The Australian Academy of Science has a new definition of a woman. According to the academy, a woman is "anyone who recognizes themself as a woman." Basically, Australian scientists now tell us that even someone with a penis, as long as identified as a woman, can indeed be a woman.
Furthermore, they say that personal gender identity does not correlate to the sex assigned at birth. As proof, the new definition can be found in the glossary of the academy's Women in STEM Decadal Plan. On the contrary, the description of a man is nowhere to be seen on the glossary.
Speculators are thinking about whether gender dysphoria has anything to do with it, or if the academy has completely gone "crazy". Gender dysphoria has something to do with a conflict between a person's physical gender and the gender with which he or she identifies. Many believe that it is a real problem, but so is anorexia, says Lyle Shelton, an Australian political activist and prominent social conservative.
Are Scientists Going Bananas?
Many have spoken out about this issue, and many are not amenable to the new definition of a woman. Bernard Lane, a writer at The Australian, who broke the story, says that John Shine, the academy's president is merely using the current coronavirus crisis to promote "made-up" science principles. Moreover, he pointed out that the Women in STEM Decadal Plan is paid for by taxpayers.
Sharing the same sentiment, Madeleine Beekman, an evolutionary biologist and a professor at the University of Sydney, said that the academy had gone wayward against biological facts. She adds that she finds it surprising, coming from an academy of science. She tells The Australian that facts should be based on science, not social or political agendas, which she finds very shocking.
Many believe that this ideology is absurd and potentially harmful. Although LNP parliamentarians like Senator Amanda Stoker from Queensland are trying to make sense of such matters with confusion regarding gender, critics think it would be hard to win the battle since the Coalition was elected.
Marriage Definition Changed in Australia
Before the alterations in the definition of a woman came to be, Australia first changed how marriage works in the country. Back in December 2017, marriage in the country was no longer determined by sex or gender. Majority of Australians voted in favor of marriage equality through a postal survey.
Finally, on December 9, 2017, marriage equality was allowed after the Marriage Act 1961 was updated. According to the Act, marriage is "the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."
The following year after the Act was put in place, more than 3,000 same-sex couples got married in Australia in just the first half of 2018. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, some 3,149 same-sex weddings took place between December 9, when amendments to the Marriage Act became effective, and the end of the 2017-2018 financial year.
A veteran campaigner and Just Equal spokesman, Rodney Croome, said that the comparably high median age of marrying same-sex partners points out that the couples who were marrying have been together a long time. Furthermore, the couples seem to have finally been able to have their love and commitment legally recognized, he says.