October 14, 2020

Senator Hirono schooled Amy Coney Barrett for saying "sexual preference." It's an offensive term... as many people just learned yesterday.

Here's a good clip showing Hirono's earnest, mildly contemptuous attitude toward the Supreme Court nominee and editing in the use of "sexual preference" by a few notables, including Joe Biden and Ruth Bader Ginsburg: I was surprised to hear that "sexual preference" has become — at least in some circles — a politically incorrect term. I could immediately see the reason for objecting to it: It vaguely suggests that sexual orientation is a choice, even though I don't think it's true that we choose our preferences. It might suggest that who we love — and who we feel sexually attracted to — is lightweight, more like which flavor ice cream we like better than another. Yes, you prefer to have sex with a blonde, but if you can't have the blonde, the brunette will do just as well. 

Why not get bent out of shape about "sexual orientation" then? Orientation suggests pointing east or west on a landscape. All you have to do is turn around and you'll have a different orientation. 

And why the focus on immutability anyway? I think even if sexual attraction is a matter of choice,  your choice is worth of respect. Choices are important and a good foundation for rights in a free society. Think of freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, freedom to have political opinions and to speak about them. These things matter in part because they can change and you do have a choice. 

Indeed, the right to have an abortion is referred to as the right to choose. It's about individual autonomy. Let me quote the 3-Justice opinion that determined the outcome in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (the case that partially overruled Roe v. Wade in 1992):
These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.

But I took Hirono's scolding to heart. Even though what I've just said is what I genuinely think upon reflection, my first reaction was: Oh! I didn't know this was offensive! Have I offended?! I knew I could look in my 17-year blog archive and in my classnotes from conlaw2 to see if I'd used the offending phrase.

ADDED: I checked my Constitutional Law II classnotes for the use of the word "preference," and I'd never written "sexual preference" — only "sexual orientation" — but I did see the word "preference" in discussing the same-sex marriage cases. I'd written that the Court had a "preference" for the Due Process clause over the Equal Protection clause. 

I checked the blog archive and found a few occurrences:

1. All the way back in 2007, I quoted Martina Navratilova, who'd said: "The more we play God or try to improve on Mother Nature, the more damage we are doing with all kinds of experiments that... turn into nightmares." I said: "That sounds like the alarmism of a religious fundamentalist, but hostility to scientific research comes from the progressive side when the question is the source of sexual preference." Navratilova was criticizing a scientist who was — in my words — "studying why some male sheep have a sexual preference for other males." I asked: "[S]houldn't we want to know the truth? Shouldn't gay rights advocates care when they sound like the religious fundamentalists they usually deride?"

2. In 2010, I had a post titled "Andrew Sullivan on Elena Kagan's 'emotional orientation' — emotional orientation?" I said: "Apparently, there's a new euphemism. I hadn't seen this one before, and I haven't heard the argument for why it's a good one. Is it something like the way we started saying 'gender' instead of 'sex'? Maybe 'sex' is something that people are supposed to keep quiet, and that makes it hard to insist that talking publicly about someone's sexual orientation is appropriate and important. But there are problems with the term 'emotional orientation.' It suggests that all of your emotions are centered around your sexual preference. Perhaps the term is intended to convey an argument that if you are gay and not open about it, your public persona is shallow and false."

3. In 2014, discussing a Slate article asking "Is kink a sexual orientation?," I wondered: "[W]hat hangs on the answer to the question whether something is in or out of a category called 'sexual orientation'?... 'Sexual orientation' clearly refers to the sexual preference for a partner of another sex or your own sex. But you could make it a big category, inclusive of things like sado-masochism. But why? What are you trying to achieve by grouping these things together?" 

4. In 2015, I quoted a Slate article called "What Was Gay": "It feels like we are working as fast as we can to build what gay academic and activist Dennis Altman imagines in his provocatively titled The End of the Homosexual?: a world in which we no longer see 'homosexuality as a primary marker of identity, so that sexual preference comes to be regarded as largely irrelevant, and thus not the basis for either community or identity.'"  

5. Also in 2015, I have a post about something Russell Wilson said — "If you can love somebody without [sex], then you can really love somebody." I said: "One might seek a sex-free relationship with a person of the opposite sex for reasons other than religion. Maybe that's the only reason People can think of or maybe People is influenced by the church setting or maybe People is pandering to the tastes of its readers, but religion is not a necessary foundation for Wilson's statement. It could be philosophy (as in Plato's "Symposium"). And it could be sexual preference. I would not infer from a woman's beauty that a particular man feels sexual desire for her."

6. Blogging in 2018 about the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, I linked to Drudge quoting Drudge: "A young woman, 23, sexually involved with the love of her life, the President of the United States, since she was a 21-year-old intern at the White House. She was a frequent visitor to a small study just off the Oval Office where she claims to have indulged the president's sexual preference.... " I wisecracked: "'The president's sexual preference' is how people said 'blow jobs' 20 years ago."

243 comments:

1 – 200 of 243   Newer›   Newest»
ga6 said...

Prof, will you arrange a struggle session with Hirono? Repent and promise to never, never make such statements again?

rhhardin said...

The senator is retarded.

wendybar said...

Hawaii has Tulsi Gabbard, yet the elect this clown?? I am embarrassed for Hawaii...she is a nut case. When did this change of meaning happen. When the Court Packing new meaning did?? Democrats need to put out a book, so we can keep up with all the word meaning changes that they keep foisting on us to help their agenda look better.

GingerBeer said...

"...mildly contemptuous...?" That would be a first for Hirono, wouldn't it?

Chris said...

Webster's was right on that definition change yesterday. Words no longer have any meaning.

Ken B said...

It isn’t an offensive phrase. This is a power play, and a standard tactic in purity spirals.

traditionalguy said...

So sexual desire is predestined. Calvinists would agree totally. But then where does Free Will re-enter reality much less free thought expressed publicly.

darrenoia said...

Why would you retroactively search for offense when people decided to be offended by this yesterday? Or, to be more generous, much more recently. A much more revealing project would be to go back in time, OED-style, and find the first instance of someone writing in public that the term "sexual preference" is offensive, and the preponderance of that sentiment before now. I think we can confidently predict that the number was so close to zero as to be irrelevant.

The left is scary for many, many, many reasons, but their obsession with rewriting history (refusing history's lesson that rewriting history is dangerous) is near the top of the list.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

What do you expect from the party of thought-crime / mind-crime / speech-crime and the party that wants to make it illegal to criticize them.

?

Jupiter said...

"I was surprised to hear that "sexual preference" has become — at least in some circles — a politically incorrect term."

I don't think that Mazie Hirono's thought process is precisely circular, or even elliptical. Some kind of fifth-order polynomial or something. Maybe one of those pathological functions that are everywhere discontinuous.

wendybar said...

From twitter

"2020 feminism means shaming a conservative woman for using an innocuous phrase that wasn’t offensive until yesterday" - Alexandra DeSanctis

I'm Not Sure said...

But I took Hirono's scolding to heart. Even though what I've just said is what I genuinely think upon reflection, my first reaction was: Oh! I didn't know this was offensive! Have I offended?!

Don't worry about it. As far as the Hironos of the world are concerned, your existence is an offense.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wendybar said...

Also from twitter "As recently as last month, Webster’s Dictionary included a definition of “preference” as “orientation” or “sexual preference.” TODAY they changed it and added the word “offensive."

Insane - I just checked through Wayback Machine and it’s real. " Steve Kraukauer

THIS is the definition of insanity. We are fucked.

mikee said...

It isn't the words that are important. The list of verboten terms changes at will, to prevent anyone from being innocent of fault. And if you are guilty, you get the boot stopming on your face. Trust me, you're guilty, and it is the boot on your face that is the whole point of the exercise. You are declared guilty, without evidence or trial or reason, and you get the boot stomping your face, because that is what they want. Not proper language, not respect, not fairness. They want to stomp your face with a boot, and this is the way they do that, by arbitrary capricious declarations of "offense." Just lay back and enjoy that boot, because it isn't going anywhere. It will just be there stomping on your face, for as long as these vile Democrats remain in office.

Or you can say, when they claim offense, "Your being offended is YOUR emotional response, and I am not responsible for your inability to control your emotions within the bounds of adult behavior in public. Go to hell, and take your boot with you."

mikee said...

