Merriam Webster redefines “trans woman”

Language changes, of course, but it usually changes when the general populace re-construes a term, not when a dictionary changes a word’s meaning for ideological reasons. The latter seems to be what has happened with the Merriam-Webster definition of “trans woman”, which has followed the argot not of the general populace, but of a certain segment of the populace that adheres to an ideology about transexual people.

This is what the definition is now (click on screenshot):

I couldn’t find the old definition easily, but below you can see what was apparently the old one reproduced by a Twitter user: “an adult who was born male but whose gender identity is female”. To me, as I discuss below, the older definition is better and less problematic. For if you adopt the new one, as we’ll see, you go down a confusing definitional rabbit hole.

The change is clear, and the reasons are obvious. Last year the trans woman was born as a male, while this year trans-women are defined as having been flat-out “women”, but were somehow “identified as a male” at birth.

Right away we see the problem, for how can trans women born with the sex of a male (presumably the ability to produce sperm, along with secondary sexual traits like a penis), actually be women from the outset? “Gender”, taken as the sexual identity assumed by someone regardless of their biological sex, cannot be determined at birth. (I’m leaving out of this discussion the relatively few trans women born as hermaphrodites or of ambiguous biological sex.)

But let’s press on. A “trans” woman, according to the new definition, is identified as a male at birth but is really a woman, presumably at birth. So what does Merriam-Webster construe as a “woman”? Here’s their up-to-date definition (I don’t know if it’s been changed):

Okay so a trans woman is presumably “an adult female person”, though not an adult when born.  So what is the meaning of “female”? Here it is, first as an adjective and then a noun:

In both cases “female” corresponds to my idea of the female or biological sex: someone born with the potential to produce eggs—the larger of the two gametes. In other words, I see nearly all trans women as people who were born as biological males and who, either as youngsters or adults, assumed the gender identity of female. As a biologist, that definition, which corresponds to Merriam-Webster’s old one, doesn’t seem problematic.

Here’s the dictionary’s definition of “male” as both noun and adjective:

Maybe I’m making too much of a to-do about this, for one could construe “identified as a male at birth” as meaning “corresponding to the definition of a male at birth”. Yet the new definition is deeply problematic in itself, for it simply defines a transgender woman as a woman; but if you unpack the definition of “woman”, it turns out to be a female person, who then turns out to be a person who “typically bears young or produces eggs.” So according to the dictionary itself, a transgender woman is not a woman, for they can’t produce eggs or bear young. In other words, Merriam-Webster could be accused by some not just of confusion, but of transphobia. They contradict themselves.

This definitional mess seems to be the dictionary’s way of making a political statement that is not universally accepted: “Transgender women are women.” As I’ve argued before, transgender women have the gender of women but the biological sex of men, though they can alter their secondary sexual traits through surgery or hormone treatment.

Let me hasten to add that I have no problem with calling transgender women “women,” which is their preference, and in most cases, but not all, they should be treated as biological women (sports, prisons, and rape counseling are some of the few exceptions that I’ve discussed). And in no case should they be discriminated against morally or legally, except perhaps in the few cases I just mentioned. They are not inferior, they are not to be considered ill or weird; they are just people whose gender identity does not correspond to their their biological sex. Some may call me a transphobe for saying this, but it really comes from my studies as a biologist and from the biological definition of “sex” in animals.

Likewise with trans men, but you can look up the words yourself. Start with the new definition:

 

Like the definition of trans woman, this flatly asserts that “trans men are men”.  That causes the same problems as trans women, being contradictory and confusing.

h/t: Orli

75 Comments

  1. John Donohue
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    “Maybe I’m making too much of a to-do about this…”

    No, you are not. We should all scream to the heavens.

    This is simple. It is a triumph of socially-constructed reality intended to crush objective reality.

    It is a power-play to destroy the objective “sex” and elevate “gender.”

    A similar ploy to the now legal gambit wherein parents can opt out of marking the “sex” of their newborn baby. This is child abuse.

    • daniaq
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      I agree!

    • sugould
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      No, it’s completely insane.

      • John Donohue
        Posted July 3, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        What is insane?

        • sugould
          Posted July 3, 2020 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

          “Maybe I’m making too much of a to-do about this…”

          No, you are not. We should all scream to the heavens.”

          Was agreement on what you said.

          • John Donohue
            Posted July 3, 2020 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for clarification.

    • Tom Bombadil
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Sure agree with that “We should all scream to the heavens.”

      There was an interesting post – titled “Words Lose Their Meaning at Wilfrid Laurier University” – at Quillette several years ago that underlined that point:

      Though different literary forms, the key message of both works [by Orwell] was the same: beware any person or group that redefines words so that they no longer align with facts, common sense, and common usage.

  2. dabertini
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I’m a bit confused. How can a transgendered women be considered a biological women?

    • Dawn Flood
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      The key word is “identify”. As a transgender female, I also am a biological male (“have a penis”…blush), but, people sometimes stare at me with my long hair, shaven legs and arms, makeup, etc., unless, I am in a full skirt with dark glasses, in which case, I am almost always ignored completely except for the occasional polite “Hello” or “Good Morning” which I receive from both biological men and women who are complete strangers.

      • dabertini
        Posted July 3, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Thanks.

  3. Dawn Flood
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Professor Coyne,

    Have you discussed your concerns with the staff of Merriam Webster? I have been listening to (and reading) their Word of the Day podcast for about 10 years now (or, at least, since it came online.) They have articles on etymology, and the semi-authorities of linguistics (“language police”), but, yes, ultimately, the language of a region is ultimately decided by those who speak the language, with the various regionalisms, slang, dialects, etc. Noah Webster had these same sort of conversations with individuals such as Benjamin Franklin over 200 years ago!

    Sincerely,

    Dawn
    (A transgender female.)

    • Posted July 3, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      I doubt that my concerns would interest Merriam-Webster, so I haven’t brought it up with them.

