Stephen Measure

If Gender Identity Isn't a Religious Belief,
Then It's Really, Really Stupid.

Over the years, I believe I’ve presented a very consistent message that gender identity is best understood as a religious belief. I even titled a collection of my thoughts on this topic as “Gender Identity Is a Religious Belief That I Don’t Believe In”, and this is also the main argument of my essay “How to Talk to Progressives about Gender Identity”. But here’s some personal behind-the-scenes insight: My wife really hates it when I say this.

It’s not that she doesn’t understand why I describe gender identity as a religious belief, but that’s not the way believers in gender identity talk about it or (presumably) think about it, so she thinks it’s wrong for me to call it that. And as I think more about it, I think she’s probably right. It’s probably not my place to dress up the beliefs of others to fill in the gaps in their logic. I call gender identity a religious belief because that’s the only way it makes sense. But what if it’s a belief that simply doesn’t make sense? What if it’s just really, really stupid?

How to Make Gender Identity Logically Coherent

I’ve been trying to wage a one man intervention for all intelligent, well-meaning progressives: “Please, please stop making yourselves look like such idiots.” Because gender identity, when presented as a secular belief, simply doesn’t make sense.

I’m a guy, and what do guys do when they see a problem? They try to fix it. So I see gender identity, which is a stupid, irrational belief, and I see a way where it could actually make sense, so I try to fix it. I mean, I’ve been trying to be charitable, you know?

Gender identity presents the claim for some unseeable part of ourselves that is more us than even our physical bodies. It calls this something our “gender identity”, but it certainly sounds like the standard religious concept of a soul to me. So here is how you present gender identity as a logically coherent religious belief:

  1. We each have a soul
  2. Our souls have a gender
  3. Sometimes the gender of our soul doesn’t match the gender of our physical body, and when that happens, our soul’s gender has priority over our body’s.

And there you have it. With those three faith-based beliefs, you now have a logical religious explanation of gender identity. Obviously, none of those beliefs are provable, which is what makes them faith-based, and let me be clear that I personally don’t believe in this (I believe #1 and #2. I don’t believe #3.) But isn’t it obvious that the above is essentially what gender identity is claiming? The only difference is gender identity makes no attempt to fill in its logical gaps with religion and instead tries to pass as a secular belief, but it can’t do so credibly because, as a secular belief, gender identity is really, really stupid.

Reimagining the Scopes trial

But beyond a vain attempt to be charitable, there’s a second reason why I find it so tempting to view gender identity as a religious belief: It’s because religion vs secularism is such a common conflict, and because with the topic of gender identity, the roles are reversed, which is quite fun.

Make no mistake, my belief about gender is secular: Our gender is our biological sex. No angels, no visions, no holy books or prophets, simply empirical evidence and reason, no faith required. Contrast that with gender identity, which only makes sense as a religious belief. The situation is a complete role reversal, and I find that amusing. It’s like the Scopes trial in reverse. In Scopes, on the side of secularism, there was a teacher who wanted evolution to be taught in school, and on the side of religion, there was a state that wanted to forbid evolution from being taught. Now with gender identity you have conservatives, usually the religious ones, fighting on the side of secularism (proof), and you have progressives, usually the secular ones, fighting on the side of religion (faith).

Except those who believe in gender identity don’t usually present it as a religious belief, they claim it’s secular, so to use the Scopes trial as an analogy, we have to reimagine it a little bit. Imagine if, instead of Scopes being a trial between a secular belief and a religious belief, imagine if it was a trial between a secular belief and a really, really stupid secular belief.

The opposing side in the Scopes trial was essentially a belief in creationism. So you could describe the Scopes trial as being the conflict between the belief that humans were the product of evolution vs the belief that humans were created by God. Secular vs Religious. But what if instead of declaring that humans were created by God, the opposing side declared that a galactic space platypus got drunk one night and vomited on the Earth and that’s where humans came from?

Now your first reaction to that belief might be, “That’s really stupid,” and you would be right, but notice this: It’s not religious! Your second reaction might be to ask what proof could justify such a belief, to which I would reply: Proof? Ha! This is an essay about gender identity! Where is the proof of that? If I can’t demand proof that a biological man is a woman, then why do you get to demand proof that our species was created in the puke of a galactic space platypus? It’s a postmodernist world, baby! Only reactionaries demand proof nowadays. You aren’t a reactionary, are you?

