Maori “ways of knowing” to be taught as science in NZ universities

December 8, 2021 • 9:45 am

The kerfuffle continues about whether mātauranga Māori, or “Maori ways of knowing”, constitutes an independent form of science that should be taught in school science class as coequal to what we know as “real science”.  As I’ve pointed out before, this coequality is simply ludicrous, for mātauranga Māori is a collection of religious beliefs, superstitions, false assertions (e.g. biological creationism), as well as a few practical truths (e.g., how to trap eels). In other words, it’s by no means equivalent to modern science, and the well-meaning but misguided notion of supporting Maori students (as well as confusing all students) by teaching them “their own science” is a recipe for disaster and scientific backwardness. Even New Zealand’s Royal Society is supporting this disaster:

Richard Dawkins has pointed out the same thing:

Now I think I can speak for Richard when I say that neither of us are trying to denigrate the Maori people themselves, who have a proud history (as well as a history of oppression) that is well integrated into modern “colonial” culture. What we are trying to do is simply defend science and ensure that students who are seeking to learn science are not at the same time swallowing a hefty dose of untruths, religion, and mythology. And so we fight on, knowing that the desire to placate the indigenous people is sufficiently strong among Kiwi academics and government officials that they’re willing to degrade science to support ethnicity. But what they’re doing is disadvantaging Maori youth by buttressing their “ways of knowing” as “science”. That will not help any of them who wish to pursue scientific careers.

Previously I had been unclear about whether mātauranga Māori would be taught as equivalent to modern science in high school alone, or also at university. The following advertisement for a teaching fellow came to my attention, and it clearly implies that yes, universities are going to pollute science with mythology, falsehoods, and superstition.

Click on the screenshot to read the whole thing. Note that this is at the University of Auckland—the premier university in the country.

It’s pretty clear from the list of goals below that Maori ways of knowing are going to be taught as biological science. Bolding below the title is mine:

Te Whiwhinga mahi | The opportunity

Te Kura Mātauranga Koiora School of Biological Sciences (SBS) is seeking to appoint a permanent, full-time Professional Teaching Fellow (PTF) to support the School’s teaching practice and enhance curriculum development in terms of Māoritanga.

The Kaiwhakaako Mātauranga Koiora will work in partnership with other SBS academic staff to support teaching and learning practices that facilitate appropriate integration of indigenous knowledge, te reo, tikanga, mātauranga Māori, and kaupapa Māori into the curriculum.  To achieve this, the successful candidate will work collaboratively with academic staff to understand the opportunities and challenges for incorporating Te Ao Māori into the biological curriculum and will identify potential pathways for curriculum redevelopment and redesign that will support both Māori and non- Māori staff and students, and the wider community in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This is also clear from the qualifications for the job (again my emphasis):

Our successful candidate will bring:

    • Strong experience in teaching relevant to the tertiary sector, preferably in Biological Sciences
    • A post-graduate qualification in biology or related field, although we will also consider applicants with a biology undergraduate qualification and a relevant postgraduate qualification such as in education.
    • Well-developed understanding of principles of te Tiriti o Waitangi and their application in the work environment
    • Understanding of tikanga Māori and confidence navigating Te Ao Māori
    • Proficiency in te reo Māori is preferred
    • Experience of curriculum design and/or pedagogies to integrate mātauranga, tikanga and te reo Māori into courses for diverse cohorts of students.

It’s pretty clear, as other academics in New Zealand have told me, that the incorporation of mātauranga Māori into the biology curriculum is a foregone conclusion. That’s because it’s seen as a form of “inclusion”—misguided though it may be—and a form of inclusion that trumps teaching students real biology and other science.

I would urge New Zealanders and academics to stand up against this development, for its ultimate result will be the world viewing New Zealand’s science as a joke. By all means ensure that Maori have equal rights, and even affirmative action as reparations for their mistreatment, but for Ceiling Cat’s sake do not let their religion and mythology be taught as truth. It’s as if every biology class in American high schools and colleges were forced to teach Biblical creationism alongside evolutionary biology.

43 thoughts on “Maori “ways of knowing” to be taught as science in NZ universities

    1. John Oliver would, without question, be on the side of the Maori ways of knowing. If you think otherwise, I think you’re missing what’s going on in society right now.

  1. “I would urge New Zealanders and academics to stand up against this development, for its ultimate result will be the world viewing New Zealand’s science as a joke.”

    Not for long though. Soon enough, science in most of the western world will be a joke, I’m afraid.

