Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum: I Smell the Marks of Transgender Activism

By Michael Brown Published on August 8, 2016

No amount of compassion for a young person struggling with gender identity issues can justify the radical transformation of the English language, yet that is exactly what is being called for by transgender activists.

For anyone following the progression of LGBT activism, this is nothing new. (See, for example, the chapter “Lavender Language, Gender Speak, and Queer Semantics: Towards an Omnisexual Society?” in my book A Queer Thing Happened to America.) But when this radical agenda comes to a school district where you live, it’s important that we speak out again, loudly and clearly.

I’m talking specifically about the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, which in June announced the implementation of new regulations “Supporting Transgender Students.” Included in these regulations are rules for the proper use of pronouns so that, “Nonofficial records must refer to transgender student by preferred names and pronouns.” (Due to a recent Supreme Court ruling, some of this agenda has been put on temporary hold.)

In an official instructional video, “The Importance of Pronouns,” one student, who is identified as a “non-binary transgender youth” (meaning, a young person who chooses not to identify as specifically male or female) explains why he/she prefers to use the pronouns they, them, and theirs when referring to himself/herself.

Other students and faculty are expected to follow suit, and on this same video, a high school teacher says that it’s important that a transgender student be able to communicate these things at the beginning of the school year so everyone can comply.

And what happens if you fail to comply? Earlier this year, a “‘transmasculine’ teacher at an Oregon elementary school [was] awarded $60,000 by her school district as compensation for harassment she claims to have suffered on the job, including being referred to by the “wrong pronoun.”

Specifically, the teacher, who was born female but chooses not to identify as either male or female, “says employees persisted in calling her hurtful terms like ‘Miss Soell,’ ‘lady,’ and ‘she.’” The school eventually agreed that she would be called “they,” but when other faculty members wouldn’t comply, she took them to court, winning a substantial payment in the process.

What about the confusion her gender ambiguity causes for the elementary school children she teaches? That is obviously not a concern at all.

As for this emphasis on trans-correct pronouns, it appears that the sky is the limit — and remember, students and faculty are expected to comply with the trans-identified student’s request.

One individual on the “Ask a Non-Binary” Tumblr blog writes this: “These are all the gender neutral pronouns I’ve managed to hunt down but I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN there are several missing.”

  • They/them/their/themself
  • tey/tem/ter/temself
  • ey/em/eir/emself
  • e/em/eir/emself
  • thon/thon/thons/thonself
  • fae/faer/faers/faerself
  • vae/vaer/vaers/vaerself
  • ae/aer/aers/aerself
  • ne/nym/nis/nymself
  • ne/nem/nir/nemself
  • xe/xem/xyr/xemself
  • xe/xim/xis/ximself
  • xie/xem/xyr/xemself
  • ze(or zie)/zir/zirs/zirself
  • zhe/zhir/zhirs/zhirself
  • ze/hir/hirs/hirself
  • sie/sier/siers/sierself
  • zed/zed/zeds/zedself
  • zed/zed/zeir/zedself
  • ce/cir/cirs/cirself
  • co/cos/cos/coself
  • ve/vis/vir/verself
  • jee/jem/jeir/jemself
  • lee/lim/lis/limself
  • kye/kyr/kyne/kyrself
  • per/per/pers/perself
  • hu/hum/hus/humself
  • bun/bun/buns/bunself
  • it/it/its/itself

This is followed by “I’ve also seen ‘yo’ and ‘fey’ pronouns but I have no idea how to conjugate them. And I’m off to still hunt for more! If you know of any GN pronouns feel free to reblog and add unto the list and i’ll edit the original as well,” and, “OH MY GOSH!! SO IMPORTANT!!”

Is your head spinning yet?

To be totally honest, I feel more sorrow than mockery when I read this list — especially when I see how important this is to those who identify as transgender — and when I see these kids talking on the instructional school videos, my heart really goes out to them. They appear to be the age of some of my own grandchildren, and I don’t doubt that they have more than their share of struggles at school.

But to repeat, no amount of compassion for a young person struggling with gender identity issues can justify the radical transformation of the English language, nor can it justify this scenario where perception becomes reality and words are created to justify these new, totally individual perceptions.

What if you had several trans students in your class and one them wanted to be referred to as tey, another as fae, another as per, another as sed, another as xie, another as thon? You would need a scorecard to get this right. (And remember: The other classmates would need a scorecard too.)

Speaking of scorecards, what if you were calling a girls’ soccer game where several transgender students were playing? It might sound like this, “Well, she made a great shot, but ze made an even better save. Thankfully, her teammate was able to score on the rebound, so hats off to kye for being at the right place at the right time. And let’s not overlook zed’s hustle!”

