‘Ridiculous!’ Trans activists say ancient remains must not be classified as male or female

David Bull slams 'woke archeologists' for gender-neutral terms

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Radical activists argue action is necessary because it is impossible to be sure how they identified themselves when they were alive – but David Bull, the deputy leader of Reform UK, pointed out human remains have physical differences which make their gender clear. The controversial ideas are outlined by a group of self-styled “anarchist archaeologists” calling themselves The Black Trowel Collective of American.

In a manifesto on “trans liberation,” the group states: “It is clear from archaeological, historical, and ethnographic accounts that human gender is highly variable and that human beings have historically been comfortable with a range of genders beyond modern ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ binaries.”

The group argues it is impossible to be sure how the individuals saw themselves when alive, and also argued against categorising their race because this “contributes to white supremacy”.

A separate post by a guest contributor on the group’s website last year stated: “The erasure of the complexity of sex and gender beyond simple binaries is a function of contemporary transphobic ideologies within archaeological analyses and not a reflection of past peoples’ lives.

“Moreover, this erasure risks providing fodder for accounts of the past that are used to further marginalise trans and gender fluid people.

“Archaeologists first identified the gender of skeletons by funerary assemblages, then explored their sex by measuring bones which have been considered diagnostic, and now, increasingly, by DNA analysis.

“The first two are infamously imprecise, and result in sensationalist “re-discoveries” of Viking warrior women and gay lovers buried together.

“Additionally, individual skeletons have had their sex estimated as male or female, with interpretations changing through time.”

Speaking on the TalkTV show he now presents, Mr Bull, who is also a qualified doctor, said: “It’s ridiculous. I nearly fell over when I read this.

“The reason I thought this was just quite extraordinary medically is that when you look at the bones of a human being, you can tell if they are genotypically male or female and there are reasons for that.”

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It’s so tempting to just dismiss this as utterly absurd, but it really does have an impact

Candice Holdsworth

Guest Candice Holdsworth, a reporter on the Spiked website, said: “It’s so tempting to just dismiss this as utterly absurd, but it really does have an impact.

“This stuff is sort of spreading everywhere and now it’s impacting the way that we study history or even ancient history.

“I just think it’s such an impoverished ways to look at the past.

“It’s becoming such a self-centred ideology that just looks at everything through this very, very, very new set of ideas.

“It’s only emerged in the last 10 years or something and now it’s trying to stretch back thousands of years to find relevance.”

Jeremy Black, emeritus professor of history at the University of Exeter, added: “It is an absurd proposition, as the difference between genders, just as the difference between religious, social and national groups, are key motors in history.

“This very ideological approach to knowledge means that we’re in danger of making knowledge itself simply a matter of political preference.”

Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, was likewise concerned at what he called “dangerous dogma”.

He said: ‘If you look at history, one of the foundations of civilisation is the distinction between man and woman, whether it be in the Bible or yin and yang in Chinese philosophy, so when you distort that you get a completely different version of what has happened.

‘Should this dangerous dogma be accepted, it means that when children learn about Greek, Roman or other ancient civilisations they get a falsified picture.”

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