I had no idea dresses were encoded in our DNA


Well, your DNA, ladies. Not mine. I have manly DNA that makes me incapable of wearing a skirt.

This fellow, Nigel Rowe, yanked his kid out of school and is planning to sue the school for discrimination…because they allowed another little boy to attend classes wearing a dress. They are just outraged! This is unnatural! It confuses their child, because mommy and daddy say boys can’t wear dresses, but there he is, acting as if it is perfectly reasonable to flaunt how wrong mommy and daddy are!

His reasons are fatuous.

There’s a distinct difference between male and female, not just in what you wear but also within our DNA, the way that we are as boys and the way that we are as girls.

We feel that there’s a political agenda that’s driving and pushing this. Remember we’re talking children that are six years of age.

A six-year-old is not really able to, does not have the mental capacity to work out those kinds of things. It’s such a young age and we’re concerned about that.

We can distinguish biological sex in a number of ways: you can look at the chromosomes, for Barr bodies, for hormones, at anatomy. These are usually, but not always, concordant. But as we look at phenomena like behavior, personality, sexual orientation, it’s not uncommon to find the situation to be far more complicated and for mismatches to arise. And when we look to cultural signifiers, like what clothes you wear or how you style your hair or even how one behaves in public, there is no DNA bias at all — those differences are entirely imposed by culture. To bring up DNA here is try and falsely imply a scientific justification for bigotry. It’s a lie to insist that molecules define your identity.

It’s also obnoxious to disrespect the autonomy and intelligence of six year olds. I remember my kids at six — and they weren’t stupid, unthinking little drones. But then, they weren’t fundamentalist Christians, either.

Yeah, he’s also lying when he claims his objections are driven by scientific evidence. They’re religious nuts.

As Christians, we believe that all people are loved by God. But the school’s behaviour has created a clash between our family’s rights and the imposition of this new ideology.

Allow me to remind you: the school is not imposing anything on their child. The school is allowing someone else’s child to reasonably express their identity, and the Rowes are accusing them of having a political agenda, as if being an intolerant Bible-walloping dorkbag is no agenda at all.

Comments

  1. Matt Cramp says

    @richardelguru: is it a penis?

    I for one depend on molecules to define my identity, specifically that I have the existence in which to express one. I don’t ask for anything more than that from them, because they’ve worked hard enough, under very strict conditions, to get me to where I am today in terms of having a physical form.

    Thank you, molecules. Tholecules.

  2. Sastra says

    But the school’s behaviour has created a clash between our family’s rights and the imposition of this new ideology.

    No, the ideology that God gave the God-centered Family the right to impose its model of God-centeredness on a diverse society is clashing with the reason-and-rights-centered secular values of the Enlightenment. When they use the word “rights,” they don’t mean what we mean.

  3. says

    So.. Apparently these people never went through the, “Prior to the 50s or so, both genders where often put in dresses, since it was easier to clean them up after play time.”, thing that the US did? Yeah, kind of doubt that is the case…

    Or, shorter version – People don’t know history, or have any sense, at all.

  4. jrkrideau says

    5 tororosoba

    I’ll see you (sorry) and raise a portrait of Charles II.
    https://www.google.ca/search?q=portrait+of+Charles+II+as+a+child&tbm=isch&imgil=JGdq0J8Mqb55BM%253A%253BQQXyl1KAGfb55M%253Bhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.pinterest.com%25252Fpin%25252F539869074052462621%25252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=JGdq0J8Mqb55BM%253A%252CQQXyl1KAGfb55M%252C_&usg=__OSEJ3NKvDuIkX-ULHr1uG6P-2_w%3D&biw=743&bih=374&ved=0ahUKEwiBntKglp3WAhUCxoMKHUQCDREQyjcISw&ei=6Ya2WcGFD4KMjwTEhLSIAQ#imgrc=JGdq0J8Mqb55BM:

    I imagine it is expecting too much of most rabid christian fundies to know any real history; from a couple of articles/books I have read they often don’t even know much about the bible. A few cherry-picked verses, yes, the entire bible, not a hope.