It isn't the words that are important. The list of verboten terms changes at will, to prevent anyone from being innocent of fault. And if you are guilty, you get the boot stomping on your face. Trust me, you're guilty, and it is the boot on your face that is the whole point of the exercise. You are declared guilty, without evidence or trial or reason, and you get the boot stomping your face, because that is what they want. Not proper language, not respect, not fairness. They want to stomp your face with a boot, and this is the way they do that, by arbitrary capricious declarations of "offense." Just lay back and enjoy that boot, because it isn't going anywhere. It will just be there stomping on your face, for as long as these vile Democrats remain in office.

Or you can say, when they claim offense, "Your being offended is YOUR emotional response, and I am not responsible for your inability to control your emotions within the bounds of adult behavior in public. Go to hell, and take your boot with you."

whitney said...

Thought experiment. You don't choose your sexual orientation but you can choose your gender. So if you are a straight man that decides they're a woman and then a lesbian, haven't you chosen your sexual orientation?

Mr Wibble said...

It's offensive because they find it convenient for the phrase to be offensive. This is about power, nothing more.

And there's always been a belief on the left that sexual orientations were in some measure preferences, because the left has always seen sex as a political act. Hence the rise of political lesbianism in second wave feminism. Hence the early communists attempt to abolish the family. Hence the current push to normalize "non-monogamy".

Mikey NTH said...

Senator Hirono has to find *something* to complain about this nominee. So she latches on this one and makes a supreme court case about it.

Meanwhile, normal people who do not have Sen. Hirono's agenda sigh and roll their eyes at the histrionics.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry you felt concerned. Think about how you were manipulated into feeling that way.

daskol said...

I bet Hirono didn't even know what mutability meant when she repeated it.

Mark said...

The concept of 'preference' raises concerns given Alito and Thomas brought up revisiting Obergefell in a recent dissent.

If you make it 3 that actively want to reverse that decision, I see why many are concerned.

Laurent said...

Unfortunately, it appears that Merrian Webster online has added in the offensive tag as early as yesterday.

https://twitter.com/SteveKrak/status/1316223349719216128

Kevin said...

Even though what I've just said is what I genuinely think upon reflection, my first reaction was: Oh! I didn't know this was offensive! Have I offended?!

Really? Mine was that she could get bent.

If people can tell you what words and phrases are un-utterable, then you no longer have freedom of speech.

And that is a right which underpins the right to describe your own sexuality.

Jupiter said...

I'd kind of like to know how Barrett responded to that. But I doubt that she leapt to her feet and gave that fat Hawaiian pineapple a bitch-slapping that shook the dome above their heads, so I'm not gonna search for it. "The LGBTQ Community". Right, you DFC. They're a "Community". They all live together in little grottoes, or something, like coral. Ling and Ging and BTQing their little communal lives away. Oh, you just haven't lived until you've had Hawaiian BTQ in the Community. It's vibrant!

Humperdink said...

"Here's a good clip showing Hirono's earnest ...."

You can call the Amazing Mazie many things, but earnest is not one of them.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

One more stupid thing I don’t in fact give a damn about. Who you prefer to have sex with us your business but it still is a PREFERENCE. Stop abusing language just to marginalize people who don’t want to or need to update their vocabulary to conform to the latest progressive fad. It took 100 years for “gay” to go from Oscar Wilde to common usage as we now know it. I’m a conservative guy with a BA in English and I’m willing to give faddish language proposals their proper marinating time before deciding whether I will or will not adopt the au currant changes proposed. For now, FUCK OFF MAZIE will suffice.

Darrell said...

I would have answered, "I don't read The Guardian."

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I wonder if her dad being a pimp had any influence on how Hirono chooses which words she emphasizes.

Static Ping said...

It wasn't offensive at all until it was used as a gotcha moment, at which point everyone with the proper worldview immediately got in line and started screaming like the Orwellian sheep they are. Biden used the same term this year and no one cared. The Advocate used this term in September and no one cared. Webster's online dictionary literally changed the definition of "sexual preference" overnight to fit the narrative. (See Twitchy.)

Many people learned yesterday because it literally became offensive yesterday. It is the ultimate in thoughtcrime: being guilty of something that was made a crime specifically for you at a specific moment. Support these people at your peril.

Ken B said...

This is a good example of the Woke approach. They try to win *socially* not by reason or argument. Althouse's initial reaction is a social reaction. Althouse went on to think it through, but a lot of people wouldn’t. They would submit. That is what wokesters like Hirono count on. It’s a small act of intimidation, part of an ongoing campaign of such tactics. Complaints about Microagressions for example are never real. They are simply the vehicle through which a demand for submission is made; the real point is to establish that the demander has the standing to demand.

Todd said...

I am constantly astounded as to how the people that elect these Democrats are not so embarrassed by that these Democrat politicians do. I am actually sometimes embarrassed by what President Trump says or tweets and I get that others also feel that way BUT how can you constantly vote for these door-stop dump and embarrassing congress critters? Seriously, have you NO self respect?

If you twist that back around on me and ask that about Trump, I will admit that I was embarrassed to vote for him for President. He was my LAST choice but when it came down to him or Hillary, there was nothing else I could do but vote for him. The DNC MADE me do that. There is NO way you can tell me those running against these various "dumb as a box of rocks" Democrat congress people were the BEST choice out of your options. No friggen way. Why CAN'T you people do better? How are you not so embarrassed by them that you switch parties? Really. Nancy-boxwine, Shift-for-brains, DiFi, Spartacus, Guam-tip-over! Please, do better!

Sam L. said...

Dems are hateful people. They hate non-Dems.

Rick said...

And why the focus on immutability anyway?

Since the left only opposes some discrimination they need a basis to distinguish good from bad discrimination. Thus anything they support must be "immutable" to distinguish it from class and political preference on which they openly advocate discrimination.

This is the same reason they pretend discrimination is only bad when it follows the victim hierarchy. Since discrimination against whites, Asians, men, straights, and non-leftists must be allowed the theoretical reasoning must be reinforced in all settings to ensure everyone is trained to accept the justifications.

Sometimes it seems everything left wingers do is political.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, now do you understand the rise of Trump? Real people have been past their fed up point with political correctness for decades already. Now one addle-pated senator, who cannot possibly have a three digit IQ, asserts that the phrase “sexual preference” is offensive, and YOU may be willing to get all “oh, dear” about it, but the rest of us are just yawning and wondering what’s the next perfectly reasonable term to be declared “unwoke” and offensive and totally out of bounds for the sufficiently with it crowd.

Tell us, Althouse, how do you even know that Mazie Hirono wasn’t just pulling something out of her butt to give herself something with which to club Amy Coney Barrett? Isn’t that the most plausible scenario?

Sebastian said...

"my first reaction was: Oh! I didn't know this was offensive! Have I offended?!"

My first reaction was: OMFG! Another prog trying to impose some PC code on the rest of us! How can I resist better?

LA_Bob said...

Althouse, cancel yourself!

Kevin said...

I could immediately see the reason for objecting to it: It vaguely suggests that sexual orientation is a choice, even though I don't think it's true that we choose our preferences.

This is 2020: Objection first, reason second!

bonkti said...

The proposed statues for Ginsburg must come down.

MadisonMan said...

Democrats want to control how you say things. And they assume the worst of intentions.

narciso said...

if it's preference, you don't get to mandate businesses to comply, if it's orientation 'love trumps hate' or even the first amendment,

ga6 said...

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=cleaning+my+gun+video&docid=608053672982086146&mid=13FB48A02A147EE8326513FB48A02A147EE83265&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

tcrosse said...

I was just reading an article about the making of Spartacus, and the famous bath scene, written by Dalton Trumbo, in which Larry the Lord Olivier explains to Tony Curtis about the snails and the oysters. It's all a matter of taste, says he.

daskol said...

I wonder if her dad being a pimp had any influence on how Hirono chooses which words she emphasizes.

Is that what "running a bathhouse" actually means? I was wondering about that.

Curious George said...

"But I took Hirono's scolding to heart. Even though what I've just said is what I genuinely think upon reflection, my first reaction was: Oh! I didn't know this was offensive! Have I offended?!"

You missed the true evil of Hirono's attack on ACB. It's not that she scolded her for using the term, it's that she accused her of knowing it was offensive and using it on purpose.

"I don't think it was an accident."

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Newspeak. That’s what it is. The Left really thinks 1984 is an instruction book not a novel.

mockturtle said...

The Left has been moving the PC goalposts for decades so why should be be surprised? We should just go back to saying 'queer' and be done with it. Or better yet, don't call 'them' anything except the human beings they are. Enough with the identity politics!

Francisco D said...

I have long suspected that sexual orientation/preference is strongly influenced by biology, although we have yet to discover a gay gene.

