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Hey folks, the woke internet is doing it’s best to deplatform and silence critical analysis and criticism of gender ideology.  Here’s the thing, if your ideology wasn’t shit to start with, it could withstand critique and still be coherent.  It isn’t, thus the censorship.

The following article was removed from publication on Medium. We present it unedited for readers to make up their own minds.

There’s a lot of chat around about pronouns right now. Specifically, ‘preferred’ pronouns. By which is usually meant, the pronouns a person would prefer other people to use when they are the subject being discussed by those people.

This is how I want you to talk about me’.

Almost without exception, the people who request, or demand, others talk about them using specific pronouns, are asking for pronouns associated with the opposite sex to their own.

A simple politeness. A courtesy.

I’ve heard many people tell me they don’t mind doing this, as a courtesy, although it takes some effort to keep up the mental gymnastics of perceiving one sex, but consistently using pronouns for the other. That’s a personal choice, and I respect the reasons why some people make it.

I’ve also heard many people declaring that anyone who won’t comply (usually directed at a woman) is obnoxious, mean, hostile, and unpleasant. ‘Misgendering’ is hate speech. They say.

But I refuse to use female pronouns for anyone male.
Because pronouns are like Rohypnol.

One of the biggest obstacles to halting the stampede over women’s rights is pronoun and preferred name ‘courtesy’. People severely underestimate the psychological impact to themselves, and to others, of compliance.

Pronouns are like Rohypnol to your brain’s defences.

You doubt this absurd claim I just made, obviously. You have the fortitude of mind to be uninfluenced by such trivia, and I have got this wrong. I understand. Bear with.

And try this quick experiment.

The cost of USING preferred pronouns yourself:

The Stroop Effect

Have you heard of the STROOP TEST?

It’s a well known “name that colour” psychological phenomenon. A quick and simple experiment where you have to say the colour of the words written in front of you. Simple as that. Except the speed and accuracy of your answers is heavily impacted by any incongruence between the colour you see, and the actual word itself.

Try it HERE, if you like fun interactive tests. It takes less than a minute to complete. Compare the difference in your times between part one and part two of the experiment.

You’ll find you have to consciously fight the conflict of input to your brain each and every time. And it leaves you confused, distracted, slower, frustrated and fatigued.

Forcing our brains to ignore the evidence of our eyes, to ignore a conflict between what we see and know to be true, and what we are expected to say, affects us.

USING preferred pronouns does the same. It alters your attention, your speed of processing, your automaticity. You may find it makes you anxious. You pay less heed to what you want to say, and more to what is expected of you. It slows you down, confuses you, makes you less reactive.
That’s not a good thing.

The cost of HEARING or READING preferred pronouns from others:

Experiment 2.

For a week, re-translate all the transgender articles and comments you find, back to sex-based pronouns, nouns and original names. Rewrite them back to the blunt truth and then read them again. Doing this exercise solely in your mind will do just fine, but editing on a screen is better.

Convert female pronouns back to male; use surnames instead of first names, and convert terms like transwoman back to just ‘man’.

Better yet, if you know the original name of the subject, use it, be it David, or Rhys, or Ashton, or Jonathan.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, yes? It shouldn’t matter. No-one else will be hurt or affected by this private experiment. It’s entirely between you, and your own resilient mind.

(Try not to get banned from anywhere during this experiment)

Read your translated version again.

If those small acts of preferred pronoun compliance are truly meaningless concessions, (although, see above banning potential for contradictory evidence of import) given as a courtesy to others at no cost to you or to other women, then this private exercise will change nothing, cost nothing, affect no-one. You’ll walk away thinking, yep, as I thought, fuss about nothing.

After all, nothing *should* change, should it, simply with the alteration of pronouns and names? You already know the actual sex of the subject you’re reading about. Pronouns, male or female, add no incremental information. How can they in any way alter your perception, or influence you when you already know all the facts? They’re an irrelevance, the easiest concession to make. Not worth consideration, inconsequential. Right?

Cognitively, you should be immune to the effects of such linguistic cross-dressing. Pronouns are irrelevant, so you concede them easily, because they have no power to influence you, since you already see clearly. Yes?

[And you can confess here, it’s OK. You may already think that the minority of women who refuse to comply with pronouns are just awkward buggers, who can’t think strategically, don’t know when to let it go, probably are extremists. Do themselves no favours, damage their own ‘cause’, even. Unreasonable.]

But try the experiment. Translate pronouns and references back to male. Insert ‘dead-names’ or use surnames. (No-one will know but you) Read it a second time. And be honest with yourself.

Do you feel differently, on reading it this way?
Do you react differently?
How’s your anxiety?
Are you angrier?
Do you feel more scared?
Is your sense of injustice alerted?
What level have your natural defences armed to?

You may discover that, despite yourself, you have a viscerally different reaction to what is before your eyes.

Same story, same players, same core knowledge.

Different pronouns, different reaction.

Pronouns are like Rohypnol.

