(Otherwise known as #CompelledSpeech or the #PronounPolice)
How to deal with #pronouns Option 1: Boundaries:
You can start by being firm and polite. “No, thank you” will do nicely.
Keep it friendly. Don’t explain yourself. Stand your ground. Just say “NO”.
Your interlocutor might choke a little on that one, he or she probably will think that you misunderstood or that you need “educating”.
When he or she asks again, this time probably speaking very slowly to educate you, keep cool, breathe in, breathe out, smile and repeat “No, thank you”.
How to deal with #pronouns Option 2: The educational approach:
There is no avoiding it, there will come a time when you will have to get into the subject itself. Your weapon of choice is right here and an absolute must-read: Barra Kerr’s Pronouns are Rohypnol amazing article on the psychological impact of using pronouns.
Quote Barra Kerr and explain:
“They change our perception, lower our defences, make us react differently, alter the reality in front of us.”
Encourage your interlocutor to read this and to do the exercises themselves.
How to deal with #pronouns Option 3: Dissent as psychological self-defence
Following naturally from the point above, keep calm and explain the following:
“Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where a person or group makes someone question their sanity, perception of reality. People experiencing gaslighting often feel confused, anxious, and unable to trust themselves”.
I got his quote from here but a quick google search will give you tons of information if you are not familiar.
People enforcing preferred pronouns on others, like the person you are speaking to, need everyone’s compliance to feel more comfortable with their own confusion. In short, everyone knows and recognises men and women at first glance. Everyone knows that transwomen are men. Yet we are guilt-tripped to use contradicting pronouns to make people who call themselves trans comfortable and comfort them in their illusions, regardless of our own discomfort and indeed health. It is not only a mental gymnastics to do that, it harms us psychologically. But if everybody else also lies, the cognitive dissonance becomes more manageable. Mass compliance means that everybody can lie and look at themselves in the mirror because it is socially approved.
Unfortunately, like any other form of gaslighting, using a pronoun that contradict someone biological sex is confusing the brain. In time it will severely harm us because gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse. Preferred #pronouns are a form of mass emotional abuse we should all resist.
How to deal with #pronouns Option 4: The material feminist analyses.
In (very) short: Women are being oppressed for centuries because of our sex. We are oppressed because we are female. We call this oppression “sex-based”.
Some men claim to be oppressed because they wear dresses & makeup (this is what is now referred to as “gender”, a fancy word for “sexist stereotypes”, because wearing a dress does not make one a woman). However many women report having been oppressed even when they wore trousers (!IKR! shocking who would have thought?!) so that theory doesn’t work to explain oppression & how men who call themselves transwomen are supposedly more oppressed than women.
How to deal with #pronouns Option 5: If at this point of explaining that you do not want to use #pronouns and won’t be compelled to, the person you speak with still doesn’t get it, you are allowed to lose your shit a little.
How to deal with #pronouns Option 6: Sarcasm.
This might do the trick for the reluctant who refuse to hear rational argument. It goes like this: “If a male can call himself a woman and I am forced to respect that and call him “she”, then I identify as the Queen & you are forced to respect that too. Bring me my crown.”
The #pronouns discussion, Option 7.
When you have used all the options above and are still facing a wall of TWAWTWAWTWAWT there is a huge possibility that your interlocutor has (very sensibly of course) called you a “Nazi” and a “child-killer” at this stage.
You are allowed to assume your interlocutor is either:
A) part of a cult, brainwashed and temporarily unable to understand a rational argument
B) discussing in bad faith
C) actually not listening
D) pushing an agenda
E) a sexist prick
F) all of the above
Do not [I repeat] do not discuss with a gaslighter! Remove yourself as soon as possible from that situation as this is really not good for you. You have no doubt be called a #TERF during that conversation. “TERF” is a slur used by misogynists to silence women who know sex is real, women who talk about our bodies, women who name female oppression, in other words, feminists.
Find the RadFems!
Speak-out about your experience.
Welcome to sanity.
I hope this little guide has been useful.