International say what now?

Oh gosh the calendar has gotten away from me again. It’s just three days to International Pronoun Day!!

International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace.

Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.

One, no, referring to people by “the pronouns they determine for themselves” is not basic to human dignity. It really really isn’t. The whole idea is trivial as well as stupid. Things that are trivial and stupid can’t be basic to human dignity. Some things are basic to human dignity, but customized pronouns are not one of them. Treating language as an opportunity to impose personal whims on all other speakers of the language is itself undignified; it’s babyish and dopy. There’s no such thing as “determining” pronouns for oneself. That’s not how language works; that’s not what language is for. Failure to understand that is like a giant custard pie in the face. Dignity is nowhere to be seen.

Two, no, together we can’t transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities. It’s not that easy to transform society, and doing it in aid of something stupid and childish is extra difficult, and also not worth doing in the first place. Celebration of identities is a terrible goal for a transformed society. Identities are about the self, and the more people focus on their own precious selves, the less use they are to the world. Forget about fucking identities and just do something helpful.

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