As ex-Muslims, we place enormous value on reason and the scientific method. Thus, we do not hesitate to condemn the denial of biological sex or other basic scientific facts in service of ideology. Indeed, such behaviour risks dragging the West down to the depths of the Islamic world, where denial of evolution predominates and where widespread distrust of vaccination has led to a resurgence in polio. Generally speaking, females have two X chromosomes; males have an X and a Y chromosome. In this article, we aim to make at least this much clear.
We have a come a long way in our attitudes towards mental disorder. As science has enhanced our understanding of autism and schizophrenia, our sympathy with the afflicted has increased quite considerably. This warmth extends to those with gender dysphoria (GD), many of whom feel the need to undergo surgery in order to be at peace with themselves. Unfortunately, this understanding is now at risk of being eroded entirely, due to the sex denialism of censorious ideologues within the GD community.
The subversion of science by ‘Trans’ activists, supported by crusty revolutionaries who conflate anti-science with anti-elitism, is a cause for tremendous shame. Our modern society is built upon established principles of physics and chemistry. When we board an aeroplane, we are relying upon the Four Forces of Flight – lift, drag, thrust and gravity – to deliver us safely. When we manufacture detergents, we are indebted to a series of known chemical reactions, such as reductive elimination, hydrogenation and ethoxylation.
The same applies to biology, which has been at the forefront of science as we attempt to understand the nature of living organisms. The laws of biology are not artificial: rather, they are natural laws that govern all life evolving on our planet. Although science is constantly forcing us to reevaluate our understanding of the universe, these laws are so fundamental that we can safely state they will always be the case. Assuming that the reader is interested, the Three Laws of Biology can be defined as follows:
First Law: All living organisms obey the laws of thermodynamics.
The laws of the inanimate world determine the course of the universe. All organisms on all planets, including humans, are bound by these laws.
The Laws of Thermodynamics govern energy transformations and distributions of mass. Cells that comprise living organisms are open systems that allow both mass and energy to cross their membranes. Cells exist in open systems so as to allow acquisition of minerals, nutrients, and novel genetic traits while extruding end products of metabolism and toxic substances. Genetic variation, which results from gene transfer in prokaryotes and sexual reproduction in higher organisms, allows for massively increased phenotypic variability in a population as well as an accelerated rate of evolutionary divergence.
A corollary of the First Law is that when living organisms reach equilibrium with their surrounding environment, they no longer exhibit the quality of life. Life depends on interconnected biochemical pathways, e.g. the Oxygen Cycle between trees and aerobic organisms. Thus, all lifeforms are far from equilibrium with their environments.
Second Law: All living organisms consist of membrane-encased cells.
Enveloping membranes allow for physical separation between the living and the non-living worlds. Viruses, plasmids, transposons, prions and other non-membranous biological entities are not alive. They cannot reproduce using their own molecular machinery: rather, they must hijack the membranous cells of living organisms for this purpose, incorporating the viral nucleic acid into the chromosome of the host cell.
A corollary of the Second Law is that all life is programmed by a set of genetic instructions. These instructions are required for cell division, morphogenesis and differentiation. From single-celled prokaryotic organisms to normal or cancerous tissues in multicellular animals and plants, genetic instructions are required for the maintenance of life.
Third Law: All living organisms arose in an evolutionary process.
This law correctly predicts the common ancestry of all life on Earth. It explains all of their programmed similarities and differences. Natural selection occurs at organismal (phenotypic) and molecular (genotypic) levels. Organisms can live, reproduce, and die. If they die without reproducing, their genes are usually removed from the gene pool, although exceptions do exist. At the molecular level, genes and the proteins they code for can evolve ‘selfishly’, and these can combine with other selfish genes to form operons and functional parasitic elements such as viruses.
