Academic Robert Manne had two daughters with gentile portly wife Anne, one of them I can’t remember the name of but she was described as a “climate change activist” or something similar many years ago, and likely lives an unremarkable life now, while the other, Kate Manne, went on to great, important things, becoming an associate professor of the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University, and her book Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny was published by Oxford University Press, but they turned their nose up at her second tome, Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women, published by Penguin, and she specialises in the little known field of “feminist philosophy”.
Inevitably she has a Substack, everyone does, fittingly called More to Hate, and in “Against Transphobic “Moral Flounce” Behavior” she delves into the matter of “linguistic choices” in the great struggle of “opposing the misogyny of abortion bans”.
Abortion bans target and primarily victimize women …. And yet abortion bans affect others too — anyone who can get pregnant, in the first instance. This includes cis girls, trans boys and men, and some non-binary and intersex people. When I talk about who is potentially affected by abortion bans, I thus talk about people who can get pregnant. Not only is this appropriately inclusive, but it’s not exclusive either of the many, many women – trans women, post-menopausal women, and women with infertility issues — who are not currently impregnable.
Want a word that refers to the class of all and only those who can currently get pregnant? I just used one: “impregnable.” Admittedly this word has two accepted meanings in English. But context will almost always suffice to distinguish them.
The two accepted meanings of the adjective, which she links to, are:
- strong enough to resist or withstand attack; not to be taken by force, unconquerable
- not to be overcome or overthrown
But she made another one up, which is the prerogative of feminist philosophers at Cornell. She knows there is a verb impregnate, so “impregnatable” would seem a better if ugly choice, or just “pregnable” if she wanted to get just a little funky, but she has to turn the meaning of “impregnable” on its head, and the impression you get is that she is just dumb.
I once had some respect for her father Robert until he turned wildly and emotionally Left in his later years, reaching his nadir when trying to ascribe some blame to the Anzacs at Gallipoli for the Armenian genocide (the theory is that the invasion of Turkey in 1915 set off a chain of events leading to the attempted genocide of said obscure ancient people, that theory may well be true, but really). His genetic legacy is a whole other disaster though.
Look on the bright side though, this country is
getting rid of feminist philosophers to the world, and they are making a big impact, inventing new word definitions.
"Impregnable." You're welcome. https://t.co/LXbwPY16DZ
— Kate Manne (@kate_manne) July 3, 2022