    It would be interesting to attend some local bible study class but the likely damage to my blood pressure and digestion make it not worth the risk.

  5. cartomancer says

    They’re from the Isle of Wight. Why am I not surprised?

    Of course, I wouldn’t want to suggest that there’s anything inherently backward, parochial and narrow-minded about the Vectians. It seems they can do that all by themselves. Not exactly doing the island’s reputation many favours, these two…

    On a sadder note, one of my old tutors as an undergraduate died yesterday. Drowned in the sea off Greece where he was on holiday. He was one of the founder members of the university’s LGBT society in the 60s, and played an important role in making my college the tolerant, friendly and welcoming place for people of all genders and orientations that it was when I got there. I’ve also used his translations of Euripides with my own students for years, and occasionally his Latin grammars and course books. More than anything he was a passionate advocate for inclusivity, humanity and tolerance in schools – private and state. He will be missed, but I can take some solace in the fact that James Morwood’s vision of a friendlier, kinder educational world for LGBT people is getting up the noses of horrid bigots like the Rowes. I think that would have cheered him up no end.

  6. jrkrideau says

    @ 6 Kagehi

    People don’t know history

    Nonsense, they watch history movies. Millions have seen Braveheart.

    Just because some historian noticed 102 inaccuracies in the the film, well, actually in the first 2 minutes (1 minute?) of the film is irrelevant.

  7. KG says

    These bigots were sympathetically interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today this morning. It’s worth noting that, as the linked article says, the scvhool is run by the Church of England.

  8. stinkyj says

    I heard the BBC interview this morning. The parent’s main point appeared to be that the child in question wouldn’t make up their mind about what to wear to school and that this was “confusing” for their child. Girls wearing trousers is apparently fine…
    It was also put to Rowe that Transgender people are more prone to depression and suicide due to lack of acceptance, understanding and compassion. His reply was essentially that this isn’t true. Why he wasn’t pushed further on this I don’t know, Today Programme interviewers are usually pretty good at digging a bit deeper.
    Seems like an increasingly widely used tactic in the UK, to claim something that isn’t real (e.g. the great majority of UK population want us to get on with delivering Brexit) or to deny something that is easily backed up.

  9. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    By the way, I also have very manly DNA that gives me hairy legs and arms and back. I also have a very Scottish surname which makes people think I should be wearing a kilt.

    As it happens, I usually wear pants, but I don’t think my DNA nor my surname is to blame.

  10. Holms says

    There’s a distinct difference between male and female, not just in what you wear but also within our DNA, the way that we are as boys and the way that we are as girls.

    Sure, but where in my Y chromosome does the Incompatibility With Dresses gene reside?

  11. irene says

    For some reason I can log in to comment on this post, but not on the one above (and a number of the log-in links have weird redirects on them). Anyway, I was going to say that it might be easier to become a bog body than a fossil.

  12. Siobhan says

    I’m shocked that just because we question the notion that a six-year-old boy can really become a girl, we are transphobic.

    This is a classic bigot tactic. “Questioning” would require some kind of firm basis on which to challenge the move.

    This

    A six-year-old is not really able to, does not have the mental capacity to work out those kinds of things.

    is “answering,” specifically a question that no one asked.

    So no, my Christian dude, you were not deemed transphobic for “questioning.”

  13. gijoel says

    The ‘no’ campaign for the Australian marriage equality survey is based on the idea that little Johnny might become a Jean if it goes through.

    As Christians, we believe that all people are loved by God.

    Ah the love the sinner, hate the sin bullshit. A poor attempt to deflect criticisms of bigotry.

  14. Walter Solomon says

    While it’s very likely, as others have mentioned, that these people lack even a cursory knowledge of Western history, I doubt that’s their main problem.
    Even if they had known of breeching, for instance, they’d still be bigoted dip shits whose withdrawal from said school should be seen as a victory for all involved.

