Posted: Mon, October 22, 2012 | By: P. Tittle
What do I see on the horizon, for women? I am not a prophetess - a “Cassandra” - but as a lifelong member of the XX gender, I’m deeply curious, invested, and opinionated about this topic. Here are some questions from Transhumanity.net director Hank Pellissier and my responses:
Hank Pellissier: How will “sex selection” impact women? In China and India, millions of female fetuses have been aborted… do you think this will continue? Or will it even out - or eventually favor girls?
P Tittle: It is so very irrational to prefer males. From so many perspectives. For example, from a reproductive perspective, we need far fewer males than females. From a social perspective, males are responsible for over 90% of the violent crime. But we are not a rational society. As long as we are a sexist society, and more, a chauvinist/patriarchal society that values males over females, parents will prefer boys over girls. If they (can) have only one. If they (can) have two, my guess (and it’s just a guess) is that they’ll want one of each (a mini-daddy and a mini-mommy).
That said, parents who chose the sex of their child may be more rational than those who do not or can not take advantage of that option, and, therefore, might not prefer males. Then again, I suppose in some cultures, maybe a daughter can be sold for a higher price than a son… Then again, maybe a son can provide more money to the aging parents than a daughter…
I find this question difficult to answer because I simply do not understand why people choose to replicate in the first place. And surely that, their reason for replication, determines their Gattacan preferences.
Hank: Women seem to be advancing quickly in political and business positions -
PT: Hm. If you say so. I recall Ferraro, Clinton, and Palin. Three. Nada in Canada.
Hank: Women are now 60% of college students, even in graduate programs.
PT: Yes, but not Ph.D.s or CEOs or… Male high school dropouts still make more than female university graduates.
Hank: Do you think this trend of women’s advancement will continue, enabling women to become the dominant gender in many parts of the world?
PT: No, because funny thing, as soon as women enter a field, the field becomes devalued. Happened with bank tellers, for example. You watch, as soon as women become most of the doctors, being a doctor will lose status and salary. (Which is why, I’ve maintained, the best way to stop war is to let, encourage, women become soldiers, officers, commanders…)
Hank: Getting pregnant no longer requires a male mate. Do you predict a gradual or sudden decline of marriage, for this reason? Do you predict more single mother-by-choice? An increasingly wide variety of family groups?
PT: Do people get married in order to have kids? I thought it was the other way around.
I find this question difficult to answer because I don’t understand why people choose to get married. Why would a sane person choose to sign that contract? Most of them don’t even read it before they sign it. It’s a religious thing, I guess, which I don’t understand. Or a mass-hysteria culturally-conditioned delusion that being married is some token of maturity or something…beats me.
Hank: Will men become irrelevant, if propagation can occur between two women via parthenogenesis? Is this something that is scientifically possibly in the near future?
PT: The question implies that men are “relevant” now only as sperm-providers. An insult, surely, to most of them.
Hank: Do you think the word “feminism” is going to be dated in 40-50 years, because we’ll moving towards a genderless society?
PT: “Think”? No. “Wish”? Yes.
Hank: In the future, will there be numerous possible gender options, that are easily changeable? Or will there be “women” for at least the next 100 years?
PT: I don’t think we’ll be moving towards a genderless society. There have been numerous gender options for the last 100 years, and still most people choose male or female. Those who choose, or who are against their choice, somewhere near the middle of the spectrum are not treated kindly.
Hank: How do you think social institutions will change, as nations become “feminized” due to increasing female presence in power positions? Will increasing women’s power effect education? International relations? Economies? Democracy? the environment?
Hank: I have noticed that women don’t seem as interested in cryonics, or life extension. Am I right about that? Why is that?
PT: Perhaps it’s just the whole not-interested-in-technology thing.
Hank: Do you think women are as intrigued by immortality as men?
PT: I think women just see more responsibility; men see more power. Immortality is just ‘more’ – quantity; women aren’t suckered in by that, we want quality of life, not just quantity of life. No, that can’t be right, women are idiots too… Maybe it’s because age is much crueler to women than men in our society. An old man is distinguished, respected. An old woman is a hag, or just an invisible old woman.