    1. How much of this do you think will trickle up to actual professional scientists? I see this screwing up science education in primary and secondary school, but don’t know if it will leave an imprint on scientists in the field a generation or two from now. Are there many professional scientists in the US currently handicapped by religious belief?

      I’ve seen various ministries of education roll out all kinds of absurd anti-science declarations over the years. Was it the Australian MoE who declared acceleration due to gravity to be 10 m/s^2 rather than 9.8? Are there reliable studies on how these kinds of policies hurt R&D a generation down the line?

      1. I’d say a great deal has already trickled up. You can see that by the almost instantaneous knee-jerk response to the Listener letter by professional scientists such as Dr Wiles & Prof Hendy, together with the rapid pile on of over 2000 signatories to the response in protest – admittedly probably most of whom were not scientists. We are a very small country, and in many academic spheres are fad-driven to a degree that is probably hard to appreciate in a countries with a much wider diversity of opinions. The result is that dissenting opinions or even mild questioning of the current orthodoxy will simply be dismissed out of hand – as we have already seen with the Listener letter, and as I fully expect to happen with the concerns raised by Profs Coyne and Dawkins.

      1. You’re probably right. I think one factor that makes it hard(er) for me to assess the situation is that I – at least to some extent – am part of the tribe that is behind much of this BS. It probably makes the problem appear more severe than it actually is. Probably. I work in the academy in Sweden, and since roughly 2014, I’ve witnesssed many examples of the woke – for lack of a better word – launching successful attacks on the hard sciences. But yeah, it’s probably exaggerated. In any case, I’m sure science will bounce back eventually, even if temporarily corrupted by woke dogma.

  2. I’m less worried about the impact on actual science this has, and more concerned about how holistic con artists will use it to sell woo, in this case Māori woo.

  3. Of course this should mean that Maori truth claims are to be subjected to experiments and formal observational testing (Hypothesis: Is the Milky Way galaxy the body of a great celestial shark”?). But of course this will never be allowed to happen. Heaven forbid!

  4. Check out this opinion article in Nature Geoscience that argues for accepting indigenous knowledge as expertise and on par with science.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-021-00861-7

    The author uses the term “Western science” and this is likely done intentionally to make an ideological point about imperialism and colonialism, both of which brought unspeakable misery and exploitation to indigenous peoples. But conflating indigenous culture and knowledge with universal (not “Western”) scientific principles will denigrate science and the methods of discovery, and probably won’t do much to help indigenous peoples either.

  5. Kiwi policymakers have obviously confused two classes that are quite separate. For those with ears to hear and eyes to see, what they’re doing is absurd and ridiculous. But I’m afraid of reactions going overboard. I’d love to see a sensible piece on this, as Jerry’s are, written without using the word “but”. That, however wrongly, carries all sorts of unfortunate connotations, like “I’m not a racist, but…”, or “OK, you’ve had your say, but now let’s get back to reality (i.e. you can’t be trusted to set the terms of the debate because your views are so obviously ridiculous and wrong, so now shut up while I tell you what’s what).

    Science is not superior to Maoritanga except in its own sphere, which is to tell us how the physical world works. Maoritanga demonstrably cannot do that, just as science can’t tell us how to live as cultural beings, although it can offer commentary on mechanistic aspects of that subject. I don’t see Maoritanga or any other culture, Western or otherwise, as worth any less than that of science, each in their own spheres. Wagner’s overwhelming “Ring” gut-punches me no less for “knowing” that the world was not born out of Ginnungagap and that Wotan, Siegfried and Brunnhilde are mythological will-o-the-wisps, and Bach’s gut-wrenchingly human St Matthew Passion reduces me to no fewer tears for at least suspecting that its protagonist may not actually have existed, let alone being Lord and Co-Creator of Life, the Universe and Everything.

    When I listen to debates like this, I’m always aware that a voice is almost completely absent: that of (in this case) Maori science students. They handle the evidence. Do they think that Maoritanga can teach them as much about black holes and the evolution of multi-cellular organisms as science can? What do they think of this policy?

    1. Given that students are considered ignorant of the knowledge they have yet to learn, asking their opinion on whether Maoritanga “science” can teach them as much about black holes and evolutionary biology as “western” science isn’t going to be useful. No matter which answer they give, advocates for the other side will say that’s why they need to learn the correct version.

      The course isn’t going to be set up so the students can pit the two against each other and discover that the indigenous people were ignorant.

