Guest post: What’s inside this toxic little nugget

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on Samantha left her keys.

This one sentence is some carefully crafted, chock-full-of DARVO, primo emotional blackmailing bullshit.:

When someone refers to another person using the wrong pronouns, especially on purpose, that can lead to that person feeling disrespected and can lead to dysphoria, exclusion and alienation.

Tough. Not my problem, really.

It’s like a trans-activist Gish Gallop that takes a lot longer to unpack and refute than it takes to utter. Still, sometimes it’s worth the effort, because it helps to lay bare the underlying ethos and assumptions of the speaker, and clarifies the role that is being thrust upon the listener. It gives you the chance to ask if this is a role you feel comfortable being saddled with? My answer is Hell no!

So let’s have a look to see exactly what’s inside this toxic little nugget.

First of all, those pronouns aren’t yours. And they aren’t “wrong.” I’m the one who gets to choose the pronouns I use to refer to you, and I will decide which ones I deem appropriate based on my perceptions of the world. I will choose the right pronouns. On purpose. If my selection displeases you, well that’s too bad. Deal. As for “disrespect,” the shoe is on the other foot. It’s disrespectful to make such demands on anyone, let alone strangers. “Hi there; I want you to lie for me. Or else I’ll accuse you of plotting trans genocide.” Now there’s a strategy guarenteed to win heartsand minds.

If your “dysphoria” is so easily triggered, then maybe you’ve got bigger problems than just my use of language, and you should seek help before dictating how others speak. Wear earplugs if you have to.

Correctly sexing you via usage of appropriate pronouns does not “exclude” you from anything you’re not already entitled to do or participate in. There’s no thought here of the “alienation” of the people who are expected for some reason to accede to your demand for this extraordinary, reality-denying behaviour, mislabelled as “respect” and “courtesy.” You might not have the crown, scepter, and orb, but you’re demanding to be treated as royalty. I will not bow down; I will not kiss the ring. I will call you what I choose. I am not your subject, and you are not mine. You are perfectly free to make your claims; I should be equally free to ignore or dispute them. My failure to comply is not subjugating you. It is not violence. Neither is questioning or criticizing your demands, which I believe to be rude and unreasonable.

If you’re male, I’ll refer to you as “he.” There is nothing wrong about doing that. There is nothing wrong with being male and being referred to as such. In fact, using the incorrect ones might lead you to believe you’re entitled to spaces from which you would normally be barred, that I am agreeing to, and colluding with you in any attempt you make to enter female-only spaces. But the prohibition against your entry to any such space based on sex has nothing to do with my language use or anyone else’s; the use of the incorrect pronouns does not magically render you a member of the sex that you are not. Someone calling you “she” does not make you a woman. It cannot confer that status upon you; you cannot confer that status on yourself. Napoleon famously crowned himself Emperor. But you cannot crown yourself “woman.” Neither can anyone else. If you’re not one already, nothing and nobody can make you a woman. It’s delusional to believe otherwise. That’s a fact. It’s not a TERF plot, it’s not evil or wicked, it’s just the way the world is. The sooner you understand this, the better for you and all who interact with you, the sooner you can stop being a narcissistic, entitled asshole trying to make everyone around you believe the impossible. I mean think. Really, how rude is that?

Painting the accurate sexing of someone through correct pronoun use as rude or offensive is at best disingenuous, and at worst manipulative and bullying. It is an attempt to mask the utter rudeness and inappropriateness of the demand to comply (see above); it is also camouflage for obtaining access to female only spaces, on the strength of a gender “identity” that runs against the evidence of material reality. It is assuming a false identity as someone who should be considered harmless. “I’m perfectly safe! It’s those cis men you have to worry about! I’m not one of them, I’m one of you sister!” Pronouns are Rohypnol*. It’s like some kind of strange moebius-strip Trojan horse inside a trojan horse. Both the lie (“I’m not a man”) and its supposed candy coating (“My pronouns are she/her”) are equally poisonous. You shouldn’t be swallowing either. This kind of gaslighting and its attendant bullying is an immediate red flag that calls for even greater vigilance rather than its demanded surrender. The “request” itself is cause for suspicion and watchfulness. Someone has just identified himself as a potential threat by claiming not to be one, and thinks he’s being victimized by “an act of violence” when anyone doubts him. You can’t make this shit up.

*If you have not read this essay, do so now.


You’re welcome.

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