Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Male "Species"

I get so tired of hearing or seeing people make reference to "the male species" like here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and well, you get the point. This is a fairly common (I do mean common - as in low-of-brow) malapropism. I don't know whether these people are using this term to be cute, as in my title on this entry, or if they are speaking straight out of ignorant dumbassity, but let's set this straight.

Let's look at Miriam Webster's definition of the word "species":

d (1): a category of biological classification ranking immediately below the genus or subgenus, comprising related organisms or populations potentially capable of interbreeding, and being designated by a binomial that consists of the name of a genus followed by a Latin or latinized uncapitalized noun or adjective agreeing grammatically with the genus name

What this means in shorthand is that a species is defined as a type of creature that can mate with another of its kind and have fertile offspring. Just to illustrate, a mule is not a species, since it is the offspring of a horse and a donkey. Thus, rather than a species, a mule is a hybrid. Don't start telling me about some dude that's pregnant in Hawaii. This is not a biological man. This is a transsexual. He/she/it was on Oprah, and you know what else is on Oprah? I won't go there. This individual has no pronoun that applies since this individual is a mutilated woman, and not a biological man.

And then, you have hermaphrodites. The banana slug, for example, is a hermaphrodite. (I know some of my links are in poor taste, I just can't help myself.) More to the point, each fully-formed banana slug produces eggs and sperm, and has a penis. When two banana slugs mate, they violently stab each other with their penises to the beat of Marvin Gaye (or Isaac Hayes if they are scientologists). The point is that they have no gender definition between them, as fully-formed humans do.

I have never heard of two biological males that can have any sort of offspring together, much less a fertile offspring. This means that males do not by definition specicate from females. The proper terminology is "male sex" or "male gender." Maybe some people get too hot whenever they use the term "sex" and aren't smart enough to know a big word like "gender." If that were true though, where did they learn the word "species"? Oh, wait! They didn't! That's why I'm writing this - for the education of it!

I think a lot of this stems from radical feminists. You know the types. I'm talking about the ones who call themselves "womyn". Just so you know, "womyn" is not a word, it's a joke. The book of Genesis defines the word "woman" as "out of man." Now that being said, a woman has a right to be a radical feminist. I have the right to think that they are stupid. I don't think women in general are stupid in the least, but radical feminists? You betcha. I will offer the latter a couple of alternative ideas to make the word "woman" just a little more palatable.

If we consider the "out of man" definition, you can take this one of two ways. If you believe in a theological, "then the LORD said..." creation, woman (Eve) was literally created from tissue taken out of man (Adam). This is not a popular view among atheists or some other types of people. You may chose to believe that "man" refers to "mankind" in which case, "out of man" is quite flattering. In this definition, women are set apart from mankind as something special. I choose to look at the word "woman" from both viewpoints, as I do believe in a theological creation, and yet I think that women are pretty freaking amazing creatures! I love them, think that all men should love them, and it's really sad the number of men that do not give them the respect that they deserve.

Let's not get into the whole chicken-and-egg discussion on this deal. As we all know, since men - who grow up from boys - are born of women, the argument could easily go that way. But as we have ultimately learned, it does in fact take two of a species to tango, and that's exactly what makes man (as in mankind) a species. I have a dream that all men (as in mankind) will one day speak and write like adults with a full command of their first language. In my dream, men (as in the species) will not have to make up childish names for themselves and each other or use words incorrectly, for they will have risen from the ignorance that currently enslaves them.

...just my $.02...


Jennifer said...

Very nice dear. There are certainly those of each gender that I wish were a unique species. The pollution in this gene pool has gotten out of hand.

instinct said...

while women can have artificial insemination, it still take a man to provide the sperm and while a child can be raised by one parent, children need both parents to teach them a number of things such as how to have a personal relationship, how to argue without being a fight, and for boys how to grow up and be a man.

In short, we need each other. Men and women are designed to work together and I truly don't think that one is really complete without the other. We provide balance through our differences.

I don’t think that any woman can teach a boy what being a real man is all about. By that I mean that as men we have certain responsibilities to protect the fairer sex because we ARE naturally bigger and stronger than the average woman. We were designed for combat and because of that we also have an obligation to be respectful in how we treat them.

Chivalry was developed by the Celts as a way to show honor and respect towards women in their society. Women were leaders in their society and most of their important gods were female gods. Chivalry to them wasn’t because women were ‘weak’, it was because they respected them.