      1. You’re probably right, sadly. What prompted my original remark was the memory of a similar case in Australia, where aboriginal science students were as keen to learn about the natural, physical world using the tools of “western” science as they were to learn about their own mythologies. Maybe people in this position – i.e. being patronised and infantalised by insufferable cultural fascists who dictate The Truth(TM) to poor benighted natives who are too stupid or undeveloped to see it – need to reclaim their own voices and be allowed to use their own brains to figure out what’s what? I’m sure they can do it, given half a chance.

    2. Science is not superior to Maoritanga except in its own sphere, which is to tell us how the physical world works.

      I can accept that. Science’s sphere is objective reality. Maoritanga’s sphere is….

      … well, whatever it is, how can you tell whether it is right?

      Wagner’s overwhelming “Ring” gut-punches me no less for “knowing” that the world was not born out of Ginnungagap and that Wotan, Siegfried and Brunnhilde are mythological will-o-the-wisps, and Bach’s gut-wrenchingly human St Matthew Passion reduces me to no fewer tears for at least suspecting that its protagonist may not actually have existed

      I don’t think anybody is denying that great works of art can have great emotional impact. However, that is what their creators designed them to do. Do they actually express any truths, and if they do, how can you tell that they express truths? You can’t. They may affect you profoundly but one of the things science tells us is that our feelings are not a good indicator of truth.

      1. Science’s sphere is objective reality. Maoritanga’s sphere is….
        … well, whatever it is, how can you tell whether it is right?

        What do you mean by “right”? Objectively, of course, it’s demonstrably – indeed, trivially – easy to demonstrate that Rangi the sky father and Papa the earth mother were not separated from their tight embrace in order to create land and sky and to let light into the prevailing darkness; indeed, that Rangi and Papa don’t exist. For anyone to claim that this “proves Maoritanga wrong” is obviously beside the point. I would say it’s also trivially true to say that things that demonstrably don’t exist or that are provably false are “right” (i.e. meaningful) to us on quite different levels than natural and physical reality. Not more so – just differently. Emma Woodhouse and Highbury never existed, but I feel they did (indeed, do) when I read Jane Austen’s novel.

        I think the problem is the misuse of the word “right”. Maoritanga is no more “right” or “wrong” than your culture or anyone else’s. My culture incorporates the myth of a deity creating the universe and life out of nothing mere thousands of years ago. I consciously reject that part of my culture and personal upbringing because it is demonstrably false, but I still enjoy the first chorus of Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation” as if it were true, especially that orchestral opening depicting chaos suddenly wiped out by “…and…there…was…LIGHT!”

        My culture also embodies an ethic of continual material acquisition that is threatening to rape the planet to death. In that sense, my western culture is “wrong” – but that’s not so much a scientific problem as an ethical one, although science can chip in regarding various aspects of it. Is there an objective moral standard by which cultures including European-American culture and Maoritanga can be judged? I’ll leave that to the philosophers.

        Do [great works of art] actually express any truths, and if they do, how can you tell that they
        express truths? You can’t. They may affect you profoundly but one of the things science tells
        us is that our feelings are not a good indicator of truth.

        Absolutely. But, like your use of the word “right”, I believe you’re applying the word “truth” inappropriately. I don’t look to art, culture and my own feelings to tell me what is true about the natural, physical world, just as I don’t look to science to tell me that I love my wife and children, or to explain the creeps I get from a good horror story, or to constitute (as opposed to explain) the ties that bind me to those of similar cultural backgrounds. All of those are “true”. Any emotional buzz they may give me is trivial beside their transformative effect. Art, culture and feeling are part of what we as a species do, who we are. Everything in its place. And Maoritanga has its place, in the whanau and the classroom – just not in science classes, except where it is being analysed as a cultural phenomenon.

        1. What do you mean by “right”?

          In accordance with reality.

          I think the problem is the misuse of the word “right”.

          Yes and I think you are possibly conflating two meanings.

          Maoritanga is no more “right” or “wrong” than your culture or anyone else’s.

          Culture is not something that I would argue can be right or wrong. The problem is that this debate isn’t about conflicting cultures: it’s about science and a particular culture. Science is not dependent upon any particular culture. It’s open to all. Science doesn’t attack cultures except insofar as it usually proves cultural myths to be false.

