A symposium of opinions on cross-sex pronoun use.
"Dawn is a single mom"
False. Dawn is a single dad. "mom" and "dad" are sexed nouns, equivalent to pronouns.
The short answer is no. This is not about being polite, because when transgender activists insist on someone using their chosen pronouns there is no politeness involved, it is an extreme ideology that will cancel, destroy and humiliate you for not bending to their delusions. Just I would never acknowledge that someone who says they are Black or Asian when they are clearly not, I will not call someone she who is clearly a he. The childish and in some cases near violent reactions some transgender activists have when they are not called by their preferred pronouns hinges on narcisissm, that is just another facet of their mental condition or illness.
Pronouns are Rohypnol, everyone should read this essay. To use wrong pronouns rewires your brain. When you read an article that uses transwoman or wrong pronouns for a man translate it back to reality man him he in your head and just see how your perception are righted. It's a real eye opener to the power of language. Try it!
I’m with Kara and Sall. These women don’t put up with any nonsense or bullshit, and we should follow their lead.
Thank you for this. I am in the midst of requesting that pronouns be removed from my artist’s bio in a program for an upcoming performance (I didn’t include them when I submitted my bio; they were injected after the fact). I get nervous sticking my neck out like this, but, to use your words, I do not wish to become an “unwitting node” in some matrix I want no part of.
I will never use a wrong sex pronoun under any circumstances. To require me to do so, by law or by something referred to as "kindness," is a wicked form of mind control. I will not bow to anyone else's self delusion.
I will not participate in the evil that "transgenderism" promotes: doctors who slice off the healthy breasts of 12 year old girls; teachers who convince five year old boys that they can be girls, women prisoners who are raped or beaten by their male cellmates; men who invade women's rest rooms; and men who enter women's sporting contests.
I reject the anathema that is "transgenderism" in all its forms. And nothing will ever change my mind.
I refuse to call my ex-husband and any other man who ideates a female persona "she," out of self-respect for what I and other mothers are going through with female erasure and mother erasure. I was required, during the process of my divorce (NY state, 1995-98--why so long? The judge was waiting to see if Neddy did anything illegal) I had to say "my spouse" and we used the name instead of pronouns in the documents. Individuals ideating into the opposite sex are not acting on an inborn biological marker which suddenly emerges as "phenotype." They are responding to sexual stereotypes in society, social contagion and/or childhood sexual/physical abuse. It is, as Dr. Stephen B. Levine testifies in the malpractice cases, "a psychiatric illness." It is unwise to promote a dangerous path which manifests deeper mental illness or cancer or liver failure only 10-20 years later. We must do everything we can to prevent children from being lured into this path.
So in this melange you posted a piece from Don Ennis admonishing women to "be kind"; the same Don Ennis who thinks TERFs should be beaten and raped? The same Don Ennis who says that female sexual assault survivors are "weaponizing their trauma" because they don't want to undress in front of a strange man? The same Don Ennis who routinely abuses female posters here? You lost all credibility with this when you chose to prioritize the views of a man who hates women.
I found this symposium very helpful in clarifying my own thoughts and practices around the pronoun issue. Thank you for putting it together, Colin, and for gathering such an articulate diversity of viewpoints. And thanks to all the participants. I am most aligned with Kara's take. But I appreciated the opportunity to read all of you. It gave me some things to consider.
I am with those who will use alternative pronouns in social situations where physical sex isn’t important. Just as I’ll call a coworker “Bill” even though his legal name is William, or refer to a Catholic priest as Father even though he’s not my father and he doesn’t play any kind of spiritual leadership role to me as a non-Catholic. It’s still his title within his belief system and I can acknowledge that. But what I absolutely don’t want to do is say anything that implies I have a belief in this system. I will not list my pronouns. When it is relevant, mostly in matters of law, medicine, and privacy, I will refer to someone’s physical sex. I refuse to pretend there is no such thing as physical sex. I also can’t promise that I won’t internally roll my eyes at someone’s use of a pronoun that would not traditionally apply to them, but I’ll keep it to myself. I will support a parent’s decision on what pronouns to apply to their child, as much as it disturbs me to watch parents make what I believe to be a bad decision. It’s not my place to decide that for someone else’s family. It’s not my place to decide for an adult how they want to present themselves to the world or what they want to be called, even if I think they’re making a self-destructive choice.
