News is trending that the Trump Administration has banned certain words from use. Reports cite sources for the word ban from within the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Already, social media platforms are in meltdown calling out the “lack of free speech” and the “fascism” inherent in banning words. It is very easy to get incensed about the banning of words, but the reality is, in fact, very different.
The words are not banned from regular use by the CDC, but for use in official documents related to their next year’s budget. The reportedly contentious words are: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”
Because words such as “transgendered” are included, the left has exploded in anger. Suggesting that the directive is biased and bigoted against transgender people, but this is not an accurate assessment. Regardless of one’s opinion on the transgender issue, it must be noted that gender and biological sex are no longer one and the same. Even though an individual may see themselves as a gender other than the biological, their individual cells tell another story. There are exceedingly rare cases of actual “3rd gender,” intersex (an indeterminate biological sex thought to be around 0.08% of the world’s population).
The CDC is concerned with treating and researching disease. According to their own website, the: “CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.”
Sexual biology does impact the treatment of disease and preventative measures needed to protect society. Gender “identity” does not. As such, the use of the term transgender in a budget report is not in any way helpful (other than as virtue signaling). “Diversity” and “Entitlement” are political buzzwords related to ideology rather than the science of disease and prevention.
The same applies to the term “Vulnerable.” It is a politically loaded term for which there are better options, when describing high-risk areas or groups. “Vulnerable” implies that a person or group is at risk of regardless of other circumstances. In fact, circumstance can in many cases prevent many diseases. For example, HIV transmission, at risk groups like drug users or homosexuals could be considered “vulnerable.” However, that vulnerability is related to circumstances of high-risk behaviors (dirty needles, unprotected sex) rather than an inherent group vulnerability.
Using these terms merely adds emotive and politicized language to what should be a very plain and simple report for a budget. They are not useful, and in fact, muddy the water for basic analysis. Words have meaning, factually, ideologically and emotionally. When you lace factual reports (financial, scientific, etc) with ideological and emotional buzzwords it effectively becomes propaganda.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.