Setting aside the fact that nowhere in my piece do I assert that “sex is fluid,” whether this phrase is false or true depends on one’s definition of “sex” and “fluid.” Nevertheless, there are a a number of very thoughtful and intelligent people who have demonstrated that biological sex exists on a spectrum, both for humans and much of the animal kingdom. And some animals, indeed, have the ability to change sexes for a variety of reasons. Check out the writing of Joan Roughgarden, Anne Fausto-Sterling, and Bruce Bagemihl.

The reason that you should care about pronouns is that we live in a society that places a high premium on a person’s gender and use of pronouns appropriate to that gender is generally viewed as polite and respectful interpersonal relations.

That doesn’t seem like rocket science…

Michael J. Murphy, MA, PhD, is Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Illinois. He is the author of many book chapters, and encyclopedia and journal articles. Most recently he edited Living Out Loud: An Introduction to LGBTQ History, Society, and Culture (Routledge, 2019).

Professional homosexual. Professor. Writer. Scholar. Activist. Husband.

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