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Sex Denialists Are Worse Than Flat Earthers
We are in the real Dark Ages
When trying to think of an example of an intellectually challenged position, many people default to the idea of a flat Earth. It’s hard to think of something else that so astoundingly flies in the face of very basic facts and what we know to be objectively true about the world. But I think the sex denialists are worse.
Like the various flat Earth cosmologies and conceptions, sex denialism takes many forms. Some people still obviously recognize the two sexes but muddy the meaning of words and play with language to try and obscure this reality. For example, they seek to replace the words “male” and “female” with the clunky phrases “assigned male/female at birth.” Others either wilfully or ignorantly misrepresent variations within the sexes to argue that there are more than two or that sex is on some kind of continuum or “spectrum.” For example, they will invoke Turner syndrome, a condition that by definition only affects females, as proof of this spectrum. Most concerningly of all, there is a not-insignificant contingent of people who truly seem to believe—or at least pretend to believe—that one’s declared “gender identity” overrides sex and can make a man with a female “gender identity” literally female, and vice versa.
In the face of such nonsense, belief in a flat Earth seems downright reasonable!
I jest, of course. In light of what we know today, clinging to the conception of a flat Earth as literal truth is ridiculous. But it wasn’t so ridiculous for our ancestors to develop this conception. After all, to the immediate senses and with no additional knowledge, it does appear to be true.
I’d like to take a moment to set a certain record straight before diving further, however. There is a persistent myth that Europeans in the Middle Ages were so backward and ignorant that they believed the Earth was flat, hence the term “Dark Ages.” This is a complete misconception. Plato and Aristotle both taught that the Earth was round, and many Ancient Greek philosophers attempted to calculate its circumference. This knowledge was inherited by European Christianity. When Magellan set off from Spain in 1519, he did so with the express goal of finding a western route to the Moluccas, which necessitated global circumnavigation.
But it is true that many ancient cultures had a rich flat Earth cosmology that often envisioned the Earth as a flat disk floating in air or water. And who can fault them? Throughout most of human history, we have had only our senses to rely on. Humans have been remarkably successful astronomers for thousands of years—marking astronomical phenomena like the solstice and the equinox—but the observed facts about the way the heavens operated were understandably incorporated into these cosmological systems.
Before we developed the math and the tools to more accurately describe the Earth, these attempts to conceptualize what we thought we knew demonstrated the remarkable human drive to understand reality.
Sex denialists don’t want to understand the world, they want to control it through language games. The brute fact of the existence of male and female is far more obvious and immediate than the shape of the earth—and not just in humans but in all higher plants and animals—yet they want to pretend that this isn’t the case. Sexual reproduction evolved only to have its ungrateful offspring come along one billion years later and deny it.
Furthermore, none of our ancestors who believed in a flat Earth were confused about males and females and the differences between them. It is one of the most pernicious myths of our time that various indigenous groups didn’t have a sex and/or gender “binary” until European colonizers came along and forced it on them. Sex and sex differences have always been integral to cultures around the globe. Not only is it an obvious physical reality, but sex roles have been based on sex differences the world over, from who stays at home and cares for the babies and who goes out to hunt the mammoth to who fills what roles in religious rituals and ceremonies.
Gender activists like to point to the fact that some cultures recognized the existence of significantly gender non-conforming people and, in certain cases, created different social categories for these people. However, there was no confusion about the sex in these situations. In fact, the vast majority of the time, these categories were exclusively for feminine men. The creation of such categories also showcases just how stark and rigid sex roles were in these cultures, otherwise, they would not have been needed. The exception proves the rule.
Sex denialists seek to rewrite human knowledge and history to push the fantasy of human sex change. Reality, that bigot, has made it impossible for humans to change from one sex to another, and that makes some people sad. The only avenue, then, is to get everyone to pretend that it is possible, which is why gender ideologues have thrown one ludicrous argument after the next at the wall. The goal is to make arguments stick without care for truth or consistency. If the idea that gendered souls can be born in the wrong body works on some people, great! If the idea that a brain of one sex can somehow inhabit an opposite-sex body works on others, excellent! If misrepresenting disorders of sex development or lying about ancient cultures convinces a few more, all the better!
The move from the conception of a flat to a spherical Earth shows a healthy evolution of thought in the face of new evidence regarding a truth and reality external to our individual desires. Modern sex denialism, on the other hand, is the symptom of a post-modern sickness that hates objective truth and denigrates it as my truth and your truth, which are often nothing but capricious whims. It tells us that if someone’s truth is that they are really the opposite sex, then we must rebuild our entire reality around that one wish.
Sex denialists are not the new flat Earthers. They are worse. They appeal to nothing but their own egos in a power game that asks you to ignore everything you see and know to be true in order to be considered a “good” person. They are not merely ignorant; they are playing a sadistic game, and it’s high time we stop playing along.
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