All through history, cultures of the world have developed differing beliefs about philosophy, truth, beauty, and life in general. But there have always been a few basic realities which everyday life consistently confirmed, which endured over time, and which could not be denied—realities such as:
- Gravity pulls things down toward the earth.
- People cannot live without air.
- Humans are born as one of two genders.
There are many others, of course. But of those three, the last one is suddenly in question. Though this was accepted as absolute undeniable fact for millennia, in 1963, the American Heritage dictionary expanded its standard definition of gender. Before, it had been defined simply as biological sex, but the dictionary now added a second definition stating that gender may be defined by identity. That, of course, leads us to the controversy that surrounds us today, involving humans who feel they are actually a member of the sex opposite the one their bodies declare them to be. The growing trend to ‘identify’ as the opposite sex has led to a lot of questions and complications, which any societal change tends to do, but it also raises a much more important point.
Since biological gender is determined at the time of fertilization and the human in question will forever carry the corresponding Y and/or X chromosomes, biological gender is a plain reality. Many “gender reassignment surgeries” have been performed, remodeling human flesh through the marvels of modern medicine. The appearance may be drastically altered, but the person in question will still have the same DNA–that of the gender they were born.
The question then becomes, how can we actually define gender? Has gender become irrelevant? Since the continuance of our species depends entirely on interaction between the two biological genders, I think the second question is easily answered No. But what does this attempt at redefinition say about truth? If we deny the sex that is stated unequivocally by a person’s DNA, what then can we be sure is true?
DNA is unchanging, confirmed by everyday life. If, however, we redefine that reality, calling a woman a man or vice versa, is there any end to the redefinition? If we disregard the DNA-defined sex of a person, calling it inconsequential, then why would any other component of the DNA be more important? How do I handle it if I feel more like a mouse than a human being? What if I am quite sure that I am actually an oak tree? None of these is ridiculous if we cast aside the reality that is our DNA. Can anyone say that the part of my DNA that defines me as human is more real than the part that defines me as female?
Redefining reality is rather an agreeable-sounding term, especially when you consider that the opposite of reality is fantasy! And in fact, there is no middle ground. Something is either real or it is not. So redefining reality simply boils down to peddling fantasy.
We may sneer at those who believe in a flat earth, but truly, they may be more logical in their beliefs than a person whose “gender identity” doesn’t match their biology. At least a flat-earther is not looking at undeniable evidence to the contrary every day in the mirror.
I believe that we have set aside our rational minds on this matter of gender. We have chosen to ignore reality. At one time, gender incongruence was considered a mental illness. Today, however, people who deny the reality of their own bodies –or mutilate them in attempt to create a new reality– are encouraged and applauded. Just this year, the World Health Organization officially reclassified the condition, moving it from the mental illness category to a sexual health problem. Assuring a mentally unstable person that he or she is perfectly sane is a potentially dangerous experiment. We may have only begun to see the effects of this redefinition of reality. Of the three basic realities that I presented in the first paragraph, the first two can be ignored only at great personal peril. I believe we will find that is true of the last one as well.