Men are XY, Women are XX. End of story.

What a load of rubbish.

While it hides under a veil of scienticity — pretending that this is merely a “biological fact” — in reality it’s not about biology at all.

It’s about words.

And so many pointless arguments boil down to disputes over the “real meaning” of words.

There is no “real meaning” of words. Words don’t have one single meaning determined by a set of objective, defining traits. Words don’t have a single meaning that applies in all contexts. Words don’t even necessarily mean the same thing to different people.

Take fruit as an example.

Did you know that if you chopped and tossed together tomato, cucumber, and avocado you’d have a fruit salad?

No?

That’s because you wouldn’t. Although botanically speaking all those things are fruits, and they can certainly be ingredients in a salad, calling the combination a “fruit salad” would just confuse people. It’s not that you would be “technically correct”, if a little pedantic: you would simply be wrong. How can a term mean something if no one actually understands it to mean that? How can a term mean something independently of the only things in existence for whom it can mean something: people?

The “technical” meaning of fruit does not apply in relation to salads.

It’s the wrong context.

The “technical” meaning of things is really just the meaning of things that’s useful in a technical context.

When it comes to sex, it may be that many biologists would use the word sex to refer to things by chromosomes — at least among mammals — but do biologists have some secret hidden evidence that the word “sex” really, truly refers to chromosomes?

No. Of course not. Biologists are not linguists. Biologists don’t know more about words than anyone else. Biologists have no more authority on the meaning of words than anyone else.

In the same way that it’s wrong to refer to a salad with tomato, cucumber, and avocado as a fruit salad, it’s wrong to insist that words like “sex”, “female”, “male”, and “man” and “woman” refer to people exclusively by chromosomes.

And no, science does not say otherwise.

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