It’s so easy to strawman any movement where emotions run hot.
Criticising a movement by mocking its dumbest advocates is lazy and pointless. There are some extremely delusional advocates of freedom, democracy and life in the world, which tells you nothing about the value of those things.
Instead of mocking teens on Twitter, go for the smarter members of a movement.
Or ones who sit down with consultants and script their every word.
Apply this lens to wokedom and AOC’s recent comments, and you see an interesting reversal of what’s PC.
A few years ago: “Using ‘guys’ as a gender-neutral term is offensive because it erases women!”
Now: “The term ‘women’ is offensive! We should call them ‘menstruating people’!”
Yeah, that’s not just offensive, that’s creepy and hypocritical.
If I wanted to write a male character who was being socially awkward to the point of insanity, I’d have him call women ‘menstruators’. It’s the sort of language that would have gotten you fired and beaten up once upon a time.
It’s the sort of language a transphobe would use, to insist that trans women aren’t ‘really’ women.
Now, apparently it’s the sort of language that gets you the woke votes.
Defenders of woke say it’s all about inclusion and respect for everyone. Therefore, if you resist any aspect of that, you must be a monster.
I agree in that lofty goal. I’m a big fan of letting people live life on their terms. People should feel comfortable in their skins – apart from the moral argument, there are huge practical benefits when everyone can be who they really are.
The more unique and true you are to your real self, the more I celebrate you.
But at some point you have to ask… is this specific use of language actually inclusive?
The term ‘menstruating person’ excludes so, so many biological women. It excludes post-menopausal women, pregnant women, pre-pubescent women, women on some medications and women with certain fertility issues…
… while reducing all other women to a bloody tampon.
Wow, so much respect. What a win for feminism.
“But William, AOC was talking in the context of an abortion law. She used the term to refer to biological women, and their specific rights and needs. ”
Yeah, and the term is right there. If she referred to ‘biological women’, it wouldn’t be an issue. It’s a small linguistic and conceptual leap from ‘women’ to ‘biological women’ – all without invoking any references to blood and hygiene.
I’m a hypnotist, so I know how powerful language is. If someone tells me they feel serene and I say, “oh, so you’re feeling at peace?” then I’ve messed up. In hypnotic language, synonyms aren’t synonyms because every word was chosen with an unconscious intention.
That’s why it bugs me when I see people changing the language to be more inclusive, but actually excluding people instead.
Anyway, I don’t expect to change any minds about this.
Or anyone’s language patterns.
And that’s sort of the point. It’s a weak move to demand respect without giving it, to demand inclusion while excluding others, and to demand others to change their behaviour to accommodate you.
A move of character involves scaling up your resilience and influence.
No one changed the world by throwing a tantrum. Gandhi and MLK led righteous causes but, if they’d lost their cool and whinged “stop oppressing meeeeee”, no one would have listened to them.
Change comes from character and emotional strength.
It starts with you and radiates out.
Your next move?
Ground yourself with something that’s like meditation only even more effective: the Neural Reset. It works, even if you can’t meditate. All you need to do is show up and listen to my voice.
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