Post by -dsr- Post by Robert Carnegie Post by The Zygon Post by Christian Weisgerber Post by The Zygon
Has anyone ever read a science fiction story about a society in which men and women are really treated equally? I have read some in which it _said_ that men and women are equal. But one detects subtle differences in treatment in the story suggesting inequality.
How about stories where humans have gengineered themselves to reduce
sexual dimorphism? Sounds like a thing Iain M. Banks might mention
in passing about the Culture.
Since they could switch sexes, I would think that alone
would encourage equality of the sexes.
But in the setting, can you change what sex your mind is?
If it happens, is that a deliberate choice or an involuntary
In the setting, the question doesn't come up. People are people, and
they don't have a male mind or a female mind. They have male or female
bodies. Or hermaphrodite, or neuter, or probably a bunch of other things.
Post by Robert Carnegie
[In] real life, it doesn't seem that Earth women are seizing
equality by being turned into men. That is not a solution.
I think this is supposed to be a slur against sexual reassignment surgery,
but it's not too clear. Would you like to be more clear, and thus either
more or less callous?
My arbitrary premise - which I don't actually expect to be accurate,
given the history of other such ideas, but which gets a handle on
the subject - on <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gender-dysphoria/>
is: natural selection has operated on the evolution of homo sapiens
to produce individuals mentally and physically to function as
reproductive males, or as females, or, in the case of Bertie Wooster,
as drones. Each outcome depends on effects of genes and hormones
during foetal development, and later - this needn't be the whole
story, but it leads to most of us being born with an identifiable
sex physiologically - but it isn't a perfect process, and a significant
number of us are born with ambiguous bits (and not necessarily
allowed to stay that way).
Our brain is not visible at birth and its sexual identity may be
not directly detectable, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have
a sexual identity, nor, on the other hand, that it is reliably binary.
I think this isn't going where I wanted it to. My point is
that generally - as far as I know - female feminists don't want
to be men; they want to be women but without suffering arbitrary
disadvantages in society imposed on women. Although they may
also want to wear trousers... but in a few years from now, that
may be uncontroversial.
A flaw in my argument is that even the British NHS doesn't offer
free sex reassignment surgery to women just to improve their chance
of a promotion at work or as an arbitrary personal choice, and
Iain M. Banks's fictional Culture basically does. So in fact it
can be said that a reason for most women not becoming men to avoid
sexual discrimination is that it is not made convenient to do it.
But if it was made convenient, what would be the additional take-up?