Decoded: The New York Times’s language on trans
'Gender-affirming care for young people' isn't as it sounds
Cults need to control language. It’s one of the ways they keep members onboard and attract new supporters. Few have done it as effectively as the new gender extremists, whose efforts now turn up in the media in many countries. Unwary readers will soon require a translation to discover what’s really happening.
Newspapers and websites in the UK regularly describe women who hold rallies in support of our legal rights as “anti-trans”, unconcerned about the flagrant inaccuracy. They are repeating the propaganda of trans activists, pure and simple. But the willingness of the New York Times to fill whole columns with meaningless jargon is astonishing to behold.
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At the weekend, the paper published two articles that demonstrate its loss of critical faculties. “Bans on Transition Care for Young People Spread Across US” was one headline. “How a Campaign Against Transgender Rights Mobilized Conservatives” was the other. Allow me to translate: the first story is about new laws banning the use of puberty blockers and life-altering surgery on children. The second frames campaigns to defend single-sex categories, in sports for instance, solely as a consequence of “careful planning” by social conservatives and the religious Right.
There has seldom been such an inaccurate phrase as “gender-affirming health care for young people”. “Gender-affirming” in this context means assuring kids as young as ten that they were “born in the wrong body”, and offering treatments to begin the process of “changing sex”. These include powerful drugs to arrest puberty, along with claims that the treatment is reversible — an assurance abandoned by the NHS, which now admits that the long-term effects are unknown. It also means surgery in some cases, including double mastectomies to remove the breasts of teenage girls.
We are talking about children here. Kids who aren’t allowed to drive, have sex or get married because their brains are not fully developed. The NHS acknowledges that most children with gender dysphoria will grow out of it, yet the “gender-affirming care” mantra is being used to sugar-coat treatments that expose under-18s to unnecessary surgery. The NYT would have us believe that trying to prevent the mutilation of healthy young bodies is “part of a broader wave of anti-trans legislation” across the US. See why language is so important here?
There is another explanation for the fact that it is Republican politicians who are passing these laws. The Democrats have adopted trans ideology so whole-heartedly that their leading lights, including Joe Biden, now sound indistinguishable from the most deluded of gender warriors. They are actively supporting legislation that removes the rights of girls to use single-sex toilets and race against other girls in school sports.
Not according to the NYT, which claims that opposition to these anti-women policies is a Right-wing plot. From its bunker deep in the la-la land of gender ideology, the publication accuses Republican governors of proposing legislation “focused on transgender girls’ participation in school sports”. The framing is deliberate, implying that trans girls are being banned from taking part in races and competitions at schools across America. They’re not. Trans girls are, biologically speaking, boys and they’re welcome to take part in school sports, as long as it’s with other boys.
There is a clash of rights here. It’s between people who know that human beings can’t change sex and a movement that wants to turn everything we know about biology on its head. One of its principal weapons is language, and it has succeeded in persuading supposedly progressive American institutions to abandon normal meanings of words. Trans speak is everywhere — and we need to resist it with every fibre of our being.
“we need to resist it with every fibre of our being”
“Need” recalls and affirms centuries of oppression by the patriarchy who lectured us on our “need” to conform to societal norms.
“Resist” is a clear case of conceptual appropriation from our struggle to fight back against the aforementioned cultural norms.
“Being” implies a state of non-being which has been the fate of so many of our fellow persons for centuries in the eyes of white, heteronormative society.
“Fibre”, with its odd, UK spelling that was once imposed on huge areas of the world, recalls the horror of British colonialism.
The only acceptable word in that deeply oppressive sentence is “We” as it encompasses the inclusion of the marginalized.
I don’t think a sentence has so traumatized me since, I don’t know, about an hour ago.
But you’ve missed out “it”. Did anyone ask “it” what “its” preferred pronoun was?
Ha! And there we have a smorgasbord of postmodernist gobbledegook in response to a well-written article decrying progressive trans speak. Thank you for so perfectly illustrating the point.
I trust that you are not taking what J Bryant wrote seriously; I don’t think that it was meant to be. Of course, these days one never knows; just because a viewpoint is ridiculous beyond parody, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s joke.
But those who contribute to Comments over a period of time do get a feel for the particular leanings of other regular contributors (if that’s not too transgressive a phrase!!) and i’d be astounded if J Bryant was being serious.
Even for anyone reading for the first time, his last sentence is a dead giveaway.
I’m a very serious person in a deeply unserious world. Laugh or cry. Those are the choices.
I think you are trying to force us into a binary choice in a clearly non-binary situation.
Complete hyperbolic nonsense. Necessary because trans activists and most of the left can’t make a coherent argument for their anti-feminist and race essentialist ideologies.
I apologize if I didn’t get the joke.
Don’t worry, the derangement of trans activism is such that the satire thereof is easily mistaken for sincerity.
“Fibre with its odd UK spelling …”
Whether UK or US spellings are best, isn’t coloured black or white, more shades of grey.
Bravo Joan. Put your armour on.
