A bioethicist activist based in Toronto, Canada, scolded people for “gendering animals,” and many on social media erupted with ridicule and disbelief.
“Gendering animals serves to normalise bioessentialist conceptions of gender,” Florence Ashley tweeted on Thursday.
Gendering animals serves to normalise bioessentialist conceptions of gender. When we gender animals, we forget that… https://t.co/Mvl0xdGMRI
— Instructor Florence Ashley (@Instructor Florence Ashley)1624539436.0
“When we gender animals, we forget that sex is assigned. We begin to believe that sex is literally ~in~ the body,” Ashley explained helpfully.
“Bioessentialism” is the belief that biology determines specific attributes and traits, including those related to gender identity. Transgender activists claim that bioessentialism is a fallacy and leads to transphobia and gender-based exclusion.
Many on social media rejected and ridiculed the guidance offered by Ashley.
“Exactly. I never assign a sex or gender to my pets or children. I simply refer to them as non-arboreal carbon-based multicellular agents. I feel that using ‘carbon’ is a bit constraining as I believe in Periodic Table Fluidity,” Gad Saad, an evolutionary psychologist, joked.
“We must stop noticing that mammalian species are sexually dimorphic. It is bad and wrong,” Ben Shapiro replied.
“This is a parody right?” Peter Whittle asked.
“My cat was assigned female at birth, but I refused to gender it and allowed it to live gender free. Somehow, it still got pregnant after shagging about!?” one Twitter user responded.
“My friend’s dog used to hump cushions and cuddly toys. (Nightmare pooch!) Then they got him neutered. They should have just assigned the dog as female, I guess. Would have saved on the vet bills,” another tweeter mocked.
The transfeminist reacted to some of the ridicule.
Honestly, Ben Shapiro throwing a fit at my tweet is the highlight of my life. I really must be doing something right.
— Instructor Florence Ashley (@Instructor Florence Ashley)1624633462.0
“Honestly, Ben Shapiro throwing a fit at my tweet is the highlight of my life. I really must be doing something right,” Ashley tweeted.
Ashley’s preferred pronouns are they and them.