Should we use personalized pronouns?

A big trend amongst the “genderqueer” and other supertrendy “gender is a performance” people is to push personalized pronouns. There are a great number of such pronouns, from the obvious “it” to “ze, “xe,” “thae,” and so on. There are also animal-themed pronouns, mythical-themed pronouns, royal-themed pronouns, and so on and so forth.

It’s easy to make fun of all this. Who speaks like this except a bunch of teenagers on tumblr who want to feel special? To have personalized pronouns is to force other people to remember your personal preferences. It’s an imposition on someone’s else attention and time. It’s a selfish demand on other people.

Now I know some people will argue that you should be respectful of others. I have no qualms with that proposition. I do think we should respect others. Political Correctness, for example, aims to respect others. We shouldn’t go around saying “bitch” or “nigger” because those words are established as demeaning or offensive words when used against women and black people (note that I said they were offensive, not that they offended people: whether anyone is offended or not is besides the point). We shouldn’t go around gratuitously demeaning people just because they are different from us. This is just common sense.

But where do pronouns factor into it? Obviously we can misgender as a way to demean someone: as telling a man that he is woman-like is the greatest insult one can utter, using feminine words or pronouns to a man can be seen as a provocation. Women can also be punished for their feminism or gender-rebellion by being called a man. This, however, rarely entails using the wrong pronouns, at least in my experience.

Calling a man a she or calling a woman a he can be an honest mistake (if one does not know that person and their personal appearance is ambiguous) or it can be a personal attack. But is it a personal attack to call someone the appropriate pronoun, because they demand that you use a different, made-up one?

I don’t see how it could be. Certainly the other person is free to be irritated at you. If a person asks to be called by a different name than their original one, and you keep calling them their original name, they may very well be irritated about it, but there’s nothing disrespectful about it. Living in a place where people speak English, I prefer when people can say my name right, but most people can’t, and that’s fine. Even when they get it hilariously wrong, I’m not too beaten up about it. It’s not a personal attack. Calling someone their actual gender is not a personal attack, it’s a statement of fact.

Then there are people who actually do have dysphoria and who have wrestled with their gender identity for a long time. The voices of those people get lost in the sea of wannabes, pretenders, and egoists. And I think that’s a very regrettable thing. Because those people deserve more attention and encouragement. Actual gender rebels are constantly under attack in our societies and the fact that so many genderists pretend to be gender rebels just takes attention away from the good people.

It may seem obtuse for someone who is against gender, like me, to denote gender with pronouns. When gender is unknown or abstract, I use ey and em, or they and them. The former has a tendency to confuse readers, and the latter is obnoxious because it looks plural. The obvious solution is to use “it,” which I use to clearly identify cases where using gendered pronouns is grossly inappropriate, but people greatly prefer “he”/”she” to “it”. There’s no good solution here. And in cases where there’s no good solution, I can’t recommend one solution above any others. It would be nice if we only had neutral pronouns, but that’s not the language we’re using (at least English does not go overboard with gendered words, unlike Romance languages like French or Spanish).

What about transgender people and their pronouns? That’s another issue altogether, because in this case it’s not simply an issue of personal taste. Transgender people actually claim to be of the opposite gender, and that therefore not calling them the “correct” pronoun is a form of profound disrespect (at best). Transmen should be called “he,” and transwomen should be called “she,” according to this ideology.

This goes back to the concept that gender is performance. If you agree with that statement, then you may believe that their position makes sense. If a transwoman is performing womanhood well enough, either through following stereotyped clothing, mannerisms, and makeup, or through biological mutilation, we should call them “she.” If a transman is performing manhood well enough, we should call them “he.”

But gender is not just performance. Gender is a hierarchy, based on the oppression of half the population against the other half. This hierarchy is maintained through socialization. Men are men because they have been socialized as men, and women are women because they have been socialized as women, each to fulfill their assigned roles by looking, acting and thinking in accordance with existing gender standards. To call a transwoman “she” is to ignore the fact that they were born male, assigned men as gender, socialized to be men, and reaped the benefit of manhood up to that point.

Look for instance at Caitlyn Jenner (if you have to). They became famous for winning at an Olympic sport which is not even open to women. And now they’re a woman? A little hypocrite, don’t you think? My point being, Jenner was socialized as a man and received the benefits of manhood for all their life. This fact was not contradicted by their later “transformation.”

