TORONTO - Some friends of mine are spiritual. They believe in an otherworldliness that acknowledges a higher power from whom all morality flows and to whom, ultimately, we must all be accountable. Others focus more on the manifest expression of that morality as seen through deeds (good works): the innate golden rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
The latter “rule” is at the base of all human rights. Various religions have developed philosophies and ideologies whose corpus attempt to guide society/adherents in that vein. In other words, make an effort to provide a rationale, a guide, for “doing A instead of B”; exercise free will – choice – in a salutary context.
Civil authorities, Governments, have tweaked that basic morality into legislation designed to promote and uphold that value. Tens of millions of human beings have been killed in the last century to “prove the point”. I thought I might stick with religions – they are a little less lethal in their ability to exact punishment for “disagreement” with their ethos, at least in this world.
But humankind is nothing if not inventive. There is a new religion permeating contemporary society. Some call it “wokism”. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organization of historical activism for spread of inclusion and equality, seems eager to trip itself into the world of “woke”.
Today, on the anniversary of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a former activist in the ACLU and first female judge of the Supreme Court of the USA, it decided to publicize parts of her often- quoted speech on abortion. In so doing, it chose to do the “woke” thing and revise her speech by replacing the pronoun “she/her” with “their/ them and the word “woman” with “person”.
Forgive the great unwashed if the impression conveyed is that gender neutrality in pronouns has displaced faith and good works as the hill on which we must do battle as a civilization.
Canada’s National Post covered the story, Here’s the original excerpt, just for curiosity and not to indicate any substantive preferences: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her wellbeing and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself.”
In the version the ACLU shared on Twitter, it removed any reference to women. The new quote read: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a (person’s) life, to (their) wellbeing and dignity” … “When governments control that decision for people – as in “peoplekind” – they are being treated as less than fully adult human responsible for their own choices”.
Unless science has advanced since I last had some professional responsibilities on that file, to bear a child is a uniquely female biological reproductive function. Men do not have the “anatomical equipment”.
Still, Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, seemingly unapologetic, and perhaps reluctant to abandon the opportunity to stress the need for gender neutrality in the “world of woke”, told The New York Times the revision was a “mistake among the digital team”.
It is always someone else’s fault. Unsurprisingly, he seemed insistent that it was necessary we “understand a reality that people who seek abortions are not only women. That reality exists. In today’s America, language sometimes needs to be rethought.”
Maybe I am not awake yet; “people” can seek abortion, but only women can have one. Or am I wrong?
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