And what if one of the kids in the school was gender fluid, and you referred to him at David one day, only to find out that he was Dianne the next day, only to find out that he/she wanted to be referred to as xe the next day?

Lest you think I’m making up an impossible scenario, a March 23, 2016 headline on the Daily Mail website read, “‘Some days Annie is a girl, some days Annie is a boy and some days she’s both’: The 12-year-old whose gender changes on a daily basis depending on how they feel.”

In New York, a well-known dance school elected “its first gender fluid prom queen sparking backlash from jealous female students angry at being beaten by a ‘boy’.” Of course, the “jealous” female students were made out to be the villains of the story.

Or consider this interaction on NPR between Margot Adler and Lynn Walker:

WALKER: And then part of the intake is to say, well, what pronoun do you like today? It might be just today.

ADLER: Because Walker has clients who might be Jimmy one day, and Deloris the next.

WALKER: Once you develop the habit of saying, oh, that person, that is a she, that’s Delores. It doesn’t matter that she looks rather like Jimmy or looks like she was called Jimmy by her parents.

On this same broadcast, Joy Ladin commented, “The folks who are cutting edge and exciting, they’re gender fluid, they’re gender complicated, they’re gender queer.”

Walker also stated, “We encountered high school students who said, I want you to call me Tractor and use pronouns like zee, zim and zer. And, in fact, I reject the gender binary as an oppressive move by the dominant culture.”

And now whole school districts are being required to go along with this social madness, with the enthusiastic support of the Obama administration.

I urge every student, parent, and educator to join me in saying, “While we have compassion on kids who are struggling, we refuse to turn the world upside down on their behalf, no matter what tey, ey, fae, vae, thon, per, kye, jee, lee, ne, zed, co, or bun has to say.”

(See here for my relevant video commentary, featuring actual footage from the official training materials.)

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  • Gary

    The insane want everyone else to be insane too.

  • Ken Abbott

    Just to add to the grammar mess–we do not conjugate pronouns, we decline them. Verbs, on the other hand, are conjugated.

    But, hey, as long as we’re just making stuff up, why not? Conjugate away! Who cares about communication or being understood? In my solipsistic little world it’s all about me anyway.

  • Cowboy

    Satan is in the middle of all this confusion and so many in America are buying into it!

  • This kind of Orwellian attack on the English language, demonizing common sense as hate speech and replacing it with the Marxist-Alinskyist Newspeak that is political correctness, is nothing new from the radical left, but this takes it to a whole new low. Of course, what can you expect from people who *voluntarily* allow themselves to get offended at the dumbest of things? They’d rather offend themselves than talk rationally about it.

  • narniagirl55

    Are we confused even more than we were yesterday?!

    This is crazy highjacking of the English language not to mention a spirit of confusing being forced on our youth.

    Time to start private schools. Public school is killing itself by semantic suicide! They aren’t teaching order they’re teaching confusion. And we all know Satan is the author of confusion.

  • UlaireToldea

    We live in a very sad world today. If crap like this doesn’t draw a mass exodus from the public schools, I don’t know what will.

    • BravesFan

      I was hoping and praying for a huge exodus after 0bama’s bathroom mandate (excuse me, “suggestions”), but too many parents are just shrugging and saying, “What can we do?” Homeschool!!

      • UlaireToldea

        I understand how a lot of people can’t afford to send their kids to private school or take the time to homeschool them, but public schools are getting to the point that they are teaching socialism instead of regular school subjects. Unfortunately, most public schools try to shut parents out completely in their dicision making, so the chances of changing the public schools seem very slim. There doesn’t seem to be a very pleasant solution to this problem, so I think some parents are going to have to sacrifice convenience and either homeschool their kids or send them to a private school. If not, then parents will have to deal with LGBT activism shoving their agenda down everyone’s throats at the public schools.

  • O’Pinyon

    How would this be handled in a language like Hebrew, where almost every word is either m. or f.?
    (Another good reason to learn Hebrew!)
    Also, while we are messing with English, let’s bring back the singular and plural 2nd person.
    Using “you” for both singular and plural makes it harder to read the Bible with understanding.

  • O’Pinyon

    As in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, there is a time to go against the government’s demands.
    If everyone who thinks this is a bad idea simply refuses to go along with it, I cannot imagine that we would all be rounded up and put in prison. That number would be almost the whole populace.
    However, even that might be a better outcome than participating in the imprisonment of our children’s minds.

