The Tyranny of Pronouns

 

jack-sparrowWhen I think back on how prophetic Bob Dole was, I want to flambé a grammar book. You may recall that in the midst of losing the 1996 presidential election, he began referring to himself in the third person, as in: “Make no mistake, Bob Dole is going to be the Republican nominee.” But at least he had the good sense to use his actual name, and didn’t demand that we refer to him with inanities like “Ze,” or “Hir,” or “they.” And when he excused himself to go the men’s room Bob Dole didn’t say, ”Bob Dole has to go to the ladies room.” Dave Carter misses Bob Dole.

All of which is a far cry from Leo Soell, a fifth-grade teacher in Oregon who won a $60,000 lawsuit a few months back over her insistence that she be referred to as, “they.” Yes, you read that correctly. Want to read it again? It’s okay, I’ll wait. Let it sink in for a moment, and then let us pause briefly and pray that Soell doesn’t teach English, otherwise her fifth-graders won’t know the difference between third person plural and third person singularly ridiculous. Here, I disclose that I actually identify as a Lamborghini Owner (please contact Ricochet’s editors for instructions on how you can help accommodate my new identity).

Now comes news that University of Toronto professor is accused of hate speech for declining to address various students using “genderless pronouns.” Not only has Professor Jordan Peterson refused to refer to certain “transgender and black students” in genderless terms, but he delivered a two-part lecture on YouTube explaining his position:

I don’t recognize another person’s right to determine what pronouns I use to address them. I won’t do it. …The pronoun issue is straightforward. I won’t mouth the words of ideologues, because when you do that you become a puppet for their ideology.

The university disagrees however, as do some 250 of his fellow faculty members who joined in signing a letter to the Professor which states that Peterson is in violation of the Ontario Human Rights Code which states that humans in Ontario have no right to free speech. As geography Professor Deborah Cowen explains, “These events have made the campus feel unsafe and unwelcoming for some of the most creative and important members of our community.” Because only sycophantic genuflections to the most hyperbolic sensitivities of budding young utopians will make them feel warm and fuzzy, safe and happy. Don’t forget the warm milk and cookies.

Speaking of ridiculous, have you had a gander at all the new genders in New York City? Not only have the cosmopolitans come up with a list of 31 gender identities, they will fine you to the moon and back if you decline to play along. Now, people are free to make certain assertions to which social decorum suggests polite agreement. Every grandparent, after all, has the most adorable grandkids in the world (and photos to prove it), every parent’s child is above average, and every husband has the most beautiful wife in the land (all of which just happens to be objective truth in my case).

Stretching things a bit further, Hillary Clinton may claim to be honest, Bill Clinton chaste, Donald Trump may announce his general humility (he’d probably say that no one is more humble than him), and Nancy Pelosi might even fancy herself sentient, but the First Amendment immunizes us against any requirement to underwrite such absurdities. At least that was the original intent of the thing, but it’s no longer fashionable to look at the clear meaning of the Constitution. Better to pretend it was written on silly putty, as Hillary’s Supreme Court nominees will prove.

But when someone threatens that either we address them as Gender Bender, Gender Blender, Drag King, Agender, Third Sex, Pangender, Genderqueer, Two Spirit, Gender Fluid, or Gender Gifted, or we will be sued by the law firm of Gender, Bender, and Androgynous, how should we respond? Personally, I’d offer an all-purpose term like “Convertible,” as a compromise. If that didn’t work, I’d settle on the much more inclusive term, “ass-hat.”

The reality, however, is a bit different since the New York City Human Rights Commission decreed that all of that city’s businesses must acknowledge and accommodate each of the 31 genders or incur fines ranging from $125,000 to $250,000. Violations include, “prohibiting an individual from using a particular program or facility because they do not conform to sex stereotypes,” or “intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun, or title.”

