In a recent interview, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said that biology is “insufficient” to explain gender. Tyson, who is known for his popular science books and television shows, said that gender is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by a variety of factors, including biology, psychology, and culture.
Tyson made the remarks during an interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith for his “K[no]w Mercy” podcast in May, but a short video clip of their exchange — particularly Tyson’s take on gender — began circulating on Monday.
“Apparently, the XX/XY chromosomes are insufficient because when we wake up in the morning, we exaggerate whatever feature we want to portray the gender of our choice. Either the one you’re assigned, the one you choose to be—whatever it is!” Tyson said.
“And so now, just to tie a bow on this, I say to you, somewhere I read — somewhere, I think I read — that the United States was a land where we have the pursuit of happiness,” Tyson continued. “Suppose no matter my chromosomes today, I feel 80 percent female, 20 percent male. Now I’m gonna, I’m gonna put on makeup. Tomorrow, I might feel 80 percent male. I’ll remove the makeup and I’ll wear a muscle shirt. Why do you care? What businesses is it of yours to require that I fill your inability to think of gender on a spectrum?”
Critics quickly began to call Tyson out over his take on the issue, arguing that people cared because it wasn’t just about muscle shirts and make-up.
“A lot of mornings I don’t put on makeup. I’m still a woman. And a gender dysphoric person’s right to ‘pursue happiness’ doesn’t mean they get to demand that the rest of the world play along. I always kind of thought @neiltyson was in the class of educated idiots. Now confirmed,” The Daily Wire’s Megan Basham commented.
“Look, Neil, if it were just about people wanting to put on a dress and makeup, nobody would give a s***. Wear what you want. But it doesn’t stop there. You also want to give children surgery and dangerous drugs, compel speech with pronouns, and make it a hate crime to disagree with you. And that cannot stand. You need to go back to talking about the universe and lay off this divisive nonsense,” another said.
“Today I feel 80% female, 20% male. I’m going to put on makeup”
Neil deGrasse Tyson defends the pseudoscience of Woke gender studies. pic.twitter.com/4G8KxnTaEs
— Mythinformed (@MythinformedMKE) July 31, 2023