John Stonestreet speaks of neosexual propaganda:
Words have great power. They shape how we think about ourselves and the world. Even silly, made-up words.
The sociologist Peter Berger once told a story in First Things about his childhood in Mussolini’s Italy and the ideological use of language.
Italian, like Spanish and French, has one way of addressing someone close to you, “tu,” and another for addressing a stranger, “lei,” which is also Italian for “she.”
As Berger told readers, Mussolini thought using “lei” was “effeminate” and “degenerate.” So instead of using “lei,” the Fascists insisted on substituting “voi,’ which is the second person plural – sort of like “you all.”
Linguistically-speaking, this was nonsense. But it had real-world consequences: “From that moment on,” Berger wrote, “every time you said ‘lei’ in Italy you were making an anti-Fascist gesture, consciously or unconsciously . . . And every time you said ‘voi’ you were making the linguistic equivalent of the Fascist salute.”
Berger’s story comes to mind in this latest encounter with a neologism courtesy of the sexual revolution. The new word is “cisgender.” In case you are unfamiliar with this word, it is used to refer to, to quote Wikipedia, “people whose experiences of their own gender agree with the sex they were assigned at birth.”
Now statistically-speaking, that’s virtually everyone. Dare I say, a better word could be “normal.” But note how embedded in the definition itself, gender is chosen and sex is assigned—as if it were not tied to reality at all.