Using the “wrong” pronoun in casual conversation can cost you big bucks these days — even when it happens to be the right one. Gresham-Barlow School District in Oregon was forced to cough up $60,000 to a teacher who prefers the pronoun “they” because she “identifies” as neither male nor female. The teacher, Leo Soell, was granted damages in order to compensate her for the emotional distress of being “misgendered.” For the uninitiated, “misgendering” is nothing more than using the correct pronoun to refer to a person who prefers to be called something else. In the old days we just called it good grammar.
There’s always a new frontier in civil rights and this is it. You can either get on board with it or be left on the “wrong side of history.” Please do drop by some time — I’ll be there with the rest of the sane people and we’d love to have you over.
“Civil rights” is no longer about parity between men and women or the moral equivalence of same-sex relationships vis-à-vis opposite-sex relationships. Even the idea that men can be women (and vice versa) has lost its novelty. Now it’s about the abolition of sex itself.
For everyone’s sake I hope we have finally reached peak insanity.
Soell’s demands are not entirely new to me because I was introduced to the more exotic forms of feminism and “queer theory” while attending college in the People’s Republic of Amherst, Massachusetts. Long before folks in Peoria had ever heard that “gender is not binary,” some creepy girl with a crew cut handed me a pamphlet on exactly that topic. I meekly accepted her literature because she looked like she could kick my ass.
There are a million variations on the concept of gender identity with exciting new ones being introduced all the time. Besides men who think they are women (and vice versa), there are also genderqueer, two-spirit, and intersex people. There are transmasculine people, who are not the same as transmen, just as there are transfeminine people, who are not the same as transwomen. Most of my female readers will be shocked to learn that they’re actually ciswomen. A ciswoman is a woman who believes she’s a woman. Nearly every woman you’ve ever met is a ciswoman, which makes you wonder what the superfluous prefix is for. Answer: to drive home the idea that there are different kinds of women, some of whom are male. We call those transwomen. Ciswomen and transwomen are two equally valid categories of women with neither group considered more deserving of the “woman” title than the other.
This whole movement, I am convinced, can only lead to complete androgyny — that ambiguous gray area between the masculine and feminine spheres. It is the Left’s ultimate goal even if some of their useful idiots don’t know it yet. We’ll get there one Lifetime television special at a time.
This androgynous vision of society has been around for longer than you might expect. Ann Ferguson, professor emeritus in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at my alma mater, UMass Amherst, proposed androgyny as a workable social alternative in her 1991 book “Sexual Democracy: Women, Oppression, and Revolution.” Ferguson wrote:
With the elimination of sex roles, and the disappearance, in an overpopulated world, of any biological need for sex to be associated with procreation, there would be no reason why such a society could not transcend sexual gender. It would no longer matter what biological sex individuals had. Love relationships, and the sexual relationships developing out of them, would be based on the individual meshing together of androgynous human beings.
Which sounds truly awful, if I do say so myself. Professor Ferguson, on the other hand, seems to relish the idea of a sexless world. In her utopian vision of the future we will all be like Pat, the 1990s Saturday Night Live character who caused so many awkward moments on account of his? — her? — zir? indeterminable sex.
Distinctions between the sexes will have to be vanquished, a process that will be instigated by necessity because it will never happen accidentally. Gone will be the brave men who stormed the beach at Normandy and gone will be the pretty candystripers who nursed them back to health. We’ll all just be Pat — and Leslie, and Jody, and Dana.
Feminists absolutely abhor masculinity, except among women. They attack all symbols of masculinity as exclusionary, misogynistic, and chauvinistic. They seek out boys clubs to annihilate them, often by the brute force of slanderous rape claims. See the “Rolling Stone” rape hoax or the Duke Lacrosse rape hoax. Nor do feminists care for femininity, except among men. Anything that is soft, pink, or glittery sends them into fits of rage — which kind of makes me wonder why they’re called “feminists” in the first place.
In order to understand just how we got here and where we’re going, allow me to invoke a metaphor. Think of men as forks and women as spoons. Within the last hundred years or so we have come to see the two utensils as different in form and function but nonetheless a complementary matched set. But then along came the feminists who declared that spoons can do anything that forks can do! That statement isn’t technically true (and neither is its inverse) but we accepted it because every time we disputed it we were accused of hating spoons.
Then came the homosexuals who decided that forks and spoons weren’t really complementary at all. Two forks or two spoons were just as good as the traditional fork-spoon combo because, in the final analysis, they’re all just tableware. This assertion was a tougher sell because most people could see that forks and spoons are inherently different. The homosexuals dismissed these substantive differences by comparing them to superficial differences such as the color of the eating utensils. So now when we sit down to eat we no longer expect to find a fork and spoon on the table and we blush with embarrassment to think that we ever did.
Then came the transgenders who proclaimed that sometimes a fork can actually be a spoon and vice versa. Looking like a fork, with all the defining characteristics of a fork, doesn’t necessarily mean that a utensil is a fork. Utensils are now free to “identify” as one or the other. Cut off the tines if that’s what it takes, or just leave them on — it doesn’t matter. From the moment the fork decides it’s a spoon that’s what it is. Each utensil’s word is final. All of us will be forced to use the fork as a spoon, to refer to it as a spoon, and to store it alongside the other spoons in the silverware drawer. If some of the other spoons don’t like it they need to get with the times.
As crazy as that sounds, we’re not done yet. The next step is to abolish the concepts of forkness and spoonness altogether. From now on we will all use sporks! No more messing around with two separate utensils when one will do the trick.
Call me old fashioned but I don’t want to eat all my meals with a spork. Sporks remind me of sketchy fried chicken restaurants. I want to live in a world in which all the forks are forks, all the spoons are spoons, and everyone knows the difference. They’re both beautiful in their own way and they both serve a purpose. Sporks are a lousy substitute.
Sadly, I’ll probably find myself on the losing side of this one too. Our trajectory is clearly toward androgyny and there’s nothing you or I can do about it. I guess I’ll just have to be on the “wrong side of history” again. That’s fine; that’s where all the cool people hang out anyway.