Atheist evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has defended Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling from the criticism she has received for her pushback against the efforts of trans activists to “pretend biology doesn’t exist.”
Dawkins appeared on the program “Piers Morgan Uncensored” Monday, where he and host Piers Morgan discussed a suggestion from a group of scientists to abandon the use of “gendered” terms such as man, woman, mother and father.
Morgan denounced the effort to “degender and neutralize language,” lamenting that “they’re doing it from a completely false pretext that you can somehow pretend biology doesn’t exist, particularly when it comes to someone’s sex.”
Dawkins said on the show: “It’s bullying. We’ve seen the way JK Rowling has been bullied, Kathleen Stock has been bullied. They’ve stood up to it, but it’s very upsetting the way this tiny minority of people has managed to capture the discourse to talk arrant nonsense.
“Science. There are two sexes. You can talk about gender if you wish, and that’s subjective.” Morgan asked him about people who claim there are “a hundred genders,” though Dawkins claimed, “I’m not interested in that.”
He said bluntly, “As a biologist, there are two sexes, and that’s all there is to it.”
Dawkins stated that LGBTQ activists looking to discredit the reality of two biological sexes are pushing “utter nonsense.”
Rowling has repeatedly taken to Twitter in recent years to express her concerns about what she characterized as efforts to erase “the lived reality of women.” In June 2020, she expressed particular outrage about an op-ed published in Devex that featured the phrase “people who menstruate” in the headline. Rowling sarcastically remarked, “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” offering up the terms “wumben,” “wimpund” and “woomud” rather than the correct answer: “women.”
Rowling’s remarks surrounding the reality of biological sex have generated backlash from LGBT activists, including Kerry Kennedy of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation. Kennedy maintained that the children’s book author’s comments about biological sex diminished “the identity of trans and non-binary people, undermining the validity and integrity of the entire transgender community.”
Dawkins had commented on the project last month, telling the paper, “The only possible response is contemptuous ridicule. I shall continue to use every one of the prohibited words. I am a professional user of the English language. It is my native language.”
During their interview, Morgan trashed such language policing and the idea there aren’t two sexes, saying, “I mean, it’s incontrovertible. There’s no scientific doubt about this.” He also noted that a “small group of people have been quite successful actually in reshaping vast swathes of the way society talks and is allowed to talk.”
In 2021, Dawkins signed a declaration opposing gender reassignment surgeries and puberty blockers for trans-identified children.
Subsequently, the host mentioned how Dawkins has had his career and reputation dinged for simply asking questions about inconsistencies in the left’s dogmas on gender and identity.
In the biologist’s case, he was stripped of his title of “Humanist of the Year” after sending out a tweet in April 2021 declaring that “some men choose to identify as women, and some women choose to identify as men” before warning that “you will be vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as.”
Dawkins defended his 2021 tweet during his appearance on “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” stressing that he was merely asking people to “discuss” his comment. After Dawkins recalled how he had encouraged discussions throughout his entire life working at universities, Morgan asked, “why have we lost that ability to actually have an open and frank debate?”
“There are people for whom the word ‘discuss’ doesn’t mean discuss. It means you’ve taken a position,” he replied. “I thought it was a reasonable thing to discuss.”
Morgan said, “You had a humanist award stripped in 2021 because of your comments about of this kind of thing.” He cited the tweet that cost him, which stated, “In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white chapter president of the NAACP, was vilified for identifying as Black. Some men choose to identify as women, and some women choose to identify as men. You will be vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as. Discuss.”
“It actually is a perfectly reasonable thing for somebody to identify as some particular race if they want to,” Dawkins added. “Sex is not like that. Sex really is binary, and therefore it’s certainly worth discussing that odd anomaly.”