voltaire critiquing the culture war

The Culture War is Not a Battle of Wits, It’s a Battle of Words

People fighting the culture war seem to have forgotten Voltaire, "If you wish to converse with me, define your terms." Therefore, they are oblivious to mis-defined terms. As a result, they speak the enemy’s language constantly.

The use (or misuse) of words to manipulate a population is well studied. It existed in Soviet Russia and is a primary theme in Orwell’s 1984. It is just as insidious as ever.

In the past, propagandists and politicians put out the language. Today, the lingo is “legitimized” by pseudo-scientists first, and then propagated by propagandists.

Yes - words evolve and shift meanings over time as a natural evolution of language. That is not what I’m talking about.

I am talking about curated, specially defined words implanted into the culture. They do this to stifle thought and enforce patterns of thinking.

Example: Gender Studies

Would you refer to yourself as “cis” when debating the validity of Gender Studies? Probably not. It’s a very recent creation. How about “cis-normative”?

You wouldn't use those words - wouldn't be caught dead!

Instinctively you know that if you use the words you cede ground and affirm the “science.”

If you use their words, you make them true.

Along that same line, would you use the word “gender”? The answer is yes.

But why?


Gender didn't mean anything until the 1960s. It was pushed into the common tongue, hard, in the 80’s.

gender The use of gender to mean “sex” has been cited with disapproval in books on usage for many years. Fowler 1926 seems to have been the first to raise the issue, and his remarks are typical: "gender… is a grammatical term only. To talk of persons or creatures of the masculine or feminine , meaning of the male or female sex, is either a jocularity (permissible or not according to context) or a blunder"…

But by the turn of the century dictionaries had begun to give it restrictive labels. The OED described it as “now only jocular” in 1898, and Merriam-Webster dictionaries at the same time were calling it “obsolete or colloquial.”

Whether obsolete, colloquial, or jocular, the “sex” sense of gender continued in occasional use. By the publication of Webster’s Third in 1961, we had accumulated enough evidence of its straightforward use in written contexts to see that the restrictive labels of the past no longer applied. But the real boom in its popularity was still to come. In the past two decades, the “sex” sense of gender has become increasingly common in standard writing

Websters Dictionary of English Usage: a Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, 1989.

Another dictionary from the 1970’s noted the non-grammar definition of “gender” to be "especially from feminist studies."

Finally, we have this modern definition in the Oxford New American:

“1. either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones…”

See what they did?

They stole a word relegated to the ash heap of history - which had only a vague grammatical sense. Then they gave it a ton of significance. Next, they invented conflict around it. And finally, they pushed it off onto us common folk to be fought over.

The word today means only and exactly what they say it means.

So how are you ever going to win a culture war on the meaning of “gender”? The people you are fighting invented every aspect of the word.

So when they switch up the definition… Then what? You have zero footing.

It’s a losing battle. A distraction.

They created gender. They attached it to everything. Now they want to destroy it, along with everything they attached it to.

“Masculinity”, “femininity” - these terms are also part of that package. Why are you using those words?

The truth is: gender is a social construct. Their social construct.

Gender Studies is the Patriarchy.


The building blocks of any subject are its words.

Therefore, the use of its lexicon alone validates the subject.

Thus, you cannot disprove the validity of a subject while you adopt and use its words.

The culture destroyers know this.

Render them powerless in the culture war.

Refuse their words.

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