Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Saving the World One Pronoun at a Time

 

shutterstock_188224712Before the smoke has even cleared in culture wars surrounding gay marriage, LGBT culture warriors have decided now is the ideal time for a new offensive. The oft-forgotten T (transgendered) in the LGBT is the new front for the champions of the eternally offended. Everywhere you look you can see shots fired on this new battlefield. With calls for Kevin Williamson to be fired from publications he doesn’t even work for, and cards being pulled from a game whose only purpose is literally to be offensive, I can easily spot the eventual winner of this contest. And though I am not (as far as I am aware) Italian, I can jump ship to the winning side as quickly as the next man.

Unlike the gay marriage debate, where issues such as tax status and spousal benefits rule the day, the transgender wars center around bathrooms and how you are to be addressed by others. Kevin’s mistake was stating the biological fact that Laverne Cox is a man. As my new allies inform me, this is hateful and indeed “violence” against transgendered people. I blame kindergarten teachers who have for years trained children to “use their words” as opposed to violence, when apparently, there is no distinction to be drawn between the two.

With no real demands even resembling that of the civil rights variety, what exactly does transgenderism require of society at large? The answer would appear to be our indulgence. If Bradley Manning says he’s now Chelsea Manning, it is incumbent upon all of us to pretend this is true. If not, he might just hurt himself. It is a hostage standoff reminiscent of Blazing Saddles, where Cleavon Little escapes an angry mob by holding a gun to his own head. 

It all seems simple enough. If a person wants to be called a woman, call them a woman. However things get complicated rather quickly, as demonstrated by Facebook’s 51 gender options. Where once physical appearance served to accurately gauge a person’s gender 99% of the time (sorry Pat), when gender identity is “fluid” and self-determined, how is anyone to know how others wish to be addressed? Permanent “Hello, my gender is: Cis Male” tags seem clumsy and impractical.

Enter the gender neutral pronoun.

It was an obvious solution really. Simply do away with any and all references to gender in our speech, and this problem solves itself. Our rescuers come in the form of “they”, “it”, and “one.” The future is an egalitarian paradise, where every person is referred to in a uniform and drearily bland fashion.

But how can I help usher in this brave new world where belief trumps reality, and words are chosen with extreme care in order to pacify those who cry the loudest in our society?

As efforts to convert the United States to the metric system demonstrate, Americans are highly resistant to unnecessary frivolous dull positive changes forced upon them by their betters. Convincing the entire populace to get on board with our gender-neutral locomotive of justice, will require a concerted effort.

As such, I have begun the arduous, yet important task of converting the great works of literature into gender neutral language. It is a difficult labor, as English lacks some of the gender neutral pronouns that are required for such a conversion. “It” and “one” are often insufficient when a sentence references a name, e.g., Troy loved its pet giraffe. Of course the giraffe is his, but how can we convey this without committing violence against transgendered people?

Since personal pronouns always describe a specific human being, and for the entirety of human history there were only two check boxes on the gender identity form, our forbears never conceived of the need for a gender-neutral personal pronoun designed for speaking of someone but not to them. Such foresight would have required the prediction of gender-neutral human beings. How they failed to anticipate this is a mystery for the ages.

Due to their lack of vision, we are now saddled with harmful words such as “his” and “hers,” not to mention the ever-offending suffix of “man.” Anchorperson and spokesperson are the terms of the future, and have been since the early ’70s. Yet we still have no way of addressing our missing gender-neutral pronouns.

Though this entire situation is clearly an argument in favor of Esperanto, a somewhat less ambitious solution is to simply make up some new pronouns. Vancouver has decreed that children may request to be referred to by “xe, xem and xyr” instead of the gender-binary terms “he or she,” “him or her” and “his or hers.” Armed with these new terms, and others such as “nibbling” to replace familial relations such as niece and nephew, I can now recreate the classics without allowing that hack Shakespeare to wantonly commit violence against transgendered people.

Some may call this effort unnecessary, however I beg to differ. Do we truly know Hamlet’s gender identity? Xyr love of Ophelia tells us little, as xe may well have been a transperson of the “MTF” persuasion who carried the victimhood double whammy of also being a lesbian. Indeed, Hamlet’s most famous quote would seem to disagree with Kevin Williamson’s assessment that language cannot alter reality. To be pangendered or not to be pangendered, that’s the real question.

Here is a sneak peak at the new, non-offensive Hamlet.

