06-01-2019, 09:40 AM
#1
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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All my life, I have endeavored to be respectful of the feelings of (all) others, even when I am engaged in dialogue where there is vehement disagreement as to the content.  One can disagree without being disagreeable, and ad hominem comments neither add to the discussion nor increase the sum total of happiness in the world.  However, sometimes I wonder if there is a boundary where a third party's desire not to be offended forces detours and circumlocutions where the speaker becomes the victim.  

Without further comment from me, here is a screenshot of an email that one received from the ride-shariing service Lyft this week.  Comments?

[Image: 9jln2eh.png]

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 06-02-2019, 09:45 AM
#2
  • RyznRio
  • Active Member
  • Connecticut
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A new world is beginning to evolve and set boundaries. Those of us who are older are watching our favorite places, things to do, music to listen to, cultural norms etc either change dramatically to the point of unrecognizability or completely disappearing all together. I watched my grandfather and my father suffer me and my generation's foolish ideas and ideals, music i listen to etc with a range of responses from laughter to shouting to finally a palm slap and shake of the head. The times they are a changing. you can leap onto the wagon or walk your own dusty trail.

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 06-02-2019, 01:57 PM
#3
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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I’m not sure if I understand your question, Tom. Are you referring to a societal shift in attitude and acceptance, or is your question more about the shift in the use of language, i.e, pronouns?

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 06-02-2019, 03:28 PM
#4
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(06-02-2019, 01:57 PM)chazt Wrote: I’m not sure if I understand your question, Tom. Are you referring to a societal shift in attitude and acceptance, or is your question more about the shift in the use of language, i.e, pronouns?

I believe he is commenting on the issue of a party becoming offended when addressed using a pronoun that that party believes to be incorrect.  For example an individual presenting as a man expecting to be addressed as she, and then becoming offended because she has been judged and assigned a gender based solely on appearance.  This, "mistake," then allows her to make (and often loudly express) all kinds of assumptions (political, religious, gender bias, etc..) about the person making the initial greeting without any basis other than that persons outward presentation and the well intended (but incorrect) use of a pronoun.  The offended party apparently does not see the irony in it's response to the situation.  

Note the only gender neutral singular pronoun we have in English is, "it."  If you want to see someone that is trying to be gender ambiguous get really pissed off, try using that one as a greeting in a social situation.

The other artifice possibly being discussed is an individual insisting on being called, "he/she" (one word) or worse yet -- "they."  An individual is never a plural unless they have a mental illness or are a royal and speaking as the nation.

If we are going to address this language issues properly, what is really needed is a new, non offensive, gender neutral, singular pronoun that we would universally use for everybody regardless of gender.

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 06-02-2019, 04:01 PM
#5
  • Steelman
  • SUPPORT OUR POLICE OFFICERS
  • Delaware
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2 true stories.

1. I was having dinner in NY City last fall. Had a great meal in little Italy. I left the table to visit the men's room. I was directed towards the bathrooms and when I got close I asked a woman standing by 2 unmarked doors "excuse me, is one of these the men's room?" I then received a berating by not only the woman but another woman eating nearby that this was certainly "NOT A MEN's ROOM". It's for everybody and how dare I suggest otherwise.

2. My sister is a public school teacher in NYC. She tells me that starting in 2020 the Board of Education will no longer use the terms "father" or "mother" on any legal paperwork, but rather "guardian".

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 06-02-2019, 04:45 PM
#6
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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The NYTimes runs articles periodically on related topics. Here’s one : https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/29/us/no...Position=2

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 06-02-2019, 06:23 PM
#7
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-02-2019, 03:28 PM)Frog1956 Wrote: I believe he is commenting on the issue of a party becoming offended when addressed using a pronoun that that party believes to be incorrect.  For example an individual presenting as a man expecting to be addressed as she, and then becoming offended because she has been judged and assigned a gender based solely on appearance.  This, "mistake," then allows her to make (and often loudly express) all kinds of assumptions (political, religious, gender bias, etc..) about the person making the initial greeting without any basis other than that persons outward presentation and the well intended (but incorrect) use of a pronoun. 

Your assumption is correct. I attempted to state the original post as neutrally as possible, to avoid inciting "I am offended" responses.