  6. Ernest Rutherford, arguably New Zealand’s greatest scientist, was made a Baron in 1931 and chose for his coat of arms a design that included a kiwi and a Māori warrior. This egregious, offensive act of cultural appropriation and colonial oppression demands that Rutherford be cancelled immediately, and indeed calls into question the legitimacy of all of atomic physics. /s

  7. Of course all care should be taken to be sure that Maori are supported in the NZ social system, and that their traditional beliefs are taught in a respectful manner (as traditional beliefs) to children from an early age. You can have fun with it.
    It’s a matter for general education, history, and social studies. Not natural science.

  8. It would be perfectly possible to teach some Maori culture along with science. For example, Nick Zentner’s Nick in the Field YouTube geology videos with Randy Lewis of the P’sqosa (Wenachi) people. They go out to a place where Nick talks about the geological side and then Randy talks about what his people call the mountain or rock formation and tells a story about it, maybe a tribal myth, maybe a personal story. It might sound like an accommodationist approach to some but it’s really just adding on to the geology story with history and culture, not IN PLACE OF the geology. One could do similar things in botany or biology, by learning the scientific knowledge but also what the local people called various plants and animals. It doesn’t mean the binomial is wrong or the indigenous name is wrong, any more than knowing the common names of species is wrong ( they’re just not very exact), it’s just another layer, another part of the story. You don’t have to believe the local indigenous story, but it’s fine to know what others thought. It is very much akin to learning scientific history. You can learn the erroneous ideas of Aristotle or Newton without believing them.
    I would love to know what the original names for the important geological or landscape features in my area were. They were almost certainly a damn sight better than the lame and repetitive names Euro-American have them.

    I’ll be curious how much you all disagree. Note that I am not in any way an accommodationist, only that I like to see the wider view of things. Cheers!

    1. It’s exciting to meet another Zentner and Lewis fan. I agree that their combination of scientifically based geologic stories with Native American stories about the formation and human histories of particular landforms is an excellent template for marrying two different ways of understanding info about the same thing. Why add a hierarchy of importance to those different paths? If there is no hierarchy, why would there be a need to define the different ways of understanding as being the same thing? Might be time to lay down our cudgels and accept the legitimacy of different ways of knowing. One path may be more left brained and based on the scientific method. Another may be more right brained and based on history and stories. The left brained process may lead to answers that differ from answers determined by the right brained process. So what. Maybe each answer has legitimacy in its own context. Religion, for example, may simply be a right brained way to understand the world. As is true in politics, maybe the best way forward is a truce that accepts and respects different ways of understanding the world without needing to evaluate the relative value of those different ways. The chill pill approach to controversy. Maybe.

    2. When I went to university, in another eon, I would have been severely pissed off if I had learn about some sort of colonial chemistry of England. While I doubt this topic exists at the moment. I sure hope it is not coming.

      Learning a little about phlogiston and how wrong the concept was wrong and what was the evidence against it was useful. I am not interested in colonial English Chemistry.

      I have no interest in formally spending my education dollars on Maori mythology. If I do develop an interest in Maori mythology I will pick up a recommended book or two. I have little interest in the mythology of my own heritage, never mind someone else’s.

    3. I have to disagree, a lot. Indigenous peoples have names for things, certainly, and myths about how they came to be. But here’s where I have to say so what? Their concept of classification of animals is based on the methods used to hunt them. They stall in the face of expanding knowledge about genetic relatedness, which of course underpins evolution, and about cosmology. The greatest ideas of all humanity are completely inaccessible to traditional ways of knowing. Further, given the elasticity of oral traditional knowledge and the often, but not invariably, adversarial nature of settler-indigenous relationships, the myths can be nakedly self serving. They can even be changed after the fact, based on “new” knowledge that came to an elder in a dream. This approach failed at the Supreme Court of Canada, but only because the new knowledge was too religiously tainted for the tastes of the Court. The hearsay testimony about the source of the knowledge itself was deemed credible. (The elder who had the dream had conveniently died before the case came to Court, so could not be cross-examined on it.).

      Traditional knowledge myths that are careful not to stray too nakedly into religious territory do conflict successfully with scientific environmental knowledge. This comes up regularly during the approval process for anything involving shovels, especially TK that is couched in terms of “put here to be stewards of the land.” Non-indigenous opponents of hydroelectric dams and resource extraction projects have become skilled at manipulating (with money) Native traditional knowledge and wider public opinion against these projects. Is the worm turning? See below.

