29 December 2022

Dangerous Dictionaries

He who controls language, controls thought. As we draw nearer and nearer to the dystopia of Orwell's 1984 you might want to read his The Principles of Newspeak.

From The European Conservative

By Frank Haviland

It may be just a few words in a book no one reads, but the fact that the purveyors of truth have capitulated to a lie that would not fool a toddler, should terrify any logical thinker.

or decades, progressives have focussed their attention on the restriction of free speech. This is crucial when you favour emotion over facts, because it helps to deny the others access to, well, facts. Since the 1990s, political correctness has shrunk the ever-narrowing boundaries of ‘acceptable speech,’ under the guise of not causing offense, naturally. Fast-forward 30 years, and such compassion has morphed into ‘hate speech’ and ‘hate crime’ laws, for anyone brave enough to test such matters out in court. For those who doubt the seriousness of the matter, Europe is currently awash with such sham trials—the latest being the investigation and possible 3-year imprisonment of filmmaker Tonje Gjevjon, for the crime of saying that “Men cannot be lesbians.”

More recently, the Left have shifted tactics, infiltrating the lexicon with political alternatives to existing words which require no updating. Consider the rivers of ‘neopronouns’ (e.g. ‘ze’ and ‘zir’), which lend ill-warranted authority to the notion that biological sex is not binary; aided and abetted by the fact that one in five of us already know someone who uses these newly invented pronouns seriously. Or how about the umbrella term ‘people of colour,’ which purports to be an inoffensive term for non-whites, but is in fact heavily-loaded to secure priority status without having to earn it. This is perhaps best exemplified by the outraged objections of ‘racism’ to legitimate criticism of Meghan Markle (a woman you’d be hard-pushed to pick out of a Downton Abbey line-up), while identical criticism of Prince Harry goes unchallenged. 

Having cordoned off the parameters of acceptable discourse, and compelled the gullible into use of their loaded terms, the Left remain unsatisfied with the narrowest Overton Window in history, and are now focussing on rewriting those remaining terms that our dictionaries defiantly defend. This week’s addition to the woke trophy cabinet is the word ‘woman’—an unusual choice you’d think, one that nursery school biology had reliably tucked under its belt, until you reflect on how far we have already fallen. Female sports are now the men’s B-league in all but name; female politics is largely a question of which man you want on your all-woman shortlist, and if Woman of the Year isn’t a man, you’d better have an answer to the inevitable charge of transphobia.

This gender volte-face comes not from The Guardian or The Huffington Post as one might expect, but from those who ought to know better—the Cambridge Dictionary of all places, a name synonymous with excellence and tradition, and dare one say, truth? Yes, the Cambridge Dictionary has recently added a trans-inclusive definition of woman to its online lexicon. After quickly getting the real definition out of the way (‘an adult female human being’), Cambridge now defines a ‘woman’ thus: 

An adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth:

She was the first trans woman elected to a national office.

Mary is a woman who was assigned male at birth.

We can laugh all we like, but this is serious stuff. How long before the trans definition of woman is the only definition available? 

As usual, the Right has been pathetic in its rebuttal of such tactics, and now we are reaping the rewards of our inertia. When Caitlyn Jenner was named Glamour magazine’s ‘Woman of the year,’ that wasn’t the hill to die on. Neither was it quite time when transgender fighter Fallon Fox, broke ‘her’ opponent’s skull in an MMA fight. It was of course wrong to oppose Lily Madigan’s election as the Labour Party’s first male Women’s Officer, nor was it appropriate to question Labour leader Keir Starmer’s assertion that “It is wrong to say only women have a cervix.” Even with male prisoners queuing up to rape female inmates, after the customary “I identify as a woman” spiel, still there is little pushback. No, we have made our bed; the question is, how long are we going to sleep in it?

The purpose of language is not inclusivity, but discrimination. When your words mean everything, they mean nothing—which is precisely the point our enemies understand only too well. If they can get away with the stupidest lie of all time—that men can be women and vice versa (and they have)—then clearly, they can get away with anything. Why not encourage little Johnny to gender transition at age 2, after he puts on his sister’s dress for a joke? Why not claim legitimate objections to illegal immigrants are xenophobic, particularly when the word ‘illegal’ can be so easily written out of the lexicon? Why not allow the Islamification of your major cities, since all religions are equal and the same anyway? 

Yes, it may be just a few words in a book no one reads, but the fact that the purveyors of truth have capitulated to a lie that would not fool a toddler, should terrify any logical thinker. The deconstruction of ‘woman’ and its concomitant denial of reality is nothing short of the destruction of truth—a truth we will increasingly be unable to access, because our language itself is beginning to prevent us from grasping it. Were I in a position of authority, I would charge all decent citizens to ‘misgender’ on a daily basis, thereby affecting some pushback against this woke nonsense. The very bounds of expression will be lost if we do not do something.

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