‘Wom*n’ Left W*nt*ng

‘Wom*n’ Left W*nt*ng

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William Dawes and Catherine Priestley on why we should stop pussyfooting around the word, “women”.

The majority of students at Sydney University would be a bit confused when they read Honi Soit these days.

There seems to be a consistent typo whenever the word woman/women is used. However, Honi Soit is not the only one prone to these typographical glitches. They are also present in the USU board meeting minutes, in Melbourne Uni’s Wom*n’s Department, in fact, almost wherever the student organisation in question is of a considerable ideological bent.
What could be the explanation for such incompetence in our student politics and media? Why are women left wanting a vowel or two?

It seems to have been determined that these vowels are an unacceptable emanation of the patriarchy and are hence, proscribed. The justification for this lies in the fact that the word, ‘woman’ is a derivation of ‘man’. While most normal people find this to be a feminist over-reach in the extreme, the powers at be are gladly endorsing it.

This is not the only instance in which the student political class have shown a willingness to manipulate language for their own political agenda. Thucydides noted in his account of the civil war in Corcyra that in such conflicts “words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them.”

Perhaps what we are witnessing is not an over-reaction but a calculated strike to dictate debate and the language that we use to engage in it. This was on clear display when the highly-esteemed, ‘Wom*n’s Collective’ ran an issue of Honi last semester.

Featured was a condescending list of largely invented terms and their assigned definitions. The aforementioned definitions pretended to be respectful and conscientious of the variety of groups in society. However, all that they revealed was a dismissive sense of superiority against everyday people, who could not possibly understand the subtlety of the vocabulary used by the enlightened minds of the Women’s Collective.

Self-appointed social engineers like these, run with the conspiracy theory that the inclusion of ‘man’ in the word woman has been part of a broader mission by the white males to ingrain the patriarchy. Yet, language is a shared property, owned and utilised by all as a tool to communicate how they wish. Not for one second does the word woman evoke the ‘patriarchy’, except perhaps in the mind of these social engineers whose sole purpose, it seems, is to subvert our society and our language.

This begs the question, why do these social engineers feel the need to redefine and/or proscribe so unnecessarily?
Well, they are insightful enough to understand the link between language and thought. They know that by controlling language, they control our thought and ultimately they control us.

They assume a grand historical conspiracy is behind the construction of language. Yet, there is nothing more organically developed than language itself. Words, vowels, consonants, none of these are tools wielded by the ‘patriarchy.’ The only people manipulating language with a heavy hand are, as we have shown, those who so dogmatically seek to control our definitions. The elitist intelligentsia that dominates identity politics are conspiring to do what their imagined enemies have never done. Feminist ideology emanates from the asterisk, far more provocatively than patriarchy from a vowel ever did.

The Wom*n’s edition is not the only ‘autonomous’ issue of Honi Soit. There are others which are reserved for certain races and cultural groupings. Wom*n’s Honi however, had its own charming welcome, noting on its editorial page “no (cis) boys allowed”. This shows that those who pursue equality with the most vigour actually do the most to justify 21st century segregation. The ‘*’ pretends to be elevating women, but actually it is serving to encourage intellectual snobbery. Sure, it makes men scared of offending women, but it also encourages women to believe that perpetual victimhood for their entire sex is sustainable. We are witnessing the balkanization of humanity through identity politics, inexorably leading to everyone being at war with each other.

Despite the antagonism and wasted intellectual energy, the ideal situation is one where men and women can converse openly together, from a position of mutual understanding, helping one another in whatever goals each individual aspires to. Surely this is the distinguishing feature universal to humanity – the ability to empathise with those who do not necessarily have the same life or identity as you.

However, the views we’ve expressed will probably be labelled as ignorant and unknowingly, if not consciously, sexist. Thank goodness for the enlightened onese, who nobly navigate the filthy waters of the English language, seeking out offensive protrusions and removing them, so we, the mere mortals, don’t unwittingly drown.

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