[208] Pronouns

Growing up in the latter part of the twentieth century, I learned in school that there existed two genders: male and female. What made you a boy or girl was your genitalia. You either were born with boy parts or girl parts. It was considered impossible for a man to have a baby, and everyone was expected to be heterosexual. Homosexuality was shunned or considered “a sin”, even in then-mainstream Hollywood.

Fast forward to the twenty-first century, year 2021, and things are completely different. Doing a quick internet search, the numbers are unclear and vary, but society counts upwards of 40+ different sexualities, and Facebook allows you to pick between 58 different gender classifications. Maybe I’m old-fashioned. Maybe I’m not “woke”, but this astounds me, and I don’t understand any of it.

One thing that obviously hasn’t changed is that at birth, nearly all babies have either a penis or a vagina. Clearly, you have male and female people. People can be straight (heterosexual), homosexual and bisexual. No one will argue with this. However, what I don’t understand is all the other groups that have popped up over the last 20+ years. “Pansexual” sounds like you have a fetish for cooking apparel. Take the recent case of Demi Lovato self-describing as “non-binary”. What does that mean? Is it that “I’m not a boy, but I’m not a girl”? How does whatever the one that means “some days I feel like a dude; some days I think I’m a chick” work? I’m not here bashing what people consider themselves. I honestly don’t understand how this works. I’m not sitting here judging anyone. You want to be a whatever-sexual, that’s your choice, and you do you.

Another thing I don’t really get is the need to announce pronouns. Aren’t there only certain words that people can use as pronouns? You have your first-, second- and third-person pronouns, singular and plural—giving you a choice from: I, me, us, we, you, he, him, she, her, they and them. Instagram has rolled out an option for a person to put their “chosen pronouns” in their bio. People have been doing this on Twitter for a while now. This is a serious question: why would you not want to be referred to as he or she? Anyone who wishes to answer, feel free.

Then there are these so-called “gender neutral” pronouns I’ve never even heard of, much less know how to pronounce. What the hell is a “ze”, “xe” or “fae”? Apparently, just slap together two or three letters, and you’ve got yourself a brand new fucking pronoun🤷‍♂️. Looks to me like just another way to muddy the water and confuse everyone.

I don’t feel the need to announce any “chosen pronouns”, since I’m just some straight, middle-aged, Gen-X white dude, product of the 1970s. I was born pre-Internet, but not technologically impaired. I have a laptop, Samsung phone, iPad and a smart watch. I didn’t see a computer lab in school until the 7th grade, and those were Apple IIe’s. I played with Atari 2600, Intellivision and remember when the OG 8-bit NES was launched (and how angry we’d get at the stupid dog in Duck Hunt). I was almost nine when everyone wanted their MTV. At Blockbuster, you had to choose between renting Beta or VHS. And video really did kill the radio star.

The quote for today is this:

“Sexuality is who you want to be with. Gender identity is who you want to be in the world.”

Hari Nef

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