The Implications of a Post-Gender Society
As much as I try to push for gender nihilism, when I discuss it in person there seems to be a common misconception. People tend to get angry at me for invalidating their gender journey by me saying it doesn’t exist.
Of course, in my head, I’m aware of the implications of what gender nihilism entails. I just can’t put it into verbal words during a casual conversation as well as I can here. So, while I got the spoons, I might as well further explicate what I mean when I’m talking about gender nihilism. For reference, here is the first article I wrote on the topic: Gender Nihilism From a Thelemic Perspective
After having several in-person discussions about this with several people, I think I am starting to understand the push-back with the whole gender nihilism concept.
We’ve all agreed that gender is a social construct. That’s like 2009-era discourse right there. But what about after that? Well, even though it’s a social construct, it’s still there. We’ve recognized that it’s effectively imaginary, but we haven’t done anything with it.
We’ve taken to using terms like queer, and non-binary to push the old thought processes out. We’re adding more constructs to help deconstruct another concept. When you create an institution using the same modalities of the construct it was meant to replace, it ends up becoming nearly the same thing.
So, we’ve taken this idea of gender and redefined it. It’s just another type of social construct now. And as much as I like to push for abolition of gender, it’s definitely something we still need.
Gender is important because the social institutions that keep us down are using gender to keep us down. As such, we need gender. We need it as a tool fight against the cisnormative oppression we face on the streets, in our families, and by the overarching systems we exist in.
Destruction is a process, and right now we’re fighting to normalize gender nonconformity. The idea is to get everyone, even cis people, to recognize that gender is construct.
I’m not suggesting that cis people need to all become trans. I’m suggesting that cis people need to be aware that gender is on a spectrum, and that all gender is nonbinary and there is no such thing as cisgender.
Nonbinary is a term people tend to use as an identity. However, I choose to be more specific because I know where (ish?) on the spectrum I am on. The idea is to normalize gender nonconformity enough to the point that even cis people realize there’s not just male/female, but for them to recognize all gender is on a spectrum, whether they identify a certain way or not.
Once we normalize this, we will have taken the power away from cis people. However, we are not at that point yet. We need gender expression and gender identities to exist right now to help change the narrative on how we perceive gender. Perhaps some day we will be at a point where gender nonconformity will be so common that none of it will matter.
Gender, race, and sexual orientations are at the forefront of all this. We are all fighting to be treated fairly and equitably. If and when that ever happens, none of those labels would need to exist anymore.
However, the common argument I face is, “Humans have a mighty need for labels.”
Well, perhaps. For proper communication and appealing to people’s ethos we need goal posts and labels to help us relate to each other more efficiently.
It’s definitely acceptable and valid to identify however you choose. I’m just hoping for a world where we won’t feel required to identify as any which way anymore. But not now. Now we need these labels. They signal resistance. Claiming these identities, coming out, etc– all these things help normalize the constructs and hopefully over time will help dismantle the social institutions of gender as a whole.
This, my friends, is the cyberpunk future I dream of.