These are the kind of things that men need to teach boys.We teach them not to cry when they get punched not because showing emotion is bad, but showing fear to your enemy encourages the enemy to attack you.

Most women don’t really understand that because most of them have never been in a real fight but guys have testosterone and, let’s face it, we do get into those situations because most of us at one point or another want to be the top dog or we just get backed into a corner and the only way out is through somebody.

On the other hand, I don’t think any guy can really teach a young girl how to be a woman. We can teach them to be tomboys (which most guys seem to like) but we really know as much about womanhood as a fish knows about the moon.

Michael said...


Amen to that. You should have linked me and posted that as your own blog entry. Goh. I'm not even sure what my original entry was about... ...something about grammar, I think...

instinct said...

Hey! I can still do that :D

Rachel said...

Only problem is that it's the feminists - radical and otherwise - who hate when people refer to the "male species." It's these types of terms that exaggerate the differences between men and women, as if women are some crazy, foreign, incomprehensible species that men just can't understand.

On a separate note, Thomas Beatie should be referred to as "he" - not "it" for chrissake - because he is legally a man, and identifies as a man. Calling him a "mutilated woman" does nothing but make you look like an insensitive asshole and diminish the tragedies of women who have legitimately been mutilated - the young girls who have suffered through female genital mutilation.

Michael said...


I haven't noticed that your point about feminists is true. My experience has been to the contrary. I will keep this in mind in my future dealings.

At to your comments on Beatie, woah! Where the heck did that come from? If I had a surgical procedure done to make my skin dark, my eyes brown, and my hair dark brown and curly, and legally changed my name to Jackson, would that change me into a black man? No. It would make me APPEAR to be a black man. Would I have a right to claim hundreds of years of ancestral persecution? Yes, but not because of the tragedies inflicted on blacks. I would still be limited to claiming such injustices against many of the European and Native American cultures that contributed to the makeup of my genotype. Would the surgeries cause me to stand a higher risk of sickle cell anemia? No, because biologically I would still be some dude of mixed European and Native American descent - just a MUTILATED example of such. Would having such a surgery please my Creator, or would I be telling Him with my actions that He had put me together wrong, and made a mistake? Such a surgery is a mutilation. It would not be a forced mutilation by which I would be the victim, but a mutilation none the less. If I had the vet surgically alter my cat to look more like a dog, a dog it would not make. The poor guy would be a mutilated cat.

I don't know where you were coming from when you went off on me like that, but I obviously hit a raw nerve. Any woman who has been assaulted and attacked, deserves all of my sympathy, and every one elses, no matter what the outcome. Whether she is mutilated or simply humiliated, it is wrong. I don't believe that anything that I said even hinted at this, much less belittled any victims of any type of crime. There is more than one application of the word "mutilate" and my use of it was certainly applicable.

Besides that, government-recognized does not dictate truth. Don't ever confuse that or you will be a subject, not a citizen. The government is not based on anything successful. The government is the only business that can get away with never producing, but always consuming. They are not scientists, they are not theologists, they are not manufacturers, social or fiscal servants, nor are they effective leadership. I would not allow the "legal" argument on defining the legitimacy of a marriage in my own forum, nor will allow it in this issue. The government is not equipped nor qualified to define gender.

Maybe all of this makes me an "insensitive asshole" or maybe it just means that like many people, I'm getting really sick and tired of political correctness. I should have the right to not walk on eggshells for fear of hurting your feelings. I have the right to offend you. You have the right to be offended, after which I have the right to say "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, that was not intended."

At that point, you have the right to choose to forgive and forget or not. You can say, "That's OK, Michael. I must have misunderstood you," or "Your words were insensitive, and hurt my feelings but I forgive you," or you can choose to call me an insensitive prick or whatever, let your anger burn against me, and lose a little piece of yourself in the process.

This is MY brand of acceptable political correctness, and that of many others. I like choices, rights, freedoms and liberties. I don't like that PC-ness pushes us closer to Newspeak. There is already too much in the way of preventative laws pushing us closer to thought crimes... ...I'm going to stop before I go too far into that tangent here. So, I should probably post this crap in my "rules," huh?

Anyway, Rachel - I'm truly sorry if my words hurt your feelings, but I think you misunderstood my intentions. I did not mean to be insensitive to any people who have been the victims of violent crimes. You are right and justified in your indignation against such actions, and I am there with you.