I got the question

You know, the inevitable dumb one.

If there are more than two sexes, name a third one.

The correct answer is, obviously, “Your mom.”

But seriously, if I tell you something is a range or continuum, you don’t refute me by telling me I have to name every shade. When I was a child, I learned that there are 7 colors, precisely 7, in the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Then when I got older I learned that there are hundreds of wavelengths between 400 and 700 nanometers. And then when I got older still I learned that color is the product of combinations of wavelengths, like chords, and the numbers got larger still. And then I learned about photoreception and color vision, and discovered that colors were a property of visual processing derived from context and relative distinctions in illumination and intensity, and there’s nothing fixed about them. I read David Marr in the 1980s, you know.

Then someone comes along and insists that the stuff they learned in kindergarten is the absolute rock solid truth.

Hey, I bet you this person is also one of those who mocks the abbreviation LGBTQIA+ because there are too many letters in it and we keep adding more.


  1. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    You can tell they imagine us to be delusional weirdos who think we’re secretly like that race from that one episode of Star Trek Enterprise where Trip teaches a 3rd sex person about reading and autonomy creating a diplomatic incident, rather than just recognising that biology isn’t all neat and tidy and tied up with a bow, because of course it isn’t, because reality just isn’t as hung up on perfectly distinct categories as humans are.

  2. Silentbob says

    Not only that, but apparently the only reason we have “indigo” and violet was that seven colors was a lucky number.

  3. Silentbob says

    Hormone and chromosome research, attempts to develop new means of human reproduction (life created in, or considerably supported by, the scientist’s laboratory), work with transsexuals, and studies of formation of gender identity in children provide basic information which challenges the notion that there are two discrete biological sexes. That information threatens to transform the traditional biology of sex difference into the radical biology of sex similarity. That is not to say that there is one sex, but that there are many.

    Actual radfem (as opposed to TERF) Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating, 1974.

  4. rblackadar says

    @2 Silentbob
    Hmm, that could be… but my theory about indigo was that they included it because without it, the mnemonic “Roy G. Biv” would be unpronounceable.

    However you may slice it, one interesting bit about the rainbow is that it does not include all the colors. Since the two ends of the spectrum don’t meet in a circle, magenta and its close neighbors are not present.

  5. says

    @7 rblackadar
    my theory about indigo was that they included it because without it, the mnemonic “Roy G. Biv” would be unpronounceable..

    Well, they could have left out violet instead (Roy G. Bi), but then they’d be acknowledging that the rainbow really IS about LGBTQIA+.

  6. raven says

    The actual question should be, how many genders are there?
    As usual, they pretend that gender doesn’t exist and we are all meat robots with a chromosomal central processing unit.

    This is sort of relevant.
    In other organisms, there are more than two sexes.
    The number ranges from 3 to 17,000 sexes and I’m sure we haven’t looked at very many species.

    The slime mold, Physarum polycephalum, also has almost 720 sexes, can move without legs and heals itself in two minutes if cut in half. “The blob is a living being which belongs to one of nature’s mysteries,” said Bruno David, director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, of which the Zoological Park is part.Oct 17, 2019

    The ‘blob’: zoo showcases slime mold with 720 sexes that can …
    The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com › world › oct › the-blob-z.

    “The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum has three different sexes…

    Which fungi has multiple sexes?
    This Fungus Has More Than 17,000 Sexes | The Scientist Magazine®
    While scientists have long suspected that certain species of fungi have thousands or even tens of thousands of biological sexes, the new research employed cutting edge genetic tools to confirm the extreme diversity of sexes in Trichaptum mushrooms.Aug 5, 2022

    This Fungus Has More Than 17,000 Sexes | The Scientist Magazine®
    the-scientist.com https://www.the-scientist.com › news-opinion › this-fung.

    The social amoebas and fungi can have multiple sexes.
    The Trichaptum mushroom has 17,000 sexes.

  7. Snarki, child of Loki says

    Wasn’t there some reporting of a mother and daughter in Wales that were found to have FOUR color receptors in their eyes, so that they perceived colors that the rest of humanity couldn’t?

    Mother and daughter for the same reason that calico cats are all female, I guess.

