Who didn’t see THIS coming?
As if everything on the planet isn’t already racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic, or other such nonsense, a new controversy is brewing among anthropologists about archeologists identifying ancient human remains by gender. No, you haven’t accidentally stumbled over to The Babylon Bee.
Before we continue, let’s revisit a couple of definitions, according to Merriam-Webster:
Archeology: the scientific study of material remains (such as tools, pottery, jewelry, stone walls, and monuments) of past human life and activities; remains of the culture of a people.
Anthropology: the science of human beings, especially: the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture.
George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley summed up the crazy, perfectly:
Professors are objecting to identifying ancient human remains by biological gender because they cannot gauge how a person identified at that the [sic] time. Others are objecting to identifying race as a practice because it fuels white supremacy.
Of course, not — and of course.
Besides, “misgendering” ancient human remains is disrespectful as hell. Or something.
Professors are objecting to identifying ancient human remains by biological gender because they cannot gauge how a person identified at that the time. Others are objecting to identifying race as a practice because it fuels white supremacy. https://t.co/z83gUhoeUv
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) July 18, 2022
As reported by The College Fix, gender activists [rolling-eyes emoji] are actually pushing to bar archeologists from identifying remains as “male” or “female,” arguing that scientists cannot possibly know how ancient humans self-identified. Enjoying the ride on the crazy train, so far?
Emma Palladino who is seeking an advanced archeology degree and is a self-proclaimed “rightful heir of Ilsidur” — a bizarre reference to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings —tweeted this whacked-out gem, in early July, as part of a seven-tweet, crock of crap missive:
My trans+non-binary friends: you might know the argument that the archaeologists who find your bones one day will assign you the same gender as you had at birth, so regardless of whether you transition, you can’t escape your assigned sex. Let me tell you why that’s bullshit.
Please, professor, I await your explanation with bated breath. Alas, you can’t view the following, because Palladino limits who can view her tweets.
My trans+non-binary friends: you might know the argument that the archaeologists who find your bones one day will assign you the same gender as you had at birth, so regardless of whether you transition, you can’t escape your assigned sex. Let me tell you why that’s bullshit. 1/
— Emma Palladino🏺 (@EmmaPalladino) July 4, 2022
It got worse, with Palladino going on to say, as noted by College Fix:
Labeling remains ‘male’ or ‘female’ is rarely the end goal of any excavation, anyway. The ‘bioarchaeology of the individual’ is what we aim for, factoring in absolutely everything we discover about a person into a nuanced and open-ended biography of their life.
Huh? Obviously over my head.
Gender activists have now formed a group called Trans Doe Task Force to “explore ways in which current standards in forensic human identification do a disservice to people who do not clearly fit the gender binary.” (If your eyes have already glazed over, you’re not alone.)
The group’s mission statement reads:
We propose a gender-expansive approach to human identification by combing missing and unidentified databases looking for contextual clues such as decedents wearing clothing culturally coded to a gender other than their assigned sex.
We maintain our own database of missing and unidentified people who we have determined may be Transgender or gender-variant, as most current database systems do not permit comparison of missing to unidentified across different binary sex categories.
Lemme translate: “We look for every excuse possible — including sciencey, really smart-sounding, meaningless nonsense, in an attempt to justify our predetermined anti-gendering position.”
However, San Jose State archaeology Professor Elizabeth Weiss says eliminating gender classifications amounts to “ideologically-motivated fudging.” Weiss told College Fix a move exists among academics “toward getting all of the academy’s favored shibboleths to accord with one another,” further explaining:
Some early anthropologists sometimes mistook some robust female skeletons as male skeletons, particularly in the Aleut and Inuit collections; this reinforced false stereotypes that females were not as hard-working as males.
Over time, biological anthropologists and archaeologists worked hard to determine which traits are determined by sex, regardless of time and culture. This new policy of erasing this progress is a step back for science and women.
Sexing skeletal remains is a critical skill in forensics and any diminishing of this skill will negatively impact criminal investigations, denying the victims and their families justice.
Weiss has paid a steep price for her forthright professional opinion, which appears to be based on data and scientific facts — as opposed to a radical wokified agenda; she is currently suing San Diego State for locking her out of its human remains collection, which she says is retribution for her position opposing the repatriation of human remains.
Turns out, Professor Weiss apparently overestimated the market for her professional scientific opinion within the no-longer-hallowed — but very much woke — halls of academia.
Someone in academia who does appear to agree with Professor Weiss is Professor Turley. In a piece on his website, Turley mused about the above insanity (emphasis, mine):
[I]t would seem that gender does reflect physical distinctions that impact elements of society, migration, and other relevant issues. In the end, you can collect this data and reach your own conclusions. If there were non-binary Neanderthals, I would frankly love to read about them. […]
However, given the reliance on legal and political events by some of these writers, it is worth having a broader debate over whether such concerns should be used to limit scientific inquiry or classification on these points.
It would seem to some of us that the focus should be not on the collection but the importance given such data.
Then again, virtually nothing in today’s America is immune to being viewed through the political lenses of predisposed positioning, vs. on the basis of objectivity, facts, data, history, or logic.
Think about it. Objectively, of course.
Related on RedState:
UCLA Professor Gives up Tenure in Moving Letter Decrying ‘Ideological Takeover’
Forensic Anthropologists Say ‘Cloaked’ Whiteness Soils Science, Cops Care Less About BIPOC Bones
HOT TAKES: ‘Transfeminist Bioethicist’ Calls ‘Gendering Animals’ Wrong, Only Serves to ‘Normalize’ Gender
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