Why should we believe that gender is different from biological sex? Because it is, that’s why! Why should we believe that humanity was created by a vomiting galactic space platypus? Because it was, that’s why! Proof? Ha! The only thing that matters is it isn’t based on the Bible, right?

Much more on this stupidity, including the galactic space platypus, is to come. But first let’s talk about faith.

Swim Trunks at a Bicycle Race

Ultimately everyone has some faith-based beliefs. You could be an observant Muslim or an atheist zealot, either way somewhere in your belief system, faith will be present. It has to be there because some things in life simply cannot be proven: What is the meaning of life? What is good? What is evil? These can be defined to a point by reason, but ultimately you will come down to a set of foundational beliefs that underpin your reason but cannot be proven themselves. You believe them not because you can prove they’re true, you believe them simply because you believe them. In other words, you have faith they are true, even though you can’t prove they are true.

But some things actually are provable. Some things can be seen. Some things can be measured. This is the realm of provable reality, and whether or not something exists certainly falls within this realm. If there is a miniature teapot orbiting out in space, it should be possible to prove it is there (through telescopes, etc), and I am under no obligation to believe it’s there until compelling proof of its existence is provided. The same goes for a galactic space platypus. Could one exist? Sure, I suppose, anything’s possible. But until someone provides proof that one exists, then the default assumption should be that it does not.

So we have some things in life that are unprovable (right, wrong, etc), and we have some things that are provable (the boiling point of water, the existence of something, etc). Faith has to be present in the first category because you cannot prove an unprovable thing. But you can prove a provable thing, so faith isn’t necessary. Now, you could certainly choose to believe based on faith instead of proof, and you can even believe some things based on faith even though that belief is contradicted by the currently available proof, but to do so is only appropriate in the right situation.

Imagine a man showing up to a competition in bare feet and a swimsuit. If this were a swim meet, his outfit would be appropriate, but if it were a bicycle race, it wouldn’t. Some things are appropriate in one situation but not appropriate in another, and when it comes to faith in beliefs that contradict provable reality, this type of faith is perfectly appropriate within the religious sphere but absolutely inappropriate within the secular sphere and should be thrown out anytime it tries to sneak in. (As an example, the Scopes trial.)

Now, this essay is already going to be huge as it is, so I’m not going to go into a deep discussion about the difference between the religious sphere and the secular sphere. I will only say this: In order to have a functional secular sphere, it must be based on reason. Faith-based beliefs will have to be present when it comes to unprovable things like right/wrong (otherwise no laws could exist), but faith cannot be used as the basis for things that can be proven. In other words, within secularism, proof must always be given precedence over faith. If that isn’t the case, then you don’t have a secular sphere at all, you just have a religious sphere that’s pretending to be secular, a “non-religious” theocracy, if you will. Is that the kind of society you want to live in?

An arrogant atheist at this point might interject that faith shouldn’t be used to contradict proof in any case even within the religious sphere, to which I would reply: Glass houses and throwing stones. How many of you claim to not be religious but nevertheless still believe in gender identity? Tell me, who is more intelligent, a man who believes something based on faith that is contradicted by the currently available evidence but correctly treats this as a religious belief, or a man who believes something based on faith that is contracted by evidence yet still claims it should be treated as fact within the secular sphere? Because the latter scenario describes gender identity exactly. Within the religious sphere, gender identity could be perfectly respectable, but within the secular sphere, it’s really, really stupid. Let me count the ways …

Gender identity is stupid because it’s self-defeating

There is a common game that conservative commentators like to play when someone makes a ridiculous comment based on gender identity like “Some men have periods” or “Some women have penises”. The game is pretty simple, all you do is ask a basic question:

“What is a woman?”

Now, to someone with a proof-based definition of gender, the answer is simple: A woman is a human with XX chromosomes. (Add appropriate qualifiers to handle the rare cases of intersex birth defects if you wish.)

But for someone who believes in gender identity, the answer is much harder than it might appear at first glance. The first time they are asked it, they will probably say something like this:

“A woman is someone who identifies as a woman.”

And the reply to that circular reasoning is obvious:

“Great, so what’s a woman?”

To which they will go off in various directions in a vain attempt to make sense of the nonsensical:

“A woman is someone who identifies as the feminine half of humanity.”

“Great, so what’s the feminine half of humanity?”