    • Posted July 3, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Its way above my pay grade to decide on this matter, but it seems to me that all they have to do is offer both definitions. There is more than ample precedent for exactly this, since words take on new meanings all the time while their previous usage is still recognized and is also in use. Even if an old usage becomes virtually extinct, dictionaries will reliably still list them as a historical matter.

    • Raymond Cox
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      Dawn may be a woman – that is the topic for discussion here – but Dawn is only a female if Dawn has a body of the type which potentially produces large non-motile gametes and can incubate a young human. Sex is a biological fact, characteristic of all mammals, and should not be confused with the more controversial distinction between different genders.

      • Dawn Flood
        Posted July 3, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        I find it at least somewhat amusing (blush) to sometimes think of myself as being a “woman with a penis”. But, seriously, does such even matter? Full skirt or not, I have to use the bathroom, and being in the men’s bathroom (which, absent the skirt, I always use unless I am desperate — “Hey, being trans sometimes has it advantages!”) is always awkward, even unsettling. Ditto for the women’s restroom.

        But, yes, I am a biological male; no problems whatsoever with that “identity”. I just present myself to the World as being female. No one should care, and those who do, in fact, do not, at least with respect to me.

        Dawn

        • Tom Bombadil
          Posted July 9, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          Dawn,

          I guess that this is akin to the age old question as to if the “blue” that I see is the same as the blue that you see. ….

          Think it’s less a question of whether we see that colour in exactly the same way, and more a question of using the same word to refer to the same traits, to the same phenomena. Communication is rather impossible otherwise – a principle that seems to have some relevance to various other topics de jour …

          … you appear to object to the concept of transgenderism …

          Not at all the case. I generally don’t have any objection to the “transgender” definition you quoted, although my request was for a definition of “female”. Which I notice you didn’t bother to provide.

          But I geddit that “gender dysphoria” is, quite often, no picnic to deal with. And one might reasonably throw stones at many “doctors” for peddling “cures” for that which seem not far removed from blood-letting and trepanning for “bad humours” and “evil spirits”.

          But redefining words and thereby pandering to the delusional isn’t much of a solution either. One might reasonably suggest that the next time you want to close with “transgender female” that you might reconsider and use something a bit more intellectually honest. Like, say, “male transvestite”.

          As long as I have fully equality under criminal, civil and employment Law, that’s what matters to me. ….

          That doesn’t seem unreasonable, at least on the face of it. Reminds me of a rather prescient tweet by Cathy Young several years ago:

          Don’t think many people seriously want to deny much if any of that “full equality” you’re rather disingenuously referring to. What most seem to object to, and quite reasonably, is the insistence by far too many transactivists and their fellow-travelers to be able to “piss on fire hydrants”, to be able to piss on and abrogate the rights of many other people.

          Rather different kettles of fish.

          • Dawn Flood
            Posted July 9, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            Tom,

            First off, I am completely at peace with myself, no issues of “gender dsyporia”. Secondly, as far as being a “male transvestite”, I have no problems whatsoever with being a shameless crossdresser, but, that’s not my motivation in wearing a tee, skirt and sandals. For me, it’s just a “feminine thing”, and, so, I do not view such as being “crossdressing”. As for infringing on other’s rights, I am not. If I use the women’s restroom and pass as a biological women, no one knows, which means that no one cares.

            In closing, one’s gender is not always reducible to one’s biology. My color of blue is not the same as yours, and so, please stop pretending that you know what I think and feel.

            Dawn

        • Tom Bombadil
          Posted July 9, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          Dawn,

          First off, I am completely at peace with myself, no issues of “gender dsyporia”. ….

          Then maybe you’re one of the luckier ones, one of those not impelled to hack off various body parts to attenuate that “discomfort”.

          Secondly, as far as being a “male transvestite”, I have no problems whatsoever with being a shameless cross-dresser …

          Fine. Fill yer boots. But I hope you realize that “cross-dresser” is basically what “transvestite” actually MEANS. From Lexico:

          transvestite: A person, typically a man, who derives pleasure from dressing in clothes primarily associated with the opposite sex.

          Origin
          1920s from German Transvestit, from Latin trans- ‘across’ + vestire ‘clothe’.

          You say po-ta-toe, I say po-tat-oe; still referring to the same entity. My point was that “male transvestite” is rather more accurate – and intellectually honest – than “transgender female”.

          … but, that’s not my motivation in wearing a tee, skirt and sandals ….

          Maybe, maybe not. You clearly got some frisson from being perceived as a sexually attractive woman by young males a third your age. You enjoy sailing under a false flag? Kind of the hallmark of “transvestite”.

          As for infringing on other’s rights, I am not. If I use the women’s restroom and pass as a biological women, no one knows, which means that no one cares.

          That you might be able to get away with breaking the law doesn’t mean that you haven’t. Though that seems to depend on the changing wind and which state you’re in:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathroom_bill

          But that’s kind of the thin edge of the wedge. Maybe you think male transvestites should allowed to allowed to use, at the same time, change rooms designated for the sole use of “vagina-havers”? That they should be allowed to compete against those with an XX karyotype in sports leagues essentially designated for their sole use?

          And that is why a line needs to be drawn in the sand: one set of toilet & change rooms for the vagina-havers, and one set for the penis-havers. Or reasonable facsimiles thereof.

          My color of blue is not the same as yours, and so, please stop pretending that you know what I think and feel.

          What pretentious twaddle. Your subjective experience of the “colour of blue”, might well be that it’s riven with glitter, and in coruscating stripes. But the point is that if your job is to put the blue marbles in the blue pail then your boss has some reason to expect that, at the end of the day, what he perceives as blue marbles will be in the blue pail. Subjective experiences are often rather less important than objective agreement on terms of reference, on common definitions.