      As school children in Nova Scotia we learned (well, not really) that the great Glooscap created Economy Mountain and the Five Islands when he got angry and tossed his cooking pots into the Minas Basin. (Come to think of it, where did he get the metal for the pots? The Vikings? Oh well, that’s TK for you.) Right, learned that once. I don’t need to learn it again in geology class. More deeply, I don’t see how you can bring the myth into a modern technical discussion without patronizing the TK, which you surely don’t believe, or two-facedly deceiving the Indigenous story-teller that you sincerely do believe it as an alternative explanation and that you expect your students to, too.

      If anything, we should teach these stories in cultural history classes, and invite a scientist in to those classes to give the real story in case the arts students have questions about how speciation actually works..

      For another take on what traditional knowledge can be, written by Indigenous office-holders themselves, see:

      https://nationalpost.com/opinion/chris-sankey-those-who-support-protests-and-blockades-are-doing-a-disservice-to-indigenous-people
      -and-
      https://nationalpost.com/opinion/opinion-we-are-wetsuweten-but-the-coastal-gaslink-pipeline-protesters-dont-represent-us
      The second piece requires perhaps more knowledge of Indigenous politics than most non-Canadians could be expected to have but is worth working through.

      This, to me, is the way forward and I think New Zealanders, Maori and others alike, are missing the boat. Not a good thing to be doing when you are on two islands a 3 hr flight from the closest anywhere else.

      1. Leslie,

        Thanks for the NP post links. Nice to see that noisy protestors apparently don’t represent all of the natives.

        No doubt they haven’t fared as well as they might have at the hands of “the colonials” – Residential Schools and the like. Though maybe better than most such groups, colonial powers being what they are.

        But many of the saner groups – the majority one hopes – seem to recognize on which side their bread is buttered. Was always kind of amused that during the Nisga treaty negotiations – some 20 years ago – there was talk of all of the native groups in BC laying claim to 110% of the Province; often wondered what sort of consequences they had in mind, that we all pack-up and leave?

        Cheap emotions, and impractical claims help no one.

    4. I have to agree with Leslie. Indigenous people like Randy Lewis are almost entirely limited to teaching a body of knowledge (e.g., the names of some kinds of things, and stories about their origins). This is fun in a kinda limited way, but rarely touches on a *method* (how to know what’s true about those things and their origins), and it’s extremely limited to the relatively large objects visible to the eye or the other senses (so no cells, light waves, pheromones, genes, etc.).

      Natural scientists instead are largely teaching a method (observation, experiment, theory), plus to a lesser extent a body of knowledge that is universal (light waves, cells, and genes are the same in every human culture).

      Nobody talks about (or wants to teach or learn about) the Wenachi method because there really isn’t one. And it’s a truly parochial education that focuses on the cultural traditions of the local, big, slow, visible objects of the world.

      1. “Nobody talks about (or wants to teach or learn about) the Wenachi method because there really isn’t one. And it’s a truly parochial education that focuses on the cultural traditions of the local, big, slow, visible objects of the world.” Ty for your comment Mike. I disagree about lack of a method. The Wenachi people used stories to teach practical info about the land in which they lived and traveled. And about their people, ways of life, and history. All rolled up in a story about landforms, edible vegetation, seasonal changes, and ancestor experience. Fascinating stories that stick in the mind when data sets have long been forgotten. Their method has been used for eons to transmit knowledge from one generation to the next. Info necessary for survival. And despite lots of challenges, the Wenachi people are still here. I admire that and their efforts to alive keep their traditional way of life for tribal members who wish to live that lifestyle. Go Randy!

    5. We’re singing from the same hymn sheet, as it were. A place for everything and everything in its place. It would be as wrong to regard as fact the legend of Maui fishing the North Island out of the sea as it would be for science to think it’s explained Maoritanga by the movement of neurons in the brain.

      My question, asked elsewhere on this board, is: what do Maori science students think? Seems to me they’re being patronised in a shamelessly colonial fashion by this form of cultural fascism, in which they seem to have little if any say, at least as far as I can tell.

  9. If you’re old, you may remember L’il Abner, a newspaper cartoon strip drawn by conservative gadfly Al Capp. He poked fun at Black studies classes at the Ivies by having a character from his strip, world’s dirtiest rassler Earthquake McGoon, head Harvard’s Department of Hillbilly Studies. You can’t make fun of the excesses of Black studies anymore (the lightbulb was actually invented in the Congo, etc.), but Capp had a point. Capp also spoofed a genuinely terrible comic strip, Dick Tracy, with his “Fearless Fosdick” parody.

  10. As I tell my wife and son, frequently, the most important question when listening to someone making claims is: How do they know that?

