Today I received a message by a fellow writer who was penning an article in response to something I had recently published. His point in writing me was not to clarify any point I had made but instead to ask this “I was wondering what your preferred pronouns were?” I was a bit taken aback by the question simply because I don’t have any pronouns—preferred or otherwise. In fact, given that gender is and always has been a social construction, it struck me that the concerns of a writer might not be to clarify any points in said article but instead was to run with the assumption that not only do I “have” a “preferred pronoun,” but that this would be an assumed question today.
Alas, the world of mediocre liberalism is awash in this nonsense from Elizabeth Warren’s recent Twitter bio update wherein she put her “preferred pronouns,” “she/her,” joining the ranks of prominent Democrats, to include New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and former housing secretary and fellow 2020 candidate Julián Castro, in declaring her preferred pronouns. Yes, because when dealing with the current state of climate change, the encroachment of big data and social media usurping our privacy and the continued political imprisonment of Julian Assange for curating what used to be called “news,” what could be more important than “manly” Elizabeth Warren letting us know that she is really she.
It’s one of those laugh or cry moments to discover that singer Sam Smith, who “came out” as “non-binary” earlier this year, has recently declared that he is no longer “he” but “they/them.” Well, excuse me for breaking queer etiquette, but I cannot participate in the slaughter of the English language, much less in the delusion that one is actually a plural entity. That kind of self-delusion and theatre, very much the right of Mr. Smith to perform and fictionalize, rather belongs in his private landscape of navel-gazing.
This quite recent culture of asking others “What are your preferred pronouns?” has the gloss of progressive, SJW desire to better the world. However, in the end, such questions are anathema to progressive politics. What on earth could be less progressive than the neoliberal drive behind which much of the left has attached itself, chainmail and all, in its battle with a fictionalized right-wing and radical feminists who have, for well over eight years, been continuously calling out the insanity of a movement which claims that females can have penises or that gender is biological while sex is a social construct.
In this current era of the twenty-first century, we are seeing kids being sucked into the cultures of vape pens and wax vaporizers and similarly being caught up in the political correctness of gender identity. Instead of asking me if I was male or female, this writer contacted me because he was confused by my name, a name typical of males, asking me for “my pronouns.” I replied, “Hi there. I don’t do the preferred pronouns thing,” to which he then was forced to get to the point: “I’m sorry, I just can’t tell if you are a male or female.” And this was the nut of the question—not how identified, but what I actually am in reality: a man or a woman.
The contemporary default to the latest woke narrative of “preferred pronouns” has served as a troubling reminder to what the trans lobby represents today across the political spectrum. For gender is the luxury of time and wealth afforded by a liberal arts education over the past two decades, carefully spun into a language of seemingly leftist speak, but with very little leftist behind the façade.
Ultimately, gender identity becomes a cultural Mobius Strip of anti-intellectual proportions as this ideology propounds that everyone must necessarily “have” a gender. The paradox, of course, that a movement that claims that biological sex “assigned at birth” interrupts one’s personal snow flakery means that everyone has an inner gender “compass.” More troubling is that all persons who do not identify under the “trans umbrella” are said to identify with “their” gender, hence the prefix “cis-” has been foisted upon women for having the so-called “privilege” to exist. It is no small irony that regressive notions of gender which women fought against well over a century ago, has been brought back into fashion with a fury. Now is it not only considered progressive in certain woke circles that gender is not only natural but gender conformity is what all women secretly desire (eg. that we want to stay at home and wear stilettos while baking cookies).
And this nonsense has largely been reignited by men who claim to “feel like women” whereby now, suddenly, gender is regarded as new. And this latest outsourcing of identity has hit the ground running where those who wish to express their “identity” such as Sam Smith, are invariably expressing their personality and believe that this form of glitter-bombing of selfhood is anything but the regressive, conservative ideology that for centuries left women out of the public square.
The only hope for our collective humanity today is that we might show the door to the dozens of “identities” and their correlative “preferred pronouns.” This is anything but progressive and reveals the very troubling underbelly of leftist politics where under gender ideology women are told if we speak back to the gendered version of blackface to our lived realities—pointing to the cheapening of our existence through makeup, vestiture and a snappy DARVO narrative—that we are the true oppressors and men in dresses the oppressed. And now the recent wave of “non-binary confessions” reveals the sham of what is this movement’s ethos: that gender is a facet of a rather narcissist movement and worse, individual excess.
It is time to pull the plug on this movement because they is not only grammatically incorrect, but they is wrong.