And on … and on … and on …

The game demonstrates two truths:

  1. Gender identity is an irrational belief that cannot withstand scrutiny
  2. Most believers in gender identity haven’t really reasoned through it (see #1)

That said, I think there actually is a correct way to describe what gender identity believes a “woman” is. Here is the first draft:

“A woman is someone who identifies as a biological woman.”

Pretty good, right? That is the essence of what gender identity is claiming: It’s not biological sex that matters, it’s identity, but what you are identifying as is the biological sex. That is the concept behind the word you are trying to claim. Except that definition misses one critical piece. Remember, some biological women claim they are men, so those obviously couldn’t be women, right? Which brings us to this enhanced definition:

“A woman is someone who identifies as a biological woman who identifies as a biological woman.”

Much better, right? Now technically the “who identifies as a biological woman” qualifier needs to keep being added an infinite number of times because, like an irrational number, gender identity can never actually reach the end of its own definition. (Because it’s irrational.) But let’s leave it at that and talk about something more important.

Words don’t exist on their own, frozen in time like some prehistoric mosquito trapped in amber. Words refer to concepts, and those concepts change over time based on how the words are used. A good example of this is the word “fascist”. There was a time, decades ago, when that word actually referred to a specific type of person with a specific type of political ideology, but now it’s thrown around haphazardly, describing people as varied as literal neo-Nazis to sweet eighty-year-old grandmas, and this wide-spread usage has diluted the concept behind the word into nothing. I’m not sure I could come up with a more accurate definition of how the word is actually used today other than to say “a bad person” or “someone with politics I really dislike”.

And here’s the point: the word “woman” means something. There is a concept behind the word, something that comes to your mind when the word is used. Before gender identity the concept behind the word “woman” was simply a biological woman, and that is the concept that gender identity is trying to steal. Let’s try again to define “woman” according to gender identity:

“A woman is someone who identifies as (the concept of “woman” that everyone agreed on before gender identity was invented).”

That’s it, right? Basically, what gender identity is demanding is that the word “woman” be expanded to include anyone who identifies as a woman, yet at the same time it wants the original concept behind the word “woman” to remain frozen in place. Gender identity wants to have its cake and eat it too. But that’s just stupid because that’s not how language works. When you steal a word and alter its usage, you inevitably alter the concept behind that word as well.

Imagine you’ve been training for a 100-meter dash. You’ve spent months sprinting, pushing yourself to the limit, the whole time dreaming of attaining the distinction of “winner”. You live that word, you sleep that word, and when it runs through your mind, you imagine the concept behind it: being the fastest in the race and having the adoration and congratulation that provides. And so you run your race and do your best, but you’re the fifth to cross the finish line.

No! This can’t be! You wanted to be the winner! You deserve to be the winner! And so you scream, and you howl, and eventually the judges shrug their shoulders and declare that everyone who ran the race is the “winner”. So, you won, right? You’re the “winner”, which means you won, right?

No. You might be the “winner”, but the word “winner” doesn’t mean the same thing it meant before the race began. Before the race it meant the one person who ran with the best time, but now it means everyone. And if everyone is the winner, then no one is. The concept of the word “winner” that you so desperately wanted was changed into something else when you wrestled its usage in a different direction.

And that’s the case with gender identity as well. Those men who claim to be women, they want to be thought of as women—as the original concept of women before gender identity entered the picture—but that’s an impossibility. When you alter the way a word is used, you alter the concept behind that word. By stealing the word “woman” away from its original usage, these men cause the concept behind the word to change away from the concept they are trying to steal. It’s self-defeating.

Imagine you’re standing in a hallway looking at two bathrooms. One says “Men” and the other says “Women”. Imagine you’re in a society that has never heard of gender identity before and imagine you haven’t either. Now imagine what would be in each of these bathrooms. Due to the biological reality of women, you could expect their bathroom to have only stalls and a sanitary napkin dispenser might be present. In contrast, due to the biological reality of men, you could expect their bathroom to contain both stalls and urinals and to not contain a sanitary napkin dispenser.

Now imagine the individuals that enter each bathroom. Look at the men who enter the men’s bathroom. Look at the women who enter the women’s bathroom. Can’t you see the concept behind the words “man” and “woman”? Isn’t it clear and obvious and common sense?

But now imagine gender identity invades that tiny haven of common sense and takes over. Now we have people saying, “Some men have periods”. Well, if some men have periods, then we need sanitary napkin dispensers in the men’s bathroom, too, right? And we have people saying, “Some women have penises”. Well, if some women have penises, then shouldn’t we include urinals in the women’s bathroom too?