Two corollaries of the Third Law are that all living organisms contain homologous macromolecules (DNA, RNA and proteins) deriving from a common ancestor, and that the genetic code is universal. Indeed, although many deviations from the Standard Genetic Code exist, particularly in organelles and prokaryotes with small genomes, they are limited in scope. The universality of the genetic code likely results from the deleterious effect of codon reassignment combined with the inhibitory effect of changes in horizontal gene transfer.*
*Phylogenetic analysis of translation system components, in particular aminoacyl–tRNA synthetases, shows that at a stage of evolution when the translation system had already attained high fidelity, the correspondence between amino acids and cognate codons was determined by recognition of amino acids by RNA molecules, i.e. proto–tRNAs.
Sex and Gender
Thus, we can appreciate that nature is not a blank slate. In this spirit, let us now remind ourselves of the distinction between sex and gender. Sex is a description of one’s biological characteristics – that is, those features which make one a male, a female or a hermaphrodite, e.g. one’s chromosomes. The Y chromosome carries a gene called SRY, which causes the testes to develop. The testes produce androgens (male sex hormones) causing the embryo to become a male; without them, it develops into a female.
Gender, on the other hand, is a description of how one identifies with one’s sex. Many of those who suffer from gender dysphoria, in order to better manage the condition, will adopt an identity that is not strictly consistent with their biological sex. This can even extend beyond human identities, as the phenomenon of ‘otherkin’ demonstrates so vividly. In this sense, gender is a choice; sex, however, is absolutely not.
This common-sense distinction is rejected by Trans dogmatists, who insist that sexuality is as fluid as camel urine. They are supported by the Marxist Left, who believe that all human features can be explained with reference to economic and historical forces, with no substantial basis in biology. This mindset is what fuelled the backlash against Harvard biologist Edward Osborne Wilson in the 1970s, when he suggested that sociology and Darwinian biology could be combined to explain many facets of human behaviour:
When the attacks on sociobiology came from Science for the People, the leading radical left group within American science, I was unprepared for a largely ideological argument. It is now clear to me that I was tampering with something fundamental: mythology. Evolutionary theory applied to social systems is an extension of the great Western traditions of scientific materialism. As such, it threatens to transform into testable hypotheses the assumptions about human nature made by some Marxist philosophers. Its first line of evidence is not favourable to those assumptions, insofar as most traditional Marxists cling to a vision of human nature as a relatively unstructured phenomenon swept along by economic forces extraneous to human biology. Marxism and other secular ideologies previously rested secure as unchallenged satrapies of scientific materialism; now they were in danger of being displaced by other, less manageable biological explanations.
In April 2018, a group of Solidarity–People Before Profit TDs put forward the Provision of Objective Sexual Education Bill in Dáil Éireann. This bill seeks to take sexual education out of the pernicious hands of the Catholic Church, and is thus largely welcome. Unfortunately, being the pet project of Marxist ideologues, the proposal is inevitably contaminated with anti-scientific Trans rhetoric. Have a read of the following subsection, proposed as an amendment to Section 30 of the Education Act 1998:
When prescribing the curriculum for relationships and sexuality education, the Minister shall ensure:
(a) the curriculum is factual and objective, age appropriate, and not gender normative…
In the next section, we will employ basic genetics to further underscore the absurdity of sex denialism, i.e. disputing or outright rejecting the biological basis of sex. Immediately following this, we will outline how the Trans movement threatens to derail the struggle for women’s rights. This, we believe, is the proper way to counteract the growing assault on science and suffrage: not by adopting reactionary politics, but by affirming the universal validity of the Scientific Method and human rights principles.
The Genetics of Sex Determination
Whether an animal will become a male, a female, or a hermaphrodite is determined very early in development. Scientists have worked for hundreds of years to understand the molecular basis of sex determination, thereby allowing us to discard ancient myths. For instance, in 335 B.C., Aristotle proposed that the heat of the male partner during intercourse determined sex. If the male’s heat could overwhelm the female’s coldness, then a male child would form. In contrast, if the female’s coldness was too strong (or the male’s heat too weak), then a female child would form.*
Environmental theories of sex determination were popular until about 1900, when sex chromosomes were discovered. From meticulous analyses of male and female insect chromosomes, scientists discovered that, although most chromosomes were present in equal numbers in both males and females, there were one or two additional chromosomes that were unequally represented in the two sexes. Analyses of additional species over the years have revealed that chromosomal differences are primarily responsible for sex determination in most animals.