    Biology is messy

  8. wzrd1 says

    PZ’s rainbow example is one I really could run with, leaving them likely running away – literally.
    Start with a quartz prism displaying the spectrum of natural sunlight, unfiltered. Have them chart out red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and anything else that they see.
    Then, I mark it up with what I can see and suddenly there are three additional violet bands marked and confirmed with a camera. When I still had my natural lens, I saw two additional shades of violet that corresponded to long wave UV and a hint of UV-B. With my synthetic IOL, I see longer wave UV-C as well. Out of focus as hell, which makes sense, as it’s not magic, it’s a mutation and well, physics. If a lens is made for visual spectrum, it’ll not likely focus at all beyond the average visual ability to do so, it’s not designed to do so.
    I’m part of two groups that are approximately 1% of the population, those who can see outside of the normal visual spectrum and the other group being, those incapable of tolerating any statin drug.

  9. hillaryrettig1 says

    Paucity of designers on this site, I see: “Pantone Formula Guides and Solid Chips contain 1,867 solid (spot) Pantone Matching System Colors for printing ink on paper. The majority of these colors are referred to using a three- or four-digit number followed by a C or U.”

  10. msappropriate2x0y says

    I’ve said this a gazillion times to the right-wingers on Yahoo and I’ll say it again: “Sex” is not “gender”. “Gender” = is a cultural construct that refers to traits and styles that we associate with the sexes. …More specifically, the traits and styles of Homo Sapiens (and other hominids). If we were an intelligent evolved race derived from Gibbons, Spotted Hyenas or Cassowaries instead of anthropoid apes, perhaps our notions of “maleness” and “femaleness” would be rather different.

    And this “spectrum” of gender (personality) characteristics is the expected result of the fact that it’s actually our species that is in transition – going from the presumably polygamous mating strategy of our distant ancestors, to the more egalitarian mating strategy of modern humans. Stereotypes are reinforced by selection, but our more recent technological advances have enabled individuals of all manner of characteristics to successfully pass their DNA on to future generations (whereas 1,000 years ago, conditions were probably more favorable towards the most stereotypically “masculine” and “feminine” individuals). Since culture and styles are transient, this means that you cannot define “biological sex” according to cultural ideations; that remains based on constants (i.e. gametes) same as it does with other organisms. Otherwise you’re veering into the “humans are separate from all other creatures” territory of religious fundamentalism.

    IMO one of the main problems is that we don’t have good conceptual terms in the English language that are ascribed to subsets of style characteristics that are often associated with “male” and “female” – that are not also attaching a “gender” qualifier to them — and so people are forever confusing laymen’s superficial gender stereotypes and archetypes — specific to Homo sapiens and hominids — with biological sex in general . The closest I can think of is the Far East concept of Yin and Yang. Note that although they symbolically use a black-and-white symbol, that symbol also depicts fluidity.

  11. drew says

    I object to your trying to lump orientation together with gender. Via projection.

    Also, LGBTQIA+ should be mocked for the same reasons ROYGBIV should – it’s known to be an oversimplification, even in today’s terms. Not enough As and clearly missing some Ps for starts and if they’re supposed to be covered by the plus, then are they somehow “lesser?” It’s not only silly, but really kind of offensive.

  12. Reginald Selkirk says

    @10: Tetrachromacy. Yes, it’s a thing.
    I first learned the rainbow without Indigo. Maybe it’s because I went to Catholic school?

  13. Reginald Selkirk says

    The original question is about sex, not gender.
    So: hermaphrodite. BAM! Done.

  14. says

    I think the LGBTQIA acronym is ugly, unwieldy, and bureaucratic. It sounds like what a committee came up with at 4:45 on a Friday afternoon. It also sounds like a sandwich: lettuce, garlic, bacon, tomato, quinoia, Italian spices, and avocado. (I’ve made that sandwich. On SF sourdough with organic mayo. It’s a full meal.)

    I recommend, in its place, “gender minorities”. This has the virtue of being in clear and colloquial English.