    What data do they have?
    What are their biases?
    What kind of statistical strength do their data have?

    There is a ton of crap out there these (antisocial media, I’m looking at you) that tries to sound “sciencey” but has no data to back it up.

    People (on the internet and elsewhere) can claim literally anything. Why should you believe them? (How do they know that?)

  11. You mention that this effort is “well meaning.” I’m not convinced. When a government or institution institutes a policy that it knows is wrong—as has been explained innumerable times by many prominent scientists both in New Zealand and worldwide—then it’s reasonable to conclude that the institution is implementing its favored policy *in spite* of knowing that it’s wrong. This implies, almost by definition, that the policy is not *well meaning* but is motivated by other goals. Sadly, the students who will be taught this kind of *science* will never get a job in real science and will not be equipped to make any meaningful scientific contributions to New Zealand or the broader world. These poor students are doomed to obscurity.

  12. Sad to see. I’ve had no response yet to my email to Paul Atkins, the Chief Executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi, an experience shared by the other WEIT readers who emailed the Society I expect…

    1. I got one back in a couple of hours. I was up late, insomnia, so daytime in the Antipodes. He (Ridley actually, though mailed to Atkins) just said the RSNZ is a professional association and is obligated to investigate complaints about its Members that come from any source. I think he actually did read my letter because he wanted me to understand that the Society hadn’t decided to censure (which I was objecting to), only that they had had to open an investigation. I let Ceiling Cat know on another thread.

      And here I am, just a Bones McCoy saying, “Jim! I’m a doctor, not a scientist.” I did butter him up a little about having actually visited the place.

  13. integration of indigenous knowledge, te reo, tikanga, mātauranga Māori, and kaupapa Māori into the curriculum

    The above will probably tend to generate disrespect for both the Maori and the education system, but the real shame is that science students might have to spend time studying, memorizing and regurgitating fairy tales in order to get degrees and/or jobs in non-fairy-tale fields.

  14. A simple thought experiment: just imagine an electricity fairy that makes electricity behave the way it does. The laws the fairy works with are exactly the same as those we know, so we can ‘prove’ the existence of the fairy scientifically. And no, one has ever seen an electron, but some people have seen fairies, so the existence of the fairy is more plausible than the electron.

  15. “I would urge New Zealanders and academics to stand up against this development, for its ultimate result will be the world viewing New Zealand’s science as a joke.”

    Amen to that. And its Statistics Department isn’t a helluva lot better. For instance, check out its “Sex V1.0.1” page:

    http://aria.stats.govt.nz/aria/?_ga=2.135330993.1433053733.1593671441-939313310.1593671441#StandardView:uri=http://stats.govt.nz/cms/StatisticalStandard/FrytLv0KtGf6RhVY

    Generally, a fairly impressive “Concept and Classification System” but “gender ideology” has turned many of those concepts into a dog’s breakfast. For instance, it defines “lesbian” as “a woman who is sexually attracted to people of the same sex or gender”. Maybe not bad out of the chute but they – and far too many other ostensibly credible sources – insist on using “male” and “female” as terms describing both sexes and genders.

    More problematically, the V1.0.1. page peddles the rather “vicious lie” that people can “permanently change their sex.” Although they more or less commendably differentiate between sex and gender, at least in some areas and to some extent, by asserting that “whereas sex is a biologically determined variable, gender refers to the socially and culturally perceived or expected dimensions of behaviour associated with males and females, that is masculinity and femininity respectively”. Particularly as the late Justice Scalia emphasized the same dichotomy in pretty much the same terms:

    “The word ‘gender’ has acquired the new and useful connotation of cultural or attitudinal characteristics … distinctive to the sexes. That is to say, gender is to sex as feminine is to female and masculine is to male.”

    However, as mentioned, they engage in egregious equivocation – being charitable – in their definition of “gender identity”:

    “Gender identity is an individual’s internal sense of being wholly female, wholly male …”

    Makes the whole concept of “male” and “female” largely useless for any sort of credible biology; words can’t denote contradictory concepts, at least at the same time. But maybe that is the objective of transgender activists who seem far too ubiquitous, even at places like Wikipedia with its supposed claim to a “neutral point of view”.

    Somewhat apropos of which, I have been exiled to the “outer darkness” there for challenging the claim in the article on Olympian, New Zealander, & transwoman Laurel Hubbard that “she” had “transitioned to female”.

    The rot goes rather deep.

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