Matteo: Redefining words by actions instead of properties

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Two weeks ago Berkeley law professor Khiara Bridges, who is reported to specialize in the intersectionality of race and reproductive justice testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing about the fallout of the striking down of Roe v. Wade.

In an exchange with Senator Josh Hawley that has gone viral (over 8 million views, at this writing), Bridges refused to use the word woman and defined women as “people with the capacity for pregnancy,” which takes a different approach to defining words.

Merriam Webster’s Dictionary has embraced this new way of defining words and, to appease woke activists, has added wording to the definition of a female by making the secondary definition of it as “having the gender identity that is the opposite of male (the definition of male also has a secondary definition that reads “having the gender identity that is the opposite of female.”)

The online primary definition of female also underwent changes by Merriam-Webster.  Female was originally defined as “of, relating to, or being the sex that bears young or produces eggs.”  However, wording has been added to this definition in the online version and it reads as follows: “of, relating to, or being the sex that typically has the capacity to bear young or produce eggs.”

In the past, words have been defined by what they are (their properties), however, given Bridges’ “enlightening testimony” it now seems far more profound to define words by actions associated with the word that is being defined.  This probably has arisen from the way those on the left came up with their ideas about “white privilege,” which basically is a list of advantages that ALL white people have and even though it is based on a fallacy, it’s embraced as the Gospel truth by many progressives.

My only issue with defining women as “people with the capacity for pregnancy,” is that there is so much more to a woman’s actions than reproduction, and if we are to define women or men, we must look at the same kind of generalized stereotypes associated with those who define white privilege as actions benefitting ALL white people.

Given this new approach, it might be appropriate to define women as “people with the capacity for pregnancy who backseat drive (even when in the passenger seat), only like romantic comedies, are not good at math and science, love shopping, and who are likely to have eating disorders.” We could also define men as “people who don’t have the capacity for pregnancy, never ask for directions when driving regardless of how lost they are, only like action movies, are great at math and science, hate shopping and will most likely eat anything put in front of them.”

We might extend this reasoning to define a few other words in the “action” way. Attorneys could be described as “people who hide the truth to win cases and are the only individuals who can charge a lot of money for phone calls.” Elected officials might be defined as “people elected to serve the public, but get rich by being self-serving demagogues at the expense of the public they were elected to serve.” Parents can be defined as “people interfering with the school systems’ attempts to indoctrinate children with leftist ideology.” According to woke progressives, Republicans are “red hat wearing, insurrectionists and supporters of white supremacy.” Victims “are anyone who is not white, male, heterosexual and definitely not Republican.”

Of course, defining words by the potential actions of the words is a completely ridiculous notion, but this is liberal logic at its finest. Since leftists cannot defend their positions through logical analysis, they resort to semantic tricks. Just recently the Biden Administration rejected the traditional idea of the word “recession” which was defined by economist Julius Shiskin in 1974 as two consecutive quarters of declining GDP. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), also has a definition of a recession that is  “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”

Yet, to convince Americans that the pain they feel in their wallets, bank accounts, and pocketbooks, once again Biden’s economic team has redefined the word “recession” and has taken a more abstract approach to economic numbers by saying that to determine if we are in a recession we must take a more “holistic approach,” viewing the economic statistics. Biden’s Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen also denied that the U.S. economy is in a recession, despite statistical evidence to the contrary, and stated that it is just “slow growth.” If Sigmund Freud were to do a psychological analysis of the Biden Administration, he’d find that the two main defense mechanisms they employ are denial and rationalization.

The use of rhetoric is not something new. Politicians have done this since the beginning of time. Political correctness has also been around for a long time, but wokeness is actually PC on steroids and it is promoted by universities throughout the country that vilify innocent words like “picnic,” (said to be a word associated with lynching) and speech codes have demanded that people use the words “outdoor eating” to replace the evil word, “picnic.”

George Carlin, hardly a conservative comedian, once wrote, “There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad intentions, and wooooords.”  Changing words does not change thoughts or feelings, it only inhibits them, and to believe that forcing people to use different wording is naive. It’s too bad that progressives never received Carlin’s message.

In 2020 the United Nations released a list of gender-neutral words that should replace words that were once commonly used, here are some of the words and their replacements:

Commonly Used Word                     New Gender Neutral Replacement Word

Mankind                                               Humankind

Businessman                                         Representative

Maiden Name                                        Family Name

Husband/Wife                                       Spouse

Landlords                                               Owners

Boyfriend/Girlfriend                            Partner

The attack on words is an effective tool by woke progressives and has been aided by publishers of dictionaries, universities, and, of course, the Biden administration.  Each day a new “marginalized victim group” appears and to avoid discrimination against this group new words are banished and replaced with “less offensive” expressions by those obsessed with creating a vapid, inoffensive way for people to communicate.

Self-absorbed people who feign outrage if people don’t use their preferred pronouns are over-sensitive crybabies who lack self-esteem and this is their feeble attempt to control others and draw attention to themselves. The problem is that there is an entire faction of society that is caving into their demands and, like spoiled children who are never given limits, their demands become more outrageous. This is all done under the guise of “social justice,” but in reality, it’s simply a matter of small-minded individuals who believe that they are empowering themselves by censoring perceived enemies and using wording to create a kinder, gentler world if everyone buys into their delusional way of thinking.


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