However, there are gay men and women who choose their sexual preference for reasons that have little to do with biology. For example, I have had quite a few lesbian patients (and a couple of friends) who were sexually abused in adolescence. It makes sense that they would choose a same sex partner rather than relive their childhood sexual abuse.

The problem with PC speech is that it is a demand to obey the Left and not think of life's complexities.

John henry said...

Yes, you prefer to have sex with a blonde, but if you can't have the blonde, the brunette will do just as well.

And, as the arabs say: "If you can't find a brunette, a boy. And if you can't find a boy, a camel"

I don't see what being baked into one's gnes has to do with it. As if there were any scientific evidence for this even being the case.

All that does is make it a really strong preference. Guys in prison go "gay for the stay". Girls in college are "LUGS or Lesbians until graduation. Is that a preference? or is that baked inn.

Sorry, we always have a choice. We can always swing the way we prefer. It's about a lot more than the sex.

John Henry

Unknown said...

It was clearly set up to be a gotcha moment, and quite hypocritical given how many others have used the term "sexual preference":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsYGOAVqmQI&feature=youtu.be

But professor, don't you see that the reason it can't be a choice is that if so, they would not be able to assert constitutional rights and protections? And to interpret laws written in the '60s protecting people from discrimination on the basis of "sex" to also mean discrimination based on "sexual orientation"?

Nonapod said...

Why not get bent out of shape about "sexual orientation" then? Orientation suggests pointing east or west on a landscape. All you have to do is turn around and you'll have a different orientation.

To me, the term "orientation" in and of itself doesn't necessarily imply choice. A person could be "oriented" by God or genetics I suppose.

buwaya said...

A lot of bad things (also good things) are habits, learned behaviors, very dependent on the availability of the opportunity to become "hooked", and suffer positive reinforcement of the negative behavior, whether the thing is physical or physiological. Are drug addicts and alcoholics doomed to addiction? They weren't, historically. There were no heroin addicts before there was heroin, or opium addicts before opium was easily available, and there was way less alcoholism before there were distilled spirits. Or internet and social media addiction

"Yes, you prefer to have sex with a blonde, but if you can't have the blonde, the brunette will do just as well."

Well, yes, of course! If you can't get an elk, you will make do with squirrel. That's nature.

JOB said...

"The social philosophers of the nineteenth century found in Darwin powerful support for their thesis that human beings act always out of economic incentives, and it was they who completed the abolishment of freedom of the will. The great pageant of history thus became reducible to the economic endeavors of individuals and classes; and elaborate prognoses were constructed on the theory of economic conflict and resolution.

"Man created in the divine image, the protagonist of a great drama in which his soul was at stake, was replaced by man the wealth-seeking and -consuming animal. Finally came psychological behaviorism, which denied not only freedom of the will but even such elementary means of direction as instinct. Because the scandalous nature of this theory is quickly apparent, it failed to win converts in such numbers as the others; yet it is only a logical extension of them and should in fairness be embraced by the upholders of material causation. Essentially, it is a reduction to absurdity of the line of reasoning which began when man bade a cheerful goodbye to the concept of transcendence.” - Richard M. Weaver, “Ideas Have Consequences"

buwaya said...

Rage over words is disgusting.

Ann Althouse said...

"Dems are hateful people. They hate non-Dems."

I don't think the really radical people like Democrats. They could look at transcripts of things Hirono has said and condemn her. I think it would be easy for the critical studies scholars.

John henry said...

Yes, you prefer to have sex with a blonde, but if you can't have the blonde, the brunette will do just as well.

And, as the arabs say: "If you can't find a brunette, a boy. And if you can't find a boy, a camel"

I don't see what being baked into one's gnes has to do with it. As if there were any scientific evidence for this even being the case.

All that does is make it a really strong preference. Guys in prison go "gay for the stay". Girls in college are "LUGS or Lesbians until graduation. Is that a preference? or is that baked inn.

Sorry, we always have a choice. We can always swing the way we prefer. It's about a lot more than the sex.

John Henry

Ron Winkleheimer said...

You have publicly stated on this blog that you remember back when it was considered offensive to state that sexual preferences wereinnate. On the left the in the 60s and 70s homosexuality was considered to be a matter of choice and that was OK, because the ideal that consensual sexual behavior between adults could be immoral was outdated, puritanical nonsense.

Scotty, beam me up... said...

The left keeps changing the rules in the middle of the game to allow them excuses to be perpetually offended. The idiots at Google, Facebook, Twitter, et.al., can then use these new bench marks to further censor the free speech of “the uninformed and ignorant masses” as being undesirable. There is a special place in Hell reserved for people like Sen. Hirono and her ilk. There in Hell, she will find out from Satan when she scolds him about these things that she is really SOL...

PB said...

They keep searching for a biological link, but none have been found. They really want to be able to explain their choices as beyond their control and they want to be able to point people to a test result that indicates they should be one thing, but the person doesn't want to be that. As if to say to a female, "I know you are attracted to men, but this test clearly proves you must desire women.". Then they make it a law and force people to act as approved.

Thus is how the left leads us to "The Handmaid's Tale" society, not the right.

rrsafety said...

Did you ever think that that the phrase is not at all offensive and that you shouldn't be taking direction from random bullies as to how you choose to phrase your ideas?

buwaya said...

Rage about words has become standard across the population. It is not limited to radicals.
This is a fashion. Unfortunately people can die over fashions, over nothing. Civilizations can be destroyed by infectious fantasies.

Susan said...

History is what we say it is.

Preferences have always been offensive.

Silence has always been violence.

Neutrality has always been cruel.

Bay Area Guy said...

Sen. Hirono didn't school anybody. She is dumb as a rock.

"Sexual preference" is not an offensive term, at all. The left changes the meaning of words and phrases and terminology --- as George Orwell advised us decades ago -- to censure their political opponents and control the battle of ideas.

We love Althouse -- but on the broad issue of (choice, sexuality, gay rights) she gets a bit confused.

Fill the seat!

Jupiter said...

"Yes, you prefer to have sex with a blonde, but if you can't have the blonde, the brunette will do just as well."

Well, yeah. What the Hell, both at once would be nice. What's your point here?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Meaning of words changing so fast it is hard to stay current. What happens if the word "abridge" expires?

Jupiter said...

"I don't think the really radical people like Democrats."

I don't guess they really like much of anybody, but they are definitely going to vote for the Democrats, because they know the Democrats will pander to them and appoint them to positions where they can make good money while ruining the lives of their betters. Which is what they aspire to beyond all else.

Lurker21 said...

People said "sexual preference" all the time, until a few years ago. Google ngrams shows "sexual orientation" to be the more common phrase, especially since the 1990s, but that hasn't been my experience. I suspect that scientific and technical books may have skewed the sample in that direction.

Certainly, it was more common to hear "sexual preference" on television in reference to homosexuality in the 1980s. Sometimes the phrase was said with a tone that might be taken for snarkiness nowadays, but that more likely reflected people's reluctance to deal with the topic of homosexuality.

If I'm not mistaken, there is still some disagreement in the gay community about "sexual preference" and "sexual orientation." Aren't there people who in effect say, "Hell, yes, I chose to be this way, and I make that choice every day" -- the idea that one didn't choose to be gay being associated with the bad old days of psychoanalytic or behavioral modification "cures," "praying the gay away," and the "I didn't ask to be this way" pathos of the Boys in the Band era? Surely by now some gays have "taken back" the phrase "sexual preference" as a sign of autonomy and freedom, and a strike against passivity and victimhood.

If one feels one has to correct people, one can avoid doing it in Hirono's condescending schoolmasterish PC way. Usage is still evolving and who can say what the future -- transgendered, pansexual, asexual, polyamorous, fetishistic, robotophile -- will think of Miss Mazie's vocabulary lessons?

Fernandinande said...

I was surprised to hear that "sexual preference" has become — at least in some circles — a politically incorrect term.

Practitioners of virtue signalling continually move the goalposts of relative virtue with an ever-changing Newspeak.

Barrett was shallow or weak enough to apologize for speaking normally - not a good sign.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

**

Why do we allow a corrupt political party - the democrats - to give us marching orders on what is considered offensive speech?

Rich said...

What was most offensive about the senator's conduct was those stupid questions about whether or not Justice Barrett had ever been accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault. When did these become questions we ask supreme court candidates? Seems to me this was yet another slap at Justice Kavanaugh.

And speaking of political correctness, why is it that you cannot hold one's ethnic background or religion against them but it is okay to hold Justice Barrett's Catholicism against her? It reminds me of 1960 when they were questioning if Senator Kennedy could not be beholden to the Pope!

Amadeus 48 said...

