Women have had a few tough months. Women could be forgiven for believing that medical science is a trying to erase them. We’ve had hospitals and medical journals refer to mothers as “birthing people” and women as “menstruating people” – both dehumanizing by reducing women to particular bodily functions. Politically correct medicine, including research, treatment, and care that takes exquisite sensitivity to inclusion to ridiculous heights (lows?), effectively erases the reality of women to order to include people who identify as transgender or non-binary. Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, told The Atlantic’s Emma Green, that utilizing terms such as “pregnant people” says to transgender men and nonbinary people “we see you” and will end forms of discrimination such as giving funny looks to men visiting the ob-gyn. A cynic might suggest that this gaslighting of the public effectively says to women “we don’t see you.” Anyway, the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet referred to “bodies with vaginas” on its cover in September for its feature coverage of menstruation. There is something larger going on here than being ideologically fashionable or even pushing the envelope to lead a social revolution; it is a form of Gnosticism, separating the material (mere physical bodies) and spiritual (the transcendent nature of our being) in a way that negates the humanity of every individual. While such moments can be amusing, there is something very serious underlining all the nonsense.
Oct. 20 was International Pronouns Day. Jonathan Kay tweeted, “When is Adverb Day?” If a quick glance at those abusing the language online is any indication, grammar is not something they know or care much about. For example, the Waterloo Region District School Board’s official Twitter account said that everyone should be “actioning #TransInclusion” which is gross; stop verbing the English language. Schools should care about this kind of thing, but they those responsible for the education of young minds care much more about being politically correct than they do grammatically correct, (never mind biologically correct) and thus they virtue signal with posts such as this: “Pronouns are personal. Pronouns are important. Pronouns are not a preference.” But the calls for inclusion insist that we use people’s preferred pronouns, meaning they are preferences. As pronoun battles show, the meaning of words are extremely plastic.
Most days, it seems, we are called to be like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland who declared, “sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” It is one thing for a person to be delusional, but quite another to insist others participate in the delusion. And yet we are being told that we must believe that men can be women and that preborn children are human non-persons and other impossible things.
I find the annual release of boys and girls names in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom fascinating — and usually disheartening. Last month, the British Office of National Statistics released data for all names with the minimum requirement that three or more boys or girls are given the name. In 2020, Nigel did not register. How can the Brits abandon the perfectly proper English name Nigel? Other traditional boy’s names apparently on the way out include Barry (8), Trevor (8), Stuart (7), Gordon (7), and Keith (7). Girl’s names that are near extinction include Sally (17), Susan (13), Maud (7), Mildred (4), and Janice (4). Many names have unusual spellings (there were 35 girls named Nansi), although the prevalence of the letter “K” (Jakub, Kasper) probably reflects the increase in eastern European immigration to the UK. Also reflecting demographic shifts, Muhammad continues to be among the top five names in England and Wales, while Charlie fell out of the top ten. There are more variations of Kayden (including Kaiden, Caiden, Cayden, Kaydon, and six other spellings) than there are of John, Jon, Jonathan, and Johnny. It is believed that the growing popularity of Kayden is due to a character of Eastenders naming her child that and the growing popularity of Maeve and Otis among younger mothers is due to the fact they those are names of popular characters on the English Netflix series Sex Education. And what, exactly, should we make of the fact that 15 boys were named Lucifer last year? Earlier this year, Harry Wallop wrote in the (London) Times about the growing trend of parents giving their children wacky names to provide their kids with a unique identity, lamenting we are all a brand now. The column was written in response to the announcement by Hugo and Olivia von Halle of the birth of their daughter Triptych Alabama Bliss, sister to Dionysus Cosmo Chaos and Hieronymus Vladimir Azax. Heaven help us.