Sen. Marsha Blackburn sparked outrage when she challenged Jackson to define the word “woman” during his confirmation hearings for the United States Supreme Court. Following Jackson’s rejection, a number of Republican congressmen offered definitions for “woman” that ranged from doubtful to startling, including “the weaker sex,” “someone with a uterus,” and “X chromosomes, no tallywhacker.”
Since 1871, when biologist Charles Darwin declared that “male is bolder, pugnacious, more vigorous than woman, and has more innovative brilliance,” such beliefs haven’t changed much. Most evolutionary theories (and theorists) in the nineteenth and twentieth century’s claimed that evolution produced two types of creatures: male and female, and that people’ behavior and nature mirrored this biological binary.
Today, a chorus of scientific-sounding statements about “blue and pink” brains, testosterone, and male primate violence, as well as disparities in salary, employment, political and economic leadership, and sexuality, are brought up as natural reasons for masculine and feminine behavior. The concept that biology generates two sorts of humans is cited in a variety of political and legal measures to dictate and enforce how humans should act. These claims and beliefs are false. Furthermore, the dedication to a simplistic binary vision generates a false blueprint for a “war of the sexes” that emerges in miseducation about fundamental biology, denigration of women’s rights, excuses for incel and “men’s rights” violence, and anti-transgender legislation.
Science points to a precise and hopeful understanding of sex biology. Humanity may embrace a wide and complex manner of imagining and experiencing human nature by understanding the genuine diversity of the human experience. This evidence-based approach is not only more intriguing than the basic and inaccurate “tallywhacker vs. no tallywhacker” viewpoint, but it also fosters respect and thriving. There are several ways to be female or male, or both, starting at the most fundamental level of animal biology. The waters are teeming with kinds of fish that transition from one sex to another in their latter years, and some that switch again.
Invertebrates and ladies-only lizards are examples of hermaphrodites who reproduce by recombining their own chromosomes. Females in certain mammals have huge “penises” and are filled with testosterone. Males in certain fish and animals are responsible for full baby care. Females are authoritarian, promiscuous, and—yes, Darwin—pugnacious in a variety of species. In many animals, there are patterned variations between females and males. However, most individuals are unaware of how much diversity, complexity, and collaboration exist. When one examines the biology of sex in animals, including humans, it becomes evident that Darwin, biologist E.O. Wilson, geneticist Angus Bateman, and many Republican politicians are at best off the mark and at worst completely incorrect.