      • Tom Bombadil
        Posted July 3, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        potentially produces large non-motile gametes …

        I really don’t get that “potentially produces” as any kind of a criteria, as any kind of “membership dues” to join the categories “male” and “female”.

        A “car” without its engine than can “potentially” carry some passengers – if you put the engine back in – can still qualify as a car absent that engine? Nominally, yes; actually, no.

        Whether it’s cars or clocks or sexes, it seems it’s the ACTUAL functioning that, by definition, determines whether some thing or person qualifies as such.

        • Adam M.
          Posted July 6, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          It’s true that it gets trickier when a female can’t in fact produce eggs, but I don’t think we’d want a definition of “female” that only holds from puberty to menopause. I don’t think we lack a good definition, it’s just that the real definition doesn’t fit in a single sentence.

          • chrism
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            How about “the female normally produces large non-motile gametes during the fertile portion of her life”?

            • Tom Bombadil
              Posted July 7, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

              Hello Chris,

              Very nice to see you’re still on the right side of the grass. 🙂

              But kind of amusing, in a gallows-humour sort of way, the contretemps over proper terminology in the transgender issue. Has the flavour of Rape of the Lock or a Lilliputian civil war over egg cracking etiquette. Or sectarian warfare over making the sign of the cross with two fingers or three.

              However, that “normally produces” seems a bit “problematic”, although it also seems at the crux of the matter. The question seems to boil down to whether or not there’s a single trait that, say, EVERY female of EVERY species has that qualifies them for membership in that category. Likewise with males.

              Basically, the issue seems to be whether “male” & “female” – and “sex” itself – are “monothetic” or “polythetic” categories. Fairly nice graphic & illuminating summary here:

              https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Distinction-between-polythetic-and-monothetic-classes-in-the-case-of-8-individuals-18_fig1_309889266

              Colin Wright and his “partners in crime” [see my comment at #17] argue, rather untenably, for the polythetic. And feminist “philosopher” Kathleen Stock does likewise in an essay at Quillette:

              … there is no hard and fast ‘essence’ to biological sex, at least in our everyday sense: no set of characteristics a male or female must have, to count as such.

              As I’ve argued, it seems clear that the fairly standard definition of “sex” as having “reproductive function” – as having functional gonads – makes “male” & “female” into monothetic categories. That is, there’s no “normally” or “typically” to them: if a sexually producing organism produces sperm or ova then it is, ipso facto, male or female; if it doesn’t then it’s neither. Q.E.D. 😉

              • chrism
                Posted July 8, 2020 at 5:15 am | Permalink

                I think we may have argued this before. If we define sexes as the two necessary components for a sexually-reproducing species to multiply, then it makes perfect sense to define them by their gametes, or by their chromosomes. Since gamete production is not lifelong in either sex, using them will necessitate a clause that covers what used to be girls and crones, and also boys. I’d prefer to use chromosomes, since there is a clear and definitive distinction between male and female. I know, what about Turner’s, Klinefelter’s, etc etc – we are defining normality here, not pathology. In normal, non-pathological individuals, there is perfect concordance between chromosomes and gametes, and you don’t have to include wording to cover the non-fertile extremes of life.
                The silly thing about all this, is that it amounts to a philosophy common room argument. We all know what a woman is, and what a female is, if it comes to that, even if we have thought upon it very little. Pretending that what we all know is wrong by virtue of some nit-picking definitional distinctions is daft, petty and completely unhelpful. I shall continue to treat transwomen socially and legally as women. Neither I nor they can change their biology. Changing the outward form and treating it in the desired way is the best we can do, and it’s only good manners to go along with it.

            • Tom Bombadil
              Posted July 9, 2020 at 2:52 am | Permalink

              Chris:

              If we define sexes as the two necessary components for a sexually-reproducing species to multiply …

              As is currently the case. See Lexico for example:

              sex: 2) Either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions.

              I certainly don’t see that that has “necessitated [any sort of] a clause” covering girls & crones, certainly not in that definition. What should probably be done, for example, is to change the definition for “girl” to say that they haven’t yet acquired a sex but will typically acquire the female one at puberty.

              In normal, non-pathological individuals, there is perfect concordance between chromosomes and gametes …

              Don’t see that that holds a lot of water, or is, at least, rather impractical. For instance, there are about 4 or 5 chromosomal sex determination systems under which, apparently, it’s still the case that, by definition, the female produces the larger gamete, and the male the smaller one.

              Think the point of definitions, at least those based on taxonomical principles, is to define categories that encompass the largest number of members, with related ones in something of a hierarchy, and encompassing a progressively smaller number of members. Which means including the probably millions of species which owe their existence to sexual reproduction: the human species isn’t the only one of any relevance.

              The silly thing about all this, is that it amounts to a philosophy common room argument ….

              You might try explaining that to the many detransitioners who have had their bodies more or less butchered so as to comport with a wooish, evasive, or intellectually dishonest conception of what it means to have a sex. For a few examples, a few salient tips of a very problematic “iceberg”, consider first this essay by Helen Joyce:

              https://standpointmag.co.uk/issues/february-2020/speaking-up-for-female-eunuchs/

              And this from an essay at National Review (J. K. Rowling vs. Woke Supremacy):

              Scott Newgent, a trans man, told me of his agreement as well. “Medical transition creates an illusion of the opposite sex and some find comfort in that. What it does not do is change biology. We cannot get to a place in our society where feelings trump facts, and that is currently what is happening within the transgender debate,” Newgent said.

              And sloppy definitions – often motivated by “good intentions”, but more often by a rather unseemly willingness to pander to the vanity of women, to the envy of transwomen (AKA male transvestites), or to the “Lysenkoism” of ostensible biologists & philosophers – is what undergirds and “nourishes” that rather odious and mephitic clusterfuck.

          • Tom Bombadil
            Posted July 6, 2020 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

            … but I don’t think we’d want a definition of “female” that only holds from puberty to menopause. ….

