‘Gender is fluid, language is fluid’: Is AOC right to push 'Latinx'?
- Merriam-Webster writes the term “Latinx” (pronounced \luh-TEE-neks\) was added in September 2018 to replace the Spanish Latina or Latino “for those of Latin American descent who do not identify as being of the male or female gender or who simply don't want to be identified by gender.”
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referenced Pride month to shed light on the terms “Latinx” or “Latine” saying, “Gender is fluid, language is fluid [You] don’t have to make drama over it” as a push for her colleagues to use the terms.
- Google Trends shows “Latinx” first appeared in searches in 2004, grew traction in 2014, and finally spiked in 2016.
- A June-July 2021 Gallup Poll found that respondents of Latin American descent preferred the terms “Hispanic” (23%) and “Latino” (15%) over “Latinx” (4%).
On Instagram, AOC encouraged using the term 'Latinx,' which has produced the predictable ire from her critics. As an elected American congresswoman, AOC can speak her mind and was right to call out her fellow Democrats who may not use 'Latinx' regularly; as she pointed out, 'another person's identity is not about your re-election prospects.' Even though less than 5% of Hispanics prefer the term Latinx when they or others refer to them, the word still remains a simple and inclusive description of this demographic.
While the term Latinx is relatively new, it became popular within the last two decades, primarily in leftist academic circles as it became an inclusive way to refer to Hispanics without using the gendered 'Latina' or 'Latino' terms. Merriam-Webster added the word to the dictionary in 2018, defining it as 'of, relating to, or marked by Latin American heritage—used as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina.' While Latinx is more widely used in academic circles and among social justice activists and is not used as frequently outside those circles today, it is in line with a progressive vision for society, which is why AOC is encouraging it.
Politicians who are bothered by the term should rethink their priorities. The US has much bigger problems than the use of the word 'Latinx'; there is rampant crime, high-interest rates and gas prices, the war in Ukraine is still ongoing, wages are falling, etc. Politicians should focus on daily practical issues that matter to the people rather than argue about an inclusive term AOC prefers, who is herself Latinx. America is a free country, and no one is forced to use Latinx; if you do not like it- do not use it.
New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims people like to 'make a lot of drama' over the term 'Latinx.' Yet, it is AOC who seems to want to create drama with her continued use of a gender and queer theory-inspired term to describe fellow Hispanics and Latinos. She claims language, like gender, is 'fluid.' But to equivocate language, which evolves over time, with gender (or sex), which is fixed and unchanging, is nonsense.
The Spanish language differentiates between masculine and feminine; it is a gendered language, as many languages are. Nouns are assigned a gender. There are no gender-neutral nouns, regardless of the uninformed assertions AOC may make. According to research done by Bendixen & Amandi International, only 2% of Hispanic or Latino adults used 'Latinx' to describe themselves. AOC's Democratic colleague in the House, Ruben Gallego from Arizona, does not allow his staff to use 'Latinx' in official communications. In fact, he tweeted, 'When Latino politicos use the term it is largely to appease white rich progressives who think that is the term we use.' Furthermore, David Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), has said, 'There is very little to no support for its use and it's sort of seen as something inside the Beltway or in Ivy League settings.'
It is typical of far-leftists like AOC to dictate how they believe everyone else should act, believe, vote, and speak. Leftists can't obtain and then maintain power without coercion. Often it's through government edicts. Other times it's through the strong-armed threats and intimidation of 'cancel-culture.' AOC should know better; 98% of her demographic don't use 'Latinx' to describe themselves.