The internet is a powerful tool that most of us use every day. Many people turn to online resources to find the definition of words they cannot define. Chief among these resources is Dictionary.com, which made an astounding selection for their 2022 Word of the Year. You might expect a Word of the Year to be high and lofty, like prestidigitation, hapax legomenon, or antidisestablishmentarianism. Instead, Dictionary.com gave the title to the humble word “woman.” As they explained it, the word saw a 1,400% increase in searches when Senator Marsha Blackburn asked Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson if she could define what a woman is. Jackson famously responded by saying that she could not define what a woman is because she is not a biologist.
Dictionary.com deserves our gratitude for highlighting this landmark moment from 2022. However, they concluded their explanation for this choice on a very cringeworthy note. They wrote, “the dictionary is not the last word on what defines a woman. The word belongs to each and every woman—however they define themselves.” Dictionary.com may be correct to point out that they are not the ultimate arbiters of how the word “woman” is defined. However, they talk as though the word’s definition is as fluid as the opinions of those who claim the title, but that is just preposterous.
If the popular opinion of anyone claiming to be a woman decides the definition, how do we agree upon the definition of any other word in the English language? Is the definition of a policeman only determined by those that claim to be policemen? Is the definition of a lawyer determined only by those that identify as lawyers? Is the definition of a rock determined by anyone who identifies as a rock? The answer to all of these rhetorical questions is a resounding “no!” Our language is comprised of agreed-upon standards that have stood the test of time. So-called “trans women” pestering us to flip the most basic definitions just to play along with mental delusions do not get to have the last word.