Trans activists want archeologists to stop identifying skeletons as male or female

(Ciro Fusco/ANSA via AP)

We’ve known for some time now that transgender activism has been making a mess of the sciences, particularly in medicine. Thousands of years of scientific research is being swept away as medical organizations like the American Medical Association buy into the bizarre notion that people can simply “decide” whether they are male or female. But it’s not just the field of medicine that’s feeling the impact. Would you have guessed that archeologists and anthropologists are coming under the same sort of pressure as well?

Dr. Elizabeth Weiss is a professor of anthropology at San José State University. (She is also the wife of British UFO researcher Nick Pope.) In an article she published at Spiked recently, Weiss notes that groups of woke scientists in her field have joined the parade of researchers who are issuing “warnings” about assigning genders to human archeological remains. You probably don’t need me to explain why they are saying this, right? Apparently, we might be “misgendering” these ancient humans because they are unavailable to ask how they would prefer to be “identified.”

According to woke archaeologists and anthropologists, ancient human remains should no longer be classified as either male or female. Apparently, this is because we do not know how these people would have identified themselves.

Last month, for instance, the Black Trowel Collective, a group of American archaeologists, said we should be ‘wary of projecting our modern sex and gender identity categories on to past individuals’. Some academics have even started to explicitly label ancient human skeletons as ‘nonbinary’ or ‘gender neutral’.

This attempt to stop the sex identification of skeletal remains, dating hundreds or even thousands of years old, probably sounds like a slightly absurd academic squabble – of concern only to archaeologists and anthropologists. But it has far-reaching implications.

Stories such as this one are why I still keep the “HeadDesk” hashtag handy when I’m on Twitter.

I had never heard of the Black Trowel Collective before this, but I checked into it and it’s a real thing. It’s a group of archeologists who are concerned that transgender voices need to be emphasized in their field and they offer microgrants to support work along those lines. I suppose that’s all well and good if you’re talking about the archeologists themselves and how they wish to be identified. You wouldn’t want to inadvertently offend one of your colleagues for no reason.

But what about the skeletons that they’re digging up? Are they implying that someone who died thousands of years ago is going to be offended? And do they really think there were a lot of people questioning their gender identity that long ago? (To be fair, there were probably a couple of female Pharaohs in ancient Egypt such as Hatshepsut who passed themselves off as men, but I don’t think that’s the same thing.)

As Dr. Weiss points out in the title of her article, “there’s no such thing as a nonbinary skeleton.” She notes that this is not only an unscientific approach to studying early mankind, but it’s part of a larger cultural war that undermines science. She writes that the demands of these activists in the archeological community “are trying to erase the reality of biological sex in the present by erasing it in the past.”

But there are real-world implications for this sort of activism as well. As Weiss points out, forensic anthropologists who work in law enforcement frequently begin their education being trained by archaeologists. How are they supposed to properly identify the remains of a crime victim, allowing the investigation to move forward if they can’t even determine if the person was a man or a woman?

Dr. Weiss also notes that most of this transgender activism is part of a broader trend in the scientific community to promote anti-Westernism and discredit Euro-American ideals. But it fundamentally seeks to impose some sort of nonbinary past for humankind when this entire concept is very new. (Not to mention not being supported by fundamental medical science.) Mankind’s ancient history was not nonbinary because people understood gender roles, particularly in terms of procreation, quite well for all of recorded history.

So let’s check the scoreboard briefly. We have activists trying to upset the applecart in medicine, social sciences, and now archeology and anthropology. What’s next? Chemistry? That should be interesting.