Discriminatory Issues Raised In Gattaca

Hello class! As you all know we watched Gattaca in class on Thursday. This is a scene that stood out to me and raises some issues that I would like to discuss about the movie in my blog post:

First big thing is gender. Now I get that in the movie sexism and racism isn’t really an issue because it’s those with inferior genes that are discriminated against. The issue for me is how they get to pick almost everything about what their child is going to be. This in a way is like an evolved version of discrimination. Since parents get to pick the gender, and that part isn’t left up to chance, what’s stopping the population from becoming more in favor of one gender and there being an imbalance. A bigger issue that I can think of is: what about the people that we know today that aren’t just male or female. Where does the transgender community fit into this society, or have they been wiped out over time because their genes were considered inferior?

There’s something hollow about a society filled with perfect little boys and perfect little girls that lose out on the experience of discovering who they are. People grow from overcoming hardships. Just look at how the protagonist was able to overcome his “perfect” brother despite his inferior genes. If this society actually happened it would be so vanilla and nobody would have any issues… gives me Stepford Wives feels. It doesn’t seem like people would be human.

Moving on, what makes long life span and no “conditions” actually ideal? There are so many people I have met or learned about that have critical conditions or things that may be determined as a mental or medical condition, but these aren’t in any way inferior humans, and their experiences and contributions are still important. My girlfriend for example has some conditions that make her diet difficult. Had we been in this time, her genes might not have been selected and a different girl would be born. That would suck! She’s awesome. Imagine all the potentially awesome people that wouldn’t get a chance to exist because their genes wouldn’t be perfect.

Also, overall picking out who gets to exist based on what they are going to look like and be capable of doing is just eugenics/the Holocaust all over again, except much more scientific and seemingly a little less violent.

-Ben(jamin) Breidenthal

ps: I wanted to talk about week 8’s material, so I guess that would be week 9’s discussion

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