  • Alan K

    Lets strip away the bigotry and BS and reexamine the issue for a moment. A little boy wants to use the boy’s room. That’s all there is to it

  • m-nj

    interesting… so some of the trans people want to be called “they”… reminds me of a Bible verse… Mark 5, 8 For [Jesus] had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he *said to Him, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”

    • Staci Woodruff

      Excellent point! Amen!

    • Sonnys_Mom

      Exactly my thought. Especially when, one after another, social institutions cave in to their absurd demands– followed by even louder screams for even more bizarre demands…

    • Gregory Peterson

      People often use “they” instead of “him or her.”

      From the Oxford Dictionaries site.

      You can use the plural pronouns ‘they’, ‘them’, ‘their’ etc., despite the fact that, technically, they are referring back to a singular noun:
      If your child is thinking about a gap year, they can get good advice from this website.

      A researcher has to be completely objective in their findings.

      Some people object to the use of plural pronouns in this type of situation on the grounds that it’s ungrammatical. In fact, the use of plural pronouns to refer back to a singular subject isn’t new: it represents a revival of a practice dating from the 16th century. It’s increasingly common in current English and is now widely accepted both in speech and in writing.

  • Mark Brown

    LGBT should just go back into the closet. It was better that way. now people are going to be sued simply for using the words boy and girl or man and woman
    why are we changing society and the way things have been for thousands of years just to accommodate the mentally ill?

    • Gregory Peterson

      Right…you want minority people to be invisible and silent, thereby becoming complicit in their own oppression. When have conservative Evangelicals ever wished for that before?

  • bmitchell

    I can not identify with any of this. It is all so ridiculous and unreal that my mind can not grasp what is going on. I thank God I was born when I was and that I probably won’t live to see just how morally corrupt the people will end up.

    • Gregory Peterson

      So…what you’re doing is thanking God that you have heterosexual cisgender privilege and then brand minority children as morally corrupt.

      • bmitchell

        If that’s how you chose to put it ok. God doesn’t make mistakes. People make mistakes.

  • Patmos

    Or we could, you know, raise kids rather than letting their imaginations raise them.

    • Sonnys_Mom

      Rather than substituting pretend play well into adolescence, for moral guidance.

  • muzjlk

    Caitlyn Hope Grimm is the name of the Virginia high school girl who is referred to as “Gavin” Grimm in the media. She claims that she “identifies” as a boy and sued the school so she could use the boy’s restroom. Her case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the media and search engines have done their best to remove any trace of her birth name. If you believe that the liberal media believe in freedom of information, think again.

  • O’Pinyon

    Before agreeing to customized pronouns, we should insist that each student understand parts of speech and how they function in a sentence.
    In school, step one is education.
    Our minds, if directed towards actual educational progress, are less inclined to need rules for enhancing self-esteem.

  • David Driscoll

    Doesn’t work in languages utilizing gender specific words. Also, language is how you control thought. Change the language, change the conversation. All These deviants want is control; just like any special interest group. Yawn.

  • Jim Walker

    I will simply call them IT.

    • Queen Laura’s Ghost

      Well, you just used “them” with no trouble at all. See, not so tough, is it?

      • Jim Walker

        Do I call one person They?
        It’s either he or she or it…

  • Sonnys_Mom

    It would be more authentic if Charlotte-Mecklenberg school district simply called their bathroom policy, “Supporting Teenage Angst”…

  • Gregory Peterson

    So, picking on a breast cancer survivor now, are we, Dr. Brown?

    Just call people what they want to be called. That’s basic human decency.

    “To be totally honest, I feel more sorrow than mockery when I read this list…”

    Aww….your crocodile tears are so touching.

  • Gregory Peterson

    “They/them/their/themself” has provenance dating back to the 16th Century, as the Oxford Dictionaries website reports:

    “You can use the plural pronouns ‘they’, ‘them’, ‘their’ etc., despite the fact that, technically, they are referring back to a singular noun:

    If your child is thinking about a gap year, they can get good advice from this website.

    A researcher has to be completely objective in their findings.

    Some people object to the use of plural pronouns in this type of situation on the grounds that it’s ungrammatical. In fact, the use of plural pronouns to refer back to a singular subject isn’t new: it represents a revival of a practice dating from the 16th century. It’s increasingly common in current English and is now widely accepted both in speech and in writing.”

    Languages evolve. Societies evolve, gender identity and roles evolve and differ from culture to culture. Just the other day I met a charming Navajo “Two Spirits” person. In Nepal, if memory serves, official forms have a space for “third sex.”

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