For generations, the AP Style Guide has been the go-to book for most journalists when looking for background or wording. Now, The Associated Press has updated that guide with new guidance on transgender issues. The preface to the changes, ironically, says it is aiming for "unbiased language."
Here are some excerpts from the AP's Transgender Coverage Topical Guide, including a few instructions to journalists wishing to abide with AP's guidelines:
- "Gender" refers to internal and social identity and often corresponds with but is not synonymous with sex. Experts say "gender" is a spectrum, not a "binary" structure consisting of only males and females, that can vary by society and change over time.
- "Sex" refers to biological characteristics, such as chromosomes, hormones and reproductive anatomy.
- Since not all people fall under one of two categories for "sex" or "gender" – as in the cases of "nonbinary" and "intersex" people – avoid references to "both," "either" or "opposite sexes" or "genders."
- Use the term "sex (or gender) assigned at birth" instead of "biological sex," "birth gender," "was identified at birth as," "born a girl" and the like.
- Don't refer in interviews or stories to "preferred" or "chosen" pronouns. Instead, "the pronouns they use," "whose pronouns are," "who uses the pronouns," etc.
The changes, according to Don Irvine with Accuracy in Media, are a wholehearted endorsement of the radical left's redefinition of reality. And while AP claims it is trying not to be offensive, Irvine claims that, in fact, it's striking a knockout blow to traditional – and biblical – thinking.
"We have to now create and craft this language so we don't hurt or offend anybody," he responds. "But we give the other side the advantage [when we do that]. They get the leg up on all of this now."
The media expert argues that when you lose the language, you cannot win the war. "If you change what the definition of the group is to something that is less offensive or at least encouraging, it's a different perception," he tells AFN. "I mean, for people, perception is reality."
But Irvine notes that traditional liberals are starting to push back on the radical redefinition not only of words, but of reality. Some of them, he says, signed on to the Democratic Party because they wanted better social programs for the poor or stronger labor unions – but now their daughters are losing to transgender males on females' sports teams.
"Now they're starting to say 'Hey, wait a minute, that isn't what I signed up for. This is not part of the program. We had other things that we were trying to do on the agenda. When did this appear on the agenda?'"
AP, he says, has dug itself "such a deep hole" it will not be able to crawl out of to fix what it has done wrong.
Accuracy in Media recently took Merriam-Webster to task for changing its dictionary definitions of "male" and "female" to appease transgender activists.
"There's nothing more Orwellian than redefining words for political purposes," says the group. "Merriam-Webster might think that gender is fluid, but facts and definitions should not be fluid."