Today is a modern world full of fast-paced technology and inventions designed to make our lives easier. We live in a futuristic time that is built to suit our every need and whim. Despite these luxuries, there are still many aspects of our society that have yet to catch up to modern times. Many of these aspects concern the differences in gender, specifically in how one gender is treated worse or differently than the other in particular areas of society. This stigmatization is archaic and unfair to both genders. I recognize many things that need to change and if the power were mine, I would instigate a gender neutral utopia, which allowed both genders to feel completely equal to one another.
Many changes would take place under my rules of neutrality. The name of the new state would have to be changed in an attempt to erase all memory of previous segregation, prejudice, and oppression. I would call this new state Neutropia, a combination of the words “neutrality” and “utopia.” I would name it this in an effort to not draw attention to either gender, but rather to let the name be a constant reminder of neutrality, as well as the utopian society we would be building. My gender neutral state would be all-encompassing; the entire world would be included. To leave anybody out of the new state would defeat the purpose of neutrality. I would want to include all men and women in order to ensure that the entire world’s population could benefit from this new state of neutrality. By these standards, the new territory would expand to every corner and crevice of the lands and oceans on earth, as well as the waters. The population would be over 7 billion, according to the United States Census Bureau’s 2012 statistics .
Men and women would be free to earn a living similarly to the way they are now. Individuals are free to seek employment and support themselves, as long as the job does not exceed the boundaries of the law. For instance, many laws will still exist in Neutropia. Prostitution and sex slavery will still be illegal. Women often resort to this form of work because of poverty, lack of education, or other oppression that they face at the hands of their gender, according to Melissa Farley, author of “Prostitution, Trafficking, and Cultural Amnesia: What We Must Not Know in Order to Keep the Business of Sexual Exploitation Running Smoothly (2006).” In order to address this issue, as well as other employment discrepancies, education will be made free for everybody. This is already offered in many sovereign countries around the world, where, according to Farley’s report, sex trafficking or employment only accounts for 3% of all documented female workers (2006). Granting men a free education would also deter them from feeling the need to run sex trafficking circuits, helping to ensure an environment where women were not forced to use their bodies as a tool to make money. Concerning the subject of employment, each employee would also receive equal wages for their work. As stated in “Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? A Cross-Country Analysis of Gender Gaps,” written by Claudia Olivetti and Barbara Petrongolo, men and women are never paid equal wages for equal work (2008). Typically, men are paid more despite experience, education, and, in some cases, even position. There are documented instances where women are paid more as well (2008). In Neutropia this would be unacceptable; individuals would be paid based on experience, education, and position alone. A pay grade would be based on factors related to an individual’s merit and accomplishments, not their gender.
Individuals would be free to raise their children as they wanted, though gender neutral habits would be stressed. To encourage this, an equal amount of maternity leave would be offered to both the mother and father of the newborn baby. As it stands currently, according to an article published in The Economic Journal, and authored by Lawrence M. Berger, Jennifer Hill, and Jane Waldfogel, women are offered twelve weeks of maternity leave while men are offered only one to two weeks, if they receive any at all (2005). Some parts of the world, such as Slovakia, offer women up to three years of maternity leave, or more if the child is disabled. The authors compare the mental health of children and mothers living in Slovakia, receiving longer maternity leave, to those in the U.S., who receive a mere three months. Slovakian families are reportedly happier by 72%. Children are better adjusted as well (2005). With this information in mind, Neutropia would also lengthen maternity leave for both the mother and the father of the child. While it may be impossible for both maternity leaves to coincide, portions of the maternity leave could be taken together, ensuring family bonding, as well as gender neutrality.
Neutropia would be governed by a democracy, wherein both men and women could run for office. The structure would be much like that of the United Sates. I would like to enforce a policy that would a revolving door effect on who led the state, i.e. male leader, female leader, male leader etc., but this would inevitably cause the gender neutrality to decay. Therefore I would instigate a two leader policy: one male, one female, so that both sexes may be heard. State representatives would be eliminated and the votes of the people would be heard. In matters of politics, men would not be entirely responsible for decisions about women and vice versa. There would be deliberation among both genders. Unlike the decisions made in many southern states, men would not be entirely responsible for the decisions made about a woman’s right to choose an abortion or obtain birth control. On a related front, simple words like “penmanship” and “freshman” would not be stricken from language simply because they contain the word “man”, as was done in the state of Washington, in 2013. Because Neutropia would encompass the entire world, I would see no reason to have an army; we would not go to war with ourselves.
The public institutions of Neutropia would not be mandated by the same laws as the ones currently residing in the United States. Any institutions would be forced only to adhere to the fact that the genders are neutral. There would be no promotion of one gender over the other. Many institutions in existence now are only funded in order to promote that one gender is better than the other. In the current social climate, sometimes it is necessary for women to seek this kind of social outlet but in Neutropia this would be pointless because the entire society would be arranged as this type of institution. This idea makes Neutropia desirable as a candidate for a world state partnership. However, because Neutropia encompasses the entire globe, there are no others to enter into this alleged partnership. Short of meeting intergalactic allies from a different universe, Neutropia is on its own. While this may sound depressing, it should be the goal of any gender neutral state. Neutropia seeks to right the wrongs of the entire world. Females would no longer be potentially victimized by lower wages or the glass ceiling. In more extreme cases, they would no face the threat of rape, arranged marriage, or gendercide because males are valued more. Males would no longer be forced to act as sole breadwinners, or humans who are void of feelings. We would all be able to live as we actually are, as humans. It should not be a process that collects one country at a time, but a process that is far-reaching, saving everybody at once.
As you can see, Neutropia is the answer to gender neutrality. It may have some flaws that need to be worked out but every new society faces these issues. As members of Neutropia, women would receive equal wages, longer maternity leave, and face less discrimination. They would also be guaranteed seats of power. Males, as members of Neutropia, would also receive adequate maternity leave, and be recognized as emotional human beings with the right to feelings which is something not often granted to their gender. Everybody would have the right to an education and equal employment opportunities. Gender equality would finally be allowed to catch up with the rest of the advancements being made in these modern times.
U.S. and World Population Clock. (2014, March 18). Retrieved from United State Census Bureau: https://www.census.gov/popclock/
Berger, L. M., Hill, J., & Waldfogel, J. (2005). Maternity leave, early maternal employment and child health and development in the US. The Economic Journal, 29-47.
Farley, M. (2006). Prostitution, Trafficking, and Cultural Amnesia: What We Must Not Know in Order to Keep the Business of Sexual Exploitation Running Smoothly . New Haven: Yale Journal of Law and Feminism.
Myers, L. L. (2013, April 22). Washington State Gender-Neutral Vocabulary Law Signed By Jay Inslee. Retrieved from The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/23/washington-state-gender-neutral-vocabulary_n_3135734.html
Olivetti, C., & Petrongolo, B. (2008). Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? A Cross‐Country Analysis of Gender Gaps. Journal of Labor Economics, 621-654.