Saturday, September 23, 2017

My Lord, how many genders can we invent?

Scout Schultz at Georgia Tech committed suicide by police.  Schultz identified as Lord knows what. 

Before you jump all over me for that last sentence, I get it.  Gender identity can get messed up and I can sort of understand how that can happen.  At least I think I have a pretty good handle on transgenderism, but what the heck is nonbinary and intersex, as Shultz self-described?  Aside from my spellcheck flagging "nonbinary" as being misspelled, nonbinary and intersex sounds like a phrase conjured up by scientists to identify the gender of an android.  Even so, I can handle whatever gender identity term one wishes to identify with.  But I draw the line when you start telling me which pronoun I should refer to you as.

No, R2, I don't know why they told us to get
lost when we asked them to refer to us as
nonbinary and intersex.
If you look like a boy and I call you, "he", you can correct me.  I'll be embarrassed, but I will try to remember to call you she.  If you decide you are neither a he nor a she, I'll never learn the half dozen or so gender neutral pronouns out there, so I am going to refer to you based on what you look like to me.  If you keep correcting me, then I'll refer to you as the gender-neutral pronoun, "it."  English is complicated enough without people in gender identity crisis inventing new words for me to learn.  He/she/it, him/her/it, and himself/herself/itself is a lot easier to remember than he/she/it/zie/sie/ey/ve/tey/e and...well, no, I'm not spelling out the rest. 

Right now I might be old school, but, over time, I may learn one or two of these new, gender neutral pronouns that makes me sound like I'm speaking German or Russian or something, but I'm definitely drawing the line at referring to you as they/them/their.  Despite what might be going on in your head, you are one person and I won't ever refer to you as many people. 

The story out of Georgia Tech is a tragic one.  Schultz, by all accounts, suffered from some serious mental problems.  Normal, well adjusted people don't write three suicide notes, call the police on themselves from a third person point of view (Schultz called to report a suspicious looking person wandering around campus), and set the conditions up for a suicide by police outcome.  But when we indulge in a mentally ill person's fantasies and begin referring to them by their inappropriate choice of pronouns, as CNN does in their article by referring to Shultz's pronoun of choice (they/them/their), then we have become part of the problem and not a solution nor source of help for a mentally struggling person.

If you refer to me in the comments, my preferred pronoun is "my Lord."  Back in the old days, "my Lord" had a nice ring to it.  You don't have to bow or curtsy, though.

For your listening pleasure:

Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

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