If all the other kids decided to jump in a lake, would you?
This question has a new life. A new beginning!
It’s a pertinent question amidst today’s language confusion. While rogue citizens continually make adjustments to our language, and we politely follow along, what they’re changing isn’t random at all.
The most glaringly obvious example: Sex.
Sex is a biological attribute. One definition: “two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided.” The “Canadian Institutes of Health Research“ tells us “‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are often used interchangeably, despite having different meanings.” But for some reason, starting 10-15 years-ago, schools and teachers began to adopt new rules, as if afraid of the word “sex.”
The uber-woke site “Human Rights Campaign“ teaches all about sex and gender, randomly mixing and matching. This is not correct, nor is it what has been taught in schools. I was taught sex was a physical description and gender was only used when referring to literature and language, as when teaching Latin, where words have gender.
HRC spouts its intelligence in wishy-washiness, telling us in one “definition” that “sex assigned at birth” is “the sex, male, female or intersex, that a doctor or midwife uses to describe a child at birth based on their external anatomy.” … but in another “definition” on the same page (this time for gender dysphoria): “Clinically significant distress caused when a person’s assigned birth gender is not the same as the one with which they identify.”
Birth gender? What? Why?
Random-sounding stuff. And wildly incorrect!
This all may seem innocent enough. So far we’ve learned “sex” is a dirty word sometimes and it’s fashionable to just say “gender,” even when it’s the wrong word. Nothing to lose sleep over! Except I am. Who are these people to tell us “an individual’s sexual orientation is independent of their gender identity?” What does this mean?
Ah, let’s leave it alone. I know my sex; I’m male. One hundred percent.
Let’s delve deeper!
Self-described liberal Alex Reynolds on Quora tells us “herstory” is unnecessary. “‘History’ did not originate as a combination of ‘his’ and ‘story’. No need to make up a whole new word over this.”
Game designer Ernest Adams says “cultural appropriation” is also a waste of letters … “When people like something from another culture, they will adopt it. Nobody can claim exclusive ownership of a hairstyle, a clothing style, a musical style, a food, or anything else.”
These people are pretty bright!
So who are the rogues?
Perhaps the answer is, they don’t exist. Not in a measurable way. And when they get frisky, they hide away!
Yes, there’s confusion in language in America. Yes, it’s intentional, and yes, it’s a minority. But in a post that specifically solicited answers from liberals, Loy Dockery, a musician and “nuclear engineer” may have hit the nail on the head saying “… I won’t know what it’s like to have those same problems, but I CAN stop acting like these problems don’t exist just because I haven’t run into them.” This may be the meat of it all. No more kneeling before the holy dictionary, my fellow writers, we must now use language with compassion. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense, if it works, or if it’s downright insulting. Dockery makes a good argument, but the overall concept doesn’t serve anyone, not even the folks (sic) these words are intended to serve.
Todd Allen, a “liberal all of my life,” points to the modern word “microaggression,” saying: “Make up your mind. If it’s “micro”, why should I care about it? If it’s a serious problem, use a word that doesn’t trivialize it.” Allen goes on to clarify, and quite well, “privilege”: “Some liberals will talk about white people not having their civil rights violated routinely as a privilege. Those are rights, not privileges, and when they are violated routinely for members of one race, that is racism.”
In a way, it’s refreshing to see self-described liberals in a fair-minded discussion, granted many of these comments are a few years-old, but are they chewing at their own roots? Aren’t these the most important concepts? Where’s the solidarity? Is it okay to just make up words?
In the same thread, D.J. Collins says “conservatives now have half of us liberals spending a lot of time complaining about what the other half is doing in public, and vice versa. We’re turning against each other and letting the conservatives once again dictate terms.” Collins goes on to imply not all liberals want to censor free speech, and blames “social justice warriors” for having created the situation.
The deeper I delve into the words, the more confused I become!
In the meantime, please refrain from using the following words/phrases until they are clarified to actually mean something. I’ll give you “my” meanings.
Extreme conservative: A contradiction in terms; there’s no such thing.
Racist: Archie Bunker, who lives on via his nemesis, Rob Reiner (also a racist), who will never give up hating Trump.
Pro-Choice: Be careful! It doesn’t mean you’re in favor of “choice!”
Cisgender: No-one ever needs to know what this strange word means.
Microaggression: The slightest touch hurts. Used by “snowflakes.”
Trigger: A horse owned by Roy Rogers in the 1960’s
Safe Space: Wouldn’t that be nice?
White Privilege: Rob Reiner. Bill Gates. Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama. Alyssa Milano. All of “The View” (regardless of skin color).
Though I’ve tried to shed light on the new language we’re all expected to use, it’s possible I’ve triggered a snowflake or two with my microaggressive style, regardless of my gleaning examples from leftists themselves. Ultimately it reinforces my initial belief, that most people are reasonable; the nonsense is originated by people who feel they have to shout on the Internet and perpetuated by people who are fooled into thinking the details, no matter who or where they came from, deserve sympathy and … wait for it … compassion!
What I think these people deserve is a dictionary.
Mark Urso is a former hippie who sees ideology today is divided not by political party or leaning, but by right versus wrong, and modern progressive-types have ruined hippie. A 1984 graduate of Boston College, Urso wrote local news daily for 25-years, contributing stories regularly to AP, and hosted a live one-hour radio show with daily guests ranging from the annual cat show organizer to senators and celebrities. He can be found at Quora (3.7m views) and markurso.com.