As red-state Republicans conduct an all-out assault on abortion rights, Democrats are trying to rally their troops to fight back. Democratic unity is being undercut, though, by a fervent faction on the party’s left, including New York U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that insists abortion should no longer be called a woman’s issue.
Their concern? The transgender people who are capable of having babies but who do not identify as women.
Apparently, some on the left are willing to compromise the urgent need to defend a woman’s right to choose in order to play a semantic game. Yes, a tiny number of people among the million or so trans folks in America can and do produce offspring and might also opt for abortion to keep from having babies. At some time, there might be an interesting discussion to be had about whether it is a pressing need to acknowledge that fact, even though 99.9% of births, as well as abortions, involve women. But this ain’t the time.
Nothing would confirm that Democrats are out of touch with average voters more than the inability of Democratic politicians to articulate a broad generalization: Women have babies; men do not.
This semantic obsession among activists and academics on the left often seems less like an important corrective to long-time discrimination than a game of gotcha in which less “woke” persons – especially old-time liberals – can be intimidated into deference. Over several decades, terms such as homosexual, Negro and Indian were sensibly replaced with gay, Black and Native American. In the last few years, the change in terminology has speeded up. Gay and lesbian morphed into an ever-expanding list of letters, currently LGBTQIA2+. People of color also was altered by the same obsessively-inclusive shorthand; the au courant term is now BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color).
Also, if you failed to get the memo, Latino is out; Latinx is in. The fact that a majority of Latinos are perfectly happy with that culturally congruent term and don’t like having an awkward “x” slapped on the end of their identifier or that a great number of American Indian tribes stubbornly resist being called something else does not seem to matter to the militant semanticists. To them, showy ideological purity seems to be more important than building a broad political coalition.
There’s a word for that: arrogance.
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