Whether you are new to the world of feminism or not, you have probably heard one of these arguments in favor of accepting identity-based sex/gender* definitions:
- Sex is a spectrum, not a binary
- There are people with chromosomes that don’t match their outward physical appearance
- There exists a huge range of intersex conditions, challenging the very idea of what we consider “male” or “female”
But these sex is a spectrum arguments are sophistry. They are a word game. . . . Because these arguments always lead up to “identity,” and intersex conditions are conditions existing in material reality.
Let’s take, by way of example, something we all accept is a spectrum already: visible light.
Blue light and red light exist toward the ends of this spectrum, and there is a dramatic range of colors in between.
And yet, discoveries of new colors within that spectrum — or the fuzzy boundaries between what we, for instance, perceive as red versus orange — do not mean that yellow is whatever someone identifies as yellow (or believes is yellow with all their heart).
[S]ome sheep being born with ambiguous genitalia and infertility issues doesn’t mean a ram can suddenly be a ewe upon request.
Sex spectrum arguments are irrelevant to the idea of identity-based sex and gender definitions. They are a deliberate time-wasting tactic engaged in by mansplainers, who jump in with an “Aaaaactually…” and then use this red herring to confuse the argument and claim victory.
Bookmark this post — and the next time you hear someone making this argument, send them this way.