            Why not? Because it might “offend” somebody? Because it won’t underwrite women’s vanity and transwomen’s envy? Because it won’t comport with the risible claim that “sex is immutable”? Helluva a basis for doing any sort of science – kinda thought that went out with Galileo and the Church.

            We generally create and define categories for a reason; as Steven Pinker put it, and as I quoted earlier:

            An intelligent being cannot treat every object it sees as a unique entity unlike anything else in the universe. It has to put objects in categories so that it may apply its hard-won knowledge about similar objects, encountered in the past, to the object at hand. [pg 12]

            And those definitions that we have “socially constructed” for the sex categories, for “male” and “female”, seem to have a great deal of utility and application to probably and quite literally millions of species. So it seems to be a rather egregious case of “special pleading” that too many of us demand that those definitions should somehow be declared null and void just so we can pander to the rather self-serving interests of a smallish segment of one of those species.

            And many of those definitions – at least the more logically coherent definitions – stipulate that the sine qua non, the membership dues, the necessary & sufficient conditions for sex category membership is to have actually – not potentially, but actually – functioning gonads. By definition, to be a male is to be able to produce sperm for reproduction; to be a female is likewise to be able to produce ova for reproduction. From which it follows that any member of a species – ANY species – that can’t produce either is, ipso facto, sexLESS. Which actually covers about a third of us – at any one time.

            Why it’s rather disappointing to see – as I noted in comment #17 – such otherwise credible biologists like Colin Wright and Emma Hilton peddling the schlock that having actual function is not essential to qualify as a member of the sex categories: “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of the [Definition of Sex as all about Reproductive Functions]” – apologies to Theo Dobzhansky. But that is particularly disappointing as Wright has made a credible case, endorsed by Hilton, that the “sex is bimodal” hypothesis is simply untenable.

            And the foregoing is hardly a “thesis” I’ve cut from whole cloth. For instance, an early but still recent version [24 September 2019] of an article on Sequential Hermaphroditism at Wikipedia – “The People’s Encyclopaedia” – noted that:

            Protandrous fishes include clownfish. Clownfish have a very structured society. In the Amphiprion percula species, there are zero to four individuals excluded from breeding and a breeding pair living in a sea anemone. Dominance is based on size, the female being the largest and the male being the second largest. The rest of the group is made up of progressively smaller non-breeders, which have no functioning gonads. If the female dies, the male gains weight and becomes the female for that group. The largest non-breeding [sexless] fish then sexually matures and becomes the male of the group. [my emphasis]

            Apart from knocking into a cocked hat the claim that sex is immutable – at least as a categorical claim – it’s hard to see how that doesn’t underwrite the argument that many members of many species – including, mirabile dictu, the human species – can be, in fact, sexLESS.

            • Dawn Flood
              Posted July 6, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

              My car broke down today due to the serpentine belt. While waiting for my tow, several groups of men drove up to where I was, stared at me between one and three or so minutes, and, then, without a word, drove away. I felt both amused and relieved.

              • Tom Bombadil
                Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

                My car broke down today due to the serpentine belt …

                🙂 “car” – quote/unquote; nominally a car, one in name only; for reference purposes or as a courtesy, but not in actual fact.

                By definition (Lexico for example), “car” is something able to carry a small number of people; an essential function clearly precluded by a broken serpentine belt.

                Lincoln had an amusing quip related thereto:

                How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

                The function of a leg is generally to propel an animal in walking or running; a tail is an entirely different kettle of fish.

                Analogously and more generally, there was an old commercial for Zenith televisions which closed with the adage, “the quality goes in before the name goes on.” Likewise with tails, legs, sexes, and much else besides.

                You’re “entitled”, I guess, to call yourself a female – go big, fill yer boots. But the convention is that “female” MEANS and denotes a specific quality and function, i.e., “able to produce ova”. Until you have some functioning ovaries transplanted, you really don’t qualify; until then it kinda looks like you’re fooling yourself and trying to fool everyone else, like you’re sailing under a false flag – often a hazardous thing to be doing.

              • Dawn Flood
                Posted July 6, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

                I am not a female, and have never claimed to be such. The “trans” is an important qualifier that some seem to be missing here. While biological sex is, for all practical purposes, completely deterministic (I, for one, am 100% a biological male — chromosomes and penis prove such), my gender is more female than male. Why, I do not know, but, even more to the point, I do not care.

                Dawn

              • chrism
                Posted July 7, 2020 at 3:02 am | Permalink

                Hi, Jim. Nice to see you about.

              • Tom Bombadil
                Posted July 7, 2020 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

                Dawn:

                I am not a female, and have never claimed to be such.

                Several times here you’ve called yourself a “transgender female”. Maybe you don’t know how adjectives and nouns work, but “female” qualifies as the latter, at least in that context. And the standard convention is that it MEANS “produces ova”.

                Maybe you would care to provide some other well-documented definition for “female” by which you qualify? Maybe “has concave mating surface” as with plumbing and electrical connectors? By which Bruce Jenner might well qualify.

                Really doesn’t seem all that credible to be using standard terms in rather idiosyncratic if not fraudulent fashions – your “transgender female” basically boils down to “male female”. And that is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. As Alice put it in Through the Looking Glass:

                The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.

                While there are many words with multiple, and often contradictory meanings, they’re often the basis for equivocation and pushing a political agenda. As a Quillette article once put it:

                Though different literary forms, the key message of both [of Orwell’s] works was the same: beware any person or group that redefines words so that they no longer align with facts, common sense, and common usage.

