The Fetish With Pronouns
Do you remember Mad Libs? I used to love these one page “stories” in which you fill in the blanks and the story would become sillier with the more interesting noun, pronoun or adjective you would think of…This is how I imagine our world today 🙂
The thing is, back when I was in grade school and Mad Libs were popular, my education was on par with filling out those blanks. For instance, a sentence was a sentence. It had a beginning, middle and end with punctuation and most of all meaning. These days I’m finding that most anyone graduating past the year 2000 or so is forgetting about this grammatically correct way of communicating. I’m not suggesting that my writing skills are perfect, however I’m seeing that the real world is behaving more like a “Mad Lib” every day.
For instance, let’s consider pronouns. A pronoun (I, me, he, she, herself, you, it, that, they, each, few, many, who, whoever, whose, someone, everybody, etc.) is a word that takes the place of a noun, typically replacing one’s name or a thing as referenced in a sentence. The pronoun sometimes is “gendered” which simply means that it identifies with the name of the individual. This last point is important! Why? Because “gender” is grounded in language. Gender is real and necessary. “Language activists” believe that a pronoun is a descriptor which an individual wishes to be referred to in order to indicate their gender identity. No! Gender identity is a personal construct of the imagination. Believing that someone can wish their pronoun into being is a fetish of narcissistic magnitude and goes against language norms. Either an individual has a proper name or they don’t…The pronoun identifies the name.
“Hello. My name is __________ (fill in the blank). I am happy to meet you! We should get together sometime soon to get to know each other better.“
“I just met a new friend named _________ (fill in the blank). He/She (Correct pronoun needed here depending upon the name) is a very kind person.“
The two sentences above are grammatically correct depending upon the inserted name and corresponding pronoun. My name is Bette and it is a female name and therefore uses a female pronoun which would be “She” in the second sentence. If I am emailing someone I have never met before who is named Pat, Chris or Jamie then I might have a problem, but I don’t need their pronoun in order to converse with them directly. I would hope by the time we get to know each other that the he/she or him/her aspect would be known. If Pat, Chris or Jamie have the least bit of self awareness then they would grant me the respect of learning who they are by not getting upset over a pronoun. An email that closes with “Sincerely, Pat he/him” is fine, but only because Pat realizes that he is a man and might be mistaken for a she/her….But this is typically insignificant because people should always be granted the benefit of doubt! I can’t tell you how many times people get my name wrong, even those who have known me for years type Betty. I could never judge them harshly for this oversight because I understand that my name is different. This is the Christian way to behave. Otherwise your behavior is judgmental, egotistical and borders on tyrannical.
Now there are newly created pronouns attempting to be used in the English Language. Here are the examples: xe/xem/xyr, ze/hir/hirs, and ey/em/eir. What are these? Fetishes of a clown world of course. Go ahead and use one as your legal name, but don’t mess with the fundamentals of our English language.*
*My opinion on this subject is my right to express according to the Constitution which governs our country.