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“Woman” undefined and the destruction of words (and sex)

We are not a society that is over-sexualized but over-eroticized and de-sexualized. We must call out the lies of the Sexual Revolution and challenge the very language it uses.

(Image: Viktor Talashuk/

Some weeks ago, as readers undoubtedly know, Supreme Court and Harvard educated nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, though a woman herself, pleaded a lack of expertise when asked to define the word “woman.” Ridicule resonated from the right. Instead of mocking her, however, we should instead praise her for the clarity she brings to the destruction wrought by the Sexual Revolution.

Rather than mere ignorance, her response reveals the very success of the Sexual Revolution, for the purpose of that Revolution was never a new sexuality but no sexuality—not its rebirth but its destruction. That destruction has taken place behind the façade of words hollowed out, words that once meant something but now mean nothing. Judge Jackson has only made that clear, for in the lexicon of the Sexual Revolution the term “woman” has no meaning.

The terms “sex,” “sexual,” and “sexuality” are grounded in their biological relationship to fertility, to the creation of new life. From its beginning the Sexual Revolution separated these terms from their biological roots—not re-defining them, but un-defining them and reducing them to meaningless blather. Once we have destroyed the meaning of our sexuality, corollary terms such as “man,” “woman,” “male” and “female” can only meet similar fates.

And transgenderism is the victory lap of a revolution that has reduced sexuality to meaninglessness. Its assertion that a man can be a woman and woman can be a man is only possible if it means nothing to be either a man or a woman. Transgenderism requires not only the destruction of words but the physical destruction of actual sexuality. Like words destroyed, real procreative bodies must also be deprived of meaning and replaced with a mockery of fertility. The hollowed words of sexuality must be matched with hollowed bodies, and those hollowed bodies must be honored with hollowed pronouns.

This is not the pinnacle of sexuality but its absolute death knell.

However, the Sexual Revolution has destroyed much more than our sexuality. It has destroyed the meaning of “meaning,” which is an attack on truth itself. It requires us to accept that every man can define his own truth or meaning by simply asserting it is so. This is nihilism with a seductive mask. To say every man can define his own meaning is simply a backhanded way of saying there is neither meaning nor truth. If there is no truth there is no anchor on which we can coalesce as people with a common purpose. There is no “unity in diversity.” Without truth there is only the ultimate diversity of each man living in a world of his own creation. C.S. Lewis, in The Great Divorce, called this hell.

The Sexual Revolution, put simply, declared war on our very language. In redefining words to meet its agenda it made us forget that words are important. When they no longer represent truth they lead us toward death. Imagine a world in which “water” is no longer water. Would our gardens grow if we hydrated our plants with a substance we call “water” but is actually its absence, a dryness that withers and kills? Would we tolerate a merchant who sold us water by the gallon only to give us an empty jug with his assertion that it contains water because he said so? Can we accept his condescension that his “water” is metaphysical, subjective, and more real than our water which must hereafter be referred as “physical water” to distinguish it from his more real “water?”

We cannot, of course, because we would die; we cannot play such a game and live. Both the food we grow and the bodies we inhabit will wither with a water that isn’t water. But perhaps the lie is tempered with truth. Maybe our merchant begins with a mix of real water and a bit of his dry “water.” We see the emptiness at the top of the jug but we accept his lies because the jug is lighter and less of a burden to carry. Seemingly, our life is a bit easier. We learn to not notice the slight withering of our plants and that the slight thirst becomes a constant companion. We begin to lose sight of the beauty of a real water that sustains real life. But we still use the word “water” as if it represents something real. We begin to think it will do what water does even though we have let real water slip away. We can no longer discuss the real from the unreal because the word we use for “water” means nothing. In the desert of our making we will cry for “water” and receive the nothing we have asked for.

We cannot make the unreal real simply by kidnapping words and assigning new meanings. We can, however, lose the word’s original truth. In losing that truth we can experience actual death.