HAMLET: You, how like you this play?

GERTRUDE: The person protests too much, methinks.

HAMLET: Oh, but xe’ll keep xem word.

CLAUDIUS: Have you heard the argument? Is there no offense in ’t?

HAMLET: No, no, they do but jest. Poison in jest. No offense i’ th’ world.

CLAUDIUS: What do you call the play?

HAMLET: The Mousetrap. Marry, how? Tropically. This play is the image of a murder done in Vienna. Gonzago is the ruler’s name, xyr spouse Baptista. You shall see anon. ‘Tis a knavish piece of work, but what o’ that? Your majesty and we that have free souls, it touches us not. Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.

Enter LUCIANUS

This is one Lucianus, nibbling to the king.

OPHELIA: You are as good as a chorus, my person who exercises control over others.

Of course, gender identity is only the beginning. If self-belief in a concept that stands in defiance of reality is sufficient to force others to change the way they address you, what is the limiting principle? I, for example, have always felt I was born to English nobility in the 14th century.

I will expect each of you to refer to me as “Lord Regent” from now on. If you decline, I must warn you that medieval nobility tend towards instability, and I may react badly to your refusal to indulge my self-identification.

So fall in line on the subject of gender identity, everyone. Besides, it is well known that gender is merely a social construct.

“But Lord Regent” you say, “the theory of social constructionism is itself a social construct. Since social constructs are baseless, the concept invalidates itself.” 

To point this out is clearly transphobic. Or perhaps it’s sexist and possibly racist. Or… well, just pick one. It doesn’t really matter which, as long as you shut up.

There are 67 comments.

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  1. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    Frank Soto: And though I am not (as far as I am aware) Italian, I can jump ship to the winning side as quickly as the next man.

     I just want you to know that, because of that racist slur, I’m starting a petition to have your Contributor status revoked.

    • #1
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:09 AM PDT
    • Like
  2. Done Contributor
    Done

    Salvatore Padula:

    Frank Soto: And though I am not (as far as I am aware) Italian, I can jump ship to the winning side as quickly as the next man.

    I just want you to know that, because of that racist slur, I’m starting a petition to have your Contributor status revoked.

     I shall be the first to sign it.

    • #2
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • Like
  3. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    Frank Soto: Anchorperson and spokesperson are the terms of the future, and have been since the early ’70s.

     My brother used to be a chef at a restaurant where waiters and waitresses were referred to with the gender-neutral “waitron.”

    • #3
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:13 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. Done Contributor
    Done

    Salvatore Padula:

    Frank Soto: Anchorperson and spokesperson are the terms of the future, and have been since the early ’70s.

    My brother used to be a chef at a restaurant where waiters and waitresses were referred to with the gender-neutral “waitron.”

     Waitron sounds like the name of the eventual robot replacements for waiters and waitresses.

    • #4
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:15 AM PDT
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  5. Jason Rudert Member

    Anthony Bourdain says waitron in his books. Evidently it had some vogue in the seventies and he always liked it.

    • #5
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:24 AM PDT
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  6. Sandy Member

    Frank Soto:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Frank Soto: Anchorperson and spokesperson are the terms of the future, and have been since the early ’70s.

    My brother used to be a chef at a restaurant where waiters and waitresses were referred to with the gender-neutral “waitron.”

    Waitron sounds like the name of the eventual robot replacements for waiters and waitresses.

     LOL! (but is that allowed??)
    This program is not going to go down well with ISIS.

    • #6
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:24 AM PDT
    • Like
  7. Larry3435 Member

    Instead of worrying about gender and perception, I suggest we revert to the one, indisputably factual means of distinguishing between what used to be called men and women – a Y chromosome. All we need is a set of pronouns to distinguish between those who possess such a chromosome, and those who do not. Science to the rescue. Indisputable proof of the proper pronoun, established by genetic testing. (Lefties believe in science, right? Unlike us?)

    Thus, I will henceforth relate to the the Y chromosome-based terms yhe, yhis, and even yyou and yI, in recognition of the scientific truth of pronouns. And if this messes up the puzzles on Wheel of Fortune, well, sorry Pat.

    • #7
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:42 AM PDT
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  8. Frederick Key Inactive

    I’ve never felt so strongly that I am being forced to participate in other people’s insanity. At least, not since my cousin’s wedding. (rimshot) “I am attracted to women” is a statement of fact that can only be judged by the person saying it, but “I am a man” has some clear evidence.

