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MACHINE DREAMS

Alexei Taylor, Author

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Gender


Think of the color pink in terms of sex (male/female). Think of the color blue as well. It's quite common to associate these two colors with, respectively, female and male sexes, is it not? But why? To the best of my knowledge, women aren't born pink or men blue. Some would say that the 'brightness' of the pink is something distinctly feminine, and thus exclusively 'womanly'. Yet, it is obvious that men can exude symbolic 'brightness' or gaiety, so wouldn't it be wrong to assign a specific color to femininity or masculinity? Why assign anything to them in the first place? Aren't colors just our individual interpretations of visual phenomena, or quite scientifically, light at certain wavelengths? Why should a photon of light or anything else for that matter, define biological sexual identity, and effectively create a boundary, between characteristics of either sex?

Gender, is a social construct, a binary identification system that unrealistically leaves the grey areas, or in this case, the purple ones, unaccounted for.Considering the fact early in the 20th century, pink was thought of as a masculine hue, this is hardly untrue(Orenstein Peggy). If, instead, the notion of pink as delineating feminine gender, remained constant throughout different eras, irrespective of cultural context, a case could be made for the opposite (ie the thought that gender isn't a social construct). However, as Donna Haraway illustrates, with the evolution of the gender-less cyborg, it has become more apparent that gender really is just that; a social construct. Rapid technological advancement in the fields of communication have provided a different method of identity creation, one that wonderfully embraces depth in self-definition rather than a one-dimensional male-blue, female-pink system. Perhaps a different sort of man-machine amalgam altogether in the near future can produce an even more realistic identity-system.
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