The corruption of the word “water” depicted in the example above has its true counterpart in the word “sexual.” Like a “Water Revolution” that insists that dry lakes are overflowing reservoirs, the “Sexual Revolution” insists that intentional sterility can replace fertility and yet, somehow, the “sexual” remains. With transgenderism the water jug is now filled completely with emptiness. We can only see that, however, if we can see where we willfully bought the jug when it was still mostly full. We first accepted contraception as something that was valid only for married couples. We didn’t really see the emptiness at the top of the jug because it was still mostly filled with water. And it was lighter. It seemed to relieve a burden we did not want to live. But, nonetheless, we considered our relationship “sexual” even after we deprived it of its very essence. To see this is to see the straight line that leads from contraception to broken marriages to fewer marriages to same sex marriages and, ultimately, to a “sexuality” that literally destroys the real sexuality a man and woman are born with.

We would be wrong to think the death is metaphorical as the empty “water” jug is. The death is real. We anguish over the killing in Ukraine. We sorrow over the violent and horrific deaths of its innocents. Vladimir Putin, however, could kill every person in the Ukraine—all forty three million—and not approach the violent and horrific killing of over sixty million children torn apart in the womb and discarded as trash in the United State alone. We can see the massacre far away but not on our own doorstep. Beyond the death of the child in the womb is the death of marriage, of families and of the innocence of childhood.

The sins of the fathers are now borne in their children who no longer know the meaning of their sexuality. With real sexuality reduced to “biological” sexuality, our children, with ever increasing numbers, are submitting to the barbaric brutalization of their bodies, both chemically and physically, to remove what is real and replace it with what isn’t. Instead of meaning, we have given them a lie. We then praise them for living the lie and insist all participate in the lie with gendered pronouns that no longer have meaning. And then, after surrounding them with meaninglessness, nothingness, and endless lies, we are surprised that many try to take their own lives. We are so blinded from consuming a “water” that isn’t really water that we think the solution lies in more lies rather than in the truth.

Rather than lead them to what is real and beautiful, we encourage their emptiness. We do this because we have died to what is real and beautiful. We can no longer see the beauty of a sexuality inherently made for life. We can no longer see ourselves wanting a life that is lived for others, even those yet to be born. We can no longer see that chastity is simply sexuality fully and beautifully lived.

And we cannot pass on to our children what we cannot see, do not know, and have not lived.

To regain our sight, to regain our life, we must reclaim the words that lead to truth. We must see there never was a “Sexual Revolution” in which an old sexuality replaces a new one. We must see beyond the sheep’s skin with its false veneer of caring and love, a disguise that led us to buy our water jug half full and then completely empty. In seeing the truth, we will recognize a genocidal war on sexuality whose purpose is its elimination and nothing more.

We are not a society that is over-sexualized but over-eroticized and de-sexualized. We must call out the lies of the Sexual Revolution and challenge the very language it uses. We can only do that if we first see the beauty of our real sexuality, embrace it, and live it fully in our own lives. Only then can we lead the lost from the desert we have created. And we should thank Judge Jackson for unambiguously telling us that there is no water in the jug, but only an aching emptiness.

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About Pete Jermann 3 Articles
Pete Jermann is a retired craftsman and former homeschooling father whose articles have appeared in Crisis, Touchstone, The New Oxford Review, The Imaginative Conservative, and Lifesite News.


  1. Yes, you are spot on, but this needs to be spoken by the Church speaking with a single united voice. Why are the bishops so happy to leave the heavy lifting to lay people, who with the best will in the world can only voice personal opinions?

  2. Interesting.
    (Second last para. – “We must see that there never was a Sexual Revolution in which an old sexuality replaces a new one.” Explain, please).

