< 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›
 
   
 

Gender pronouns and compelled speech in Virginia

 
Jan_CAN
 
Avatar
 
 
Jan_CAN
Total Posts:  3741
Joined  21-10-2016
 
 
 
10 June 2021 07:58
 
nonverbal - 10 June 2021 07:47 AM
Jan_CAN - 10 June 2021 07:44 AM

This is a time of transition in regards to gender-neutral pronouns, so I imagine in time there’ll be some kind of consensus.  Perhaps ‘they/them’, or something new – sort of like when ‘Ms.’ came into usage and seemed a bit awkward at first but is commonplace now.

I’m glad to see it happening, actually. I just wonder about the details, is all.

Me too.  If it were up to me, I think new non-plural pronouns would be less confusing.  I’ve had conversations where ‘they/them’ was used and you’re left pondering who all’s being referred to.

 

 
 
mapadofu
 
Avatar
 
 
mapadofu
Total Posts:  1142
Joined  20-07-2017
 
 
 
10 June 2021 08:11
 
nonverbal - 10 June 2021 06:34 AM

In addition to the various recently coined neologisms, how about we also come up with a few gender-neutral pronouns? That way, whenever you’re in doubt about what type of person someone is, you’ll have something reliable to fall back on that won’t haunt the kids too much. It’ll also allow teachers to assist students with their studies rather than dwell inappropriately on children’s sex and gender.

We could transform he/she to heesh?  E.g. Heesh walking down the hall.

 
nonverbal
 
Avatar
 
 
nonverbal
Total Posts:  2000
Joined  31-10-2015
 
 
 
10 June 2021 08:44
 
mapadofu - 10 June 2021 08:11 AM
nonverbal - 10 June 2021 06:34 AM

In addition to the various recently coined neologisms, how about we also come up with a few gender-neutral pronouns? That way, whenever you’re in doubt about what type of person someone is, you’ll have something reliable to fall back on that won’t haunt the kids too much. It’ll also allow teachers to assist students with their studies rather than dwell inappropriately on children’s sex and gender.

We could transform he/she to heesh?  E.g. Heesh walking down the hall.

Sounds good to me except for too many s sounds introducing a plural or possessive s.

 
 
icehorse
 
Avatar
 
 
icehorse
Total Posts:  8731
Joined  22-02-2014
 
 
 
10 June 2021 14:51
 

You’re all at risk of offending or abusing someone if you can’t master the list on this page:

LOP

And no jan, your powers of mind reading have not improved. I’m not at all transphobic or any variation thereof. What I’m worried about is the trend towards normalizing the idea that people have the right to not be offended. I’m happy to agree with Kurt Vonnegut on this point. I would suggest that you refresh your memory of his story: Harrison Bergeron.

[ Edited: 10 June 2021 16:18 by icehorse]
 
 
LadyJane
 
Avatar
 
 
LadyJane
Total Posts:  3937
Joined  26-03-2013
 
 
 
10 June 2021 15:00
 

You have to wonder about the kind of person who balks at a watershed moment that protects children from harm.

 
 
mapadofu
 
Avatar
 
 
mapadofu
Total Posts:  1142
Joined  20-07-2017
 
 
 
10 June 2021 15:11
 
icehorse - 10 June 2021 02:51 PM

You’re all at risk of offended or abusing someone if you can’t master the list on this page:

LOP

And no jan, your powers of mind reading have not improved. I’m not at all transphobic or any variation thereof. What I’m worried about is the trend towards normalizing the idea that people have the right to not be offended. I’m happy to agree with Kurt Vonnegut on this point. I would suggest that you refresh your memory of his story: Harrison Bergeron.

I think you need to disentangle your consideration of this problem from one of rights.  Everyone undoubtedly have the legal right to use whatever pronouns they want (under US law) and will not suffer criminal action.  I’d even say that everyone has the metaphysical right to use whatever pronouns they want, they just have to accept the consequences.

However, constraining employees’ speech in the workplace is natural and proper and arguably necessary.  At least in the US you don’t have a right to a job, and there are clearly professionals where interpersonal interactions play a critical role in the success of the endeavor.  So employers can, and do, limit how employees speak on the job.

Are you saying that no employer can ever take any action (reprimand, dismissal etc) for anything any employee says?

 
no_profundia
 
Avatar
 
 
no_profundia
Total Posts:  655
Joined  14-07-2016
 
 
 
10 June 2021 15:15
 

You’re all at risk of offended or abusing someone if you can’t master the list on this page

Just to be clear: you would be okay with a teacher using female pronouns to refer to a cis male student? If someone were to get upset about that it would be an example of someone thinking they have a right not to be offended?

