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Genetic Technologies and Apocalyptic Feminism - Essay Example

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Genetic Technologies and Apocalyptic Feminism

One of such important controversial issues that for quite a long time has occupied a visible place in both political and social/cultural debates is the problem of the role of gender in its numerous manifestations. All of us can easily remember the amount of public discussions devoted to sexism in society, gender discrimination at work place, and the role of feminism, which during the twentieth century has grown into the influential world view in the Western world. Now, the problem of gender in its general feminist sense also has in it prominent traces of apocalyptic rhetoric that is linked with the developments in genetic engineering technology, which promises to go beyond existing limitations in the sphere of relations between sexes, and even in the sphere of human procreation. Considering that the notion of gender belongs to the list of the most fundamental conceptions on which every human society has been based, let us take a closer look at this feminist-related debate, and try to obtain a deeper understanding of its premises and consequences.
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The message behind this ironic observation hints at the detachment of value from human life, and at the disintegration of human morality and of the very notion of humanity. These dangers are stereotypically associated with the genetic engineering debate, and are bolstered by numerous pieces of modern popular art, such as for instance the film "The Sixth Day", which portrays a man who finds out that a clone duplicate of himself has taken over his life, as well as by already classic literary masterpieces, like for example "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, in which the author imagines a government-regulated utopia where humans are mass produced. In this context, the feminist part of the genetic engineering debate centers not so much on the loss of our humanity as a whole, but rather is preoccupied with the detachment of reproductive roles from women and the consequent destabilization of conventional femininity. That such concerns are largely justified can be seen from the fact that already today genetic technology is giving women more and more control of contraception and birth, which interferes with the traditional gender roles of women as bearers of the mystery of birth, because when something is controlled it looses its miraculous quality. Moreover, some feminists have capitalized on the deconstruction of the traditional gender stereotypes via the receipt of control over their feminine functions, which was interpreted as leading to a utopian image of a world completely devoid of all the gender boundaries.
However, any change or rejection of traditions can hardly be a simple process as there are a lot of hidden factors influencing our life without our realization of them. That the issue of post-gender utopia is equally contingent on a number ...Show more


It seems that throughout its whole history humanity has always been incapable of living without a constant sense of deep-felt insecurity embodied in various apocalyptic premonitions. Indeed, pervasive religious sentiments, which arose in human societies yet in their dawn, in the past formed the backbone of the temporally limited vision of the history, and continue influencing people today, have gradually been augmented by fears stemming from new circumstances…
Author : ftorp
Genetic Technologies and Apocalyptic Feminism essay example
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