Dancer in the air
Picture by TheDigitalArtist on Pixabay

Experiment 1: A different world

As well as the world of 2050, which most of the other posts on this blog are set in, I am exploring a more adventurous world. Perhaps this one will exist in 2500, since some of the elements (and technologies) I would like to see are still too far from our current state to be reached in less than thirty years.

I am trying to imagine a world in which it is considered rude to make any reference to gender when talking about one’s self or each other. Making no reference to gender means having to accept people for who they are and how they behave. It removes the possibility of imposing stereotypes. I have been trying to find a natural way to do this with the English language.

Replacing she and he with e is easy enough, but I ran into trouble with the possessive pronouns. Without a nice way to neuter his and hers I decided to try eliminating the possessive pronoun altogether. Imagine no possessions, right?

And then, to free those with wombs from the rigours of child-bearing, I want a world in which children are hatched in broods. To reduce the burden of child-raising, broods mostly grow up together, although the choice to raise individual children the traditional way can still be accommodated. 

Below is a snippet from that world. 

I actually find it hard to picture these characters because gender clues give so much information about appearance. Biased information of course. So while I have clear ideas about the kind of people Glob and Jift are, I don't really know what they look like.

Once you've read it, tell me how do you picture the characters? Can you form clear mental images for them?


Fifth-year celebration

Glob was dancing. An intricate and athletic swoop of movement, aided by air-skates. E rose to the back of the stage on the left, completed a half-circle just under the lights and then made a dramatic twisting plunge down, under a leaping Jift, leaving a trail of blue smoke. Jift and another brood-pal were dancing too, weaving between one another, rising and falling, sliding across the stage in an intricate choreography. They’d been working on this for three hours straight.

“Try to end a little more to the left at the end of that glide, Jift.” The three were all skilled dancers, interrupting each other frequently to suggest new moves, but the overall vision was in the head of Peda, the choreographer, watching from the front.

The dance would be one scene in the tale of the brood’s five years, that would be performed in the closing hours of the party. This scene told of the bursts of colour that the brood had unleashed on the city in their second year. With personal air-skates, they had developed a style of painting curling, swooping arcs and a colour palette of blues and greens that became their signature for that year. Now, three years on, much of the effect had been erased by younger broods, but a few iconic spots remained and of course, new versions had been appearing around the party-park all day.

“I’m pooped” Glob announced, collapsing spread-eagled on the stage. “Can we stop now?”

“Me too,” Jift's angular body crumpled next to Glob.

Peda started to argued, but stopped the self. “Sure, good idea. I think you’ve pretty much got it. Let’s take a break.”

“Good. I’m just going to get my breath back and then I’m off to explore the food.”

“Glutton,” Jift teased. "You'll never be able to dance."

“Absolutely. Today I’m eating to excess. I hear they are preparing soups, stews and cakes. Food is actually my first love."