  15. wzrd1 says

    drew @ 13, indeed, LGBTQIA+ is too long and growing ever so much longer as to the point I begin to lose track.
    But, less letters work for me well, so I simply go with PEOPLE. No acronym or other lable, just who and what they are – people.
    Amazing how easy life is for all parties when you treat people like people!

  16. StevoR says

    Queer community. Non-heteronormative. Both those mostly cover it. But no issue with LGBTQUIA either really..

  17. cates says

    wzrd1 @11 :Show off.
    Now I see fewer colours than most, but I pick out those beautiful blue and violet small flowers in the meadow while the rest of you are oohing and aahing about those dull, muddy reds and greens.
    And you’re all out of step, too!

  18. brightmoon says

    I gave up a while ago and call them the alphabet soup people and then apologize for never being able to remember that letter combination!

  19. birgerjohansson says

    Fish, amphobians, reptiles, and birds can see a wider spectrum than we do.
    Non-primate mammals can see fewer colors.
    I have not know about marsupials or monotremes, I guess they have the same restricted color vision as non-primate mammals.

    So DeSantis optimal voters would be…echidnas?

  20. birgerjohansson says

    If you are interested in LBTQ issues, you may know that the Eurovision Song Contest is a campy but fun celebration of all things colorful, including LGBTQ issues. One of the presenters a few years ago really had bigots outraged.

    The finale starts in 55 minutes, FYI.

  21. Pierce R. Butler says

    …there are 7 colors, precisely 7…

    Damned exclusionary rainbows don’t include black, white, brown, gray, silver, mauve, and an innumerable array of other hues apparent to (most) human eyes.

    And the rest of the EM wavelengths get left out in the darkness.

    Down with spectrumism!

  22. wzrd1 says

    brightmoon, it’s easy. ROY G BIVVV.

    birgerjohansson, you might check this. Apparently, monotremes are UV sensitive, with some cells unidentified as to sensitivity. Mixed bag with marsupials, which seem to be all over the map in chromacy.
    At least, that’s what I got from a couple of minutes skimming the paper.

  23. says

    When we are working with colors on the computer, the current full color gamut is 16 million colors. Not limited to Pantone which is usually only limited mixtures of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). There are transmissive (pun intended) and reflective colors. 256 gray-scale shades. And, there is a vast continuum of colors and varied humans that is uncountable. Why do people have to be so bigotedly, ignorantly focused on a sex and gender fetish??? It’s because the rtwingnut xtian terrorists are so tiny minded and intolerant of anyone who does not conform to their ‘norms’. Welcome to the apocalypse!

  24. says

    And, remember, all of human perception is limited. The entire spectrum of human variations is like the full electro-magnetic spectrum. From 1Hz to 10²⁵ hertz. And, Roy G. Biv is but a tiny fraction of that continuum. What we see should not limit what we mentally, intellectually envision. As many have posted here, the categorization of people should not be limited to a specific number of letter abbreviations. We should appreciate and celebrate all the countless variations of sex, gender, ethnicity, mental and physical capability, etc. We need to focus on quality of character and beneficial intent. End of my rant (for now). Thank you PZ for allowing us to contribute.

  25. moonslicer says

    To those wondering how to refer to gender non-conforming people generally and who don’t like the LGBTQIA, etc.: one I rather like myself is “the Quiltbag”, as in, e.g., “everybody in the Quiltbag.” Those letters cover lots/most of us.

  26. Steve Morrison says

    @27: Another catchall term I’ve seen is GSRM, for “gender, sexual, and romantic minorities.”

    @10: Here is an article on tetrachromacy.

  27. says

    Dear @27 moonslicer, quiltbag is a nice term. However, I want you, and everyone here who has unique individual sensory or other characteristics to know, I, and so many others, value you as a person, not just for, or in spite of, any specific label someone may apply to you.

  28. Reginald Selkirk says

    @22: Fish, amphobians, reptiles, and birds can see a wider spectrum than we do.

    Get out of here with your vertebrate bias. Mantis shrimp are the ones to beat.

  29. NitricAcid says

    I remember being astounded in grade ten biology when the teacher insisted we had to learn the mnemonic ROYGBIV. I couldn’t believe that anyone would need a mnemonic to remember that orange was between red and yellow, or that green was between blue and yellow.

