In this world of the denial of sex

Andy Lewis on confusion between ontology and epistemology of sex

Much confusion appears to exist in popular discussion about the nature of sex. This has political importance at the moment, most visibly in recognition of people with trans identities in law and society. Confusions abound around conflations of the terms sex and gender, but, most fundamentally, about what a sex is, and what it means for an organism, animal or human, to have a sex. What is a sexed body? How can we tell what sex an organism is? Clear responses to these questions are so often lacking. And without that, policy, law and social arrangements are likely to be incoherent and unjust.

Much of that lack of clarity is deliberate, with the goal of convincing everyone that sex is how you identify as opposed to what you are.

I do not believe for one moment we can help improve the lives of people with gender dysphoria and trans identities if we rob all the relevant words that might objective describe those experiences of any stable and coherent meaning. And even more so, and despite [Sarah] Hearne’s wish to help women, we cannot help women if we cannot say what the word “woman” means. So intent is this article in denying the link between being a woman and being female, that an extraordinary statement is made,

But we should also bear in mind that women aren’t discriminated against because they have vaginas, or breasts, or even because they have babies. Having babies makes it easier to discriminate against us, but the pay gap still exists for childfree women. It goes back to gender – the “socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities” that have led women to be less valued than men in society.

Just what is it then that creates injustice and discrimination for women? To what are these “socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities” applied to if it is not being female and the sex that bears children? No suggestion is made.

Which is absurd. Why do male animals of many species fight each other for access to ovulating females? It’s not because of “gender.” Why do dominant male animals of many species monopolize ovulating females and attack them if they stray? Not because of “gender.”

It is difficult to think of a greater conceptual and ideological muddle than this that exists amongst educated people. The Skeptic magazine as the “home of critical thinking” has obviously absolved itself of the need for thought here, or indeed the need for consistency. Not a few days before, the magazine published another article which apparently appeared to know full well why women are subject to discrimination based on their sex, and that fact they have vaginas, when they wrote an article entitled “Virginity testing is as unscientific as it is sexist, but will banning these tests prove effective?”

Virginity testing can be described as barbaric, monstrous, revolting, (insert your own virtue signalling qualifier here). It denies women autonomy over their bodies, reinforces gender inequality and outright devalues their humanity. But virginity testing is a symptom of the underlying root cause, which is the violation of human rights and the oppression of women.

But what’s the underlying root cause of that? Eggs. It’s all about the eggs.

We can be sure that no virginity testing is applied to anyone with a penis. One of these articles is horribly wrong. Or worse, the second is horrifically “transphobic”. But in this world of the denial of sex, consistency is not required. Pointing out incoherence and inconsistency is the only crime.

Maybe we should skip the shirts and posters with the definition of “woman” and just make it “eggs.”

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