In the olden days, it seems like sex, gender and orientation were all considered interconnected by societal opinion. All of it was based on genitalia at birth. In fact, sex and gender, at least colloquially in the United States, were treated as synonyms. Both concepts were used as a division of species. If you had a vagina, you were a female and it was assumed that you liked girl/woman things, would have an aptitude for things considered to be traditionally girl/woman things and that you’d be attracted to humans with penises. Of course, having a penis came with a mirror set of expectations. That was all considered to be “normal” and anyone that deviated from that was considered… well… “deviant”.
Now, in 2019 (at least in the United States), there’s a burgeoning acceptance of, or at least a willingness to acknowledge, that things are not so simple. Sex and gender have separated and orientations have gotten more complicated. The push is to define sex narrowly as the division of species, X vs. Y chromosomes, penises vs. vaginas, etc… That is differentiated from gender which is used to describe predictable behaviors along with social and cultural roles. Currently, in the mainstream at least, orientation still remains largely connected to gender, even if less connected to sex. People born with a penis may be sexually attracted to other people with penises. Those people may identify as either a man or a woman. That identification is then used to determine hetero or homo sexuality. Sure it’s complicated and not everyone is accepting of the statement that a person identifying as a woman is straight if they are attracted to people identifying as men, even if some of those men were born with a vagina.
Narrow-minded people have it pretty easy here. They just continue to think in a binary way; humans are either male or female in both sex & gender and therefore are either hetero or homo sexual based on whom they’re attracted to. The rest of us are mired down in a never-ending attempt to pile on more definitions, more descriptors, more pronouns in an attempt to apply language to what is in reality an infinite number of possibilities. That’s because there is no such thing as being able to categorize people based on the things they like to do or will eventually develop an aptitude for. Any attempt to create and apply gender-like roles is simply doomed from the start because there will always be someone that doesn’t fit an existing mold and will require a new category.
Humans currently multiply by sexual reproduction. I say “currently” because you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think we’ll be able to reproduce humans in labs using completely fabricated DNA sequences and special “incubators” made of living tissue someday. However, in the meantime, sex is still a thing because some people are driven to reproduce, likely a hard-coded instinct to ensure the survival of the species. So, whatever, those people will likely seek a mate of the opposite sex because that’s how you facilitate reproduction. You could give those people a term if you wanted to, although heterosexual probably works well enough. Everyone else could be lumped together as non-reproducers or asexual for the binary-thinkers, but honestly, it’s not really relevant. The point is that male, female and other sexes exist genetically and the reproductive organs vary, but there’s a finite number of combinations when it comes to sexes. Honestly, you could probably break down sexual orientation to breeding-biased and non-biased.
I guess I’m saying that I think it would truly be easier if we were all just humans and though of each other that way. Some of us may seek a mate with whom our genitalia can assist in reproduction. Some may seek a mate with whom we share physical and/or emotional similarities regardless of genitalia. People can like being dominant or submissive or equal… both emotionally as well as sexually. There’s plenty of humans to go around and tying orientation to gender back to sex just seems so unnecessarily restrictive and burdensome.
So, I don’t see the point of trying to define genders. Sure, a genderless society would require some changes. Like it would mean the end of the urinal because all bathrooms would become genderless and just need stalls. The bathroom in my home is genderless and it works pretty well except when the penis-people pee like they’re trying to contain a high-pressure fire hose (but that’s off topic). Sports leagues would need to work like many youth sports where participants play in leagues based on average skill level rather than gender. None of that is insurmountable though. Marriage is already between two humans regardless of breeding status so there’s one down.
I know, discrimination would run rampant if it wasn’t able to be checked because the narrow-minded would continue to discriminate based on their visual interpretations and preconceived notions of gender. It would take time. I’m just wondering if the young folks that are so open and desperate to avoid mis-gendering their peers might want to consider switching to genderless pronouns and eliminating the idea of stereotyping genders all together. Because let’s be honest, what is gender if not a stereotype? There’s no such thing as a “gender identity” without having at least one stereotype to identify with. If you remove 100% of all stereotypical roles, behaviors, aptitudes, genitalia and sexual orientation from a gender, then all you’re left with is a person that chose an arbitrary label just to be able to check boxes on forms and know which bathroom to use.