Crazy Mazie is on a one-woman crusade to destroy the stereotype that Asians are smart.

Having said that, if it's good enough for Biden and RBG, it is good enough for ACB (although she apologized for giving offense to our stupidest senator).

Only Althouse can say if it is good enough for Althouse. As Melania said about another topic through her raincoat, I don't really care. Do you?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I'd kind of like to know how Barrett responded to that.

She issued a groveling apology.

cf said...

Hero tweeter @ScottAdamsSays mentioned this in his coffee hour this morning, adding a chilling note: Websters? A Dictionary overnight rewrote some definition to align with this latest "1984" standard. G*d help us.

What could have been 40 days of covid prep that started at mardi gras caught fire in the hands of wily Democrats & media, fanning it into 40 weeks, to last us through election day.

So no, if Obama's believers get their way on election day, we are definitely looking at 40 years of pain, and likely the end of our true experiment.

We will at first be only gently tilted downwards in our freedoms, like Obamas administration tilted, in the direction of Venezuela's police state, and then, oh so fast, we will roll over the edge towards Pol Pot.

Because, as my irreplaceable online Hero & Guide, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, so eloquently said: "Leftism always leads in the direction of Pol Pot."


Because

Tina Trent said...

Barrett has spent two days saying she's above answering any question on any legal issue presented because she's a judge and/or because this or that case in under judicial review and/or because it's an ongoing legal controversy.

Which is appropriate.

Except she, twice now, suspended her own lil' judicial hymen to rip innocent cops accused of racist crimes in cases that are: (1) currently working through the courts and thus under judicial review, (2) are legally controversial, and are (3) on issues that she will certainly weigh on as a judge.

She should not be commenting on these cases either.

Why does she feel so comfortable doing it? Anti-cop race-pandering trumps judicial objectivity. So principled Amy feels perfectly comfortable joining what she otherwise deems to be the extra-judicial mob.

Maybe she should adopt some children of murdered cops and publicly recount bawling with them the next time some thug plants a 22 in another decent cop's brain.

She's no better than Hirono, just more selective in her prejudices.

Fernandinande said...

I don't see what being baked into one's g[e]nes has to do with it.

Lysenkoism is "woke" - any mention of genes or a genetic influence on non-trivial human characteristic is verboten.

As if there were any scientific evidence for this even being the case.

People who don't have heterosexual sex don't pass on their genes.
(with some rare and very recent exceptions)

Yancey Ward said...

The most hilarious thing was the Merriam Webster immediately changing the online definition of "sexual preference" to include Hirono's idea that it is offensive. I now think Orwellian is about to be eliminated by all the dictionaries.

Leland said...

Orientation: Suggests a genetic identifier that could be found and then aborted.

Preference: Suggests an arbitrary condition that could be controlled and discriminated against until controlled.

Me: When your desire is to be offended despite the offender not wanting to be cooperative; then you'll just make up an offense and go with it. A wolf isn't necessary, don't worry about gender, just cry.

mockturtle said...

And, as the arabs say: "If you can't find a brunette, a boy. And if you can't find a boy, a camel"


"A boy for pleasure, a goat for ecstasy".

NCMoss said...

Don't get Hirono started on offensive cake decorations; she'll blow a gasket.

Matt Sablan said...

It didn't take long for the internet to find other people saying "sexual preference." Like Joe Biden.

I'll believe people like the Senator think this is actually an issue and not a convenient bludgeon to take to their political opponents when they start acting it.

Kate said...

My first instinct is also, "Oh, I don't want to offend anyone. Sorry!"

Now, though, I'm trying to replace that reaction with @mikee's. How dare they use my natural empathy as a cudgel?

Matt Sablan said...

Honestly: Between this and "Court Packing," I may have to surrender and admit... yeah, the Democrats really ARE pushing for Newsspeak.

Big Mike said...

I think it would be easy for the critical studies scholars.

@Althouse, you actually think there is real scholarship going on critical studies? Either the word got debased while you taught at Eisconsin Law, or, well, don’t kvetch when I call you gullible.

Swede said...

Hirono (Dipshit-Hawaii) is the dumber of the 2 senators from the Aloha State.

This stunt did nothing to move the dial.

At the end of this, Barrett will be a Supreme Court Justice.

Mazie will still be a hate filled bucket of stupid.

Todd said...

Senator Hirono schooled Amy Coney Barrett for saying "sexual preference." It's an offensive term... as many people just learned yesterday.

What is with the term "schooled"? How was this Amy getting schooled? That is like you telling me something is blue (which it is) and me saying no, it is cyan and because I am currently in a position of power over you and you are nice, you go along and say OK, maybe it is cyan.

Getting "Schooled" is when a politician tells you they are worried that stationing 8,000 Marines on Guam would cause the island to 'become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.' and you pointing out that Guam is an actual "real" island and is the TOP of a mountain that sticks up out of the ocean and so can not "tip over" like a sail boat in high seas.

effinayright said...

Has anyone looked for statutory language that uses the phrases "sexual preference" or "sexual orientation"?

If so, they will have to be repealed.....STAT.

Mr Wibble said...

I have long suspected that sexual orientation/preference is strongly influenced by biology, although we have yet to discover a gay gene.


We never will. IMHO, to the extent that sexuality is biologically determined, it's likely determined by a complex mix of genes which govern other aspects of our mind and personalities. Sexual attraction and sexuality are merely behaviors which spring forth from other more basic instincts (such as mating, group acceptance, etc.). I also think that there is likely an environmental component which plays a role, although it's influence varies with each person.

Joe Smith said...

"Webster's was right on that definition change yesterday. Words no longer have any meaning."

And the fact that Webster's changed the definition to include 'offensive' in near real-time should scare the fuck out of you.

Leftism has corrupted every single institution.

Her questioning of ACB was idiotic..."Have you ever had sex with farm animals?"

"But I took Hirono's scolding to heart."

@AA I am amazed that you would consider anything (including 'the sky is blue') that Hirono says worthy of any contemplation whatsoever.

She is a complete moron.

Hirono is almost as dumb as the guy that thought Guam might tip over...

MayBee said...

I think even if sexual attraction is a matter of choice, your choice is worth of respect. Choices are important and a good foundation for rights in a free society. Think of freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, freedom to have political opinions and to speak about them. These things matter in part because they can change and you do have a choice.

This is it exactly! Why hang your hat on whether it's a choice or something made into you? Why does it matter?
I want to get married to the person I love. It's a choice I'm making, right, to marry this person? You could say...well you aren't predetermined to marry this person. It's not in your DNA that this is the person you have to marry. That's 100% true. Whether I'm gay, straight, bi, trans.....I'm not oriented to a specific person. Not just any other gay, straight, bi, or trans person will do for me. I have a preference for a person. So let me marry him.

Todd said...

What Ted Cruz did the other day on Citizens Untied was the left getting "schooled".

What Senator Hirono did was be a condescending, left wing prog b*tch looking for her pound of flesh.

GingerBeer said...

A term so long considered offensive that the Miriam-Webster dictionary didn't label it as "..widely considered offensive..." until yesterday.

https://hotair.com/archives/allahpundit/2020/10/14/merriam-webster-alters-definition-sexual-preference-say-offensive-hirono-attacked-barrett-using/

PM said...

Who decides what's current and what's passe? Soros? Pitbull? Some a-hole on twitter?

MayBee said...

And as I posted in the other thread, which you deleted (but you could have moved over here!!!) the online dictionary definition was actually changed yesterday to go along with the Democrats. How does that not really bother people?

Ken B said...

Althouse: “I don't think the really radical people like Democrats.”

Agreed. But a significant portion of the Democrats kowtow to them. The real issue,as James Lindsay has argued, is not the leadership level its the administrative takeover and the redefining of terms. This is EXACTLY on point

https://twitter.com/ConceptualJames/status/1316049115701108736

and it’s exactly why Biden Harris are worrisome here.

SGT Ted said...

Who appointed Sen Hirono as a Word Fascist for LGBTQ people in the first place?

The term is not offensive in the least. It is simply a line of attack meant to paint ACB as a homophobe and a bigot.

Dad29 said...

Kennedy's dicta remain the most ridiculous words ever put to paper in SCOTUS proceedings. Sad that the USA produces such utter morons.

Static Ping said...

I don't think the really radical people like Democrats. They could look at transcripts of things Hirono has said and condemn her. I think it would be easy for the critical studies scholars.

Oh, I have no doubt that the "really radical" have no use for Hirono, but Hirono certainly has a use for them. Again, your peril. We have all witnessed Democrats cheer on rioters and anarchists for the past several months and yet some of us still cling to the illusion that they are "moderates."

