Re: Genderless societies [was Re: kathryn's comments]

Robert J. Bradbury (
Sat, 11 Sep 1999 15:49:38 -0700 (PDT)

On Sat, 11 Sep 1999, Elizabeth Childs wrote:

> > I can think of 3, perhaps in order of deliverability:
> > (a) Testostrone patches (for women), or the pill perhaps (for men).

This was said somewhat tongue in cheek; should have added a :-)

> So let me get this straight - we're going to increase freedom by requiring
> people to alter their hormonal balance? (Which is quite dangerous, by the
> way).

Not really, so long as you aren't doping yourself on androgens, hormones at normal physiological levels and timings are quite safe. Hormone replacement therapy in women is being recomended as the standard practice to preserve bone density. I don't know of any evidence (but correct me if I'm misinformed) that indicates there are harmful effects of using the sex-hormones of the opposite sex.

> Michael, Bryan, Robert - I'm curious where you guys are located
> geographically.

I live in Seattle, but I've lived in San Francisco, New York and was raised in Boston.

> I live in Berkeley, California, where the women are loud,
> the men are in touch with their feminine sides, and practically everyone
> seems to be bisexual.

Several of which may be reasons not to live in the Bay Area.... [I'm ducking]

> While I do think there are some significant differences in male and
> female personalities that are probably biologically influenced,

I am clearly in the camp that *all* individuals are heavily genetically influeced.

> this tendency you guys have to put the whole human race in
> either a "girl" box or a "boy" box is alien to me.

Girl/Boy/Tall/Short/Quick/Slow/Stubborn/Flexible -- I've got a box for them all and most of them involve genes.

> The people around me differ much more between individuals than
> they do between genders, and I think most of the research supports
> me on that.

I'd want to know whether the studies were done in California... :-) In the Cal-Culture, you are supposed to be different. If you contrast that with Japanese culture, you are supposed to be much more similar. I could go into a long argument discussion about how "adventure" genes were first selected by the migration to America from Europe and then re-selected on the migration from Eastern America to the West, but I believe you might start throwing things.

More interesting to me, would be to know (a) your ancestry; (b) the conditions under which they gave up the safety of the known for risk of the unknown (slavery (indentured servants), war, famine, etc.); (c) the process by which you or your forebears came to California.

> Do you guys live somewhere with much more rigid gender roles?
Actually, since I cross from Seattle to Moscow fairly frequently I go from one extreme to the other.

> Just think how different your perspectives on women would be if
> you lived in a traditional Middle Eastern country.

Perish the thought. One of the real revolutions on the horizon will be the education of women in the remaining environments where the power structures are highly biased. I believe Afganistan may be the worst in this respect currently.

> Perhaps some of your thinking here is culturally based.

Also, I don't believe that Michael at least would put me in his camp. I'm definately more on the side he claims the women are on my positions with regard to politics and guns. If we hadn't elected Clinton, I feel pretty sure we would be teaching creationism in most of the class rooms now. And guns, well I'll probably be in the enclave that only allows them to operate when 100% of the citizens provide their approval codes.

So, you're right about there being more differences between individuals than the genders. :-)