Call me Meryl

For some reason this stupid banality from Laurie Penny, similar or identical to millions of others, has gotten on my nerves.

It’s banal, we’ve seen it a billion times, but all the same, it’s infuriating – because it’s so stupid. It’s not “basic good manners” at all, it’s a new and clunky and sometimes totalitarian bit of etiquette, which if pushed to the extreme becomes impossible to comply with.

No, actually, if “someone” tells you they would prefer to be called Napoleon or Hitler or Julia Child or Amy Klobuchar no it isn’t basic good manners to respect that. It’s the opposite of basic: it’s baroque and twisted and fanciful. It’s the other way around: people demanding to be called Something Special are making rude entitled onerous demands.

In a sense we probably don’t get to tell anyone else “how to identify,” whatever that even means, but anyone else also doesn’t get to tell us what special names or pronouns to call her him them. Basic good manners is not making extraneous demands of random people.

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