              • Dawn Flood
                Posted July 8, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

                Tom,

                I guess that this is akin to the age old question as to if the “blue” that I see is the same as the blue that you see. In any case, you appear to object to the concept of transgenderism, which also appears in Merriam Webster:

                transgender adjective

                trans·​gen·​der | \ tran(t)s-ˈjen-dər , tranz- \
                Definition of transgender
                : of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth
                especially : of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is opposite the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth

                First Known Use of transgender
                1974, in the meaning defined above

                Now, as a biological man, I shave my arms and legs (and, will do so here shortly), have long hair that extends to the middle of my back, wear makeup (shave twice daily), have long nails (oval style), and on a biweekly to weekly basis, wear a full skirt and tee in public.

                Most biological men in the United States do not do these sorts of things, at least publicly. Now, if you wish to refer to me as being “gender nonconforming”, that’s fine. It really does not matter to me. As long as I have fully equality under criminal, civil and employment Law, that’s what matters to me.

                Dawn

  4. Historian
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    “Yet the new definition is deeply problematic in itself, for it simply defines a transgender woman as a woman; but if you unpack the definition of ‘woman’, it turns out to be a female person, who then turns out to be a person who ‘typically bears young or produces eggs’ So according to the dictionary itself, a transgender woman is not a woman, for they can’t produce eggs or bear young. In other words, Merriam-Webster could be accused by some not just of confusion, but of transphobia. They contradict themselves.”

    Since we are dealing with definitions, here is how Merriam-Webster can get out of the apparent contradiction. Note that the dictionary uses the word “typically” to start off the phrase “typically bears young or produces eggs.” The dictionary presents the following synonyms for that word:

    • commonly,
    • generally,
    • natch[slang],
    • naturally,
    • normally,
    • ordinarily,
    • usually

    Hence, the dictionary can argue that a transgender woman is still a woman, but is an atypical one since the ability to produce eggs or produce young is not an absolute requirement. Whether all people will accept this reconciliation of words remains to be seen.

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/typically

    • John Donohue
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      With respect, doesn’t that add fog?

      They should reject fear of being declared transphobic.

      They should remove “typically” from the definition of “woman.”

      Having settled the object definition, by sex, of “woman,” they are then free and clear to list the constructed term under “gender.”

  5. nay
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Agree with you all (PCC(E), Donahue and dabertini)! My family call me a curmudgeon, but it seems to me that the newer generations are just plain sloppy. Life is unambiguous (except maybe in quantum physics?), so introducing ambiguity in all subjects is what we used to call grading on the curve/pass-fail/”and then a miracle happens”. You are what you are (including hermaphrodites). When you reach adulthood, you can choose to change but your basis remains the same. Accept it an move on. Mr. Webster is whirling in his grave. [End of Rant.]

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      … it seems to me that the newer generations are just plain sloppy.

      “Our sires’ age was worse than our grandsires’. We, their sons, are more worthless than they; so in our turn we shall give the world a progeny yet more corrupt.” — Horace, 1st century BCE

      Plus ça change …

      And pace your claim that “Life is unambiguous” — life, like art, is full of ambiguity. Were it otherwise, literature would be robbed of irony, particularly verbal irony. (Or do you think Mark Antony really meant that “Brutus is an honorable man” during his oration at Julius Caesar’s funeral?)

  6. Simon Hayward
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Newspeak Dictionary. “… an altered English with restricted vocabulary used as a tool to limit freedom and thought. … Monitored by the Thought Police”

    I have not reread 1984 in a while, I’ll put it on my summer list (in lieu of travel)

    • A C Harper
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      It’s a shame George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) died in 1950. I’d like to see a revised version – Twenty Fifty-Four perhaps?

  7. Cynthia Sanborn
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Inbox: How do you as a biologist feel about people who identify as a certain ethnic or racial type but are not considered that way by others? Such as that women who identifed as African American and even headed a local NAACP office at one point, who was called out because she has two caucasian parents. She felt she was black, lived black, studied at a historically black school, it was her real identity. But she was raked over the coals for unacceptable appropriation when found out. Some feminists feel that way about trans women — not all. And some of us think adults should be free to decide their own identity, as long as it does not hurt or prejudice others (eg, high school sports competition that leads to scholarships). But the trend of young people, especially young women wanting to be men for reasons that may have more to do with not fitting into a “girly” culture in school, or not being sexually attracted to boys, is worrisome. I think J.K. Rowling is raising good questions and citing some good work to help think this through. So sad that many trans activists seem to be bullies about it.

    El vie., 3 jul. 2020 a las 9:31, Why Evolution Is True () escribió:

    > whyevolutionistrue posted: “Language changes, of course, but it usually > changes when the general populace re-construes a term, not when a > dictionary changes a word’s meaning for ideological reasons. The latter > seems to be what has happened with the Merriam-Webster definition of “tra” >

    • Posted July 3, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      I felt very bad for her, as she was arguably being quite sincere in identifying as black given her upbringing. It seemed analogous to black people who are raised in a white environment, and come out identifying as white.

      • jezgrove
        Posted July 3, 2020 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        The case of Rachel Dolezal was very strange, and I’m not entirely sure what I make of it. Especially given that she unsuccessfully sued Howard University for discriminating against her because she was white: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Dolezal

  8. Posted July 3, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Interestingly, MW’s definition of “transgender” is still in line with the old definition of “trans women”:

    transgender: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth

    especially: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is opposite the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth

    • John Donohue
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Again, why the addition of “or was identified as having …”?

      That just adds a crack through which social construction can creep.

      transgender: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex with which the person was born.

      Actually, this honors “gender identity” as a valid category, while removing the confusion of sex being socially constructed.

  9. Posted July 3, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I think they try to get away by using the adverb “typically”: a trans women is just one of these atypical cases. (I’m not sharing this view or their definition, I’m just pointing out their linguistic jiu-jitsu.)

  10. Posted July 3, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I think we’re seeing “sex” become increasingly a technical term within biology, which is going to create the usual problems and confusions that (e.g.) the technical meaning of energy has in physics.

  11. Ben Curtis
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    The new definitions seem to good descriptive definitions in line with contemporary usage.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Language changes, of course, but it usually changes when the general populace re-construes a term, not when a dictionary changes a word’s meaning for ideological reasons.