Or is it only trans people who need to learn to accept that they are going to be offended by misuse of pronouns?

It seems like your concern stems from having to potentially learn a long list of pronouns that sound strange and weird because they haven’t had wide use before as opposed to stemming from the principal that people should use the proper pronouns when referring to people. Would you still object to this notion if there were just two pronouns (male/female) or is it the thought of having to learn when to use “zhe” and being called a bigot if you don’t use it properly that upsets you?

For what it’s worth, I don’t think most of the pronouns on that list get used very often. Most of the non-binary people I’ve seen online have settled on “they/them”. Also, it’s not abuse to accidentally use the wrong pronouns. That’s not what this teacher did. The teacher said they would refuse to use the right pronouns even if they were told what the right pronouns were. So not having that list mastered, or knowing what someone’s pronouns are before speaking to them, does not put you in danger of abuse. That takes a willful act of refusing to use the right pronouns even when told.

Bottom line: if you think it’s wrong for a teacher to refer to a cis male student as “she” on purpose but it’s fine for a teacher to refer to a student that identifies as “they” as “she” then you don’t really have a problem with forcing teachers to use the right pronouns. You just don’t actually believe that “they” is the right or valid pronoun in the same way as “he” is.

[ Edited: 10 June 2021 15:17 by no_profundia]
 
 
icehorse
 
Avatar
 
 
icehorse
Total Posts:  8731
Joined  22-02-2014
 
 
 
10 June 2021 16:22
 
LadyJane - 10 June 2021 03:00 PM

You have to wonder about the kind of person who balks at a watershed moment that protects children from harm.

so you think Vonnegut was wrong to be concerned?

I value Vonnegut’s opinion more than yours, and I’m pretty sure he was interested in the well being of children.

I think that what’s really going on here is that because of your inability to follow trends to likely conclusions, you end up thinking only in terms of short-sighted solutions. But please don’t denigrate those of us who are trying to think further into the future than you seem to be willing or able to go.

 
 
icehorse
 
Avatar
 
 
icehorse
Total Posts:  8731
Joined  22-02-2014
 
 
 
10 June 2021 16:23
 

no-pro: Have you ever addressed a group of people of varied genders with a friendly “Hey Guys!” ?

 
 
no_profundia
 
Avatar
 
 
no_profundia
Total Posts:  655
Joined  14-07-2016
 
 
 
10 June 2021 16:36
 
icehorse - 10 June 2021 04:23 PM

no-pro: Have you ever addressed a group of people of varied genders with a friendly “Hey Guys!” ?

Yes I have but I purposely started using “everyone” instead precisely because it felt weird referring to groups that included women as “guys”. Really wasn’t that hard of a change to make or much of an imposition. No one got offended or yelled at me but it felt more appropriate to me to make that change.

That’s not what we’re talking about though! We’re not talking about finding the proper term for referring to mixed gender audiences. We’re talking about a teacher who is saying they will refer to students who identify as male with female pronouns and vice versa. You still haven’t answered my question: Do you think it’s okay for a teacher to refer to a cis male student using female pronouns? Please answer that question.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
Avatar
 
 
weird buffalo
Total Posts:  1438
Joined  19-06-2020
 
 
 
10 June 2021 17:12
 
icehorse - 09 June 2021 11:02 AM
weird buffalo - 09 June 2021 10:37 AM

So, your argument is that a teacher’s free speech should be protected, even if it is insulting and derogatory to students.

Here’s a simple adherence to your “not allowed to say X, Y, or Z” rule:

You are not allowed to misgender students intentionally.

See… “not allowed”.  Completely within your predefined set of rules.  I even added “intentionally” so that a teacher can always get out of it by saying it was unintentional.

Do you think you’ve honestly paraphrased my arguments here? Because it feels like you’re deliberately strawmanning me.

You agree that intentional misgendering is insulting and demeaning, AND you think the teacher’s right to be exercise their free speeach in an insulting and demeaning manner should be protected.

Have I strawmanned you at all?

 
icehorse
 
Avatar
 
 
icehorse
Total Posts:  8731
Joined  22-02-2014
 
 
 
10 June 2021 21:23
 

no-pro:

Do you think it’s okay for a teacher to refer to a cis male student using female pronouns? Please answer that question.

