WALSH: An Aquarium Is Raising The World's First Gender-Neutral Penguin. But They Are Still Bigots. | The Daily Wire
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WALSH: An Aquarium Is Raising The World’s First Gender-Neutral Penguin. But They Are Still Bigots.

By  Matt Walsh
ASAHIKAWA, JAPAN - JANUARY 18: A group of King Penguins walk along a snow-covered path at Asahiyama Zoo on January 18, 2010 in Asahikawa, Japan. The stroll is held every day to counteract their lack of exercise during the winter season.
Junko Kimura/Getty Images

Many people across the planet are celebrating after the (completely real, I’m serious) news broke that a London aquarium has recently hatched the world’s first gender-neutral penguin. To make matters woker, the hatchling is being raised by a pair of lesbian Gentoo penguins, who were finally able to start a family after England lifted its archaic ban on same-sex penguin adoption.

The general manager at Sea Life London, Graham McGrath, explained why this event is so historic:

“While the decision may ruffle a few feathers, gender neutrality in humans has only recently become a widespread topic of conversation, however, it is completely natural for penguins to develop gender-less identities as they grow into mature adults.

“What makes us really proud at the aquarium is the success of Sea Life London’s Gentoo breeding programme and the amazing job of same sex penguins Rocky and Marama, who took the chick under their wing and raised it as their own.”

Apparently, the gender-neutral designation means that the little Gentoo will be given a purple band rather than the oppressive and socionormative pink and blue bands usually assigned. Free from those color-coded restraints, it is hoped that the penguin will be able to embark on an internal voyage of psychological discovery, exploring its own self-identity and ultimately becoming whatever it dreams of being.

Now, this is all fine and good — and certainly a vast improvement over the barbaric practice of identifying an animal’s sex according to its reproductive organs — but I’m not sure we should throw a parade just yet. The above-cited quote from the Sea Life manager reveals some deeply problematic tendencies, even in an institution that lies at the very forefront of avian gender theory.

For one thing, McGrath calls the animal a “ch**k,” which is a derogatory slur so loaded with the baggage of historical misogyny that I now have PTSD just from reading it. And I’m not even a woman today. It’s no use claiming that the C-word is definitionally correct, in this case. Definitions are a patriarchal construct, as everyone knows.

But more to the point, how have we decided that it’s a penguin in the first place? Who has decided this? There is no use in letting the creature choose its own gender if we are cutting the chains of the gender binary only to lock it in the cage of pre-determined species. It has been labeled “penguin” just because it has feathers, a beak, and was conceived by penguins. But if we are using these obsolete, reductionist methods to determine genus and species, then we might as well use the same sorts of methods to determine sex. In the end, we are back right where we started. We think we are woke when really we are still asleep.

For all we know, this genderless, species-less animal might really be a three-toed sloth, a tarantula, a Mexican honey wasp, a middle-aged Korean man. How do we know it wants to be waddling about like a penguin and not galloping across the African plain like a gazelle? How do we know it wants to swim in chilly water rather than eat leaves from the top of 20-foot trees with other giraffes? It has not been given the chance to make these decisions for itself. Its constitutional rights of self-determination are still being infringed upon.

Indeed, by raising it genderless while putting a gun to its head and forcing it to be a penguin, the alt-right extremists at Sea Life London are only lending credence to the backwards, bigoted myth that identity is objective and biological — rather than amorphous and arbitrary. Remember: The ultimate goal is to establish a society where there is no way to reliably distinguish between one living entity and another, as we all melt into one writhing, wiggling, indiscernible mass of flesh and bones and feathers. News out of Sea Life London would seem to be moving us towards that glorious goal. But, in truth, it has only put one more barrier in the way.

Editor’s Note: Because the internet is filled with foolish and utterly dishonest people, the editors of The Daily Wire wish to note that this column utilizes a literary device called sarcasm.

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