Hank: Do you think male and female sex robots will be prevalent in the future? Will they dominate sexuality? Or will only men be interested in them? Will prostitution, and the sex industry in general, be impacted, or replaced by sexbots?
PT: First response is “don’t know, don’t care.” Second response is “well, duh, men will be more interested in them than women, look at the blow-up doll phenomenon.” But then, women and vibrators, and “fucking machines” – okay, so women just need/want the part, not the whole. But then that Big Bang episode, apparently just the arm of the robot was sufficient…
Hank: Men presently - generally - have greater physical size -
PT: You know, I really question this. When I look at real women and real men, not the skewed representation Hollywood gives us, it seems to me that women are as big – their calves are often as large around, their thighs are certainly larger around, their hips are certainly larger around, men’s waists are maybe larger around, but women’s chests are larger around…men are taller, and usually weigh more, but…I think when people say ‘bigger’ they’re just looking at a few parameters.
Hank: - and strength than women.
PT: Again…I suppose…but then are you just thinking about brute upper body strength? I’ve always been able to outlast men. Imagining escape scenarios, I’ve always figured if I can just stay ahead for the first hundred meters, I’d be fine.
Hank: - will this change in the future, via various enhancements and augmentations? Will the two genders become physically equal in all aspects? If so, how will this change the dynamics between them?
PT: Height. That’s the key. Not strength. It’s the looking down at, and looking up at, that matters. Ask any http://www.pegtittle.com/short-men.html”>short man.
Well, that, and stun guns. Give every woman a stun gun. That’ll change the dynamics.
Hank: Genetically, if appears that men are likely to be “outliers” - to be at the far extremes in either intelligence or stupidity -
PT: Really? interesting. and that’s not the case along the female spectrum? Is testosterone evenly distributed?
Hank: - do you see this changing in the future, via genetic engineering? Do you see women eventually winning 1/2 the Nobel Prizes every year, or even more, for example?
PT: I’ve never thought the problem was lack of intelligence (for women not winning the Nobel Prize). Really, you do??? Even among male winners, do you really think those who win are the most intelligent and those who don’t win are not as intelligent? I think opportunities, connections, politics, have a lot to do with it. There’s an interesting blog out there about a female grad student in philosophy, identifying the many little ways in which her male colleagues are treated differently. Nothing she can identify for sure and make a big fuss about, but just little things. Like her advisor not asking her to co-author, but asking a male grad student to co-author. despite all else being equal…that kind of thing.
Hank: There are still cultures that practice customs like Female Genital Mutilation and Arranged Marriages and Honor Killings. Do you see those misogynistic practices ending soon? Or will they be tolerated -
PT: Tolerated? Is that what they are now? Blindly accepted b/c cultural conditioning? Forced? But tolerated?
Hank: - for several more decades, because many are disinclined to assert Western ideals on traditional cultures? How will notions about “religion” change as women gain in power?
PT: Oddly enough, aren’t http://www.pegtittle.com/why-women-more-religious-than-men-2.html”>women more religious than men? This goes back to my “women are idiots, too” claim, because religion is much ‘worse’ for women than men…see Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s The Woman’s Bible…and still… they’re idiots.
Hank: Do you see other technologies looming ahead that will deeply impact women? A male birth control pill, for example - how would that change society?
PT: Oh, see my essay, http://www.pegtittle.com/the-pill-for-men.html”>The Pill for Men. it’s not the technology, it’s the culture. we’ve had contraception, abortion, sterilization, for decades. the problem is access – economic and ideological access… there are so many excellent scifi novels out there written by women that investigate all these issues so well…
Hank: Finally, do you see women entering science and tech in larger numbers? Do you think they have different interests in these fields? Do you think they have goals and inventions and purposes they want to accomplish, that differ from male goals/inventions/purposes?
PT: It’s not science and tech per se, it’s the research questions that have dissuaded women, I think. if ‘science’ weren’t so dominated by fight, fuck, feed, and flee, more women might already be interested. No reason why, for example, “play” couldn’t be as hot a field as “prey.” Oh right. “Play” is just practicing to “prey.” Read my essay, http://www.pegtittle.com/impoverished-scientists.html”>Impoverished Scientists.
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