The new Associated Press (AP) Stylebook doesn’t just aggressively promote transgender ideology, it even forbids calling it ideology. What’s more, its guidance is riddled with contradictions and a labyrinth of agenda-driven rules.
The guide calls gender “a social construct,” but then forbids referring to it as an “ideology”:
“Sex often corresponds with but is not synonymous with gender, which is a social construct.”
“Do not use the term transgenderism, which frames transgender identity as an ideology.”
The AP style guide also implicitly gives license to censoring claims and sources, under the pretense of excluding misinformation, if they provide balance to a story by refuting liberal gender ideology:
“Avoid false balance — giving a platform to unqualified claims or sources in the guise of balancing a story by including all views. For instance, don’t quote people speaking about biology or athletic regulations unless they have the proper background.”
Thus, a reporter is excused from providing balance, as long as he subjectively deems the opposing viewpoint “unqualified.”
The guide also appears to endorse sexual stereotypes, in its assertion that people can identify themselves based on whether they act, dress or “feel” a certain way.
In some cases, the “guide” raises more questions than it answers:
“drag performer, drag queen, drag king Entertainers who dress and act as a different gender. Drag queens act as women; drag kings act as men. Male impersonator and female impersonator are also acceptable. Defer to the performer’s wishes on pronouns. Not synonymous with cross-dresser or transgender.”
So, if drag performers are “Entertainers who dress and act as a different gender,” does that make a woman who identifies as a man (transgender), but dresses like a woman, a drag performer?
And, how is someone who dresses like a different gender distinct from a cross-dresser?
When it comes to the issue of sex, the AP Stylebook is loaded with doublespeak. It concedes that “Sex is inherently biological” – but, then instructs reporters to “avoid terms like biological sex, along with biological male and biological female.”
Likewise, even though “Sex is inherently biological,” the AP guide says to “Use the term sex assigned at birth instead of biological sex, birth gender, was identified at birth as, born a girl and the like.”
And, despite being determined by biology, sex is sometimes wrongly assigned at birth, the guide claims:
“Sex refers to biological and physiological characteristics, including but not limited to chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs.”
“A person’s sex is usually assigned at birth by parents or attendants, sometimes inaccurately.”
“Not all people fall under one of two categories for sex,” it says.
Reporting on the issue of gender transition is a quagmire, in and of itself.
While not overtly banned as inaccurate, terms like “sex change” and “transsexual” are deemed “outdated”:
“Do not use the outdated term sex change, and avoid describing someone as pre-op or post-op.
“Do not use the outdated term transsexual unless a source specifically asks to be identified as such.”
Use of a transgender person’s previous name in a story is forbidden, unless the reporter obtains managerial approval:
“In the AP, use of a transgender person’s previous name must be approved by managers.”
Again, the AP guide says that a child’s biological sex should be referred to as something that is “assigned”:
“Avoid references to a transgender person being born a boy or girl, or phrasing like birth gender. Sex assigned at birth is the accurate terminology. The shorthand trans is acceptable on second reference and in headlines.”
“Do not use the term transgendered or use transgender/s as a noun,” the AP guide states – though it does permit the use of “trans”:
“The shorthand trans is acceptable on second reference and in headlines.”
Finally, the AP guide demands the use of euphemisms, when describing the reality of a procedure might reflect poorly on gender ideology. “Sex change surgery,” for example, must be referred to as “gender-affirming or gender-affirmation surgery” and reporters must “Avoid the word mutilation,” when describing a surgical procedure that mutilates a patient’s genitals.