So if Chester the Molester wants to go into the ladies’ room with your daughter, you’d better stand aside. And if he walks out insisting that he’s Napoleon, you’re better off playing along with the little emperor than watching your business go belly up under the weight of the $250,000 fine you’ll offer up to the Orwellian-named Human Rights Commission (it really would be cheaper to buy me that Lamborghini). Thus do delusions and gender fads trump your First Amendment rights, even as leftists who previously lionized a constitutional right to privacy by insisting that the government, “stay out of the bedroom,” now cheerfully welcome the government into the bathroom with your wife and daughter.

Incapable of distinguishing between a moral improvement and the moral equivalent of the Bubonic Plague, since they both fall under the umbrella of “change,” the progressive proceeds from one calamity to the next, destroying the very societal foundations that support his benighted vanity all while fancying himself the agent of revolutionary bliss. Then again, as G.K. Chesterton observed:

Perhaps there is really no such thing as a Revolution recorded in history. What happened was always a Counter-Revolution. Men were always rebelling against the last rebels, or even repenting of the last rebellion. … Trace even the Puritan mother back through history and she represents a rebellion against the Cavalier laxity of the English Church, which was at first a rebel against the Catholic civilization, which had been a rebel against the Pagan civilization. Nobody but a lunatic could pretend that these things were a progress; for they obviously go first one way and then the other. But whichever is right, one thing is certainly wrong; and that is the modern habit of looking at them only from the modern end. For that is only to see the end of the tale; for they rebel against they know not what, because it arose they know not when; intent only on its ending, they are ignorant of its beginning; and therefore of its very being.

And on it goes. After years in an education system that left them unable to comprehend their own culture, let alone defend it, these coddled little fartlings, used to receiving participation trophies for merely having a pulse, have become so traumatized by opposing points of view that, in lieu of real debate, they’ve decided to wage war on pronouns. So “he” and “she” give way to “ze” and “her,” and the bracing clarity of free expression gives way to totalitarian nescience.

“I understand that for a lot of people, trans visibility is scary because it’s new,” said the aforementioned fifth grade teacher who got $60k when co-workers wouldn’t call her “they.” Actually, ma’am, it’s not the “trans visibility” that is scary, but rather the heavy hand of the state outlawing good sense, good grammar, and free speech in order to kowtow to the hypersensitive affectations of the latest officially sanctioned grievance group.

“I completely understand what it’s like to have things change when you don’t want them to,” Soell continues, “however, change is never an excuse to treat someone poorly.” A Soviet commissar sentencing Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to the labor camps for his refusal to embrace the “change” inflicted by Stalin couldn’t have said it better. You are of course free to refer to yourself in the third person plural, or for that matter, you can call yourself a ’57 DeSoto, if you like. But don’t come around waving legal threats and demanding my enthusiastic agreement or you might have your pronouns introduced to your digestive processes.

Question: What do you get when you put too much Gender Fluid in the Gender Blender?

Answer: I don’t know, but I won’t be taking commands from it.

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There are 81 comments.

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  1. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher

    Dave Carter:Question: What do you get when you put too much Gender Fluid in the Gender Blender?

    Answer: I don’t know, but I won’t be taking commands from it.

    Sadly you will if you want to keep your job or stay out of jail.

    • #1
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:16 PM PDT
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  2. David Carroll Thatcher

    Borrowing from the brilliant young university student when faced with the questions of what are one’s preferred pronouns, henceforth I insist that you refer to me as follows:

    Second person: “Your Royal Highness”

    Third person: “His Royal Highness”

    First person: “My Royal Highness” or “I” for short.

    • #2
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:19 PM PDT
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  3. Karen Humiston Member

    Excellent piece, Dave. I will now go and bang my head against a wall.

    • #3
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:23 PM PDT
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  4. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Dave Carter: All of which is a far cry from Leo Soell, a fifth-grade teacher in Oregon who won a $60,000 lawsuit a few months back over her insistence that she be referred to as, “they.” Yes, you read that correctly. Want to read it again? It’s okay, I’ll wait. Let it sink in for a moment, and then let us pause briefly and pray that Soell doesn’t teach English, otherwise her fifth-graders won’t know the difference between third person plural and third person singularly ridiculous.

