The gender cult has taken control of our language, and therefore controls our culture. It’s time to stop capitulating and take back English.
Let’s talk about nouns, adjectives, and “gender.” But first, let’s take a moment to talk about bears.
Polar bears are bears. Grizzly bears are bears. Panda bears, after a period of uncertainty, have turned out to be bears. Noun: bear. Adjective: polar, grizzly, panda. The modifier tells you what type of bear you’re looking at, but fundamentally, they’re all members of the family Ursidae, more similar than they are different. The noun takes priority.
Then there’s “koala bear.” It follows the same linguistic pattern. Noun: bear. Adjective: koala. The name implies that a koala bear is fundamentally a bear. But koalas are not bears.
The same applies to red pandas (not pandas), jellyfish (not fish), peanuts (actually legumes), head cheese (meat), horned toads (lizards), fireflies (beetles), and even strawberries (not a berry, but an “aggregate fruit”). How many of those facts does the average English speaker know? Half? Less?
A misnomer is a powerful thing, and the gender cult knows this. Men who pretend to be women have chosen the term “trans woman” very carefully—not “transsexual,” not “trans-woman,” not “transwoman.” They insist upon “trans woman.” The space is important to them, because it sets up “trans” and “woman” as two separate words. Noun: woman. Adjective: trans. This allows them to claim that “trans women” are fundamentally women—that “trans women” are a type of women, more similar to than different from other types of women; the adjective is trivial, just a detail. This simple linguistic sleight of hand entitles men to everything women once had. If “woman” is accepted as the correct noun—and the dictionary now accepts it as such—then every legal case, political policy, or academic study that attempts to separate these men from women is doomed to fail. Nouns matter. In losing the noun “woman,” we have already lost everything.
Adjectives matter, too. Genderites currently modify the noun “woman” with the adjective “cis” (though “non-trans” is becoming more prevalent). The presence of the adjective implies that “cis” women are just one subcategory of women, existing alongside other subcategories of women.
The gender cult’s entire linguistic regime is made up of these politically-motivated misnomers, or what Mary Daly has called “reversals.” She uses Orwell’s 1984 as an example: “the Ministry of Truth was where they made up lies, the Ministry of Love was where they tortured people.” So, too, with every term the gender cult coins or appropriates. Men are “women.” Pushing lesbians out of LGB spaces is “inclusivity.” Threatening women is “feminism.” Mutilation is “healthcare.” Anything that would prevent gay people from turning their internalized homophobia into a lifelong medical condition is “trans conversion therapy.” None of these terms represent reality. In fact, they do exactly the opposite. They represent an attempt by the gender cult to overwrite reality, and to convince the public that everything is the opposite of what it is.
Why, then, are gender-critical people capitulating to reversal terminology?
I’m not just talking about the halfway GC people who support better-behaved opposite sex impersonators. That’s a conversation we’re already having elsewhere. I’m talking about hard-line GC people, those who want to condemn ideology in the strongest possible terms, who are fully in touch with reality, who don’t believe in jeopardizing our message for the sake of being nice, who don’t make exceptions. Even these people, probably without realizing it, regularly use reversal terminology.
Here’s a sample of what I’m talking about:
campaign to gather other medically transitioned adults (Joey Brite)
most trans-identified people are heterosexual people being misrepresented as ‘lesbian’ (for heterosexual ‘MtFs’), gay (for heterosexual ‘FtMs’), or, in the vaguest of terms, ‘queer’ (Donovan Cleckley)
this further drives young girls onto the path of transitioning (Charlie Evans)
Being misgendered once can ruin an entire evening … There’s nothing they’ll leave untouched, nothing that should apply to biological women but not them. (Lara Adams-Miller)
often receiving the ire of other ‘trans’ rights activists (Jennifer Bilek)
To be clear, these quotes are all from articles or threads I agree with, written by people I admire, whose hearts are certainly in the right place. My intention here is not to call them out, but to point out that occasional slippages into reversal happen to even the most careful of us. Cult politics has inundated our language so thoroughly that it’s become difficult to speak at all.
