A message to progressive media outlets like Now This: Hey, guys: stop telling people what to say. It’s really annoying, and pointless. 

In a super uninformative Now This video, Foluke Tuakli explains not only how insulting it is to call a mixed-gender/non-gender group “guys,” but explains the fraught history of the term, as though that has any real bearing on what the word signifies today. In short: it totally doesn’t, you guys, it’s just a different world, and a different word.

At issue is the fact that the word “guys” denotes men, and indicates that one is addressing men only, is a “male default” term, even if the room has non-men within in. But that’s not how the word is typically used. In parts of Pennsylvania the term “youse guys” is used to address absolutely everyone, it’s the equivalent of the Spanish “vosotros,” to address a group of people, which English doesn’t have, except for “y’all,” and no one above the Mason Dixon Line gets to use that because of cultural appropriation.

This was the same issue that came up recently at the annual meeting of the Democratic Socialists of America, when a member objected to the gender-specific term in a cringe-worthy clip that went viral. 

Now This’ video claims that “for decades we have set a standard of only addressing the men in the room,” and that this means people are “misgendered or often ignored in language.” This is only true if a listener decides this is true, it’s not intended, and the language itself has changed in a natural way. 

It’s worth noting the soft authoritarianism of the Now This video—it sounds harmless to make these little alterations to your speech patterns. After all, you don’t want to offend anyone do you? But minor and subtle manipulation of your language is precisely how progressivism works. As we’ve noted before, the media changes your language in order to manipulate you

“Climate change” is not good enough—you must use climate crisis. “Accuser” is not good enough—you must use “survivor.” And here, Now This begins by suggesting that “guys” is probably not totally okay for some people. Six months or one year from now, it will be scripture—”guys” is not good enough—you must use some gender neutral, social-justice approved alternative. If you don’t, then you don’t care about gender. And if you don’t care about gender, then you must be prejudiced and if you are prejudiced then you must be cast out.

This purposeful restructuring of language is meant to be a purposeful restructuring of your brain. The goal is not only to change what you say for the benefit of others, but to change what you think. The idea is to consciously reorganize your thought process to align with specific ideologies so that you think of the ideology before your brain actually forms any free thoughts. The goal is to get you to think within limitations. Gone are the days when we were encouraged to think outside the box, to come up with creative solutions, now we are all encouraged to think the same thoughts, for the same reasons: to not offend anyone, and to enable ideological indoctrination. 

Videos like this seem so innocuous. It’s just a quick fix, a simple adjustment, a turning of the screw, and maybe you’re personally offended by the term guys, or gals, but there’s no reason to take offense to something like this, typical, harmless language, unless you’re looking for something to be offended by.

The New York City transit system has an unintelligible comm system. It didn’t used to be this way. A few years back, the MTA created some automated responses to curb the pervasive fuzzy mumbling sound when conductors would try to communicate with passengers. Much like the London Underground’s “mind the gap,” the comm system automation would say “Ladies and gentlemen, beware of the closing door, please,” or something to that effect. The trans community found “ladies and gentleman” to be offensive because people could be gendered who didn’t wish to be. The announcements were crystal clear. But now, because of this complaint, we’re back to garbled confusion. It’s pointless. Call us turtles and frogs if you must, just let us know why we’re still stuck in this tunnel. 

“We should all be as protective is our gender identities as a cis gendered hetereosexual male,” Tuakli states. Or maybe we should just not be that protective of our gender identity, since there are about 54 of them, and they are completely absurd.

In the end, what the progressivist, authoritarian approach wants from us is to shut up completely. They don’t want us talking and they certainly don’t want us thinking. “When in doubt, say nothing at all,” Tuakli says. And of course, isn’t that the best way to be safe—to keep quiet and say absolutely nothing at all?