Cambridge Dictionary has added a new definition for the word “woman,” indicating that the word refers to “an adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth.”  Merriam-Webster also changed the definition of female to include anyone who has “a gender identity that is the opposite of male.”  In other words, biological males are now females if they think they are.  

Fox News commented on the added definition, tweeting, “1984 wasn’t supposed to be a how-to manual.”  This referred to George Orwell’s concept of “Newspeak” where “… government-created language redefines words to control the thoughts and speech of those under the totalitarian rule of Big Brother and The Party.”  Per Fox, the woke movement is seeking to control language, thoughts, and speech.  This is what is happening with the word woman.  

A spokesperson for Cambridge Press noted, “[they] carefully studied usage patterns of the word woman and concluded that this definition is one that learners of English should be aware of to support their understanding of how the language is used.”

In a discussion of the word “woman” in World magazine, Carl Trueman makes a distinction between prescriptive and descriptive meanings for words in dictionaries.  Prescriptive meanings help “to stabilize a word’s meaning by giving formal definitions.”  A descriptive meaning reflects “the way a word is used in various contexts.” Speaking descriptively, Trueman notes that one can describe “a woman trapped in the wrong body…[which] simply reflects the utter confusion about biological sex and gender.”

Beyond this, however, in giving a prescriptive meaning, the dictionary “not only describes conventional usage of the term.  It also prescribes such usage.”  In other words, the dictionary is changing the very meaning of the word “woman.”  Trueman warns: “Words are becoming means of maintaining the power… tools by which the powerful control interpretation.”

Our needed response, notes Trueman, “is to challenge the cultural power structures of which the dictionary is one manifestation.  It’s a power-grab, but neither pure nor simple… What is happening is not a merely semantic game or the demand that we deny reality.  It is the assertion of power.” These words should be a wake-up call, giving every God-fearing man a reason to simply stand confidently in his God-given maleness, while celebrating his opposite in a biological woman. Do this and you defy the power-grab.

I agree with Trueman when he advocates, “For it is in our speech, in our speaking, that the first line of resistance to this power-grab can be mounted.”  We resist this power-grab by simply living out who we were created to be since the beginning of creation.  Nothing has changed. “This is the history of the descendants of Adam.  When God created people, he made them in the likeness of God.  He created them male and female, and he blessed them and called them “human” (Gen. 5:1 NLT).

As mature men in Christ, we can simply stand confidently in our masculinity and our manhood.  “Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth” (Eph. 4:14 NLT).  We are not to live by the definitions of contemporary culture. “Live no longer as the Gentiles [ungodly] do, for they are hopelessly confused” (Eph. 4:17 NLT).  For “they don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways” (Eph. 4:19 NLT). 

Don’t forget!  We are in a spiritual battle (Eph. 6:10-12).