There’s another item of note in George Orwell’s “1984”: Winston Smith’s torture by O’Brien in Room 101. Part of that horrific scene goes like this:

“Do you remember,” (O’Brien) went on, “writing in your diary, ‘Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four?’ ”

“Yes,” said Winston.

O’Brien held up his left hand, its back towards Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended.

“How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?”


“And if the party says that it is not four but five — then how many?”


The word ended in a gasp of pain.

Today freedom is the freedom to say there are only two genders and society is full of O’Briens waiting to crank the pain dial to 11 so as to punish such “wrongthink.”

Let me stop here to address the almost certain objection from the peanut gallery that the gender binary is not a math problem like two plus two equals four. That is certainly so. It’s a word and words have a nature informed by history.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this word began as a verb: To gender was to sort.

About the time of the Hundred Years wars, its use as a noun and synonym for biological sex came into being. When you consider that “sexing” livestock is a very basic part of husbandry, you have a linguistic transition that satisfies both logic and common sense.

And it’s in regard to transitioning in the 21st century sense that the sensibility of the long tradition is still seen. No one is taking hormones or contemplating surgery to transition from “gender queer” to “agender” (those being just two of the “genders” available for Facebook profiles).

No, those going for gender reassignment treatment — i.e. those who need and are committed to addressing gender dysphoria — are still only transitioning male to female or female to male, thus reaffirming the connection between gender and biological sex.

It’s not math, but it is science and everything outside that binary is just so much seeing how many genders will fit on the head of a pin.

If that sort of mental self-abuse rings your chimes, that’s cool. I’m not here to rain on your parade.

The trouble starts when you want to force others to treat the genders you construct as protected minorities.

It’s a perfect dodge for the Democratic Party: a fluid minority whose “rights” need their protection from the bad, bad people who cling bitterly to “cis-gender, hetero-normative, patriarchal” standards of biology and language usage.

We Idahoans are among those very, very bad, bad people because we won’t “add the words” — that’s certainly the opinion one finds at the top of this page (e.g. Aug. 25).

There should be a moratorium on adding the words until we’re certain they’re done adding letters to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) and now LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) acronym.

More seriously, the adding of letters is a test of population compliance. Like Charles Boyer moving the picture in “Gaslight,” it’s to see if we’re out of touch with reality and firmly in the clutches of our would-be masters.

In addition, we see the elevation of a minority population to the level of a fetish (in the anthropological sense) and the preaching of hellfire and damnation against any who won’t worship it.

Guess what: Not every L, G or B is that thrilled about the Ts being in the mix.

There’s an entire school of thought, Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism (TERF), who don’t think the Ts belong, that their presence clouds the issues and experiences of women as it relates to feminist philosophy.

One such, University of California-Santa Barbara feminist studies teaching assistant Laura Tanner, tweeted this observation in June:

“Woman = adult human female. Surgeries/hormones ≠ change sex or gender. No (man) can ever be a (woman).”

As noted by Campus Reform, her post returned this sort of cogent reply: “Throw a slushie or some sh*t at that stank white pussy ass b*tch.”

TERFs don’t fit the left’s political narrative as well as do trans-inclusive philosophies so they are viciously put down.

Last time, we talked about keeping the population outraged as a means of controlling them. Making them deny their sense of reality through the pain of fear and shame are two more such means.

Control through anger, fear and shame is abuse. Don’t let anyone treat you that way and don’t treat others that way, either.

Stay cool, be cool and — as old-time lefties used to say — shine it on.

Hennigan, of Asotin, is an instructional technology administrator at Lewis-Clark State College. His email address is

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