It’s another good example of the pseudo-elite vs. the street. Florence Ashley, a Canadian bioethicist and feminist based in Toronto, recently took to Twitter to “educate” the hoi polloi on the evils of “gendering” animals. Doing so, averred she, takes “bioessentialist conceptions of gender” and normalizes them. In response, the Twitterverse pointed out that she was quite abnormal.
Ashley further explained, “When we gender animals, we forget that sex is assigned. We begin to believe that sex is literally ~in~ the body.”
“For those unfamiliar with the concept, bio-essentialism is the belief that biology determines specific attributes and traits, including those related to gender identity,” explained American Thinker Sunday. “Or, as defined by Oxford Reference: ‘The belief that ‘human nature’, an individual’s personality, or some specific quality (such as intelligence, creativity … masculinity, femininity, or a male propensity to aggression) is an innate and natural ‘essence’ (rather than a product of circumstances, upbringing, and culture). The concept is typically invoked where there is a focus on difference, as where females are seen as essentially different from males[.]’”
Ashley’s tweet inspired much mockery from people smarter, or at least wiser, than Ashley. In fact, evolutionary behavioral scientist Gad Saad “won the Internet” on that day with the following tweet (Ashley’s conversation-starter comment is above Saad’s).
Another Twitter user quipped, “My cat was assigned female at birth, but I refused to gender it and allowed it to live gender free. Somehow, it still got pregnant….”
User Sian Llewellyn pointed out that if “those of us that worked with animals could ‘assign’ sex ie: Choose it, believe me, we would. It would be so useful. Alas, thats [sic] not how it works.”
Many Twitter respondents were not only wittier than Ashley, but also more knowledgeable. User “Morgan” chimed in, “How anthropocentric. The concept of gender is an exclusive feature of the human species, as far as we know.”
In point of fact, Ashley may not even understand the Sexual Devolutionary ideas she’s promoting. Psychologists embracing the MUSS (Made-up Sexual Status or “transgender”) agenda generally do not claim that “gender” and “sex” are synonymous. They acknowledge that “sex” is a biological phenomenon, though often wrongly claim it exists on a “spectrum.” But they also state that in terms of defining people, it should be subordinated to “gender”; this, they say, is a psychological phenomenon — your perception of what you are.
(In reality, some decades ago, “gender” was almost always used only in reference to words; it wasn’t generally applied to people until the sexual devolutionaries co-opted it. But the Truth is that people don’t have “gender,” only “sex,” as in the quality of being male or female.)
Of course, lacking self-awareness, animals have no “perception” at all of what they are. A ferret doesn’t say “I’m a macho dude!” or even “I’m a boy”; in fact, he doesn’t even “know” he’s a ferret. He just “is” and acts on instinct and conditioned responses.
Speaking of perception, that of some Twitter commenters was quite finely tuned. One tweeter, obviously sensitive to the underappreciated matter of language manipulation, wrote, “Bioessentialism is a word made up for the purpose of attacking it.”
“Yes. It is,” another fellow responded. “It’s kinda a slur for people who, rather than believe in cukoo [sic] ideologies, refer to objectivity and science instead. ‘Human bodies are male or female[.]’ ‘Oh your just one of those nasty bioessentiallists. Let’s play conflating sex and gender and mess with kids heads[.]’”
Making a related point, the first poster then stated, “It’s kind of like how Marx popularized the then obscure term ‘capitalism’ so he could attack it. Before that it was presumed to be the natural state of affairs that people would own property and businesses and could invest money in them to improve them without being evil.”
(I include this because it’s something I often mention. In fact, the term “capitalism” was originated by socialists, as I pointed out a week ago.)
Ashley isn’t dumb, as a video (below) she posted last year evidences. She certainly, after all, is good with the $70 words.
Yet it’s not that, unlike with the unintelligent, smart people won’t act stupidly; it’s only that they’re skilled at making their stupidity sound smart via application of a pseudo-intellectual veneer. But Ashley’s fantasy world is what results when beginning with incorrect premises (and when lacking knowledge), as what logically follows from them are incorrect conclusions — and some can be downright crazy.
Yet a good way to learn whether people are truly devoted to their “principles” is to discover whether they’d apply them in every applicable situation. For example, imagine that Ashley wanted to breed dogs — let’s say, Neapolitan mastiffs. Would she say to a seller, “Give me a male and a female, pick of the litter”?
Or would she say, “Gimme’ any two that look good. I’ll put ‘em together and see what happens!”?
It’s a good bet that if Ashley and her fellow travelers had a vested interest in operating based on reality, reality would be readily acknowledged.