We have good friends whose oldest grandchild now is 24 years old.  The grandchild is unmarried, co-habiting with a member of the same species, but of a different biological gender.  As a participant in adult, educated, conversation, the grandchild is a delightful and lively participant, insightful.  However, upon meeting anyone new, the grandchild has a printed manifesto, which the grandchild presents to the new acquaintance, that says that one must address the author of the manifesto as "they" or "them."  Not as "he" or "she"; not as "it" or "person"; only as "they" or "them."

Other than that, the grandchild is an entertaining and delightful conversationalist, with strong and defensible positions on all of the issues of the day, other than pronouns.  (I have not yet ventured into the territory of inquiring, what do "you" think of ...)  But I have been warned that I cannot address the grandchild as "he" or "she" or "her" or "him."  So I shall have to avoid those pronouns or certainly I shall offend.

If I forget, and accidentally use a non-favored term, who is at fault?

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 06-02-2019, 06:26 PM
#8
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-02-2019, 03:28 PM)Frog1956 Wrote: I believe he is commenting on the issue of a party becoming offended when addressed using a pronoun that that party believes to be incorrect.  For example an individual presenting as a man expecting to be addressed as she, and then becoming offended because she has been judged and assigned a gender based solely on appearance.  This, "mistake," then allows her to make (and often loudly express) all kinds of assumptions (political, religious, gender bias, etc..) about the person making the initial greeting without any basis other than that persons outward presentation and the well intended (but incorrect) use of a pronoun. 

Your assumption is correct. I attempted to state the original post as neutrally as possible, to avoid inciting "I am offended" responses.

We have good friends whose oldest grandchild now is 24 years old.  The grandchild is unmarried, co-habiting with a member of the same species, but of a different biological gender.  As a participant in adult, educated, conversation, the grandchild is a delightful and lively participant, insightful.  However, upon meeting anyone new, the grandchild has a printed manifesto, which the grandchild presents to the new acquaintance, that says that one must address the author of the manifesto as "they" or "them."  Not as "he" or "she"; not as "it" or "person"; only as "they" or "them."

Other than that, the grandchild is an entertaining and delightful conversationalist, with strong and defensible positions on all of the issues of the day, other than pronouns.  (I have not yet ventured into the territory of inquiring, what do "you" think of ...)  But I have been warned that I cannot address the grandchild as "he" or "she" or "her" or "him."  So I shall have to avoid those pronouns or certainly I shall offend.  

If I forget, and accidentally use a non-favored term, who is at fault?

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 06-02-2019, 07:09 PM
#9
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(06-02-2019, 06:23 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(06-02-2019, 03:28 PM)Frog1956 Wrote: I believe he is commenting on the issue of a party becoming offended when addressed using a pronoun that that party believes to be incorrect.  For example an individual presenting as a man expecting to be addressed as she, and then becoming offended because she has been judged and assigned a gender based solely on appearance.  This, "mistake," then allows her to make (and often loudly express) all kinds of assumptions (political, religious, gender bias, etc..) about the person making the initial greeting without any basis other than that persons outward presentation and the well intended (but incorrect) use of a pronoun. 

Your assumption is correct. I attempted to state the original post as neutrally as possible, to avoid inciting "I am offended" responses.

We have good friends whose oldest grandchild now is 24 years old.  The grandchild is unmarried, co-habiting with a member of the same species, but of a different biological gender.  As a participant in adult, educated, conversation, the grandchild is a delightful and lively participant, insightful.  However, upon meeting anyone new, the grandchild has a printed manifesto, which the grandchild presents to the new acquaintance, that says that one must address the author of the manifesto as "they" or "them."  Not as "he" or "she"; not as "it" or "person"; only as "they" or "them."

Other than that, the grandchild is an entertaining and delightful conversationalist, with strong and defensible positions on all of the issues of the day, other than pronouns.  (I have not yet ventured into the territory of inquiring, what do "you" think of ...)  But I have been warned that I cannot address the grandchild as "he" or "she" or "her" or "him."  So I shall have to avoid those pronouns or certainly I shall offend.  

If I forget, and accidentally use a non-favored term, who is at fault?
I fully understand your concern and how the issue can get in the way of all subsequent conversations with your granddaughter.   Lucky my daughter is cis and I do not have that particular kind of disagreement with her.

