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Farmers arrive on their tractors at the Brandenburg Gate to protest against planned cuts to state subsidies that bring down their fuel costs on December 18, 2023 in Berlin, Germany.Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — As Europe convulses with increasingly volatile farmer’s protests – as I write this, tractors are blocking the Dutch-Belgian border, jamming key arterial roads in Spain, and besieging Paris – you’d think the European Union would have too much to do to pay attention to the ongoing woke nonsense that informs so much of their daily operations. You would be wrong. On January 29, the Daily Mail reported that the EU is taking aim at “gendered language.” 

In a 61-page document from The European Institute for Gender Equality called “Toolkit on Gender-sensitive Communication,” bureaucrats advise that a slew of terms need to be eliminated entirely while others should be replaced or rearranged. For example, the term “no man’s land” – which is incidentally a pretty good description of what the warzone in front of the EU Parliament this week looked like after the farmers arrived – should no longer be used, because of its exclusionary nature.  Instead, the document suggests that “unclaimed territory” be used instead. There was no advice on what feminists should do while reading All Quiet on the Western Front. 

Another term that needs to go is “Joe Public” because Jane Public might be upset. I genuinely don’t know who would be upset by a phrase like that, but I’m quite certain that anyone that sensitive stands in need of a great deal more than a ban on gendered language. Very expensive therapy, for example. But “Joe Public” must be replaced by “average citizen.” Even lines from famous films are censored; the Star Trek quote “To go boldly where no man has gone before” is censured as a key example of phraseology in which “women may be subject to invisibility or omission.” 

READ: Archbishop Viganò: I express my ‘complete solidarity’ with farmers fighting the New World Order

The list of terms and phrases that need to be swapped, however, is where it gets particularly humorous (in a “painful chuckle” sort of way). The word “virile,” for example, must go, as the EU believes it to be “strongly associated with only men” and thus should be switched for “strong or energetic” (which, it must be pointed out, doesn’t quite do it). In a masterpiece of accidental misogyny, the toolkit also suggest that “shrill” and “pushy” must be replaced because they have “strong connotations that are strongly associated with only women.” Thus, “shrill” must become “high-pitched” (that’s better?) and “pushy” must be “assertive” (not at all the same thing). 

It gets worse. Even where phrases include references to both male and female, the EU advises that the order of everyday phrases may need to be changed in order to preserve the self-worth of our more sensitive sisters. When people say “brother and sister,” for example, this is unfair – why must “brother” always be first? (Patriarchy, obviously.) Same with “King and Queen” – why can’t the queen get a turn at the front of the phrase? Where is the egalitarianism in royal phraseology? And so the toolkit suggests that we “try swapping the order of these phrases sometimes, saying “sister and brother” and “queen and king.” That will solve… well, something, for somebody, allegedly. 

The ludicrousness of all this is laughable, but it is also symptomatic. As U.K. parliamentarian Nick Fletcher told The Telegraph: “I think it’s nonsense, especially when there’s far more serious issues going on at the moment that we need to be concerned about. The EU needs to take a good hard look at themselves about what other problems are going on in the world at the moment. We’ve got wars being waged, an energy crisis, and a lot of countries are dealing with the same kind of problems that we are in the U.K. Things like this are a waste of our time.” Indeed. As Mark Steyn once so memorably put it: we’ll all be arguing about transgender bathrooms when the ayatollahs nuke us.  

READ: German farmer protests: Thousands of tractors, trucks block Berlin city center

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.