In placental mammals, the presence of a Y chromosome determines sex. Normally, cells from females contain two X chromosomes, and cells from males contain an X and a Y chromosome. Occasionally, individuals are born with an abnormal number of sex chromosomes (aneuploidies), and the sex of these individuals is always determined by the absence or presence of a Y chromosome. Thus, individuals with 47,XXY and 47,XYY karyotypes are males, while individuals with 45,X and 47,XXX karyotypes are females. Humans are able to tolerate surplus numbers of sex chromosomes because of X inactivation and the fact that the human Y chromosome is quite gene-poor.
Although the role of the Y chromosome in mammalian sex determination has been known since the early twentieth century, it was not until 1959 that scientists were able to identify the region of the Y chromosome that controlled this process (McLaren, 1991). Later, researcher David C. Page analysed the chromosomes of sex-reversed XX men – that is, individuals who look like men, but have two X chromosomes instead of one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. Using DNA hybridisation with probes corresponding to different regions of the Y chromosome, Page discovered that sex-reversed males carried genes from a 140-kilobase region on the short arm of the Y chromosome:
Presumably, this 140-kilobase region had been transferred to the X chromosome during a translocation (Page et al., 1985). Subsequent experiments narrowed down this region and found that one gene, the sex-determining region of the Y chromosome (SRY), was the master regulator of sex determination. The presence of just this region is thus sufficient to cause male development (Koopman et al., 1991). In human embryos, the SRY gene encodes a unique transcription factor that activates a testis-forming pathway at about week seven of development. Before this time, the embryonic gonad is ‘indifferent’, meaning that it is capable of developing into either a testis or an ovary:
Likewise, the early embryo has two systems of ducts, Wolffian and Müllerian ducts, which are capable of developing into the male and female reproductive tracts, respectively. Once the SRY gene product stimulates the indifferent gonad to develop into a testis, the testis begins producing two hormones: testosterone and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH). Testosterone and one of its derivatives, dihydrotestosterone, induce formation of other organs in the male reproductive system, while AMH causes the degeneration of the Müllerian duct. In females, who do not contain the SRY protein, the ovary-forming pathway is activated by a different set of proteins. The ovary then produces oestrogen, thus triggering development of the uterus, oviducts and cervix from the Müllerian duct.
*Aristotle was actually onto something, at least in the case of certain reptiles. In the alligator snapping turtle, Macroclemys temminckii, incubation of eggs below 22°C or above 28°C gives rise to females, while incubation at intermediate temperatures produces predominantly males. For most animals, however, sex is determined chromosomally.
The Subversion of Suffrage
So far, we have focused our efforts on refuting the sex-denialism which abounds within the Trans movement. Following on from this, we will now outline how such groups are actively undermining the struggle for sexual equality. By denying the biological basis of sex, Trans dogmatists are robbing the suffrage movement of its value: for if the female sex is nothing more than a choice, then any rights deriving from it are provisional at best. In this way, women’s rights lose their hard-won protected status.
Indeed, the feminist movement now finds itself increasingly under attack by Trans groups, who thus embody the spirit of Phyllis Schlafly and her anti-ERA acolytes. This antagonism is not limited to mere protests or online campaigns. In an interview with Sky News in April 2019, Dr. Heather Brunskell-Evans – a prominent feminist campaigner and authority on children with gender dysphoria – describes the verbal abuse and threats of violence directed at her from Trans dogmatists at a speaking engagement in Newcastle:
I’m absolutely shocked at the level of vitriol, the level of silencing. Even asking for a discussion is considered transphobic… I don’t like being on a stairwell where I’m frightened that I’m going to be pushed down by a man in a balaclava and a mask, who’s telling me that he is a woman and that if I don’t accept that, I’m a Nazi – it’s extremely frightening… Why do I do this? Not because I’m transphobic and illiberal… We shouldn’t have anything that we are frightened to speak about; I’m flagging this up as a societal problem. I don’t think trans women are women. My values are in line with protecting girls.