So now we have a men’s and a women’s bathroom, both of which have urinals, both of which have sanitary napkin dispensers. And imagine the concept of the people who enter the men’s bathroom and the concept of the people who enter the women’s bathroom. Can you see the sharp difference between the concept of “woman” in the first scenario versus the concept of “woman” in the second scenario? The meaning has changed. “Women” are no longer “women”. “Men” are no longer “men”. The original concept behind the words has been muddled and lost.

And now comes the bigger question: If there is no difference between the needs of the men’s bathrooms versus the needs of the women’s bathrooms, then why have separate bathrooms at all? Why even have the words “man” and “woman”?

So, while gender identity proponents might be able to steal the word “woman” if they flex sufficient social and political force, their act of stealing that word will have the inevitable consequence of changing the concept they were trying to steal in the first place. Their actions are self-defeating. Their actions are really, really stupid.

Gender identity is stupid because it prioritizes faith over proof within secularism

As I stated before, it’s perfectly fine to have faith in things that contradict provable reality as long as you correctly classify that belief as a religious belief. Do you believe that Noah survived a flood in an ark? (I do.) That’s fine—as long as you classify it as a religious belief. Do you believe Jesus performed the miracles claimed by the Bible? (I do.) That’s also fine—as long as you classify it as a religious belief.

The reason why the correct classification of beliefs is so important is because of the different way our society treats religious beliefs vs secular beliefs. It’s fine to teach students in Sunday School that Noah built an ark, but it’s not fine to teach that in the history class of a public school. Why? Because public schools should be based on secularism, and secularism requires that everything provable should be based on proof, not faith. Whether or not a worldwide (or even limited) flood occurred within a certain time period is something that can reasonably be expected to be seen in the empirical evidence, so you can only teach it in public school if the empirical evidence supports it.

Yet gender identity fails at this because it’s based entirely on faith, not proof; and worse, gender identity actually contradicts the available proof.

Let’s consider that question again, “What is a woman?” Tell me, which of the following definitions is based on empirical evidence?

  1. A woman is a human with XX chromosomes*
  2. A woman is someone who identifies as (the concept of “woman” that everyone agreed on before gender identity was invented).

(* Insert technical qualifier to handle intersex birth defects here if you wish.)

Obviously the first one is the one based on empirical evidence because it is the only one based on proof, no faith required. A baby is born—which gender is it? Well, in almost all cases you can just look at them and know, but if it comes down to it you can take a blood sample and look at their DNA. The definition is measurable and objective. It’s based entirely on proof just like secularism should be.

Now consider the definition provided by gender identity. In this case, proof is entirely absent, and the only thing that matters is their “identity”. But what is “identity” and how can you know it? Can you see it? Can you measure it? When a baby is born, do you know what their gender identity is? If a naked comatose mugging victim is found in a dark alley, can you do a visual exam or take a blood test and know if their gender identity makes them a “John Doe” or a “Jane Doe”? No, you can’t because gender identity isn’t based on proof. Someone’s identity is whatever they say it is. We listen to their identity and we simply believe them. They could be wrong. They could be lying. We have no way to know. We are forced to accept their identity on faith.

So you have one way to define the word “woman” that is based on proof and another way that’s based on faith. Obviously secularism must accept the definition based on proof. To do otherwise would be really, really stupid.

A believer in gender identity might interject here some nonsense about gender being different from sex, and they might say that that difference justifies the lack of proof when it comes to gender identity, but that argument is deceptive stupidity. You cannot take an unprovable concept and use it to override a provable concept. That’s just a deceptive way to get around the need for proof, and if you allow that with gender identity, you could allow it with anything, and that leads to theocracy, not secularism.

The question we are considering is: “What is a woman?” That question can be answered via empirical evidence as long as we understand that gender and biological sex are the same thing. You can waive your arms and declare that gender and sex are different all you want, but it won’t change the fact that you’re trying to change the definition of “woman” from a proof-based definition to a faith-based one.

And remember what I said about the existence of something? That’s part of provable reality, and if you can’t prove that something exists, then the default belief should be that it doesn’t. Well, if “gender” is something that truly exists separate from biological sex, then the burden of proof is on you to prove its separate existence. We’re under no obligation to believe there’s a teapot orbiting around in space or a galactic space platypus or anything else until we’re given evidence to prove that such things exist. And likewise we’re under no obligation to believe that “gender” exists as a separate entity from biological sex until proof is provided for its separate existence, and it’s really, really stupid for anyone to suggest otherwise.