They dull your defences. They change your inhibitions. They’re meant to. You’ve had a lifetime’s experience learning to be alert to ‘him’ and relax to ‘her’. For good reason. This instinctive response keeps you safe. It’s not even a conscious thing. It’s like your hairs standing on end. Your subconscious brain is helping you not get eaten by the sabre tooth tiger that your eyes haven’t noticed yet.

Oscar probably didn’t intend the instinctive female response his words provoked

Incongruent pronouns also make your brain work much harder; not just when you are using them, but when you are receiving them as information. You are working constantly to keep that story straight in your head. Male or female? Which one, again? Concentrate harder. Ignore your instincts, ignore your reaction.

And that’s just you. You’re already aware of all the pertinent information, already alert, you know the score, no flies on you.

And you’re still affected emotionally and instinctively by incongruent pronouns, nouns, and names. Despite your efforts to be immune. You’re not immune to this effect. You can know perfectly the actual sex of a male person, and yet you will still react differently if someone calls them she instead of he.

So what then, is the impact on everyone who isn’t even aware yet, hasn’t fully comprehended yet what’s going on?

Pronouns are Rohypnol. They change our perception, lower our defences, make us react differently, alter the reality in front of us.

They’re meant to.
They numb us.
They confuse us.
They remove our instinctive safety responses.

They work.

If you do this experiment you may still decide to accept or use female pronouns for male people, perhaps a little wiser, but cognisant of their influence on you and others. That’s a choice you may make. At least now you understand that you may be voluntarily suppressing your own natural response. Your eyes are more open.

Maybe you’ll continue to mentally translate ‘preferred’ pronouns and names in your head back to reality, every time, as I do. We give ourselves the best chance to understand the reality of the situation before us. It becomes easier with practice. I want my instincts as intact as possible.

Maybe you shrug. You can live with this little phenomenon. Or it didn’t work for you, you don’t see it.

But please. Don’t judge so harshly those of us who refuse to submit, refuse to comply with preferred pronouns. There are good reasons why we might be doing that, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others.

Pronouns are Rohypnol.

I want to be alert. I want others to be alert. I want people to see the real picture, and I want those instinctive reactions that we feel when something is wrong, to be un-blunted, un-dulled by this cheap but effective psychological trick. I feel like I owe this to myself, and I absolutely owe it to other women.

And more than anything, I owe this to girls. I don’t want to play even the tiniest part in grooming them to disregard their natural protective instincts. Those instincts are there for a reason. To keep them safe. They need those instincts intact, and sharp.

And that’s why I won’t use preferred pronouns.

Using Rohypnol on others isn’t a courtesy.

Yep. Women got 99 problems and worrying about pronoun use shouldn’t be one of them.

Auntie Wanda on the Pronoun Game.

“Pronouns refer to visible sex and a man is referred to as a “he.”   Not everyone has to play your word games.”

“Pronouns aren’t malicious, they’re neutral words that refer to female people and male people respectively. The knowledge that our species has two sexes isn’t malicious either. 

I’ve never once had a gender identity proponent clearly articulate what they even think the words “woman” and “man” mean beyond being common words for people with specific sex-differentiated biology. As far as I’m concerned it’s a bunch of people adhering to and perpetuating sexist ideas that being a woman or man is something beyond biology, some inherent personality or behavior. And that’s malicious. “

There is a controversy in Canada going on with with regards to the issue of free speech, Bill C-16, and the refusal of a Professor at the U of T to use the alternate pronouns people choose for themselves.  This is the video that started it all (1h).

Three viewing options depending on your time frame.  A long panel debate (1h), a dual format interview (15m), and a one on one interview with Peterson alone (4m).

Also see the transcript to his interview on CBC radio here, and a look from an alt-right publication here, and from a local Toronto publication.   This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the sources available – just a sample and please bear that in mind while thinking about the issues being raised.   I’ll quote Peterson describing his position:

“This week, University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson released a video online criticizing political correctness on campus. He also said he doesn’t recognize a person’s right to be addressed using genderless pronouns like “they” instead of “he” or “she.”

Under the proposed Federal law Bill C-16, it will become illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity or expression. As It Happens host Carol Off spoke with Peterson about his position.

Carol Off: Professor Peterson, why have you said you don’t recognize another person’s right to determine what pronouns you use to address them?

Jordan Peterson: That’s right. I don’t recognize that. I don’t recognize another person’s right to decide what words I’m going to use, especially when the words they want me to use, first of all, are non-standard elements of the English language and they are constructs of a small coterie of ideologically motivated people. They might have a point but I’m not going to say their words for them.

CO: There are a lot of words that you can’t say even though you may want to, that may be considered, not just offensive, but even illegal. So you’re not entirely free to use whatever words you want in any context…

JP: No, that’s certainly true. I’m not claiming that a person is free to use any words, in any context. But what I’m saying is that I’m not willing to mouth words that I think have been created for ideological purposes.

CO: Even if it’s the law that says you should do that?

JP: Well, I guess we’re going to find out exactly what the law says and it’s one of the reasons that I don’t like Bill C-16. I think that it’s loosely written enough that the kinds of things that I’m talking about could be transformed into hate speech almost immediately.

CO: You have said that you don’t believe that there is enough evidence that non-binary gender identities even exist?

