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A modest fantasy

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May. 5th, 2002 | 09:03 pm

So does anyone else have mad scientist fantasies after reading stories of misogynistic cultures around the world? I mean we're not that far from being able to create a retrovirus that modifies the human germline and chops off parts of the Y chromosome that triggers differentiating into the male body template. (Maybe it can add the missing leg that would turn it into an X chromosome as well.)

Then one can sit in ones castle, illuminated by lightening laughing at places like the Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, homes of the Christian Coalition types. Ha. You think women are inferior, what happens to your abusive patriarchal culture if there aren't any men.

Or am I the only one who thinks things like that?

(And more practically we also aren't that far from being able to use one woman's egg to fertilize another egg, so one could have a female-only society. On the down side, if one person can construct such viruii, others can probably undo it. But at least I enjoy the fantasy.)

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Comments {8}

(no subject)

from: sensuousness
date: May. 6th, 2002 01:14 pm (UTC)
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Um, I happen to like men. They aren't all oppressors, you know. Some of them are simply wonderful.

I want social change, not eugenics.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: May. 6th, 2002 02:19 pm (UTC)
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I've heard rumors of a mutation that prevents the penis from descending until puberty, which makes it difficult to tell if a child is male or female until then. Would that be less objectionable? You can still have men, but everyone has a better chance of being raised gender free until then.

As for social change, it's going to take many generations of feminism and/or humanism activists to really make good in roads in reducing the effects of patriarcal culture. (It's far too embedded in most mainstream religions and cultures to go away quickly).

Okay. so quick fixes aren't usually good solutions.

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adrienne

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from: sapience
date: May. 6th, 2002 03:56 pm (UTC)
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Raising children gender-free sounds like a really great idea, but developing this "mutation" would require testing, yes? What parents would agree to let genetic testing on their child occur? Or would it just be done surreptitiously in some third-world country to women too poor and powerless to protest?

I can see the benefits of having gender-free children, but I don't think it would work in our social climate. I think that most people would still try to genderize their children. I can think of all sorts of ramifications of it. Are there any SF books on this subject? It sounds like a really interesting concept for a novel. It sounds like the kind of idea that might inspire people to help raise their children gender-free, despite their sexes. And that would be a step in the direction of social change.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: May. 6th, 2002 04:21 pm (UTC)
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The mutation already exists and has had some example case history. (that was turned up by mutation undescended penis there were oother examples as well.

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Selina K.

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from: selina_k
date: May. 7th, 2002 05:24 am (UTC)
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If you're taking a vote,

No, that hadn't occured to me.

but I admire your imagination in any case.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: May. 7th, 2002 11:42 am (UTC)
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Thanks... I was wondering if anyone else ever came up with ideas like that... I was pretty sure that it wasn't too common.

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Freya

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from: moonglade
date: May. 7th, 2002 06:32 pm (UTC)
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I don't really believe in the link between chromosones and sex, I think this is a bit of a fantasy born out of the idea in society of genetic sex. There is a belief in society that men and women are almost seperate animals. They are of course the same animal and there is little genetic difference betweem them.

Most differences between men and women are hormonal driven. The reason that most men have a Y chromosone is because a single gene called TDF (testes determining factor) is usually located on the Y chromosone. It isn't always though, hence the fact you can have XX males, albiet very rarely.

There are of course, quite a few XY women and also people who's chromosone type fits into neither catergory. XO, XXY, XXXX etc etc etc
Of course these days such people are labelled as abnormal and it is frequently suggested may be retarted in some way despite the fact that for the most part it is rarely true. The whole thing has become caught up in societys ideas of genetic purity and the desire to label anyone who is different or special as "abnormal"

As for mutated males, technically the male sex is itself a mutation. This is why all feteus start as female. Sex is something that has evolved in nature and in the very distant genetic past (before humans were humans I expect) females would reproduce asexually.

Oh and of course just because there might be no-one of male sex in in this fantasy world, wouldn't mean there couldn't be anyone of male gender. ;)

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: May. 13th, 2002 10:18 pm (UTC)
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Well, yes there probably would be "men" wondering around in my imaginary world where most people are born female. "They" could still make sure boys were born by administering the correct dosages of hormones to the fetus. And I'm assuming that F2M's would still exist and probably be quite popular.

But I was hoping the obviously constructed nature of those types of males would weaken the divine right of the penis that seems to exist in patriarchial culture.

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