  3. “That Revolution was never a new sexuality but no sexuality—not its rebirth but its destruction” (Jermann).
    Our Creator ordained within Man [male & female he created them] the power to create new life, driven by an inherent mutual attraction to unite emotively [as the entree to spiritual unity] and physically. Distinctly different as male female completely integral, complete as one flesh. That nexus typifies the final cause of more intimate union with the efficient cause, God.
    “We are not a society that is over-sexualized but over-eroticized and de-sexualized” (Ibid). Jermann targets erotica as the deadly toxin that breaks down and destroys that dynamic. Spiritual love dissipates and dies by turn to erotic pleasure, self indulgent pleasure. Often followed by disordered desires to explore something different because the erotic person easily becomes jaded with the natural. Paul, in Romans 1, knew precisely what he was talking about [we may question why this passage is virtually omitted from the liturgical readings, an indication of the universality of the moral disease] attributing same sex desires as the result of God abandoning the gentile Romans to their lusts – because of their refusal to adhere to reason and the existence of God, instead turning to idolatry.
    Usually there’s a related idolatry to disorded sexual behavior, be it self adulation, an inner desire to be worshiped, accumulation of what glitters. Rarely do we find ascetics who are erotics. Except for the recent phenomenon of gurus who arrived in America from India, who taught interior bliss in detachment from want and were themselves primal erotics seducing young vulnerable women. Ashrams spread throughout the nation especially the West here as well as in Canada. Many came away spiritually diseased, amoral, given to any form of sensual desire love merely a word for liberation from the conventions created by men. A personal God who loves us intimately drawing us into his own wonderful, pure light is replaced by an imagined amorphous, permissive golden calf. Whether we become disorded in the Ashram our culture will oblige once we turn from Christ.

    • Apparently the word for an erotic person is not erotic as I mistakenly wrote, rather it’s eroticist. The plural eroticists. Perhaps I should have titled my rather lengthy comment My Epistle to the Eroticists.

  4. Additionally we can’t omit our own Catholic priest, layman sexual gurus Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche [a great compassionate endeavor for the mentally compromised] and Fr Thomas Philippe. Vanier, world renowned for his work providing recognition and care for the handicapped eventually succumbed to erotica involved in seducing women whom he and Fr Philippe counselled. The lure presented by this world’s “poisoned breath” [as Therese of Lisieux described it] is strong, although we have in continual reliance on Christ, devotion to Mary the antidote.

  5. Yes, the sexual revolution has indeed done great damage to sex and healthy relations between the sexes. But, I believe that the sexual revolution is a product of something more fundamental, that is, the ideology of socialism, which rejects Western Civilization and its Christian founding. It rejects the Moral Law. It rejects the criteria by which we normally discriminate between the truth and lies. It replaces science–observation and analysis–with the “social construction of reality.” Vlad Lenin, famous socialist, dictator and community organizer, put it most simply, “A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.” Today, in our corrupted system, if a court rules that Bruce Jenner is a woman, he is a woman, and we have to obey. If the mainstream press and Democrats members of Congress tell us over and over again that Trump colluded with Russia to win his election, well, we are obligated to believe and to obey. If the CDC and a guy named Tony Fauci tell us that we have to wear face masks to stop the spread of a virus, we have to obey no matter what real science has said on the matter and no matter that Fauci himself said the opposite at one time.

  6. “Instead of mocking her, however, we should instead praise her for the clarity she brings to the destruction wrought by the sexual revolution (no caps).”

    I disagree – we could, yea verily we should – do BOTH.

  7. “This is not the pinnacle of sexuality but its absolute death knell.” “KNELL,” perhaps as also in silence…as with non-binary homosexuality being the sound of one hand clapping?

    As for the Sexual Devolution, this from the defeated minority (1930), at the 1948 Anglican Lambeth Conference:
    “It is, to say the least, suspicious that the age in which contraception has won its way is not one which has been conspicuously successful in managing its sexual life. Is it possible that, by claiming the right to manipulate his physical processes in this manner, man may, without knowing it, be stepping over the boundary between the world of Christian marriage and what one might call the world of Aphrodite, the world of STERILE EROTICISM?” (Cited in Wright, “Reflections on the Third Anniversary of a Controverted Encyclical,” St. Louis: Central Bureau Press, 1971).

    And, as for Judge Jackson lacking the cerebral substance to know the meaning of “woman,” are we reminded of an earlier judge who, upon announcing sentence, then asked the young felon: “Didn’t anyone ever teach you right from wrong?” The wide-eyed Jacksonian answer: “NO” (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Warning to the West, 1976).

    A sign of the times is that a Supreme Court Justice today is as clueless as yesterday’s felon. Can Jackson define “woman?” “NO.”

  8. I watched the video clip in which Judge Jackson “failed” to define A WOMAN. I really sympathized with her. She needed the votes of the men, women, “bisexual” and “transgender” lawmakers. So she chose neutrality by dodging the question and leaving the definition to biologists and any arising contradictions to the courts. I think it worked for her because she got the job.

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