JP: No. I didn’t say that actually. If I’m going to be accused of saying things I have to be accused of exactly what I said. There’s not enough evidence to make the case that gender identity and biological sexuality are independently varying constructs. In fact, all the evidence suggests that they’re not independently varying constructs. I can tell you that transgender people make the same argument. They make the argument that a man can be born in a woman’s body and that’s actually an argument that specifies a biological linkage between gender identity and biological sex. I’m also not objecting to transgender people. I’m objecting to poorly written legislation and the foisting of ideological motivated legislation on a population that’s not ready for it.

CO: Well, transgender people are ready for it and they have been feeling a great deal of discrimination and that’s why they were seeking this type of redress in the law. Do you appreciate that?

JP: I don’t believe that the redress that they’re seeking in the law is going to actually improve their status materially. I think, in fact, it will have the opposite effect. I believe that the principles on which the legislation is predicated are sufficiently incoherent and vague to cause endless legal trouble in a matter that will not benefit transgender people.”

[from the CBC interview on As It Happens]

   The core of Peterson’s argument is this: “I don’t recognize another person’s right to decide what words I’m going to use, especially when the words they want me to use, first of all, are non-standard elements of the English language and they are constructs of a small coterie of ideologically motivated people.

    An important distinction to be noted here is that Peterson is not arguing against the exclusion of certain words (n*****) for example, but rather the mandatory and legislated inclusion of words.

gendernutral

    Here is a conversation gleaned from the comment sections of the article entitled – “Non-Binary Students React to the U of T Prof Who Won’t Acknowledge Their Pronouns”:

obj1mike1obj2mike2

The comment thread is some 500 responses long and there are several instances of exchanges between Micheal H and other people.  Several of the arguments present mirror how this debate often unfolds and the positions taken on the free-speech/discrimination issue.  If you have time, the article and comment section is a worthy use of your time.

Summarizing Micheal H’s position:

“Using someone’s preferred name doesn’t place an obligation on me to deny my appreciation of objective reality and affirm someone else’s.

What I find ‘somewhat wrong’ is someone expecting that his completely subjective, idiosyncratic self-conception should be validated by other people at the expense of their own foundational conception of reality.”

Micheal certainly has the arguments working for him.  What seems to be missing is the social realization that each person experiences society differently and that sometimes mere arguments cannot adequately capture all of the nuance of the interactions that take place in society – consider his phrasing here ‘And the hypocrisy here is to conceive of the dynamic between two autonomous individuals […]’

Once in society the phrase ‘two autonomous individuals’ becomes a less useful term because all of the social encumbrances and dynamics at play (race,class,sex,).  Not appreciating, or accounting for the ‘societal noise’ makes the arguments seem very clear cut and straightforward.  Perhaps a bit too easy.

Let’s take a look at some raw footage at Peterson’s gathering.  The interactions are haphazard at best, but the video gives some background onto what both sides are saying in the argument.

 

 

 

Vice – weighs in on the topic essentially saying that the entire Peterson episode is quite like a tempest in a teapot:

“The bill would do nothing to restrict people’s freedom to their own beliefs or to teach their own children,” Garrison told Albrecht during the debate. “What it would do is try to protect the expression of hatred and the kind of discrimination in public that takes place each and every day against transgender Canadians.”

C-16 will also update Canada’s Criminal Code, criminalizing “advocating genocide” and the “public incitement of hatred” based on gender identity or gender expression—adding those two classes to the current list of protected classes: colour, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, and mental or physical ability.

“The use of pronouns is not about advocating genocide,” said Cossman.

The bill also means that assault or murder, motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate against people with a certain gender identity or expression, could come with a stricter sentence.

“It’s not creating a new offense,” said Cossman. “It’s saying if there’s a hate crime, if there’s an assault, and you find that it was motivated by hatred on the basis of gender identity and expression, that could affect your sentencing in the same way that race or ethnicity or sexual orientation already do.”

It’s also highly unlikely that the failure to use gender-neutral pronouns will rise to the level of hate speech in Canada, Cossman said.

“The way hate speech has been interpreted by the courts is that it’s only applied to very extreme speech,” she said. “[The misuse of pronouns] is nowhere close.”

Cossman, who says reasonable people can disagree on whether or not hate speech laws are a good thing, says adding one ground to the list of identifiable groups isn’t a major change.

“It’s significant for the trans community, but it’s such a small addition that the idea that this is the most egregious just doesn’t add up.”

I’d have to agree this debate is a tempest for sure – the grist for the mill is how big the teapot happens to be.  It would seem, if the Vice analysis is correct, that we have little to worry about with regards to Free Speech.  Drawing the line between what is hate speech and what is a difference of opinion, will as always be the next contentious issue.

All members of Canadian society have the right to be free of discrimination.  At the very same time though, we all have the right to disagree with people’s opinions and evaluate them on the truth value they carry.  As the situation stands, it looks like both camps are still protected under the legislation as it stands.

Further reading:  A critique of Peterson’s CBC interview can be found here.  Also, another professor against the alleged PC culture on campus.

—–

 

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson

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