    I dunno, I’m old enough to remember — okay, technically I’m not actually old enough to remember, since I was only about 7 or 8 years old when it happened, but I’m old enough to remember reading about it a decade later while aftershocks were still being felt — when the Merriam company set the intellectual world on its ear by publishing its “permissive” (some said “subversive”) Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, which included never-before-found-in-a-dictionary coinages like “litterbug” and “wise up” and said of “ain’t” that it was “used … by many cultivated speakers” (prompting one wag to wonder “where the C & G Merriam company was cultivating such speakers?”).

    Hell, nowadays, some might claim words like “dunno” are used by cultivated speakers, but I ain’t one of ’em (as to either the “cultivated” part or the type-to-make-the- claim part).

    • Jon Gallant
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Hey, Ken, haven’t you noticed that “gonna” has almost universally replaced “going to” in spoken English, even amongst cultivati?

      The MW redefintion under discussion here is part of the new cultural paradigm in which race is both fixed and paramount, whereas sex or gender is fluid and up for choice or change. As for me, I insist that I am the lost Romanov heir to the Russian throne (pronouns Мы, наши), my tabby pussy-cat is a Siberian tiger in disguise, and my clunky Subaru station wagon is really a Vincent Black Lightning motorbike.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 3, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        Hey, Ken, haven’t you noticed that “gonna” has almost universally replaced “going to” in spoken English, even amongst cultivati?

        I have. And I use it frequently in written form, too, in all but formal writing.

        I hold with the original English lexicographer himself, Dr. Johnson, who said “the pen must at length comply with the tongue.” 🙂

        • Jon Gallant
          Posted July 3, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          In languages with a small but highly literate population, the transition from tongue to pen can be very fast. In Swedish, for example, the word for “something” is någut. A relatively few years ago, people just stopped saying the “g” and said it fast as “nåt”, which is now sometimes spelled as such.

    • jezgrove
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      There’s a difference between a dictionary i) accepting new words that have demonstrably entered the language and ii) redefining existing words in ways that are (potentially) controversial. A better option for MW would perhaps have been to keep the existing definition but added their tweaked version as an additional usage with appropriate caveats about its acceptance.

  13. Posted July 3, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Kids can be pretty androgynous up until puberty. My sister was a freckle-faced tomboy. She could play baseball, and fight, better than I could. She cut her hair short so sometimes people didn’t know if she were boy or girl. Until she became a woman. No one ever mistook her sex again.

    • Frank Bath
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Indeed they can very like one another. I watched a TV programme that demonstrated boys and girls were equally strong and fleet of foot – the boys didn’t like that being pointed out to them – until puberty. Then the blossoming. I learned something.

  14. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    The new definition seems pretty cautious to me.

    I think it’s ambiguous as to whether it’s making claims about trans women being ‘women at birth’. I can sort of see how you might think that. But then it only says she ‘was identified as a man at birth’. Does that also necessarily, logically imply ‘she was a woman at birth’?

    Or is it, as it seems to me, understandable caution on the part of MW about coming down on one side or the other on this issue?

    I can see that there are inconsistencies when you compare the definitions of various related words…on the other hand I’d be prepared to bet that inconsistencies or contradictions are rife in dictionary definitions, especially at times of political ferment. New definitions bubble up, and jar with existing definitions, and it takes years for the kinks to be ironed out.

  15. Posted July 3, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Humans are sexual and have a variety of ways to express this. This should celebrated. Definitions restrict and confine. Forget labels. Especially self-imposed ones.

    rz

  16. Posted July 3, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps we need different words for the sex of a person vs. the gender of a person. Unless you are confused and trying to procreate with a same sex but different gender person, it mostly doesn’t matter. People should be able to be whatever gender they prefer.

    I grew up in a religion that didn’t let females wear trousers because they were considered to be men’s apparel. I could wear pants with zippers on the side, but not in front. This seems insane to me. Whatever clothing one wears does not alter sex or gender. Why be so picky?! And, if women are working out in the fields or fighting in the military, skirts are cumbersome and detrimental.

    In re language: we know it changes as societal change takes place. More black usages are being seen on the internet such as “I be” or “it be” and calling women “bitch” (purportedly without intending insult.) I don’t like it, but I guess I’ll get over it. I doubt that I’ll ever use them that way as I’m still fighting to overcome older language patterns I was taught.

    I remember learning that when people from one country migrate to another, at one time a word they bring translates as one thing but the same word brought by later immigrants translates differently. For example, the origin word for “ditch” and “dyke” was the same, and the origin word for “shirt” and “skirt” was the same.

    • Roo
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      I think it matters in that women have always been somewhat protected from men. But doing this means acknowledging that men are statistically more prone to things like violence and sexual violence, which is anathema in some circles. So this puts groups who are typically involved in similar causes, such as MeToo and trans rights, between a rock and a hard place. To say that there are statistical differences between male and female behavior is an ideologically huge admission that they are loathe to make. To deny it, however, is to say that a full grown man, who has done nothing to transition but identifies as a woman, should be allowed to chaperone young girls on overnight trips; be housed with female inmates in jails; be assigned to women who request a female gynecologist due to a traumatic history, etc.

      So far, people are still eagerly labeling those who question this wisdom ‘transphobic’. But if this philosophy continues unchecked, it’s basically a time bomb just waiting to detonate (and it will, of course, impact the most vulnerable, such as people living in poverty or undocumented immigrants who are afraid to make a fuss, because middle class parents will find a way to get their daughter excused from gym for the year if a burly guy who suddenly identifies as female is supervising the locker room.)

      • jedijan
        Posted July 3, 2020 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

        I foresee a time when all mention of sex labelling is removed from the general vocabulary. My only concern would be in regard to sports in general (a veritable minefield for the Olympics), ablution and penal (how did penile enter the conversation yet) facilities.