When it comes to my own minor child who’s been sucked into this cult-like ideology, I will NOT be using alternate pronouns. The “not my business” argument doesn’t apply in this case. She needs someone in her life who still lives in reality and I can only hope that she’ll someday realize this is not in her best interests and find her way back to reality. If she’s a mature, independent adult, supporting herself, and she still wishes to be called by different pronouns, I will probably eventually do so since I believe adults have the right to determine that for themselves. But I hope it never comes to that.
In my company (30 people), we have those who use pronouns and those who do not. It all works. Nothing is mandated and never would be. Mutual respect both ways.
Where I have seen mandated pronouns abused is in Chicago schools. Specifically Chicago Public Schools, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Latin, Lab, Parker and other Chicago schools where you are a pariah if you do not agree to use them or share your own. This is so wrong with children. It actually made my middle son into an arch conservative (far more so than me) as he fought back.
In Chicago, it's ironic that it's perfectly OK to bring butt plugs and anal beads into a classroom (as a dean or teacher), but refusing to share your pronouns or refusing to validate others is grounds for being ostracized or worse.
And don't get me started on the gender neutral bathrooms at Lane Tech (largest high school in the city) where my oldest son went. I think we're actually creating GI problems with kids who hold it in because they don't want to use the toilet among those of the other sex. Yes, parents are actually picking up kids (or kids are driving or bussing home) to go number two.
Appreciate reading a broad range of perspectives. How do you reconcile the obligation to be kind with a reluctance to support deception is a good question. I think I would favour avoiding pronouns altogether when dealing with trans people who are not abusive towards others. Don’t feel the need to extend that same kindness to people who abuse other people’s rights.
Isn't it interesting how quickly Don Ennis and cronies are to misgender ACTUAL WOMEN when they don't like what women say. To dehumanize them with nauseating pablum about how "women support other women" as if women are a monolithic entity that does no wrong, a fairy fantasy group where there is no competition, no anger, no disagreement. You can only be a WOMAN if you are all in agreement and in lockstep. It's pathetic and disgusting and positively Victorian. Women are all nice and sweet to one another! Sure. You are BORN a woman and Ennis was not. FACT. And Ennis misgenders women and threatens them regularly with beatings and rape. Ennis participates in rape culture. Where does Ennis get off CLAIMING to be a woman when Ennis pulls this crap that doesn't align with what he claims women are? As if Ennis would know for sure. Ennis is a fake and a fraud, and a raging misogynist. And you don't have to be a woman to make this plain, and if you do, it doesn't make you any less of a woman. Being born with the right chromosomes makes you a woman. Full stop.
1. Don't tell me what to say, also depends.
2. Lying is bad and has affects that go beyond the present moment.
3. Don't tell people what to say, also be nice, also depends.
4. Be nice, also being nice and lying aren't actually contradictory.
5. Consider being nice because people are crazy.
6. As long as you know who I'm talking about does it really matter?
7. Being nice isn't actually nice because lying is bad.
8. I'm nice sometimes, but draw the line at the age of eighteen, basketball, and delusional people.
Perhaps unreasonably short, but even so, I think they're reasonably fair. Also, this piece has an excellent title.
As the mother of a trans man (an adult human female who transitioned due to sex dysphoria) here is my two cents:https://padrian.substack.com/p/i-dont-believe-in-astrology-does
Gender Identity has nothing to do with supporting people who suffer from sex dysphoria & who transition because of it. We can support transsexual people AND adhere to biological reality.
re: "Dawn's" 'it costs nothing to be kind': Sure, it costs nothing - except my self-respect and grip on reality, but I'm just an actual woman, so what can those be worth?
I'm going to go with the late, great Magdalen Berns, here - I'd rather be rude than a fucking liar.