By: V4 Agency
By attempting to adopt and use inclusive language – through terms such as “people with a cervix” or “people who menstruate” – newsrooms and journalists have in fact contributed to what’s known as female erasure. Natasha Chart, the CEO of Women’s Liberation Front, has talked to V4NA about women’s rghts and the dangers of gender ideology.
In case any questions arise as to how to refer to women in today’s progressive, politically correct world, the Media Style Guide, recently put out by the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), provides clarity on this and other similar issues. The publication seeks to steer newsrooms and journalists towards ethical journalism, while standing clear of the growing, and in many cases oppressive, gender ideology.
Articles regarding women’s issues should clearly refer to women as women and stick to pronouns that reflect the biological sex of transgender persons….
Ms Chart explains that compiling the guide was necessary because journalists on mainstream portals increasingly disregard ethical standards on particular topics such as women or gender ideology. They use specific language thinking they are being supportive of certain organisations or groups, while in fact they are hurting women and promoting their erasure.
We can see far more examples and attempts of erasing or overshadowing women today. According to Ms Chart of WoLF, “this often happens under the ‘guise’ of inclusive language – language that supposedly encompasses more people. The reality, however, is that organisations and journalists have been pressured into adopting these policies by a tiny minority of extreme trans-activists.” “What’s even more problematic, is that these activists see any acknowledgment of biological reality as a threat,” Ms Chart pointed out.
The outcome of this all encompassing push for “inclusivity” is, “in newsrooms journalists are afraid of being ‘canceled’ by an internet mob for any sort of reporting that could be seen as ‘unwoke’.” Ms Chart also considers it a problem that editors have abandoned their responsibility to stand by their employees. “This culture is not only toxic and damaging to journalists caught up in it, but is also having a serious impact on (…) our understanding of language as female erasure becomes increasingly normalized.”
There is an increasing number of articles these days that – although they do write about women – avoid using the exact word, opting to employ a gender-neutral term. Earlier, for example, CNN used the phrase “individuals with a cervix“, while Harvard University’s medical students used the term “pregnant and birthing individuals” in one of their social media posts. In the title of an article in Devex, they wrote “menstruating individuals“.
When we asked WoLF’s managing director about this phenomenon, she pointed out that she believes the “use of inclusive language is not usually motivated by malice,” adding however, that the impacts are very real. She stressed that it is also problematic to write this way about women and the health issues that affect them, “because this language obscure who needs to hear this medical advice and many people do not even know what a cervix is.”
“This is usually observed in women with low health literacy and education and women with lack of access to regular health care – the very women who need to hear this guidance the most.” According to Natasha Chart, they are, “catering to a very small minority of women who no longer wish to identify with their womanhood, and have excluded half of the female population,” who lack the necessary knowledge.
We also frequently hear that those who disagree with today’s woke and progressive PC terminology tend to get stigmatized. This was the case, for example, with Harry Potter writer, JK Rowling, who responded sarcastically to the Devex article, mockingly searching for the correct term for menstruating individuals. She was later labeled a “TERF”, meaning “trans exclusionary radical feminist”.
The style guide published by WoLF has described the term TERF as derogatory and nonsensical, and does not recommended its use. Natasha Chart told V4NA that the term itself is inherently contradictory since radical feminists, by definition, include all female people regardless of identity. The term is often associated with threats of violence, displays of male aggression and other misogyny, she added.
Lately, anyone who disagrees with any aspect of gender identity ideology can be called a TERF, regardless of whether or not they are radical feminist or even women, WoLF’s CEO has said. Even people who identify as “transgender” are called TERF’s if they acknowledge the biological reality of their sex, she added.
Despite the ongoing efforts to wash away boundaries, we must not forget one thing when it comes to gender ideology, namely that gender identity and sexual orientation are two different things. WoLF’s Media Style Guide has dealt with the issue and established that only the LGB letters had real legitimacy within the ever expanding LGBTQ+ acronym.
Sexual orientation has nothing to do with whether or not someone “identifies” as their sex, Natasha Chart told V4NA, adding that even lumping the “T” (for trans people) into the LBG term has been a huge catastrophe for gays, lesbians and bisexual people. Although the unique challenges these groups face have nothing to do with the demands of the trans-identified community, they are often forced into the same category, WoLF’s CEO explained.
This is harmful to the LGB community because the demands of gender identity activists are often prioritized in LGBT spaces, which results in the erosion of respect for same-sex attraction, especially for lesbians who are regularly pressured into accepting men into their spaces and relationships or else risk violent threats and social isolation from their community, Natasha Chart said. This is why there is a growing coalition of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people across the world looking to take back their movement and re-focus on the needs of same-sex attracted individuals (which inherently includes the recognition of sex), she added.
According to Ms Chart, journalists have an ethical obligation to report the truth accurately and fairly said. This means that journalists should not wrongly report the sex of individuals. The Media Style Guide lists a number of examples and Natasha Chart also pointed out that it is both fair and accurate to state that someone is “a man who identifies as a woman”, rather than calling him any form of woman, which is misogynistic and untruthful.
Apart from a small handful of extreme gender identity activists who have expressed outrage about the guide, “we have mostly received a positive response or simply been ignored”, Natasha Chart exlained. Our guidance is common-sense, grounded in science, and reflects the highest standards of journalistic ethics. It’s hard to argue with reality when it’s right there in black and white, it’s not a debate most people are even willing to have when they know they’ll lose, WoLF’s manading director concluded her train of thoughts.