More than just a tokenistic gesture

Urgent matters:

How can anyone be dim enough to think that because Jane Wellmeaning from Accounting signs herself “Jane Wellmeaning she/her” therefore the organization is “trans-inclusive”? What do the two even have to do with each other?

Nothing really; rather, it’s a shibboleth, a hoop to jump through, a symbol, a test, a genuflection, a self-advertisement, a blockade, a display of heightened sensitivity and (much as I hate to say it) virtue. Yes, it’s that stale trope virtue-signaling. It’s not a trope I love because it’s applied way too broadly and often, and in my view not always fairly. But this? It’s such a crappy and stupid idea in the first place, and so irrelevant to pretty much everything in the second place, that I don’t see what it can be other than virtue-signaling. Maybe it’s also meant to be signaling “inclusivity” and compassion and solidarity, but the more frantically the People of Pronoun signal with the Pronoun Flag the less able I am to take any of it seriously. On the one hand centuries of oppression, poverty, exploitation, and on the other hand…Delia here was assigned male at birth so please make her feel welcome.

Not to mention the plain absurdity of it. We might as well add our favorite conjunctions to our email signatures. Betty Benevolent, if/because/when. Putting your pronouns in an email signature makes no sense because people aren’t going to hit reply and say “Dear Her.” There’s no call for pronoun-identification in correspondence, because the subject doesn’t come up. Unsolicited irrelevant pointless information about The Self is not desirable in work correspondence, and applying social pressure to use them is just…I lack the words to say what it is.

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