Ephrayim Fox

Dec 7, 2020

5 min read

Why Personal Pronoun Politics Are Problematic

That’s a lot of ‘P”’s.

I want to get this out of the way first. If you’re my friend, and then you announce one day that you’re trans, and it clearly means a lot to you if I call you by a specific pronoun, then I will try to do so. This essay therefore does not reflect how I would behave with people I know.

Regardless, there seems to be increasing push among employers, governments, social media users, and the media to normalize and mainstream everything to do with pronouns. For example, my own employee database program was recently updated with a field for personal pronouns. Vastly increasing numbers of people on any social media put their pronouns in their usernames (even straight people, which I find odd and concerning). Several governments have added pronouns to anti-discrimination guidelines. For example, in NYC, if an employer who knows your preferred pronouns repeatedly calls you by the wrong pronoun, the employer can face up to $250,000 in fines. If I understand the guidelines correctly, this applies to employers, certain types of landlords, and certain types of businesses as well.

Gender Pronouns Graphic
Graphic taken from https://uwm.edu/lgbtrc/support/gender-pronouns/ , licensed under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ for noncommercial use (this article is not paywalled)

Let’s take a step back and consider what all of this means. In the case of the NYC guidelines, and according to another piece of propaganda — ahem, I mean document from NYC, you can change your gender pronouns as often as you’d like. This means that one day, John, who like so many others nowadays, is “gender-fluid”, becomes Ms. John, and informs his, I mean her, employer Mr. Smith. Smith doesn’t want a fuss, so he complies. The next day Ms. John changes her, I mean his, mind, and reverts to Mr. John. The next day the same thing happens, and the day after that, and the day after that. The hapless employer is required by law to comply with every single one of these changes, as many times as necessary, and can be fined up to $250,000 if he refuses. I find this to be very, to borrow a leftist term, problematic.

You have some people on Twitter who rush to categorizing refusal to use someone’s personal pronouns as “hate speech.” This means that calling John a “he,” depending on the day, is far worse than calling him an “idiot”. This is patently absurd. If Smith in our example “misgenders” John there are usually several possible reasons.

  1. Smith may be a science-minded person or even a doctor, who believes that changing your pronoun does not change your biology, and even changes to your biology doesn’t change your genes. Smith feels he must stand up for his beliefs and for basic biology

None of these possible motivations make misgendering “hate speech,” and to compare the two is an insult to people who face actual hate speech. While I agree that in some scenarios misgendering someone can be motivated by hatred, I believe this to be rare. Most people have little reason to hate trans people. Why would they? What did trans people ever do to them? Speaking personally, I don’t hate trans people, nobody I know hates trans people, and nobody I know have any reason to, because no trans person has ever hurt me or anyone I know. People hate those who they perceive have hurt them, people don’t (usually) hate solely based on gender/gender identity.

I personally see pronouns as selfish, and, ironically, privileged. Pronouns represent the tyranny of the majority by small minorities. It is an attempt to force others to not only respect you, but to validate and empathize with your worldview. I see it as equivalent to a Christian forcing a Muslim to call Jesus G-d’s son. Historically, humans have received their emotional support from family and friends, and more recently therapists. Now LGBTQ politics aims to have people receive their validation from everyone, governments, employers, landlords etc. I see it as extremely entitled to think that you have a right to force others to agree with your description of yourself. Why do you believe that your worldview is more important than my own, which is that freedom of speech is important? This just seems like arrogance.

To throw in some more psychology, I believe that a major reason behind all of LGBTQ politics is personal insecurity and identity crises. Perhaps a biological male is for whatever reason highly uncomfortable with their masculinity due to emotional trauma, so they wish to be female. As a result, their very identity is unstable and has weak foundations. Such a person will likely be easily triggered by almost anything, and if someone calls him a “he” his entire identity crashes down, leading to rage. Instead of allowing this person to be responsible for himself and for stabilizing his identity, LGBTQ politics aims to make those around this person responsible for maintaining this person’s identity. LGBTQ politics aims to turn everywhere into a safe space, enabling this person to never have to confront his own identity crisis, and never take steps to heal it or to learn to make themselves whole. This is a travesty of psychology, and an attack on personal responsibility.

Note: I didn’t even get into the whole peer pressure/bullying aspect of LGBTQ politics, but I’ll leave that quite frankly disgusting topic for another day, along with how LGBTQ politics hurts feminism. I also did not properly address the highly important compelled speech aspect due to me not being a constitutional scholar. Oh, and there’s also the censorship aspect, and the cancel culture, feel free to look up Abigail Shrier’s book if you want to hear more about that. Apparently nobody is allowed to question the narrative anymore…

As always, feel free to sound off in the comments if you agree, disagree, think I’m a biased racist, think I’m evil because I’m white, or think straight people should be cancelled :)