Gender identity is stupid because it provides no compelling evidence to believe in it

Why would someone actually believe in gender identity? What is the thought process that gets them there? I think that would be fascinating to track. You start with the idea that a woman is a woman because she actually is … well … a woman, and you end with the idea that a man is a woman if he says so because … well … just because.

Obviously believers in gender identity will say this is because gender is different from biological sex and “woman” is gender instead of sex, blah, blah, blah, but why do they believe that gender is different from sex? There is no compelling reason to believe that. “Woman” isn’t some word that was just invented yesterday. This is a word that has always had a meaning and that meaning has always been proof-based. So why replace a proof-based definition of “woman” with a faith-based one? If this were a religious discussion, I might have something different to say here, but this isn’t a religious discussion, it’s a secular discussion, and in the secular sphere, there’s simply no compelling evidence to suggest that gender should be treated as distinct from biological sex, and certainly not that it should be allowed to override biological sex like gender identity believers claim that it should.

Sure, there are people who believe they are a different gender than their biological sex, but there are people who believe lots of wrong things. Some people believe the earth is flat. Some people believe vaccines cause autism. Does the fact that people believe those things prove those things are true? Of course not. So why would it prove that gender is different than biological sex? It doesn’t.

Perhaps if people really, really, really, in the depths of their soul, believe their gender is different from their biological sex, then that proves they’re right? No, that argument is just as ridiculous. Children have died because they weren’t vaccinated! Obviously their parents really, really, really believed that vaccines cause autism. The sincerity of someone’s belief doesn’t make any difference when it comes to proof. Heck, a few years ago a man took guns to a pizza shop in Washington D.C. to rescue children he thought were being held there by a Satanic sex abuse cult involving our nation’s top Democrats. And this wasn’t a case of psychosis either, this was simply a man who really, really, really believed something that was really, really, really wrong. And the same goes for those who believe they’re a different gender than they physically are. Belief, even deeply held belief, isn’t proof.

Another argument a gender identity believer might try is that the positive results psychologists report for patients who “transition” to their desired gender proves that gender is different from biological sex, but this is just as ridiculous as all the rest. Reality is not what you believe makes you the happiest. Reality is reality. And we’re under no obligation to pretend reality is whatever someone else wishes it were. Thank goodness we’re not, because if we were, we’d have to spend all our lives trying to pretend every teenage boy was a rock star and every teenage girl was a supermodel. But they’re not, even if they would be happier if everyone pretended they were, and it’s stupid to think otherwise.

Brain scans are another complete dead end. To someone who thinks they provide proof for gender identity, I would reply: Then why aren’t brain scans used to determine someone’s gender identity? If proof is available, why are we still expected to operate on faith? The answer, obviously, is because brain scans prove nothing. Interesting statistically correlations have been found, at best, nothing that could be used to objectively prove someone’s gender identity. Furthermore, consider what it would mean if brain scans actually could prove gender. That would mean that if your brain scan said one thing, and you claimed your gender identity was another, then too bleeping bad, we’re going with the brain scan. And that would obviously be unacceptable to gender identity believers because ultimately they want gender identity to be faith-based. They want to be able to say that reality is whatever they say it is and that all contradictory evidence must be ignored. Brain scans would never be accepted as proof against gender identity, and therefore they can never be accepted as proof in favor of gender identity. The whole topic is just a waste of time.

(If you want to see what actual provable gender identity would look like and the consequences of that proof, then take a look at my short satire “Unwanted Proof”.)

What it all comes down to, I think, is people are told that gender is different than biological sex and they just … believe it. It’s all based on faith. And I’ll point out this is all happening within the secular sphere, not the religious one. Supposedly-secular people are choosing a faith-based belief over a proof-based one, and they’re believing it simply because they’re told to believe it.

“Well, you see, a galactic space platypus spewed its guts out all over the Earth and then humankind just popped out. Any questions?”

“Nope, that all checks out!”

And that’s really, really stupid.

Gender identity is stupid because it contains no limiting principles

And because gender identity has no logical reason to believe it, it also has no ability to prevent itself from morphing into something even stupider than it already is. If you believe in an invisible “identity” simply because you’ve been told to believe in it, what will stop you from believing in a different “identity” for the exact same reason?