    We are not amused.

    • #4
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:27 PM PDT
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  5. Vance Richards Member

    OK, I’m going to avoid all of those uncertain pronouns and just refer to everyone as “Bob Dole.”

    • #5
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:28 PM PDT
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  6. Richard Fulmer Member

    How will we know by which pronoun a person wishes to be addressed and, once we know, how do we keep all the pronouns of all the people with whom we come in contact (pardon the term) straight? Will creatively pronouned people be required to wear signs around their necks reading “zir” or “hir” just as German Jews were once required to wear signs announcing that they were “Juden”? Just asking.

    • #6
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:29 PM PDT
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  7. John Seymour Inactive

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Dave Carter:Question: What do you get when you put too much Gender Fluid in the Gender Blender?

    Answer: I don’t know, but I won’t be taking commands from it.

    Sadly you will if you want to keep your job or stay out of jail.

    I’ll be his roomy.

    • #7
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:31 PM PDT
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  8. John Seymour Inactive

    Richard Fulmer:How will we know by which pronoun a person wishes to be addressed and, once we know, how do we keep all the pronouns of all the people with whom we come in contact (pardon the term) straight? Will creatively pronouned people be required to wear signs around their necks reading “zir” or “hir” just as German Jews were once required to wear signs announcing that they were “Juden”? Just asking.

    Sounds threatening to me.

    • #8
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:33 PM PDT
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  9. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher

    Richard Fulmer:How will we know by which pronoun a person wishes to be addressed and, once we know, how do we keep all the pronouns of all the people with whom we come in contact (pardon the term) straight? Will creatively pronouned people be required to wear signs around their necks reading “zir” or “hir” just as German Jews were once required to wear signs announcing that they were “Juden”? Just asking.

    I was just planning on going with it.

    • #9
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:33 PM PDT
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  10. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher

    Isaac Smith:

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Dave Carter:Question: What do you get when you put too much Gender Fluid in the Gender Blender?

    Answer: I don’t know, but I won’t be taking commands from it.

    Sadly you will if you want to keep your job or stay out of jail.

    I’ll be his roomy.

    You can’t say his. It is a bad word.

    • #10
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:35 PM PDT
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  11. John Seymour Inactive

    Dave Carter: But when someone threatens that either we address them as Gender Bender, Gender Blender, Drag King, Agender, Third Sex, Pangender, Genderqueer, Two Spirit, Gender Fluid, or Gender Gifted, or we will be sued by the law firm of Gender, Bender, and Androgynous, how should we respond? Personally, I’d offer an all-purpose term like “Convertible,” as a compromise. If that didn’t work, I’d settle on the much more inclusive term, “ass-hat.”

    “ass-hat” is good. “Sorry, but I don’t pander to the insane or delusional.”

    • #11
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:37 PM PDT
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  12. John Seymour Inactive

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Isaac Smith:

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Dave Carter:Question: What do you get when you put too much Gender Fluid in the Gender Blender?

    Answer: I don’t know, but I won’t be taking commands from it.

    Sadly you will if you want to keep your job or stay out of jail.

    I’ll be his roomy.

    You can’t say his. It is a bad word.

    “ass-hat” ;-)

    • #12
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:38 PM PDT
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  13. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher

    Isaac Smith:

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Isaac Smith:

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Dave Carter:Question: What do you get when you put too much Gender Fluid in the Gender Blender?

    Answer: I don’t know, but I won’t be taking commands from it.

    Sadly you will if you want to keep your job or stay out of jail.

    I’ll be his roomy.

    You can’t say his. It is a bad word.

    “ass-hat”

    Well at least you did not call me cynical, that seems to be the Ricochtee’s favorite term of endearment for me.