That’s a good question, I’m pondering it. In the meantime, do you think it’s okay for a student to demand to be called “Grand Sword Master, Ruler of All He Surveys!”

 
 
weird buffalo
 
Avatar
 
 
weird buffalo
Total Posts:  1438
Joined  19-06-2020
 
 
 
10 June 2021 21:57
 

Ah yes, the “attack helicopter” defense.  Anti-trans memes from 8 years ago.  Cool.

 
no_profundia
 
Avatar
 
 
no_profundia
Total Posts:  655
Joined  14-07-2016
 
 
 
10 June 2021 22:59
 

That’s a good question, I’m pondering it.

I’m sorry but it’s really not a hard question that requires pondering. If you refer to cis male students as girls that’s bullying. If you say “Yes, teachers should be allowed to do that” you are saying “Teachers should be allowed to bully students.” That’s an insane claim and I think you must know that. There is no way a teacher who regularly referred to cis students using the wrong pronouns on purpose would keep their job. You must know that on some level right?

There has never been a time when teachers were free to use whatever gendered pronouns they wanted when referring to their students. It has always been a norm that teachers (and everyone else) refer to students with the proper gendered pronouns. This is not some new encroachment on our freedoms. I suspect you have gone your whole life happily referring to men as “he” and women as “she” without considering this a threat to your freedoms. It’s only when trans students started requesting the same consideration be extended to them that this became a slippery slope to totalitarianism and the loss of all our liberties.

If you give the correct answer and say teachers should not be allowed to refer to cis students with the wrong gendered pronouns then you need to explain why the same thing does not apply to trans students. Why do cis students get accorded this respect and consideration but not trans students? The teacher in the story you linked to at least had an answer to that question: Because he doesn’t believe that trans students are actually the gender they claim. Do you agree with him? Do you agree that trans girls are not really girls and, therefore, it’s fine to refer to them as “he”? If not, then what reason can you give for why trans students should not be accorded the same respect as cis students?

In the meantime, do you think it’s okay for a student to demand to be called “Grand Sword Master, Ruler of All He Surveys!”

The same argument applies to your “Grand Sword Master, Ruler of All He Surveys!” worry. You have gone your whole life attempting to use the proper pronouns and correcting yourself when you made a mistake, and you have known that if you willfully decided to start using the wrong pronouns when referring to your boss or employees or students you would likely face repercussions, and presumably you never worried in all that time that using the proper pronouns like that was a slippery slope and that if you didn’t defend your right to use whatever pronouns you wanted you would soon be forced to refer to people as “Grand Sword Master, Ruler of All He Surveys!” So why when trans people started asking that the correct pronouns be used to refer to them did this suddenly become a worry for you? It seems like there might be a secret belief somewhere in you that a trans woman requesting she be referred to as “she” is just as arbitrary and nutty as a person requesting they be called “Grand Sword Master” so if we allow one we will have to allow the other. Luckily, that’s not true so the worry is baseless.

Ask yourself this question honestly: If you accidentally referred to a cis woman as “he” and she corrected you and said “Actually, I’m a woman” would it ever occur to you to think “Wow, she is demanding I use the proper gendered pronoun when referring to her. I better not because if I do she might demand I call her Grand Sword Master and I will have no principled reason not to accede to that demand?” I suspect this would not occur to you because you understand there’s a difference between a person requesting that you use the correct gendered pronoun when referring to them and a person assigning a made up title to themselves and requiring everyone use it but you are pretending not to know what the difference between those cases are for the sake of your argument.

The fact is, we have to use gendered pronouns when referring to a person (leaving out gender neutral terms for the moment). So, if we don’t use the right gendered pronoun we have to use the wrong one. If we refuse to use the respectful (correct) gendered pronoun we have to use the disrespectful (incorrect) gendered pronoun. If I do not refer to a woman as “she” I will have to refer to her as “he” and imply she is male which is incorrect and disrespectful. The same does not apply to “Grand Sword Master”. I can refuse to call someone “Grand Sword Master” and still refer to them in a respectful way (in terms of generally agreed upon social norms) and not using this title does not force me to misgender them in the same way that using the wrong pronouns does. We’ve been using gendered pronouns correctly for all of human history and it has not led to people making these kinds of ridiculous demands. The fear that we are soon going to have to start referring to people as “Grand Sword Wizard” and other ridiculous things is purely a figment of your imagination and not something worth actually worrying about. I promise.

