1. I don’t use the word gender. The right word is sex. There’s a male sex and a female sex. The New Left, in its ongoing and highly successful quest to reshape Western Civilization according to the values of egalitarianism and collectivism, decided the word sex was out. They replaced it with gender, a grammatical term.
Why the change?
Snooping around the internet I found this explanation from the American Psychological Association, titled Removing Bias In Language:
Use of gender instead of sex. The terms "sex" and "gender" are often used interchangeably. Nevertheless, the term "sex" is often confused with sexual behavior, and this is particularly troublesome when differentiating between sexual orientation and gender. The phrase "it was sexual orientation, rather than gender, that accounted for most of the variance" is clearer than "it was sexual orientation, rather than sex, that accounted for most of the variance."
In the latter phrase, "sex" may be misinterpreted as referring to sexual activity. It is generally more precise to use the term "gender."
Notice that sexual orientation is important to their argument. The word sex brought with it the traditional connotation of heterosexuality. This presented problems to the New Left, because talking about the male sex and female sex implies that heterosexuality is normal and homosexuality is abnormal. Gender is a value-neutral term without any connotation of sexual preference.
Now, before I go any further, I should make clear that I do not oppose homosexuality. I do not believe it is immoral. Moreover, I don’t think it a psychological illness, as psychiatry did up until 1972, if I remember the date right. I even support gay marriage. Who cares if two people of the same sex marry?
I do, however, believe that homosexuality is abnormal. Heterosexuality is normal sexuality. Male and female bodies are built by nature for heterosexual sex. If people choose to be homosexuals, or are oriented that way by psychology or whatever, that’s fine -- but it is not normal.
My understanding is unacceptable to the New Left. They do not want a distinction between normal and abnormal sexuality. Heterosexuality and homosexuality must be equal not only before the law but by nature. The New Left is fighting for egalitarianism, even on the metaphysical level.
2. I don’t use the word sexism. I believe it is an invalid concept because -- unlike races, which are different only superficially -- there are metaphysical differences between men and women. They are built different, they think different, they are different. Egalitarians want to wipe out the differences or at least train people to act like the differences do not exist.
Feminists use sexism to mean men treating women unfairly. Historically, men have had more power than women; the concept sexism is meant to attack that power. Women are never sexist. As always with altruism and egalitarianism, the bad things are only committed by the strong, not the weak.
There is term for men treating women unfairly: male chauvinism. Or you could call it men being idiots. Either way gets the point across more clearly than using the term sexism, which is a package deal that smuggles in the egalitarian premise that men and women are metaphysically identical.
3. I try to avoid the term Ms., but this is difficult because feminists take the word Miss as an insult. Using Miss in a business letter is futile, as it raises questions and suspicions that cannot be answered in the letter. (“You see, I called you Miss because Ms. is a tool of the feminists intended to obscure the metaphysical differences between men and women…”) Philosophic education is not the purpose of a business letter.
Those are three lost linguistic causes. I considered calling them quixotic, but I won’t because I do not admire idealism detached from reality or practicality, as personified by Don Quixote, from whom the word comes.
Maybe in some distant future when our culture embraces reason, these causes will rally and the words gender, sexism and Ms. will be retired. Maybe young people in a generation yet unborn will look at the New Leftist culture they inherited and think, “This all comes from those smelly, ridiculous looking hippies in the 1960s and ‘70s. Let’s return to the standards of the era before that.” And the counter-revolution will have begun.
UPDATE: Grant Jones points out this piece by Keith Windschuttle, called “Language Wars.” He makes some great points about politicized language. Dr. Windschuttle must be a pariah in academia.