In July 2018, the British government launched a consultation on the Gender Recognition Act, which seeks to streamline how those with gender dysphoria can register their new identities. Dr. Nicola Williams, a research scientist specialising in human biology and spokesperson for the women’s rights group Fair Play For Women, argues that changes to the law could result in sex-based rights becoming impossible to enforce. To do justice to this issue and close out this article, we will reproduce Dr. William’s speech here in full:
I’m a scientist, so facts matter to me. The group I run, Fair Play For Women, uses hard data and proven facts to defend women and their rights.
As a scientist, I have always worked in a male-dominated profession, but I never thought of myself as in a disadvantaged position as a woman. I knew that women were under-represented in my area, but I felt empowered. I took it for granted that women’s rights had been secured, and I had so many opportunities my grandmother didn’t have.
As a lesbian, I am naturally sympathetic to other minority groups fighting for their rights. Initially when I heard people talking about problems with transgender rights, I wondered what on earth people’s problem could be.
A lot of people likened the situation to the fight for gay rights, and I just thought “why can’t people live and let live?” I fully support the right of trans people to live free of fear and discrimination just the same as everyone else.
This isn’t the same as the fight for gay rights, however. When I looked at the facts more closely, I could see this was very different. There was a fundamental conflict between the demands some trans lobby groups were making and the rights of another vulnerable group – women and girls.
Of course if someone wants to live as though they are the opposite sex, that’s their choice and I fully support their right to do so.
But if someone who still has their full male anatomy wants the right to enter women’s changing rooms, or refuges, or to compete against women and girls in sports, and women have no choice about that, that takes away women’s most fundamental right: the right to say no to male-bodied people entering our spaces.
In Britain there is a fierce debate around this. The government has just opened a consultation to decide whether the law should be changed to make it easier for someone to change the legal sex on their birth certificate.
Some trans campaigners want new rules that would mean any man who simply said “I am a woman now” could legally become female, getting along with it unchallenged access to women’s changing rooms, hostels, NHS wards and other female-only spaces.
Organisations are already running ahead of the law and defining women as anyone who says they are one. It’s already happening informally, the law change will cement it in place.
This would punch a huge hole in the hard-won system of women’s legal rights which allow us to say no to male-bodied people being in our spaces. There would be no official way to tell who was male for purposes of single-sex overnight sleeping accommodation, for women’s refuges, or for single-sex sports.
Our sex-based rights will still exist on paper but will be impossible to use on the ground.
Yet I was shocked that women who spoke up about this were threatened and harassed. A trans activist was convicted of the assault of a 60-year-old woman who had gathered with others to attend a meeting at which they could discuss the potential impact on women and girls of such a change to the law.
More recently, a meeting organised by another group, Woman’s Place UK, to discuss the law changes was targeted with a bomb threat which is now under investigation by the police.
Ordinary women who ask questions about these things on social media are routinely threatened with violence, told they deserve to be punched, or worse.
The right to male-free spaces when vulnerable, the right to our dignity and privacy when we undress, and the right to fair competition in sport matter to lots of women and girls, yet hardly anyone in Britain realises those rights are under threat, and already hanging by a thread.
Women are not being informed, and the small number of women who do speak up are being violently silenced. That’s just not acceptable in a democracy.
We at Fair Play For Women believe this issue needs to be discussed rationally, on the basis of the facts. Data isn’t “transphobic”. Evidence isn’t “hateful”. Facts are just facts, and the plain fact is that the proposed policy of “self-identified sex” would have a huge impact on women and girls.
Women fought for generations for the right to be heard and the right to say no to things that affect them. That is what we are fighting for again today, and I for one will not stop until people in power start listening.
Courage calls to courage everywhere, and its voice cannot be denied.
Newcastle, July 2018: Dr. Heather Brunskell-Evans is prevented from delivering her speech by masked Trans activists.