If you decide to talk about gender online, you’re going to run into a lot of bad arguments.

(so here are some responses)

Biological Sex and the Sciences

“Intersex people prove that sex is a spectrum, not a binary.”

“Scans show that transgender people’s brains match the sex they identify with.”

“Biological sex isn’t important in daily life – most of us don’t even know what chromosomes we have.”

Gender and Society

“You’re just obsessed with people’s genitals!”

“Defining ‘man’ and ‘woman’ with reference to particular kinds of bodies is biological essentialism.”

“If you say you believe in the gender binary, then you’re agreeing with conservatives.”

“Policing transgender women just makes it easier to police other vulnerable women, like lesbians and women of color.”

“Sex-based definitions of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ reduce people to their genitals or reproductive organs.”

“The concerns people have about trans women now are the same concerns previous generations had about gays and lesbians.”

“Dismissing transgender identities is racist because some indigenous cultures have third-gender roles.”

“No one would ever transition just to get a scholarship, win a race, or otherwise gain some unfair advantage over women.”

“Human rights aren’t up for debate!”

Language and Law

“The exclusion of trans women from women’s spaces is just like racial segregation during the Jim Crow era.”

“Gender-neutral pronouns are no big deal – people have been using the singular they for centuries.”

“You can’t assume that every trans person is dangerous based on the actions of a few.”

“Sex segregation doesn’t help – if a predator wants to assault someone, a sign on the door won’t stop them.”