What is a woman?
It’s a question so simple, with an answer so obvious, that only an academic, politician, or government bureaucrat could trip over it. Of course, that’s not for lack of knowledge. Let’s be honest, we all know the difference between mum and dad, but we’re not all fed by the same hand. These sorts are constrained by fear, and what they fear is speaking against the religion of progressivism currently dominating some of our most influential institutions.
It is, after all, the most unforgiving of religions. Transgress, and there’s no means of atonement, repentance will not suffice, and no sacrifice can be made to cover your sins. Blaspheme, or even just say something that the woke Inquisitors could squint hard enough to take offence over (think “beep, bop, boop”), and your career will be burned at the stake, your reputation, eternally damned.
For sensible Christians, and anyone else who doesn’t give a rip about the sensitivities of the progressive zeitgeist, the natural reaction to the unwillingness to commit to any meaningful definition of “woman” is to state the obvious by affirming and reaffirming what they’re too frightened to say. Courage culture beats cancel culture, and so we retort: A woman is an adult female person! A woman is an adult female person! A woman is an adult female person!
Speaking truth to error is commendable, especially when it can cost you your friends, family, and employment, but we’d do well to remember it’s not for an inability to recall primary school science. Our opponents are well-aware of the first entry under “woman” in every dictionary printed since Gutenberg. We’re not telling them anything they don’t already know. We’re affirming what they’re too frightened to say.
Through fear and a commitment to professional self-preservation, those who refuse to answer the question ‘What is a woman?‘ are helping to turn society on its head at its most fundamental level. As such, they’re working to cultivate a society where truth is exclusively measured by those it contradicts. In other words, the arbiter of truth has become the liar. When reality clashes with whatever social trend the progressives are pushing, it is reality that must give way. This is ideological tyranny at its worst, and it must be identified as such if we want to offer any meaningful response.
Reaffirming “adult female person” at this point is good, but it won’t suffice for the situation. This isn’t merely a matter of preserving the dictionary in its current state by reminding progressives of their third-grade lessons in basic human biology, because this isn’t a matter of ignorance on their part. It’s a matter of religion.
Yes, religion. It’s an absurd religion, and one worthy of the highest mockery, but it still must be primarily treated as a religious debate, regardless of whether the progressives want to recognize it as such. This is because we’re not just disputing the meaning of words. What we’re arguing over is how and where ultimate reality is defined. It’s a question of origin, it’s a question of being, it’s a question of morality, it’s a question of religion.
We say one thing, they say another, but what is the source and measure of truth and meaning necessary to settle our disputes? Is it found without or within? Is ultimate reality something we must conform to, regardless of our feelings and opinions, or is it something malleable that we can shape according to our personal preferences (and then ironically force onto others)?
Our dictionaries originate from a world that affirms the former. They simply recognize realities, they don’t create them. By nature, dictionary definitions are dictated by the world outside of our own thoughts and feelings. Otherwise, what need would we have for them? We need only look within. Science functions the same way in that it is the discovery, not the invention of truth.
But within a worldview that affirms the latter, that says truth is subject to the individual, and that reality is relative to the reader, then the whole idea of “woman” is nothing more than just that — an idea. Reality is not defined from the outside in, but from the inside out, rendering “science” and thus, the definition of words, subject to change depending on the individual. Under such a framework, is it any wonder progressives so readily reject obvious facts in favour of feelings? We’re not viewing the world through the same lens.
We can debate until we’re blue in the face, insisting that the science is on our side and that facts don’t care about feelings. According to our worldview, the facts are on our side. According to their worldview, that doesn’t matter, because scientific facts have no real bearing on reality. (Of course, the whole ‘mind over matter’ thing begins to fall apart whenever the relativist looks both ways before crossing a street, but they’re generally more militant in theory than consistent in practice).
In the end, this is about a religious commitment to a particular view of reality. It’s an ideological worldview and must be recognized as such. It’s a worldview, that at its core, substitutes God with self and asserts the individual as the supreme creator and ultimate definer of reality. This is the end of progressivism: self-deification. The individual, not God, will decide who and what they are. The erasure of “women” is merely the outworking of that religion.
How did we get here? We’re not here because society decided to wage war on the dictionary. We’re here because society is at war with the Bible, because society is at war with God. We couldn’t get to the point of erasing what a woman is without first rejecting who a woman is — who she was created to be. That is a question that only the Bible can answer. To some extent, our dictionaries can tell us what, but they cannot tell us why. Society rejected the who and why, and as a result, they’re now incapable of defending the what.
Thankfully, we’re beginning to see solid, meaningful pushback. Canon+ recently released an excellent documentary in response to the cultural chaos and confusion around “women” and femininity, titled Eve In Exile. You can watch the trailer here:
In the end, the inability or unwillingness to define “woman” is just one of the many inevitable consequences of dismissing the Bible. Noah Webster, whose name has become synonymous with the “dictionary,” once warned: “All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”
If it was the rejection of the Bible that brought us here, then it will be a repentant return to the Bible, and the God of the Bible, that will restore sanity and order once again. So, if we want to heal our societies, we must heed Webster’s words, and it is the Bible, not the dictionary, that will do it.