War on words: Left seeks to redefine terms like female, pedophile and even recession

"There's either no distinction between a man and a woman, or it's important that a woman is on the Supreme Court — but there's no bloody way I'm giving you both," said Jordan Peterson.

Published: July 26, 2022 6:13pm

Updated: July 29, 2022 11:34pm

The left and its allies in the media have long manipulated the meaning of words for political advantage. For instance, "illegal aliens" became "undocumented workers" in most news stories about a decade ago. But the war on words has been escalating as the left presses LGBTQ+ rights and seeks to obscure the reality of a Biden recession.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary, for instance, has changed the definitions for "female," "male," "they," "boy," and "girl" to fit with gender identity ideology. While these changes were made in 2019 and 2020, The Daily Wire podcast host Matt Walsh and conservative account Libs of TikTok posted tweets about the definition changes last week.

For "male" and "female," listed definitions include "having a gender identity that is the opposite of female" and "having a gender identity that is the opposite of male," respectively.

For "they," one of the definitions is "a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary."

"Boy" and "girl" are defined as "a child whose gender identity is male" and "a person whose gender identity is female," respectively.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, has updated its guidance on COVID-19 illness for "Pregnant and Recently Pregnant People." Instead of calling those who are pregnant "women," the page adopts the gender-neutral term "people" to blur the biological (as opposed to social) basis of male-female differences. Only once does the updated guidance mention "pregnant women" — although the studies it cites on COVID risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth freely refer to "women."

During Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination hearing, she said she couldn't define what a woman was because she wasn't a biologist.

In June, Walsh released a documentary with The Daily Wire entitled "What is a woman?" that sees the narrator travel the world to get an answer to the question. On release day, The Daily Wire's website experienced a DDoS attack, where hackers disrupt a website with bot traffic to prevent users from accessing it. Despite this, the film was the most-streamed in the history of the site, co-CEO Jeremy Boreing said.

Walsh was suspended from Twitter earlier this year for tweeting: "The greatest female 'Jeopardy!' champion of all time is a man. The top female college swimmer is a man. The first female four-star admiral in the Public Health Service is a man. Men have dominated female high school track and the female MMA circuit. The patriarchy wins in the end."

Twitter has also now banned the use of the word "groomers" on its platform. The term came into wide usage after opponents of Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill labeled the measure the "Don't Say Gay" bill, despite the legislation only banning developmentally inappropriate instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools for grades K-3. Those mischaracterizing the measure were in turn labeled "groomers" by some supporters of the bill.

The term is now covered under Twitter's "Hateful Conduct policy when it is used as a descriptor, in context of discussion of gender identity," Twitter's health product communications lead Lauren Alexander told the Daily Dot.

"'Grooming' is a slur that that falsely equates being LGBTQ with being a pedophile," the Daily Dot reported.

"'Groomer' isn't an anti LGBTQ slur," Christina Pushaw, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' press secretary, replied on Twitter. "It's a description of an evil behavior that sick adults of all sexual and gender identities engage in. Why do you conflate this behavior with LGBTQ?"

On Monday, Twitter suspended journalist and podcaster Tim Pool for using the word "groomers."

Pool deleted the offending tweet, saying that he didn't "care enough about twitter for the tweet to stay up so whatever."

He later tweeted, "Twitter allows pedophiles to groom your kids on the platform."

His next tweet read, "from now on i [sic] just straight up call them pedophiles."

Meanwhile, some identity politics ideologues are now urging adoption of the term "minor-attracted people" to denote pedophiles. 

In November, former Old Dominion University professor Allyn Walker, author of the book "A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity," stepped down from the university following an uproar over comments the academic made in an interview about the book.  

The euphemism "minor-attracted people" is "less stigmatizing than other terms like pedophile," Walker explained. "A lot of people when they hear the term pedophile, they automatically assume that it means a sex offender. And that isn't true. And it leads to a lot of misconceptions about attractions toward minors."

After being let go by ODU, Walker, a transwoman who identifies as nonbinary, said, "My scholarship aims to prevent child sexual abuse." Johns Hopkins University's Moore Center for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse announced in May that Walker was joining the center as a postdoctoral fellow.

Transgender YouTuber and podcaster Blaire White mocked a perceived double standard in Twitter's treatment of the terms "groomers" and "minor-attracted people."

"Sooo we're not allowed to call anyone 'groomers' on this app but pedophiles are allowed to call themselves 'MAPs' (minor-attracted people)," White tweeted. "Just burn it all down at this point."

Twitter has also suspended users for "deadnaming" transgender persons. For instance, Canadian author Jordan Peterson was suspended last month for calling Elliot Page by the transgender actor's former name, Ellen Page.

Peterson, a clinical psychologist, tweeted: "Remember when pride was a sin? And Ellen Page just had her breasts removed by a criminal physician."

"The Rubin Report" podcast host and author Dave Rubin was then suspended on Twitter earlier this month for sharing a screenshot of Peterson's tweet.

During a book tour appearance in May, Peterson decried the intellectual confusion bred by gender identity ideology.

Observing that supporters of Jackson's Supreme Court nomination "simultaneously proclaim that a woman is absolutely necessary for the highest position in the land — or one of them" while claiming not to "even know what a woman is," he said he told Democrats:

"Look, you can have one of those. You know, there's either no distinction between a man and a woman, or it's important that a woman is on the Supreme Court. But there's no bloody way I'm giving you both, because I don't even know how to do that.' I have no idea how to do that. Like, what am I supposed to do? Celebrate womanhood and simultaneously celebrate the fact that the differences between men and women are so trivial that they're irrelevant and they can be changed at whim? That is insane. It violates the law of non-contradiction."

On Thursday, the Associated Press, taking its cue from the Biden administration, obfuscated the common, long-standing definition of "recession," saying that while it's "a common rule of thumb" that two straight quarters of economic contraction equal a recession, "it isn’t an official definition."

The White House website claims that "official determinations of recessions and economists' assessment of economic activity are based on a holistic look at the data" factoring in a wide array of variables beyond negative growth rates.

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