    “I am a goldfish.” That’s because I feel like inside I am a goldfish. You are not allowed to say I am not a goldfish because I feel like one. Just because I have the physical attributes of a human and not the physical attributes of a goldfish does not diminish my goldfishness in the least. I demand access to all fish tanks and fountains, speciesist scum. Glub.

    • #8
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:43 AM PDT
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  9. Profile Photo Member

    I expect that, one day in the not too distant future, referring to the many androids among us as “synthetics” will be considered hate speech.

    • #9
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:46 AM PDT
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  10. The Mugwump Inactive

    Given the ascendancy of the left these days, I prefer the more sinister “citizen.”

    • #10
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:47 AM PDT
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  11. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    gerald dolphinFrederick Key: “I am a goldfish.” That’s because I feel like inside I am a goldfish. You are not allowed to say I am not a goldfish because I feel like one. Just because I have the physical attributes of a human and not the physical attributes of a goldfish does not diminish my goldfishness in the least. I demand access to all fish tanks and fountains, speciesist scum. Glub.

    • #11
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:48 AM PDT
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  12. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Frank,

    Let me help with your cause. Perhaps a slogan might do the trick.

    SEXUAL SCHIZOPHRENICS OF THE WORLD UNITE, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT THOSE CRUEL PRONOUNS THAT HAVE HELD YOU IN CHAINS!!

    There I hope that will make it much easier to relate. Just takes your breath away doesn’t it.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #12
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:50 AM PDT
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  13. Arahant Member

    Lord Regent, I self-identify as a dragon king, so please henceforth address me as, “Your Most Fiery Majesty.” And send me some knights to barbecue. It’s lunchtime.

    • #13
    • June 24, 2014, at 10:55 AM PDT
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  14. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Robin Hood and Xyr Merry People

    • #14
    • June 24, 2014, at 11:32 AM PDT
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  15. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Arahant:

    Lord Regent, I self-identify as a dragon king, so please henceforth address me as, “Your Most Fiery Majesty.” And send me some knights to barbecue. It’s lunchtime.

     Bring it, lizard boy.

    • #15
    • June 24, 2014, at 11:35 AM PDT
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  16. Edward Smith Inactive

    Waitron?

    That sounds like a new sentient species from a cheap science fiction novel.

    Where is that picture from?

    • #16
    • June 24, 2014, at 11:40 AM PDT
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  17. Done Contributor
    Done

    Percival:

    Arahant:

    Lord Regent, I self-identify as a dragon king, so please henceforth address me as, “Your Most Fiery Majesty.” And send me some knights to barbecue. It’s lunchtime.

    Bring it, lizard boy.

     Lizard child.

    • #17
    • June 24, 2014, at 11:41 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. Arahant Member

    Percival:

    Arahant:

    Lord Regent, I self-identify as a dragon king, so please henceforth address me as, “Your Most Fiery Majesty.” And send me some knights to barbecue. It’s lunchtime.

    Bring it, lizard boy.

     Good thing I wasn’t eating or drinking when I read that. Thanks for the laugh, Percival.

    • #18
    • June 24, 2014, at 11:44 AM PDT
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  19. Arahant Member

    Frank Soto: Lizard child.

     Just plain Lizard will do, TYVM.

    • #19
    • June 24, 2014, at 11:57 AM PDT
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  20. EPG Inactive

    “Troy loved its pet giraffe. Of course the giraffe is his, but how can we convey this without committing violence against transgendered people?”

    Wait a second — it was a giraffe companion — the concept of Troy owning another sentient being (albeit a member of the antelope family with a very long neck) reeks of speciesism.

    Another reason to call PETA.

    • #20
    • June 24, 2014, at 11:57 AM PDT
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  21. Salvatore Padula Inactive

    Edward Smith: Where is that picture from?

    South Park. There is an episode where a teacher gets a sex-change operation. Another character, who has always felt that he would be happier as a dolphin, has fins, a blowhole, and flippers surgically created.

    • #21
    • June 24, 2014, at 12:27 PM PDT
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  22. Kay of MT Member

    With all that gobbledygook Frank, no wonder it took so long to approve your post. They were probably on the floor laughing or trying to decipher it. I’m staying the way I am, not going to be PC, it’s a he or a she or a he/she. If someone doesn’t like it, tough tiddles.

