At any given time on The New York Times’ website, a quick search for “gender” will yield an array of articles on the ins and outs of sex personified and the endless ways biology teams up with political adversaries to oppress queer people.
One recent so-called gender headline offered “A Guide To Neopronouns,” those nonsensical sounds like “ze” and “zir” that break from the sex binary and thus from reality. “Are you a person, place or thing?” the article posed, going on to imply that “identity” is nothing more than an “aesthetic.”
“How Do I Define My Gender if No One Is Watching Me?” probed another title, with all the flavor of “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” without the philosophy. Instead, this article refocused on what happens to so-called gender expression when it’s relegated to the stay-at-home privacy of pandemic lockdown. How does “gender is a social construct” work when there’s no “social”? the author probed, unintentionally revealing the utter emptiness of “gender identity” when one tries to separate it from biological sex.
The articles are somehow baffling yet mind-numbing. Pieces like these, which seem to be ubiquitous now, are meaningless screeds of semantic acrobatics to convey the experiences of a group of Americans so out of touch with science that they would suppress the wonders of their sex and subscribe to a new doctrine that cannot even share a common language with reality. It is sad and foreign and exhausting, but the New York Times caters to it, creating room in its scarce pages for stories about folks whose prefixes include “Mx.” where “Mr.” or “Ms.” should be.
Men and Women Are Different
The brain boggles considering how such science-devoid content can square with another recent Times article. It’s a collection of frequently asked COVID-19 vaccine questions. “Is the Second Dose Bad? If I Feel OK, Is It Working? Can I Take Tylenol?” asked last week’s headline as more and more Americans get vaccinated.
One particular subheading stands out: “Is it true that women are more likely to get worse side effects from the vaccine than men?”
The answer is full of science-y explanations. Apparently, females can produce double the antibodies of men after getting flu shots or vaccines for hepatitis A or B or for measles, mumps, and rubella.
It also turns out that in aggregate, women have had worse bodily responses to the vaccine than men do, with more women than men experiencing side effects and nearly all the life-threatening anaphylactic reactions, although rare, occurring in women. The Times cites a study revealing that over nearly 30 years, women have made up 80 percent of all anaphylactic vaccine reactions among adults.
“[T]he higher rate of side effects in women also has a biological explanation,” the article says. While testosterone can weaken a body’s immune response, estrogen can galvanize it. “Additionally, many immune-related genes are on the X chromosome, of which women have two copies and men have only one,” the Times declares. “These differences may help explain why far more women than men are afflicted with autoimmune disease, which occurs when a robust immune response attacks the body’s healthy tissue.”
Here, the Times isn’t shy about making sex distinctions. It’s right there in the science: Men and women are obviously different in myriad ways, with immune and vaccine reactions just being the latest in the spotlight. If it’s so easy to articulate the innate differences between the sexes, why does the New York Times entertain such gender gibberish as “ze/zir” and “moon/moonself”?
Where Does Gender Reside?
For years, the left has shouted that gender has nothing to do with sex. To insist that sex is genetic and results in only men and women is to evoke the LGBT clap-backs that “gender is a social construct” and “chromosomes don’t determine your gender.”
A paragraph from one of the Times gender articles, however, reveals the deep and depressing hole in that worldview. The self-termed transgender-nonbinary author writes of the pandemic experience:
I was surprised by how much my gender instead seemed to almost evaporate. No longer on the alert for how to signal a restaurant’s waitstaff that neither ‘he’ nor ‘she’ applied to me, or for whether colleagues and neighbors would use the right language — devoid of anyone to signal my gender to — I felt, suddenly, amorphous and undefined. It was as though when I had swapped my Oxford shoes and neckties for fuzzy slippers and soft sweatpants, I, too, had lost my sharply tailored definition. … Where did my own gender reside, then, if not in sending signals of difference?
These reflections are heartbreaking. Not only do they signal the amount of energy that some queer people derive from policing the perceptions of others and the apparent pleasure this may afford them, but it exposes the emptiness of finding one’s identity in finding one’s identity.
That’s all this futile pursuit truly boils down to. In rejecting the scientific sex binary in favor of amorphous and transient gender theory, a trans person’s identity doesn’t just become the opposite sex or an association with its pronouns. Rather, his or her identity becomes the lifelong task of asserting that their identity is not what you think.
That’s because the answer to the question, “Where did my own gender reside, then, if not in sending signals of difference?” is in one’s sex. That’s where gender resides. That’s where it has always resided.
When the performative displays inherent in normal everyday life are stolen by pandemic lockdowns, and science and truth are all that remain, we’re forced to look in the mirror and confront reality: Human beings are genetically male and female, and since language is made to correspond with reality, we refer to those people as either he/him or she/her, consistent with their sex. Although we differ, our identities and thus the language we use to describe them are forever linked to our immutable genetics.
Any deviation from or internal confusion about these realities warrants compassion and assistance, but as we’ve known since time immemorial and as has been made yet more apparent through pandemic science, social experiments, and personal anecdotes, men and women are real and immutable categories, and they are different.
For a political stripe that prides itself on faithfulness to science, the left’s media and adherents dispense with it wholesale and then can’t understand the emptiness that remains. The same science that explains why men and women respond differently to COVID vaccines also explains why eschewing sex in pursuit of gender fluidity is an exercise in futility.