    • #13
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:41 PM PDT
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  14. Ned Vaughn Inactive

    Dave Carter: Let it sink in for a moment, and then let us pause briefly and pray that Soell doesn’t teach English, otherwise her fifth-graders won’t know the difference between third person plural and third person singularly ridiculous.

    Still reading but entirely worth it for this sentence alone. Chapeau!

    • #14
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:44 PM PDT
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  15. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Dave Carter:Question: What do you get when you put too much Gender Fluid in the Gender Blender?

    Answer: I don’t know, but I won’t be taking commands from it.

    Sadly you will if you want to keep your job or stay out of jail.

    As they say in New Hampshire, live free or die.

    • #15
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:45 PM PDT
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  16. Terry Mott Member

    Richard Fulmer:How will we know by which pronoun a person wishes to be addressed and, once we know, how do we keep all the pronouns of all the people with whom we come in contact (pardon the term) straight?

    You can’t. That’s the whole point, to create in everyone a free-floating guilt that the SJWs can tap into to persecute anyone at any time to earn social credit on-the-cheap.

    Am I the only one who sees the similarity to adolescent “mean girls” who arbitrarily define who is cool or not so as to build themselves up?

    • #16
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:49 PM PDT
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  17. tigerlily Member

    Dave Carter:jack-sparrow

    All of which is a far cry from Leo Soell, a fifth-grade teacher in Oregon who won a $60,000 lawsuit a few months back over her insistence that she be referred to as, “they.”

    Multiple Personality Disorder?

    • #17
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:53 PM PDT
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  18. Daphnesdad Inactive

    You can call me Lambo.

    • #18
    • October 25, 2016, at 12:54 PM PDT
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  19. Daphnesdad Inactive

    I love your writing, and this is wonderful.

    I have to pick at the “won a lawsuit” part. The school district settled with “they” rather than go to a hearing before the notorious Brad Avakian (awarded $135,000 to a lesbian couple over their wedding cake). It was not an award of damages by a judge or jury, it was school administration chickening out.

    I know; picky, picky.

    • #19
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:03 PM PDT
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  20. Susan Quinn Contributor

    One more nail in the narcissistic coffin. I have to be called something different/special just because I said so, and you have to conform or you are a monster and ignoramus. Got it. Sigh.

    • #20
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:04 PM PDT
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  21. Vance Richards Member

    tigerlily:

    Dave Carter:jack-sparrow

    All of which is a far cry from Leo Soell, a fifth-grade teacher in Oregon who won a $60,000 lawsuit a few months back over her insistence that she be referred to as, “they.”

    Multiple Personality Disorder?

    That brings up another question, if an individual is referred to as “they”, would it be “they are” or “they is”? As if English wasn’t hard enough . . .

    • #21
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:06 PM PDT
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  22. Richard Fulmer Member

    One of the emanations and penumbras of Catholicism against which Martin Luther rebelled was the all-encompassing sense of guilt in which the Church’s dogma was steeped. Do a good deed, then rebuke yourself for the stray, prideful thought that you might actually be a decent human being. Guilt fed on itself in an endless mirror tunnel of agonizing, mental self-flagellation.

    The cathedral of guilt that took centuries for Catholic theologians to build has been erected in just a few decades by the theologians of the Left. Consider, for example, Katherine Timpf’s recent NRO article about a study claiming that pumpkin spice lattes are a symbol of white privilege – apparently reprimanding a feminist who held that to criticize pumpkin spice lattes is sexist.

    Is there any logical end to the self-parodic, PC one-upmanship that infects college campuses and threatens to engulf the nation? Can we not, for example, imagine a leftist dogmatist declaring that denigrating pumpkin spice lattes “disrespects” people of color who also love pumpkin spice lattes, only to be scolded by a Wiccan who believe that turning pumpkins into latte disrespects a sacred symbol of her religion, or a by child horrified at the thought of Cinderella’s coach or Peter Piper’s wife’s home being butchered by a barista?