  15. Ganner says

    “The school’s behaviour has created a clash between our family’s rights and the imposition of this new ideology.

    This is the problem with so many people. They think it’s their right to impose their beliefs on others. Having to exist in a world where other people behave in different ways is seen as infringement on them.

  16. Vivec says

    He should have just sent his hypothesis into an Evopsych journal instead. He might be a well-payed professor by this point if he played it smart.

  17. F.O. says

    We feel that there’s a political agenda that’s driving and pushing this.

    Yes. There is. No secret. We leftinazi commie SJW have an agenda of “people should be free to dress the fuck they want”, and put significant effort in pushing it.

  18. chigau (違う) says

    markr1957
    I was 4 months in Suva in 1980.
    Men-in-skirts were everywhere: police, security guards, doormen, waiters, Australian tourists, etc.
    I have no recollection of anyone making a fuss.

  19. KG says

    With reference to PZ’s little picture of a man in a pleated, checked skirt, I recall some American religious right numpty complaining that “the homosexuals are very strong in Scotland” – when Bank of Scotland had been obliged, by bad publicity, to withdraw facilities from his organization of bigots. Given the amount of confusion among such numpties between sexual orientation and gender identity, I did wonder if he’d been watching the Highland Games.

  20. eleanor says

    “We feel that there’s a political agenda that’s driving and pushing this.”

    It certainly is a political agenda on one side at least. The Rowes are being backed by a fundamentalist Christian lobby group which also campaigns against same-sex marriage and parenting, seeks to undermine abortion access, opposes embryo research, wants Christians to be able to discriminate against others in the workplace, and so forth. It’s this organisation’s PR operation which is achieving so much publicity for their view, getting them booked on the news shows, etc (including all over the supposedly “left” or “liberal” BBC).

  21. Alt-X says

    Fixed it: “A Christian is not really able to, does not have the mental capacity to work out those kinds of things. “

  22. Saad says

    As Christians, we believe that all people are loved by God. But…

    Modern American political Christianity in a nutshell right there.

  23. says

    Funny how it’s always someone else who has the ideology, while you have a perfectly reasonable belief structure. Problem is, it’s very hard to acknowledge that yes, what we believe is part of an ideological structure as well, and unfortunately this is a truth both on the political right and the political left.

    microraptor @ 19, holms @18: The “Incompatibility With Dresses” gene is between the “Unable to perform household tasks without constant supervision” gene and the “Skilled at Programming Computers” genes. All of which have been part of human DNA since the beginning of time, or at least since 4004 BC (at which time they spontaneously appeared in the human genome, but only on the Y chromosome).

  24. erock13 says

    Does anyone know of a good catchall site with rebuttals, references, etc., to all of these constantly recurring anti-LGBT arguments? I was hoping to find something similar to talkorigins.org.

  25. emergence says

    I’ve noticed a recurring theme in fundamentalist complaints about LGBT people; fundies think that LGBT people existing in proximity to them is a violation of their rights. Fundies are under the delusion that they have a “right” to not have to see or interact with LGBT people, and this “right” apparently trumps LGBT peoples’ right to express their identity. Fundies either don’t realize or don’t care that they aren’t being forced to do anything and that forcing LGBT people to conform to their standards is a violation of LGBT peoples’ rights.

  26. mesh says

    Doesn’t that pretty much sum up the entire bulk of religious freedom complaints of Christians in Christian majority countries? Anyone that doesn’t automatically accept Christian primacy and grant evangelicals authority on policy and truth are infringing all over their freedoms whether it’s women seeking health care, educators spreading facts that contradict cherished ancient myths, or LGBT existing.

  27. methuseus says

    @emergence #40:

    Fundies are under the delusion that they have a “right” to not have to see or interact with LGBT people, and this “right” apparently trumps LGBT peoples’ right to exist.

    There, fixed that for you.

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