Aussie Life

Aussie Language

22 May 2021

9:00 AM

22 May 2021

9:00 AM

The Australian Breastfeeding Association has declared the word ‘mother’ to be ‘non-inclusive’. Does this make linguistic sense? Not for a moment. Most words are ‘non-inclusive’ — it’s how language works. There are (probably, we don’t know for sure) around a million words in the English language — and the vast majority of them work by being ‘non-inclusive’. Words draw boundaries. That’s what they do. The word ‘child’ excludes everyone over the age of 18. The word ‘senior’ excludes everyone under 18. The word ‘parliamentarian’ excludes anyone who doesn’t sit in Parliament. The word ‘lawyer’ excludes anyone who doesn’t have a law degree. Words work like that. It’s how they define the world for us. Only a relatively small number of words aim to be totally ‘inclusive’ –  words such as ‘humanity’ or ‘democracy’— and to encompass the lot of us. But generally the purpose of words is to draw boundary lines by being ‘non-inclusive.’

So rejecting ‘mother’ because it’s ‘non-inclusive’ is rejecting it for functioning like a normal word. People without wombs cannot be biological mothers. Fact. End of discussion. We are not quite ready just yet to surrender the English language to the wonderfully woke.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph Miranda Devine said recently: ‘Equity is not the same as equality. It is a faddish Marxist code word for “equality of outcome”, as opposed to “equality of opportunity”.’

Miranda says that we should be alarmed at how often educators are revealing the Marxist penetration of our school system by flashing this Marxist code word ‘equity.’ Once again the Marxists are distorting the language. ‘Equity’ came into English from Old French in the 14th century, and behind it is a Latin source word. As any dictionary will tell us ‘equity’ means ‘fairness’ (fairness of process) not ‘equality.’ That’s a distinction that’s vitally important. Those who want to bring about ‘equality of outcome’ should start by cancelling the Olympic Games. All competitors have ‘equity’ (fairness) because all start from the same mark, and all are judged under the same rules. But only one wins the gold medal. There is no ‘equality of outcome’. And the same principle applies in intellectual disciples. The International Mathematical Olympiad is the World Championship Mathematics Competition for high school students held annually. It has ‘equity’ (fairness) because competitors all compete in the same tasks under the same rules. And true ‘equity’ means there can never be equality of outcome. Once again Marxists are trying to destroy our society by twisting language.

‘Equity’ plus competition equals a fair and effective society. The Marxists’ dishonest use of ‘equity’ aims to reduce everyone to the level of the lowest and the slowest.

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