Matt Sablan said...

"When did these become questions we ask supreme court candidates?"

-- The senator in question apparently has asked it of every nominee since 2018 or so when the #MeToo movement was at its height. It'll be interesting, if Biden wins, if the tradition will continue.

Wa St Blogger said...

All this sound s like a social version of a Bill of Attainder - declare something illegal after the commission of the act to deny the person due process rights. In our cancel culture there is no due process.

Joe Smith said...

"...although we have yet to discover a gay gene."

Someone once observed that if a gay gene was actually found, liberals would think twice about elective abortion.

The logic being that the left insists that the US is irredeemably homophobic.

Parents of gay babies-to-be could logically choose to abort the child so that it would not suffer the indignities of being gay in such a homophobic world.

Whiskeybum said...

Althouse is probably hoping that the next Hirono offense-shaming vocabulary victim is "garner".

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Ken B said...
It isn’t an offensive phrase. This is a power play, and a standard tactic in purity spirals.


Yes. This.

The proper response to this is mockery. That video was perfect for that. Then you push back, and you attack the purity spiral asshole for being a bully and a thug.

Because that's what they are

Meade said...

mockturtle said...
"The Left has been moving the PC goalposts for decades so why should be be surprised? We should just go back to saying 'queer' and be done with it. Or better yet, don't call 'them' anything except the human beings they are. Enough with the identity politics!"

Exactly right. What Hirono is doing is Theory (specifically queer theory) in practice: "[Q]ueer theory builds both upon feminist challenges to the idea that gender is part of the essential self and upon gay/lesbian studies' close examination of the socially constructed nature of sexual acts and identities." It is nearly inscrutable. Even for a high-IQ person like me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queer_theory

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

You missed the true evil of Hirono's attack on ACB. It's not that she scolded her for using the term, it's that she accused her of knowing it was offensive and using it on purpose.

"I don't think it was an accident."


I just thought this bears repeating.

Hironon's point was not only that Barrett was ignorant but she was intentionally causing pain.

MayBee said...

Francisco D said...
I have long suspected that sexual orientation/preference is strongly influenced by biology, although we have yet to discover a gay gene.

However, there are gay men and women who choose their sexual preference for reasons that have little to do with biology. For example, I have had quite a few lesbian patients (and a couple of friends) who were sexually abused in adolescence. It makes sense that they would choose a same sex partner rather than relive their childhood sexual abuse.


Yes!
I've bolded the part I think about--- Democrats like to say they follow the science. Well, there isn't a lot of science about why people are gay or trans. What if it were found to be an *entirely* social construct. Do they then want people to say, "ok, no more right to marry because we're following the science". No! So don't base the argument on science you don't yet have.
Base it on the same things we base the other rights to equality on.

Mr Wibble said...

Why hang your hat on whether it's a choice or something made into you?

They're trying to follow the model of the civil rights movement, both because of its success as well as because it is attractive to a lot of people. Claiming that sexuality is innate and immutable also allows them to sidestep any discussion about to what extent the State should recognize and enable choices which the majority feel are harmful or socially destructive.

The far left isn't interested in "rights", but in waging perpetual war against any form of perceived "inequality". Practically, that means that the left has over the past century taken aim at heterosexuality and monogamy, two pillars of our modern social institutions which they claim are oppressive. By claiming that homosexuality is immutable and innate, they can demand that the culture and social institutions adapt to accept it. It also opens to the door to other behaviors. One line of argument that I've seen goes, "Gays aren't monogamous, and gay marriages won't be monogamous. Therefore with gay marriage legalized straights need to rethink their expectations of monogamy as a part of marriage." I read four separate articles making variations on this argument in the months following the first gay marriage court victories.



Birkel said...

Every college freshman female who experimented because it aroused the boys will be surprised that their lesbianism is immutable.

The college boys will be disappointed to learn of this.

Drago said...

Hirono "schooled" Barrett in precisely the same way the lefties/LLR-lefties "schooled" Trump on campaign strategy in 2016.....

In precisely the same way.

loudogblog said...

I think that there is a difference between a preferred term and an offensive term. It's one thing to say that you prefer "sexual orientation" over "sexual preference," but to claim that "sexual preference" is offensive is hard to prove because the terms are so similar. Also, most people didn't even realize that some people considered it offensive until this week. (I know I didn't.) One thing that bothers me about society today is that people can be found guilty of being offensive when they had absolutely no intention of being offensive. I think that for someone to be offensive, there has to be an intent to offend.

Jason said...

As usual, Professor Althouse sheds 30+ IQ points on any and all topics involving LGBTs.

Actually, she goes full fucking bonkers.

Anthony said...

When everything is offensive, nothing is.

I used to think Patty Murray was the dumbest Senator, until Hirono came along. Like I've said for quite a while now, Those who can, do; those who can't, teach; the rest of the dummies go into government.

Well, or the media.

buwaya said...

"A boy for pleasure, a goat for ecstasy"

The Brazilian one is nicer - more human really, the Arabs are simply perverted.

"Branca para casar, mulata para fornicar, negra para trabalhar"

Openidname said...

"Ann Althouse said...

"I don't think the really radical people like Democrats. They could look at transcripts of things Hirono has said and condemn her. I think it would be easy for the critical studies scholars."

I think you're confirming the point that it's all about making sure everyone is guilty of something, so you can control everyone through their guilt. It's not about believing in a coherent doctrine. In fact, the more incoherent, the better.

Openidname said...

There may be no gay gene. But there's some evidence that gayness is biologically (although not genetically) determined. Influences in the womb, perhaps.

Joe Smith said...

"But I took Hirono's scolding to heart."

And once again...we (citizens, taxpayers) pay the salaries of these people.

They are our employees/servants.

I do not take kindly to being scolded by my employees.

Mark said...

I asked last night --

So explain to me why it is "offensive and outdated" to speak of sexual preference, or to suggest that gay is a choice.

Are they saying that no one would ever choose or prefer to be gay? That they are gay only because they are forced to be against their will?


Let me add why is it objectively wrong to speak of preference or choice with respect to sexuality, including the CHOICE to have sex with a given (type of) person or not? To say that there is no choice or preference at all is to say that "all sex is rape." Another leftist, progressive, critical theory idea.

As for Hirono saying it is "offensive" -- well, I am offended that she would say that. Does HER being offensive count for anything?

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Sexual orientation" always sounded to me like a service the NAMBLA guys think of themselves as providing. See, the poor lads are new to sex, and are going to be confused unless someone older and wiser gives them a little orientation.

Rick said...

Ann Althouse said...I don't think the really radical people like Democrats. They could look at transcripts of things Hirono has said and condemn her. I think it would be easy for the critical studies scholars.

There's an interesting reveal implied from the word "could". Sure they could, Hirono and everyone else certainly violate the principles the radical left claims. But Althouse has to use the word could because in reality they do not. Why? Because the radical left's posturing as different from the so called mainstream left is a branding mechanism to allow left wing Dems (which is nearly all public Dems) to disclaim their goals. In reality Dems support all or nearly all of their goals. The radical role is twofold:

1. To be as extreme as possible to make Dems look moderate by comparison, and
2. To provide a framework left wing Dems can use in their efforts to pull the country left.

For example Dems like to pretend Obama was a moderate. But his appointments and initiatives were uniformly far left and pulled the country much further left of its median citizen or voter (and it started left of that point). The average citizen would be horrified to understand what Title IX actually does and how it is executed, violating every tenet of due process, fairness, and equity held by a majority of Americans. But there is no public awareness of this because the Dem media and allied institutions misrepresent reality so only the few who actually experience the result understand what it is all about.

The same is true with Obama's Due and Settle strategy on environmental policy. The goal is to bypass legislation where the impacts and demands are public and implement economically damaging regulation via stealth. Not only does this avoid revealing the Dems true positions but also leads to the public blaming businesses or "capitalism" generally for the economic problems because there is no public awareness of the problem's source.

Understand that recreating this institutional framework to encompass everyone is the end goal of leftism. They want unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats reviewing every dispute to ensure their favored groups are victorious regardless of the merits. They're showing us the world they would create if they had complete freedom, something they are closing in on.

wendybar said...

Todd said...
What Ted Cruz did the other day on Citizens Untied was the left getting "schooled".

What Senator Hirono did was be a condescending, left wing prog b*tch looking for her pound of flesh.

10/14/20, 11:14 AM

This. We are living in an episode of the Overton Window.

Deanna said...

