Show it by thinking it

But this isn’t parody. Should be but isn’t.

The diktat by bosses at data watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office suggests that it is not enough to call employees by their chosen gender pronouns.

It says staff can show their support for trans colleagues by ‘thinking of the person as being the gender that they want you to think of them as’. 

Compliance not enough; visible actions not enough; you must think what we tell you to think.

Oh yeah? Well how are you gonna know? Magic?

The ICO’s Trans Policy and Guidance says its staff should ‘be guided by your trans colleague and their preferences’ in an effort to support them and they ‘must call a person by their chosen or preferred name’. 

It adds: ‘ICO staff can support trans colleagues or individuals who are transitioning by… Thinking of the person as being the gender that they want you to think of them as.’

But they can’t. Seriously. Adults should know this already. You can’t support people by thinking something for the simple reason that what you think is locked in your head; other people have no access to it. You can of course say you think it, perform thinking it, put post-it notes on the wall saying you think it, but none of that is the same as actually thinking it. Other people’s minds are a black box, and on a subject like this in an environment like this…I would be very very skeptical of any self-reports of “how I think of you, fellow-employee.” Anyway all this saying and putting on the wall isn’t what the ICO is demanding: they’re demanding the thinking itself. Well how are they going to check? Eh?

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