The left these days gets a bad rap for policing language. It can be irritating to feel like you have to watch how you say things or keep up with the latest lingo when the old lingo still seems perfectly fine.
This is especially the case with counterintuitive ideas such as referring not to “pregnant women” but to “people who are pregnant” — a phrase now used on Planned Parenthood’s website — or the even less intuitive “birthing people,” which we’re asked to embrace as inclusive, and therefore progressive, despite that both reduce women to being biological vessels.
I’m certainly not arguing for intolerance toward those who can become pregnant but don’t identify as women. I’m saying that even if we’re not being forced to use the new terms, the way they’re introduced, almost as if by fiat, can make it seem as if sticking with the old ones is a kind of thought crime.
But it isn’t that those on the left have some weird, childish yen for control. Rather, they seem to be operating under an attractive but shaky idea that language channels thought: Change how people say things and you change how they think about things and then the world changes.