Ahhh, the Good Ole Days. Boys were boys. Girls were girls. And “going to the bathroom” was a simple, private matter that required no direction from busybody lawmakers. Not anymore.
We no longer live in the era of “he” or “she.” In 21st Century American, the list of “gender types” is longer than the menu of flavors at a Baskin-Robins ice cream parlor. According to Tumblr – the social media platform serving as the “intellectual” epicenter of gender fluidity and other “social justice” nonsense – gender terms range from the basic, like cisgender (“the feeling of being the gender you were assigned at birth, all the time”); to the confusing, like vibragender (“a gender that is usually one stable gender but will occasionally changes or fluctuate before stabilizing again”); and to the genuinely bizarre, colorgender (“a gender associated with one or more colors and the feelings, hues, emotions, and/or objects associated with that color”). There appears to be no end to this madness.
Even the advocacy movement for such groups struggles to keep up with the amorphous definition of their constituencies. Whereas just one generation ago, the universally understood term for the gay community was “LGBT” (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transsexual), the acronym today has ballooned to “LGBTQQIAAP” (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer-questioning-intersex-asexual-allies-pansexual). The rationale behind this alphabet-soup absurdity is to increase inclusion of groups that otherwise make up statistically miniscule elements of the population when divided into such niches. The practical effect is exclusion by inclusion. According to one of the “As” in the acronym – “ally” — anyone who is not sympathetic to the cause is automatically excluded from the movement –becoming, in effect, an enemy.
As a general rule, people can refer to themselves by whatever name, title, or pronoun by which they desire to be known. And, within reason, it is common courtesy to try to respect their wishes. However, respect in this regard is no longer a two-way street. Understanding and tolerance are no longer shown to anyone who either does not know what to call someone, or politely chooses to stick to traditional, biologically-based gender pronouns and identities. Such people are branded as “homophobic” or worse, and lumped together into one of the Left’s “basket of deplorables.”
Sports associations have proudly placed themselves at the forefront of this Gender Identity Strike Force. The college sports division Atlantic Coast Conference, for example, announced last week that it would pull all championship games out of North Carolina in retaliation against “HB2,” the state’s so-called “bathroom bill” which does nothing other than reflect centuries-old, biologically-based restroom usage.
Public schools also have taken up the gender-identity challenge. In Chicago and Kansas City, public school students and faculty could face “consequences” for “intentionally referring to the student by a name or pronoun that does not correspond to the student’s gender identity” – with “identity” being wholly subjective and fluctuating.
Meanwhile, in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Administration has drafted rules to levy fines on businesses of up to a quarter of a million dollars for not “respecting” a customer’s preferred terminology by which to be addressed. To avoid fines, the Big Apple’s Commission on Human Rights recommends “creating a policy of asking everyone what their preferred gender pronoun” might be, and “not limit the [customer database] options for identification to male and female only.”
It is one thing for a group of people or an individual to choose how to be identified; but a far different matter to employ the power of the law to force public and private businesses and individuals to engage in such nonsense; particularly when the list of pronouns by which individuals may choose to be addressed reads like a foreign language playbill.
By making gender identity identification a legal issue, the government gets to define the playing field for a societal debate about gender – something that, throughout human history until now, was never a topic needing debate in the first place. Worse still, in the Brave New World of Gender Identity Correctness, government is able to dictate to private citizens how to respond to such a debate, so as not to make anyone “uncomfortable.” But, as noted law professor Eugene Volokh suggests, “we should all feel uncomfortable about government regulators forcing people to say things that convey and support the government’s ideology about gender,” considering that such a debate makes no sense to most people in the first place.
Until recently, one might have though governments, universities, high schools, grade schools, and sports associations had more important things to worry about than bathroom protocols. Apparently not.