Saturday, June 28, 2014

There are only two sexes

If you set up a profile on Facebook you can now choose to describe yourself as male, female or custom. If you select custom you get 70 different gender options. You also get to choose which pronouns will be applied to you.

The innovation was brought about by two Facebook engineers, one a lesbian, the other a transwoman (a man who wants to identify as a woman).

The problem with all this is that there are only two sexes. There is male and there is female - those are the two possibilities not only when it comes to our biological sex, but also when it comes to an "essence" of life.

That doesn't mean that every particular man and woman has a clear identity as male or female. Things can go wrong biologically (a very small percentage of people have chromosomal abnormalities); nor is it the case the everyone will psychologically accept their biological sex as part of their identity.

But, be that as it may, the fact remains that there are only two sexes. We cannot make up a new one of our own.


  1. This is exactly what's to be expected. Facebook means to stay on the cutting edge of sociatal evolution. Social media is what they do. What's more social to non-heterosexuals than having sex? Scour gaydom on the web, gather and compile the current sexual preference options and list them alphabetically for easy "friending". What's not to "like"? Millions of users won't be wrong.
    Obviously the market makers would be foolish to not harness their handy technology to bring order to the sexual chaos of their users. Seventy options represents the new science of harmonious match making. What right-minded non-binary, neutriois, transgender female wants to end up in an awkward Grindr hookup with an intersexed, questioning, transitioning, transexual male? That's just a waste of everyone's time. Not "What's your sign?", it's "What's your option?"

  2. Yes, but that's why we should never acquiesce to using the word "gender" in a non-grammatical context.

    Gender, as applied to personal expression, was deliberately chosen precisely because it is not necessarily binary. So when we use it, even casually, we give credence to the notion that biological sex is unimportant, and that "gender" is what we think of now -- which implicitly accepts more than a binary. It's sloppy verbiage that supports a movement aimed at thoroughly deconstructing and destroying any inherent link between biological sex and personal behavioral expression. We must resist the term, full stop.

    The trouble is that many people in the Anglo world are uncomfortable saying the word "sex", so the use of the word "gender" has become nearly ubiquitous. Yes, most people use it to "say biological sex without saying the word 'sex'", but over time it drives a mental wedge between something that is inherently binary and something that is not, and leans heavily in favor of the latter.

    1. Novaseeker, it's not just that people are uncomfortable saying the word "sex" but that in some contexts the usage can be confusing. If I put up a subheading 'sex' then it is likely that most people will assume that I'm about to talk about intercourse rather than biological sex. I use the word "sex" wherever the meaning is clear; sometimes I can use "sex distinctions" rather than gender when the meaning is not clear; but occasionally the word "gender" makes it clear what is being discussed.

    2. I couldn't agree more with Novaseeker. I have made the same point more than once on this page. I was being absurd in order to demonstrate the absurdity of this mass psychosis, of which we are a part. "Gender" if a fraud. It should never be used outside of a grammar school classroom. Every time one of us uses "gender" in reference to any of these seventy (and growing) terms, or in place of "sex", we feed the monster. There is absolutely no reason to ever use "gender" in public discourse. If a member of the male sex presents feminine traits, he is acting feminine. He is not of the female "gender". That is absurd. Take the term back and put the discussion back on sound footing where it used to be before we let them steal the most critical and defining terms to use against us. We keep using terms as they redefine them, the particular ones that they have strategically put in our mouths, and we become their allies. No way around that. It is their conversation, no matter what we say. We become the brainwashed.

    3. Buck, I understand the point you and Novaseeker are making and am sympathetic to it. But I would make two qualifying points:

      a) The main weapon against the liberal position is not the use of language, it is getting the underlying philosophy right. If the reigning philosophy tells us that we define our own good, rather than fulfilling purposes already given to us, then the liberal position is going to win out no matter what language we use.

      b) As I wrote earlier, I sometimes find it difficult to use "sex" instead of "gender" in certain contexts, because of the fact that the English language assigns two meaning to sex, namely biological sex and sexual intercourse.

      Having said all that, I do agree that the use of the word "gender" does fit in with the liberal programme of making biological sex fluid rather than fixed.

    4. Mark, I agree that language isn't the main weapon, but it is an effective one. You articulate the underlying philosophy best.
      I make an effort to overcome the difficulty that you cite with the use of "sex". I trying always to use "sex" clearly to mean male and female, and to use "have sex" or "having sex" or the whatever variation that makes it clear that I mean sexual activity. I make the effort because I want to draw attention to what I mean, and to distract from what they mean. Never using "gender" or "gay" in the way that they want irritates and calls attention to the language. I want them to react to what I mean, because they don't agree. It's difficult for someone to miss my meaning and they want me to explain myself. That seems, as I say, to force the discussion onto my terms and heads it into the direction that I want it to go. It is clearly awkward sometimes and will seems pointed. It's an effective tactic.
      If I may, and I'll drop it, I made the point in other words here, some time ago, in a discussion at The Thinking Housewife.
      Thank you sir, Buck

  3. The entire concept of "gender" is largely imaginary anyway; is it any surprise that people are being so ridiculous with it? It's children on the playground, making up rules to the game as they go along. Those rules are perfectly valid, within the context of the game, but have no relation to reality at all.