Are we born without gender?

Rhuan was a nine-year-old Brazilian boy with the whole life ahead of him. His mother took him and left his dad when the boy was four. She entered a relationship with a woman, and they formed a lesbian couple. In 2019, the couple mutilated the boy’s body by cutting off his penis and sewing on homemade female parts because the boy, according to them, “wanted to be a girl”. The boy’s mother wasn’t satisfied, and they butchered his little body by attempting to gouge out his eyes and stabbing him multiple times. Until he no longer moved, no longer cried and screamed, no longer wondered why his mommy would do this, why the only person he had in the world would do this. The mother confessed that they did it because he reminded her of his father too much. His innocence, his childhood, his first love, his chance in life all taken away from him, chopped into pieces by the person who gave him life.

This heart-breaking story is an extreme case and no doubt both women are utter and complete monsters who deserve to rot in prison. It happened in a developing country so we can blame it on many factors other than ideologies. However, this horrible crime exposes what lack of education and information can sometimes lead to. It does lead to children being taught in school that it is possible for men to give birth in the name of education. Toddlers are put in front of performing drag queens in the name of entertainment. Kids who are confused about their gender are given “gender reassignment” treatment in the name of progress. A treatment which is often irreversible. The conversation about gender is silenced if it doesn’t affirm the view that men can become women and women can become men. I believe that by muting voices like mine, we are making a big mistake and doing an enormous harm to children, and we strip them off their childhood and take away their future. I will argue that we are not born without gender and that male and female is what mother nature expects of us and we should not disappoint her.

Do you remember when the world was dominated by two genders? There was male and there was female – man and woman, groom and the bride. There was mother and there was father. Things aren’t that simple anymore. Turns out, our gender, as some activists will have you believe, is assigned to us at birth and it’s up to us, later in life, to decide if we identify with the gender given to us or not. If we do, it makes us “cis gender”. If we don’t, we are trans-gender. The activists are convinced that the odds are fifty-fifty.

For as long as I can remember I’ve always been aware of men who thought they were women. I remember, as a kid, even believing they were born in the wrong bodies. Somehow it made sense. Perhaps this is what I heard on TV. We are talking about 20 – 25 years ago in white, Catholic Poland, as well. You’d never see a transsexual, as they were called back in the day, in the real life. They only appeared in American movies from time to time. And the only image I remember from those days is of them existing on the outskirts of society.

Fast forward to 2023 and the words transvestite and transsexual have been deleted from our language and are considered offensive. You’re not only rude if you use one of these words, but also if you “misgender” someone, “deadname” them or fail to acknowledge that men can become women and vice versa. In some cases, being guilty of any of the above has led to social media bans or even home visits by the police. Some trans people even claim that if you don’t refer to yourself as cis-gender, you’re a transphobe.

In 2021, Canadian father was jailed for failing to refer to his daughter by her preferred pronouns. His teenage daughter identified as a man and had her mother’s full support and encouragement. Heartbroken dad not only lost his family, but was ordered to use his child preferred pronouns. Think about it: the court attempted to force someone to speak what he didn’t believe to be true. It’s one thing to censor certain speech, it’s quite another to force speech on someone. When he refused, he was jailed. I’ve heard of many cases like this and it is always the father who fights for his child’s innocence while the mother with the support of the state is fully on board with the child’s transition.

I am sure the majority of trans-people just want to be left alone and live their lives in peace. It is, however, the activists (who aren’t necessarily trans themselves) who push for certain narratives. They’ve even managed to attach their movement to gay and lesbian activism, while claiming that switching genders and being attracted to the same sex doesn’t make anyone gay. It’s all very confusing, indeed.

I don’t want to talk about the many flaws and inconsistencies of the trans movement. I will, instead, focus on something I haven’t seen many people talk about. The idea, as promoted by activists, that we are all born without gender and only later establish our gender identity. The terms “cis-gender” invented for people who identify with their biological sex, and “gender assigned at birth” illustrate this idea perfectly. We’ve never heard these before. They just appeared when the trans movement gained some momentum and attached itself to the left ideology and feminism and now it is considered insensitive to not use these terms when talking about trans issues. It is now considered offensive if you as a straight person, for example, don’t refer to yourself as cis because that means you consider trans to be the abnormal rather than part of the human experience. If you don’t say that your child’s gender was assigned at birth, you’re saying we are born with it, thus rejecting trans ideology. You’re suggesting that being “normal” is the default setting for humans and they don’t like it.

We are – as much as many people hate to admit – just a species of animals. We just happen to be the only ones who are aware of our existence. We can think, predict, hope, dream and regret. We can override our instincts, drives and nature by simply saying no to them. We are much like other animals though. We seek pleasure and avoid pain. That’s how we survive. If an alien scientist came down to study the life on our planet, he would study humans the same way we study frogs or mice. He’d observe our behaviour, feeding habits and mating strategies. He’d make predictions and notice sex differences between males and females. He’d note how bizarre the male competition for females is and how sophisticated the competition between females is. He’d perhaps visit a nightclub and witness human males and human females trying to attract each other in strange but predictable ways. Men would do it by displaying their status or faking it and women by exposing their feminine bodies and hiding their imperfections. The alien scientist would conclude that humans are not much different from the rest of the species. He’d write his alien book arguing that humans have taken over the planet, shaped it to their advantage and even though they are on the weaker side, they’ve managed to make other animals fear them. They’re smart and clever, but they are still largely dependent on their innate instincts and drives for survival. They think they have free will, but their nature and survival instinct keep that free will in check at all times. They’ve recently started to rebel against their nature because they find it doesn’t fit their current lifestyle. 99.99% of them don’t understand their own biology, psychology and evolution and dare to question it with signs and hashtags. They don’t realise that their vary nature has been shaped for millions of years when their world was much different than what it became in the last hundred or so years. They feel burdened by their nature. They want to be free from it but can’t. Some even claim that the diet that has served them well for thousands of generations is, all of sudden, making them ill.