    And “indigo” can rot along with Newton’s ideas about alchemy. It’s blue, ffs. And what Newton called “blue” might be called cyan if you want to split hairs or wavelengths.

    (I know, wikipedia says that it’s a shade of purple and that it has nothing to do with the actual dye called indigo. But that’s like saying that orange is a greenish-yellow, and has nothing to do with the fruit it’s named after.)

  30. Allison says

    All of this debating over the number of sexes is a red herring.
    “Sex” and “gender” are social categories that people get assigned to at birth, much the way people were assigned “white” or “black” at birth.

    And in both cases, dividing up humanity into “male” and “female”, much like dividing them into “black” and “white”, is about maintaining a certain power structure. Being assigned “female” has certain social consequences that are very different from being assigned “male.” If people are able to switch from one category to another, or opt out entirely, it threatens the power structure.

    THAT is what the fight is about — maintaining a certain system of rights and obligations and privilege and oppression. And brainwashing everyone into believing this is a property of reality, not just a social system that people came up with.

    It’s why so many people — many trans people in particular — get rather angry if you say that gender (or sex) is a social construct. They’ve built their lives and their self-image (“identity”) on the rock of the sex/gender system, and we’re saying it’s all made up.

  31. gijoel says

    Rainbows are actually in black and white, just like everything else in the world. Blue, green and indigo were invented by Big Colour to sell paint and lead us away from Jesus. Subscribe to my subStack and I’ll reveal the truth. /s.

  32. Allison says

    wzrd1 @ 18

    drew @ 13, indeed, LGBTQIA+ is too long and growing ever so much longer as to the point I begin to lose track.
    But, less letters work for me well, so I simply go with PEOPLE. No acronym or other lable, just who and what they are – people.

    The problem is that at the moment, “people” by default denotes (binary) cisgender, heterosexual, and often white and male. We came up with “all these letters” (= terms) to make people conscious that not everyone is cis and het (and full of “sex drive”.)

    It’s the same reason feminists are not willing to accept he/him as generic pronouns.

    BTW, this IMHO the reason some people try to claim that “cis” is a slur. They don’t like a term that makes explicit that only some people are the way they are, i.e., cis. They’d rather use the old nomenclature — normal people vs. perverts.

  33. Sphinx of Black Quartz says

    I’m fond of “queer” as a descriptor. It’s simple, broadly inclusive, and emphasizes solidarity. (And, of course, it’s a reminder that no matter what flavor of queer you are, the same people want you gone.) If you need a more academic term, GSRM (gender, sexual, and romantic minorities) works, though it make require some explaining. I also use FABGLITTER sometimes, but that’s probably best reserved for in-group language. (That is, it’s probably best not to use it if it doesn’t apply to you.)

    I recommend avoiding “alphabet soup,” “rainbow people,” and other terms typically used as sneer phrases by reactionaries. They can send quite the wrong message. (Unless you’re trying to communicate that you also wish queer people would go away and stop existing, in which case it’s probably sending the intended message.)

  34. Ada Christine says

    yay another thread about transphobia became a debate about nomenclature and semantics

    fucking seriously

  35. chrislawson says

    It’s not just hundreds, there are an infinite number of possible wavelengths in the colour spectrum (well, unless space is quantized, but I’m told current evidence makes that unlikely…and even if space is quantized, there will be so many possible wavelengths that they might as well be infinite from a practical perspective).

    As for that ‘name a third gender’ alt-right rhetorical bullshit, plenty of non-Western cultures acknowledge and have words for genders other than male and female. And even if that were not true, when we discover (or come to accept) anything new we come up with names for them. I guess the person who posed that question refuses to acknowledge the existence of Jupiter’s moons.

    There are no upper or lower bounds on the EM spectrum.

    Allison@33 —
    You’re absolutely right that the whole sex definition issue is separate to gender definition, however I would argue that while biological sex is a real biological phenomenon, the definitions used by the transphobes are social constructs, drawn from research that is now centuries out of date, imposed upon the body of evidence rather than empirically defensible.

