23 July 2010

Day 118: The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin.  ISBN: 9780441478125.

 I mentioned the dual-sex of the Gethenians in my previous post.  Let me explain that a little more.  During the average day a Gethenian has no sex drive and no particular gender.  However, they are not what I would consider androgynous.  Androgyny still works within a gender binary, and Gethenians have a gender, it's just that they only have one.  They are only sexually potent for a few days every 26-28 days (in keeping with traditional human fertility cycles).  This period is called kemmer and during kemmer Gethenians will transition into either males or females.  If a Gethenian is impregnated they will stay female for the duration of the pregnancy and nursing.

How amazing would it be to live in a world where gender only matters three days out of the month?  I mean, I love sex, I love having sex almost any day of the week, but it be would nice not to have to deal with the hormones and the awkwardness involved on a daily basis.  And since Gethenians aren't required to work during kemmer, it's easy enough to avoid awkward situations by simply not being around people you don't want to have sex with.

Also, I bet you if we only had one gender we'd have much better birth control options.  It seems that females have automatically been shouldered with the burden of not only having children, but also of preventing them.  We're often even expected to be the ones to make men to wear condoms, which is downright bullshit if you ask me.  And I'd bet that on the job childcare would be standard if everyone had babies.

But these aren't the only benefits that would occur from an Only gender society.  People would be free to be as emotional or stoic as they pleased, to be strong or sympathetic, or combinations of both in whatever mixes they want.  Genderization has done more to stunt our emotional and societal growth than any other problem I can think of off the top of my head.  It automatically limits the potential of every human being to be what they should be based on whether they can impregnate or be impregnated (and therefore how they should supposedly behave).  

Not to mention it seems to be almost criminal if a woman neglects her child (which for a woman means not putting her child at the top of every single list every single waking moment of the day), where as it is seen as normal for men.  Really, I think our society needs a little more accountability all around.  Women need to be more accountable for not breeding with assholes, and men need to just stop being assholes in assuming that a baby is "not their problem" just because they don't have to go through pregnancy.

If you're wondering if I'm a man-hating bitch, the answer is yes.  I hate men who think they're Men but don't actually know what it means to own up and be a Man.  I have bigger balls than many of the supposed "men" I've met, and that's just the sad truth of it.

What do you think your life would be like if you weren't a man or a woman, but both and neither?

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