Amy Klobuchar talking about her concerns about a free press - Amy Klobuchar talking .... makes me blood boil. She is so very disgusting. "one last try" - such stupid grandstanding. Hirono and Klobuchar are two rotten peas in a withered pod.

Mark said...

I have long suspected that sexual orientation/preference is strongly influenced by biology

If sexuality is biologically determined, then biology has consigned lesbians and gays to extinction. That is a strange biology.

Men and women, by their very nature, are objectively made for perpetuation of the species, i.e. procreation, which can ONLY happen by male-female sexual joinder.

EVERY PERSON, whether he calls himself "gay" or "straight" is, by his ontological nature made for opposite sex relations. One can go against that immutable human nature by his actions -- wherein even the sex act involves penile interaction with a facsimile vagina (mouth or anus) -- but the fact remains that a man is biologically oriented toward sexual joinder with a woman.

That is science. But we have long abandoned science in favor of ideology.

RK said...

I'm so disappointed with the quality of women in the Senate.

tim in vermont said...

I was surprised to hear that "sexual preference" has become — at least in some circles — a politically incorrect term.

That’s rhetorical, it has to be.

Amadeus 48 said...

If they get their knickers in a twist with "sexual preference", imagine where they will go with "court packing". That sounds kinda dirty to me. Wasn't Kavanaugh accused of court packing by Julie Sweatnik (Sleezebag out of Avenatti)?

mockturtle said...

Buwaya @11:40. I didn't realize Brazilians were as racist as that. They need to be schooled. ;-)

Patrick Henry was right! said...

Senator Hirono is simply wrong and should apologize.
Sexual preference, as a matter of science, remains just that until a naturally occurring gene or other biological basis for sexual preference is identified and then verified by scientific means.
Until it is scientifically proven as immutable, its a preference.
BTW, I was told in the 80s that preference was preferred. What changed?

rehajm said...

Today Mazie Hirono said the term "sexual preference" is offensive.
@SteveKrak
showed as of September 28 Merriam-Webster didn't say it was offensive, but today it does say that.
So I checked when the entry was last changed according to merriam webster and *THEY CHANGED IT TODAY*

GingerBeer said...

Sen. Hirono must now direct her mild contempt to the haters at "The Advocate."

https://twitter.com/TheAdvocateMag/status/1309600179662647296

Amadeus 48 said...

"Orientation"--aligned with the east, is it? Does Hirono take offense at that? If so, why? If not, why not?

Mazie Hirono couldn't school a herring--the fish would be smarter.

wendybar said...

I'm just so glad to have a Nerf gun. It is getting A LOT of use during this confirmation. These people are nuts. ACB has more class in her pinkie, than the whole bunch of them lumped together. Klobuchar is up there lying her ass off about the propaganda media and I want to stuff a sock in her mouth. So sick of the lies.

hombre said...

Vote in 2020 to make Kurt Schlicter’s novels fiction again.

Democrat politicians are out of the closet now - so to speak - thanks to Trump. Hirono, Schiff, Biden, Pelosi, Harris, Clinton and other Democrat electeds are showing up as the unprincipaled, hypocritical douchebags we’ve suspected them to be. After all, ORANGE MAN BAD.

The downside is that our neighbors, friends and relatives who insist on voting for them are showing up as equally unprincipled, stupid or worse. Democrat pols are what they have been for some time, but not so openly. We can no longer excuse their minions as having been duped. They are fully signed on to The Dark Side.

How do you excuse someone, for example, for reupping with the Russia Hoax, Burisma graft team? Forgive them? Sure. It’s the Christian way. Excuse them? I don’t think so!

rehajm said...

The left controls by claiming control of the language, be it Hillary redefining terms, or Obama's people stealing the W's on the keyboards or Websters redefining of words to suit the left's narrative against a sterling candidate.

Fuck you all...

wendybar said...

Deanna said...
Amy Klobuchar talking about her concerns about a free press - Amy Klobuchar talking .... makes me blood boil. She is so very disgusting. "one last try" - such stupid grandstanding. Hirono and Klobuchar are two rotten peas in a withered pod.

10/14/20, 11:54 AM

I commented before I read this. Apparently we were feeling the same. This is what the women of the left are doing to American women out here in the real world!!

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Democrats to you:

You cannot criticize us.

You are all racists and colonialists and homophobic bigots. Unless you support us, you are all irremediable deplorables and fill in the blank ______phobics.

You will obey the street thugs named Antifa.

You will ignore all powerful grifting by the highest ranked officials in government if they have a (D) behind their name. and if you dare ask about the grift, we will come after you with the full force of the government.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Amy Klobuchar revealed her true self.

She is a vile disgusting creep. If a moderate democrat such as Amy K is that vile - do you all understand what a shit show the democrat party is?

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Call Mazie at her D.C. office - (202) 224-6361 and leave a message. Let her know what you think about her redefinition of offensive language.

Mazie is the perfect example of "Ignorance is fixable, stupid is forever."

Amadeus 48 said...

Now I am starting to get mad at Althouse for being such a sucker.

Insty has a Tweet up from The Advocate (yes, that one) using the term sexual preference on September 25, 2020. No one tell Mazie. She'll try to "school" The Advocate.

It is one thing for a notorious idiot like Mazie Hirono to spout nonsense. It is another thing for Althouse to parse it and conclude that the nitwit might have a point.

I stand with The Advocate--until they pull their tweet and rewrite their story. We have to stand for common sense.

hombre said...

RK said...
‘I'm so disappointed with the quality of women in the Senate.’

I’m so disappointed with the quality of women in much of the electorate.

As to “sexual preference,” it is an accurate descriptor. God doesn’t make people gay, etc. He gives them the power to choose to be gay, etc. Hence “preference.” Why would he do that? For the same reason he gives people the right to reject him. Free will is an inherent component of God’s people.

Tim said...

Hirono schooled no one. She is just a stupid dolt.

DavidUW said...

I prefer big butts and I cannot lie.

hombre said...

Once Barrett is confirmed the Dems, if elected, will go all in on Court packing because SCOTUS will be the last barrier to Leftist/Democrat totalitarianism. They will explain to the ignoramuses who voted them in that it was necessary to prevent “right wing totalitarianism,” assuming the ignoramuses “deserve” an explanation.

Francisco D said...

Mark said...
If sexuality is biologically determined, then biology has consigned lesbians and gays to extinction. That is a strange biology.

I am not an evolutionary biologist, but there are genetic transmissions that serve an unclear evolutionary purpose.

Color blindness would appear to serve little purpose, but the color blind are quite useful in picking out patterns that are disguised by colors such as camouflage. Perhaps there is an adaptive purpose to approximately 2% of the population have same sex orientation.

n.n said...

The "right to choose" is a euphemistic expression to rationalize the wicked solution. It is the premeditated, Planned termination of a human life for social progress and other purposes.

Sexual preference and orientation are sex-correlated in the normal distribution of males and females. The exceptions are in the transgender spectrum not limited to homosexuals, which may occur through environmental corruption in the womb and social indoctrination, where the former is assumed, is observed to produced a stable, integrated individual.

When did this change of meaning happen.

Around the time that Pro-Choice was established as a progressive selective, opportunistic quasi-religion ("ethics"), gay and lesbian were appropriated to refer to trans/homosexuals in softened, emotionally-appealing ("=") terms. Bigots do not trust people to reach their preferred conclusions and are oriented to coerce or override a consensus through manipulation, through semantic games.

2020 feminism means

Feminism is to masculinism are chauvinistic ideologies, each not limited to their respective sexes (e.g. #HerToo #SheProgressed), and not representative of the character or interests of either females or males, respectively.

n.n said...

I'm so disappointed with the quality of women in the Senate.

Once you go Pro-Choice... the tell-tale hearts beat ever louder.

n.n said...

If sexuality is biologically determined, then biology has consigned lesbians and gays to extinction

Presumably, yes. However, the trans/homosexual orientation is a preference, and some trans/homosexuals do transition, if only temporarily, for the sake of evolutionary fitness, which is clearly an overriding imperative for both the male and female sexes.

Matt said...

The greatest deliberative body in the world...or so I'm told.

These are not serious people. These are buffoons playacting at responsible governance. F the braindead simps that voted them into office.

Lurker21 said...


Then there's "sexual orienteering."

It has something to do with why the Boy Scouts went bankrupt.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Wow. Lots of comments. I'll take a crack at some political theory.

"Preference" seems to mean you have a right to choose, period. You declare your gender or sexual orientation, there is no objective test such as your body, certainly what someone else thinks is of no relevance. The old moral and religious authorities tried to say that only certain things are natural, other things have to be condemned, regulated, etc. People exercising their freedom might find out that certain things are more or less natural, or "right for them," but this has to be a free or unpredictable process. On the other hand, merely acting on a preference sounds kind of superficial.

