothers that opt for artificial wombs will want to ensure post-tank bonding. Most of what we know about maternal-infant bonding relates to breastfeeding, communication, holding, stroking etc. These are all things that happen after birth, not before. Adoptive parents bond with newborns just as well as birth parents. In any case, neonatal intensive care units are already artificial wombs, and we don't see attachment disorders in kids that survive them, although many premature babies do suffer disabilities because the NICUs aren't close enough yet to an artificial womb. The first 0-9 month artificial wombs will also be used by moms who could not carry a pregnancy, and they will be closely studied for any attachment or developmental problems.



-Virtual sex may be "safer", but again, it detaches us from actual human contact. Although virtual reality will continue to grow in complexity, how do we reconcile this with the very real decline in real world social interaction?

Your preferencing of the authenticity of "real" interaction will seem quaint in thirty years. The interactions of people with nano-neural interfaces will be inconceivably more "real," deep, profound and intense than the existing meat puppets, staring through water balls, pawing with meat hands, driven by hormone triggers, and then basking in oxytocin pleasure once their reproductive imperative is fulfilled. It will take a while to get to hyper-real, mind-to-mind virtuality, but in the meanwhile I think people should make up their own minds about how "real" they want to get about sex. There are lots of people with too many physical or mental problems to have sex at all, or the kind of sex they would like to have. Virtual sex in its various forms will generally enhance those folks' lives.



-In your paper, postgenderism is often referred to as a project or a process. Most people don't seem too concerned with rushing toward a postgender/posthuman future. Do you agree that most people are content with humanity as is, and if so then whose "project" is this? At what scale is the project being developed? What are it's implications for society as a whole?

Postgenderism is a subset of the overall trend towards transhumanity, which started with cooked food, worn fur, and etched images on cave walls. The last half million years of our history have been about using brain power to transcend the exigencies of nature. We have given a label to one part of the process to help clarify what it is we are moving towards as a species, why it is a good place to go, and how we could speed up the process by linking and supporting the many postgenderist technological, political and psychological projects.


-The theme of suppression is used many times in this paper: suppression of pair bonding impulses, male aggression, and sexual desire. The idea that these forms of suppression will ultimately lead to a postgender liberation is implied. Doesn't this combination of suppression and liberation represent a distinctly dualistic point of view? Is it ironic to present postgenderism in a dyadic way, when its apparent goals are to transcend and unite the dyad?

Suppressing cancer is a liberation from cancer. Suppressing pain with drugs is a liberation from pain. But ultimately you are right. Once we have a fully postgender society and full technological control over the body and brain we won't need to suppress anything, but rather make conscious design choices. We won't suppress menstruation or fertility, we will choose whether to be a menstruator or a fertile person or not.


-As you have pointed out, "third gender" priests of various cults have modeled themselves on androgynous creator gods. If postgenderism lead to the creation of a third gender posthuman, could that posthuman be considered divine? Is postgenderism a blueprint for "building gods"?

Because the gender binary is so basic to human psychology and culture androgynes have always exercised powerful liminal magic. Christ's androgynous love for men and women on the one hand, and the irrational murderous fear and loathing for homosexuals on the other hand. By breaking down the gender binary we are releasing and normalizing that source of liminal anxiety and magical thinking. So no, postgenderism isn't a formula for building gods, it's a process that helps us understand why we made the gods we did. There may still be androgynous gods in the future, but they won't be crazy/scary/weird just because they are androgynes.


- You mention in your article that biologically engineered androgyny
-- or at least biological "choice" for which gender or blend of gender
characteristics to allow for physical expression -- can equalize all
people by eradicating the gender and sexuality class struggles. Can
you explain why humanity cannot currently solve these issues, while
the differences in gender and sexuality remain to be largely
"programmed," either biologically or culturally? And how will
providing people with more gender and sexuality "options" solve these
fundamentally social issues?


As we are careful to say in the essay, much patriarchal inequality can be erased with cultural and political struggle. But, as Firestone pointed out, so long as society needs to reproduce using two genders performing very different roles, biology places some limits on how equal the genders can become. Similarly while the constraints of the gendered brain and differences in physical strength can be overcome to some extent with socialization, true equality requires technologies that ensure that men can't physically intimidate women, and that men aren't routinely more dominating in social interactions than women.