    Categorising atoms by their proton number on the periodic table is limited but useful because it is incredibly predictive of physicochemical properties. But what purpose is served by welding a spectacularly narrow binary category to humans which we know to be wrong on many levels, then stupidly applying that categorisation to organisms that have completely different polymorphisms to humans, and then having stupidly extended that already stupid model to non-humans, reapplying it to humans on the basis that it is fundamental to all of biology? Well, clearly the value of this model has nothing to do with better understanding the world.

    The standard transphobic arguments are as wrong about sex as they are about gender. Of course, you’re completely right that even if the transphobe model of sex were correct (which it isn’t!), it still wouldn’t apply to gender. And I don’t want to distract from the key issue, which is human rights rather than the complexities of biological categorisation.

  36. wzrd1 says

    chrislawson, I’m of the view of some degree of quantized space, after all, there is a Planck length that doesn’t seem to simply be arbitrary. Which then brings the question, what happens if EM wavelength falls below that length?
    At a certain point, the math does suggest that an EM wave could become its own singularity, which of course, would promptly evaporate.

    As for gender/sex/whatever, the only time it should matter is perhaps, in some mating preferences that are mutual or always, in regards to specific medical issues that are present in those with specific chromosomal/organ possession. Such as many autoimmune diseases being more prevalent in those who own(ed) ovaries, germ line cancers, etc.
    Beyond such narrow purposes, frankly, I’m flat out of fucks to give about what equipment one has and I typically just start addressing someone without a name I’ve probably forgotten (I’m infamously horrible with names and amazed I don’t forget my own) or gender, as professionally, such things don’t matter. Few people even notice.
    One downside of such “blindness” is, I’ll likely fuck up on the few times I do use a gendered term, if one has a preference and I’ll have to be reminded until repetition makes it automatic.
    And oddly, people of all persuasions tend to enjoy my company. Well, other than the small minded everythingphobics.

    Well, just realized I need to make up a small shopping list. Used my last can of asparagus and I know I need one can of crushed tomatoes to have enough for two single gallon batches of pasta sauce, alas, there’s something else that irritated me that I forgot, which I’m forgetting again…

  37. Allison says

    chrislawson @40

    … I would argue that while biological sex is a real biological phenomenon,…

    The various biological characteristics that go into what we call “sex” are real.

    The classification of organisms into the two classes “male” and “female” (or any other set of classes) is social. (All classification of things is a human, i.e., social phenomenon.)

    That is the point that PZ et al. keep trying to make. Without much success, apparently.

  38. Allison says

    Ada Christine @38

    yay another thread about transphobia became a debate about nomenclature and semantics

    fucking seriously


  39. chrislawson says


    I’m not sure you meant to, but it really looks like you’re trying to chastise me by completely misrepresenting what I said.

  40. chrislawson says

    Or maybe not…looking at it again, I take it you were extending the argument I made, in which case I completely agree. The idea that we should classify sexual and polymorphisms with a single, rigidly binary category, is an entirely social construct.

  41. Silentbob says

    # 45

    This thread must stop immediately. A cis person feels chastised by a set of neutral statements. Will no one ever think of the cis?!


  42. Silentbob says

    In the unlikely possibility anyone still doesn’t get it. Go to
    make sure the left pane is set to “detect language”
    set the right pane to English
    in the left pane type in “chigau”

    It’s basically pidgin Japanese for “troll”.

    This dickhead who is almost certainly a young MRA in his mom’s basement has been trolling FtB for literally years.

    You’re welcome.

  43. rietpluim says

    Why on earth would someone have to be taught how many colors there are in the rainbow? Unless you’re visually impaired, you can just look at the darn thing, can’t you?

  44. erik333 says

    @53 rietplum
    I don’t know about you… but i rarely have a rainbow handy when i need one. ;) its mostly for learning the names of some colors tho for kindergarteners I imagine.

  45. Silentbob says

    By the way I’ve decided from now on my name is Damasarenai hito (騙されない 人).

    (Just kidding. If anyone actually calls me by this stupid pseudo Japanese name, I will be just as disgusted as some troll white boy wanker calling himself “chigau”.)