Slippery slope arguments generally are not good arguments for many reasons. For one thing, you’re already on the same slippery slope as I am, you just draw the line in a different place. You use the correct pronouns when referring to cis people and you apparently think that is not a huge danger but if we go a step farther and accord the same respect to trans people we will immediately tumble into calling people “Grand Sword Master”. Why? Why are you at the magical point before we tumble into non-sense? I think where I draw the line is perfectly reasonable: we should use the proper pronouns for everyone but we don’t have to grant people the power to assign any title they want to themselves and demand that people use it. That is a perfectly reasonable and consistent point to draw the line and there is no reason to prefer where you draw the line to where I draw it from the standpoint of the “slippery slope”.

Another reason slippery slope arguments are generally not good arguments is because it assumes that people are logic machines who adopt a formal principle and then have no choice but to follow it to its absolute and final conclusion. That’s not how humans behave. Logical principles are not what guide human behavior and principles can be determined at various levels of abstraction and its a matter of discernment to determine where they should be drawn. You are imagining a principle like “People should be called whatever they want to be called.” Here is another principle that is at a lower level of abstraction but is perfectly consistent “People should be referred to with the proper gendered pronouns.” There is no reason to take that principle a step higher and imagine it implies or requires the more abstract principle. My principle does not logically entail the more abstract principle so even from the standpoint of logic there is no necessary slippery slope there.

Asking “If we have to refer to people by the correct gendered pronouns why don’t we have to refer to them as Grand Sword Wizard” is in one way a difficult question to answer (though I’ve tried to answer it above) because it’s assumed that a single principle (or set of rules) can be given to explain it. It’s a little bit like the problem of constructing an AI that actually behaves like a human. It is difficult to write formal rules that capture the complexity of our reasoning and behavior. I remember reading about an example where someone was imagining what it would take to write a rule set for an AI regarding who should pay for dinner if you go out to dinner with a group. There are lots of complex rules and norms we tend to follow in that situation. If you go out to dinner with family it’s often the head of the household or the oldest (or wealthiest) who pays. Sometimes it’s oldest, sometimes it’s wealthiest, but not if it’s their birthday, or their anniversary, and not if someone else just got a promotion and offered to take everyone out. If it’s friends everyone may pay for their own meals unless one person just lost their job and their friends are taking them out to cheer them up. Then maybe everyone chips in for that person. The point is: it would require a nearly infinite list of rules to explain to an AI when it would be appropriate for them to pay so that an AI would behave in a recognizably human way if placed in that situation and yet humans are perfectly capable of navigating this social situation without any problems and without making explicit the rules they are following (if they are even following rules).

To most people it’s just obvious that it’s unreasonable to demand that I be called “Grand Sword Master”, that’s why you chose it as an example, because you knew I would agree it’s ridiculous, but it’s very difficult to put together a set of formal rules that explains why that is ridiculous but demanding that people use the correct gendered pronouns is not similarly ridiculous (it might actually be impossible because it’s possible we are not following a formal rule or principle when making this distinction). Most people just understand this intuitively. I think to even ask your question you have to understand the distinction and pretend you don’t understand it at the same time. You understand that it is more ridiculous to ask to be called “Grand Sword Wizard” than it is to ask to be referred to by the correct gendered pronouns but you can’t give a rule for it so you are afraid that if we agree to the second we will have to agree to the first. We won’t.

Ultimately, all I can tell you is that is not how humans behave. People are capable of discerning the difference between those two cases even if they can’t give you a rule or principle for distinguishing them and I think demanding a rule or principle is a mistake in this case. You are relinquishing your human knowledge and pretending to be a computer and asking us to provide you with a rule that a computer could understand. The answer to your worry is: we are not going to wind up in the situation you are worrying about because humans understand the difference between the two cases you are describing and the vast majority would find the demand to be called “Grand Sword Wizard” ridiculous. That may feel like an insecure foundation but it has worked for thousands of years. I assure you it is not going to suddenly fail if we start referring to trans people with their preferred pronouns.

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
Avatar
 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
Total Posts:  7308
Joined  08-12-2006
 
 
 
10 June 2021 23:00
 
Jb8989 - 09 June 2021 11:47 AM

“staff shall allow gender expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence.”

That was the policy.

If that’s really the sum total of the policy, then not only does it not seem like compelled speech to me, it doesn’t seem like the teacher violated it. I read it as: “gender expansive or transgender students can refer to themselves by whatever pronoun they like, but shouldn’t expect anyone else to go along with their charade.”

Too bad the teacher had to bring religion into it.

 
 
 < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›