The Victorian government has staged its latest attempt at imposing a gender-neutral newspeak on the public service. After subjecting public servants to controversial speech controls through its ‘Inclusive Language Guide’, the Andrews government has shifted the ratchet another notch with a new attempt at imposing this new ideology. The Department of Health and Human Services Pride Network have launched a campaign called ‘They Day’, which encourages public servants to ‘reflect on their gender-identity’ and to use their colleagues ‘preferred gender pronouns’.
‘They Day’ will, on the first Wednesday of every proceeding month, pressure bureaucrats to use gender-neutral pronouns such as ‘they’, ‘zie’ or ‘hir’ when referring to each other, and will issue badges marked according to employees’ ‘preferred gender pronouns’. They are encouraged to don these badges in the spirit of promoting an ‘inclusive’ and ‘safe’ working environment.
While participation in this campaign is ostensibly voluntary, it comes as part of a broader, government-wide initiative to expunge gender-specific language from the lexicon, and replace it with a new language that is ideologically rooted in the post-modernism of the far-left. Alongside the ‘Inclusive Language Guide’, the ‘DPC LGBTI Inclusion Plan’ and sundry other governmental initiatives, the government is building a cross-departmental consensus on the appropriate use – and misuse – of language. While phrased, for now, in soft terms like ‘recommendations’ and ‘guidelines’, the coercive tone of these attempts is clear. All civil servants should by now be aware of the direct link drawn between the use of ‘inclusive’ and ’empowering’ language, and the issue of personal safety emphasised in the ‘Inclusive Language Guide’.
According to the ILG, the use of gendered language can cause ‘harm’ to ‘LGBTI individuals’ and it is, therefore, the ‘responsibility of the Victorian Government to keep people safe’ by ‘addressing and eradicating homophobia, biphobia and transphobia’. Thus, any public servant’s tenure is in some part dependent on their ideological compliance with this new orthodoxy; for when a misplaced word can become a threat to someone’s safety, no level of precaution is too high to ‘keep people safe’.
For now, this compliance is, at least under the law, voluntary. Yet with the first taproots of this ideology now established in the bureaucracy, it won’t be long before the weed, having taken root, spreads its leaves to cast its shade on the rest of society. Last month alone, the private sector has been banned from using traditional gender roles in advertising, and many corporations, like Alan Joyce’s Qantas, have made the transition to gender-neutral language rules. How soon will it be before some earnest bureaucrat, who having raised himself (herself? Thirself? Zirself? Thonself?) through the ranks under these conditions, will seek to make his mark and collate these disparate ‘codes’ and ‘guidelines’ into the law of the land?
That day is nigh. Canada, Great Britain and other ‘free’ nations having already adopted gender-neutral speech codes into their law, and we are making our own desperate slouches in this direction.
As Orwell’s officials in 1984 told Winston Smith:
Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.
They were right.
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