Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Why are preferred pronouns so damned upsetting?

Penny Nance
Penny Nance
via Politico
Hate group leader Penny Nance (Concerned Women for America) was interviewed by Heritage Foundation's Katrina Trinko. Ms. Nance is terribly distressed over pronouns. Ms. Trinko seems to share her angst.

These people always look stupid when they try to seem hip:
Thanks for having me. It’s always great to be here at The Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal, these are my peeps for sure.
“Peeps?”

I like it when people identify their preferred pronouns. Doing so eliminates some potential embarrassment. In polite society we address people as they wish to be addressed. Thus we need to know how they prefer to be addressed. No one is forcing a conservative Christian to be gender diverse. However, they should extend to everyone the common courtesy that they deserve.

Those same conservative Christians are in a relentless pursuit of respect. If they want to receive respect they should give respect. Respect and approval are two different things.

According to Nance:
I have a son who’s a math and science guy who wants to study engineering. We are from the great state of Virginia and my son is military bound and wants to be a member of the Corps of Cadets, and who wouldn’t? Because let me just tell you, it is fantastic. That’s where it gets real. Those people are unbelievable. It’s an unbelievable opportunity.
The Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech is a separate college. Being a member of the Corps is very much like being at one of the United States service academies. Cadets room together, study together, wear uniforms and are subject to military discipline. Only six universities in the US have what is called a senior military college. Nance was present at freshman orientation.
So, I take my son to freshman orientation and my first tip-off should’ve been when at the beginning … and, by the way, I’m not a complete rube, I know that it’s not a Christian school and we’re not going to open in prayer, although I have heard of some, I think it was Auburn and some others have, but I didn’t expect that.
When someone claims not to be a “complete rube” I assume that they are at least a partial rube. 60%? 80% rube? Moreover, she claims to have been tipped off by the lack of prayer yet not expecting it. ???
And then [sic] other thing is it is, sadly, the site of the most deadly school shooting in the nation. So, what I would expect, if we’re going to take a moment to reflect on something or something important, it would have been one of those things. But no, no, that’s not what we reflected on.

We instead took a moment to recognize the two Indian tribes on whose lands we sat because we stole it, I guess. I don’t know. That was the inference. There’s been an op-ed since to remind me of the history, like, yeah, that’s it.
“Inference?” I think she means implication. The speaker implies, the listener infers. Okay, I am very anal at times. Nevertheless, I think that it is kind of nice to recognize Native American contributions. We would not be America without them. And, yeah, we did steal their land.
So then you move into orientation and I understand you want it to be upbeat but it took this immediate turn left from the very beginning, from the first moments in which everyone stood up. And there was between, I lost track, 10 and 20 people that during those couple of hours stood up, introduced themselves, their name and their preferred pronoun, every single part.
How dare they? On top of recognizing stolen territory they want to make sure that perverts are properly addressed. Hrumff!
At first parents were like, “OK, that’s surprising or whatever.” By the end it’s so heavy-handed that they’re looking at each other, rolling their eyes, they’re annoyed, they’re sighing. And as we’re leaving I’m hearing their remarks to each other like, “I cannot believe that just happened.”
The point is that they are telling students how they want to be addressed. She heard remarks and she knows to a certainty that the “that” in “I cannot believe that just happened” refers to pronouns. If it does then she was in the company of another 60% or so rube.
By the way, the parents and the kids are almost immediately separated. So later in the day they have the kids in groups of 10. And this didn’t happen in every group, it didn’t happen in my son’s group, but now I’m starting to get responses because of my [Federalist] piece. And more stories are coming out in which all the kids were asked to introduce themselves and, again, give their preferred pronoun.

So, most of the kids being 17-, 18-year-old kids are … coerced into it. Of course they’re going to submit because they’re new, and they don’t want to get singled out, and they don’t want to say the wrong thing.
Claiming that kids were “coerced” into being courteous is quite an assumption. Maybe they understand what it means to be polite. Even more likely their reaction might have been “Okay. It's no big deal.” I also find it interesting that Nance asked her son if his group referred to pronouns. Just how obsessed is this woman?
But then you hear stories like one kid said, “Well, I prefer either ‘sir’ or ‘your highness.’ I’m really comfortable with either one.” In which the kids all burst into laughter because they get it. They understand that this is ridiculous and they understand also that there are people who truly and sincerely struggle with gender dysphoria and we want to love them and be kind to them.
How unique. A smart-ass. Kids do that, not because they think it is “ridiculous” but to get positive attention. If Ms. Nance does want to be kind to gender diverse kids then what the hell is all of this angst over pronouns? Why is this so damned important?
I forgot to mention that the kids, and I didn’t even know this until I got there, were asked while they were registered for orientation to submit to the school their preferred pronoun, and it wasn’t very obvious. We went back and looked. It wasn’t really obvious, but it ended up being printed on their lanyard, on their badge that hung around their necks. …
There is no end to the distress. And it continues:
No, I don’t think you could do that. I think you had like a limited amount. Because there’s 60 genders, how are you going to …
There are three sets of pronouns. Male, female and nondescript. Nance wants to make this more difficult and her stated kindness has already evaporated to a small cesspool of Christianist bigotry.
These are kids that aren’t prepared to have this conversation, nor should they be forced to have this conversation or coerced into this conversation.