    When will a modern Martin Luther nail his (or zyr) theses to a campus gate demanding to be freed from the bottomless well of self-hatred that has become the religion of the Left?

    • #22
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:11 PM PDT
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  23. Dave Carter Contributor
    Dave Carter Post author

    Vance Richards:

    tigerlily:

    Dave Carter:jack-sparrow

    All of which is a far cry from Leo Soell, a fifth-grade teacher in Oregon who won a $60,000 lawsuit a few months back over her insistence that she be referred to as, “they.”

    Multiple Personality Disorder?

    That brings up another question, if an individual is referred to as “they”, would it be “they are” or “they is”? As if English wasn’t hard enough . . .

    “They be.”

    • #23
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:21 PM PDT
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  24. Terry Mott Member

    Dave Carter:Not only has Professor Jordan Peterson refused to refer to certain “transgender and black students” in genderless terms…

    Does anyone know why “black students” should be referred to in genderless terms? Is this a new demand of the BLM yahoos? Or did someone just drop “black” into the charges to spice up the SJW outrage?

    • #24
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:26 PM PDT
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  25. La Tapada Member

    When I contemplate the strange things our society is insisting on doing, all I have been able to do is shake my head. Now you’ve given me an additional option: laughing. I think we will be resorting to a lot of dark humor before these strange times are behind us.

    • #25
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:27 PM PDT
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  26. Vance Richards Member

    Dave Carter:

    Vance Richards:

    tigerlily:

    Dave Carter:

    All of which is a far cry from Leo Soell, a fifth-grade teacher in Oregon who won a $60,000 lawsuit a few months back over her insistence that she be referred to as, “they.”

    Multiple Personality Disorder?

    That brings up another question, if an individual is referred to as “they”, would it be “they are” or “they is”? As if English wasn’t hard enough . . .

    “They be.”

    Ok, now let me just say, they be crazy!

    • #26
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:28 PM PDT
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  27. Dave Carter Contributor
    Dave Carter Post author

    Terry Mott:

    Dave Carter:Not only has Professor Jordan Peterson refused to refer to certain “transgender and black students” in genderless terms…

    Does anyone know why “black students” should be referred to in genderless terms? Is this a new demand of the BLM yahoos? Or did someone just drop “black” into the charges to spice up the SJW outrage?

    I’ve no idea why, actually. From the article:

    University of Toronto faculty signed a letter criticizing hate speech against their transgender and black students in light of a fellow professor’s refusal to use “genderless pronouns.”

    • #27
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:31 PM PDT
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  28. Dave Carter Contributor
    Dave Carter Post author

    Fake John/Jane Galt:

    Dave Carter:Question: What do you get when you put too much Gender Fluid in the Gender Blender?

    Answer: I don’t know, but I won’t be taking commands from it.

    Sadly you will if you want to keep your job or stay out of jail.

    I spent too many years in uniform defending our Constitution and the rights it embodies to bow to a cabal of masterminds at this late stage.

    • #28
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:33 PM PDT
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  29. Dave Carter Contributor
    Dave Carter Post author

    Susan Quinn:One more nail in the narcissistic coffin. I have to be called something different/special just because I said so, and you have to conform or you are a monster and ignoramus. Got it. Sigh.

    On a positive note, I’ll let you know if the Lamborghini arrives.

    • #29
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:34 PM PDT
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  30. Dave Carter Contributor
    Dave Carter Post author

    David Carroll:Borrowing from the brilliant young university student when faced with the questions of what are one’s preferred pronouns, henceforth I insist that you refer to me as follows:

    Second person: “Your Royal Highness”

    Third person: “His Royal Highness”

    First person: “My Royal Highness” or “I” for short.

    And they used to call Dean Martin, “His Royal High.”

    • #30
    • October 25, 2016, at 1:37 PM PDT
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