Dressing differently, acting differently, thinking differently, or getting your genitals mutilated, do not turn a man into a woman. A man of 65 years old cannot become a woman, no matter what they do. So why should we call them “she”? A man is a man. They should be called a “he,” not a “she.”

Use by men of feminine pronouns conceal the masculine privilege bestowed upon them by virtue of having been placed in and brought up in the male sex caste. If men are addressed as ‘she’, then all this privilege, which affects their speaking position and may be crucial to their choice to be ‘women’ in the first place, is disappeared.

Sheila Jeffreys

Even if gender is performance, it still doesn’t make much sense. If gender is performance, and you have to tell people what gender you are, then maybe your performance indicates that you are not the gender you claim to be, or maybe you’re not performing very well. In either case, dictating gender pronouns would seem self-defeating.

Just to be clear, I am not saying that transgender people deserve to be called by a pronoun they do not like simply because they are not womanly or manly enough. I don’t believe in gender performance, because it’s all stereotypes anyway. It’s not based on any kind of reality. What I am saying is that, insofar as gender is real (as a social construct or, as they believe, as a performance), then the demands by transgender people to address them by their preferred pronouns doesn’t make much sense.

There is something to be said about trying to keep the peace with transgender people by indulging their choice of pronouns. As I’ve said before, transgender people are not the enemy. They are, by and large, innocent people who got trapped into an ideology of hate. It is the hate peddlers, the advocates of transgenderism, who are our enemies.

Abolishing Whiteness – Racism, Race, and the Path to Justice

Sexual liberation is not freedom.

Here is a great comment from Independent Radical which I thought was worthy of further exposure.

I do not particularly want to validate “sexual liberation” as an aim. It sounds a lot like “economic freedom”. Neither sex nor the economy are human beings. They are not even sentient beings. Thus hating sex is a victimless crime and women should have every right to hate it, given what is often called “sex” nowadays.

Are gentle hugs and kisses considered “real sex”? No, they are only “foreplay” and once you have completed your foreplay you have to move on to “real sex”, which used to mean vagina intercourse, but that is no longer enough nowadays. Now you have to practicing oral, anal or sadomasochism to be “sexually liberated”. Of course, sadomasochism is viewed as an adequate substitute for vaginal intercourse rather than foreplay, even though it does not even involve people touching each other’s skin. It is no longer acceptable for women to only consent to vaginal intercourse, it is seen as stepping stone to acts that supposedly represent higher levels of “sexual liberation”, which naturally make one wonder what will come next? Pornographers have done everything short of murdering women to pursue “sexual liberation”.

I see this as the natural outcome of wanting to liberate sex rather than human beings.
Even is sexual liberation were about the liberation of human females through sex and even there is so much more to genuine freedom than the freedom to have sex, particularly if you talking about the kind of mindless, loveless sex favoured by liberals.

How about the freedom to actually find love, instead of just pursuing empty physical pleasure? How about the freedom to have a healthy body that is free from pain instead of having to constantly alter your body for the sake of sexiness? How about the freedom to speak your mind instead of having to regulate your every word regarding sex and female bodies to ensure that people who find violence and degradation sexy do not get offended? How about the freedom to substantially change the world for the better (e.g. ending environmental destruction, poverty, etc.)? While sex can be pleasurable, all these things are way more important to long term human wellbeing than sexual arousal.

The pursuit of sexual liberation should be secondary to these more essential pursuits and it should be carried out with the recognition that sex ought to be an egalitarian, loving experience (which means that it should take place in a society that already values such things, not a highly hierarchical one like ours). Liberal attempts to improve sex always centre on physical pleasure, rather than on other concerns. Thus outright domination and submission is considered perfectly fine so long as it generates sexual pleasure. If we radicals are going to try and improve sex, we need to ensure that equality and love are valued too, instead of physical pleasure being the centre of everything.

I may not want women to think of England (although England has done some pretty cool things when it was not being a brutal empire, LOL), but I do not want them fantasising about six packs, biceps or whips either. I think it would to stretch (and an act of capitulation to the pro-pornography side) to say that I wanted to “liberate sex” in any form. I will just stick to liberating humanity, as well as promoting love and equality within relationships.

“The idea that children… bring meaning into your otherwise meaningless life… is a very, very bad and dangerous idea.”