  46. chigau (違う) says

    Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

  47. wzrd1 says

    Oh, can I have a porcupine too? They’re just so cuddly!
    And prickly, if one isn’t careful. Just the way I like my companions.

    And I fart in several specific general directions…

  48. chigau (違う) says

    In the Olden Days on Pharyngula, a common insult was to suggest that the person find the rotting carcass of a porcupine and insert it into whatever bodily orifice they chose.

  49. StevoR says

    If my rusty memory of learning Nihongo suffices ‘chigau’ means different and often gets used in as away of politely saying ‘no’ or ‘disagree.’ Its been a decade plus, well, yikes, another decade and I’ve forgotten toomuch now but still FWIW.

    Regardless chigau is definitley NOT a troll and a very longstanding regular here so I’m surprised you could possibly think that Silentbob.

  50. StevoR says

    ___________________________________ ^ is ..

    That’s : chigau is definitley NOT a troll and is a very longstanding regular here ..

    One I respect.

  51. Rob Grigjanis says

    Silentbob @51: Regarding your assessment of chigau: It’s hard to imagine you being more wrong. So much for “person who is not deceived”.

  52. chigau (違う) says

    Yeah. I’m a bit worried. Do I really come across as an adolescent male?

  53. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau @64: You have nothing to worry about. Silentbob might as well have said that up is actually down.

  54. BACONSQAUDgaming says

    PZ, if I were the person who asked the question (and I wasn’t!), I think that they would argue that you didn’t answer the question, responded with an ad hominem, and then made a false comparison between sex and light as a diversion or distraction. At the very least you should have explained why the question was flawed; or if you are going to claim sex is a continuum like light, then you need to give at least one other sex example. Otherwise the questioner is going to claim that to their friends/followers, and if they come here to check, they aren’t going to find much to refute their claim.

  55. brightmoon says

    @wzrd1 ROY G BIVVV😂. The only reason I remember that one ( sorta) is because I’m an artist (also sorta) and I learned that in elementary school.

    @ whoever, I wasn’t aware that alphabet soup was used as a derogatory statement for the complexity of human sexuality. Thanks for the update

  56. StevoR says

    @67. BACONSQAUDgaming :

    I think that they would argue that you didn’t answer the question,

    PZ literally did answer the question so no. He’s dedicated this whole blog post to it.

    responded with an ad hominem

    Sigh, someone else who doesn’t know what an ad hominem is.. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_hominem

    PZ was snarky, yes, (nothing wrong with that) but he didn’t simply attack the person asking the question though or say it was wrong because of who said it – and that’s someone we don’t know and doesn’t matter for the answer and point here.

    ..then made a false comparison between sex and light as a diversion or distraction.

    Why do you think – sorry, why would you think the person who asked the question who wasn’t you would think – the comparison between the spectrum of visual light and the spectrum of human gender identities* is false rather than valid?

    At the very least you should have explained why the question was flawed..

    PZ did. Albiet you’ve missed it.

    Then someone comes along and insists that the stuff they learned in kindergarten is the absolute rock solid truth- PZ Myers.

    Most people would grok what PZ Myers is saying there especially after the analogy to colour being a spectrum. Namely that a simple binary black and white reductionist model that is basic (such as the type of explanation you’d provide for a kindergarten aged child) is insufficient and is not a true reflection of reality. Because reality is more complicated and diverse and complete than the simple reductionist child-level understanding shown by, well, transphobes basically. IOW. the question is flawed because the premise of the question is flawed and based on a mistaken binary understanding of something that is NOT binary in nature.

    I wouldn’t have expected to need to deconstruct this in this much depth because the question here is a fairly very obvious supposed “Gotcha!” type disingenuous question with its tone and context indicating it is being asked in bad faith.

    See :

    If there are more than two sexes, name a third one.- Unknown questioner

    Emphais added.

    Is like saying “If men evolved from monkeys, name an between species of “ape man?” (Homo rudolfensis) Or “..why are there still monkeys?” (Because not all monkeys evolved and why expect monkeys to disappear just because some of them turned into humans.) It is easy to give a simple rebuttal like mine in brackets here but the creationist asking the question is only going to ignore the answers just like the committed transphobes deny the answers people give to rebutt them.

