My name is technically Christopher, but you can call me Chris, bro, mate, girl, queen, fag and maybe the c-word if you’re a close friend. I really don’t care. Just so long as you’re being nice.
But not everyone is as desensitized to words as I am. Like all of you who hate gender-neutral pronouns, simply because you see it as an attack on your freedom of speech. But let’s be honest here: you’re not losing your freedom of speech. You’re just losing your freedom to be an arsehole.
Calm down girl, it’s just a pronoun…
When you want to know what a dog’s sex is, you have to look at its genitals. And once you know it, you can finally settle on a gendered name.
But does a dog really care what it’s called?
Unfortunately, we’ve dragged this genderising into human existence. The baby has a vagina, so we call it a girl’s name – and if it’s a boy, we’ll call it something butch. Because we don’t want to be the reason they get bullied at school. And until we get over the fact that it’s just a name, that’s a reasonable move.
But when someone asks you to refer to them as a girl instead of a boy, you can’t fathom it. “They don’t look like a girl,” is your argument. As if it’s all about the looks. I got called a girl by a lot of bullies when I was younger, and that was purely for the way I acted. And I’m quite certain my bullies knew I had a penis.
The thing is, it’s just a word. If they want to be called a certain way, what’s it to you? The world’s not going to end. You’re not going to suddenly morph into a woke hipster. You will simply be a nice person.
And no, you’re not being silenced…
How can you say that you’re freedoms are being impacted when you’re the one controlling their lives. You are actively dismissing their personal wants because you can’t accept them as a girl. You’re not being silenced, they are.
And no, getting kicked out of school or fired from a job for refusing to use pronouns is not being silenced. That’s just democracy in action. You can’t expect everyone to have their freedom of speech unchecked – what kind of barbaric society would we be in?
When you’re fired from work, that’s just some company refusing to involve your views with their company structure. It’s no different to firing someone for workplace bullying. And it’s the same with being kicked out of school. But once you return home, you still have the freedom to dig that hole deeper by jumping on twitter for a screen-bashing rant. You’re not being silenced, you’re just facing the consequences.
There are other, WAY more important things to worry about in this world. But what pronoun someone prefers to be called is not one of them. Who they are and who they want to be are their choices, not yours. They’re not asking you to be like them, and they’re definitely not asking for special privileges. They just want to be called a girl or a boy.
And is that so much to ask?
Feature image: Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash