TALK: Debunking Myths About the Biology of Sex
Activists traveled miles to protest my talk they refused to hear.
Last month, I had the honor of speaking at a Moms for Liberty event in Davis, CA, where I gave a talk on the biology of sex, the harms of gender ideology, and the consequences that such ideology is imposing on Davis public schools. Having obtained my undergraduate degree from UC Davis, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to return and spread the Good Word that “sex is real” with a community that is progressively disengaging from reality.
Given the violent assaults recently perpetrated against Chris Elston (aka “Billboard Chris”), Riley Gaines, and Kellie-Jay Keen for speaking out against gender ideology, I was filled with trepidation about my own upcoming event. Adding to my unease was the violent protest that conservative commentator Charlie Kirk encountered at UC Davis just weeks before. Kirk’s event was met with protesters who shattered windows, broke down doors, pepper-sprayed attendees, and even injured a police officer while attempting to shut down the event.
Days before my talk, an anonymous Davis resident forwarded me screenshots of emails from activists associated with UC Davis and the Davis Phoenix Coalition, an activist organization based in Davis that aims to “engage and unite the Davis community in eliminating intolerance, preventing hate, and promoting a broader civic culture that embraces all aspects of our diverse community.” The email notified the Davis community of my scheduled talk and organized a protest against the “anti-trans speaker” (i.e. me) who intended to spread a “message of hate” (i.e. “sex is real”). They even urged others to write to the library and request that the event be canceled.
The activists made an attempt to cancel my speech by claiming that it contravened the library's policy against hosting “political forums.” However, the library promptly clarified that the policy solely pertained to “situations in which candidates are running for office or regarding campaigning for or against propositions that appear on ballots.” Nevertheless, the complainants were informed that the library's “Policy Team will be evaluating our policies in the fall” and that there might be “some changes late this year.” Despite the fact that the library staff shared the activists’ ideological leanings, they were unable to accede to their demands, at least for the time being.
As someone driven by empirical goals rather than political ones, I took to Twitter to respond to the activists who had targeted me. In my response, I urged them, along with any faculty members from UC Davis, to attend my upcoming talk and to pose any questions they wished during the Q&A session. My plan was to give priority to those who disagreed with me, a practice that I learned fromand which I found both refreshing and a testament to a genuine commitment to intellectual openness.
I arrived at the event early, an hour and a half before my scheduled speaking time. The event organizers had hired two security guards with the explicit instruction to remove any person who attempted to disrupt the proceedings. Everyone was welcome to attend, but attendees were required to display civility and respect.
As showtime approached, protesters began accumulating. They brandished signs declaring that my speech “kills kids” and urging me to keep my “phobias + prejudices” to myself. I find it difficult to comprehend how a discussion on the connection between sex and gametes could result in fatalities, but perhaps my imagination is lacking. The protesters also launched an attack on my credentials by insisting my PhD in “bugs” (rather than gender studies) disqualified me from speaking competently about the biology of sex in humans.
However, the reason I don’t need to have specifically studied human sexual development for my PhD to speak about biological sex in humans is because the sex binary applies to every plant and animal that reproduces via the fusion of a sperm and egg. Humans, spiders, asparagus. Doesn’t matter.
Also, it’s probably not a good idea to attack someone’s biology credentials when you can’t even spell evolution correctly…
I began my talk right on time, and was pleased that it was not disrupted. However, I was saddened that the protesters chose to remain outside the entire time instead of coming in, listening attentively, and thinking up good questions to ask me during Q&A.
My talk above was followed by a short talk by Allie Snyder, a Davis-based mom who speaks powerfully about the harms of gender ideology. I then closed out the event with a second shorter talk about gender ideology and the soaring rates of trans-identifying youth in the Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD).
One of the biggest obstacles I’ve encountered since I began to discuss and debunk sex pseudoscience is the reluctance of Left-leaning outlets to publish my entirely uncontroversial views. Consequently, I have no choice but to resort to Right-leaning media if I hope to have my thoughts heard in the Marketplace of Ideas. While my desire is to reach Left-wing media and the audience that would most benefit from my message, I find myself hamstrung by this unfortunate reality.
Initially, I was inclined to fault Left-wing media for depriving their audience of the full spectrum of viewpoints. While they certainly bear some responsibility, this event has convinced me that many members of their audience are not even open to hearing alternative perspectives. The protesters at my event traveled miles to attend, but chose to stop ten feet shy of the entrance to protest views they had not yet even heard.
While ignorance may be forgivable and curable through the application of a curious mind, willful ignorance is a devastating affliction without a cure. I hope that those with minds still open will listen to my talk with the intent to learn.
View the rest of the talks below:
Talk 1: Sex Is Not a Spectrum | Colin Wright (2:30)
Talk 2: Gender Ideology in School | Allie Snyder (58:00)
Talk 3: Gender Ideology in Davis | Colin Wright (1:12:40)