        Some government forms may have tick boxes for male, female and “other,” so if you are assisting completion for a person you dare not assume sexual identity on the individual’s behalf, let alone ask. Unless documentation is provided as sexual identity you are advised to leave those boxes blank.

    • ladyatheist
      Posted July 3, 2020 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      Pants weren’t invented by Jesus’s time, so its totally ridiculous to prohibit them for women. Men should wear what Jesus wore if they want to be “holy” in their attire.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      The arguments about why ‘bitch’ isn’t misogynistic when used in hip-hop songs and general black vernacular are utterly dishonest. Of course it’s misogynistic. And I don’t think you should get over it. I don’t like the idea that people are given a free pass on stuff like this purely because of their identity.

      Again, these are small things in the grand scheme, but they niggle, and the more they niggle the more difficult it is to enact genuine, widespread political progress.

      The most notable thing about the worst of the people on the left is that they’re clearly not interested in enacting real change or making real progress, otherwise they’d try and persuade people. But somehow the act of persuasion has become a sign of compromise, and compromise a sign of moral weakness.
      As soon as you try and persuade someone about a racial issue it’s seen as a sign by some on the left that you’re granting the other side some kind of power; the power to decide to accept progressive arguments about race or not. Which is how liberal democracy works – people can either accept an argument or not. But some activists believe that the very idea of accepting or not accepting their beliefs is offensive: it should simply be self-evident, not open to question.

      And so the art of persuasion, which is what genuine, good-faith activists specialise in, has become anathema on the far-left.

  17. Tom Bombadil
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    confusing definitional rabbit hole. …. Maybe I’m making too much of a to-do about this …. This definitional mess seems to be the dictionary’s way of making a political statement that is not universally accepted …. That causes the same problems … being contradictory and confusing.

    Amen to all of that, with the exception that, as a few others have noted, it really isn’t a case of “making too much” of that politically motivated obfuscation. You may know of the “principle of explosion” – ex falso (sequitur) quodlibet, “from falsehood, anything (follows)”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_explosion

    Specifically, it simply cannot be the case that transwomen are both male and female.

    But that is precisely or essentially what is being claimed in defining “woman” as both a sex AND as a gender. If there weren’t some largely justified reasons for granting women – as “adult human females” – some additional rights and protections then that conflation probably wouldn’t have much impact. But it clearly does because too many transwomen seek, rather thuggishly, to abrogate the rights of women – as women – to a degree of privacy in loos and change rooms, and to a level playing field in sports.

    Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, in one of her blog posts, made a rather cogent and insightful observation that seems to have great deal of relevance far outside the bailiwick of physics:

    The maybe most important lesson physicists have learned over the past centuries is that if a theory has internal inconsistencies, it is wrong. By internal inconsistencies, I mean that the theory’s axioms lead to statements that contradict each other.

    http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2019/12/why-laws-of-nature-are-not-inevitable.html

    Something that should be emblazoned over the entrances to all of our institutions of “higher learning”: if your premises lead to contradictions then they’re RONG. Not that they’re necessarily without value – quantum mechanics versus relativity, for example. Just that they are, at the very least, of limited range of applicability.

    Though, somewhat en passant, that’s partly why I argue that biologists like Colin Wright and Emma Hilton are simply barking up the wrong tree by insisting that people – or any member of any sexually reproducing species – can be said to have a sex if they can’t actually reproduce. Almost by definition, the infertile – some third of us at any one time – are simply sexLESS:

    IF “sex” is all about reproduction THEN it is a “falsehood” – at best – to assert that those without any actual “functionality” can be said to be male or female.

  18. Tom Bombadil
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Professor Coyne,

    I see that my first comment – at about 8:37 this evening – has yet to see the light of day. Not even an “awaiting moderation” message – which was visible briefly.

    Your “living room”, your call of course. But it still seems reasonable to ask why that’s the case. Too many links? Three doesn’t seem unreasonable, but knowing the limit would be useful. Or was the “opinion” unpopular, unevidenced, or too argumentative?

    Tom

  19. ladyatheist
    Posted July 3, 2020 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see a problem. It’s defining someone by their psychological identity rather than their DNA identity (assuming their DNA really was unambiguously male or female).

    Dictionaries don’t have to go with the majority, either. The people who self-identify as trans get to say what it means, not the majority of us whose body an mind agree about gender. Also, they’re more likely to use the word, so someone accessing the definition would likely be encountering it as the people being described would mean it. There are many, many words in the dictionary that are used by a small part of the population, including specialized usage of words that are used differently by the majority (for example, “theory”).

    Defining gender by reproductive function seems correct on the surface, but then you have to ask: is a post-menopausal woman or a woman who has had an ovariohysterectomy no longer a woman? Is a man who doesn’t secrete sperm not a man? I have always had issues with that line of thinking because of that. In terms of evolution, our only function is to reproduce, but we are all more than that to ourselves.

    I like the word “identified” used in a passive construction. It seems like a middle-ground compared to the usual term, “assigned,” which seems rather arbitrary and a bit tyrannical. Since the vast majority of us agree in mind and body about our gender, it may feel oppressive to the people whose minds and bodies don’t agree, but oppression wasn’t the purpose.

    • jedijan
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:18 am | Permalink

      I like the word “identify” also. I also agree that oppression would not have been at the core of identification classifications. It was not that long ago that females were given an additional choice over Miss or Mrs with the Ms, so social terms are changing, albeit very slowly. The only problems for transgenders etc. that seem difficult to overcome is sports (eg Olympics), ablution and penal facilities. Don’t see a quick resolution to those kinds of problems any time in the near future.

    • Tom Bombadil
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:17 am | Permalink

      I don’t see a problem. It’s defining someone by their psychological identity ….

      You don’t see a problem with a definition of “woman” as someone who may have either a vagina or a penis? Or neither as with Jenner?