For the vast majority of GC people, capitulation to reversal terminology happens all the time. The reversals persist even in the very terms we attempt to use against the gender cult. Take, for instance, the phrase “trans-identified males,” or “TiMs.” Why not just say “men”? Or, if we need to specify, “men who pretend to be women”? “TiM” implicitly perpetuates the myth that there is some fundamental difference between “men” and this particular adjective-modified group of “males,” and miscategorizes their behavior as a fixed “identity.” Calling them “men who pretend to be women” or “MPw” (with the emphasis on Men Pretending) would affirm that they are men, and would correctly class female impersonation and doublespeak as behaviors. Noun: man. Verb: pretend. No adjective needed.
The GC habit of speaking about women as “biological women” or “natal women” is just as linguistically problematic. Like the phrase “cis women,” these terms imply the existence of other kinds of women. But there are no “non-biological women” or “non-natal women.” Women are the only women. If a modifier is necessary (e.g. when talking to a confused liberal), “women, not men pretending to be women” or “women, y’know, people whose bodies are developed to produce eggs, not sperm” would suffice.
Other reversals have seeped into our language, too. We use “transition” when we really mean medicalization / cosmetic sex surgery / opposite-sex impersonation. We speak of “transitioned males” when we mean men who have turned themselves into poor facsimiles of women. We say “liberal feminism” when we mean misogyny. We say “childhood transition” when we mean legalized child abuse. We call our opponents “TRAs” even though we know that “trans” doesn’t exist, and they aren’t fighting for anyone’s rights. We persist in using the nonspecific and medicalizing term “dysphoria,” as if a single noun could encompass multiple and varied experiences of internalized misogyny, internalized homophobia, delusion, shame, body dysmorphia, self-harm urges, hyperfixation, brainwashing, unresolved trauma, social contagion, and desire to escape sexism.
Consider the following revisions of the above quotes:
campaign to gather other adults who have had cosmetic sex surgeries
most people who pretend to be the opposite sex are heterosexual people being misrepresented as lesbian (for heterosexual men pretending to be women), gay (for heterosexual women pretending to be men), or, in the vaguest of terms, ‘queer’
this further drives young girls onto the path of medical self-harm
Being correctly sexed once can ruin an entire evening … There’s nothing they’ll leave untouched, nothing that should apply to women but not them.
often receiving the ire of other campaigners against women’s rights
What I am doing here is removing the reversals, clarifying them, reversing them back. This is what we, as GC people, need to do with all of our language. We need to remove nonspecific words or outright lies like “gender,” “trans,” “transition,” “identity,” “feminine,” and “masculine” from our collective vocabulary—or, if we need to use them to describe the opposition’s point of view, they should go in scare quotes or in phrases like “gender cult,” or “the pretense that ‘trans’ exists.”
“Gender” itself can often be replaced by “sex stereotype.” “Gender non-conformity” becomes “non-conformity to sex stereotypes.” “Gender identity” becomes “internalized sex stereotyping.” There’s even a case for scrapping “gender-critical,” not just to excise the near-meaningless word “gender,” but because of the positive connotation that word has taken on: “gender-criticism” sounds to liberals like criticism of love and rainbows and unicorns with purple personalities. Instead, we could call it what it is: criticism of sex sterotypes, of rebranded misogyny, of LGB eugenics. Who could argue against the anti-eugenics movement?
This is not nitpicking or self-indulgent intellectualism. It’s simple strategy. We are being attacked in law courts, in political speeches and congressional bills, in sports regulations, in dictionaries and news outlets and the books teachers read to children. We fight back with articles and thinkpieces and tweets, with letters to senators, with the signs we hold up in dyke marches. In these arenas, language is the only weapon that matters. When we use terms like “trans-identified,” “natal women,” and “transition,” we allow the enemy hive-mind to dull our swords.
“Trans women are not women” is a losing battle. Noun trumps adjective. Confused liberals hear: There is a subset of women who I am claiming are not women. Instead, say: Men who pretend to be women are still men. Men are men, no matter how they feel. Men are not women.
It’s not enough to be right. We have to be precise. Our enemy is an extremely efficient cult whose well-conditioned hivemind instantly adopts any new word their worst members create, any definition they decide to twist. Surely we, who are more clear-headed, can do better. Step one is to standardize and clarify our language. We must reclaim the ability to understand each other and to be understood by outsiders, no matter how mean it makes us sound. We will never be able to adequately address harmful (inherently language-based) legislation until we have done so.
Take back your sword. Sharpen it. Call things what they actually are.