What needs to be “fixed” first in order to have a utopia?
It is difficult to define equality among people when not everybody has the same idea of what “equal” is. Furthermore, the same goes for trying to create a utopia when everyone’s idea of the “perfect world” is different. Thus, interesting discussion occurs every time a utopian or dystopian novel or movie is written, and questions arise regarding what the best way of going about creating a utopia might be.
When we were hypothesizing what our individual utopias would look like in class yesterday, a couple of people voiced concerns regarding the economy. You fix the way people are paid, and you bring people out of poverty, and then you can worry about getting people to look at each other equally, they said (basically).
Someone else brought up education as the thing that needs to be addressed first. If you teach people to view others equally, and if everyone learns the same things, and/or if people learn how to fix the world and make it better, that’s the way to utopia.
I, however, said that I would address the issues of gender, race, and crime before anything else. I believe that we can have laws that say everyone is equal, but that doesn’t make everyone equal. It just gives people an excuse to justify wrong-doing (unequal pay, for example) committed in the name of sexism and racism. I think that we must first change the way that people view one another. When race and gender are no longer issues, we won’t have to keep talking about them being issues, and we’ll have a starting point where we could work on getting rid of class/economic discrimination. I believe that we have to view people in the way that the women in Herland viewed people–everyone, without regard to sex or gender, was a Person, and everyone together were People. As Somel says, “But surely there are characteristics enough which belong to People, aren’t there? That’s what I mean about you being more like us–more like People” (Gilman 90).
I don’t know if I’m right, though. It seems like it would be easier to stop economic discrimination by eliminating class, but I don’t think that would help solve gender or race issues any faster, as these kinds of issues would still be around regardless of the amount of money everyone makes. It will take an entirely different mindset, and different social principles, to completely eliminate these kinds of discrimination so that people can be truly equal in the eyes of others. But that’s just what I think. What about you guys?
Book: Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wall-Paper, Herland, and Selected Writings. New York: Penguin Books, 1999. Print.
Photo: Muir-Taylor, Casey. The Modern Wallpaper. 2010. Photograph. Flickr Creative Commons.