That said, my daughter is a graduate of Mills Collage in Oakland and many of her friends and acquaintances have pronoun pretensions similar to your granddaughter.   I do not have any issue with the choices individuals make regarding gender and truly wish everyone a good, happy, and fulfilling life.  As you observe, many are articulate and engaging conversationalists.  My annoyance is that they also CHOSE to be offended over this pronoun issue at first introduction regardless of the intent (good, neutral, or malicious) of the person they are being introduced to.  My current mode of operation is to politely ignore the individual until introduced, and once introduced, to only use proper names.  We were all young and idealistic once, but most of us got over ourselves. Hopefully with a little age and real life experience, everyone will calm down and realize that how one presents and who one chooses to sleep with is of little or no interest to anyone other that those trying to get in bed with them.  In those cases, a little truth in advertising makes everyone's life a little easier.

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 06-02-2019, 09:58 PM
#10
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I only learned that there were people who preferred to be called "gender non-binary" when I saw the show Billions.

I usually get in that state when I want two shave soaps but only have the budget for one.

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 06-03-2019, 01:20 AM
#11
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-02-2019, 07:09 PM)Frog1956 Wrote:
(06-02-2019, 06:23 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
We have good friends whose oldest grandchild now is 24 years old.  
. . . my daughter is a graduate of Mills Collage in Oakland and many of her friends and acquaintances have pronoun pretensions similar to your granddaughter.   

Coincidence:  our younger grandson currently attends Mills College.  (He falls in the interesting category of having been born a couple of days after the cut-off date for eligibility to enroll, or the requirement to enroll, in the school system, so, as a soon-to-be six-year-old, he is attending a pre-kindergarten program at Mills College.  Malcolm Gladwell might predict a bright future for his hockey career, but he does not play hockey, and, besides, ice rarely forms on the Frog Pond on the Mills campus.)  ?

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 06-10-2019, 03:18 AM
#12
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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Self indulgent and egocentric. In fact I’m insulted that he/she/it/they is insulted.

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 06-10-2019, 04:14 AM
#13
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You can call it anything you want.  The truth is that if you have a penis, you are a man.  If you have a vagina, you are a woman.  A pear is not an apple; an apple is not a pear.

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 06-10-2019, 05:29 AM
#14
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(06-10-2019, 04:14 AM)LookingGlass Wrote: You can call it anything you want.  The truth is that if you have a penis, you are a man.  If you have a vagina, you are a woman.  A pear is not an apple; an apple is not a pear.

And gender isn't binary, and an amazing amount of gender identity is in the head and not between your legs.

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 06-10-2019, 09:53 AM
#15
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(06-10-2019, 04:14 AM)LookingGlass Wrote: You can call it anything you want.  The truth is that if you have a penis, you are a man.  If you have a vagina, you are a woman.  A pear is not an apple; an apple is not a pear.

And what of those who have both a penis and a vagina?  My mother (born 1911, died 1971) was an RN in the 1930s, and she and her fellow nurses in the hospital in Evanston, Illinois, used to make informal no-stakes “bets” as to the gender of the babies about to be born, with the mothers-to-be who were awaiting delivery in the maternity ward.  (That was before the days of ultrasound.)  My mother stopped playing that game forever when one of the women with who she had “bet” gave birth to a baby who had both sets of organs (old term:  hermaphrodite; modern term:  intersex).

Back to the initial issue, of course you can call a person anything you want.  And there are certain personalities who will be offended whatever words you use to address them or refer to them.  The question is, if one is sensitive and taking precautions to avoid giving offense as much as possible, at what stage does the line get crossed that the speaker, not the person referred to, is on the victim side of the pair?

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 06-10-2019, 10:36 AM
#16
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(06-10-2019, 05:29 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote:
(06-10-2019, 04:14 AM)LookingGlass Wrote: You can call it anything you want.  The truth is that if you have a penis, you are a man.  If you have a vagina, you are a woman.  A pear is not an apple; an apple is not a pear.

And gender isn't binary, and an amazing amount of gender identity is in the head and not between your legs.

So true.  Sex is binary, usually, except when the person is born with both genitalia.  Gender is pretty much a wide open field with lots of options based upon the person's perception of themselves.

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