Monday, March 10, 2014

When Social Sciences Triumph Over ACTUAL Sciences

Gender identity, pseudo-science and the semi-fascist pitfalls of political correctness


In February, Facebook struck a pivotal (read: completely pointless) blow for so-called "gender nonconformist" rights when they introduced more than fifty different options for social media users to describe their sex -- or lack, or mixture, or rejection -- thereof. No longer oppressed by the tyrannical social constructs based on irrefutable chromosomal sciences, all of the world's transfeminine, pangender and non-binary FB junkies can FINALLY boost to the world that their personal definition of self is social media official. And for those of you that refuse to catalog yourself as agender, cisgender or genderqueer or even "two-spirit," Marky Zuckerberg went the extra mile and even gave users the ultimate post-post-modern retort to the question of 21st century sex -- an option simply labeled as "other."

If that's not enough, Facebook also gave users the choice of three sets of pronouns, including the completely linguistically incorrect "their and they" to describe singular individuals. Nothing says cultural progression, I muse, quite like literally destroying the English language in order to satiate niche political bases.

Of course, the "preferred pronoun" bandwagon has been trucking along at full speed for quite sometime, with the Associated Press making the not-at-all dictatorial decision to force journalists to describe "trans-people" in accordance to their requested gender identities -- in effect, making reporters completely ignore biological reality if they want to get published.

As this semi-entertaining blog post reminds us, the control of language indeed equates control of debate. The same way the fascist state of Oceania manipulated public opinion through the co-option and restructuring of language, perhaps one can see just an teeny bit of crypto-fascism sneaking through all of this "trans-language" personalized-pronoun hubbub.

The entire trans-language argument rests upon the acceptance that gender isn't a biological fact, but indeed a social construct -- which, of course, was forged and controlled by a predominantly white male hegemony. The problem, however, should be quite evident: gender is indeed a biologically-determined aspect of the human condition, and nothing short of supreme willful ignorance of science rivaling that of the Flat Earth Society can supplant the oh-so obvious knowledge before us.

In many ways, perhaps the trans-language argument itself can be satirically perverted to mean "the rejection of the letters X and Y in the Roman Alphabet." From a biological standpoint, defining gender is pretty damn simple: if you have at least one Y chromosome produced by functional SRY proteins, you are a male. If you lack this, you are most likely a female. Granted, there are a few women out there with 46, XY karotypes, but they lack ovaries or uteri; similarly, Turner Syndrome and Klinefelter Syndrome, two of the more common XX/XY chromosomal abnormalities, are specifically locked betwixt the sexes -- meaning that only biological men are susceptible to Klinefelter Syndrome, while only biological women are susceptible to Turner Syndrome. True hermaphrodism and mixed gonadal dysgenesis are both incredibly rare, yet the chromosomal structure for those with said abnormalities are still "gender-locked" between various XX (female) and XY (male) karotypes. Outside of just one reported case of an individual with a predominant 46, XY karotype and a smattering of true hermaphrodites with mosaic XX/XY chromosomal structures, these supposed "intersex" individuals are wholly incapable of giving birth. So that means that even if an individual has both sex characteristics, he or she, chromosomally, is still genetically "male" or "female" hinging on the presence of that aforementioned functional SRY-protein.

As clearly explicated above, there is indeed an exact science in place to describe, determine and (perhaps most importantly) verify gender as a biological construct. Or, as a bunch of really smart South Korean dudes put it, "sex determination is not from a simple hierarchical cascade of gene action but from a complex network of gene expression and protein-protein interaction in which SRY, SOX9, WT1 and SF1 are involved."

Now, I'm no gene theorist or molecular engineer, but that statement seems to authenticate the existence of a thoroughly complex, natural biological process which posits "gender" not as a socially-manipulated ideal, but an indisputable chromosomal reality. In today's ironically antagonistic hyper-P.C. culture, however, we've been brainwashed enlightened with the fantasy sociocultural theory that describes what people who give a shit about actual science homophobes call "sex" as a culturally-indoctrinated set of norms and values that an individual comes to accept or reject. Of course, applying the same socially learned theorization to "sexuality" is denied, Denied, DENIED by the same proponents, but that's a matter to wrestle with at a later date, I suppose.