He would also learn about evolution. He would study and understand the process that has led thousands of animal species to where they are now, including humans. He would name the process, sexual selection.

Sexual selection is a simple concept, but one I was unaware of until I started reading about human nature and evolution. Natural selection and survival of the fittest is what we all know from school, but I don’t remember being taught about the sexual selection, which is the driving force of evolution. Perhaps because it wasn’t always the leading theory in evolution. Natural selection told us that animals evolve traits and characteristics which help them adapt to their environment and survive in it. Traits that help them catch prey and avoid being eaten. Those who were best adapted were also popular with the opposite sex and passed on these survival traits to the next generation.

The theory of sexual selection tells us that, while strength, speed or camouflage are good for survival, animals evolve them to attract mates, not solely to live another day. Furthermore, animals evolve many traits and characteristics which have nothing to do with survival and sometimes even put animals at a disadvantage. The peacock’s tail is the most brought up example in the literature. Peacocks grow big and colourful tails because peahens find them attractive. They signal good health and good genes. A big tail is a luxury and it tells the female that this peacock “can afford” to have such an amazing tail because he is healthy, free of parasites and has managed to avoid being eaten so far. It’s like a man driving an expensive car. He is showing his abundance of resources and he increases his status relative to other men. Many women are drawn to a resourceful man because of his ability to provide for their children. Peahens are drawn to an impressive tail of a peacock because they want their sons to be popular with the ladies too. What she will pass on to her daughters is the preference for a big tail. This then keeps the evolution and growth of the peacock’s tail over generations, and it is influenced by the female preference. Males across species spend every waking hour showing off to females and fighting off rivals. This is why males grow big and strong – not to fight off a predator  – but to compete for sexual access to females with other males.

Humans are no different. Men compete with other men for the attention of women. Women compete in their own ways for the attention of high-quality men. Men compete by showing off their resources or lying about them, while women compete by enhancing their looks, exposing parts of the body which signal youthfulness, fertility and health. There are many other ways we try to attract members of the opposite sex and ways in which we compete for them, but I won’t get into them.

Just as other animals, we are born with traits and characteristics passed on to us for countless generations and our job is to use them to attract a partner. It is my personal belief that with billions of people on the planet, our evolution will now significantly slow down because everyone is having children, not just the “fittest” members of both sexes. On the ruthless mating market in the animal kingdom, if you don’t poses superior genes, you’re out of the market and your genes die with you. It is different with humans because all genes are being passed on, not just those that would have been sexually selected in the past.

Sexual selection is still taking place and men and women are enslaved by it when choosing their partner, but it is much more complex than in the savannah. Women still pick men who meet their standards and it’s usually a man who is taller than them (although they often prefer a man taller than other men), fit and has a good job. They prefer a man who is funny and confident and dominant. These are some of the traits our ancestral mothers have always found attractive in men, and these are the traits that have been passed on to their sons and the preference for these traits to their daughters. As I said above, as our population grew larger and larger, women couldn’t marry the best and genetically gifted men but the best out of, let’s say, their social circles. Of course, historically speaking, women couldn’t always marry men they wanted, but they would still pass on their preferences to their daughters. On the other hand, for most of the human existence females had children with top quality males, meaning most males never passed on their inferior genes. I can only speculate that this didn’t change much after the invention of agriculture, when the richest men were the ones who had the most kids and most men, especially young men, died on the field of battle or simply didn’t have anything to offer to a woman compared to a king or a landowner.

Since all our traits, behaviours and characteristics exist to help us on the mating market, it makes no sense that nature would allow men to become women. Nature needs us to be men and women. If it didn’t, it would make it possible to become one or the other. It needs us in our roles – masculine and feminine. It’s gives women mating preferences and it equips men with traits based on those preferences. It even makes our preferences compliment each other. Men are attracted to younger women and women are attracted to older men. Women like taller men. Men like shorter women. Women want someone funny. Men want someone who laughs at their jokes. Nature has made it simple for us to meet a partner and yet it is so difficult and complicated at the same time.

The bottom line is this. We are not born without gender. If someone struggles to accept their identity, it is clearly a mental health issue and should be treated as such. Now, I’m not saying adults shouldn’t be allowed to do what they want with their bodies, but we should at least be able to discuss this subject freely without the fear of cancellation and censorship. The ability to have this conversation would allow parents of “trans kids” to make better choices for their children. By hearing my side of the argument, we can allow these children to develop properly and make their own choices when they are of age to fully understand their consequences. By making people understand that it is impossible to become the opposite sex, they might think twice before putting kids through the irreversible changes and surgeries before they can fully consent to them. By making them understand that you cannot become a boy or a girl, that gender is not assigned at birth but something that is determined at conception, we can save many kids from their parents’ ignorance and ideology poised minds.