This is a very private matter that they should be having with a health professional, with their parents, with their pastor, with a rabbi, with people that can actually help them, a counselor, help them sort through things without just immediately exposing something that’s very personal to the university. They have no right to ask the question.
What conversation are they unprepared for? Everyone on the planet knows their preferred pronouns. These students do not need to consult with clergy to know that. There is no harm whatsoever in asking the question. If any of these students have a problem then that might be the very reason that the question has to be asked. It instills in everyone the expectation that they will respect others. It's a very small thing that Nance is blowing up to be a big fucking deal but it has an important purpose and no one dies.
I was going to ask, raise my hand, and I guarantee you if I had there would have been a bunch of parents behind me saying, “Yeah, what was that about? I wasn’t comfortable with that. We’re Muslim or we’re Orthodox Jew [sic] and that is in direct contradiction to our faith.”
The use of Jew, singular when Jews or Jewish is appropriate is often a sign of anti-Semitism as in “Jew lawyer.” And that kindness that she expressed is now subject to religious interpretation. Nance would feel compelled to address a trans woman with male pronouns. She does so, not out of religious observance, but to express disapproval.
Something I wanted to mention here is that we have put together an email address for parents to submit their stories either from Virginia Tech or around the country. We won’t provide your name unless you want us to, but we will provide your story. Because parents are experiencing this all over the nation and they’re deeply concerned about what’s happening.
So now preferred pronouns are “deeply concerning.” This is irrational. It is insane. It's also a conspiracy:
Trinko: You mentioned that they separated the parents and the students almost right away at orientation, and you indicated that, I assume, in comparing notes with your son that it seemed like parents were maybe hearing one thing and students were hearing another. Could you detail that?
Nance: Well, and then there was a couple of issues, and I heard this actually before I got there. I was warned about this, that they get the heavy-handed diversity talk, which I kind of expected. This was just more than I expected.
Expecting young adults to be nice to one another is “heavy handed?” One can only imagine how terrible this awful woman's parenting was. Literalist Christianity does not equate to good parenting. Those are separate constructs but good parents encourage inquisitiveness. They want their children to arrive at their own conclusions with some good guidance. Not on what they should think but how they should think. That encourages intellectual curiosity and critical thinking. Those become skills that lead to success.

I hate to break it to Nance but this kind of thinking is expressed in the Army Officer Leadership Guide which incorporates quality-management precepts:
Because there are no predetermined solutions to problems, Army leaders must adapt their thinking, formations, and employment techniques to the specific situation they face. This requires an adaptable and innovative mind, a willingness to accept prudent risk in unfamiliar or rapidly changing situations, and an ability to adjust based on continuous assessment.
Nance is preoccupied with irrelevance and baseless assumptions:
Then, as the parents are sent off to bed—we were dismissed earlier in the evening and the kids go to late—they bring in someone from the diversity track to say, “Don’t make judgements [sic] about the gender or the sexual identity of the person that you’re talking to. School is a place to experience new things and you need to be open-minded.”
What on earth would be wrong with that if it occurred? Nance is hopelessly obsessed:
We understand that, we believe that school is a place where you learn, where you learn from each other, where you have discussions about ideology, and about literature, and art, and science, and all the important things. And you do need to be open-minded, I don’t care where you’re at. You need to be to have a kind, civil conversation because you can learn from each other.

But it’s a different story when you have the school imposing, essentially, a speech code on what that’s going to look like.
It is unfortunate that we have to teach young adults how to be polite. Sadly, some of them have parents like Nance. If you really want to get depressed there are gender diverse kids who have parents like Nance. And people wonder why they sometimes kill themselves.
But the bigger issue is, as the taxpayer what are we paying for? And as a parent, are we literally paying the indoctrination of our kids?
I am out of patience and out of time but this continues at some length. This is all about pronoun preferences. Imagine the distress this woman is going to have with Department of Defense requirements for sexual orientation diversity. Those are taught to every single officer in training.

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