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Some Thoughts on Identity and Public Policies

Hilary_Brashear's picture

This is partially a response to leammirella’s post “Identity Strip Poker” and to our discussion of how labels can be valuable because they can be a tool with which to assert and define our individuality. We mentioned that a possible downside to a utopian society without labels or categories would be the inability to identify ourselves. However the more I think about this utopia world I suspect that if labels are no longer necessary then the need for the conception of identity would no longer be necessary. Not all cultures place such a strong emphasis on the individual and individual identity. In fact the conception of the individual we think of today is a product of modern thought. In a utopian society where people conceptualize themselves not as separate from the world and technologies around them but as part of it, identity takes on new meaning.  In this new world the labels with which we assert our individuality becomes obsolete because how we define identity changes.

However the dissolution of the individual will not be happening anytime in the near future so what to do in the meantime. Public policy with regard to education is the realm in which I think change would be most effective. Requiring comprehensive sex education that discusses the spectrum of gender and sexuality as well as the biology of sex in all public middle schools I think would be a good way to start conversations. I don’t know if this could be implemented through public policy but I think trying to have pre schools as de-gendered as possible is a very important way to reduce the detrimental kinds of segregation that happen between male and female genders.




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