By redefining "gender" as a personal choice, we're giving the A-OK to a form of pseudo-science really no different than creationism or phrenology. Instead of embracing the mathematical and empirical realities in front of us, we're rejecting them in favor of a more palatable ideal that behooves our political agendas. Not that I really need to remind you or anything, but generally, whenever political regimes start telling you that their kind of science is better than actual science, you're pretty much guaranteed to encounter some bumpy, bumpy roads ahead.

The older I get, the more I begin to ponder if anti-prejudicial pogroms are really any less dangerous and counterproductive than the clearly prejudiced pogroms of yore. Yes, yes, I understand the technical good that comes about via equality and egalitarianism and all of that, but is it really worth denying scientific evidence and co-opting the goddamn language itself in order to get there?

The trans-people "liberation" movement is, at least to some capacity, fascistic in the sense that the most hardcore and prominent crusaders of the cause aren't just rallying for oddly unspecified rights, but for the totality of the culture itself to accept their ideological conditions and reject all others, including that troublesome philosophy known as "actual biology."

As far as public accommodations go, what more could the trans-folk want? Outside of unisex bathrooms (including the inalienable right for six-year-old boys with government-sanctioned identification labeling them as females to use girls' rest rooms in elementary schools), I can't think of a single public amenity that's off-limits to them. Trans-folks can vote, they can sue for discrimination and I'm pretty sure they have they right to wed in states that have already given the thumbs up to gay marriage. Really, what these people are striving for is something beyond civil rights, because truth be told, they already have them. The quite literal trans-valuation of language is indicative of something a little more concerning, that being a clear political putsch to promote -- or even enforce -- a bizarre, authoritarian sense of anomie among the masses.

If there's a central plank to the trans-platform, it's the neo-modernist ideal that labels don't mean anything, and only the individual him or herself can adequately describe who or what said individual is. In that, all forms of mass social labeling is bad and need to be discarded, even those social labels that appear to be rooted in biological truth. Yes, we could argue all day long about how "sex" and "gender" describe two separate ideas, but the fact that so many societies, throughout history and across the globe, have considered the two so entwined as to be inseparable as constructs is something the trans-crusaders conveniently ignore, or simply chalk up as yet another "oppressive" edict from the much-maligned "patriarchy" that's responsible for all wrongdoings in the world.

As "oppressive" as language may be, the lack of language is inherently more despotic. The recent logorrhea shat out by Facebook isn't so much an enhancement to the English vernacular as it is a blatant attempt to dilute it, to take away any kind of descriptive language under the guise that such terms are "proscriptive." By transforming the finite question of "sex" into something that entails an infinite number of answers, the power of  language, its collective meaning, is reduced to mere lettering on a page, of etchings that can only be deciphered by the individual interpreter him, her or their-self.

The hypocritical (and some would say impossible) demand here is enforced relativism, a sort of reverse-totalitarianism in which the masses are unified not by common beliefs, but a rejection of
beliefs. The endpoint here is a completely befuddled system where nothing has definite value and subjective personal benefit completely trumps objective reality -- in short, the (inadvertent?) goal line here appears to be the breakdown of shared meaning as a desirable component of the public sphere.

Ultimately, what becomes of a social system when something as important to culture as sex itself becomes a matter of opinion instead of a concrete variable? Even more concerning, what becomes of a social system when the questioning of absolute sciences becomes less tolerable than the simple "acceptance" of abstract social science ideals?

Ultimately, there's only one kind of state that emerges when an entire culture rejects biology and other hard sciences: and this time around, it looks like we're eyeing a theocracy of political correctness instead of religious fundamentalism.

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