GOP Rep from Florida Matt Gaetz is being investigated over allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid her to travel with him, the New York Times reported.
|Matt Gaetz investigated over claims he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, report says||independent.co.uk|
|Matt Gaetz under investigation for alleged sexual relations with 17-year-old: report||thehill.com|
|Matt Gaetz is being investigated over possible sexual relationship with girl, 17, New York Times reports||tampabay.com|
|NYT: Matt Gaetz Investigated For Possible Relationship With 17-Year-Old||talkingpointsmemo.com|
|Matt Gaetz says he's under federal investigation for sexual misconduct||axios.com|
|Rep. Gaetz Under Investigation for Alleged Sexual Relationship With 17-Year-Old Girl: NYT||thedailybeast.com|
|Matt Gaetz Under Investigation For Possible Sexual Relations With Teenager||huffpost.com|
|The DOJ is reportedly investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old||businessinsider.com|
|Matt Gaetz Is Said to Be Investigated Over Possible Sexual Relationship With a Girl, 17||nytimes.com|
|Matt Gaetz Under Investigation for Possible Relationship With a Minor: Report||nymag.com|
|GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz reportedly under DOJ investigation for possible sex trafficking of 17-year-old; he says he's being extorted||cnbc.com|
|Matt Gaetz claims he is victim of $25m extortion scam amid allegations of sexual activity with girl, 17||independent.co.uk|
|Sex Trafficking Probe of Rep. Matt Gaetz emerges from Joel Greenberg prosecution: report||orlandosentinel.com|
|Rep. Matt Gaetz faces Justice Dept. investigation over alleged relationship with teen girl||washingtonpost.com|
|Lieu: Gaetz should be suspended from Judiciary panel amid DOJ probe||thehill.com|
|Rep. Matt Gaetz denies relationship with 17-year-old and claims extortion attempt||cnn.com|
|Matt Gaetz is Under Investigation on Suspicion of Violating Federal Sex-trafficking Laws. In 2017, He Cast the Only Vote Against a Human Trafficking Bill.||businessinsider.com|
|Matt Gaetz reportedly under DOJ investigation for possible sex trafficking of 17-year-old||cnbc.com|
|Tucker Carlson says Matt Gaetz interview was ‘one of the weirdest’ he has done||independent.co.uk|
I just want to start by saying this might be the only instance of something that I would actually, unironically call "virtue signaling" -- a term I usually disdain and find dismissive of social progress. But in this case, that's exactly what I think it is.
"Folks" is an inclusive word. It means "people." It is inherently gender neutral. It is perhaps one of the few English words to address a group of people that is totally inclusive and innocuous. In a time when we are critically evaluating the inclusiveness of language, one would think we're lucky to have a word as neutral and applicable as "folks."
But apparently, people are intent on spelling it "folx," with the "x" indicating inclusiveness. But adding a trendy letter to a word doesn't make the word more inclusive if the word was already inclusive. "Folks" didn't exclude people who were non-binary (for instance), because it inherently means "people" -- so unless you think non-binary folx aren't people, then they were already included and accepted in that term.
I understand there is value in making sure that language is obviously inclusive when speaking to people who may otherwise feel excluded. So, I understand there may be some value in taking a word that is potentially vague in its inclusiveness, and tweaking it in a way that is more inclusive. As an example, I understand the intent and value in the term "latinx" (which could be its own discussion, but I'm just citing it as a contrary example here). Regardless of someone's feelings on "latinos/latinas," "latinx" is a substantive change that would, in theory, have more inclusiveness for those who might feel othered by the gendered terms.
But "folx" doesn't add or change anything on a substantive level. It is purely a spelling change in a situation where the original spelling was not problematic or exclusive. It uses the letter "x" as a reference to the fact that "x" has become a signifier of inclusiveness, thereby showing that the user supports inclusiveness. But if people wouldn't have felt excluded otherwise, then signifying this is purely for the user's own ego -- to say, "Look at what type of person I am; you should feel accepted by me." Signaling that you're a good person in a way that doesn't change anything else or help your audience (since there wasn't a problem to begin with) is, by definition, virtue signaling.
The only conceivable reason I see for the rally behind "folx" is the historical usage of "volk" in Germany, when Nazi Germany referred to "the people" as part of their nationalist identity. But 1) that's a different word in a different language which carries none of that baggage in English-speaking cultures; 2) it's a such a common, generally applicable word that its inclusion within political rhetoric shouldn't forever change the world itself, especially given its common and unproblematic usage for decades since then; and 3) this feels like a shoe-horned, insincere argument that someone might raise as a way to retroactively inject purpose into what is, in actuality, their virtue signaling. And if you were previously unfamiliar with this argument from German history, then that underscores my point about how inconsequential it is to Western English-speaking society.
People who spell it as "folx" are not mitigating any harm by doing so, and are therefore doing it purely for their own sense of virtue. CMV.
Addendum: I'm not arguing for anyone to stop using this word. I'm not saying this word is harmful. I'm not trying to police anyone's language. I'm saying the word's spelling is self-serving and unhelpful relative to other attempts at inclusive language.
Addendums: By far the most common response is an acknowledgement that "folks" is inclusive, but also that "folx" is a way to signal that the user is an accepting person. I don't see how this isn't, by definition, virtue signaling.
Addendum 3: I'm not making a claim of how widespread this is, nor a value judgment of how widespread it should be, but I promise this is a term that is used among some people. Stating that you've never seen this used doesn't contribute to the discussion, and claiming that I'm making this up is obnoxious.
Addendum Resurrection: Read the sidebar rules. Top level comments are to challenge the view and engage in honest discussion. If you're just dropping in from the front page to leave a snarky comment about how you hate liberals, you're getting reported 2 times over. Thanx.
Addendum vs. Editor: Read my first few sentences. I used the term "virtue signaling" very purposefully. If you want to rant about everything you perceive to be virtue signaling, or tell me that you didn't read this post because it says virtue signaling, your viewpoint is too extreme/reductionist.
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