- You mention in your article how childbearing and childrearing pose
severe limitations on a mother's ability to compete in the workforce
and have a fulfilling career, but there are some women who in fact
choose to leave their careers to stay at home and raise their
children. With the option to forego giving natural birth and to forego
assuming the stay-at-home motherhood role -- do you think that some
women will still choose to naturally bear and raise their children?
And what might be their motivations for doing so?


Of course, many women will choose to have biological children and raise them at home. Structural unemployment and social supports for parents to have children in aging societies will probably may make childrearing a much more attractive option for both genders. Since the religious are much more fertile than the seculars there will also likely always be a religious group in society with traditional gender roles and high fertility.


- Are you aware that childbirth does not always entail excruciating
pain and discomfort to the mother? Some women use hypnosis to
reprogram the cultural beliefs that childbirth is violent and even
"unnatural," so that they deliver while induced in a hypnotic state
and do not feel pain. How much of a role do you think cultural
construction plays in how we as a society view childbearing and
childrearing?


Cultural construction plays a large role in structuring the experience of childbirth. I'm a little skeptical of the notion that any human society can make childbirth completely painless just by convincing women it will be. Human pain in childbirth seems a pretty inescapable consequence of enormous brains having to be forced through pelvises designed for upright bipedal locomotion. But yes, since both my kids were born at home under the supervision of midwives, I'm a strong advocate of women taking full advantage of our accumulating knowledge of natural childbirth, if they want to. But if women prefer anesthetics, c-sections or artificial wombs that should be their choice as well.




- Science is revealing how the womb itself is implicated in prenatal
development, yet we do not know the full extent of how important the
womb is in shaping and guiding fetal development. Do you think we
should have a firmer grasp of how the womb plays a role in development
before replacing it with external wombs? If so, at what point would
our body of research be sufficient enough to show that we are gaining
more than we are risking in terms of conceiving and developing fully
functional and healthy human beings with external womb devices?


Answered above.

- Do you think that gender itself is a social construction that is
underpinned by biologically programmed tendencies? In other words, how
much of a role do genes play in gender identity, physicality, and
expression?


47.8%

- You mention the prospect of being able to replicate a sexual organ
in the male that has comparable nerve-composition as does the female
clitoris. If humanity attempts to construct new sexual organs, do you
forsee any moral or ethical precautions that will need to be taken?


Yes. The bigger the clitorally-sensitive skin area or organ, the more important it will be to have an on/off switch for our erogenous zones. Otherwise shaking hands in the workplace could be sexual harassment.


- In pop culture, we are beginning to see more androgynous characters
-- specifcally heterosexual females in touch with their masculinity,
and hetersexual males in touch with their femininity. Do you think
that "balanced" heterosexual males and females would opt to undergo
procedures to, using the term very loosely, "balance" their gender
phsysiology? Or might they be content with their mental-emotional
balance (that may also be expressed through their sexuality), that
they would not want to alter their physiology to encompass more
postgender goals?



We already have both breast enhancement and breast reduction surgeries, and both are popular. If George and I are correct there will be a growing market for aesthetic modifications, neurochemicals, surgeries and other technologies which reduce, reverse, or even enhance gender traits. The metrosexuals of today will be the sexy androgynes of tomorrow.

Posthuman Blues : Tubular



A retro video I made for fellow futurist Mac Tonnies over at Posthuman Blues

Posthuman Blues : Tubular



A retro video I made for fellow futurist Mac Tonnies over at Posthuman Blues

Posthuman Blues : Tubular



A retro video I made for fellow futurist Mac Tonnies over at Posthuman Blues

My Riddles

Dear Antz Particleion Is Hacking your Universe (live)

I will give your universe/Mind back to you if you answer my riddles.

Call your answers in!

(305) 735-9490

A) Is your universe real?

B) Are you real?

C) Who currently has {source}?

D) What is {Root}?

When you got the answer email it to

Key.universe@gmail.com

and I will give you back your universe assuming your right ;-)

Rules subject to change but will be posted.

`

! It will be Billions of years till I let you just have it... Till then I urge you try to get your key back.