Guest post: Because of hegemonic species essentialism

Originally a comment by Lady Mondegreen on A new frontier.

in a few years (or months?) everyone will be talking scornfully about cis-species privilege and saying “Do you believe trans-hippos are hippos, yes or no?”

Educate yourself.

“Species” is a social construct. Most people think that “species” refers to a population of organisms the males and females of which can produce fertile offspring, but this definition, aside from its biological essentialism and obvious transphobia, is WRONG. Some hybrids are fertile. Leopons, for example. You didn’t know that, did you? SCIENCE tells us that wild hybrids even occurred in ancient times. Look it up.

Also there is a little thing called Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT). And did I mention ring species?

These things are rarely mentioned in mainstream biology classes because of hegemonic species essentialism, but things are simply not as simple as the binary model wherein an individual either “belongs” (note the Western capitalistic language in which a living being is reduced to a possession) to a (single) species or doesn’t.

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