    • #22
    • June 24, 2014, at 12:30 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. Done Contributor
    Done

    Kay of MT:

    With all that gobbledygook Frank, no wonder it took so long to approve your post. They were probably on the floor laughing or trying to decipher it. I’m staying the way I am, not going to be PC, it’s a he or a she or a he/she. If someone doesn’t like it, tough tiddles.

     Gobbledygook is the secret sauce.

    • #23
    • June 24, 2014, at 12:37 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. Wylee Coyote Member
    Wylee CoyoteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Frederick Key:

    “I am a goldfish.” That’s because I feel like inside I am a goldfish. You are not allowed to say I am not a goldfish because I feel like one. Just because I have the physical attributes of a human and not the physical attributes of a goldfish does not diminish my goldfishness in the least. I demand access to all fish tanks and fountains, speciesist scum. Glub.

    We laugh, but have you heard of “Otherkin”?

    Our society is increasingly difficult to parody.

    • #24
    • June 24, 2014, at 12:41 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Wylee Coyote Member
    Wylee CoyoteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Frank Soto:

    With no real demands even resembling that of the civil rights variety, what exactly does transgenderism require of society at large? The answer would appear to be our indulgence. If Bradley Manning says he’s now Chelsea Manning, it is incumbent upon all of us to pretend this is true. If not, he might just hurt himself.

     Lord Regent, the transactivists typically utilize the language of mental health in describing this phenomenon. They refer to it as a “disorder”, and make numerous appeals to the authority of the APA and DSM-V and the like.

    A question for Your Eminence: is there any other mental disorder that we humanely treat by catering to it? If someone hears voices, do we assure them that there are real people talking to them, since that’s “their reality”? If a man, sorry, a xan, believes xymself to be Napoleon, do we buy xym a funny hat?

    • #25
    • June 24, 2014, at 12:49 PM PDT
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  26. Doctor Bass Monkey Inactive

    EPG:

    “Troy loved its pet giraffe. Of course the giraffe is his, but how can we convey this without committing violence against transgendered people?”

    Wait a second — it was a giraffe companion — the concept of Troy owning another sentient being (albeit a member of the antelope family with a very long neck) reeks of speciesism.

    Another reason to call PETA.

    At least it wasn’t a fully erector set giraffe like that one Obama had at the White House.
    president-obama-hosts-maker-faire-at-white-house-1

    • #26
    • June 24, 2014, at 12:50 PM PDT
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  27. Doctor Bass Monkey Inactive

    Henceforth I shall be addressed as “El Presidente”.

    • #27
    • June 24, 2014, at 12:53 PM PDT
    • Like
  28. Done Contributor
    Done

    Wylee Coyote:

    Lord Regent, the transactivists typically utilize the language of mental health in describing this phenomenon. They refer to it as a “disorder”, and make numerous appeals to the authority of the APA and DSM-V and the like.

    A question for Your Eminence: is there any other mental disorder that we humanely treat by catering to it? If someone hears voices, do we assure them that there are real people talking to them, since that’s “their reality”? If a man, sorry, a xan, believes xymself to be Napoleon, do we buy xym a funny hat?

     We buy xym all the funny hats xe can handle.

    • #28
    • June 24, 2014, at 12:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. Mendel Member
    MendelJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I have heard a few times that most left-wing activist groups look down on PETA and other animal rights groups. Even among people who get outraged over nothing, the animal rights cause is apparently too trivial and its supporters too weird.

    I wonder if a similar rift will eventually grow between the homosexual rights movement and the transgender movement. Homosexuals – whether closeted or open – have been part of mainstream society since the dawn of man.

    But the notion that a teenage boy should have the right to shower in the girl’s locker room just because he says so may prove to be wacky and absurd enough to eventually alienate gays – especially those who want to portray themselves as having bourgeoisie values.

    • #29
    • June 24, 2014, at 1:00 PM PDT
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  30. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Mendel: I wonder if a similar rift will eventually grow between the homosexual rights movement and the transgender movement. Homosexuals – whether closeted or open – have been part of mainstream society since the dawn of man.

    Quite possibly.

    As Williamson himself has said, anyone whose first reaction to transexuality or someone who’s transgendered isn’t profound sympathy for their situation is a bad person. Whether or not it’s best to indulge them or encourage them to surgically alter themselves is an entirely separate matter.

    But it is weird.

    • #30
    • June 24, 2014, at 1:15 PM PDT
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