"Orientation" sounds like a compass needle pointing at the north pole. There is a natural orientation, but it might take a struggle, including a struggle against the old authorities, to find it. Weirdly, each individual may have a slightly different orientation: what kind of sex partner, how many, which positions, etc. In a way it is like aligning the atoms in our bodies with the atoms in the world--it's all physics. The old rules and laws foolishly tried to stand in the way of this. Free people exercising their wills can discover it, but what is discovered is somehow natural, even in a way teleological. But not necessarily directed at family, children, law-abidingness or anything like that. Not even directed at most people being alike except in the sense that each individual is pursuing his or her orientation.

gilbar said...

doesn't this show, that the Correct answer, to Any democrat question;
is to quote the immortal SE Hinton: That was THEN, This is NOW???

n.n said...

There may be no gay gene. But there's some evidence that gayness is biologically (although not genetically) determined. Influences in the womb, perhaps.

Thus trans (i.e. state or process) gender, and not transsexual, where the former is a phenotypic, and with social progress an indoctrinated, corrupted state, and the latter is genetic.

Paco Wové said...

"O'Brien really schooled that Winston Smith in Room 101 yesterday. You shoulda heard it!"

donald said...

I’ve had little use for Josh Hawley until right this second.

n.n said...

Deranged Democrat. #DiversityAdversity #PrinciplesMatter #HateLovesAbortion

Howard said...

All this twisted sister talk sure turns you people on

Mike Sylwester said...

Whiskeybum at 11:26 AM
Althouse is probably hoping that the next Hirono offense-shaming vocabulary victim is "garner".

Thread winner !!!

minnesota farm guy said...

RK's statement at 11:54 won the thread as far as I am concerned.

Balfegor said...

Does anyone have a link to a pre-Hirono argument that "sexual preference" is offensive? I'd be interested to see the route by which the notion made its way from the fringe into the US Senate. Maybe one of her staffers is a woke radical who has been indoctrinating his/her colleagues?

Robert Cook said...

"For example Dems like to pretend Obama was a moderate. But his appointments and initiatives were uniformly far left and pulled the country much further left of its median citizen or voter (and it started left of that point)."

Hahaha! As if!

gilbar said...

so, the democrats are saying, that male sexual attraction to another male is innate...
kinda like a pedophile's sexual attraction to a young child?

is THAT what they're saying? That homosexuality is NOT a choice, it is a mental depravity?

asking for a friend?

Bay Area Guy said...

Hirono trying to school Barrett is like a 45-year old drunken softball player trying to school Mike Trout on his hitting stance.

Wikitorix said...

But I took Hirono's scolding to heart. Even though what I've just said is what I genuinely think upon reflection, my first reaction was: Oh! I didn't know this was offensive! Have I offended?!

Yes, you are absolutely correct - Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. Be sure to thank Big Brother when he increases your chocolate ration from 20 grams to 18 grams.

I'm Not Sure said...

"I think you're confirming the point that it's all about making sure everyone is guilty of something, so you can control everyone through their guilt. It's not about believing in a coherent doctrine. In fact, the more incoherent, the better."

Ayn Rand calling- line 1....

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers."

Mark said...

Perhaps there is an adaptive purpose to approximately 2% of the population have same sex orientation

You don't need to be an evolutionary biologist to know that any purpose it might serve is extermination -- a contradiction to the inherent survivability principle of life -- because SAME SEX COUPLES CANNOT REPRODUCE.

Limited to their same-sex relationship, they WILL die out. They, like everyone else, can reproduce ONLY through heterosexual means (sperm and egg, male and female) even if they have some third-party lab technician artificially intervening in the process.

Let's not play dumb here.

n.n said...

Whiskeybum at 11:26 AM
Althouse is probably hoping that the next Hirono offense-shaming vocabulary victim is "garner".

Thread winner !!!


Yes, a word of ill repute. Also, civility, which is always bullshit.

Then there's "sexual orienteering."

It has something to do with why the Boy Scouts went bankrupt.


They were woke and probably didn't even know it until the victims started piling up. And now their prosecutors are woken and drowsy: no labels/too many labels, no judgment/warlock judgments... democracy is aborted in darkness.

Tina Trent said...

Isn't there some sarcasm, or at least sarcasm's polite cousin, exasperation, in Althouse's apology?

donald said...

“Barrett has spent two days saying she's above answering any question on any legal issue presented because she's a judge and/or because this or that case in under judicial review and/or because it's an ongoing legal controversy.

Which is appropriate.

Except she, twice now, suspended her own lil' judicial hymen to rip innocent cops accused of racist crimes in cases that are: (1) currently working through the courts and thus under judicial review, (2) are legally controversial, and are (3) on issues that she will certainly weigh on as a judge.

She should not be commenting on these cases either.

Why does she feel so comfortable doing it? Anti-cop race-pandering trumps judicial objectivity. So principled Amy feels perfectly comfortable joining what she otherwise deems to be the extra-judicial mob.

Maybe she should adopt some children of murdered cops and publicly recount bawling with them the next time some thug plants a 22 in another decent cop's brain.

She's no better than Hirono, just more selective in her prejudices“.


I heard this while driving yesterday and turned over immediately to some championship Braves talk. My stomach curled. You nailed it Ms Trent.

And yeah that was some world class groveling. A disgrace.

Richard Dolan said...

Very amusing, even it Hirono intended something quite different (and nasty, in the non-nyctinasty sense). It's impossible to keep up with the latest PC-approved definitions, because they keep contradicting themselves. "Sexual preference" is bad because it suggests choice, and we all know that it's not a matter of choice. Except that we all know that everything about how we live our lives is just a matter of socially defined roles and narratives. Essentialism is out, say the Crits (in matters of gender as well as race). It's not possible to keep up with it.

Daniel Rodgers (Princeton history prof) wrote a book (the Age of Fracture, terrific read if this stuff interests you) about the wars being fought to control the language in which all of these issues are discussed. Rodgers has a lot of fun with the twists and turns in feminist theory, gay vs trans disputes (is one's sexual preference/orientation/whatever an essential, genetically determined aspect of one's personhood, or something culturally framed and defined, more fluid and indeterminate), and many others to boot, as he dissects the changing language in which the hot political issues of the late 20th Century were debated. And control over the language, as any Crit will tell you, is an exercise of dominance that some grab and use at the expense of others.

Also amusing (and telling, not 'accidental,' as Hirono might say) that Merriam-Webster changed its definition of "preference" yesterday, to add a note saying that use of the term to describe issues of gender is deemed "offensive".

Too bad both M-W and Hirono are so far behind the times, assuming that "times" has any meaning in this context.

hstad said...

Yep, "offensive and outdated" that's a real winner by another "woke person" telling us how to behave, speak, associate, etc. These peoples accusations lack any self-analysis. They really are ignorant of world cultures and governments who did exactly what they support with frightening results for humanity.

Maybe I should be charitable and chalk these comments off to: '...it's the political season' where 'etiquette' is completely turned upside down and absent of all common sense.

robother said...

As Hannah Arendt observed generally, Mazie Hirono's intellectual banality is what makes her the ideal enforcer of totalitarianism, whether in the form of Newspeak or even more serious life and death matters.

hstad said...

Yep, "offensive and outdated" that's a real winner by another "woke person" telling us how to behave, speak, associate, etc. These peoples accusations lack any self-analysis. They really are ignorant of world cultures and governments who did exactly what they support with frightening results for humanity.

Maybe I should be charitable and chalk these comments off to: '...it's the political season' where 'etiquette' is completely turned upside down and absent of all common sense.

Francisco D said...

Howard said...
All this twisted sister talk sure turns you people on

I know that you prefer to talk about blowjobs, but this thread is not about Kamala Harris.

gerry said...

If you let liberals redefine the meanings of words, they'll redefine so much that life becomes a tense torment. Take the Constitution of the United States for example...

Rick said...

Robert Cook said...
Hahaha! As if!


See what I mean? The left fringe uses its own preferences to pretend the middle (and therefore the reasonable compromise position) is further left than it is. That's why left controlled institutions broadcast the fringe preferences.

Chennaul said...

I am not going to use the term offended, but— maybe I am offended by two degrees of removal.

Hirono did not really care about a thing she—read —at the last minute—even though her notes were highlighted by the help.

The lack of even a comprehensive reading smoked of bullshit and batshit.

Hirono’s insincerity to simply cause chaos, division and pain should be rejected.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Perhaps there is an adaptive purpose to approximately 2% of the population have same sex orientation.