    Its also a question that has well known answers found in seconds by searching google if it was asked in good faith e.g.


    If someone was genuinely curious rather than simply using a rhetorical supposed gotcha tactic.

    This does involve some reading between the lines but really not very much. Hence PZ’s :

    Hey, I bet you this person is also one of those who mocks the abbreviation LGBTQIA+ because there are too many letters in it and we keep adding more.

    Which, FYI, is NOT an ad hominem fallacy nor part of the answer to the original question but an additional inference and expansion based on the truth that people that ask transphobic questions are generally homophobic as well and the sort of person that says X – in this case the transphobic supposed gotcha – is also the sort of person who will say Y – in this case denigrating queer people and using derogatary terms for their identities and existence.

    All of which PZ could have said, had he chosen to waste his time arguing and explaining, well, all the above to a bigot who is asking the question in bad faith and presumably won’t accept a reasonable answer. Thus PZ giving the reply and implied contempt the unknown questioner deserves in the joke answer of “Your Mom” rather than this sort of analysis and assessment I’ve provided in this response to definitely your comment or PZ giving simple examples like, say, Non-Binary, Genderfluid, Intersex, Agender etc.. The latter being correct but also plain and less entertaining and perhaps less effective.

    you need to give at least one other sex example – BACONSQAUDgaming**

    Done above. Satisfied now?

    .* For example as summed up here : https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gender#/media/File:Genderbread_Person.jpg via Rational wiki’s gender identity section of the Gender page there.

    .** It has not escaped my notice here that BACONSQAUDgaming is a gender neutral nymn and doesn’t reveal your gender – nor do I care whether you are non-binary, agender, genderfluid, female or male, bot or whatever else you might be. It dosn’t affect this argument or discussion at all. Go figure huh?

  57. rietpluim says

    BTW some people seem to be unaware that English actually has four genders.
    Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Miss.

  58. BACONSQAUDgaming says

    I think you missed the context of my post: “If I were the person who asked the question”

    I’m assuming the person doesn’t agree with PZ’s opinions, and is the type to post the response on another website. So the only answer PZ gave to his question was: “Your mom.” If there was another direct answer to the specific question, then I missed it. I would have also taken the response as an insult to me, which loosely would be an attack on my character, and hence an ad hominem (attacking a person’s character rather than engaging with the argument).

    My point was that I think PZ might be overestimating the intelligence or ability to perceive nuance of the questioner. (Yes, I know I’m opening up myself to your inevitable response) They might also disagree with the metaphor. If the questioner argued that personal motorized road vehicles only have 2 or 4 wheels, asking for an example of another, and then PZ went on about weight being a spectrum, I would feel he was avoiding the question with an in appropriate comparison. At least you said Non-Binary, Genderfluid, Intersex, Agender etc., although the questioner might respond that you are confusing sex and gender.

    Incidentally, you seem to have taken my comment in a much more hostile way than I intended. It was merely meant as a critique, in that it plays well to PZ’s base, but wouldn’t sway others who are on the fence, or who disagree with him.

    “It has not escaped my notice here that BACONSQAUDgaming is a gender neutral nymn” Unfortunately you are chasing a red herring in this case, as this is entirely due to a software accident. When my kids were setting up their Chromebooks for school, one of them hit the wrong selection, and their Google handle automatically became the primary login for the entire family’s google accounts. We’ve been trying to rectify the problem since it happened, but we’re still stuck with it. So while we all have our own google accounts, this is the annoying one that comes up when I login here. We don’t even have the Chromebooks anymore, but none of the suggestions from the Google store have helped fix the problem, and I don’t feel like making a completely new Google account.

  59. rietpluim says

    In the Netherlands, feminists call Miss “the third gender”. Nowadays every woman is called Mrs. regardless of her marital status.

  60. logicalcat says

    The “Your mom” joke here reminds me of one i recently saw regarding the separation of sex and gender. In responding to someone trying to say sex is inseparable to gender, say “of course sex and gender are separate, I didn’t have gender with your mom last night.”

  61. starskeptic says

    PZ, I’m surprised you didn’t work the word ‘quantum’ into your argument.