Pandemic idleness can lead one into previously overlooked nooks and crannies of “the stacks,” meaning, in this case, my personal, neglected library of things published or posted, on paper and in cyberspace.
So it is that I learned, sitting here this afternoon, that late last year, the staff of a London aquarium — I don’t know which one — somehow deduced that two female penguins in their charge had come together as a couple. So they gave the pair an egg to hatch and decided that when the baby penguin was born, it would not be assigned a gender. Instead of the red or blue tag customarily used to indicated it as male or female, it would wear a neutral purple one.
However, according to “reports” ( one in The Washington Examiner among them) the aquarium staff admitted that future breeding of the baby penguin will be determined based on “the gender its biology determines.”
Biology determining gender? What a concept!