While its big and current, I figured with my new focused self I should really be covering this. This is the story of Professor Jordan Peterson, a Toronto University professor who is currently being buried beneath the SJW bullshit. This after he said he wouldn’t use alternative pronouns to refer to his students – causing mass outrage amongst the safe-spacer SJW university crowd.
On the one hand I can kinda see why they would be upset. It’s annoying when you’re not called the right pronoun, and its especially insulting if that person is doing it on purpose to annoy you. However I don’t really think this is enough to put a squash on Peterson’s freedom of speech. He can call whoever he wants whatever he wants, and so can you or anyone else you know. Unsavoury people have every right to be unsavoury.
But I don’t even think Peterson is being unsavoury – he just doesn’t believe in alternative pronouns and calls people what he sees – which, is kinda how pronouns work, at least in my opinion anyway.
Being trans I learnt the hard way that pronouns aren’t something you’re entitled to. You don’t just ask for them to change and then they suddenly get changed by everyone. No, pronouns have always been a short hand label for other people to use to describe you. So when you look at a person you know to call them either she or he based on their appearance. Kinda like a game of Guess Who? You use a gender specifying pronoun to narrow down who you’re talking about.
The reason alternative pronouns don’t exist in language naturally is because you cannot see someone who uses the pronoun “zhe” you cannot just simply look at a person and see that they’re not a Mr they’re “Mx”. You won’t ever get someone look upon another person and accurately guess their pronouns to be “zor”. It’s counter productive to how the whole idea of pronouns works.
In my opinion, pronouns are something you earn through hard work. I get the pronouns I like in life, because I worked hard at my appearance to make sure that I wouldn’t be given the wrong pronouns. Again, something which is impossible to do with pronouns like Zhe. Yet there are still occasions when people get my pronouns wrong.
There’s a little cornershop nearby that I often go in when I’m feeling rough just to pick up small supplies like a pint of milk or something. I’ve been going into this shop since before my transition, and so the people there knew me beforehand and often would use “he” pronouns. A lot of them still do use “he” pronouns to refer to me – even now, and I won’t lie, it’s not something I enjoy. But its not something that ruins my entire day or makes me feel like I need to insist he call me “she”. He’s just a dude working at a shop, as long as he isn’t stopping me buying my milk, he can call me whatever he wants. It just simply doesn’t matter that much.
You can have whatever “preferred pronouns” you like – that doesn’t mean you’re actually entitled to them. People on the other hand are absolutely entitled to their opinions and their freedom of speech – both of which would be dismantled if anyone tried to force a law against using the wrong pronouns. I value freedom of speech and expression more than I value a bunch of angry SJWs forcing whole swathes of the population to refer to them by counter-intuitive pronouns, that were literally made up within the last 5 years. What do you value?