I have started my own war against empty, silly slogans, presumptuous words and the simple misuse of ordinary words. I think they are the brick and mortar of political correctness which is smothering our brains. See the first installment at:
I am minding my own business (writing business) while idling listening to local radio. There comes an announcement from some social service agency or other. It says that such and such product should not be used by “pregnant people.”
I almost jump out of my chair. Hello, there is no such thing as “pregnant people.” Only women can be pregnant; only women can carry babies within their bodies. I even know some unenlightened women who derive a good deal of their self-respect from having done exactly this. I am sorry to announce that there were several stupid attempts to make men share the burden of breast feeding but that their ability to lactate left a lot to be desired. (And, I would guess that suckling babies did not appreciate the hairy nipples, just a guess.)
It’s “pregnant women” although a couple that announces that it is pregnant is kind of cute. The announcement displays courtesy from both the female and the male member of the pair that did the act that resulted in the exclusively female condition of pregnancy.
By the way, in most cases, human pregnancy requires sex between a male human being and a female human beings. Just a reminder.
The politically correct crowd’s attempt to deny basis sex differences, as in pregnancy, is curiously at odds with the same crowd’s efforts to emphasize the shabby treatment of women, specifically, in the workplace, for example. It clashes also with insane definitions of rape prevailing on some university campuses. Sometimes. de-genderization offensive gives such baroque results that no one (but me) dare comment: A recent Pentagon report on sexual offenses in the military advised that 30 % of sexual assault victims were male.
Think about that one. Three possibilities: The less than 10% of women in the military are a bunch of nymphomaniacs, even better than in my wildest high school dreams. Or, a tiny and until recently hidden minority of gay men in the military have an hyperactive strategy and hit on just about every male in their vicinity, just in case. And many of those hit complain to their superiors irrespective of the ridicule that might result. The third possibility is by far the most succulent: Sexual orientation is so plastic that hitherto heterosexual males, in contact with few women and an abundance of male sex objects just turn on their most sensitive side. Of course, it’s the latter explanation that the progressives favor. It serves well the idea that sex identity (falsely named “gender”) is just a bunch of superficial traits.
This is all inane. I don’t know why the Pentagon is not ashamed of itself. Perhaps it has a collective self-esteem problem. Perhaps, some old feminist lesbian who reached the rank of general holds sway over this kind of publication. Perhaps, she has the inside dope on several of the more manly male high-ranking generals’ leisure pursuits.
Will anyone else cry “phoney wolf” ?
The first general editor (anyway, a top executive) of the New York Times to be a woman was fired last week. Liberal commentators hastened to declare that she was fired for demanding equal pay with some male comparison set from the owner of the New Yorker Times. Some conservatives supported this interpretation publicly for the perverse pleasure for saying, “You see those liberal a..-h…. at the New York times, they are the worst offender against what they endorse.” Not long ago, the same conservative commentators rejoiced in denouncing “gender pay disparity” in the White House itself. It did not matter that by doing so, they lent some legitimacy to frankly insane interpretations of the fact that, nationwide, women, on the average, earn less money than men, on the average. ( See my essay on this blog: https://factsmatter.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/unequal-pay-for-women-only-part-two-there-really-is-a-part-one/ ).
Anyone with a little workplace experience should know that this is not what happened. When you ask your boss for a two dollar raise, he does not fire you just for asking. Instead, he notices that you are a motivated employee, he counteroffers with a twenty cents raise this year followed by a twenty-five cents raise next year if all goes well.
The dramatic attractiveness of the “fired for demanding equality” explanation is so compelling that it seems to have dried up alternative, more prosaic explanations. Here is one: The lady was unpopular with the rest of the NYT crew, demanding, unbending, sometimes insulting. She had to be fired because no one liked her. The NYT owners, wisely decide to avoid a mutiny at a time that is difficult for all print newspapers. There is no lack of qualified candidates for the ill-defined highest editorial position at the NYT, anyway, I would guess.
I don’t have a shred of evidence to support this interpretation, of course but it’s more likely than the “fired for asking ” explanation. What I think I know (but I could easily be corrected) is that hardly anyone likes to have a female boss, women least of all. It’s possible in addition that the traits that would make a women visible enough to be invited to this position do not transfer well to the exercise of actual power among independent- minded brain workers such as journalists often are, even at the NYT.
Why do I have to do this, Mommy?
Because I said so!