Every time someone celebrates the number of female elected officials in Nevada, they undercut the transgender movement.
Nevada is the first state to have a female majority in the Legislature, which made national news. Outlets such as The New York Times, Fox News and Huffington Post covered it. Female legislators were excited too.
“It’s a great day in Nevada and in the USA,” state Sen. Julia Ratti, D-Sparks, tweeted. “Taking a moment to celebrate the first majority female Legislature in the country!”
“Yeeeehaaawww — you can quote me!” Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson, D-Reno, tweeted.
This week, two new female judges joined the state Supreme Court, giving it a female majority. Every board member of the Clark County School District is now a woman, too.
The underlying assumption in the news coverage and celebrations of female achievement is that men and women are different. Those differences are so obvious that the stories take them for granted — which is entirely reasonable.
Boys and girls have different anatomy at birth. They favor different toys and types of play. Girls usually say their first words before boys. Female students are usually better at English, while male students tend to do better at math. Women are generally better at multitasking. After puberty, the average man has more muscle mass than the average woman. Women and men communicate differently.
These differences have been obvious for centuries, but now science has given new insight into how far-reaching they are.
“Every cell has a sex,” Paula Johnson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, contends. That means the “XY” or “XX” chromosome pair that defines a biological male or female is every cell of the body.
The genetic difference between men and women is “15 times greater than the difference between any two human males,” Carissa R. Violante wrote for the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. Men “are about as genetically similar to a male chimpanzee as to a human female.”
No wonder women are so excited to be in charge.
Yet many of the same Democrats who celebrate Nevada’s female majority in the Legislature also assert that a man can become a woman simply by declaring himself so.
That’s the central contention of the transgender movement. It insists that biological sex and gender are different. What matters isn’t biological sex, advocates say, but the gender with which a person identifies.
This is where their philosophy runs into a contradiction. It simultaneously contends that biological sex doesn’t determine gender and that the stereotypes stemming from biological sex inform someone’s gender. For instance, transgender advocates say a boy who likes cooking and playing house might really be a girl. But if there aren’t biological differences between men and women, then there’s no reason to have gender stereotypes — or the idea of gender — at all. Everyone would just be a person.
But women and men are different. As seen in the celebration of women sweeping to power in Nevada, everyone knows it — even if some won’t always acknowledge it.
Contact Victor Joecks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.