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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Gender-Neutral Pronouns


A friend posted the following piece, from the Toronto Star, promoting the use of gender-neutral pronouns like "they"or "ze"to refer to those who cannot commit to being either male or female, on their Facebook feed.

Gotta disagree. Here's why:

Seeking to change the language to enforce a point of view is what Orwell warned against with Newspeak. It is an assault on freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

I deny the existence of gender as something apart from sex. It implies that men and women are really different only in their genitalia. I find this notion both revolting and obviously false.

There are reasons to think gender ambiguity is a mental illness—it is classified as such in the DSM-5. If so, feeding this delusion is harmful to the person's health.

As an ESL teacher, I am aware that most speakers of English are not native speakers, and do not come from North America or Europe. And I am aware that to most of their cultures, such a usage would mark Western civilization as a danger to humanity. Might inspire a few more people to fly airplanes into tall buildings.


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