This is a common objection to gender identity. “If I can identify as a woman, why can’t I identify as being 29?” “If I can identify as a man, why can’t I identify as being black?” In other words, if gender identity exists, then why doesn’t age identity or race identity or species identify exist?

The response from gender identity believers is basically that that’s a stupid objection because none of those identifies actually exist, so it’s ridiculous to compare them to gender identity. Except, why should we believe gender identity exists? There’s no compelling proof for that identity either. Why is gender different from biological sex? Because it is! We’re told to believe it, and we’re expected to believe as we’re told. Proof? Stop being such a transphobe!

Gender identity has no limiting principles. If you accept gender identity as fact despite its lack of evidence, there’s no logical reason why you shouldn’t accept age identity or race identity or any other nonsense. The only reason why you don’t today is because you haven’t been asked to accept it yet. But once progressivism demands you believe in those identities as well, what will you do? Will you suddenly become picky about proof? And risk being called a transphobe? I doubt it.

Heck, gender identity doesn’t even have any limiting principles to contain the explosion of gender identities within itself. So far I’ve been speaking as if gender identity just consisted of men identifying as women and women identifying as men. But given that gender identity is faith-based, it provides no provable way to limit the number of genders to only two. You can be any gender you feel like, even if it’s a completely made up concept. And so we have non-binary, and gender-fluid, and bigender, and pangender, and on and on and on.

But here’s the thing: words refer to concepts, and what is the concept behind non-binary or gender-fluid or pangender or whatever? Those concepts relate to nothing in the actual world. When someone says their gender is (insert nonsense made-up word here), what are we supposed to do with that information? Gender identity is just a layer of made-up nonsense overriding the proof-based reality of biological sex. It’s really, really stupid.

Gender identity is stupid because preferred pronouns are completely unworkable

But of all the stupid things about gender identity, surely the prize for the most idiotic is the idea of preferred pronouns. Whoever came up with this idea must have spent their life in academia because it’s completely unrealistic to use in the real world and it’s destined to cause nothing but misery in everyone’s lives until it collapses in a pile of its own incoherent unworkability.

You can see where the idea started, if a man is allowed to identify as a woman or a woman is allowed to identify as a man, they are going to want people to call them by the pronouns that correspond to those genders. She instead of he, her instead of him, etc. Alright, so basically we are asked to speak about men as if they are women and women as if they are men.

In other words, the expectation is that you’ll translate this:

“This is Bob. Bob’s a man, but Bob believes he’s a woman, so when you talk about him, pretend like he’s a woman when you refer to him with a pronoun.”

Into this:

“This is Bob. Bob’s a man, but Bob believes she’s a woman, so when you talk about her, pretend like she’s a woman when you refer to her with a pronoun.”

Alright, this is an inappropriate demand, but at least it’s a realistic one. We know how to talk about a woman, so we’re being told to pretend Bob is a woman and talk accordingly.

Now, how about this one?

“This is Bob. Bob’s a man, but Bob believes tey’s a pangender, so when you talk about vis, pretend like tey’s a woman when you refer to vis with a pronoun.”

So I have questions:

  • What’s a “tey” or a “vis”? When you hear the words, what concepts come to your mind? Probably nothing.
  • What is Bob’s preferred objective pronoun? How about his preferred subjective pronoun?
  • How long would it take you to write a follow-on sentence using Bob’s correct preferred pronouns?

Welcome to the wonderful world of preferred pronouns, the inevitable result of the stupidity of gender identity and its lack of any limiting principles. Gender identity is unable to provide a list of potential genders (you can be whatever you want), which means it obviously can’t restrict you to the standard male/female pronouns. (Because what if you decide you aren’t a male or a female?) And so we’re left with this mess. Everyone can come up with whatever pronouns they want, and you’re expected to be able to just remember them and use them in your standard English.

But how many people even know what a pronoun is? Sure, they use them everyday in their language, but how many actually understand the whys and the hows behind pronoun usage? How many understand the difference between subjective and objective, etc? And just as importantly, how many people are capable of memorizing a set of preferred pronouns for every person they know or will ever have to speak about, especially given that some of those pronouns could be completely made-up or could be the same pronouns that others are using but in a different tense?

I lack the creativity to accurately convey how absolutely unbelievably stupid this idea is. I cannot believe someone actually thought it was a good idea. It’s like an April 1st joke that someone forgot to end. It’s really, really stupid.

Does this mean you think “transgenders” don’t exist?

I include this here simply to highlight that this is such a stupid thing to say. It’s a common claim that those of us who don’t believe in gender identity therefore don’t believe that transgenders exist or are somehow trying to erase their humanity or some other nonsense. I’m not going to waste much time on this, but I will simply say this:

  • A transgender is someone who believes their gender doesn’t match their biological sex.
  • Those people exist.
  • Those people are wrong.
  • I don’t have to believe someone is correct to accept them as humans.
  • You don’t have the right to demand I believe something that contradicts provable reality.

Flat-Earthers believe the earth is flat. They exist, but they’re wrong. Anti-vaxxers believe vaccines cause autism. They exist, but they’re wrong. Transgenders believe their gender doesn’t match their biological sex. They exist, but they’re wrong.

The argument “You’re saying that transgenders don’t exist!”, is a really, really stupid one.

If gender identity is so stupid, why is it so powerful?

It’s reasonable to ask, if gender identity is so stupid, then why do so many people believe it and why does it have so much influence over society today?

To answer that, let me share a personal experience. I’ve been publishing stories and essays for a number of years now, and I make a lot of my work available as ebooks through many different online outlets including Amazon, Apple Books, and Google Play. I used to make them available via Kobo’s bookstore as well, but that stopped in November of last year after I released my essay “How to Talk to Progressives about Gender Identity”. I had decided to make that essay available as an ebook on the various platforms, so I submitted it to Kobo like I have submitted dozens of other ebooks in the past. But this time was different. Obviously, they really, really didn’t like what I had to say about gender identity in that essay because they sent me an email in response informing me they were deleting my account and removing all my books from their website, in other words, they were banning me.

So what can we learn from this experience? Gender identity isn’t winning in our society because of intelligence or reason. Gender identity is winning because of power. Those who hold secular power within our society are exercising that power to prevent the argument against gender identity from even being made. If you speak against gender identity, if you refuse to go along with the stupidity, you will be canceled: you will be fired, you will be shunned, you will be stripped of any influence you might have had in order to keep society “safe” from the danger you present—the danger of a sound argument.

Imagine if our secular elites did this with evolution. Imagine if they decided evolution was so hateful, bigoted, and discriminatory that it didn’t even deserve to be heard. Imagine if they decided that the only explanation of human origins that should be permitted is belief in a vomiting galactic space platypus. How could you convince people that belief in a galactic space platypus was stupid and that belief in evolution made more sense if that argument wasn’t even allowed to be made? (Kobo banned all my books from their bookstore!)

So right now this isn’t a struggle about reason, it’s a struggle about power. Either we strip the power from the secular elites who are using that power to impose gender identity on the world, or else we so thoroughly embarrass them about how stupid gender identity is that they quietly reject it themselves out of shame.

A Concluding Olive Branch

All that said, even though gender identity is thoroughly stupid and unworthy of respect in the secular sphere, I maintain my commitment to fully respect and accommodate it within the religious sphere, and I encourage everyone else to do so as well. We all have the right to choose what we wish to believe, but we don’t have the right to impose beliefs that contradict provable reality onto others. If we can prove our beliefs, then we can prove them, but if we can’t, then we must leave it to others to choose whether to believe them or not.

Gender identity in the religious sphere is completely different from gender identity in the secular sphere. And you have the right to believe in gender identity, as a religious belief, if that is what you choose to believe in. And if you make that choice, and if you make it clear that it’s a religious belief instead of a secular one, then I will accommodate that belief. No, I’m not going to use preferred pronouns. No, I’m not going to pretend you’re a gender that you’re not. But I’ll avoid the topic of gender entirely with you to the extent possible. I’ll use the single-person gender-neutral “they” to describe you. (I prefer that approach anyway when dealing with an antecedent of unknown gender.) I’ll avoid mentioning your biological sex unless it’s absolutely necessary, and when I do so, I’ll note that you believe (in a religious sense) that your actual gender is different.

Gender identity has as much right to exist and be taken seriously within the religious sphere as any other religious belief, but it doesn’t have a right to exist within the secular sphere because stupidity cannot be permitted there and, within secularism, a faith-based belief that contradicts provable reality is really, really stupid.

Secularism is a fragile thing. If it isn’t based on reason and proof, then it’s no different from religion, and if secularism is simply another religion, then why should it exist at all?


topic: gender identity


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