Week 2 Response / Gattaca Will Never Work

“Visual evidence and genetic evidence are not seamless equivalents, nor are they reliably transparent; both are open to manipulation and susceptible to the indeterminacies of interpretation.”
-Jackie Stacey

Gattaca takes place in a time and place where DNA serves as a way to define social classes, where a fallen hair can be used as a dating profile and urine as a resume.  Individuals are separated into two different groups, Valids and Invalids. Valids are ones that had their DNA predetermined and selected from the two parents with their “best” genes, while Invalids are ones that are created through natural birth and everything is random. Only Valids can be professional athletes, have high ranking jobs, and help improve society. A couple questions arise when I was watching this film. Who decides what the “best” genes are? Wouldn’t all the kids from the same parents look the same if they only choose their best? How do they know if the kids created from natural birth are not perfect? Where are the environmental factor in all of this?

It is hard for me to imagine a place like Gattaca become actuality. There are so types of beauty, so many different thoughts and opinions on this world to have a universal scale for perfection. The idea of Gattaca portrayed human as such superficial and transparent beings, with no interest in personality or creativity ideas. Its main goal for humanity seems to solely focus on technological advancement, where experience and perseverance of an individual make no difference in nurturing a person’s character or wisdom. With this kind of hierarchical way of classification, it would be impossible for an Invalid to have any motivation live and procreate because they and their offspring can never strive in society. On the other hand, the Valids would not have any motivation to be better because their DNA already gives them so many privileges. I understand that some people are born given certain privileges, but refusing to give the underprivileged an opportunity to make a difference in society is very unfair. Since being Valid is desired, let’s say everyone eventually becomes Valid. Who will be the ones doing the blue collar jobs and how would anyone determine who is desirable? When everyone is the same, individualism becomes important again. This film can be viewed as a satire of our history with race and gender. Whether it is slavery or Hitler killing off all the Jews, segregation based on physical attribute is a very in-the-moment way of thinking.

-Kelly Kwok

Presenting Week 6 on Physical sciences / Rapid prototyping / GPS / Materials and natural phenomena


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