Guest post: Gender ideology seems to be all about Doublethink

Originally a comment by Bjarte Foshaug on That turning of the tide has been slow.

To me the most memorable and useful concept from 1984 was Doublethink (I believe the closest You get to a synonym in Oldspeak is “compartmetalization”):

DOUBLETHINK means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of DOUBLETHINK he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt. DOUBLETHINK lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word DOUBLETHINK it is necessary to exercise DOUBLETHINK. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of DOUBLETHINK one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

Gender ideology seems to be all about Doublethink (covered up by the wordmagic of Genderspeak):

• On the one hand we’re obliged to accept that being a “woman” is all about thoughts and feelings and has nothing what so ever to do with physical traits. On the other hand we’re also supposed to accept that trans “women” automatically belong in all the same groups and spaces as the people with innate physical traits more representative of mothers than fathers, many (most? all?) of whom might not think or feel the required ways (and hence qualify as “women” in the Genderspeak sense) at all.

• On the one hand gender ideologues themselves are the ones who insist that there are distinct, identifiable “male” and “female” ways of thinking and feeling, thus establishing a “gender binary” that applies to pretty much anyone other than themselves (hence their special snowflake-status). Yet those who think this makes everyone non-binary, thus basically negating that the “gender binary” is even a thing, are the ones accused of reinforcing it.

• On the same note gender ideologues themselves are the ones who insist some perfectly real and vitally important* difference in ways of thinking and feeling makes certain people “female” to the very core of their being, regardless of any physical traits, thus justifying dividing people into separate groups requiring separate vocabularies, separate dress-codes, separate toilets, separate sporting events etc. Yet those who don’t think being “female” says anything about You other than the most superficial, irrelevant and unimportant physical traits are the ones accused of “gender essentialism”.

• Etc. etc.

* So important, in fact, that being called by the wrong word or placed in the wrong box is comparable to actual violence and even murder.

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