October 4, 2022

Pronoun mania has taken over the country.  So much so that my grandchildren tell me that the first order of business at the start of a new semester is for everyone to proclaim their pronouns.  Something similar happened to me when I signed up to attend a writer’s conference.  I couldn’t believe that a professional organization expected me to walk around wearing a name tag declaring I was a “she.”

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While some might think that this obsession with pronouns comes from the best of intentions, it’s much ado about nothing. I can talk to someone for hours without using a pronoun other than the second person “you.”     

Yet, the Human Rights Campaign puts such stock in the matter that it advises us to introduce ourselves by name and pronoun. Their website asks us how we would feel if a coworker, family member, doctor or a friend routinely called us by the wrong pronoun?   That’s a question that’s hard to answer as I’ve never been addressed by a pronoun, at least not to my face.  People refer to me by name and I’m willing to bet that’s how it is for most of us.

All this time and effort given to pronouns is supposedly for inclusion purposes but Colin Wright, an evolutionary biologist, disagrees. In his article “When Asked ‘What Are Your Pronouns,’ Don’t Answer” he wrote that pronouns serve as an implicit endorsement of gender ideology.

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What that means is that those of us who believe that gender is fixed at birth, and that there are only two, are being forced to accept and endorse something we do not believe in.  It seems that the more we accept this craziness, the more craziness we release.

A family member has a therian co-worker who wants to be greeted each morning with meow.  There are at least 14 otherkins which include people who identify as animals, machines, and elves.  How much longer before we will be required to introduce ourselves not only by pronouns, but also by species?  And when does this obsession with pronouns become intrusive?

Why aren’t the people pushing this agenda worried about the person who is not ready to come out?  Or the young student who is going through feelings of identity uncertainty? Would sharing preferred pronouns make him or her feel more included or only add to the stress?  People should not be forced to reveal things about themselves that they are not ready to share.  Just as none of us should be forced or bullied into accepting that which we don’t believe.

Pronouns aren’t the only words under attack. Some professionals have been told in the name of inclusion to stop addressing customers or clients with sir or ma’am.  Heaven help us if we should slip and say ladies and gentlemen.  Why do we have to throw common courtesy out the window just to please a few?  That’s the least of it.  Even the words mother and father are now under attack.  The Biden administration replaced the word mother for birthing parent in the fiscal year budget and the National Education Association (NEA) considered a similar resolution.  Fortunately, the proposal went nowhere, but the very fact that an organization that represents nearly three million teachers contemplated such a thing is worrisome.

To refer to mothers by their reproductive capacity is to dehumanize them and is the worst possible insult to any woman who has devoted her life to loving and nurturing a child. The word Mommy or the like is the first word out of just about every human mouth, which speaks to the strong emotional bond between mother and child.

Women have had to fight long and hard to gain certain rights.  Now it looks like we’re going to have to fight for the basic right to be called mother.