UnNews:Gender Neutrality

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5 November 2019

A gender neutral image

SOMEWHERE, Off the planet -- Another campaign for eliminating gender

In the continuing effort to rid our society of gender, a restaurant somewhere has taken up arms against a sea of the stuff. Asked why a sign warning potential customers of the horrifying effects of referring to people who look male as "him" and people who look female as "her" was displayed in the front window, manager Umm Err replied,

"Just imagine how you would feel if you were a "GA" (gender agnostic) person and someone called you 'him'. Or 'her'. In case you can't imagine that, you would be crushed by the insensitivity of anyone who didn't realize that you had made a conscious decision to reject gender."

"May I just call you Umm to avoid any problems with titles?"

"It's a minor intrusion into my personal identity, but I'll allow it because of your concern for my feelings."

"Okay, Umm, now you're aware that gender refers to the behaviors associated with a particular sex rather than, you know, what you've got in your pants."

"Please don't use that nasty word. You know the one I mean. We always say 'gender' no matter what we mean."

"So how do we know whether you're talking about gender or the other word."

"The point of this campaign is to get rid of the problem. If we don't talk about it all the time, it will just go away. Like a naughty child."

"Okay, so you suggest using 'them' and 'they' instead of pronouns that imply the thing that we don't talk about."

"Yes, you've got it."

"So you want to refer to one person as a number of people."

"Isn't that so much more considerate of the feelings of the person?"

"Personally I would wonder about the sobriety and mental state of someone who called me 'them'. What pronoun are we supposed to use for a number of people?"

"Thems and theys of course."

"If a GA person is trying to get rid of references to gender, how about 'it'? And aren't people with multiple personalities and certain royal figures going to be pissed off when they hear someone who thinks that they are just one person referred to in the plural? In fact, aren't people who don't want to get rid of the thing that we don't talk about going to be at least confused when they are referred to as 'them'?"

"You're just upholding the traditional oppression of those who want to be recognized as rejecting the thing that we don't talk about."

"Well, if you can't recognize what they don't want to be recognized for, why not use 'you' instead? That's pretty non-judgemental."

"We don't consider 'you' to properly recognize the rejection of the particular sort of thing that we don't talk about. Or even to acknowledge the personal interpretation of the thing that we don't talk about of the person who is being addressed."

"Given that it's usually not that hard to pick the thing that we don't talk about in most people, would it be simpler to reserve whatever neutral pronoun you may prefer for when it's difficult to identify the sort of thing that we don't talk about in a person?"

"No, that implies that we're different."

"But aren't you trying to be different?"

"In a sort of way, but we want to be the same, even though we appear to be different. So everyone should use the pronouns that we prefer."

"You mean that you're trying to be different, but you want everybody who isn't trying to be different to use words that don't refer to the thing that we don't talk about so that you can pretend that you are the same?"

"I think that's a very offensive way of putting it."

"Well, thank you for your time, Umm, pleasure talking to you."

"Are you going to come in and order a meal?"

"I don't think I'm ready for that just yet."