It’s come to something when the safeguarding of children has been turned on its head and a Roman Catholic President of the US thinks it “sinful” to protect them from mutilation.
It is in reality child abuse disguised as care,
It’s sadistic paedophilia disguised as care.
Language is everything when it comes to trans ideology. If you actually explain what gender-affirming care is, the vast majority of people are not only opposed to it, but horrified. I was out with some friends on the weekend and somehow we started talking about JK Rowling. I was the only one at the table who knew her actual support for trans people – that she only opposes gender affirming care and other radical ideology.
Manipulating language is everything to both sides of any issue. Words and phrases must be exchanged for euphemisms in order to deceive.
Abortion = murder of unborn children
Women’s Health Care = abortion
Family Planning = abortion
Pro-Choice Activist = pro-abortion
Anti-Abortion Activist = someone who is pro-life
Gay = homosexuality
Euthanize = murder
Economically disadvantaged = poor
Sex Worker = prostitute
Ethnic Cleansing = Genocide
Plus Size = fat
Undocumented Worker = illegal alien
Pre-owned = used
And on and on.
None of this surprises me about the Grauniad and NYT. What doe’s surprise me is that otherwise rational friends think that they are balanced, accurate newspapers of record. I’m nit sure that such a thing even exists.
Trans girls are, biologically speaking, boys
The fact that this was a bit shocking for me to read shows the insanity western society has become accustomed to, and really drives the author’s point home.
‘Not according to the NYT, which claims that opposition to these anti-women policies is a Right-wing plot. ‘
If you are opposed to children being giving hormones and surgery, you are Right-wing and should admit that to yourself.
“The Nation” journal (something I’ve supported for many years but am now seriously reconsidering) recently had an article about how transwomen were basically physically no different from natal women when it came to sport, and then another article where they described JK Rowling as an “anti-trans activist”.
The best analysis of the trans movement I’ve heard is here: https://youtu.be/tLXdoqXbC6k
Thanks for that Margaret, just watched. I’d like to recommend a book, late 90s, ‘Creating Hysteria’ by Joan Acocella, about Multiple Personality Disorder (which became an overnight industry in the States).
I’ve been advising people to read this for the past few years as the Trans mayhem has taken hold. MPD was ‘invented’ by mostly well meaning therapists and medics, but it quickly became a massive money spinner.
Very fortunately, that was partly its undoing, as insurance companies stopped funding never ending ‘treatments’.
MPD was renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder, in an attempt to make it more respectable, and there have been attempts to reignite the hysteria, but we seem to have hit upon a new wheeze that’s even more damaging.
Aye, and this wheeze includes surgery too. Even more money to be made by the greedy and unscrupulous.
The show Orphan Black actually talked about a lot of this. The show was ahead of its time, apparently.
This is Paedophilia
Perfect. Another euphemism!
Language control: the first refuge of scoundrels and totalitarians. ( but I repeat myself )
You know, if you believed this claptrap, you might get the mistaken notion that people who identify as LGBTQ+ are actually oppressed!
The comments’ section of the NYTimes were a palate cleanser of rational rejection of both articles’ premises. That was the only saving grace to these aggravating levels of linguistic gymnastics.
Well said, Joan. Perhaps you could have a word with Jesse Singal, whose column heads today’s UnHerd.
The Times pushed back against the open-letter from activists and employees about their coverage of trans issues, receiving the praise of gullible free-speech activists and then acquiesced to all of the letter writers demands. None of the journalists who wrote the offending articles have covered trans issues since the letter.
The more reasonable people; those of us who stand against trans-activism, climate activism, etc., should admire the way the “progressive” side has managed to take over the common language, the public discourse. The U.S. military has been working on this for years. They refer to it as “controlling the information space”.
Immediately after admiring the technique we should learn to use it ourselves. And turn it against activists of all sorts.
In the absense of truly representative government various activists have pretty much turned democracy on its head. It’s time to move on to the next turn of this long, strange trip we’re on. There are more important things to deal with.
As always, the first question to ask is: Cui bono?
Indeed, once we dispense with the risible declaration, “It’s for the children.” who is getting rich/powerful promoting this agenda? I submit that the more we wallow in the weeds, the less influence we have on the outcome.
Follow the money and the political power, and expose that corruption. For example, Drag Queen story hours are a distraction, a way to divert energy and resources while holding forth on trans affirmation.
I’d be willing to support with my wallet investigative journalism focusing on who are the winners of the trans debate, both now and in the future.
My only certainty is that very very few of those winners will be found among the poor children duped into the gender dysphoria racket.
If a boy can call himself a girl, can I call myself black? Now everyone needs to respect my life choices, right? What if I called myself “Emperor of the Universe”?
Enough of this! who cares?!!!
Anyone with kids growing up in a crackpot world mate
It does seem like a lot of attention given to about .005% of the population here.
Which potentially impacts millions of women around the world. From linguistic appropriation AND erasement, to rapists in women’s prisons, the tiny majority are affecting countless women’s sex-based rights. THAT’S why we’re paying attention to this.
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