Orwellian: Transgender efforts to silence biological truth reach the state department

(The Daily Signal) – Someone needs to tell the Biden administration that George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” isn’t an instruction manual.

The administration, and the Left…

(The Daily Signal) – Someone needs to tell the Biden administration that George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” isn’t an instruction manual.

The administration, and the Left more broadly, has adopted a form of totalitarian “newspeak” that aims to make criticism of transgender orthodoxy unthinkable by eliminating gendered words from the English language. This echoes the totalitarian government of “Nineteen-Eighty-Four,” which systematically seeks to destroy words in order to render criticism of the government unthinkable.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly sent a memo directing staff at the State Department—the government agency that represents America around the world—to avoid using “problematic” terms that suggest human beings are male and female.

National Review’s Ryan Mills first reported Blinken’s Feb. 5 memo, “Modeling DEIA: Gender Identity Best Practices.” Blinken reportedly claims he sent the memo to “support an inclusive work environment.” The State Department told National Review that it does not comment on leaked documents, which appears to confirm the memo’s legitimacy. DEIA stands for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.

Blinken instructs staff to use “gender-neutral language whenever possible,” warning that making assumptions about a person’s gender “can be problematic” and send a “harmful, exclusionary message.”

He recommends staff avoid terms such as “manpower,” “you guys,” “ladies and gentlemen,” and gender-specific words such as “mother/father,” “son/daughter,” and “husband/wife.” He suggests they use “labor force,” “everyone,” “folks,” “you all,” and terms such as “parent,” “child,” and “spouse” or “partner.”

In a hilarious twist of fate, Blinken’s memo urges staff to “avoid using phrases like ‘brave men and women on the front lines,’” in favor of “more specific language such as ‘brave first responders,’ ‘brave soldiers,’ or ‘brave DS agents.’” DS stands for diplomatic security.

Blinken appears not to have gotten the memo. On Nov. 11, just three months before sending the memo, he celebrated Veterans Day, posting on X, “we stand united in honoring the brave men and women who served our country.” How “problematic.”

Blinken’s slip-up illustrates the absurdity of attempting to root out biological truth from the English language.

Human beings are male and female, and human reproduction requires male and female gametes. A small minority of people have disorders of sexual development, but these people do not represent a “third sex.” Most languages have three “genders”—male, female, and neuter, generally using the latter for inanimate objects. As the word itself implies, “neuter” represents the absence or removal of sex or gender, not a novel gender or sex.

Advocates of gender ideology aim to erase these biological facts from existence, acting as though banning the use of gendered terms will somehow magically change the way the world works. Ironically, they often do so in the name of “inclusivity,” even though telling people that they can’t tell the truth excludes all but the most ideologically pure acolytes.

The fact that Blinken himself used the forbidden term “brave men and women” underscores the ultimate futility of this brazen act of censorship. Blinken may instruct staff to use pronouns like “they/them” and “ze/zir,” but he knows that a boy is a boy and a girl is a girl. If he truly believes the nonsense he spouted in this memo, he’ll have to watch his own language 24/7 to make sure he doesn’t slip up and mistakenly refer to his child-assigned-female-at-birth as his “daughter.”

The language police in Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” demonstrate the potential abuses of unchecked government power, but they also show the ultimate futility of attempting to silence all dissent from government propaganda. The government succeeds in silencing the main character, the dissenter Winston Smith, yet the cost of doing so—an invasive surveillance apparatus and a Ministry of Truth dedicated to erasing all evidence contrary to the government’s version of the past—illustrates how difficult it is to silence the truth.

The transgender movement’s attempts to silence dissent by rendering basic biology unthinkable are dangerous but ultimately doomed to failure—not because they are “too inclusive,” but because they exclude the one thing that ultimately matters: the truth.