OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
This morning I woke up to a hilarious statement by AP Stylebook. The latest target of woke progressive lunacy is apparently the term “mistress.”
According to AP Stylebook,
“Don’t use the term mistress for a woman who is in a long-term sexual relationship with, and is financially supported by, a man who is married to someone else. Instead, use an alternative like companion, friend or lover on first reference and provide additional details later.”
Don’t use the term mistress for a woman who is in a long-term sexual relationship with, and is financially supported by, a man who is married to someone else. Instead, use an alternative like companion, friend or lover on first reference and provide additional details later.
— APStylebook (@APStylebook) April 13, 2021
Twitter users had some interesting takes on the statement.
Obviously someone at AP is banging a married dude. Gross. https://t.co/mOrPEk6vbW
— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) April 14, 2021
The appropriate term is “Vice President”. https://t.co/fdJT2dnFMZ
— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) April 13, 2021
Don’t call AP journalists, use propagandists. pic.twitter.com/CjoKENf5Hs
— Dan Wright (@DanSWright) April 13, 2021
“Say something misleading at first and then provide the correct details later”
— Same Planet Different World (@brocccolini) April 13, 2021
If you say “friend” when you mean “a woman who is in a long-term sexual relationship with, and is financially supported by a man who is married to someone else” then you are actively engaging in a coverup.
— Jeff Mac (@JeffMacIsHere) April 13, 2021
Now, I’m an Oxford comma gal, so I have a bone to pick with their use of commas in this statement, but that’s beside the point. Additionally, I can’t help but wonder which powerful “mistress” was sufficiently offended by the term that they persuaded the AP to make a statement (which they say was originally issued in previous years), but that’s also not the point. Or maybe it was a powerful man who was caught with a “friend” and they wanted to get ahead of the narrative, but that’s not the point either.
The point is, we apparently need to manipulate language so as to avoid potentially offending mistresses by calling them mistresses.
Here’s the woke progressive argument.
“Mistress” is biased language that carries negative connotations typically directed at a woman involved in a non-traditional relationship. It carries with it a host of feelings and stereotypes that are then prescribed primarily to the woman in the relationship. Conversely, the adulterous man in the relationship is often referred to with less biased language that carries fewer negative connotations, like “companion,” “friend,” or “lover,” which inadvertently absolves him of responsibility and negative social implications.
Therefore, woke progressives want to abolish the term “mistress” altogether, in order to avoid negatively biased labels for such women.
Y’all, I don’t discriminate against extramarital affair participants, so I’m willing to call the man a scuzball adulterous cheater just like I’d call the woman a scuzball home-wrecking mistress. If it’s a man in a long-term sexual relationship with, or being financially supported by a married woman, I’d call the woman a scuzball adulterous cheater and the man a scuzball home-wrecking mistress. Works either way for me.
But manipulating language to abolish particular terms or change the definition of certain words or phrases that might offend the guilty party is a woke progressive effort to normalize and condone that kind of behavior. It makes it appear that society is OK with that particular behavior and that any negative connotation is undeserved.
It’s part of the woke progressive effort to fundamentally shift society’s morals and values.
According to woke progressives, “mistress” is “archaic and sexist,” and extramarital affair participants don’t deserve negatively biased terms because they’re really just non-traditional relationships or relationships between consenting adults, and that’s all part of their “be yourself and do whatever makes you happy” ideology. And to woke progressives, none of that is negative in any way.
In fact, if a particular individual morally disagrees with extramarital relationships or other types of so-called “non-traditional relationships,” they are also considered by woke progressives to be archaic, sexist, and bigoted for not condoning that behavior. And what’s more, when “silence is violence,” you aren’t even allowed to privately object to values and behaviors that the woke progressives condone. Rather, you must be actively and vocally involved in fighting for those values and behaviors. Otherwise, you’re no better (in the eye of the woke progressives) than those who openly oppose them.
But like all woke progressive lunacy, where does it end?
“Abuser” is negatively biased language as well, is presumably sexist because it is almost exclusively indicative of a man, and it might offend an abuser. So should we abolish use of the word and instead call them “extra-physical companions?”
“Murderer” has a negative bias as well, and it’s presumably offensive to all the murderers who are serving lengthy sentences for their actions. So should we abolish use of the word and instead call them “friends who were present you when you were alive?”
“Pedophile” has a negative connotation as well, and pedophiles might be offended by the negative bias that is attached to the term when they consider themselves to simply be in “non-traditional relationships.” So should we abolish use of the word and instead call them “minor companions?”
Woke progressives are incredibly adept at language manipulation, and they wield it as a deadly weapon in the culture war. They are careful to package their language manipulation as “equality,” “empowerment,” or “progress,” hoping you’ll be distracted by the apparent potential of positive change, and won’t notice what it really is. Then they hold the public hostage by accusing you of “bigotry,” “racism,” or various “phobias” in order to strong-arm you into complying with their newly manipulated language rules.
But the first defense against their weapon of language manipulation is recognizing it for exactly what it is.
An effort to fundamentally shift the morals and values that shape our society.