In pre-modern times people were expected to marry and have children. Children were needed to perpetuate the group and care for the old. So, people had kids regardless of how they felt about sex and who they wanted to have it with.

Todd said...

Francisco D said...

Perhaps there is an adaptive purpose to approximately 2% of the population have same sex orientation.

10/14/20, 12:35 PM


Hot girl-on-girl to get all the CIS males wound up going into breading season?

gerry said...

...I have had quite a few lesbian patients (and a couple of friends) who were sexually abused in adolescence. It makes sense that they would choose a same sex partner rather than relive their childhood sexual abuse.


Nothing is guaranteed.

John henry said...

Buwaya,

Here in Puerto Rico we don't have black and white. We have a broad continuum from African black to Scandinavian white and every shade in between.

"Negra", and negro is a term of endearment. Roughly equivalent to honey in English.

I might go into a comevete (eat and run) and have the waitress ask "que quieres, negro?"

If we are on more familiar terms and she wants to be a bit friendlier, she might call me negrito.

This in spite of being pretty white in skin tone.

Not sure if this is common in other Spanish speaking places. I've only noticed it in pr.

John Henry

tim in vermont said...

I see that the Webster’s Dictionary altered their definition to match the attack on ACB. It reminds me of how they changed the definition of ‘baby’ to exclude the sense of unborn child. So if you were using their dictionary to understand the sentence “I felt the baby kick” you would have to imagine that the ‘baby' had walked up to mommy and kicked her in the ankle.

1984 was really a how to and we never imagined it.

"But I took Hirono's scolding to heart. Even though what I've just said is what I genuinely think upon reflection”

Tl;dr: “I love Big Brother."

Texan99 said...

Originally, when public opinion was strongly against homosexuality, people wouldn't have thought twice about calling it a sexual perversion. Sexual "preference" was a rhetorical device to emphasize that people have a right to their own choices about sexual behavior. Unfortunately, the new thinking became that no one chooses which sex to be attracted to, and to suggest that they do leaves them vulnerable to an argument that their choice exposes them to consequences. It because overpoweringly important to get across the idea that the whole thing was innate and involuntary, so it became "orientation." As someone noted recently, we have arrived at the point when sexual attraction is innate and immutable, but sexual identity (male/female/whatever) is a completely fluid matter of individual choice. It won't be long before we are required to adopt a new term that expresses not only the invulnerability of a choice of sex to criticism, but implies that it is innate and not under the control even of the individual whose sex is to change to match the "truth."

tcrosse said...

Hirono was Japsplaining.

Bilwick said...

Instapundit is showing times when Biden used there term Crazy Maizie finds so offensive.

tim in vermont said...

"All this twisted sister talk sure turns you people on”

Judging by the front page of P*nhub, it turns somebody on, or so my pervert friend relates. I never go there, of course. It’s just my friend told me, yeah, that’s the ticket, it was my pervert friend.

Openidname said...

"Balfegor said...

"Does anyone have a link to a pre-Hirono argument that 'sexual preference' is offensive?"

This GLAAD page:

https://www.glaad.org/reference/offensive

Unless it, too, was edited overnight.

Fernandinande said...

These things matter in part because they can change and you do have a choice.

Free will is a religious idea. Here, a biologist and a physicist explain why it's false.

Francisco D said...

Mark said...
SAME SEX COUPLES CANNOT REPRODUCE.

Limited to their same-sex relationship, they WILL die out. They, like everyone else, can reproduce ONLY through heterosexual means (sperm and egg, male and female) even if they have some third-party lab technician artificially intervening in the process.

Let's not play dumb here.


Why do you assume that homosexuals need to reproduce? The vast majority of gay men and women I have known came from heterosexual parents. Darwinian selection does not apply. Even when it seems to apply (e.g., with color blindness) there is often a positive evolutionary benefit to what is a genetic anomaly.

Use your imagination, Mark. I think you have a very rigid and narrow way of looking at this issue. Are you a lawyer?

stever said...

Madame Senator, you're no Daniel Inoyue

Iman said...

Howeeeeee’s fixations/lamentations are a scream.

Openidname said...

"Mark said...

"If sexuality is biologically determined, then biology has consigned lesbians and gays to extinction."

You're overlooking kinship effects. Under the "gay uncle" hypothesis, childless gay males provide additional care and support for their siblings and for their siblings' children, thus enhancing the probability that their genes -- genes that they share with their siblings -- make it into another generation.

I believe the jury is still out on this hypothesis. One item of evidence in favor of it is that the more older male siblings a male baby has, the more likely the baby is to be gay.

Jerry said...

Hot girl-on-girl to get all the CIS males wound up going into breading season?

10/14/20, 2:00 PM

Otherwise, they'd just be loafing around?

Quaestor said...

Sexual preference. Sexual preference. Let's all say "sexual preference" to everyone we meet pertaining to every topic imaginable. Example, a waiter or waitress might say in response to the question What's good today? "Well. we have a nice bifteck au poivre today, but the truite meunière amandine is real treat, I must say. It depends on your sexual preference."

Resist! Resist! Resist the language Nazis.

DanTheMan said...

Hirono "schooled" ACB in much the same way that Winston Smith "schooled" others with his announcement about the chocolate ration increase.


tim in vermont said...

Combine this instant switcharoo of formerly acceptable terms to Yelp’s new “Raycisst!” warnings for anybody who violates these constantly changing norms and it might lead a disinterested person to ask themselves who the real fascists are. One of the foundational postulates of fascism is that businesses must serve the Party first, market second.

Of course all of the teachers who might point this out have long been drummed out of the academy, because “What’s the opposite of diversity? University!”

I have to figure out how to block Yelp on my iPhone.

Drago said...

Lloyd W. Robertson: "Wow. Lots of comments. I'll take a crack at some political theory."

Waste of time.

The attack on Barrett for using the wrong word is simply today's ploy to get after her. The lefties/LLR-lefties are likely to have a new word teed up in 15 minutes to use as a political bludgeon against their political foes.

It doesn't matter what the lefties said before. It doesn't matter what the lefties are saying right now. All that matters is that anyone is not one of them is already guilty and must bow down to the left.

Of course, the left has been rather spoiled for the last several decades because they are closest in proximity to LLR-lefty and NeverTrump "conservative" "republicans" who exist for the sole reason of seeking validation from their lefty masters. That is why the lefties/LLR-lefties get so outraged when any normal person who happens to be passing by looks at them and, instead of kneeling like a Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney, tells the lefties to sod off.

bagoh20 said...

We should adopt the adjective "holy" before the new terms so we know what the religious dogma of the current week is.

It reminds me of the way the clergy in the middle ages claimed superiority because they could read "the word", and keep it from the "deplorables" of the time.

Earnest Prole said...

Here, let me help with the distinction: My sexual orientation is straight; my sexual preference would be for Amy Coney Barrett to spank me intellectually and for me to spank Amy Coney Barrett physically. Sadly, as Donald Trump taught us with help from the Rolling Stones, you can’t always get what you want.

wendybar said...

Now she's getting the race lecture.

friscoda said...

mikee said...
It isn't the words that are important. The list of verboten terms changes at will, to prevent anyone from being innocent of fault. And if you are guilty, you get the boot stopming on your face. Trust me, you're guilty, and it is the boot on your face that is the whole point of the exercise. You are declared guilty, without evidence or trial or reason, and you get the boot stomping your face, because that is what they want. Not proper language, not respect, not fairness. They want to stomp your face with a boot, and this is the way they do that, by arbitrary capricious declarations of "offense." Just lay back and enjoy that boot, because it isn't going anywhere. It will just be there stomping on your face, for as long as these vile Democrats remain in office.

Or you can say, when they claim offense, "Your being offended is YOUR emotional response, and I am not responsible for your inability to control your emotions within the bounds of adult behavior in public. Go to hell, and take your boot with you."

10/14/20, 10:08 AM

This. Our hostess is mistaken in thinking that it is offensive. It is only offensive because the time is right. Tomorrow when uttered by Where Did My Brain Go Biden it will be fine.

Confirmed by M-W pusillanimous overnight revision. Heaven help us!

bagoh20 said...

"offensive and outdated"

What isn't. They left out "racist". That's like mandatory punctuation in modern leftist speak.

The observant Muslim would say "Mohammed, peace be upon him, ...".

The modern Democrat says "President Trump, the racist, ...".

ga6 said...

Sexual Preference?

Hmm, reminds me of a saying going back to my youth in South Chicago:

"A Stiff P---K has no conscience."

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