What to do about required gender pronoun use at work and school? It is important to understand the full and wild implications of going down this road.
In Part I, we addressed fundamentally important reasons for not voluntarily stating one’s personal pronouns or asking others to state theirs.
The two primary reasons actually bridge the divide of gender politics. One is put forth by those who adhere to a naturalist, science-based view of biology. The other is explained by trans activists and allies themselves.
- It’s Based on a Radical New Belief About Humanity
Being asked to state one’s personal pronouns is based on a brand new belief – based in ever changing gender theory – of what it means to be male or female. No one should be forced or compelled to express adherence to this unfounded and controversial belief via pronoun use. This violates one’s freedom of conscience and challenges basic biology and logic. No one is wrong to resist it.
- It Can Make Trans People Uncomfortable
It also violates one’s personal privacy and this is precisely why some trans advocates vocally discourage schools and workplaces from adopting the practice. This case is made here and here. Simply put, some people suffering from genuine gender dysphoria are not ready to publicly declare their own subjective gender identity and being asked for their pronouns can cause them great personal discomfort and embarrassment. So, it is not the kind courtesy proponents make it out to be. Either they have not yet determined what their “gender identity” is, or they have gone to great medical and financial trouble to “pass” as the other sex and asking pronouns deeply insults that dramatic effort.
So, this issue is certainly not an issue of compassion and inclusion vs. bigotry and exclusion, as is widely claimed. It is the demand to confess an profoundly contested ideology.
But what about using the pronouns others request, or even demand, we use?
This is the other large question that more of us having to face in pronoun politics. There are very strong reasons for kindly refusing to use the growing array of pronouns others ask us to use. They require us to expresses agreement with a new ideology of what it means to be male or female. But the problems run even deeper than that and few fully appreciate the implications.
Things Are Getting Legit Crazy
The issue of personal pronouns is evolving so dramatically that even the The New York Times has unwittingly documented how irrational the whole project is getting with the emergence of what they are being called “neopronouns.” We are moving beyond simply male and female and starting to use pronouns to actually refer to animal or fantasy character identities as well as plain non-sense words like “ze/zir,” “Innit/Innits/Innitself” or “fae/faer/faeself.” This is the realization that self-defined identity knows no limits whatsoever.
The Grey Lady explains this is all indeed very real. “Many neopronoun users are dead serious” the paper of record reports and “are deeply versed in the styles and mores of contemporary identity politics conversations.” The Times adds “neopronoun users may publish strict boundaries and preferences around behavior, enthusiasms and hatreds” and “many have defined lists of behaviors they find unacceptable…”
This means it is becoming, literally, impossible to keep up with the proper rules in the classroom or workplace around pronoun use. Just google “bun/bunself” or “bug/bugself” to see how crazy it is all getting. Or just watch this very serious and sincere person…
Fantasy is a significant part of the new pronoun use, as demonstrated here. This makes it all even more problematic. When new identities can be made up based on one’s subjective feelings, wishes and identities, it can and does go anywhere. Literally! The line between reality and fantasy becomes indistinguishable. When your H.R. Department at work or your Student Affairs office at school demands that you play along, simply ask them what they would do with that same request from the bugself individual in the video.
Any reasonable person can appreciate the wisdom of choosing not to participate in this dizzying process of new pronoun use. It is an exercise in crazy-making. And no one should have to apologize for determining they will not participate.
In fact, it is the rational person who resists the new non-binary pronoun regime because it leads us straight down the bottomless abyss of Alice’s rabbit hole.
Nobody gets to demand you start employing language based in a newly evolving gender ideology, even if they cloak it in the service of kindness and inclusion. There are other ways to show kindness toward people without being told what words to use. One only need pay attention to what is actually happening on the ground here to realize how wise resisting this trend actually is.
Photo from Shutterstock.