This idea, that children somehow bring meaning into your otherwise meaningless life… It’s a very, very bad and dangerous idea, both for parents and for children.
Because kids aren’t dolls, they grow up, and sooner or later they’ll separate themselves from their parental family. And if parents were too concentrated on children, if children were their only meaningful thing in life, they’ll feel like their world is ending, and they’ll try to stop children from leaving, from becoming independent. This can end very badly for everyone involved.
So, live your life, be yourself, and don’t let others talk you into something you don’t want. If you want children, it’s good. If you don’t want any children, it’s also good. If you theoretically want children, but not right now, then live your life, and maybe the right moment will come, or maybe it will never happen, – and it’s also okay.

When my mother had me it was clear she was an unfit parent. She never should have gotten pregnant in the first place, but since she did and managed to make it to term with me it would have been in my best interest to be given up for adoption or to other relatives. Another aunt insisted that my mother keep, and helped her cross state lines to avoid CPS so she could, because “it will be good for her to have a child, having a child might save her”
Children don’t exist for the sake of their parents.
Honestly, the logic of ‘having a baby will be good for the parent’ is the same logic as giving a pet to a child in the hopes it will teach them responsibility – which often results in dead gold fish or ignored puppies that end up at the pound when they become dogs and the kid loses interest.
While the risk of parents sabotaging their children’s independence is real, there’s also a risk of neglect or abandonment as kids get older. The amount of kids who end up in foster care or with guardians as teens makes me think some parents really do see babies like puppies, something cute to have and love while they’re tiny then regret having once they’re bigger.
And this mindset, treating a living thing like a toy is not an acceptable to treat a dog this way, let alone a human being. Those puppies that are abandoned as dogs suffer for it and often can’t find homes (because everyone wants a puppy), now imagine all the teens in the system that will never be adopted because they’re ‘too old’ and are left wondering what they did wrong because their parents didn’t ‘keep them’
And I say this as someone who was given up my by birth mom as a teen and was never adopted – I’m not trying to dehumanize kids here but to high light that you shouldn’t treat a baby like a puppy or more over you shouldn’t treat any living thing like a toy.

Separationism is a privilege that men claim for themselves but not for women.

Men are scared shitless of feminist separationism, because separationism is a privilege that men want to claim all for themselves, as Jocelyn MacDonald explains in her entry Maybe what feminism needs is separatism, not inclusion.

Under patriarchy, women are defined as beings unable to say no. Whether overly sexual or nurturing and indulgent, “woman” is a person who has boundless capacity for self-sacrifice. In fact, she exists only in relation to a man. Men are the default people, and women are both men’s reflection and their shadow. A woman who separates defies this definition.

In the act of separation, women expand the idea of what females are capable of, what we look like, and who we love. Women come up with new language with which to self-define, but we often can’t change the language of those around us. “Generally,” says Frye, “when renegade women call something one thing and patriarchal loyalists call it another, the loyalists get their way.” But while saying something does not make it so, creating one’s own community makes space for shared language.

“When we take control of sexual access to us, of access to our nurturance and to our reproductive function, access to mothering and sistering, we redefine the word ‘woman.’”

Men, of course, are the master separatists. They refuse to make room for women even in relative trivialities like movies and video games. Just look at what MRAs say about Mad Max: Fury Road and Gamergate.

When women try to separate, to create space for ourselves to think, to relax, to heal, to organize, to learn, all fucking hell breaks loose.

A perfect example of the skeptic mentality.

For those of you who read my satire “You’re all a bunch of SHEEP!” and thought I was going overboard, here is a great example of what happens when one of those skeptic morons start demanding proof for things that are not scientific statements. It’s just abusive. No one has any obligation to provide “proof” of their sexual orientation.

Clickhole pokes some fun at religious people and Creationists.

A nice trick by Clickhole, as they manage to satirize religion in two different ways in the same entry: The Stories In ‘The Flintstones’ Are Powerful, But They Probably Didn’t Literally Happen

We may never know whether the woodpecker who played Fred’s records with its beak really said “It’s a living” afterwards. We weren’t there. And ultimately, it doesn’t matter if Wilma never actually used a tiny elephant as a vacuum cleaner, because the core of the show—a flawed but hardworking caveman who cares deeply for his family and pet dinosaur—remains intact.

These stories aren’t just about the Stone Age—they’re about us. It would be a mistake to dismiss the entirety of The Flintstones just because Fred didn’t literally slide down the tail of a brontosaurus after he was done with work. These stories are merely metaphors for the deeper truths in our lives.

The Rational Mind, by sculptor Juan Capote.

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