University of Minnesota: Use Preferred Pronoun or Be Fired
Get With the Program, or Get Out
My preferred pronouns, as I wrote several years ago, are “your” or “his majesty.” Anyone not using them must be punished. Indeed, offenders should be fired from their job. Because there is nothing as important in the world as my feelings.
Your feelings do not matter in the least. Not if your feelings have to do with speaking only of reality. You may look at me and feel, deep in your soul, that I am only a manly man and in no way royal. You may thus feel you should use “he” and “him” when speaking of me. But your feelings are wrong. Mine are right. And mine are right because only my feelings count.
I know you probably don’t agree with me. But, thank the government, at least some do.
Take the uber-enlightened University of Minnesota. Reports are they are considering a policy that would mandate that people use preferred pronouns or lose their job.
The U is considering a new “gender identity” policy that would assure transgender men and women, as well as others, the right to use whatever pronoun they wish on campus — whether it’s he, she, “ze” or something else.
And everyone from professors to classmates would be expected to call them by the right words or risk potential disciplinary action, up to firing or expulsion.
The pronoun rule is just one of the proposed changes in a draft U policy that, advocates say, would bar harassment and discrimination against transgender and “gender nonconforming” individuals. It’s designed, in part, to combat an indignity known as misgendering — when someone is called by a name or personal pronoun they no longer use.
Clever grammarians will have recognized that the newspaper has already transgressed the policy. They wrote “called by a name or personal pronoun they no longer use.” They. How dare they write they! When, in my case, it should have been “his majesty.”
It’s not my job to worry about how the newspaper would know that it is I, a self-identified emperor, reading the paper, and therefore must see only articles that use my preferred pronouns. That’s their responsibility. And they neglected that responsibility. I could sue.
There is a scene in the old movie Arsenic and Old Lace in which Cary Grant calls Edward Everett Horton to arrange for Grant’s brother to be admitted to Horton’s Happydale insane asylum. The reason is that Grant’s brother self-identifies as Teddy Roosevelt.
Horton demurs and said he “hoped we wouldn’t have” Grant’s brother “for some time yet. We have several Theodore Roosevelts at the moment, and it would lead to trouble.” Horton is willing to compromise and tells Grant, “We’re a bit short of Napoleons at present. Bonaparte.”
What you are thinking, or should be thinking in 2018, is that it is Grant and not his brother that should be institutionalized. His brother identifies as Roosevelt, therefore his brother is Roosevelt. Anybody who disagrees is obviously insane.
Reality has nothing to do with what we are. Desire is triumphant. A lot of people don’t yet know that, so insane asylums are going to see surges of enrollment. At least until the populace is reeducated.
If You Can’t Be Inclusive, Get Outta Here
If we don’t start firing people, or locking them away in padded cells, we will never be able to “create more access and an inclusive environment” as University of Minnesota’s assistant director of the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office Gabrielle Mead wants. Inclusive, that is, for those identifying as other than what they are. Those hewing to fact and truth will be systematically excluded.
If you find yourself choking back rage at being unable to speak of reality, don’t worry. Your stubbornness has been anticipated. A policy drafter said, “When you introduce any change in the language, there’s always a pushback at the very beginning until they get used to it.”
Many already are. “In some classes and student gatherings, it’s become routine to ask individuals to introduce themselves by name and pronoun.”
Watch what you say at all times. A professor said she/he/it/ze/1957 Chevy “doubts anyone would be punished for a mere slip of the tongue.” Which means people whose tongue’s slip will face the ax. We all already know it only takes one transgression.
For the people behind such policies, there can be only one outcome: You will submit. Maybe not now. But soon.