      The word then basically becomes useless for any sort of gate-keeping, particularly for loos, change-rooms, and sports. Steven Pinker, in his How The Mind Works, had a cogent observation on categories and why we create them:

      An intelligent being cannot treat every object it sees as a unique entity unlike anything else in the universe. It has to put objects in categories so that it may apply its hard-won knowledge about similar objects, encountered in the past, to the object at hand. [pg 12]

      We generally don’t create categories just for the fun of it, just to exclude some people for the hell of it, just to pander to people’s vanity or their envy. And the definitions for the sex categories, for “male” & “female” – basically based on actually producing either sperm or ova, respectively – clearly have a great deal of utility in biology. And that utility is likely to be badly crippled by using each word to refer to those who can produce either sperm or ova.

      Helen Joyce, in a recent article at Quillette (She Who Must Not Be Named), had quite an illuminating analogy illustrating that idea:

      People who want to be so defined. I think people should be able to be who they want to be

      John Nicolson, British member of parliament

      The intention here is to be “inclusive.” But inclusive definitions miss the point. The way you define something is to state criteria that enable you to distinguish between things that qualify and things that don’t. A prime number, for example, is “a number that has no divisors but itself and one.” That excludes really rather a lot of numbers: six (two times three), say, and 71,417,010 (12,785 times 5,586). It’s not those numbers’ fault, and it doesn’t mean that they’re not nice numbers. They’re very nice. They’re just not prime.

      Often rather important to “distinguish between things” that meet some criteria, and those that don’t. Poisonous and edible “foods” for example …

      Defining gender by reproductive function seems correct on the surface …

      Think you’re conflating sex and gender, though far too many people do. And there’s some historical justification for that. But the standard definition for sex is basically actual reproductive function, while the latter is basically just personality. For instance, see Merriam Webster themselves (2b):

      : the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex

      Kinda helps to have separate words for separate and often disconnected concepts that often have very little correlation between them.

  20. Posted July 4, 2020 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    As Martin Erwig already commented, the adverb “typically” in the definition of “male” and “female” is important. Trans individuals make up less than 1% of the human population, and thus are (in this sense) atypical. I would additionally point out that the “male” and “female” definitions make a distinction between “relating to” and “being,” making clear that the idea of male and female go beyond the biological ability to produce sperm / eggs.

    Also important, the Merriam Webster definition for “transgender” keeps the distinction between gender identity and sex assigned at birth.

  21. chrism
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I’m completely happy for those who wish to transition to do so, as long as they understand the limitations of the process, that it is irreversible, and they are mature enough to grasp all that and live with the consequences. I am equally pleased to treat them as their adopted gender, socially and legally. But don’t tell me they have changed their biology; I’m not daft even if the activists who claim to speak for them are. I see that as an exercise in control of the “2+2=5” type, nothing more. It’s nonsense, I shan’t go along with it, and I’m confident the vast majority of transgender people agree with me.

  22. Max Blancke
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Even if every one of us keeps chanting “I do believe in fairies, I do, I do!”, even if we all hope and earnestly believe, We will never change the fact that fairies are imaginary.

    Amending the dictionary to include people who want to be fairies will not give those people magical powers or the ability to fly.

    • Dawn Flood
      Posted July 4, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      I am not aware of any biological man or woman who is able to pass as a fairy. On the other hand, I have biological women who, on a semi-regular basis, hold the door to the women’s restroom for me. A month ago I was with my 17 year old son (I’m 52) and a group of teenage boys gave me a loud wolf whistle while my back was facing them.

      Of course, there are biological men who are able to pass as female all the time, and, I must confess a certain amount of envy here.

      • Max Blancke
        Posted July 4, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        If we are just discussing how you choose to dress or present yourself, I put that deep in the category of things that are none of my business.

        But that is not really the discussion here.

        How you present yourself is entirely up to you.
        If you wish to be addressed a particular way, it is just good manners to make an attempt to honor that request.
        If it is important to you that everyone treat you as if you were a woman, most people will make some effort to do that as well.
        But you don’t get to insist that I or anyone else has to believe you are a woman, or that any man can ever become one.
        Changing the dictionary definition of “woman” so that it includes you really only means that we need to find another word for people who used to fit the definition.

        There are lines being crossed here. I guess we all have our own place where that happens. For me, the line is when we go from how you might choose to believe or act and cross over to enforcing my thoughts or actions to conform with your preferences. As we live in a civilization, I can be expected to be civil, but that is about as much as can be demanded of me.

        This pairs pretty well with religion for me. If I attend a wedding or funeral or whatever, I wear kippah , or bow my head, or at least stand quietly, out of respect for believers. but nobody can make me believe in their version of the divine. My understanding of and experience in the world precludes those beliefs, unless compelling new evidence were to be presented. And I am not going to lie about my beliefs. I am super unlikely to bring the subject up in temple or church, but if I am asked, I will be honest.
        Similarly, my knowledge of human development and sexuality and my life experience precludes my believing that “trans women (or men) are real women (or men)”
        I am also a person who does have the luxury to ignore or remain neutral on this issue.

        • Dawn Flood
          Posted July 4, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

          With respect to me, you are pounding on an open door. With respect to strangers, I care much more how I treat them than how they treat me.

    • Posted July 14, 2020 at 4:00 am | Permalink

      If ever we have a gender identity called “fairy”, I will believe in fairies. So long as there are people who exist who claim an identity, I will respect that identity.

      Why are you so angry about the dictionary changing? It changes all the time as language evolves.

  23. Posted July 14, 2020 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Yes, you are making too big a deal out of this. There is absolutely no logical fallacy in any of this. If a female is “typically” capable of producing an egg, but not “always,” then they’ve already covered your complaint within the definition itself.

    Gender and Biological Sex are different things. Clinging to the past because you fear change is no way to go through life.


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