For hundreds of years, English grammar has broadly endorsed the concept of male headship by dictating that the “gender neutral” singular subjective pronoun is “he.” Many people consider this to be sexist. But an inclusive “he/she” is coming under increasing attack as well. “Gender queer,” “gender fluid,” and “trans-gender” “humans” reject the bi-gender demaracation as overly exclusive. So an individualist concept of the “preferred pronoun” is taking root in some institutions of “higher learning.”
Anything from “ze” to a singular “they” could be listed as a person’s preferred pronoun. And using a bi-gender pronoun, once the height of political correctness, is now woefully outdated. An article in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports:
At the University of Vermont, students who elect to change their names and/or pronouns on class rosters now can choose from she, he and ze, as well as the option of being referred to by only their names. Hampshire College in Massachusetts advertises its inclusiveness by listing the gender pronouns of its tour guides on the school’s web site. And intake forms at the University of California, Berkeley’s student health center include spaces for male, female or other.
This trend evidences a profound shift in the nature of the family and the operation of the individual. In the past, men represented humanity—from an institutional perspective. Everything from the all-inclusive “mankind” to “all men” indicated linguistically that men were designated as representative heads—of humanity generally, but more specifically, of the families they led. This has biblical roots. Adam, the first man, was the representative for all people after him.
And, in a less cosmic way, men had the responsibility to interface with the world for the sake of their families. For this reason, men were encouraged to be tough and resourceful, since they were the calloused exterior of the delicate family unit butted up against the rougher institutions of the world.
Think about it. In older times, women and children rarely had any direct dealings with the civil government, the church government, or the dog-eat-dog world. Because of this, they were encouraged to be tender. Children were allowed to be children and women were encouraged to be vulnerable, gracious, hospitable, and regal.
Feminists raged against this arrangement, but have not really come up with a better one. Now, women and children are forced to fend for themselves, and governments, not naturally inclined to operate with nuance or personality, have run roughshod over the unprotected family. Men are not held responsible for the upkeep and protection of the women they join or the children they father.
Though feminists might applaud the expanded “opportunities” they have procured for women and children, these so-called opportunities have not served to make the world a more feminine place. Ironically, the feminist program has actually made the world a harsher, more patriarchal place. It’s just that now, women are expected to be patriarchs as well as men, and children belong to the State. Feminism has better served to make women and children harder and, well, more hideously masculine.
And trans-gender people are taking the situation a step further in the direction of useless madness. Thinking that hierarchies exist for the purpose of oppression rather than protection, they make war on all distinctions. Rather than increasing personal responsibility and individual liberty, this removes purpose and uniqueness from the world. Diversity is possible only when every individual recognizes the specificity and exclusiveness of his purpose and fights for it. Preferred pronouns do not encourage true diversity. They defeat it. Because the preferred pronoun is not trying to make more categories—its main goal is to make war on any categories. It is positively nihilistic. And—historical fact alert—all nihilistic revolutions end in tyranny.
I mourn these bitter losses to society. Gender is important, both male and female. When distinctions of gender are entirely eroded, we come closer to the perfect recipe for totalitarianism: a single government incorporating the authority of all governments (civil, ecclesiastical, family, and individual) ruling over a homogenous population of nondescript individuals—with or without their own preferred pronoun.